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IN THE NEWS - US, Italian Hostages Killed in Anti-Terrorism Operation

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U.S. President Barack Obama makes a statement about the killings of hostages held by al-Qaida in the White House Briefing room, April 23, 2015.
U.S. President Barack Obama makes a statement about the killings of hostages held by al-Qaida in the White House Briefing room, April 23, 2015.

A U.S. anti-terrorism operation in January killed American and Italian aid workers. White House officials said Thursday al-Qaida had been holding the two men on the Afghan-Pakistan border.

The victims, American Warren Weinstein and Italian Givovanni Lo Porto had been working on aid projects in Pakistan. A U.S. official told VOA the hostages were killed mistakenly during drone airstrikes January 14.

President Barack Obama on Thursday apologized for the incident.

He said, "As president and commander-in-chief, I take full responsibility for all our counterterrorism operations, including the ones that inadvertently took the lives of Warren and Giovanni. I profoundly regret what happened."

EU leaders debate migrant shipwreck crisis

European Union leaders are considering a plan to fix Europe's migrant shipwreck crisis. The leaders proposed taking military action to destroy smugglers' boats in Africa so they cannot be used to take refugees across the Mediterranean Sea.

The leaders of 28 EU countries met in Brussels Thursday. They discussed the shipwreck of last weekend in which at least 800 people drowned. Rescuers only saved 28 people from the migrant ship. It crashed into a Portuguese ship that was sent to rescue it.

A draft EU statement called for more money to support Europe's search and rescue operations. It also called for efforts to "capture and destroy vessels before they are used by traffickers."

Loretta Lynch confirmed as next attorney general

Federal prosecutor Loretta Lynch has been confirmed as the next attorney general of the United States. President Barack Obama nominated her last November. The U.S. Senate confirmed Ms. Lynch on Thursday, after months of delay.

The vote to confirm her nomination was 56-43 in the Senate.

Ms. Lynch, 55, will become the first black woman to lead the Justice Department. She replaces Eric Holder Jr., the nation's first black attorney general.

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Words in the News

hostage –n. a person who is captured by someone who demands that certain things be done before the captured person is freed

migrant n. a person who goes from one place to another especially to find work

draft – adj. not yet in the final form

confirm – v. to give official approval to (something or someone)

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