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VOA English Newscast: 1500 UTC April 12, 2016

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a news conference at the conclusion of the G7 foreign ministers meetings in Hiroshima, Japan, Monday, April 11, 2016. Kerry is to speak in support of the Trans-Pacific Trade agreement Tuesday.
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From Washington, this is VOA News.

I’m Frances Alonzo reporting.

Secretary of State John Kerry will promote the benefits of two trade pacts championed by the Obama administration during a Tuesday speech to government, civic and policy leaders in Los Angeles.

The State Department says Secretary Kerry will address national security opportunities of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. That is a landmark free trade deal among 12 Pacific Rim countries, and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which is an agreement being negotiated between the U.S. and the European Union.

Ministers from those (Pacific Rim) countries signed an agreement in February, but it still needs U.S. congressional approval.

In Yemen, a suicide bomber detonated explosives near a football stadium in the port city of Aden Tuesday, killing at least four people. Eight others were wounded. And the attack appears to have targeted young men lining up to register for the military.

The country's ceasefire is generally holding, despite what U.N. spokesman (Stéphane) Dujarric calls "pockets of violence."

Iranian-backed Houthi rebels and the Saudi-led Arab coalition trying to drive them out agreed on a truce ahead of another U.N. round of sponsored peace talks set for next week in Kuwait.

Mark Toner is a U.S. spokesman:

"This cessation of hostilities is crucial for the people of the Yemen, who have suffered from over a year of fighting and a massive humanitarian crisis, which has resulted in over 80 percent of the population requiring some form of emergency assistance."

More than 6,200 people have been killed in the past 13 months of conflict.

And the World Health Organization says yellow fever has killed 21 people in Congo. The organization said Monday that 151 people had been affected by the disease.

VOA News.


Words in This New

promote – v. to help something grow or develop

benefit – n. good or helpful effects or results

pact – n. agreement; treaty

champion – v. to speak publicly or fight in support of someone or something

speechn. spoken expression by someone makes in front of a group of people

address – v. to speak to

opportunity – n. a likely combination of events, time and place; a chance for greater success

landmark – adj. of or related to a very important event

stadium – n. a sports center

despite – prep. without being prevented by someone or something

pocket – n. a small area of something

ahead – adv. or adj. in the front; to or toward the place where one is going

sponsor – adv. supported; organized

cessation – n. stoppage; suspension

crucial adj. extremely important

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