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Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki to Step Down


Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, speaks at a podium surrounded by lawmakers, Aug. 14, 2014.

Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, speaks at a podium surrounded by lawmakers, Aug. 14, 2014.


Obama Promises Support for Iraqis, Maliki Agrees to Step Aside

The Iraqi state television network Iraqiya reported late on Thursday that Nouri al-Maliki has “relinquished the post of prime minister.”

Mr. Maliki said he would support the nomination of Haider al-Abadi to be the next prime minister. The news came shortly after Mr. Obama urged Iraqis to come together in support of Mr. Abadi’s effort to form a government.

Mr. Obama also said the refugee situation on Mount Sinjar had greatly improved. Thousands of Yazidi refugees had fled to that area because of attacks by members of the Islamic State militant group.

U.S. military and civilian advisers visited northern Iraq Wednesday. They informed the president that most Yazidi refugees had already left the mountain. And those who chose to stay were in good condition.

But, the president said, “the situation remains dire” in other parts of Iraq. He said the U.S. would continue to work with its international partners to support Iraqis in the fight against the Islamic State militants.

Obama Asks Justice Department to Investigate Shooting in Missouri

Mr. Obama has directed the Justice Department to investigate the shooting of Michael Brown, a black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri.

The shooting resulted in a fourth straight night of protest. The protest turned violent Wednesday night when police fired rubber bullets, tear gas and smoke bombs at the crowd.

Top U.S. Military General Visits Vietnam

The United States’ top military officer, Martin Dempsey, is in Vietnam for talks with officials there about expanding defense ties. The increased cooperation comes as Vietnam is involved in a territorial dispute with China in the South China Sea.

Trade between the U.S. and Vietnam started in 1995. However, the U.S. has continued with a 1975 ban on sales of weapons to Vietnam.

Pope Francis Visits South Korea

Pope Francis said talk, not shows of force, will help bring peace to North and South Korea. He spoke at the start of a five-day visit to South Korea.

Earlier Thursday, North Korea fired five missiles into the sea.

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Words in the News

situation - n. the way things are during a period of time

expandv. to make larger; to grow larger

crowdn. a large number of people gathered in one place

cooperatev. to act or work together

missilen. any weapon that can be thrown or fired through the air and explodes when it reaches its target

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