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USA president Obama met with EU leaders in Berlin, Germany - photo AP
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Outgoing USA president Barack Obama met with EU leaders to affirm their commitments to NATO and to continue sanctions against Russia. This was the first USA-EU summit since Donald Trump won the USA presidential election.

Convening in Berlin, Germany, Obama met with Germany's chancellor Angela Merkel, Britain's prime minister Theresa May, France's president Francois Hollande, Italy's prime minister Matteo Renzi and Spain's prime minister Mariano Rajoy.

The leaders concluded that sanctions against Russia must continue until Russia resolves its conflict with Ukraine. Obama and the EU claim that Russia has sent military and weapons to eastern Ukraine to aid separatists there.

The leaders also said that Syria and Russia must halt their attacks on Aleppo. "We agreed the need to keep up the pressure on Russia, including the possibility of sanctions on those who breach international humanitarian law," Britain's prime minister Teresa May said.

In regard to NATO, an official statement released by the White House after the summit said the leaders "affirmed the importance of continued co-operation through multilateral institutions, including Nato" and that they "agreed on the necessity of working collectively to move the transatlantic agenda forward, particularly on bringing stabilization to the Middle East and North Africa".

Despite the summit topics, Donald Trump has vowed to improve USA's relationship with Russia, and has criticized NATO as being outdated and unfair.


Vocabulary
summit - an organized, regular meeting of international leaders
outgoing - leaving soon
affirm - to say something again as being factual
sanctions - penalty / punishment against a country by other countries
convene - to meet (officially)
separatists - people who fight to leave a country and start their own country or join another
halt - to immediately stop
outdated - old and not useful anymore


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Jacques Hamel was conducting morning mass when two attackers stormed his church and slit his throat - photo AFP
Two armed men stormed into a church in southern France this morning and killed a priest and took four people hostage. Police eventually surrounded the church and shot both attackers dead. 

The two men, who said they were of the Islamic State (IS), burst into the church in Saint Etienne-du-Rouvray while a priest was conducting mass, 
made him kneel, and then slit his throat. 

The priest, Jacques Hamel, was 84-years old and has been described as 'an extraordinary person' by members of the community. 


Witnesses say the attackers recorded themselves and conducted a sermon in Arabic after they killed Hamel.


Some hours following the assault, the IS-related Amaq news agency reported that 'IS-soldiers' were responsible for the attack. 


This follows a recent string of Islamic State-related public onslaughts and massacres throughout France, Germany, and Europe that appear to be happening on a regular basis. 


Vocabulary
armed - having weapons
to storm - to suddenly enter
to take hostage  - to take (kidnap) as a prisoner

to burst into - to suddenly enter
to conduct - to do something (formally)
to kneel - to go down on one's knees
to slit - to make a long narrow cut
extraordinary - very special
a sermon - a religious talk done by a leader / presenter
a recent string - a current course of related events

onslaught - a terrible attack
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French special forces raid the church and shot the attackers dead - photo REUTERS
 
 
The gunmen who went on a rampage and killed 9 people and wounded 21 in Munich, Germany today has committed suicide police say. 

During their search for the attacker, police found a man on a side road of 
Olympia-Einkaufszentrum shopping mall who had shot himself. 

By viewing surveillance video, police concluded that this man was the sole gunmen. 

While police have not yet confirmed the motive of the shooter, a Muslim woman who witnessed the attacker shooting children said she heard the gunmen yelling, "Allahu Akbar!"



Vocabulary
wounded - injured with blood spilled
rampage - a period of uncontrollable violent behaviour
to confirm - to prove what some people already think is true
motive - the reason for doing something
to witness - to see what happened
surveillance video - cameras that watch and record people (usually in a public place)

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The lone gunmen in the Munich, shooting rampage opened fired outside of a McDonald's near Olympia-Einkaufszentrum shopping mall - photo by Fox News video
 
 
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2016 Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump will give his acceptance speech tonight in Cleveland, Ohio - photo from video screenshot
Republican USA presidential nominee Donald Trump told The New York Times yesterday that if he is elected president, he may drop the guarantee for protection to co-NATO states. Trump said that the USA would help NATO-countries in need of military protection only if those countries hav"fulfilled their obligations to us".

