Swiss officials are investigating possible money laundering incidents connected to the planning of the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup events. The officials now say there are 53 suspicious actions.
FIFA is the governing group for professional football, or soccer.
Swiss attorney-general Michael Lauber said Wednesday that banks reported the incidents. He said the case was "huge and complex.”
Mr. Lauber also told reporters that he is still considering questioning FIFA President Sepp Blatter. Mr. Blatter recently agreed to resign in reaction to corruption charges against the organization.
Russia is host of the 2018 World Cup and Qatar is host of the 2022 World Cup.
US military leaders: stronger Iraq critical to IS fight
U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter spoke about Iraq to members of the House of Representatives Wednesday. He told the lawmakers that building a stronger Iraqi government is the most important defense against Islamic State militants.
Mr. Carter said the United States is seeking a “greater commitment” from Iraq, especially in getting enough soldiers to fight against the Islamic State group.
He spoke to the House Armed Services Committee. He said the U.S.-led air campaign against Islamic State in Iraq requires "legitimate local ground troops to seize, clear and hold" land.
Debate begins over Hong Kong's electoral reform
Debate on voting rights in Hong Kong started Wednesday in a legislative meeting on the proposed electoral reform.
Thousands of demonstrators for and against the proposed change gathered outside of city government offices.
More than 100,000 demonstrators have been pressing for Hong Kong to have an open election for the city’s top leader, the chief executive.
China instead offered a plan that permits voters to choose among candidates approved by a government group. In the past, the chief executive has been elected by a 1200-member, mostly pro-Beijing committee. Legislators are expected to vote on the reform plan by Friday.
165 pardoned in Egypt ahead of Ramadan
Egypt's leader Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi ordered the pardons of 165 people on Wednesday. Most are young people found guilty of violating protest laws.
The Islamic holy month of Ramadan begins Thursday. Pardons during national and religious holidays are common in Egypt.
President Sissi's pardons included many university students. Some were jailed under a law that severely punishes protesters at demonstrations that do not have police permits.
Words in the News
money laundering – n. hiding the origins of illegally obtained money
allegation – n. a statement saying that someone has done something wrong or illegal
legitimate – adj. permitted under rules or laws
permit – n. an official document that shows that a person is allowed to do or have something