Monday, March 20, 2017

World News Briefs -- March 20, 2017

FBI Director James Comey (L) and National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers take their seats at a House Intelligence Committee hearing into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, on Capitol Hill. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Reuters: FBI's Comey says no evidence of Trump wiretap claim, confirms probe

The head of the FBI publicly challenged U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday, denying the Republican's claim that former president Barack Obama wiretapped his 2016 election campaign and confirming his agency had launched a criminal investigation into any collusion between Trump's campaign and Russia.

FBI Director James Comey told a congressional hearing he had seen no evidence to support a claim by Trump that Obama had wiretapped his campaign headquarters in Trump Tower in New York.

The president created a controversy in early March when he tweeted without giving evidence that Obama had wiretapped the campaign as the Republican businessman took on Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential race.

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Syrian government forces beat back surprise rebel assault in Damascus. Clashes in Damascus after rebels tunnel into government-held areas.

Syria: Air raids on east Damascus after rebel assault.

Russia strikes deal with Syrian Kurds to set up base. Syrian Kurdish militia says it's getting Russian training.

Iraq pushes into Mosul's Old City in effort to capture iconic mosque.

Russia summons Israeli ambassador to explain air raids in Syria. Moscow summons Israeli diplomat over airstrike in Syria.

UN wants probe into refugee boat attack off Yemen.

Turkey's Erdogan decries Merkel over 'Nazi measures' as row thunders on.

Israeli nuclear whistleblower says state hounding him.


Beijing: U.S., China six-party talks envoys discussed North Korea.

Donald Trump says North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un acting 'very badly'.

Tillerson's North Korea comments cause unease in East Asia.

North Korea denies cyberattacks, calls U.S. 'hacking empire'.

Myanmar hardliners protest against citizenship for Rohingya.

Pakistan PM orders reopening of Afghanistan border.

Three US troops wounded after Afghan soldier opens fire.

Duterte: Philippines can't stop China moves in disputed sea.

Kim Jong-nam: Malaysia expecting more arrests in murder investigation.


UN: South Sudan is world’s fastest-growing refugee crisis.

Plane crash-lands at South Sudan airport, several injured: witnesses.

10 killed in latest Kenya drought clas.

Malaysia sending troops to Somalia on aid mission.

In Rome, EU and North African ministers hold 'migration summit'. Italy, EU prep aid for Libya's fight against people smuggling.

Falling tree kills at least 18 at Ghana waterfall.

Trump invites Egypt's Sisi to White House.


Britain's May to launch EU divorce proceedings on March 29. Britain sets date for Brexit to begin, with UK heading toward EU divorce.

EU lawmakers visiting Crimea not intimidated by Kiev’s sanctions.

Tokyo, Moscow to continue close work on peace treaty.

Russian parliament backs investigation into U.S. media.

Hungary opens base for army border patrols to stop migrants.

Russian space official found dead with stab wounds while awaiting embezzlement trial.

Norway named the world's happiest country in 2017.


Trump to meet Iraqi premier as anti-IS policy takes shape.

Mexico drug war investigators unearth 47 more skulls in mass graves.

Peru faces more rain as floods and landslides make thousands homeless.

Almost half of Canadians want illegal border crossers deported - Reuters poll. Asylum seekers make perilous crossing into Canada from US seeking 'safety, protection and home'.

Scandal roils Brazil meat sector; China, South Korea suspend imports.

Tom Brady’s stolen Super Bowl jersey has been located.


Cocaine, alcohol, marijuana found in Paris shooting suspect's blood.

Pentagon receives more freedom to carry out counterterror raids.

No desire in US to declare Pakistan terror sponsor: envoy.


Bill Gates again world's richest man; Trump slips.

Germany, Japan push trade pact in Merkel bid to stymie Trump. Merkel hopes to address trade issues with Trump at G7 in May.

More people flying than ever before; 90,000 more a day than 2016.

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