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1600 UTC Hourly Newscast for April 20, 2016

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From Washington, this is VOA News.

I’m Frances Alonzo reporting.

U.S. President Barack Obama is in Saudi Arabia's capital, Riyadh, Wednesday. He is there for a summit meeting with King Salman and his fellow Gulf Arab leaders.

During his two-day visit at the gulf summit Thursday will include leaders from Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Oman.

During a photo op earlier today, President Obama personally thanked the Saudi King for hosting the summit...

“The American people send their greetings, and we’re very grateful for your hospitality, and not just for this meeting, but also for hosting the GCC-U.S. summit…”

The President hopes to focus discussions on the fight against jihadist groups and efforts to end wars in Syria and Yemen.

Meanwhile, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter and his Gulf Arab counterparts did meet in Riyadh Wednesday to discuss ways to counter Iranian influence and fight the Islamic State group.

Secretary Carter spoke at a news conference afterwards.

“We have made important strides in providing the GCC nations with critical defense equipment -- over $33-billion worth since last May, including over 66,000 precision-guided munitions to support urgent GCC operational requirements, such as the counter ISIL campaign.”

You can read more details on the president’s visit at

The UN refugee agency said Wednesday that it feared around 500 migrants from Africa had drowned in the Mediterranean after witnesses said their overcrowded boat sank.

The UNHCR spokeswoman said in a statement that survivors from Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt were rescued from a small boat.

This is VOA News.


Words in This Newscast

summit – adj. of or related to a meeting or series of meetings involving two or more leaders

fellow – adj. belonging to the same group of class

photo op – n. short for photo opportunity; a situation in which photographs can take pictures of famous people

hosting – v. to organize or lead an event

gratefuladj. feeling or showing thanks

hospitality – n. friendly treatment of visitors; the act of providing food or drinks to people

focus – v. to direct attention at something

jihadist – adj. of or relating to Muslims who actively support a jihad, a war against unbelievers

meanwhile – adv. at the same time

counterpart – n. someone or something that has the same job as another

counter – v. to oppose or fight

afterwards – adv. later

stride – n. a long step

critical – adj. expressing criticism or disapproval

precision-guided – adj. programmed to hit a target, while causing little other damage

munition – n. short for ammunition

ISIL – n. short for the militant group called the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (also called the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS)

migrant - n. someone who moves from one place to another, mainly for economic reasons

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