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Iraqi forces advance towards Mosul to fight IS - REUTERS
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The USA military reports that up to 900 fighters have been killed from the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) by coalition forces in Mosul in northern Iraq.

Approximately 100,000 coalition forces launched an attack on IS in Mosul 10 days ago and have been advancing on the city ever since. They have been liberating small villages dominated by IS along the way.  The coalition is made up of the Iraqi army, Kurdish peshmerga, Sunni Arab tribesmen, a Shia paramilitary force, USA, and British and French forces.

USA military officials estimate that there are about 3000-5000 IS soldiers in Mosul. 

IS began to govern Mosul on June 24, 2014 and it remains to be the last major city in Iraq under their control.



Vocabulary
jihadist - a group fighting a religious Muslim war
coalition - a group made up of other groups working together for a common cause

to liberate - to make free

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Soldiers in Niger fight against Islamic jihadists - photo AFP
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Islamist jihadist militants attacking a prison in Niger on Monday have been stopped by security forces. The prison, located 40 km away from the capital of Niamey, was holding 100 jihadists as prisoners. These prisoners were from the Nigeria-based Islamic jihadist group, Boko Haram, and from other groups linked to al-Qaeda.

One attacker was killed, while the others are being pursued by security forces. Two prison guards were injured in the attack that occurred at around 4:30 am. 

Officials believe the attackers are apart of Mujao, an Islamic jihadist group associated with al-Qaeda and based in Mali. Many Islamic jihadists groups are known to be located in Mali. 

This failed attack comes a week after German Chancellor Angela Merkel was in Niger to discuss migration, aid, and security.



Vocabulary
militants - fighters in an army
jihadist - an Islamist militant fighting because of religious reasons

to pursue - to chase (try to find and catch)
migration - people moving from one place (country) to another

aid - help (financial, etc.)
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At least 20 people died while crossing a bridge on their way to a Hindu pilgrimage near Varanasi, India - photo AP
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At least 24 were killed and 30 others have been injured in a stampede that erupted on a bridge near Varanasi, India on Saturday. People were crossing the bridge in order to attend a Hindu religious ceremony in the area.

Among those that died, 19 were women. 

Officials of the event said they were only expecting 3000 people to attend, but approximately 70,000 came to the event. As it became overcrowded, police began directing people away from the bridge. This sparked a rumor that the bridge was broken, causing thousands of people to run away for safety.

“We were not prepared for such a large crowd,” Raj Bahadur, a spokesman for the event, told The Associated Press.

Deadly stampedes occur frequently in India, where many people visit small areas at one time in order to attend religious festivals.


Vocabulary 
stampede - a sudden rush (running away) of a very large group of people / animals that are scared of something
to erupt - to suddenly "explode" / to suddenly happen
ceremony - a very special and very organized event
to spark - to suddenly cause something to happen
rumour - information that is quickly passed to people, but may not be true
spokesman - a man who talks for a group of people
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Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej has died at age 88 - photo origin unknown
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Thai king Bhomibol Adulyadej died on Thursday at age 88 at Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok. Adulyadej was the world's longest-serving monarch, reigning on the throne for over seventy-years. 

While the king had suffered many ailments over the last ten years, the royal household bureau said he “passed away peacefully”.

Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, on December 5, 1927, Adulyadej was very well-loved and revered in Thailand and throughout the world. Over the course of his rule, beginning in 1946, he intervened in many crises that threatened Thailand's security, and  survived over a dozen coup attempts.

Succeeding to the throne will be Adulyadej's son, Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn.



Vocabulary
monarch - king / queen
to reign - to rule (as king, dictator, etc.)
ailments - illnesses
coup attempt - an act of trying to control government power (by using military force / violence)

revered - very respected
to intervene - to do something to stop, affect, improve, and/or change some event
crises - plural of crisis - a very dangerous situation that could get worse
heir to the throne - the next person to be king / queen
to succeed - to be / go next
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Members of Colombia's National Liberation Army (ELN) - photo EFE
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According to a previously-signed agreement, Colombia and the Colombian Marxist-guerrilla rebel group The National Liberation Army (ELN) will begin peace talks in Quito, Ecuador on October 27. 

