July 7, 2016
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm David DeForest reporting. U.S. President Barack Obama announced Wednesday American troop strength in Afghanistan will remain higher than he planned through the end of his term.
"The narrow missions assigned to our forces will not change. They remain focused on supporting Afghan forces and going after terrorists."
Mr. Obama says the security situation in Afghanistan remains precarious.
More than 8,000 troops will remain in the country despite earlier plans to drop that number to 5,000 by the end of the year.
A British inquiry led by respected statesman John Chilcot has found that the invasion of Iraq 13 years ago was, in its words, "unnecessary."
In the official report, the inquiry says Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein presented no imminent threat to Britain or to Western powers.
"The Inquiry has not expressed a view on whether military action was legal. That could, of course, only be resolved by a properly constituted and internationally recognized court. We have, however, concluded that the circumstances in which it was decided that there was a legal basis for U.K. military action were far from satisfactory."
Chilcot blamed politicians, intelligence officials, diplomats and generals for their role in the invasion.
Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives plan to grill FBI Director James Comey Thursday concerning his decision to recommend no criminal charges be brought against Hillary Clinton over her use of a private email server as secretary of state.
Comey has been called to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Attorney General Loretta Lynch met with Comey Wednesday and she said she will abide by the FBI's recommendations.
This is VOA news.
Brazil's embattled president, Dilma Rousseff, has vowed to fight to carry out her presidential mandate through 2018 despite attempts to impeach her.
Ms. Rousseff made the remarks in a letter to the Senate commission considering her impeachment. The letter was read Wednesday by her lead attorney.
Election officials in Australia are counting millions of postal and absentee votes in the country's national election. Phil Mercer takes a look.
Four days after the election, Australians have little idea who will form their next government. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says he is confident his center-right party will win a majority, while the opposition Labor party hopes to form a minority government with the help of minor parties and independents.
The final election result is expected in the coming days.
Phil mercer, Sydney.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry flew to Tbilisi Wednesday to sign a new joint military and security agreement with Georgia. The agreement assures Georgians that the U.S. will help them build their defenses.
"The United States remains steadfast in our support of Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity. Russia's occupation and militarization of parts of Georgia's territory are unacceptable."
Kerry will also discuss security matters with Ukrainian officials in Kyiv before joining U.S. President Barack Obama in Poland Friday for a summit of NATO leaders.
The Syrian army declared a unilateral 72-hour cease-fire across the country Wednesday. That coincides with festivities marking the end of the month-long Muslim observance of Ramadan.
European Union lawmakers endorsed plans to bring together the EU's Frontex border agency and national border management authorities to help manage the flow of thousands of migrants trying to enter Europe.
Under the plans, national authorities will continue to manage the borders on a day-to-day basis, but if EU borders come under pressure, local officials can request help from the European Border and Coast Guard Agency.
Military sources say two suicide bombers struck a military base near the Aden international airport in Yemen Wednesday. At least six people were killed. Security sources said gun battles followed the explosions as militants tried to take advantage of the confusion.
The rights organization, Amnesty International, is urging Kyrgyzstan's government to release Azimjan Askarov, a human rights advocate serving life in prison.
Askarov, an ethnic Uzbek, was accused of being an accomplice to the murder of a police officer during several days of ethnic violence that took place in 2010.
He was given a life sentence in prison three months later.
In Washington, I'm David DeForest.
That's the latest world news from VOA.