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VOA English Newscast: 1400 UTC March 18, 2016

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From Washington, this is VOA News.

I’m Steve Karesh reporting.

Three policemen have been killed in an attack on security forces in Niger, near the border with Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Mali.

Niger's Ministry of Defense made the statement on public TV on Thursday.

In an earlier attack, three members of Niger's defense forces were wounded and five suicide bombers were killed on Wednesday in an ambush in the Diffa region that authorities have blamed on Boko Haram.

The attacks come just before Niger voters go to the polls on Sunday for a presidential runoff.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu says the "tide of migrants" seeking refuge in Turkey and the European Union is not an issue for bargaining, but an issue of humanitarian values.

He made the comments Friday before sitting down with European Union leaders to work out a deal for transferring tens of thousands of migrants from the EU to Turkey.

"For us, for Turkey the refugee issue is not an issue of bargaining, but an issue of value -- humanitarian values as well as European values. Turkey has received 2.7 million refugees without any significant assistance from anybody."

In a deal met with criticism by human rights advocates, the EU is expected to promise Turkey limited visa-free travel and an accelerated path to EU membership.

A U.S. military spokesman is dismissing Taliban claims that they shot down a NATO aircraft. The spokesman said that a helicopter made a 'hard landing' in southern Afghanistan on Friday. All personnel on board were recovered with no casualties. He later added that the incident is under investigation.

It happened in the restive Helmand province, where hundreds of U.S. troops have recently arrived.

This is VOA.


Words in This Newscast

TV – n. short for television

ambush – n. a surprise attack

region – n. area

authorities – n. officials

polls – n. voting centers

presidential runoff – n. an election involving the two top candidates for president

tide – n. the flow of the ocean’s water as water levels rise or fall

migrant – n. people who go from one place to another, usually for economic reasons

bargaining – n. negotiations over the terms of an agreement

transferring – n. movement; transport

significant – adj. very important or major

advocate – n. supporter; activist

accelerated – adj. of or related to moving faster or speeding up

aircraft – n. an airplane or other vehicle that flies

on board – phrase in or on a train, airplane or other vehicle

casualty – n. someone who is hurt or killed during an accident, war or attack

restive – adj. showing nervousness or a lack of patience

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