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VOA English Newscast 1500 UTC February 22, 2016


People gather in the aftermath of a multiple explosive attack in the Sayyida Zeinab area, 10 kilometers south of Damascus, Syria, Feb. 21, 2016. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a triple blast in the Shi'ite suburb. (AP Photo/Natalia Sancha)

People gather in the aftermath of a multiple explosive attack in the Sayyida Zeinab area, 10 kilometers south of Damascus, Syria, Feb. 21, 2016. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a triple blast in the Shi'ite suburb. (AP Photo/Natalia Sancha)


From Washington, this is VOA News.

I’m Joe Palka reporting.

Russia not happy with ISIS attacks in Syria…

Russia on Monday condemned a series of deadly bombings in Syria, saying the attacks are aimed at derailing peace efforts.

Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the terror attacks, which were claimed by Islamic State, need an adequate reaction from the international community.

Multiple bombings in Damascus killed at least 83 people on Sunday, while bombs in Homs killed another 59 people.

The blasts came as US Secretary of State John Kerry said a "provisional agreement'' has been reached with Russia for an end to hostilities in Syria. But he acknowledged that it's not finalized and all parties might not go along with it.

"It is not yet done and I anticipate that our presidents, President Obama and President Putin, may well speak somewhere in the next days or so in order to try to complete this task."

Now Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says his government is ready to take part in a ceasefire as long as it is not used by militants to reinforce their positions.

As though simply losing an election wasn't bad enough, police in Uganda arrested opposition leader Kizza Besigye again Monday. This comes a couple of days after it was announced that he had officially lost a presidential election. He says that election was fraudulent.

Mr. Besigye had planned to go Monday to the headquarters of the electoral commission in the capital of Kampala to collect evidence as he weighs whether to file a legal challenge. Authorities also raided his party's headquarters and seized data that party officials used for their own tally of the votes.

Police put Besigye under house arrest on Friday and said the move was meant to stop him from leading protests against the president's win that could turn violent.

This is VOA News.

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Words in The News

ISIS – adj. of or involving the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, also known as ISIL

derailing – v. blocking the progress of something

adequate – adj. enough for some need or requirement

multiple – adj. more than two, but not a lot; several

blast – n. explosions

provisional – adj. accepted or existing for the present time

acknowledged – v. confirmed; admitted

parties – n. sides; a group of one or more persons

anticipate – v. expect

task – n. job or work

reinforce – v. to strengthen

fraudulent – adj. tricking someone for the purpose of winning something valuable

commission – n. a group or committee

weighs – v. considers

challenge – n. a difficult problem

authorities – n. officials

data – n. information

tally – n. count

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