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VOA English Newscast 1300 UTC February 5, 2016

Residents inspect damage after airstrikes by pro-Syrian government forces in the rebel held Al-Shaar neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria, Feb. 4, 2016.
Residents inspect damage after airstrikes by pro-Syrian government forces in the rebel held Al-Shaar neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria, Feb. 4, 2016.
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From Washington, this is VOA News.

I’m Joe Palka reporting.

Russian airstrikes undermining peace efforts in Syria, that according to a NATO chief…

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg says Russia's air strikes in Syria are undermining efforts to find a non-military solution to the conflict.

The Russian-backed assaults were, in part, responsible for derailing peace talks in Geneva earlier this week, with Syrian government officials walking away from the talks after claiming that they had ended the rebel siege of two Shi'ite villages in Aleppo, handing President Bashar al-Assad's government a major victory.

Meantime, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has pledged nearly $1 billion in new U.S. aid for Syrian refugees at an international donors’ conference, and is calling for the Syrian government and Russia to halt attacks on rebel-held areas in order to let humanitarian aid through.

The conference opened on Thursday in London. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon…

“The commitment of countries hosting large numbers of refugees to open up their labor markets is a breakthrough. I thank the governments of Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey for choosing solidarity over fear.”

The more than 10-billion dollars pledged on Thursday aims to support people in Syria as well as in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Those are the neighbor countries that are strained by the exodus of refugees fleeing the fighting in Syria.

Somali officials investigating an apparent bomb blast that forced a passenger jet to make an emergency landing in Mogadishu say the explosion was likely the work of militant group al-Shabab.

Somali aviation officials say they estimate the blast went off 15 minutes after the plane took off from Mogadishu airport, bound for Djibouti.

Of the 74 passengers were on board, one was likely killed.

This is VOA News.


Words in The News

undermining – v. making someone or something less effective

according – adv. as stated by or in

assaults – n. a violent physical or military attack

derailing – v. blocking the progress of something

siege – n. a serious, lasting attack; a situation in which police or soldiers surround a building or city

handing – v. giving

meantime – adv. in the time between events; meanwhile

pledged – v. promised

commitment – n. promise

hosting – v. leading or organizing something

breakthrough – n. a sudden or successful development

solidarity – n. a feeling of unity between people who have the same interests

strained – v. feeling or showing the effect of too much use or effort

exodus – n. a situation in which many people leave at the same time

blast – n. explosion

jet – n. an airplane powered by jet engines

aviation – n. the business of flying airplanes or helicopters

bound – v. going or moving to

board – phrase. on or in a ship, airplane or other vehicle

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