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VOA English Newscast 1300 UTC February 1, 2016

Afghan security forces inspect the site of a suicide attack at the gate of a Civil Order Police compound, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Feb. 1, 2016. (AP Photos/Rahmat Gul)

Afghan security forces inspect the site of a suicide attack at the gate of a Civil Order Police compound, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Feb. 1, 2016. (AP Photos/Rahmat Gul)

From Washington, this is VOA News.

I’m Joe Palka reporting.

At Least Nine Dead in Taliban Suicide Bombing in Afghanistan…

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for a suicide bomber attack on a police base in Afghanistan's capital that killed at least nine people and wounded 12 others.

General Faridoon Obaidi, the head of criminal investigation for Kabul police, said the dead included two security personnel and seven civilians.

The attack Monday comes ahead of another round of peace talks between Afghanistan and the Taliban.

U.N. envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura is meeting again Monday with opposition delegates in Geneva, after making progress in resolving some of the issues the main opposition group wants addressed prior to peace talks.

De Mistura rescheduled a session with government figures Monday in order to speak first with the opposition.

He said Sunday he is "optimistic and determined" the opposition will join the peace process that got under way on Friday, with opposition representatives boycotting the first day.

Middle East Scholar Peter Bechtold spoke with VOA about the talks:

"I think it was a success that they (Syrian opposition) showed up in the first place because for years the opposition has demanded that any solution to the Syrian conflict requires that first President Assad and his government step down. This has obviously not happened and the fact that they are coming, which they didn't want to do, is a success to be attributed to Staffan de Mistura."

A spokesman for the Syrian opposition said discussions Sunday were "encouraging and positive" concerning humanitarian issues.

The World Health Organization meets today (Monday) to decide whether the Zika virus is a threat to global health.

In Brazil, there have been about 4,000 cases of birth defects, which health officials say could be linked to pregnant women becoming infected from Zika-carrying mosquitos.

This is VOA News.


Words in The News

personnel – n. the individuals who work for a company or organization

ahead – adj. or adv. in or toward the front; toward the place where someone is going

round – n. one in a series of similar events or activities

addressed – v. to deal with

prior – adj. existing earlier in time

rescheduled – v. to set a different date or time for something

session – n. a period of time in which something is to be done

in order – conj. In the correct condition for use

optimistic – adj. hopeful or sure about the future

determined – adj. having made a firm decision and showing an unwillingness to change

step down – v. to resign; to leave power

obviously – adv. clearly

attributed – v. being caused by something; tied to a quality possessed by someone or something

encouraging – adj. giving support to; supportive

positive – adj. showing the presence or possession of qualities

global – adj. of or relating to the whole world

birth defects – n. problems that happen while a baby is developing inside the mother’s body

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