These expected peace talks come after a deal was made with Colombia's more commonly known guerrilla group, The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). On June 23, 2016, Colombia president Juan Manuel Santos and FARC leaders signed a ceasefire deal. However, voting in a public referendum on October 2, 2016, the deal was narrowly rejected by 50.22% of the Colombian people.

Colombia has been under an asymmetrical civil war since 1964 when the central government began fighting paramilitary groups, organized crime groups, and the Marxist-Leninist guerrilla rebel group, FARC, and the Marxist-guerrilla rebel group ELN.

President Juan Manuel Santos will be receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016 for his peace efforts in Colombia.


Vocabulary
previously - before now
Marxist - following the teachings of Karl Marx / communist
guerrilla (groups) - an independent army that irregularly attacks a main army by "surprise"
ceasefire - an agreement to stop (military) fighting
referendum - a vote by the people of a country on a specific issue / question
asymmetrical - with many unequal sides, not only two sides

paramilitary - a semi-military force, not a regular military force
civil war - a war between one country / nation

solely - by one only

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A Saudi-led airstrike has killed 82 and injured 534 at a funeral in Yemen - photo AFP
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A reported Saudi-led coalition airstrike has hit a funeral ceremony in Yemen's capital of Sanaa killing 82 people and injuring 534.

The attack blasted a building that was hosting the funeral for the father of interior minister of Yemen and rebel Houthi loyalist Jalal al-Ruwaishan. 

Yemen's acting health minister Ghazi Ismail described the incident as "barbaric air attacks against civilians and civilian targets."


The Saudi-led coalition has denied carrying out the attack. 

Yemen has become unstable since a 2011 uprising which led to the end of the 33-year rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.


In 2014, the Houthis seized governmental control of Sanaa, leading to the downfall of the Saudi Arabian-backed Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi. The Houthis are a socio-political group that grew out of north Yemen in the 1990s in opposition to oppression of the then central government. 

A coalition of forces led by Saudi Arabia attacked the Houthis on March 26, 2015 to restore Hadi to power. The country has been in civil war ever since, with about 10,000 Yemenis killed, 3,799 civilians, and three million people displaced from their homes.


Vocabulary
reported - said / believed to be
coalition - a group of allies 
airstrike - an attack by jets, planes, etc.
to host - to organize and hold an event
loyalist - someone who is fully devoted to a group
barbaric - extremely gruesome, terrible; showing no mercy
civilians - the people; non-military citizens
to deny - to say you did not do something
unstable - unsafe (here, because of military fighting)
uprising - an act of (political) rebellion against a government
to seize - to take by force
Saudi Arabian-backed - supported by Saudi Arabia
coalition of forces - a group of military powers working together
displaced - forced to move away (from their homes)

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Hurricane Matthews predicted path along east Florida - photo by NOAA / BBC
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Listen to a REAL person...not a computer.
The Category Four Hurricane Matthew is approaching Florida and is predicted to be the fiercest storm to hit the USA in 12 years.

With winds of 125mph (205km/h), the storm is expected to arrive in southern Florida by early Friday.

The hurricane has already caused havoc in Bahamas, and in Haiti, where 108 have died. The storm has also killed four people in Dominican Republic. 


On Thursday, USA President Barack Obama declared a state of emergency for Florida, as two million people have already been evacuated.

 "There are no excuses, you need to leave," Florida Governor Rick Scott warned people who are still in the evacuation zones. The Florida Governor also said, "Everyone in our state must prepare now for a direct hit...if Matthew directly impacts Florida, the destruction could be catastrophic and you need to be prepared."


Vocabulary
to predict - to make a theory about the future
fierce - very powerful and destructive
havoc - great destruction and chaos (disorder)
catastrophic - totally destructive (causing a catastrophe)
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In a report, the IMF warns the world of increasing private and public debt - photo by Shawn Thew / EPA
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Listen to a REAL person...not a computer. 
In their half-yearly fiscal report, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned the world to take action against global debt that has risen to $152 trillion. The IMF said that this number is not only high, but also continues to rise.

