Most talked about Voice of America stories

Burkina Faso President Resigns, Army Chief Takes Power — A top Burkina Faso general denied a military coup has taken place, telling VOA that unless the president steps down, the military will remain subordinate to the government. In an interview with VOA's French to Africa news service, General Kouame Lougue said he does not know if President Blaise Compaore will respond to protesters' demands to resign, saying "the people will decide."

Experts: African Constitutions Increasingly Used to Prolong Power — In the last decade, at least a dozen African leaders - among them, the rulers of Algeria, Cameroon, Chad, Djibouti, Uganda and Zimbabwe - have amended their national constitutions to allow them to extend their time in office. The men who lead those six countries have been in power collectively for just shy of 150 years.

Ebola Studies Help Demystify Vulnerability to Virus — Two notable studies on Ebola this week shed more light on why some people are devastated by the virus, while others manage to survive the deadly pathogen. In one, researchers gathered data from 106 Ebola-stricken patients at the Kenema Government Hospital in Sierra Leone from May 25 to July 18.
Oct 31, 2014

Why do some people survive #Ebola & not others? New Studies Help Demystify Vulnerability @Ebola Outbreak…

In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom — It is exam time at Naivasha maximum security prison in central Kenya. Inside a church building opposite the recreation yard, 18 inmates are taking Kenya's standardized secondary education test, the KCSE. The prisoners sit at school desks holding pen cases and plastic protractors.

Movies Inspire Halloween 2014′s Hottest Costumes — Halloween may have evolved from spooky origins in England, Ireland and Scotland - where the Celts believed the dead could walk among the living during the transition between the seasons - but in America, Halloween is now more about candy and costumes than anything else.

Al-Aqsa Mosque Partially Reopened after Jerusalem Clashes — Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque was partially reopened Friday, as Israel security forces let in Muslim women and older men for prayers after shuttering the area completely a day earlier. Israeli police deployed heavily around the holy site known to Jews as the Temple Mount and Muslims as Haram al-Sharif.
Oct 31, 2014

Al-Aqsa Mosque Partially Reopened after Jerusalem Clashes #Israel #Palestinian

What Americans Fear Most-And It’s Not Ebola — Americans might be in an uproar about Ebola, but what we fear most is walking alone at night, according to the first comprehensive nationwide study on the subject. California-based Chapman University questioned 1,500 people from across the United States to reach its conclusions. The survey found that the top five things that scare Americans the [...]

Syrian Refugees Brace for Harsh Lebanese Winter — As winter approaches, analysts say the Lebanese-Syrian border region is at risk, with Islamic State and al-Nusra fighters camped in the mountains. Most of Lebanon's more than one-million Syrian refugees live in the Bekaa Valley near the Syrian border, crowding into shantytowns on farmlands or in empty lots.

UN Launches Global Campaign to End Female Genital Mutilation — The U.N. secretary-general has launched a global media campaign aimed at putting an end to female genital mutilation. In 2012, the U.N. General Assembly adopted a resolution declaring zero tolerance for female genital mutilation [FGM], hoping to raise awareness against the practice. A U.N.

Mozambique Energy — With its rich reserves of untapped natural gas, Mozambique is poised to become a major energy supplier, a fact that became a central talking point in a recent national election. But not everyone is basking in the nation's accumulating riches. VOA's Anita Powell explains from Maputo.

Obama Calls for 'Inclusive and Credible' Elections in Myanmar — President Barack Obama has called on Myanmar to hold an "inclusive and credible process" for conducting parliamentary elections in 2015. President Obama's comment was made during separate phone calls Thursday with Myanmar President Thein Sein and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

'Point and Shoot' Shows American Filmmaker in Libyan Revolution — A young American takes to the road with his video camera, in a motorcycle journey around the Arab world, and ends up fighting alongside Libyan rebels. It may sound like fiction, but it's a true story, and the subject of a new documentary, "Point and Shoot," by director Marshall Curry.
Oct 31, 2014

'Point and Shoot' Shows American Filmmaker in Libyan Revolution #Libya

Iraqi Kurd Peshmerga Enter Kobani to Aid in Fight Against Islamic State — Iraqi Kurdish fighters have moved to within 10 kilometers of the Syrian border as they prepare to join Syrian Kurds in their fight against Islamic State militants in the town of Kobani. Two groups of peshmerga forces from Iraq's Kurdistan region met up Thursday in the southern Turkish town of Suruc after spending a day traveling across the country under an agreement with Turkey's government.

Chinese Magazine Gets Taken Over by Government — A long running Chinese liberal magazine says it will now be taken over by Beijing's government in a move that continues a tightening grip on information since President Xi Jinping came to power. Yanhuang Chunqiu, or "China Through the Ages", known for its outspoken and critical style, recently announced a new president and vice president, both of whom are sons of former Communist Party leaders.
Oct 30, 2014

"I think [Xi] supports our magazine at heart”-some hopeful words from outgoing prez of liberal mag Yanhuang Chunqiu…

Pentagon Seeks to Empower Sunnis Fighting Islamic State in Iraq — The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff says the Pentagon is considering ways to better engage the Sunni Arab tribes of Iraq's Anbar province in the battle against Islamic State militants. General Martin Dempsey told reporters Thursday that Islamic State advances in Anbar province require empowering the tribes that are battling the extremist group.
Oct 30, 2014

Pentagon Seeks to Empower Sunnis Fighting Islamic State in Iraq…

Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion — In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA's Anita Powell visited this year's Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.

Sudan Official Says Bashir Deserves Nobel Peace Prize — Sudan's information minister said President Omar al-Bashir is a man of peace who should have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for ending one of Africa's longest wars. But instead of being praised and encouraged for his efforts, Ahmed Bilal said, President Bashir is being threatened with an International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrant for alleged war crimes in Darfur.

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money — Kenya's mobile money industry could undergo a serious shakeup thanks to new technology. A Kenyan bank is rolling out its own mobile network using a new paper-thin SIM card that sits on top of an ordinary SIM. But industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud.

In Israel, Palestinian Bus Ban Slammed as Racist — Rights groups are condemning an Israeli proposal that would effectively ban Palestinian workers from traveling on the same buses as Israeli settlers in the West Bank. The proposal by Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon would require Palestinians who work in Israel to return to the West Bank using the same checkpoint where they entered.