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VOA English Newscast: 2200 UTC February, 9 2016

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper prepares to testify on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, before a Senate Armed Services hearing on worldwide threats. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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From Washington, this is VOA news…

I'm Dave DeForest reporting

New Hampshire votes:

Residents formed long lines at polling stations to vote in America's first primary election of the 2016 presidential race. Polling stations will be open between now until 0 hour UTC.

The U.S. spy chief told Congress Tuesday that North Korea has restarted a plutonium reactor that could provide fuel for nuclear weapons.

"Pyongyang continues to produce fissile material and develop a submarine-launched ballistic missile. It is also committed to developing a long-range nuclear-armed missile that is capable of posing a direct threat to the United States, although the system has not been flight tested."

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, he says the North has been operating the reactor long enough that it could capture the plutonium from the reactor's spent fuel within weeks or months.

In his annual assessment of worldwide threats, Clapper also told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Islamic militants will continue to plot against U.S. targets overseas .

The World Food Program has begun distributing food to tens of thousands of people fleeing heavy fighting in Allepo and other areas of Syria. Lisa Schlein reports.

"The United Nations reports more than 30-thousand people replaced by the relentless bombing of Allepo, are stranded along the Syrian side of the border with Turkey. Aid agencies report the civilians, most of whom are women and children, are in dire straits and urgently need shelter and food. The World Food Program reports it has transported food from Turkey into the small town of Azaz in northwest Syria. More refugees are expected if fighting continues. Lisa Schlein, Geneva."

And for more on the Syria situation check our website This is VOA news.


Words in This Newscast

assessment –n. an idea or opinion about something

relentless –adj. continuing without becoming weaker or less severe

strand v. to be left in a place with no way to get out

dire straits –idiom to be in a very bad situation

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