The IMF said that if no action is taken to reduce this debt, it may cause another world financial and economic crisis as seen from the USA sub-prime housing-bubble of 2008.

These admonishments are based on research of 113 countries which shows that private and public debt from all over the world has reached a record 225% higher than global economic output. Private debt accounts for 67% of this total. Experts say that rapid rises in private debt often led to financial-sector triggered recessions that last longer and are more severe than normal downturns.

The director of the IMF’s fiscal affairs department Vitor Gasper said most of the debt is in advanced countries of the West and is in big emerging markets like China. 


The IMF also said that the world is experiencing a ‘vicious feedback loop’ which means that lower growth is making it difficult to reduce borrowing. 

While central banks have been trying to deal with this issue, the IMF is urging world governments to intervene using fiscal policy. "It is crucial to have in place measures to prevent excessive debt build-ups," said Gaspar.

The IMF also suggested governments stop giving tax incentives that encourage borrowing. 


Vocabulary
crisis - an event that can lead to destruction
record - a condition / achievment that has never happened before
sub-prime - below what is best - in reference to giving loans to people will bad credit
bubble - a financial situation where no one has money to buy anything and companies cannot sell
admonishments - warnings

to intervene - to come between two or more things and try to change the situation
financial sector - the banking / financial industry
to trigger - to quickly cause something to happen (like a 'trigger' in a gun that shoots a bullet extremely quickly)

recession - a period of declining economy 
downturn - a temporary period of slow economy
feedback loop - a cycle that feeds itself
fiscal policy - laws and regulations made by governments concerning money / finance / commerce

incentive - something that motivates you to do something
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President Rodrigo Duterte of Philippines poses with members of the Philippine army - photo by Romeo Ranoco / REUTERS
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In a speech on Tuesday, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte told president Barack Obama that he can "go to hell", and said that if the USA will not sell arms to Philippines, then he will go to Russia and China. 

"Instead of helping us, the first to hit was the State Department. So you can go to hell, Mr. Obama, you can go to hell," he said.

Duterte also said that he may "break up with America".

The Philippine leader's comments were directed at the USA president because of Obama's recent public reproach of Duterte over the crackdown on drug addicts in his country. The crackdown has led to approximately 2000 deaths so far. 

Duterte told Obama, "If you don't want to sell arms, I'll go to Russia. I sent the generals to Russia and Russia said 'do not worry, we have everything you need, we'll give it to you'." 

Concerning China, Duterte said, "And as for China, they said 'just come over and sign and everything will be delivered'."

Talking about the European Union, Duterte said, "EU better choose purgatory, hell is filled up."


"Although it may sound shit to you, it is my sacred duty to keep the integrity of this republic and the people healthy," Duterte also said during the speech.


Vocabulary
arms - weapons (guns, missiles, bombs, etc.)
reproach - an expression of disapproval and/or disappointment

crackdown - strong-armed campaign (by authorities) to stop something from happening
approximately - close to, but not exactly
sacred - connected to God; very serious
duty - responsibility
integrity - extreme honesty and the state/condition of being whole and undivided
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People of Philippines protest against the USA - photo by Aaron Favila / AP
 
 
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Julian Assange of Wikileaks via video link on Tuesday - photo by Right Side Broadcasting video
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In what had been described as a Wikileaks "October Surprise", leader of the organization Julian Assange appeared via video link in a 10 am (GMT+2) press conference today in Berlin. 

Before the conference, Assange claimed Wikileaks had information that could damage Hillary Clinton's USA presidential campaign. While he did not reveal any of that data during the meeting, Assange  did say that Wikileaks hopes to publish secret documents and information every week for the next ten weeks up to the November 8 election. The materials will include topics on war, arms, oil, Google, and the USA election.

During the conference, Assange showcased his newly written books, spoke of Wikileak's 10th anniversary. and answered questions from the press.


Vocabulary
to showcase - to show something to a large group of people
press conference - a meeting of reporters and journalists organized by someone who wants to talk to the public
the press - newspaper, internet, tv, reporters (i.e. the media)
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