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VOA news 2019-06-13

This is VOA news. I’m David Byrd.

A House committee has voted to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress.

As AP’s Ben Thomas reports, that issue is a question in the 2020 census.

“We have 24 yeas and 15 noes.”

With that, the House Oversight Committee sent a measure to the full House, asking that Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross be held in contempt of Congress “with defying duly authorized subpoenas” for documents related to the decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. Democrats fear the question will reduce participation in immigrant-heavy communities and undercount minority voters.

The White House asserted executive privilege on the matter earlier in the day, saying the administration has “engaged in good-faith efforts” to satisfy the committee’s oversight needs after turning over more than 17,000 pages of documents.

Ben Thomas, Washington.

U.S. President Donald Trump said Wednesday he would send 1,000 more U.S. service members to Poland as part of his broadening security and economic alliance.

AP’s Sagar Meghani reports from the White House.

The president’s been praising Poland for meeting NATO commitments by boosting its defense spending. At a joint news conference with his Polish counterpart, he announced American forces will move there from elsewhere in Europe, “about 1,000 American troops,” and that the Polish government will pay for supporting them.

He’s also touting Poland’s purchase of more than 30 F-35 joint strike fighters. That single jet flying over the White House today to mark the sale.

Sagar Meghani, at the White House.

Wall Street ended trading on a down note, with all three major indices closing in negative territory. The Dow and the S&P both lost two-tenths of one percent. The NASDAQ slid by four-tenths of one percent.

For more on these stories, visit our website. This is VOA news.

A five-year-old boy has died of Ebola in Uganda in the first cross-border case of the virus since an outbreak began last year in eastern DRC.

Halima Athumani reports from Kampala.

Uganda’s Health Minister Ruth Aceng says the boy’s family members have been isolated and have been tested for Ebola.

“Right now, his grandmother and his younger brother, 3-year-old, have also tested positive, bringing us to a total three confirmed cases. We have seven suspects.”

Ugandan officials said the Democratic Republic of Congo alerted them on Monday to the family’s border-crossing after they visited a relative in the DRC who later died of Ebola. The family was found whey they checked into a border area hospital after the boy fell ill.

Uganda had already stepped up controls on the border in an effort to prevent Ebola from entering the country.

Halima Athumani, for VOA news, Kampala.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned of another military conflict in the Middle East if the global community is not more patient in the quest to ease escalating tensions between the United States and Iran.

Speaking at a joint news conference after meeting with President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran Wednesday, Abe urged world leaders to have more patience or face a conflict that should be prevented at all costs.

He said it’s essential that Iran plays a constructive role in building solid peace and stability in the Middle East so that the region will not destabilize any further and that no accidental clash will occur in the midst of recent rising tensions.

Rouhani told reporters that Iran is not seeking war with the United States but warned it would deliver what he called “a crushing response” if it is attacked.

Police in the Dominican Republic say [more than] more people than first though, that is, were involved in the shooting of former baseball star David Ortiz.

Ed Donahue reports.

Five people have been detained. Chief prosecutor Jean Alain Rodríguez says the alleged shooter has been identified as Rolfy Ferreyra, aka Sandy.

Witnesses say the shooting at a Santo Domingo bar was carried out by two men on a motorcycle and two other groups of people in cars.

Police say the coordinator of the attack was offered about $7,800 to carry out the shooting and the alleged coordinator was among the suspects in custody.

Rodríguez did not talk about a motive.

Meantime, David Ortiz’s wife says the man known as “Big Papi” is in guarded condition at a Boston hospital.

I’m Ed Donahue.

And former Stanford University sailing coach John Vandemoer was avoiding prison on Wednesday in the first sentencing to result from the U.S. college admission scandal after he admitted he took bribes to help wealth parents gain admission for their children at top schools.

I’m David Byrd.

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