VOA NEWS

August 5, 2017

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



President Donald Trump has once again ramped up his rejection of stories about his campaign's alleged ties to Russia, speaking at a rally on Thursday evening.

"The Russia story is a total fabrication. It's just an excuse for the greatest loss in the history of American politics. That's all it is."

As part of the probe, Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team is almost certain to get the bottom of a meeting between Donald Trump Jr., his advisers and a Russian lawyer who claimed to have incriminating evidence against Hillary Clinton.

In addition, two US senators have introduced a bill that may slow some of the Trump push-back against the Russia probe. The proposal would prohibit the president from firing the investigator except for due cause.



Rwandans have gone to the polls on Friday for the country's presidential election, with over 40 percent of the vote reporting President Paul Kagame is leading Rwanda's presidential election, with about 99 percent of the vote.

Neither of his challengers, Frank Habineza and Philippe Mpayimana, have not reached one percent so far, according to preliminary results announced by the electoral commission Friday evening.

Kagame won 93 percent of the vote in the 2010 presidential election.



The U.S. military confirmed Friday that an airstrike earlier in the week targeted and killed Ali Mohamed Hussein of the al-Shabaab extremist group.

The U.S. Africa Command said in a statement he was the only person killed in the strike and no civilians were harmed.



This is VOA news.



A new U.N. report accuses the government in the Democratic Republic of Congo of instigating ethnic-based massacres in the diamond-rich Kasai province. Lisa Schlein has the story from the U.N. human rights office in Geneva.

The chief of the high commissioner's Central and West Africa section, Scott Campbell, says investigators heard tales of atrocities on a massive scale. He says many of the people interviewed bore visible traces of violent abuse, including amputated limbs, scars, mutilations and horrible disfigurement from machetes.

Campbell warns ethnic cleansing, possibly on a large scale, appears to be taking place. He tells VOA investigators have received credible evidence about the government's complicity in these acts.

Lisa Schlein, for VOA news, Geneva.



Thousands of government supporters took to the streets in Venezuela's capital on Friday. They marched toward the National Assembly building for the swearing-in ceremony of the country's newly elected Constituent Assembly.

The assembly first held its meeting today at the legislative palace in Caracas despite international outcry.

The gathering of the 545 delegates elected to rewrite Venezuela's constitution is setting the stage for possible showdown between President Nicholás Maduro and the political opposition, which says the election was not fair.

President Nicholás Maduro has vowed the assembly will strip opposition lawmakers of their constitutional immunity from prosecution while members of Congress say they will not be removed except by force.



Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's former chief of staff and one-time close confidant Ari Harow has agreed to testify in two ongoing corruption cases against him. Mary Motta.

Police have been investigating Netanyahu for several months over the cases but it released sparse details.

On Thursday night, it revealed that the cases involving Netanyahu deal with bribery, fraud and breach of trust crimes.

Netanyahu's office has repeatedly denied wrongdoing over the investigations, portraying the accusations as a witch hunt against him and his family by a hostile media opposed to his hard-line political views.

Mary Motta, VOA news, Washington.



The United States hopes the U.N. Security Council will quickly adopt a draft resolution against North Korea.

According to a Security Council diplomat who is now at the negotiations, the provisions, if adopted and implemented, would effectively ban Pyongyang of about a third of its annual $3 billion in exports. Four expert sectors are targeted in the resolution - coal, iron, iron ore and lead and iron lead ore, as well as sea-food.

It's unclear how soon the vote may come.



I'm Steve Miller in Washington.

That's the latest world news from VOA.