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WORLD NEWS - 00:30 UTC, April 23, 2006

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

And we come now to zero hours thirty Universal time.

In the news at this hour, Iraqi president Jalal Talabani has named Jawad al-Maliki as prime minister and he has asked Mr. Maliki to form a government. President Tarabani made the announcement during a meeting of parliament. The meeting was held to approve nominations for government positions. The appointment ends of a four-month dispute over the position of Prime Minister Shiite Muslim chose Mr. Maliki on Friday. Mr. Talabani, a Kurd, was elected to another term as president on Saturday. Sunni Arab Mahmoud al-Mashhadani was elected speaker of parliament. In Washington American Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Iraq has reached an important point in forming its own government.

In other news the United States military said 5 American solders were killed south of Baghdad.

Delegates to the International Monetary Fund are meeting in Washington to discuss increasing the influence of developing countries. Delegates are expected to talk about oil prices, trade and the exchange value of Chinese money. During the two-day meeting, they also are expected to prepare for talks in Singapore in September.

In related news, the World Bank says it will fully cancel the debts owed by some of the poorest countries. The nations include Bolivia, Ethiopia, Nicaragua, and Rwanda.

Also on Friday, top economical officials from the world's seven major industrial nations held the meeting. The group called on china to establish a fair exchange value for its money to help deal with its large trade surplus with the United States.

Palestinian officials say the United States and other nations are pressuring banks not to send money to the Hamas-led government. Nabil Amr is an advisor to Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas. He says money promised by Middle Eastern government has not been sent to the Palestinian authority. He says the United States has warned banks not to deal with Hamas, which it says is a terrorist group. The United State, the European Union, Russia, and the United Nations say they will not deal with the new Palestinian government. They say Hamas first must denounce violence, accept past peace agreements, and recognize Israel's right to exist.

President Bush has visited California to seek support for new fuels and energy resources. On Saturday he visited the California Fuel Cell Partnership in West Sacramento. Researchers there are working on hydrogen fuel cells for cars. In his weekly radio speech on Saturday, Mr. Bush said the technology could help Americans reduce their dependence on oil. In response, senator Bill Nelson, democrat of Florida, warned of an oil crisis. Oil and gasoline prices reached record heights of over $75.00 a barrel on Friday.

You are listening to the news in VOA Special English.

The government of Guyana says the killing of the Minister of Agriculture was carefully planned. The statement was made after an emergency cabinet meeting on Saturday. The government said the killing maybe part of a plot to influence selections. Police said Satyadeo Sawh died after attackers broke into his home near Georgetown early on Saturday. They say the attackers also killed Mr. Sawh's brother and sister and injured another brother. There are conflicting reports about Mr. Sawh's security guards. Guyana's main opposition party The People's National Congress condemned the killings.

Citizens of the city of New Olean, Louisianan voted in the election for mayor on Saturday. The winner will lead the recovery effort in the city after Hurricane Katrina caused severe damage and flooding last August. Voters are choosing among more than 20 candidates, current Mayor Ray Nagin, Louisiana lieutenant Governor Mr. Mitch Landrieu, and local businessman Ron Forman are the leading candidates.

In Sri Lanka, Tamil Tiger rebels have rejected efforts to restart peace talks with the government. An official of the Scandinavian group ended attempts to meet with Tamil Tiger leaders on Saturday. The diplomat was seeking to reach an agreement to restart talks on Monday in Geneva. Last week the rebels said they would not attend the talks in Geneva. They could not agree on how to transport commanders to their northern headquarters for meetings. The rebels have demanded that they be given helicopter arrives or use their own boats to travel to the north. The government has rejected their demands.

And Italian film star Alida Valli has died in Rome at the age of 84. Many people remember Ms Valli for appearing with Gregory Peck in the Alfred Hitchcock film "The Paradine Case". She also starred in “The Third Man” with Orson Welles. Valli was born in Pula in 1921, once part of Italy; the town is now in Croatia.

And so briefly now here again is the major news of this hour. Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has named Jawad al-Maliki as Prime Minister and he has asked Mr. Maliki to form a government. Delegates to the International Monetary Fund are meeting in Washington to discuss increasing the influence of developing countries. And Palestinian officials say United States and other nations are pressing banks not to send money to the Hamas-led government. So ends the news in VOA special English.

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