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-Abidi 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 to 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 the 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.
Words in the News
situation- n. the way things are during a period of time
expand– v. to make larger; to grow larger
crowd– n. a large number of people gathered in one place
cooperate– v. to act or work together
missile– n. any weapon that can be thrown or fired through the air and explodes when it reaches its target