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WORLD NEWS - 00:30 UTC, April 21, 2006

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Special thanks to Spag Bolo for sharing his script of dication.

It is zero hours thirty Universal Time. I am Jim Tedder in Washington.

United Nations human rights experts have condemned what they called the deadly use of force by the government in Nepal. The UN statement said that Nepal security forces had beaten people and fired guns into crowds. The UN statement also urged demonstrators to act peacefully. Also Thursday security forces in Nepal shot and killed at least 3 protesters. The three were demonstrating against King Gyanendra's seizure of complete power last year. The VOA reporter in Nepal says troops fired on a large crowd of protesters just west of Katmandu; at least 37 other people were wounded.

Iraqi lawmakers delayed a parliamentary meeting planned for Thursday. The delay came after Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Ja'afari agreed to let a coalition of Shiite groups decide if he should resign. The meeting was delayed until Saturday. Officials from the Shiite coalition say they are prepared to discuss a plan to let Mr. Al-Ja'afari serve as Prime Minister in the next government. Acting parliament speaker Adnan Pachachi says he believes Iraqi lawmakers will be able to agree on a new government Saturday. The dispute over Mr. Al-Ja'afari's leadership has blocked repeated efforts to form the government. Kurdish and Sunni Arab Groups say he has not done enough to end violence.

The head of the Hamas-led Palestinian Interior Ministry has named a man wanted by Israel to head a new office. Interior Minister Said Siyam announced the appointment of Jamal Abu Samhadana as Director General of the Interior Ministry. Mr. Samhadana is the commander of the popular resistance committees. His group has claimed responsibility for many of the rockets fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip in recent weeks. Reports say he has been the target of several Israeli attempts against his life.

Lawyers for the United States government admit they have no evidences to support a claim by Zacarias Moussaoui. The admitted terror plotter had said that he and Richard Reid were to take part in the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. Moussaoui made the shocking claim in court last month. Lawyers defending Moussaoui say he is mentally sick. They say he should not be punished by death. His lawyers say he may want to be executed so that he can be a hero in death. Several family members of those killed in the attacks said Moussaoui should not be punished by death. Government lawyers have asked the jury to vote for the death sentence.

In Bangladesh, riot police fired tear gas and used sticks against opposition activists during a general strike Thursday. Reports say at least 30 people were hurt. The opposition Awami League and coalition of thirteen other parties ordered the general strike. The protest halted normal activities in the capital Dhaka.

You are listening to the news in VOA Special English.

In Afghanistan, the lower house of parliament has approved most of President Hamid Karzai's nominees for a new cabinet. Afghan lawmakers voted in secret Thursday. The first ministers to be approved were Foreign Minister Rangeen Dadfar Spanta and Defense Minister general Abdul Rahim Wardak. Five of those nominated were rejected.

Also Thursday, a man exploded his car in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar. The bomber killed himself and wounded 4 employees of a private American security business. A man who said he represents the Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombing.

Officials in Nigeria say a bomb attack on an army-housing center has killed 2 people in the southern town of Port Harcourt. Officials say the victims were civilians. The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta said the attack was meant to show that the militants could explode a bomb from a distance. The statement came in an electronic letter to reporters. Groups fighting for control of Nigerian oil wells have cut oil production by 25% since late last year.

The African Development Bank has approved more than 8,000 million dollars in debt aid for 33 poor African countries. The plan is aimed at helping governments improve living conditions. Officials say the debts of 13 countries will be dismissed immediately; the debts of the remaining countries will be dismissed if they meet the bank's goals of good economic operations.

President Bush and Chinese President Hu Jintao have agreed to work together more closely, but the two failed to resolved differences on trade, human rights, and the Iranian nuclear program. After talks at the White House Thursday Mr. Bush said he had urged Mr. Hu to let Chinese money increase in value.

Unites States immigration officials have arrested more than 1,000 illegal foreign workers and at least 7 supervisors from the company called IFCO Systems. The arrests came during raids at 40 factories in 26 states. The Secretary of Homeland Security said the arrests are part of efforts to control illegal immigrants and their employers. Michael Chertoff said the government would continue to raid businesses that use illegal workers to make a profit.

And now briefly here again is the major news of this hour read in VOA Special English. United Nations human rights experts have condemned what they called the deadly use of force by the government in Nepal. Iraqi lawmakers have delayed meeting while a coalition of Shiite groups decides if Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Ja'afari should resign. The head of the Hamas-led Palestinian Interior Ministry has named a man wanted by Israel to head a new office. And in Bangladesh, riot police fired tear gas and used sticks against opposition activists during a general strike Thursday.

That's the news in Special English from Washington. Jim Tedder reporting.

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