Under Article 5 of the initial NATO agreement, member countries must help those other nations that require military aid. 

While not an official response to Trump's comments, White House spokesman Josh Earnest has said that the USA's dedication to the full NATO agreement is "ironclad" and that "the president renewed that commitment just two weeks ago today when he travelled to Warsaw, Poland, to attend the NATO summit."

While no other USA official has ever suggested reneging on the NATO-deal, Trump said that he would prefer to help the USA's allies but not if those allies are not taking advantage of the USA. "We are spending a fortune on military in order to lose $800 billion. That doesn't sound very smart to me." Trump said.

Trump is set to give his Republican nominee acceptance speech in Cleveland, Ohio tonight at the final day of the Republican National Convention.


Vocabulary
drop - to stop doing something or stop having something
co- - a prefix meaning that groups work together (co- = together, with)
nominee (noun) - a party's or group's candidate selection during an election
aid (noun) - help; assistance

initial - first
spokesman - someone who speaks for someone else (here, Josh Earnest speaks for Barak Obama)
ironclad - very strong and secure
to renege - to fail to keep a promise or commitment

ally - a partner / friend when opposing / fighting another group
a fortune - too much money
to take advantage of someone - to use someone only for your own benefit or gain

is set - is ready



 
 
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A French helicopter and three French soldiers were shot down on Sunday by Libyan militia - photo by AFP / Getty Images
An Islamist militia has shot down a French helicopter in Libya killing three French soldiers says French president Francois Hollande. 

The attack occurred on Sunday outside of the city of Benghazi, and these reports now confirm that France has sent special forces to Libya.


First reports of the attack were made on Tuesday by unnamed military officials who said they were unauthorized to inform the media.


Since its 2011 uprising and NATO-intervention, Libya's government has been fragmented and has competing military and governmental groups.


A militia called Defending Benghazi Brigade, a rival of General Khalifa Hifter, the head of armed forces based in Libya's east, has taken responsibility for the attack.


Vocabulary
militia - an army of non-professional soldiers

confirm - to be sure about the truth (by having proof)
forces - here, this means 'military power'
unauthroized - officially not allowed
intervention - the act of coming between two or more groups to stop them
fragmented - divided into may parts / pieces
to compete - to oppose another group and try to win 

 
 
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Police and ambulance on the scene at a French Alps resort were a woman and her three daughters were stabbed and seriously injured - photo by The Telegraph
A French woman and her three daughters were all stabbed and seriously wounded by a Moroccan-born man at French Alps resort Garde-Colombe, near Laragne, in southern France on Tuesday. The attacker was arrested after the assault.

The man37, named only as Mohammed B., who was staying at the resort with his pregnant wife and two children, stabbed the daughters outside of their chalet while they were eating breakfast at around 10 a.m., and then went inside the chalet and stabbed their mother. 

The youngest girl, 8, was rushed to hospital with a punctured lung.

Reports claim the man, was angry at the woman and her daughters for being scantily-clad, wearing only t-shirts and shorts, yet this has been denied by local prosecutor. 

French television channel TFI said that the man had religious motives for the attack, however the local prosecutor has denied that as well. 

TFI also reported that the woman had helped the man the night before the attack because he had been ill. 


Vocabulary
to stab (verb) - to severely pierce someone with a sharp object (knife)
wounded - injured with blood spilled
chalet - a small wooden house found in the Alps / mountains (cabin)
punctured lung - a lung that has been stabbed with something

scantily-clad - wearing (a little amount of) clothing that shows much skin
motive (noun) - the reason for doing something
 
 
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An attacker with an axe terrorizes train passengers in Wurzberg, Germany - photo by EPA
A teenage attacker brandishing an axe and a knife injured four people on a train that was running between Treuchlingen and Wurzburg in Germany at 21:15 before being shot dead by police, reports say.

Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said the attacker was a 17-year old Afghan refugee who came to Germany as an unaccompanied minor and had been living in Ochsenfurt, a town nearby.

There are reports that the attacker shouted, "Allahu Akbar!" beforehand, but officials have not yet disclosed a motive for the attack.


Vocabulary
to brandish (verb) - to swing around in an excited and threatening manner
to run - to go on a schedule (as in a public vehicle)
an unaccompanied minor - a young person travelling without parents or a guardian

motive (noun) - reason for doing something
disclosed - told to people; revealed
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Blood stains on a train in Wurzberg, Germany after an axe attacker injured four people - photo by EPA
 
 
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Turkey president Erdogan helping to carry the coffin of a victim of the attempted coup on Friday - photo by Telegraph Video / APTN
Turkey is beginning a military purge following the quashed coup in Ankara and Istanbul on Friday that left some 290 dead. At least 6000 military and government officials have been detained in connection with the plot. 

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has publicly accused Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen of orchestrating the coup and claims there is a "parallel structure" within Turkey's government where he says some military leaders were taking orders from Gulen. 


Originally from Turkey, Gulen now lives in Pennsylvania, USA.

Erdogan has urged USA president Barak Obama to extradite Gulen back to Turkey. Gulen was once a supporter of Erdogan and now has a group of followers in Turkey who are called "Gulenists" and apart of the Hizmet Movement. 

Gulen has denied any connection to the attempted coup on Friday.


At one point, Turkey Labor Minister Suleyman Soylu accused the USA of being connected to the coup. 

USA Secretary of State John Kerry angrily denied any US-involvement with the plot and asked Erdogan for evidence before considering the extradition of Gulen. 

Some believe this incident will give Erdogan the justification to change Turkey's constitution to have him stay in power for longer.  

Vocabulary
purge (verb / noun) - to clean / a cleaning of unwanted parts to make the whole group better
quashed - it has been ended / stopped (easily and) immediately
detained - stopped from escaping; in custody of authorities
plot (noun) - plan

coup (French noun - "coo") - sudden seizure of governmental power by a rebel force
to accuse (verb) - to declare that someone is guilty of doing something wrong
to orchestrate (verb) - to carefully plan and direct
to claim (verb) - to declare to be true, usually without giving proof
to urge (verb) - to ask with much power and emotion
to extradite (verb) - to have one government's police send someone who is in their country back to the police in another country

justification (noun) - proving someone is right / correct in doing / being something
constitution (noun) - the laws in a country that protect the basic rights of the citizens


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Fethullah Gulen has denied any connection to the attempted military coup in Turkey on Friday - photo by Selahattin Sevi / AP
 
 
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(Ozan Kose / AFP/Getty Images)
Returning to Istanbul amid large crowds at Ataturk Airport, President Erdogan has said that the "government brought to power by the people is in charge," as political control seems to be restored in Turkey after a military revolt  and night of street protesting left 161 dead and many more injured. 

Turkish Prime Minister Benali Yildirim said 2,839 plotters have been detained.

Vocabulary
amid (adverb) - among, in the presence of
in charge - in control
revolt (noun) - a fight against the leaders
detained - stopped from escaping; in custody of authorities

 
 
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Isis claims responsibility for the Nice truck attack - photo by Reuters
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The flag of Islamic State - photo by Reuters
According to news agency Amaq, which often supports their communications, terrorist group ISIS, also known as the Islamic State, has claimed responsibility for the Nice, France truck attack that saw 84 murdered and over 100 injured as a truck plowed through Nice's Promenade des Anglais on the Bastille Day celebrations. 

In the announcement, despite not naming him, ISIS called the attacker a "soldier of the Islamic State" and said ""He carried out the operation in response to calls to target nationals of states that are part of the coalition fighting Islamic State."

Vocabulary
to claim (verb) - to declare that something is true (usually without showing proof)
to plow (verb) - to go forward with full power
despite - even though
coalition (noun) - a (political) group of other (political) groups who work together