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WORLD NEWS - 00:30 UTC, April 24, 2006

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

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

The Bush Administration and the United States Intelligent Services believe a new recording from al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden is real. The recording was broadcasted on the Arabic service al Jazeera. An administration spokesman said the recording shows that the al-Qaida leaders are moving quickly and are under great pressure. The speaker on the recording accuses western nations of carrying out a war against Muslims. He says evidence of that is the conflict in the Darfur area of Sudan and the decision of western nations to stop providing money to the Hamas-led Palestinian government. The speaker also calls on al-Qaida members and supporters to go to Sudan and be ready to fight proposed United Nations peacekeepers.

President Bush says he has told Iraqi political leaders they have great responsibilities to their people including one to reunite the country. Mr. Bush made the statement during a visit to the United States marine base in California. Mr. Bush said he spoke on the telephone with future Prime Minister Jawad al-Maliki, President Jalal Talabani, and new parliament speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani. Mr. Bush also said he told the leaders they have a responsibility to improve the lives of the Iraqi people, and a responsibility to defeat the militants. Earlier attacks in Iraq killed at least 10 Iraqis and 3 American soldiers.

Iran says it has no plans to suspend its nuclear activities. An Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said this would be impossible to do. He said Iran will defend its rights and is prepared to face any effects of its policy. He also said the International Atomic Energy Agency has found no evidence that Iran's nuclear program is not peaceful. The IAEA is to present a report on Iran's nuclear activities to the United Nations Security Council on Friday. The Security Council had given Iran until Friday to suspend its nuclear enrichment activities; enriched uranium can be used to make nuclear power and nuclear weapons.

Israeli security forces have killed 2 wanted Palestinians militants in the West Bank city of Bethlehem. An Israeli army spokeswoman says troops began firing near a security area while chasing a car in which the wanted men were riding. She says those in the vehicle also fired at security forces. At least one of the militants belong to the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades.

Also in the Middle East, Palestinian say at least 4 people were wounded in Gaza city in a shooting incident between Hamas-led Palestinian government forces and gunmen from the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades. The al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades is linked to the Fatah Movement of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

You are listening to the news in VOA Special English.

Pakistani officials say 4 people have been killed in a gun battle near the Afghan border. Officials in North Waziristan say the clash was at a security station near the town of Miranshah. The officials say the driver of a vehicle refused orders to stop at the station. Troops fired at the vehicle, gunmen inside the vehicle fired back. Three gunmen and one soldier were killed.

Australia has released a severe storm warning for parts of its Northern Territory. The storm is bringing heavy rain, strong winds, and flooding to northern areas. It is moving west at about 15 kilometers an hour. Experts say it should weaken over the next day before it passes over the area capital Darwin.

The yearly meeting of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank has ended in Washington DC. The bank's development committee urged the bank to find a way to battle wrong doing. The IMF agreed to improve the way it answers global economic crisis and increase the part that new market countries play in its decision-making. The World Bank proposed a new plan to urge developing nations to use clean energy, and World Bank members approve a debt-aid plan for 17 African and Latin American countries.

The socialist-led coalition has won reelection in Hungary. Nearly all the votes have been counted from the second and final parts of the election held Sunday. The socialist coalition is expected to control 210 seats in parliament. Two center-right parties will have 175 seats. Victoria's Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany says he wants a country open to everyone, and that hard work will bring riches. Opposition conservative leader Viktor Orban congratulated the winner. He blamed his loss on a lack of cooperation by conservatives.

Two American senators say they believe congress will be able to approve an immigration reform bill this year. The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Arlen Specter said on television that such reform is needed. He also said the Democrats and Republicans must agree on a list of changes. Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy also talked about the bill on television. He said approving the bill would be easier if President Bush would support the legislature. Earlier this month senators failed to agree on a bill that would have strengthen boarder security. It also would have given a chance for citizenship to at least 11,000,000 people in the country illegally. Since then tens of thousands of demonstrators have protested in cities across the country against a bill approved by the House of Representatives. It calls for building a barrier along the border with Mexico, and stronger punishment for those in the country illegally.

And now briefly here again is the major news of the hour. The Bush Administration and the United States Intelligent Services believe a new recording from al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden is real. President Bush says he has told Iraqi political leaders they have great responsibilities to their people including one to reunite the country. And Iran says it has no plans to suspend its nuclear activities.

And that's the news in VOA Special English from Washington, Jim Tedder reporting.

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