US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Resigns

    24 November, 2014

    President Barack Obama announced Monday that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is resigning after almost two years in the position.

    President Obama spoke at the white House with Mr. Hagel and Vice President Joe Biden. The president said Mr. Hagel told him last month that it was time for him to complete his service. Mr. Obama called the defense secretary a "steady hand" in helping the administration deal with Ebola and the Islamic State militant group.

    Mr. Hagel has agreed to stay on as Defense Secretary until his successor is chosen.

    US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Resigns
    U.S. President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Vice President Joe Biden at the White House Monday to announce Hagel's resignation (Reuters)

    Iran nuclear talks extended to July 1

    Iranian and Western diplomats said nuclear talks between Iran and six other nations will be extended until July 1, 2015.

    The diplomats spoke in Vienna on the final day of the group's year-long time limit to reach an agreement about Iran's nuclear program.

    Sanctions, falling oil prices costing Russia billions

    Russia's finance minister says the country may lose $130 to $140 billion a year as a result of sanctions and falling oil prices. He says falling oil prices are the bigger problem for the Russian economy.

    The finance minister spoke Monday at an economic conference in Moscow. He said Russia is losing around $40 billion a year from sanctions, and as much as $100 billion from oil losses. Oil prices have decreased by about 30 percent.

    The United States and the European Union have ordered sanctions against Russia for its part in the conflict in Ukraine. The U.S. and E.U. accuse Russia of supporting a separatist uprising in eastern Ukraine.

    Swiss museum to accept Nazi art collection

    A Swiss museum says it will accept a priceless collection of long-hidden artwork that includes masterpieces stolen by Nazi Germany.

    An official with the Bern Art Museum said Monday in Berlin that the museum would accept the collection. But, he said, it would also work to return any art stolen from Jews during World War Two.

    In 2012, German authorities seized more than 1,200 art works from the Munich home of Cornelius Gurlitt. Mr. Gurlitt was the son of an art dealer who worked for Adolf Hitler to help steal works from museums and Jewish collectors. Many of the Jewish collectors died in the Nazi gas chambers.

    Cornelius Gurlitt died in May at the age of 81.

    Turkish president says women not equal to men

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says that women are not equal to men. Mr. Erdogan spoke during a conference in Istanbul on women and justice. He said Islam says women's only positions are as mothers. He said it is against nature to put men and women on equal footing.

    The Turkish leader's political party is rooted in Islam. It has been accused of trying to weaken modern Turkey's secular principles and civil liberties.


    Words in the News

    successor – n. a person who has a job, position, or title after someone else: someone who succeeds another person

    uprisingn. a usually violent effort by many people to change the government or leader of a country

    sanction – n. an action that is taken or an order that is given to force a country to obey international laws by limiting or stopping trade with that country, by not allowing economic aid for that country

    priceless adj. extremely valuable or important

    secularadj. of, relating to, or controlled by the government rather than by the church

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