BBC news 2017-05-23

BBC News with Jerry Smit.

US media reports say the President Trump told senior Russian officials visiting the White House that the FBI Director James Comey was crazy and that firing him had relieved great pressure on him as President. The White House has not disputed the language used, which was drawn from a formal account of the meeting. A separate report in the Washington Post says that the law enforcement investigation into alleged links between the Trump campaign and Russia has identified a current White House official close to the President as a person of interest.

Voting has ended in Iran's presidential election after being extended for hours beyond the time polling stations were meant to close. The Interior Ministry says that turnout was about 70%.

The Brazilian President Michel Temer is facing widespread calls for his resignation after the Supreme Court announced he was being investigated for trying to derail a massive corruption inquiry known as CarWash. The allegations emerged after prosecutors released plea-bargain testimony from the head of a meat packing firm. Mr. Temer has not yet commented on the new claims.

The Italian government has passed a decree making childhood vaccination for certain diseases compulsory for school enrollment. It's part of efforts to combat outbreaks of diseases, such as measles.

The Defense Minister of the internationally backed Libyan government has been suspended as reports suggest fatalities in an attack on a southern airbase may be as many as 140, twice the original estimate. The attack breached an informal truce between the rival forces.

The WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has hailed as a victory the decision by Swedish prosecutors to shelve a lengthy rape investigation against him. Mr. Assange said his legal battle with the US and Britain would continue and he would never forgive or forget that his name had been slandered.

BBC News.