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VOA English Newscast: 2100 UTC December 15, 2015

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) welcomes U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia Dec. 15, 2015.
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From Washington, this is VOA news…

I'm Dave DeForest reporting

Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday that the United States and Russia have the ability to make a (what he called) "significant differences" in Syria's crisis. He commented Tuesday at the start of talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

Mr. Putin said the United States and Russia are looking for ways out of the Syrian crisis. The two officials are also expected to discuss the unrest in Ukraine

“Nothing would please us more than to resolve the differences of Ukraine and to move forward in the economic front and on other areas of important cooperation.”

Kerry traveled to Moscow from Paris, where he took part in a French-led ministerial meeting on Syria and the Islamic State.

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said President Barack Obama has told the military of the need to accelerate the campaign against the Islamic State. He said the United States is seeking more help from coalition partners. Carter spoke to reporters Tuesday before arriving in Turkey.

New U.S. political surveys show billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump has gained strength in his race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. The polls show an upsurge in support for Trump after he called for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States.

Meanwhile, Trump and eight other Republican presidential contenders are set to face one another Tuesday in Las Vegas, Nevada in their final debate of the year.

The United Nations Human Rights Council says it will hold a special session on violence in Burundi later this week.

The session, set for Thursday, was called at the request of the United States. It is supported by 17 members of the Human Rights Council and 25 observer states.

This will be the first such special session for the group since April.

This is VOA news.


Words in the Newscast

significant –adj. enough to be noticed or to have an effect

accelerate –v. to move faster, to gain speed

surveys –n. an activity in which many people are asked a question or series of questions to find out what they think about an issue or issues

upsurge –n. a quick increase or rise

contenders –n. people trying to win something

session –n. a formal meeting or series of meetings