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VOA English Newscast: 1400 UTC January 12, 2016

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From Washington, this is VOA News.

I’m Frances Alonzo reporting.

Chancellor Angela Merkel says she is "seriously concerned" that German citizens might be among the victims and the wounded in an explosion in Istanbul that killed at least ten people earlier Tuesday.

In comments to reporters, she said, "Those affected are members of a German tourist group and, of course, the German foreign ministry immediately set up a crisis meeting. We are trying to gather all the information as quickly as possible."

She went on to say that they “must ascertain today Istanbul was hit, Paris was hit, Tunisia was hit and Ankara too was already hit. Today, international terrorism has shown its ugly face once again. Apart from the grief we obviously feel today, it shows that we need to act decisively against terrorism," she added.

A Syrian suicide bomber is thought to be responsible for an attack, which killed at least ten people including foreigners in the heart of Istanbul's historic Sultanahmet tourist district Tuesday, according to the Turkish President.

There was a high probability Islamic State militants were behind the blast, near the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, according to two senior Turkish security officials speaking Reuters.

And for the seventh and final time of his presidency, Barack Obama will stand before Congress and the American public to lay out his vision not only for his remaining months in office, but for the future of the United States.

In a video preview, he says he is optimistic about the path the United States is on. It’s that optimism that White House officials say will be showcased when the president addresses the nation for his last State of the Union Tuesday.

We will carry that “live” on Wednesday at 0200 UTC.

This is VOA News.


Words in This Newscast

tourist – n. a person who travels from place to place for pleasure

of course – phrase an expression used to offer an idea as being known or expected

ascertain – v. make sure of

ugly– adj. unpleasing to look at

grief – n. deep sadness

obviously – adj. in a way that is easy to see or understand

district – n. an area established by a government for official government business

according – adv. as stated by or in; depending on whether

vision – n. the ability to see; something that you imagine

preview – n. a show or performance that enables some people to see something before it is shown to the public.

optimistic – adj. hopeful

showcased – v. shown or demonstrated in a good or favorable way

addresses – v. speaks to

live – adj. done in front of a crowd; broadcast at the same time the show or event is taking place

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