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VOA English Newscast: 2000 UTC October 8, 2015

Russia launches missiles from Caspian Sea, Oct. 7, 2015

Russia launches missiles from Caspian Sea, Oct. 7, 2015

From Washington, this is VOA News…

I'm Dave DeForest reporting.

There are reports that Russian missiles have hit Iran.

A U.S. official tells VOA that four Russian cruise missiles crashed in Iran, falling short of their targets in Syria. The official said there has been no information on damage.

Russia on Wednesday ramped up its air campaign in Syria with heavy aerial bombardments and, for the first time, cruise missile strikes launched from the Caspian Sea.

After noting what he called the "troubling escalation" of Russia's military activities in Syria, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance will double the size of its rapid response force, to 40,000 troops.

The leading contender to become speaker of the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives unexpectedly dropped out of the race Thursday. California congressman Kevin McCarthy had been seeking to replace House Speaker John Boehner ahead of Boehner's retirement at the end of October.

McCarthy's path to the speaker’s office was made more difficult when two other Congressmen--Jason Chaffetz of Utah and Daniel Webster of Florida--announced their candidacies.

The medical aid group Doctors Without Borders says 33 people are still missing following the U.S. airstrike on a hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. Twenty-two people were killed in the strike, which U-S officials say was a mistake.

The group said nine of the unaccounted-for are patients and 24 are staff members.

The United Nations is reporting one peacekeeper in the Central African Republic (is) dead and another wounded in an attack north of the capital, Bangui.

A U.N. spokesman says a convoy traveling between the towns of Damara and Ngerengou was fired on by unidentified gunmen Tuesday. The spokesman said the peacekeeping force returned fire.

This is VOA News.

Words in the News

ramped up – v. to build-up or increase

aerial – adj. performed in the air

bombardments – n. bombing raids

escalation – n. making something worse or more severe

rapid – adj. fast or moving quickly

response – n. something that is done as a reaction to something else

contender – n. someone who is competing for something

ahead – adv. or adj. before or into the future

unaccounted for - adj. unexplained or not yet recovered

staff – n. a group of people who work for the same organization or business

convoy – n. a group of vehicles, usually traveling together for protection

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