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VOA English Newscast: 2000 UTC January 26, 2016

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov gives a news conference in Moscow, Russia, Jan. 26, 2016.
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From Washington, this is VOA news…

I'm Dave DeForest reporting

Official says no to asylum for Syrian leader:

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday Russia has not asked Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down and has not offered him political asylum.

His comments at a news conference came as the United Nations prepared for a new round of Syrian peace talks set to begin Friday in Geneva.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for the country to improve its anti-corruption measures, that coming just hours after a BBC documentary reported his estimated personal fortune at close to $40 billion. The Kremlin dismissed as a "total fabrication" comments from a U-S Treasury official who told the BBC that Mr. Putin was (in his words) "a picture of corruption."

The highest court in the Central African Republic has annulled last month's legislative elections. The court also confirmed that two former prime ministers will face a run-off vote for the presidency.

The nation's Constitutional Court ruled late Monday the first-round legislative vote on December 30 was marred by numerous irregularities, and said some candidates appeared to be involved in them.

The European Commission said Tuesday it was not ruling out allowing member states to reintroduce border controls for up to two years. To cope with the migration crisis, the European Union interior ministers Monday asked the commission to consider the extension of border checks.

The member states of the 26-country Schengen zone would be required to inform the commission about their security concerns. It would review the request before approving the reintroduction of controls.

This is VOA news.


Words in This Newscast

Fabrication –n. to create or make up something, such as a story, to trick people; to make or build something

Annul –v. to officially declare something is not valid or is cancelled

Mar –v. to ruin the perfection of something; to damage

Cope –v. to deal with problems and difficult situations and try to come up with solutions