VOA news 2019-07-09

This is VOA news. I’m Marissa Melton.

President Trump is cutting off Britain’s ambassador to Washington.

AP Washington correspondent Sagar Meghani reports from the White House.

The cables published yesterday show Kim Darroch calling the administration “dysfunctional” and “inept.”

“… I don’t share the ambassador’s assessment.”

On top of diplomatic fallout, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt is worried about the leak itself, saying Darroch has the right to make a frank assessment.

“… it’s very important that our diplomats all over the world continue to be able to do so.”

And says there will be consequences for whomever leaked the cables.

In the meantime, President Trump fired back at Darroch.

“We’re not big fans of that man and he has not served the UK well.”

Her office says Prime Minister Theresa May has “full faith” in the ambassador.

Sagar Meghani, at the White House.

[The wh…] the United Nations atomic watchdog agency has confirmed that Iran has surpassed the limits on how much it was allowed to enrich uranium under the 2015 international nuclear deal.

The [inter de…] International Atomic Energy Agency said its inspectors verified Monday that Iran breached the 3.67 percent limit set in the accord aimed at restraining Tehran’s nuclear weapons development.

The announcement comes hours after Iran’s nuclear energy agency said it had passed the limits and would also consider enriching uranium to 20 percent as the next step in its move to back away from its commitments under the nuclear deal.

Uranium [is] enriched to 5 percent is sufficient to produce fuel for nuclear power plants, but still far below the 90 percent needed for building a nuclear weapon.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy says he is ready to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin for talks about Crimea, which both countries claim.

Relations between Ukraine and Russia have been tense since 2014 when Russia announced it was annexing Crimea and backed an armed separatist movement in eastern Ukraine.

This is VOA news.

Attorney General William Barr said Tuesday the Trump administration will take action this week that would let the controversial question about citizenship be added to the 2020 census despite the Supreme Court ruling against it.

“We’ve been considering all the options and I’ve been in constant discussions with the president ever since the Supreme Court decision came down. And I think over the next day or two you’ll see what approach we’re taking. I think it does provide a pathway for getting the question on the census.”

The Supreme Court ruled last month that the administration’s reason for wanting to include a citizenship question to protect minority voting rights, in its words, “seems to have been contrived.”

Officials say Trump has determined to make citizenship part of the 2020 census. He had [delay] suggested delaying the census, printing an addendum to the forms or simply signing an executive order.

The Justice Department says a new legal team will take up the matter.

The International Criminal Court has convicted a Congolese warlord nicknamed “The Terminator” on 18 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

From Paris, Lisa Bryant reports.

“Now Mr. Ntaganda, please rise. Mr. Ntaganda, for the reasons ….”

Former Congolese warlord Bosco Ntaganda listened intently but showed no emotion as Presiding Judge Robert Fremr read out the judgement.

The ruling finds 45-year-old Ntaganda guilty of directly and indirectly committing heinous acts in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s northeastern Ituri province in 2002 and 2003, when he headed the UPC militia movement.

Among the acts: murder, rape, sexual slavery and conscripting child soldiers.

Ntaganda claimed his innocence throughout the trial. He has 30 days to appeal, with sentencing scheduled for a separate hearing. He faces up to life in prison.

Lisa Bryant, for VOA news, Paris.

Jeffrey Epstein, a U.S. hedge fund billionaire with links to top politicians and celebrities, was charged on Monday with running a sex trafficking ring that allegedly exploited dozens of underage girls. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.

In the indictment, Geoffrey [Berben] Berman, rather, a federal prosecutor in New York, accused Epstein of allegedly paying the girls hundreds of dollars for nude or partially nude massages that, in his words, “increasingly were sexual in nature.”

“The charges allege that Epstein sexually abused young girls by enticing them to engage in sex acts for money, beginning at least 2002 and continuing to 2005. Epstein is alleged to have used dozens of victims by causing them to engage in sex acts with him at his mansion in New York and at his estate in Palm Beach, Florida.”

I’m Marissa Melton. This is VOA news.

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