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VOA English Newscast: 1500 UTC, May 5, 2016

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu speaks to the media at the headquarters of his ruling Justice and Development Party, AKP, in Ankara, Turkey, May 5, 2016.
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From Washington, this is VOA News.

I’m Frances Alonzo reporting.

A 48-hour ceasefire took hold Thursday in Syria's battered second city of Aleppo. It comes after President Bashar al-Assad's regime and rebel forces gave in to mounting diplomatic pressure.

Relieved residents returned to the streets after two weeks of heavy fighting in the metropolis. It is a key battleground in Syria's five-year civil war.

The Syrian army said late Wednesday that it had agreed to calls from Russia and the United States for a two-day truce in Aleppo that would begin from 1:00 am, local time, Thursday.

The agreement followed an intense diplomatic push by Moscow and Washington to salvage peace efforts.

This comes meanwhile as 64,000 Syrians are stranded at the border with Jordan after the intensified violence around Aleppo. That is according to Jordanian border guards Thursday.

Jordan insists it must screen newcomers to ensure they are genuine refugees and not Jihadists seeking to infiltrate the country.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced his resignation Thursday, paving the way for the country's president to pursue a tighter grip on power.

Davutoglu had fallen out with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He announced that he was stepping aside after a meeting with executives of the ruling Justice and Development Party.

The party will hold an emergency convention on May 22 to select a new party leader.

A helicopter believed to be carrying six people, including a Malaysian deputy minister and a parliament member, went missing Thursday over the Borneo island state of Sarawak, according to reports.

Contact with the aircraft was lost around 5 pm, local time, during a short flight.

This is VOA News.


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