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WORLD NEWS - 00:30 UTC, April 29, 2006

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And we come now to zero hours thirty Universal Time. In the news in this hour:

The International Atomic Energy Agency says Iran has failed to obey a United Nations' demand to suspend its uranium enrichment program. The IAEA reported the issue to the Security Council on Friday. The report called for a new measure to increase information about Iran's enrichment program. American and the European members of the Security Council have called for immediate diplomatic action. Security Council members Russia and China opposed the action against Iran.

The United States army has charged an officer with involvement in harming prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. The army said on Friday that Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan would face 12 separated charges including cruelty and interfering with an investigation. Colonel Gordon supervised questioning at the Abu Ghraib prison in 2003; he is the highest-level officer to face charges in connection with violations at the prison.

Protesters in Nepal say they will continue demonstrations until representatives are elected to write a new constitution. Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the parliament building in Katmandu on Friday as lawmakers met for the first time in four years. Members of parliament proposed a truce with rebels and elections for a constituent assembly. The acting speaker of parliament offered the proposals for the newly named Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala. He could not attend the meeting because of health problems. Parliament met after three weeks of protests against King Gyanendra.

A Sudanese rebel group has asked the African Union to extend the time limit to consider a peace agreement. Rebel leader Wahed al-Nour says his Sudan Liberation Movement needs more time. The time limit for the agreement is April 30th. Another Darfur rebel group the Justice and Equality Movement says it is waiting for an Arabic language version of the document, but the group says it hope to reach an agreement by Sunday.

In other news, the World Food Program says lack of money will force it to reduce food aid for an estimated 3,000,000 people in Darfur, the cuts are to begin next month.

Chinese President Hu Jintao has reached an oil exploration agreement with the Kenyan government; the deal was signed on Friday in Nairobi. The deal will let China's National Offshore Oil Corporation explore for oil in 6 areas of the Indian Ocean. The area covers more than 100,000 square kilometers. The visit to Kenya marks the end of Mr. Hu's one-week trip to Africa.

Earlier this week, Nigerian officials agreed to provide China with permission to drill for oil in Nigeria in exchange for a $4,000,000,000 investment in the Nigerian government.

You are listening to the news in VOA Special English.

A new report by the State Department says al-Qaeda remains the largest terror threat facing the United States. The report says that although the main leadership of al-Qaeda is weakened others within the group continue to support terror attacks. The report said there were 14,000 deaths linked to terrorism around the world last year; it said most of those deaths were in Iraq.

President Bush says he want to result the issue on Iran's nuclear program peacefully. Mr. Bush made the comment during a meeting with Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev in Washington. Before meeting, President Aliyev said he would not take part in any military action against Iran. The two leaders discussed energy issues. Mr. Aliyev expressed thanks for American help in developing Azerbaijan's oil industry. Human rights activists have called on Mr. Bush to discuss reported human rights violations in Azerbaijan.

French president Jacques Chirac has proposed that a World Bank program pay workers for the Palestinian authority. Mr Chirac made the proposal during talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Paris. President Chirac said France will offer the proposal at the next meeting of the group known as the Middle East Peace Quartet; the group's members are the European Union, Russia, the United Nations, and the United States.

And demonstrations and boycotts are being planned for May 1st to protest proposed restrictions on foreign workers living illegally in the United States. Organizers are calling on supporters to stay home from work or to wear white on May 1st. Organizers say they expect 1,000,000 people to take part. A number of demonstrations in many parts of the country have taken place in the past month. The protests were in response to a proposed bill in congress that would punish illegal immigrants and those who employ them.

And so briefly now here again is the major news of this hour. The International Atomic Energy Agency says Iran has failed to obey a United Nations Security Council demand to suspend its uranium enrichment program. The United States army has charged an officer with involvement in harming prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. And protesters in Nepal say they will continue demonstrations until elections are held. So ends the news in VOA Special English.

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