July 28, 2016
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm Michael Lipin reporting. U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has provoked outrage from his critics for encouraging Russia to share any emails that it has from his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.
Trump was speaking in a Wednesday news conference where he downplayed his accusations that he has close ties to Russia.
Clinton's campaign manager has said there are signs that Russia hacked into the Democratic National Committee's email server and leaked embarrassing messages in order to help Trump's campaign.
Trump called that idea ridiculous, but described the leaking of the DNC emails as a troubling sign.
"It shows how weak we are. It shows how disrespected we are. Total, assuming it's Russia or China or one of the major countries and competitors, it's a total sign of disrespect for our country."
Trump also said he hopes Moscow can find tens of thousands of emails that Clinton deleted from her personal server while she was U.S. secretary of state, emails that Clinton's opponents believe contained sensitive information.
Clinton's campaign responded by saying this has to be the first time that a major presidential candidate has actively encouraged a foreign power to conduct espionage against his political opponent.
Some Trump's supporters said he was making a joke.
Trump himself tweeted later that if Russia or anyone else has Clinton's deleted emails, they should share those emails with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation.
And, U.S. President Barack Obama is the featured speaker at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Wednesday. That's where he is expected to tell Americans why he thinks Hillary Clinton should replace him in the White House in January.
This is VOA.
Prosecutors in the U.S. state of Maryland have dropped all charges against Baltimore city police officers awaiting trial in the death of an African American man, Freddie Gray.
The 25-year-old Gray died in April 2015 of spinal cord injuries suffered while he was handcuffed and unrestrained in the back of a police van. He had been arrested after running away from an officer.
Gray's death in police custody sparked riots in Baltimore and national protests against perceived police brutality toward minorities.
Baltimore State Attorney Marilyn Mosby said Wednesday that she was dropping charges of wrongdoing against three officers involved in Gray's arrest. She said it was unlikely that she could secure a conviction of the three because she expected them to be tried by a judge who already has acquitted three other officers in the case.
But a defiant Mosby told a group of supporters that she believes the judicial system was biased against Gray.
"No matter how much we may disagree with his rulings. We do not believe that Freddie Gray killed himself, we stand by the medical examiner's determination that Freddie Gray's death was a homicide."
The head of the Baltimore's police union, Gene Ryan, rejected Mosby's allegations of bias as outrageous.
"Justice has been done. Our union will continue to support our officers during administrative hearings and believe these good officers will be returned to fulfilling their duties with the Baltimore City Police Department and serving the citizens of Baltimore City."
Baltimore authorities have paid $6 million to Gray's family to settle the city's civil liability for his death.
The Islamic State militant group has released a video showing two men suspected of killing a French Catholic priest at a church in northwestern France. In the video released on Wednesday, the two men are holding an IS banner and pledging allegiance to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The video was posted by a news agency associated with the Islamic State.
Earlier Wednesday, French President François Hollande met with religious leaders in an attempt to calm their fears triggered by Tuesday's church attack which is the latest in a string of terror attacks in France.
And briefly, more than 40 people have been killed and dozens of others wounded in the northeastern [city of Qamishli] Syrian city of Qamishli after a massive suicide truck bombing claimed by the Islamic State.
A reporter for VOA's Kurdish service, Zana Omar, was among those wounded in the blast near the Turkish border.
I'm Michael Lipin reporting from Washington.
That's the latest world news from VOA.