18 February, 2015
President Barack Obama spoke Wednesday at a White House conference on fighting and preventing violent extremism.
Officials from 60 countries, as well as spiritual leaders and police from across the United States, are attending the three-day meeting in Washington.
In his speech, Mr. Obama urged the United States and other Western countries to confront Islamist groups' "lie" that the West is at war with Islam.
"We are not at war with Isalm. We are at war with people who have perverted Islam," Mr. Obama said.
Vice President Joe Biden opened the conference Tuesday. He discussed the success of the United States' youth programs in cities with large immigrant populations. The vice president said he believes the United States has more experience in integrating minority youths into society than European nations.
Pro-Russian rebels gain control of Ukrainian town
Pro-Russian separatists took control of Debaltseve in eastern Ukraine, as Ukrainian forces withdrew.
The rebels raised their flag Wednesday to claim victory of the city. A railroad runs through Debaltseve connecting Luhansk and Donetsk, two other rebel-held areas.
Rebels reportedly seized hundreds of government forces in Debaltseve. The remaining soldiers were said to be short of food and water. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko ordered several thousand troops to leave Debaltseve.
Mr. Poroshenko said 80 percent of the Ukrainian troops in the city had left by early Wednesday. The rest were leaving in what he described as a planned and orderly withdrawal.
Officials raid Swiss office of HSBC bank
Prosecutors searched the Swiss office of the British banking company HSBC Wednesday. They also announced a criminal investigation against HSBC. The bank is charged with laundering money.
The raid took place at the offices of HSBC Private Bank Switzerland in Geneva.
HSBC is Europe's largest bank. Media groups say the bank has helped clients in more than 200 countries avoid taxes and hide hundreds of millions of dollars. The clients reportedly include illegal drug sellers, arms traders and famous people.
Beagle wins at Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
A four-year-old dog named Miss P received the top award at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City Tuesday night.
Miss P, a beagle, won Best in Show over six other competitors. Miss P is only the second beagle to ever win the top award.
One of Miss P's competitors, Portuguese water dog Matisse, is a cousin of President Obama's dog Sunny.
Nearly 200 breeds of dogs from across the United States and several other countries took part in this year's show.
Words in the News
integrate – v. to make (a person or group) part of a larger group or organization
orderly – adj. arranged or organized in a logical or regular way
money laundering – n. the hiding of the origins of illegally obtained money
client – n. a person who pays a professional person or organization for services
prosecutor – n. a lawyer who represents the side in a court case that accuses a person of a crime and who tries to prove that the person is guilty
breed – n. a particular kind of dog, cat, horse, etc.