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Obama, Iraqi Prime Minister Discuss Foreign Fighters, Aid


Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi and President Barack Obama get up from their seats after their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, April 14, 2015.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi and President Barack Obama get up from their seats after their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, April 14, 2015.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi met at the White House Tuesday for talks with U.S. President Barack Obama. It was his first visit to Washington as prime minister.

Mr. Obama and Mr. Abadi discussed the threat of foreign fighters in Iraq and U.S. aid to Baghdad. Mr. Abadi was expected to make his case to President Obama for a "marked increase" in U.S. military aid to fight Islamic State militants.

Following the meeting, President Obama announced $205 million in additional U.S. humanitarian aid to Iraq. However, he did not mention providing more weapons and military support.

Obama removes Cuba from terrorism list

The White House says U.S. President Barack Obama is removing Cuba from a list of state sponsors of terrorism. The removal is an important step in the president’s efforts to normalize relations between the two countries.

The White House said on Twitter that Mr. Obama has turned in required reports to Congress that explained his plan to take Cuba off the list.

Mr. Obama made the final decision following a State Department review of Cuba's presence on the list.

Al-Shabab attacks Somali ministry

The Somali militant group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for Tuesday's bombing and assault on a government complex in the capital, Mogadishu.

Security Ministry spokesman Mohamed Yusuf told VOA’s Somali Service that 18 people were killed and at least 15 others wounded in the attack on the country's Higher Education Ministry.

A witness said militants set off a car bomb outside the ministry walls, allowing the attackers to enter the building and open fire.

Parents, activists mark one year since Chibok girls taken

It has been one year since Boko Haram took 296 teenage girls from their school in the northeastern Nigerian town of Chibok.

A total of 219 girls are still missing.

School-age girls took part in a march Tuesday in the Nigerian capital of Abuja. The girls served as “ambassadors” for the Chibok girls. Participants chanted a now-familiar phrase: “Bring Back our Girls. Now! And Alive!”

Amnesty International says more than 2,000 women and girls have been taken by Boko Haram since the beginning of 2014.

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Words in the News

threat – n. someone or something that could cause trouble, harm, etc.

humanitarian aidn. help or money given to people, countries, etc., in order to improve living conditions

ambassador – n. (figurative) a representative for someone or something

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