Slow and Steady Wins the Race!
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WORLD NEWS - April 18th, 2011



It is zero hour thirty Universal Time and here is the news in Special English.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has a wide-lead in the presidential election held Saturday. Nigeria’s independent election commission says Mr. Jonathan is winning in 21 of the 29 states in which votes have been counted. His main opponent Muhammadu Buhari is doing well in northern areas. He has competed and lost for president 2 times before. Violence was reported Saturday night in northern Nigeria. 8 people were wounded when a bomb exploded at a hotel in the state of Kaduna. Until then observers had reported voting as mostly calm. They also reported few cases of cheating.

In Syria, gunmen have killed at least 3 people during a funeral for an anti-government protesters. The shooting attack happens near the central town of Homs. Witnesses say Syrian security forces were the shooters. Thousands of people demonstrated across Syria Sunday calling for greater freedom. Activists used social media websites to organize the protests on Syria’s Independence Day. On Saturday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad promised to end emergency laws within weeks. They have been in place for many years. The measures give security forces wide powers to carry out arrests and detentions.

Yemeni security forces have fired on anti-government demonstrators in the capital Sana’a. At least 30 people were wounded. Doctors say the security forces used metal not rubber bullets in the action. At least 200 other people were injured by tear gas. Hundreds of thousands of people protested in other Yemeni cities. The demonstrators demanded the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh and denounced his comments against women joining protests. He said the public mixing of the sexes was against Islamic law. Also, representatives from Yemen’s government and opposition met with Gulf Arab negotiators in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Sunday. The talks were designed to set conditions for entering official peace talks.

Forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi fired rockets at rebel positions near Ajdabiya and Misrata Sunday. Reuters News agency reports at least 6 civilians killed in or near the western city Misrata. It is unclear if anyone was killed or injured in the attack around Ajdabiya. On Saturday, fighting in west of that city killed 7 people. 27 others were wounded.

In London, British Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that Britain will not send any occupying ground forces into Libya.

Security forces and protesters clashed in the northern Iraqi area of Kurdistan Sunday. At least 35 people were wounded. The demonstrators were protesting government corruption and a lack of basic public services. The activist reportedly began to throw stones. Hospital sources in the city of Solomonia say police used guns and tear gas on the demonstrators. 7 protesters were shot in the fighting. 2 local reporters and 7 police officers were among the wounded. Similar demonstrations have been taking place for months in the partly independent Kurdish area of Iraq. Protesters are demanding economic and political reform.

Pakistani officials say police have found the bodies of 8 young men in a dry well in the northwestern town of Attock. The local police chief says the men were probably killed about 4 days ago. Police are trying to identify the victims. On Saturday, at least 9 people were killed in a series of shootings and kidnappings in the southern Pakistani port city of Karachi. The dead included several political workers. Pakistan says several suspects have been arrested.

Chinese police have arrested at least 30 members of a Christian church in Beijing. The United States-based Christian rights group China Aid reported about the incident involving the Shouwang House Church. It says police seized members of the church as they tried to hold a public service in Beijing. China Aid says 2 of the church leaders were arrested Saturday night and released Sunday morning. Police have restricted other church leaders to their homes. The Shouwang House Church is not registered with the Chinese government. China permits Christians to attend state-approved churches only.

The chief of the damaged nuclear power center leaking radiation in Japan says the company hopes to bring the crisis under control within 9 months. Tokyo electric power company chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata spoke to reporters Sunday. He said the company plans to bring the damaged reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power center to a condition known as cold shutdown. The last step in the plan would be to cover the reactors to block radiation. He said people who live in the area could then return to their homes. Mr. Katsumata also offered another apology for the ongoing nuclear disaster.

Officials in Indonesia say at least 9 people have been killed in a landslide in East Java province. At least 7 others are injured. The land slid down a hill in the Malang area. The French News Agency reports the area police chief saying several days of heavy rain loosened the land.

3 days of violent storms in the United States have left at least 44 people dead. More than 100 windstorms blew through Oklahoma in the central part of the country and deep into southern states. Hometowns were destroyed in some places. North Carolina had as many as 60 tornadoes. Hundreds of homes were destroyed or severely damaged. About 80 thousand homes lost electric power.

And now, here again is the major news.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has a wide-lead in the presidential election held Saturday. Yemeni security forces have fired on anti-government demonstrators in the capital Sana’a. And In Syria, gunmen have killed at least 3 people during a funeral for an anti-government protester.

And that’s the news in VOA Special English.

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