July 12, 2017

From Washington, this is VOA news. Hello, I'm Steve Miller.

Email exchange with Rob Goldstone was posted on Twitter by Donald Trump Jr. showing him willing to take what was described as Russian government dirt on Hillary Clinton that would help his father's candidacy during the 2016 presidential election.

Six days after the first message, Donald Trump Jr. joined his brother-in-law, Jared Kushner, and Trump campaign manager and adviser Paul Manafort for a meeting with the Russian lawyer. VOA White House correspondent Peter Heinlein.

The email that Goldstone sent to Donald Trump said he had documents that "would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and will be very useful to your father."

The emails come as Russian interference in the election is the subject of numerous congressional investigations and a criminal probe by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Pentagon officials say they have no information to confirm reports that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead. VOA's Philip Alexiou has the story.

The U.S.-led coalition emailed a statement Tuesday saying it could not confirm the report regarding the terrorist leader but hopeful it was true.

Earlier, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it has information confirming the death of the IS leader.

Baghdad has not been seen in public since 2014. He has been falsely reported killed or wounded several times since becoming prominent three years ago.

Philip Alexiou, VOA news.

Iraqi forces say even though the government has declared victory, fighting continues in small areas inside Mosul's Old City.

The vast majority of Mosul city is controlled by Iraqi forces after nearly nine months of fighting that has displaced 900,000 people.

This is VOA news.

The U.N. refugee agency says tens of thousands of civilians remain trapped in Raqqa as the battle by U.S.-backed rebels to oust Islamic State from its de facto capital in Syria gathers momentum. Lisa Schlein reports from UNHCR headquarters in Geneva.

The UNHCR estimates between 30,000 and 50,000 people are caught in the fierce fighting raging in Raqqa with little prospect of being able to flee the carnage.

UNHCR spokesman Andrej Mahecic tells VOA people are being prevented from leaving the city because of Islamic State militants and the security situation. He says those who attempt to flee expose themselves to massive risks.

"They either have to make a choice to remain and risk dying in the fighting, in the fierce fighting, or risking becoming targets as they flee."

With the opening of a vital land route from the northern city of Aleppo to Qamishli, the agency says humanitarian convoys finally have been able to reach the displaced over the past two weeks.

Lisa Schlein, for VOA news, Geneva.

South Korea's intelligence agency is casting doubt on North Korea's claims that it carried out a test launch of its first intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM. Robert Raffaele has the story.

North Korea say it launched the Hwasong-14 last Tuesday from a mobile launcher complete with a re-entry vehicle that would allow it to be equipped with a nuclear warhead. U.S. military experts estimated the missile had a range of 5,500 kilometers.

But South Korean Representative Yi Wan-young, a member of the parliament's intelligence committee, told reporters the National Intelligence Service has not been able to confirm that Pyongyang has developed the technology to build an ICBM, given that it does not have any facilities to test re-entry procedures.

Robert Raffaele, VOA news.

The U.S. and Qatar have signed a memorandum of understanding to fight terrorism.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's visit to Qatar is aimed at helping resolve the dispute between the Persian Gulf nation and its neighbors.

After Tillerson's meeting with his Qatari counterpart, they announced the agreement Tillerson will visit Saudi Arabia Wednesday to meet with officials from the other Gulf states involved with the dispute with Qatar.

Prosecutors in Peru are thinking the arrest of former President Ollanta Humala and his wife on money laundering and conspiracy charges tied to a corruption scandal involving Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.

The prosecutor told the Associated Press he asked a judge to jail the pair for 18 months. Tuesday's request is based on testimony provided in Brazil by the former head of Odebrecht, who said he illegally contributed $3 million to Humala's 2011 presidential campaign.

I'm Steve Miller.

That's the latest world news from VOA.