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WORLD NEWS - March 4th, 2010

楼主:Frank Suen 日期: 回贴:0 浏览:

It is 1:30 universal time and here is the news in Special English.

Top Brazilian leaders are rejecting an appeal from the United States to support new restrictions against Iran and its nuclear program. Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim said Brazil will not be pressure to act. He spoke during a news conference with American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She had warned that Iran would not negotiate unless there were new restrictions. Ms. Clinton also met with Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. He warned against pushing Iran into a corner when there is still a chance for negotiates to work. He said he plans to speak honestly about the issue when he meets with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran on May 15th.

Italian police say they have arrested seven people and stopped the group that were sending weapons to Iran. Police say two of the men are believed to be Iranian secret service agents. Two other Iranian suspects are believed to have fled the country. The other five are Italians. An Italian anti-terrorism official said the men avoided an international arms ban against Iran by transporting the weapons through London, Romania, and the United Arab Emirates. Officials say the arrest stopped plans to illegally transport large numbers of high-tech weapons to Iran, including special bullets and German made rifles.

A spokesman for the American State Department says North Korea has asked about getting a visa for nuclear negotiator Kim Kye-gwan. The United States is considering the request. The North Korean has been invited to join an academic conference later this month. The United States is trying to persuade North Korea to return to nuclear disarmament talks. South Korea's Foreign Minister said in Seoul that the United States and North Korea could discuss the issue directly if Mr. Kim travels to United States for the meeting.

The American Defense Department says only an extreme security situation in Iraq would move the United States to slow its planed troop withdraw. A Pentagon spokesman made the comments to reporters hours after three suicide bomb attacks in Baquba, the capital of Diyala Province. At least 33 people were killed in the northern Iraqi city. The attacks come just days before Iraqis are to vote in parliamentary elections. Police say two attackers drove cars filled with explosives near government buildings and a police center. The third attacker rode in an emergency medical vehicle with the victims of the first two bombings. His bomb exploded at the city's hospital. No group has claimed responsibility.

The American Secretary of State says the United States is very pleased that Arab nations have a grade to back indirect peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians. Hillary Clinton also confirmed that America's Middle East diplomat George Mitchell will fly between both sides during negotiations. Arab League nations approved a proposal by the United States to help with indirect peace talks on Wednesday. Arab League Foreign Minister said the talks should not lead to direct negotiations unless Israel halts settlement activity in areas that Palestinians claim for a future state.

You are listening to the news in VOA Special English.

Cuban dissident Guillermo Farinas has been taken to the hospital after spending the passed week on a hunger strike. Mr. Farinas is refusing food until he dies. His hunger strike honors Orlando Zapata Tamayo who died in prison last month. The 42-year old dissident died after a hunger strike of 85 days. Mr. Farinas says he is also on strike to demand release of political prisoners who are sick. Last week Cuban President Raul Castro said he regreted Mr. Zapata's death. He blamed the death on the United States, but did not give an explanation.

A strong aftershock has frightened Chilians and sent them running for high ground. The new quake measured 5.9. It hit near Chile's second largest city Concepcion. The Pacific coast town was closest to the center of the original 8.8 earthquake. Separately, officials began a curfew and sent 14,000 troops to keep order and to help give aid to earthquake victims.

The United Nations is sending teams of eight workers to Uganda where a landslide has killed at least 85 people. Officials say the teams from several UN agencies are bringing food and other relief supplies to eastern Uganda. They will also estimate the needs of survivors. Rescuers have been digging through dirt and wreckage in an effort to find more survivors. Officials say they have recovered 85 bodies, but they said they expect the number to rise about 300 people are missing.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame says his country is safe from political in security even after bomb attacks last month. Speaking at a news conference in Kigali, Mr. Kagame said no one could shake the solid institutions his country has built since the 1994 genocide. The President was answering a question about former army chief Kayumba Nyamwasa who fled to South Africa last week. Rwanda's chief government lawyer has accused Mr. Nyamwasa and another former officer of involvement in bomb attacks last month.

An American group says women's rights have improved in most countries in the Middle East and north Africa in the past five years. Freedom House reported Wednesday that important steps have been taken to improve women's rights in the area. The report said improvements have taken place in 15 countries. But it said conditions for women worsened in Iraq, Yemen and the Palestinian territories. Freedom House praised Kuwait for giving women the same political rights as men in 2005.

Briefly here again is the major news. Top Brazilian leaders are rejecting an appeal from the United States to support new restrictions against Iran and its nuclear program. The American Defense Department says only an extreme decline in security would slow its planed withdraw from Iraq. And Cuban dissident Guillermo Farinas has been taken to the hospital after a week on a hunger strike.

And that's the news in VOA Special English coming to you from Washington.

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