In the News
The United States Senate has blocked a resolution to reject the agreement between world powers and Iran. The Senate action is a major foreign policy victory for President Barack Obama.
The Republican-led Senate was considering a resolution to “disapprove” of the Iran agreement. Senators voted 58 to 42 to bring the measure up for debate. That was two votes less than the 60 votes required to support the bill.
The Reuters news service says all 42 of the votes against the measure were from Democrats or independents who normally vote with them.
US to Accept 10,000 Syrian Refugees in Coming Year
The United States said Thursday it will accept at least 10,000 Syrian refugees in the coming year. The U.S. government also announced plans to increase its humanitarian assistance for those fleeing the violence in Syria.
A spokesman for President Obama said the president has directed officials to make preparations to let the refugees enter the country, starting next month. The United States accepts 70,000 refugees from around the world each year.
The spokesman added that security investigations on the new arrivals will be “robust” so that U.S. national security is not endangered. Intelligence chief James Clapper said earlier that he feared Islamic State militants might hide among refugees from the Middle East as they travel to other countries.
Rebel Attack on Syrian Air Base Kills 56 Soldiers
Al-Qaida-led rebels killed 56 Syrian government soldiers during an attack on an air base in Idlib province.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the soldiers were killed either during the capture of Abu al-Duhur air base or a short time later. The group said that 40 soldiers were taken prisoner. Many others were reported missing.
Rebels put videos on the Internet to show Nusra Front fighters exploring the air base in Idlib after seizing it. Syrian state television had confirmed government troops had left the base.
Chinese Leader Notes ‘Difficulties’ Facing Economy, But No ‘Hard Landing’
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang says his country's economy is facing "a number of difficulties and downward pressure." But he expressed hope the economy would not experience what he called a "hard landing."
Mr. Li spoke at the World Economic Forum in Dalian, China. He noted that a slowing worldwide economy might affect China's economic growth. Still, he said, the Chinese economy is "within a reasonable range." He also expressed hope that China will meet its main economic targets this year.
Heavy Flooding, Rescues as Rain Hits Japan
Heavy rains in central and northern Japan caused major flooding Thursday. The rains forced tens of thousands of people to leave areas that have already received heavy rainfall.
The worst hit area was the city of Joso, about 50 kilometers northeast of Tokyo. There, the Kinugawa River could not contain rising waters that overflowed into the surrounding community.
Japan has received heavy rains this week from what was Typhoon Etau. Some areas have received more than 50 centimeters of rainfall.
New Report says Sanders Leading Clinton Among Iowa Democrats
A new political survey shows U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders is the most popular presidential candidate among likely Democratic Party voters in Iowa. Quinnipiac University released the results of the survey Thursday. It found that 41 percent of Iowa’s Democratic voters expressed support for the Vermont senator.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton finished in second place, with 40 percent. Twelve percent of those questioned expressed support for Vice President Joe Biden. He has yet to say if he plans to compete for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Next February, Iowa voters will start the process to choose the party’s candidate for president in 2016.
I’m Jim Tedder.
This newscast was based on reports from VOANews.com. George Grow adapted these stories for Learning English. Kathleen Struck was the editor.
Words in This Story
robust – adj. successful or impressive and not likely to fail or weaken
range – n. a series of numbers that includes the highest and lowest possible amounts - usually singular
survey – n. an activity in which many people are asked a question or a series of questions in order to gather information about what most people do or think about something