June 27, 2017
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm Jonathan Smith reporting.
U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday a four-month investigation into allegations of collusion between his campaign and Russia has turned up nothing and he deserves an apology.
In a barrage of Twitter messages, Trump also accused former President Barack Obama of failing to act in response to intelligence reports that Russia was meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections because he, Obama, thought Democrat Hillary Clinton would win the presidency despite the Kremlin's clandestine efforts.
Following up on the Twitter posts, White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters the president believes Russia was "probably" involved in election interference and may not have been the only country doing so. Neither Spicer nor Trump indicated what action they thought Obama should have taken to counter Russia's election interference.
The U.S. Supreme Court says it will consider the case of President Trump's executive order restricting travel and in the meantime much of the order may take effect.
Trump's revised executive order is often referred to as a travel ban. It halted travel from six [monthly] mostly Muslim countries for 90 days and stopped the nation's refugee program for 120 days. The order said these steps were necessary to revise security screening to safeguard the nation from external threats.
You are listening to the news from the Voice of America in Washington.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that states cannot bar churches and other religious organizations from receiving [day] taxpayer-funded grants for programs that have non-religious intent.
In the 7-2 ruling, the justices sided with Missouri's Trinity Lutheran Church, which had been denied state funding for a playground improvement project.
Iraqi military leaders say their forces are poised to capture the old part of the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants. VOA's Heather Murdock is there.
Military officials say they expect the area still held by the militants to be captured in the coming days but the upcoming battle is expected to be brutal as families held hostage attempt to flee and militants make their final stand.
Iraqi-controlled old Mosul is littered with bodies buried in the rubble and the city is abandoned and in ruins.
The United States is set to declare China as among the world's worst offenders in human trafficking and forced labor, placing it alongside countries the U.S. has long disparaged - Iran, North Korea and Syria.
The designation is expected to be formally announced by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday. It could further aggravate tensions between the United States and China at a time when President Trump had sought to enlist Chinese President Xi Jinping in an effort to curb North Korea's nuclear weapons development program.
Mr. Tillerson is expected to take Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, and Iraq off a list of countries that use or recruit child soldiers in an announcement set for Tuesday.
The Reuters news agency reported last week that by delisting those countries, Tillerson is overruling recommendations from State Department experts and senior diplomats. Reuters also cited officials as saying the announcement is expected to be made as part of the department's annual Trafficking in Persons report.
You can find more on these and other stories from around the world around the clock at voanews.com. I'm Christopher in Washington.
That's the latest world news from VOA.
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