VOA news 2020-02-10 (audio+transcript)

This is VOA news. I’m Marissa Melton.

Two U.S. soldiers have been killed and six wounded in what’s been described as an insider attack in Afghanistan. AP correspondent Ben Thomas has more.

The incident took place late Saturday in Nangarhar province.

The U.S. military says a person dressed in an Afghan army uniform opened fire with a machine gun on a combined U.S.-Afghanistan force.

It says the cause or motive behind the attack is being investigated.

An Afghan Defense Ministry official says the shooter was an Afghan soldier who had argued with the U.S. forces before opening fire, adding he was not a Taliban infiltrator.

In addition to the two Americans killed, Afghanistan’s Defense Ministry says one Afghan soldier was also killed and three injured.

A member of the provincial council tells the Associated Press the gunman was killed in the attack.

The incident brings to six the number of U.S. service members killed in Afghanistan so far this year.

I’m Ben Thomas.

The death toll on mainland China from the coronavirus outbreak has now reached 811. That surpasses the number of deaths caused by the SARS pandemic of 2002 and 2003.

Eighty-nine people died of the illness on Saturday, according to China’s National Health Commission.

Meanwhile, Britain has confirmed its fourth case of coronavirus and Spain has confirmed its second. Both cases were acquired by people who had recently made trips to France.

Millions of people remain under lockdown in Hubei. That’s the landlocked province at the center of the coronavirus outbreak where residents are complaining of food shortages.

China’s central bank said starting Monday it will make available $43 billion to help businesses fighting the epidemic.

The SARS outbreak, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome of 2002 and 2003, is believed to have killed 774 people and sickened more than 8,000 in China and Hong Kong.

You’re listening to VOA news.

With the Iowa causes behind them, Democratic presidential hopefuls bet in next big challenges on Tuesday. It’s the New Hampshire state primary.

At a campaign event on Sunday, Senator Bernie Sanders said defeating President Trump is first priority but the country needs a much bigger transformation.

“What we have got to do is as a nation is not just defeat Trump and go back to where we were. What we have got to do is summon up the courage to take on the greed and the corruption in Wall Street, in the insurance industry, in the truck companies, in the fossil fuel industry, in the military industrial complex ….”

Speaking at a campaign rally, former Vice President Joe Biden says he and the other Democratic presidential candidates all agree that the country needs to change. He said they need to restore America’s sense of decency.

“We can talk a lot about the differences between Bernie and Pete and me and Amy and everybody else. There’s a lot of differences we have, but not on the fundamental issue of how we restore America’s character. We go about it differently but, folks, we’ve got to get it done.”

Ireland began counting votes on Sunday in a national election that an exit poll indicated would show a historic breakthrough for left-wing nationalists Sinn Féin. Reuters’ Emer McCarthy has more.

Irish voters looked to have handed a historic breakthrough to left-wing nationalists Sinn Féin leaving Ireland with a fractured political landscape and no clear path to a governing coalition.

Vote counting was underway on Sunday but the exit poll after Saturday’s general election suggested that support for Sinn Féin has surged by 50 percent. That brings the former political wing of the Irish Republican Army, or IRA, into joint first place on 22 percent with Fine Gael and Fianna Fail, the two center-right parties that have dominated Irish politics for a century.

Sinn Féin is likely to fall behind the other two but the result still represents a major shakeup to the establishment.

Emer McCarthy reporting.

The process now of forming a governing coalition in Ireland and Ireland’s parliament will be complicated. The other two [pol…] leading parties say they won’t govern with Sinn Féin. They’ll look, instead, to smaller parties with whom to demand.

Iranian state television has reported Iran failed in an attempt to launch a satellite into the Earth’s orbit.

A spokesman for the Iranian Defense Ministry space program told state TV the satellite did not reach the necessary speed to achieve orbit.

It’s at least the third failed satellite launched by Iran since the start of 2019.

And the movie industry’s biggest award ceremony, the Oscars, is getting ready to start. We’ll bring you more on the winners of those awards later this evening.

I’m Marissa Melton, VOA news.

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