Libyan officials say at least five foreigners and three guards were killed Tuesday in an attack on a hotel in Tripoli. Security officials say attackers raided the Corinthia Hotel after causing their vehicle to explode and shooting hotel employees. It was not immediately clear who carried out the attack. But a group calling itself the Tripoli Province of the Islamic State claimed responsibility.
Social media messages have linked the hotel attack to efforts to answer the capture of Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, also known as Abu Anas al-Libi. He was linked to the al-Qaida bombings of United States embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. U.S. forces captured the Libyan native in 2013. He died while awaiting trial in the United States earlier this month.
President Obama visits Saudi Arabia
U.S. President Barack Obama is in Saudi Arabia to pay his respects following the death of Saudi King Abdullah. The president is leading a 30-member delegation. American officials say the group includes members of Congress and officials from former U.S. administrations. The delegation is to meet with the new Saudi king, Salman bin Abdulaziz.
A spokesman for President Obama said the half-brother of King Abdullah is ready to perform the duties of king of Saudi Arabia. He added that the U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia is based on a series of what he called “overlapping interests.” He listed the U.S.-led military campaign against Islamic State militants in Syria, and the situation in Yemen. For years, U.S. airstrikes have targeted militants from the group al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.
Two prisoners threatened with death by Islamic State group
Islamic State militants have threatened to kill two hostages by Wednesday if their demands for a prisoner exchange are not met. The threat was made in an online video message said to have come from the group. The statement repeated an earlier demand that the government in Jordan release Sajida al-Rishawi. Jordanian officials have been holding her since she was involved in a 2005 terror attack in Amman. Sixty people died in the attack.
The Islamic State is believed to be holding Japanese reporter Kenji Goto and a Jordanian pilot, Mu’ath al-Kaseasebeh. The Japanese government has asked for Jordan’s help to win the release of the Japanese man.
Indonesian military stops search for airplane’s wreckage
The Indonesian military has halted search and recovery efforts for a passenger airplane that crashed into the Java Sea last month. The AirAsia flight was carrying 162 people. All of them were killed.
An Indonesian military official spoke to reporters on Tuesday. He noted that it has been a month since the plane crashed. He apologized to the families of victims whose remains have yet to be recovered.
Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency may continue its search for the remains of 92 victims who are still missing.
Winter storm covers northeastern US
A large winter storm dropped 30 centimeters of snow on the northeastern United States by Tuesday morning. But the snowfall fell short of the worst predictions of weather experts.
The governors of New York and New Jersey began cancelling travel bans after sunrise. In the words of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, “this is nothing like we feared it would be.” He had earlier warned the storm could be one of the worst the city has ever faced.
The New York Stock Exchange was operating normally Tuesday. But United Nations headquarters and many schools and businesses across the northeast were closed.
*This report was based on stories from VOA’s News Division. George Grow wrote this story for VOA Learning English. Mario Ritter was the editor.
Words in the News
hotel - n. a building with rooms, and often food, for travelers
vehicle - n. anything on or in which a person or thing can travel or be transported, especially anything on wheels; a car or truck
native - n. someone who was born in a place; not one who moved there
Congress - n. the organization of people elected to make the laws of the United States; a similar organization in other countries
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