VOA NEWS

May 10, 2017

From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm Michael Brown reporting.



U.S. President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, saying he is no longer able to "effectively lead" the agency.

Late Tuesday, the White House released a statement saying Trump wrote Comey in a letter saying "it is essential that we find new leadership for the FBI that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission."

The White House said a search for new FBI director will begin immediately.

Comey's dismissal will likely raise suspicions because he was heading the investigation to possible connection between Trump associates and Russia in the meddling of last year's presidential election.

Comey played a pivotal role in last year's presidential vote when he announced the agency was investigating more emails from then Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton just days before the election. Clinton said last week Comey played a role in her election loss.



South Korean President-elect Moon Jae-in gave a victory speech on Tuesday night to his supporters in Seoul. He vowed to be everyone's president who unifies people and will make South Korea a nation where principles and common sense work.

Moon is expected to be sworn in as South Korea's new president after the election commission finishes the vote count and declares the winner on Wednesday morning, replacing ex-President Park Geun-hye, who was ousted by the national assembly because of an alleged multi-million dollar influence peddling scheme.



Mexican officials say an explosion in a house [where house] where fireworks were stored killed 14 people and injured more than 20 others. Eleven of those killed were children.

Officials say one of the fireworks set off during a religious procession Monday night flew into the house, setting off a stash of fireworks at that location.



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White House spokesman Sean Spicer called acting former Attorney General Sally Yates a political opponent of President Trump, a day after she testified that the White House was notified former national security adviser Mike Flynn could be compromised because of his contact with Russia.

Trump dismissed Flynn 18 days after Yates notified the White House.

Spicer gave a timeline leading up to Trump taking action.

"Somebody came over, gave us a head's up on a situation, told us there were materials. We were provided those materials seven days later, reviewed those materials, underwent a process of reviewing the situation, and ultimately the president made a decision and it was the right one. So I think that the process worked, frankly, when you think of the time in which we had the information to make the decision that the president made."

Spicer declined to outline behind the scenes White House considerations leading up to Flynn's firing, saying "We moved on."



The U.S. National Security Agency Director, Mike Rogers, says the United States faces almost one significant cyber event per day and faces growing varieties of advanced threats.

Rogers testifying before the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday said the United States is falling behind when it comes to fighting off cyberattacks and the country still has no cyber policy.

Senator John McCain said he had expressed concerns about the lack of a policy in the past.

"But unless we see dramatic changes in future budgets, I am concerned these forces will lack the tools required to protect, deter, and respond to malicious cyber behavior. In short, unless the services begin to prioritize and deliver the cyber weapons systems necessary to fight in cyberspace, we are heading down the path to a hollow cyber force." :Senator John McCain.



President Trump has authorized the Pentagon to equip the Kurdish elements of the Syrian Democratic Forces, a move that places the United States at odds with NATO ally Turkey.

A chief Pentagon spokesperson said Tuesday the Kurdish component, which makes up more than half of the SDF fighters, would be armed "as necessary to ensure a clear victory" over Islamic State in Raqqa, Syria.

Ankara opposes Washington's alliance with Syrian Kurdish forces fighting the Islamic State.



The White House on Tuesday postponed for a second time a key meeting on whether the United States should withdraw from the international Paris climate change pact advocated by former President Obama.

President Trump has vowed to cancel U.S. involvement in the accord reached by 196 nations, but [since assuming power] since assuming power, that is, he has wavered.

The United States is the world's second-biggest polluter behind China.



From here in Washington, I'm Michael Brown reporting.

That's the latest world news from VOA.