VOA news for Monday, October 28th, 2019

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VOA news for Monday, October 28th, 2019
This is VOA News. I’m Tommy McNeil. U.S. President Trump says the US military Special Forces operation in northwest Syria successfully targeted and violently eliminated Islamic State leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi. VOA’s White House bureau chief Steve Herman reports.
Speaking in the White House diplomatic room for nearly 15 minutes, Trump announced the Islamic State leader detonated a suicide vest in a tunnel, also killing 3 children, when he was confronted by the US force which lost no personnel. The President says Baghdadi was screaming, crying and whimpering in his last moments.
“He didn’t die a hero; he died a coward.”
Baghdadi’s remains were positively identified by DNA testing on-site in 15 minutes, according to Trump. The President says the leaders possible replacements as head of the terrorist organization are already in the sights of American forces.
Stevens Herman, VOA news at the White House, the chief US peace negotiator for Afghanistan met leaders in Kabul Sunday after arriving in the country on an unannounced visit, his first since President Trump halted talks with Taliban insurgents on ending the Afghan war. The visit came on a day when the Afghan independent Election Commission said November 14th is the new day for releasing preliminary results from the September 28th controversy-marred Presidential polls.
Officials said Khalilzad held separate meetings with incumbent President Ashraf Ghani and Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, the 2 front-runners in the last month’s Presidential election. Conservative President Mauricio Macri conceded defeat in Argentina’s election Sunday night, paving the way for the country’s Peronist center-left to return to power under Alberto Fernandez as frustrated voters rejected the incumbent’s handling of a bruising economic crisis that has sunk many into poverty.
This is VOA news. Clashes in the streets as 1000s of people took to the streets for another weekend of protest in Hong Kong. This week the city’s governing body formerly withdrew the bill that sparked the original protest earlier this year. But that has done little to appease protesters in the leaderless movement. They say they want the government to do more to stave off what they believe is encroaching control from Beijing. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Hong Kong.
Opposition legislator Ted Hui told VOA the violence disrupts what he says should be peaceful protests.
“It’s not something that Hong Kong people would like to see- not something the world would like to see. But I still urge people to look through the surface, and understand the background why people are so angry and there’s no other way of expressing their grief, and that’s why they are resorting to some other means. It might not be right, but the government should have responded to the 5 demands and the problem would have been totally solved.”
In fact, Hong Kong legislators this week withdrew the bill that lit the spark of these leaderless protests earlier this year. The controversial extradition bill, that would have allowed Hong Kong residents to be tried in mainland China. Anita Powell, VOA news, Hong Kong.
California Governor Gavin Newsome has declared a statewide state of emergency because of wildfires and power cuts to !1,000,000s to stop more fires from breaking out. !200,000 people have been forced to flee their homes in Sonoma County, north of San Francisco.
The county Sheriff’s Office calls it the largest such evacuation anyone can remember. In an AP interview, CALFIRE spokesman Brendan Holly says firefighters are battling the blaze on 3 fronts.
“There’s firefighters out doing perimeter control, there’s firefighters doing structure protection, and there’s aircraft out to try and take the heat out of the head of the fire.”
The Kincaid fire, named for the local road where the flames are believed to have started, has already burned more than !12,000 hectares and destroyed a number of buildings including historic structures in the area. Those vineyards make it popular with tourist.
Officials said as of Sunday, only !10% of the Kincaid fire was contained. Hot dry desert winds blowing at a record-breaking speed are making it almost impossible for firefighters to bring the flames under control. In Southern California, a wildfire, in Santa Clarita near Los Angeles, is said to be about !65% contained, but not before it destroyed more than a dozen buildings there. The California utility company Pacific Gas and Electric shut off power to nearly !1,000,000 homes and businesses across Northern California. Some with little notice and lots of complaints. I’m Tommy McNeil, VOA news.

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