American officials say an attack by a pilotless plane in Pakistan has struck and killed the second most important leader of al-Qaida. Abu Yahya al-Libi was killed in the airstrike in the North Waziristan area of Pakistan. Pakistani officials said the attack in the town of Khassu Khel killed at least fifteen people. The Pakistani Foreign Minister said the attack violated international law and Pakistani independence. Pakistan has repeatedly asked the United States to stop the drone attacks. American defense officials say the attacks are important in the fight against al-Qaida and the Taliban. Pakistan closed a supply road for NATO coalition troops going to Afghanistan as a protest against the drone attacks. A high-level American defense official is meeting with Pakistani leaders this week to resolve the problem.
American officials say they will no longer pay for a twenty-million-dollar effort in Pakistan to develop a local version of the Sesame Street children's show. The American embassy in Islamabad would not give details about the decision to VOA. Tuesday's announcement comes after accusations of corruption against the local Pakistani puppet theater working on the project. Accusations of severe financial wrongdoing were published in a report in the Pakistan Today newspaper. The leader of the Faizaan Peerzada puppet theater denied the accusations. Rafi Peer says his group would begin to prepare the second season of broadcasts later this month.
American officials say United States Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will urge India to be more active in helping Afghanistan. Mr. Panetta arrived in New Delhi Tuesday for talks with Indian officials. He met with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and India's national security adviser. Mr. Panetta is to make a policy speech Wednesday in New Delhi. India has provided two billion dollars in aid to Afghanistan and last October the two countries signed an agreement for stronger security and economic links. India is also helping Afghan security forces prepare for the withdrawal of international troops which is to happen by the end of twenty fourteen.
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People in the American state of Wisconsin are voting to decide if their governor should be removed from office. More than one million voters in the state called for the election. The most recent public opinion study shows Governor Scott Walker with a small lead over his opponent, Tom Barrett, the mayor of the city of Milwaukee. Mr. Walker defeated Mr. Barrett in the two thousand ten election for the governor's office. Earlier in his term, Governor Walker signed a bill into law that restricted the labor rights of most government workers. This angered many voters. Democrats and Republicans from across the country have given money and help to the campaigns of the two men. Mr. Walker is a Republican. He has raised thirty million dollars. Mr. Barrett, a Democrat, has raised four million dollars. Early results are expected later Tuesday.
Air safety experts say air travel in parts of Africa is getting safer but there have been two deadly plane crashes in West Africa in a week. VOA reporter Anne Look in Senegal says many African countries find it difficult to oversee airplane safety. Karen Leggett has her report:
The crew of Dana Air flight 9J-992 reported on June third that the airplane was having engine trouble. At the time, the plane was flying from Abuja to Lagos, Nigeria's largest city. Minutes later, the plane crashed into a crowded Lagos neighborhood. All one hundred fifty-three people on the plane died. Some people on the ground were also killed. It was the fourth plane crash to kill more than one hundred people in Nigeria in the past ten years. The United Nations Civil Aviation Organization says the accident rate in Africa has been four to five times that of other continents in recent years. William Voss is president of the Flight Safety Foundation in the United States. He says Nigeria has made reforms:
Frequently, the authorities that are, are charged with overseeing aviation have very little authority. They have inadequate staffing. They're overridden frequently from political levels and, and there's a lot of issues of political will. I mean you will have politically influential operators appealing to higher levels of government. And, and that's the sort of thing that was actually corrected in Nigeria.
In twenty-ten, America's Federal Aviation Administration awarded Nigeria its top safety rating. That means Nigerian airlines can fly to the United States. The London-based AviAssist Foundation says Nigeria is one of ten African nations that rate higher than the international minimum standards for aviation safety. The crash on Sunday is still being investigated. Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan visited the neighborhood where the plane crashed. He promised to improve air safety so that such crashes would never happen again. I'm Karen Leggett.
Fighting between government troops and opposition forces in Syria is ending hopes that diplomats can save a ceasefire agreement. American officials say an attack by a pilotless plane in Pakistan struck and killed the second-most important leader of al-Qaida. And in Libya, [the] government main airport in Tripoli reopened Tuesday after the government retook control from militia.
And that's the news in VOA Special English from Washington.