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2100 UTC Hourly Newscast for May 2, 2016


Smoke rises after airstrikes on the rebel-held al-Sakhour neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria, April 29, 2016. International diplomats are trying to resume a ceasefire that includes the besieged city.

Smoke rises after airstrikes on the rebel-held al-Sakhour neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria, April 29, 2016. International diplomats are trying to resume a ceasefire that includes the besieged city.


From Washington, this is VOA news…

I'm Dave DeForest reporting

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry wraps up a visit to Geneva.

Kerry said the United States and its partners are discussing "several proposals" to stop the violence in Syria. He did not say what the proposals are.

“And now we are very much working and focused on the question of restoring the cessation of hostilities to the remaining periods where it’s been disturbed but particularly to Aleppo.”

News agencies quoted U.S. officials who requested anonymity as saying the United States is considering mapping out "safe zones" that would provide refuge for civilians and members of the moderate opposition.

There was a tense calm Monday in Baghdad. Protesters who stormed into the International Zone on Saturday largely toned down their demonstration and drifted out to celebrate a Shi'ite religious festival.

Protest leader Muqtada al-Sadr vowed he would return Friday to call for either a change in the government or new elections.

The activist group Greenpeace has leaked classified documents about the trade agreement being negotiated between the United States and the European Union. Greenpeace says the documents show corporate interests are being given preference over environmental and consumer safety concerns.

Jorgo Riss is the Greenpeace European Unit Director:

“Our initial assessment from these chapters is that the EU in relation to environmental protection, public health, product standards, that are relevant for consumers, has a fairly bad position and the United States is much worse.”

The activist group released the documents in Berlin.

The United States did not immediately react, but EU trade commissioner said, "Many of today's alarmist headlines are a storm in a teacup."

This is VOA news.

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Words in This Newscast

wraps up –v. to end

particularly –adv. especially

anonymity –adj. the condition of being unknown, the condition of hiding from view and not having to actions known by most people

refuge –n. a place of safety

tone down –v. to reduce the intensity of something, to quiet or ease

initial –adj. first

assessment –n. the result of study or consideration

standards –n. levels of quality that are desired or required

relevant –adj. meaningful

a storm in a teacup –idiom, a small thing that is treated as if it is important

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