June 9, 2017
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm Steve Miller reporting.
Fired FBI Director James Comey says President Donald Trump expected him to pledge his loyalty and urged him to drop the investigation into links between Trump's aides and Russian officials.
Comey testified that Trump asked him on February 14 to [let it go of] "let go" of the investigation into Michael Flynn, who had been fired as Trump's national security adviser the previous day.
"I took it as a direction. I mean, this is a president of the United States with me alone saying, 'I hope this.' I took it as, this is what he wants me to do. I didn't obey that, but that's the way I took it."
Later on Thursday, the Senate Intelligence Committee reconvened in closed session to continue to hear Comey, who said he was willing to discuss several matters that should not be made public.
President Donald Trump's personal attorney, Marc Kasowitz, read a statement following Comey's testimony.
"The president never, in form or substance, directed or suggested that Mr. Comey stop investigating anyone, including the president never suggested that Mr. Comey 'let Flynn go.'"
Britain held its snap election Thursday called in April by Prime Minister Theresa May. VOA's Henry Ridgwell says there was a lot for voters to consider.
[The reported killings happened between May 26 and June 3 all in the al-Shifa neighborhood.]
[Former] Apologies. Former Treasury chief George Osborne, who edits the Evening Standard says that if exit[ing] polls are true, then the results could be catastrophic for the Conservative Party.
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A U.S. military aircraft shot down an armed, pro-Syrian government drone after it fired upon U.S.-led coalition members on patrol in southern Syria on Thursday.
The incident was the first time that pro-regime forces attempted to strike coalition forces in the area surrounding al-Tanf, an army base where members of the coalition are training Syrians to fight Islamic State.
Local counter-Islamic State fighters were patrolling with coalition troops about 60 kilometers east of al-Tanf base when the drone[s], similar size to an MQ-1 Predator, launched a munition that failed to detonate.
The United Nations Human Rights Office said Thursday it has "credible reports" indicating that Islamic State fighters in Iraq killed at least 231 civilians who were trying to flee western Mosul.
The fight for western Mosul has been ongoing since February, following the success of Iraqi troops backed by airstrikes from a U.S.-led coalition in taking the eastern side of the city.
Iran's Intelligence Ministry said that five of the men involved in attacks on the country's parliament [and the bomb] and the tomb of former leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini were Iranians who had joined the Islamic State group.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told state-run television that terrorists "will soon be eliminated."
"The firecracker plays that took place today will have no effect on the people's will. Everyone has to know that. They are too small to affect the will of the Iranian nation and this country's officials. However, these incidents proved that if the Islamic republic had not resisted at the epicenter of these seditions, we would be dealing with many troubles caused by them inside the country now. God willing. They will be got rid of."
The ministry said the men had fought for Islamic State in Mosul, Iraq, and in Raqqa, Syria, before returning to Iran in August of last year.
Islamic State has claimed it has killed two captive Chinese nationals in southwestern Pakistan.
The Chinese language instructors, a man and a woman, were kidnapped at gunpoint two weeks ago from Quetta, the capital of the violence-hit Baluchistan province.
A second Chinese woman accompanying them managed to escape abduction during the attack.
At least 13 people are dead, including four attackers, after Boko Haram launched the deadliest attack in months on the northeast Nigeria city that is the birthplace of the extremist group. The attack came just hours before a visit by the country's acting president.
Nigeria last year declared that Boko Haram had been crushed but attacks continue, often with young women strapped into explosives for suicide attacks.
For updates to these stories and more, visit voanews.com 24 hours a day. I'm Steve Miller in Washington.
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