From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm David DeForest reporting.
The United States says it carried out a raid on Islamic State fighters in eastern Syria focusing on IS leadership.
A Pentagon spokesman says the operation in Deir Ezzor province was carried out by a U.S. special forces unit.
A Pentagon spokesman says a U.S. Navy ship fired warnings shots at Iranian boats Sunday. Carla Babb has more
A U.S. defense official told VOA four Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps attack craft vessels were "traveling right at" the USS Mahan at a "very high rate of speed" in the Strait of Hormuz.
The Navy crew identified themselves and repeated "multiple times" that the Iranian ships needed to turn away or the crew would be "forced to use a defensive measure." Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis said the USS Mahan issued audible sirens and radio warnings.
"This was an unsafe and unprofessional interaction."
When the Iranian boats did not respond to radio requests to slow down, the USS Mahan fired shots with a 50-caliber machine gun. Only then, did the small Iranian boats stop.
Carla Babb, the Pentagon.
A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said Monday his government opposes any contact between Taiwanese leaders and U.S. officials.
The statement comes a day after Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen met with U.S. Senator Ted Cruz and Texas Governor Greg Abbott. The meeting happened in Houston where Ms. Tsai stopped on her way to Central America.
Russia and the Philippines are considering joint naval exercises.
Russia sent a destroyer and a naval oil tanker to a port in Manila last week for a five-day goodwill visit and the two sides are looking to expand defense cooperation.
Philippines president says he would like to be less dependent on the United States.
This is VOA news.
The Kremlin is denouncing as baseless and amateurish U.S. intelligence claims it meddled in the U.S. presidential election to help Donald Trump.
A Kremlin spokesman called the accusations "baseless." His comments were the Kremlin's first since U.S. intelligence officials said Friday they had high confidence that Russia's President Vladimir Putin personally ordered a campaign to undermine the U.S. presidential election.
A transitional official says U.S. President-elect Donald Trump will name his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as a senior adviser in his White House.
Trump predicted Monday that the Senate will confirm all of his cabinet choices.
The first Senate confirmation hearings on Trump appointments will begin on Tuesday, with more scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday.
Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell met with Trump and told reporters all the cabinet nominees will be properly vetted as they have been in the past.
"Everybody will be properly vetted as they have been in the past. And I'm hopeful that we'll get up to six or seven, particularly the national security team, in place on day one."
Meanwhile, the government's ethics chief says some Trump nominees have yet to disclose key information about their financial holdings.
White supremacist murderer Dylann Roof presented his sentencing case Monday, calling no witnesses and presenting no evidence to stave off a death penalty.
Rook killed nine worshippers at a black South Carolina church last June.
Italy has decided to reopen its embassy in Libya. The Italian embassy was closed in 2015 along with other Western embassies when a coalition of militias seized the capital, Tripoli.
Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara has fired his nation's security chiefs. The heads of the army, police and gendarmes were dismissed on Monday after army soldiers unhappy about their pay staged a two-day mutiny that spread across the country.
Officials say Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari will lead three West African heads of state to Gambia on Wednesday to try to persuade longtime leader President Yahya Jammeh to step down.
It is the second presidential delegation from the Economic Community of West African States to visit Gambia since President Jammeh lost the December 1 elections.
Mr. Jammeh has rejected the results of that vote.
That was the sound in Turkey's parliament as debate continued on the proposed constitutional amendments that would give President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan sweeping new powers.
Mr. Erdoğan has long advocated a stronger presidency but the main opposition party fears that the changes would turn the country into a de facto dictatorship.
If the package is approved by lawmakers, the government will submit it to voter referendum for final approval, possibly in the spring.
From the VOA news center in Washington, I'm David DeForest.