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WORLD NEWS - 00:30 UTC , December 19th, 2010

楼主:joyowang 日期: 回贴:0 浏览:

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It is zero hour thirty Universal Time. I’m Christopher Cruise with the News in VOA Special English reporting live from the VOA headquarters in Washington.

The United States Senate has approved the bill to allow homosexual soldiers to serve openly in the American military. Senators rarely meet on Saturday but they voted to change the current policy called “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”. 75 Senators voted to change the policy, 31 voted to keep it in place. The House of Representatives approve the change earlier this week. President Obama is expected to sign the law. In the statement before the Senate vote, he said the nation will no longer be denied the service of thousands of Americans who love their country. About 14,000 members of the military have been dismissed since 1993 under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Earlier Saturday, the Senate failed to approve the bill that would have affected children of illegal immigrants. The measure would give them the legal right to live in America and later citizenship if they obeyed several requirements.

President Obama is pressing the Senate to approve a nuclear arms reduction agreement with Russia before Senators leave for the holiday. In his weekly speech Saturday Mr. Obama said approving the treaty is very important to the country security. He said without an agreement the United States would not have the right to inspect Russia’s nuclear weapons supply. In a letter to the Senate leader Mr. Obama said that so longer as he is president, the United States will continue to develop and put into operation effective missile defenses. An attempt by opponents of the treaty Saturday to require changes in the agreement failed by a vote of 59 to 37. But 67 votes are needed for approval of the treaty.

The government of Ivory Coast’s current president is demanding the United Nations and French peace keepers leave the country. The supporters of Laurent Gbagbo accused the peace keepers of helping presidential opposition candidate Alassane Ouattara. A spokeswoman for Mr. Gbagbo says Saturday that the UN peace keepers have violated their orders. She said Mr. Gbagbo’s government opposes new orders for the peace keepers to remain in Ivory Coast. A peace keeping operation spokesman at the UN said Mr. Gbagbo’s demands will not be met. The spokesman says that is because Mr. Gbagbo is not the internationally recognized president of Ivory Coast. The spoksman said only the UN Security Council can decide to end the peace keeping operation. Several hundred UN peace keepers are protecting the hotel where Mr. Ouattara has his headquarters.

An Israeli air strike has killed 5 Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip. Israeli military officials said Saturday that the 5 dead as they were preparing to launch a rocket attack on southern Israeli towns. The militant group Hamas controls the Gaza Strip. Israel often attacks rocket launchers in Gaza.         

You are listening to the news in VOA Special English.

At least 35 people are dead after their boat crashed into another boat on a river in Bangladesh. Many of the victims were people who were traveling to look for days work. The boat sank in the Surma River in northeastern Bangladesh late Saturday after it crashed into a boat carrying cargo. About 50 people were on the boat. 35 bodies have been found so far. The place where the crash happened is far from populated areas. Bangladesh has more than 200 rivers. Boat accidents are common there because of poor safety requirements. 

A Mexican State Security official says he believes prison guards helped 141 detainees escape from a prison near the United States border. State Security Chief Antonio Garza told reporters the prisoners walked out of the prison in Nuevo Laredo late Thursday. Mr. Garza said the prison break had gone unnoticed until a count of prisoners late Thursday. Garza believed to have helped in the escape. The head of prison is among those missing. The states director of prisons was suspended following the escape. Mexico’s Interior Ministry has blamed the escape on the state lack of good security. State officials complained that they need federal help. Drug related violence in Mexico has left more than 30,000 people dead. Since President Felipe Calderon took office in late 2006 and began moving against crime groups.

And heavy snow and cold closed airports, train stations and roads Saturday in Europe. Thousands of people traveling for the Christmas Holiday were unable to fly or drive. Airports in Britain, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Italy and other countries canceled or delayed hundreds of flights. Flights to and from Frankfurt airport in Germany were canceled. Police were called when passengers became angry about the situation. Roads and railways were closed in the Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England.         

Now, briefly, here again is the major news of the hour in VOA Special English.

The United States Senate has approved the bill to allow homosexual soldiers to serve openly in the American military. The House of Representatives approve the change earlier this week. President Obama is expected to sign the law. The government of Ivory Coast’s current president is demanding the United Nations and French peace keepers leave the country. And an Israeli air strike has killed 5 Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.

And that’s the news in VOA Special English. I’m Christopher Cruise reporting from Washington.

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