June 23, 2017
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm Steve Miller reporting.
U.S. President Donald Trump is questioning why his predecessor, former President Barack Obama, and his administration didn't block Russia from meddling in last year's presidential election.
In a Twitter comment on Thursday, Trump posed a question: "By the way, if Russia was working so hard on the 2016 Election, it all took place during the Obama Admin. Why didn't they stop them?"
Jeh Johnson, Obama's Homeland Security chief, told a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Wednesday that he has no knowledge whether Trump or his campaign aides illegally colluded with Russian interests. However, "We saw a progression of scanning and probing activities around voter registration databases, which concerned me, which is why I kept encouraging state officials to come and seek our help."
Johnson testified his agency was rebuffed by Democratic officials when they offered to help thwart the Russian intrusion into their computer files.
The U.S. Pentagon says a U.S. airstrike has killed three al-Qaeda militants in Yemen.
The strike on June 16 targeted Abu Khattab al-Awlaqi, [and] the terror group's emir in southern Yemen's Shabwah Governorate, and two of his associates.
The Pentagon said al-Awlaqi was responsible for planning and carrying out terrorist attacks against civilians. He also led efforts to promote instability in the war-torn country.
The U.S. Central Command said the strike was carried out "with full support of the government of Yemen."
The United States has long considered al-Qaeda's affiliate in Yemen, known as the al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, [as] a major threat.
The group attempted to send explosives-laden packages to the United States in 2010.
This is VOA news.
At least 12 people were killed in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo in heavy fighting between the army and militia on Thursday.
Local activists said several students sitting (for) exams were also wounded in an explosion at a school.
The fighting in and around the city of Beni between Congo's army and what is believed to be a new coalition of armed groups, the National Movement of Revolutionaries, killed at least eight militiamen and four soldiers.
Beni mayor Nyonyi Bwanakawa commented on the clashes that took place near his office. "It is very sad that since morning, some militia fighters attacked our town and the made the city their target, which is sad. But the National Congolese Army together with the police battled hard to make sure that the situation is brought under control."
East Congo contains dozens of armed groups that prey on locals and exploit mineral reserves. Hundreds of civilians have died near Beni since October, 2014.
Antonio Tajani, the EU's Parliament president, said Europe needs to be pragmatic in dealing with Britain following the country's decision to leave the bloc, but urged cooperation in future dealings.
"The U.K. will leave the European Union not Europe. This is important to pave the way also for good relations after the separation. It's important to cooperate with the U.K. also in the day after on terror against terrorism, on defense. London is a member of NATO."
EU leaders opened a two-day summit in Brussels to address everything from Britain's planned exit, along with terrorism, migration and other issues facing Europe.
British Prime Minister Theresa May told reporters prior to the summit she was looking forward to constructive negotiations.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says Britain's promise to grant full rights to EU citizens who have been living in Britain for five years is a good start to Brexit talks.
European chief Donald Tusk says the remaining 27 EU nations are ready to choose new locations for (the) Europe-wide agencies currently [headed] headquartered in Britain.
A truck loaded with rocks collided with a bus and two ambulances Thursday, killing at least 21 people and injuring nearly 30 in [southern] southeastern Brazil.
The accident occurred near the city of Guarapari in the state of Espirito Santo when the truck slammed into a bus and two ambulances behind it that were coming in the opposite direction.
The press office of the state's Public Security Department said the truck driver and the ambulance driver were among the dead as were at least 13 of the bus's 32 passengers.
What caused the truck to swerve into the opposite lane is unclear.
From Washington, I'm Steve Miller.
That's the latest world news from VOA.