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May 17, 2018
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm Christopher Cruise reporting.
President Trump said Wednesday the U.S. will have to wait and see if the meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un will happen next month.
There is some doubt after the North expressed strong reservations about U.S. demands that it dismantle its nuclear weapons program.
This is Trump's spokeswoman Sarah Sanders talking to reporters on Wednesday.
"This is something that we fully expected. The president is very used to and ready for tough negotiations and if they want to meet, we'll be ready. If they don't, that's OK, too. We're going to continue with the campaign of maximum pressure if that's the case. But like I said if they want to meet, the president will certainly be ready and we willll be prepared. But if not, that's OK."
North Korea abruptly canceled high-level talks scheduled for Wednesday with the South because of joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises now underway.
South Korea said Wednesday's talks with representatives of North Korea were to have focused on demilitarization and plans to formally end the Korean War.
North Korea's threats to step away from denuclearization talks aren't slowing down those military exercises. The Defense Department said Wednesday the exercises are going ahead as planned. They've been held in the spring for the past 40 years.
Senior America officials are continuing to push for a deal on NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement. But their demand that it be reached by the end of this week appears unlikely to be met.
House Speaker Paul Ryan has said the Republican-controlled Congress would need to be notified of a new NAFTA deal by Thursday to give lawmakers a chance to approve it this year, but [trade m] trade negotiators, that is, have sounded skeptical.
This is VOA news.
The chairman of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee, Richard Burr, said Wednesday the committee's investigation shows Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election to help Donald Trump. The findings affirm the statements of the U.S. intelligence community.
Burr said, "There is no doubt that Russia undertook an unprecedented effort to interfere with our 2016 elections."
More now, from Associated Press White House correspondent Sagar Meghani.
The intelligence community assessed last year Moscow intervened in the race to hurt Hillary Clinton and help Trump.
The Senate panel's Republican chairman says there is no reason to dispute those findings, saying the community spent more than a year reviewing the community's sources, tradecraft and analytic work.
That's in contrast to the House Intelligence Committee, which said intelligence agencies "did not employ proper tradecraft" in assessing Vladimir Putin's actions.
The panel's GOP members agreed Putin wanted to hurt Clinton but did not agree that meant he wanted to help Trump.
Sagar Meghani, at the White House.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has signed into law a computer and cybercrimes bill.
Critics have denounced the law as punitive. They say its goal is to suffocate freedom of expression.
Correspondent Rael Ombuor reports for VOA from Nairobi.
The law does not spell out what considers false information, saying only that a person who intentionally publishes false, misleading or fictitious data, or misinforms with intent that the data shall be considered or acted upon authentic, commits a criminal offence.
The law covers crimes such as cyber-espionage, identity theft and child pornography as well. The new law also allows authorities to search and seize stored computer data, and to collect and intercept data in real time.
Rael Ombuor, for VOA news, Nairobi.
President Trump disclosed in a financial report filed with the government's ethics office on Tuesday that he had re-payed his personal lawyer purportedly for paying hush money to adult film star Stormy Daniels during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
In his annual financial disclosure form, which was released by the Office of Government Ethics on Wednesday, Trump acknowledged that he had "fully reimbursed" Michael Cohen for expenses in the range of $100,000 to $250,000 incurred in 2016.
The expenses in question are likely a reference to a secret payment of $130,000 that Cohen made to Daniels in the final weeks of the 2016 election.
You can find more on these and other late breaking and developing stories, from around the world, around the clock, at voanews.com and on the VOA news mobile app. I'm Christopher Cruise, VOA news.
That's the latest world news from VOA.