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VOA English Newscast: 1500 UTC February 24, 2016

One day after a referendum on expanding presidential term limits, Bolivia's President Evo Morales sings his national anthem at a signing ceremony for the expansion of a road that connects the capital with the nearby city of El Alto, in La Paz, Bolivia, Mo
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From Washington, this is VOA News.

I’m Frances Alonzo reporting.

Bolivian President Evo Morales conceded Wednesday that he had lost a bid to seek a fourth term, after over 51 percent of voters cast “no” ballots in a weekend referendum.

"With respect to the results, it is part of democracy," the socialist leader told a press conference at the presidential palace. "We have lost a battle, but not the war."

You can read more details on that story at

Afghanistan's Taliban says it is unaware of upcoming peace talks with the Kabul government, reiterating no such move can succeed until foreign forces completely withdraw and Sharia is enforced in the country.

Tuesday, a four-nation group working for Afghan peace invited all Taliban and other groups to participate through their authorized representatives in the first round of direct peace talks with the Afghan government.

However, a spokesman for the Taliban's so-called political office in Qatar, Mohammad Naeem, told VOA he has seen media reports about possible peace talks with the Afghan government, but said the insurgent group was unaware of any such plans.

Meanwhile, Russia has delivered 10,000 Kalashnikov rifles, along with millions of rounds of ammunition, to the Afghan government as part of a security agreement between the two nations.

The rifles were delivered at a ceremony Wednesday at Kabul's military airport.

Russia's ambassador in Kabul says his country is committed to helping the Afghans and Afghan forces combat problems like terrorism and drugs.

U.S. President Barack Obama is hosting Jordan's King Abdullah II at the White House today. They will have talks focused on the battle against the Islamic State and the humanitarian fallout from the war in Syria.

Jordan has been taking part in the U.S.-led coalition, conducting airstrikes against Islamic State targets in both Iraq and Syria.

This is VOA News.


Words in This Newscast

conceded – v. to say that you accept the existence of something

cast – v. to vote

referendum – n. a special election

respect – n. a relation to a thing or situation

palace – n. the official home of a head of state

unaware – adj. not having knowledge of something

upcoming – adj. possible

reiterating – v. restating or repeating

Sharia – n. the religious laws based on Islam’s holy book, the Koran

enforced – v. to make active or effective

participate – v. to take part or involve

authorized – n. officials

round – n. one in a series of similar events or things

so-called – adj. used for a name or description that you think is not really right

insurgent – adj. rebel or opposition

delivered – v. to take something to a person or place

rifle – n. a gun with a long barrel

committed – v. to decide to use for a purpose

combat – v. to battle or fight

hosting – v. to serve as an organizer of an event

focused – v. directing one’s attention on something

fallout – n. bad or harmful effects

conducting – v. carry out

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