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WORLD NEWS - Aug 19th, 2011

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我们勤劳的会员“Frank Suen”于2011年8月19日发布了关于这篇文章的精华帖子,全文如下:

文章来源:http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2011/08/19/0030/

It is 00:30 universal time. Here is the news in Special English.

The United States and other world powers are calling for the resignation of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. President Obama said Thursday that the time has come for Mr. Assad to "step aside." He released an order announcing new restrictions on Syria in an effort to cut off Mr. Assad's government from the world economy. European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton also called on the Syrian leader to resign. She said Mr. Assad has lost respect as a leader among Syrians. Britain, France, and Germany also urged Mr. Assad to resign.

Libyan rebels say they have seized an oil processing center in Zawiya, 50 kilometers west of Tripoli. They also said Thursday that they captured Sabratha, a coastal town west of Zawiya. People in Zawiya say opposition forces control most of the town. However, the government denies the claims. Separately, the Libyan government has called for a ceasefire. Prime Minister Baghdadi Mahmudi told reporters in Tripoli that an end to NATO airstrikes on the Libyan people was the first step in ending the crisis.

Israel launched an airstrike in the southern Gaza Strip Thursday, after the government blamed Gaza militants for a series of deadly attacks in southern Israel. Israeli military officials say six people were killed, including a chief of the Popular Resistance Committee. Earlier Thursday, at least seven people have been killed in a series of planned attacks in southern Israel. Israeli officials say the attacks on buses and vehicles took place near the border with Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. They say at least 40 people were wounded in the attacks.

Turkish warplanes have attacked separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party positions in northern Iraq for a second night. The party is known as the PKK. The attacks again targeted areas in Iraq's Kandil area, near the border with Iran. PKK forces attack Turkey from the area. Turkey launched the air attacks after PKK rebels attacked a group of Turkish military vehicles, killing at least eight Turkish soldiers near the border with Iraq.

You're listening to the news in VOA Special English.

Pakistani officials say at least 39 people have died in two days of political and criminal violence in the southern port city of Karachi. Police chief Saud Mirza said 17 people were killed Wednesday and 22 others on Thursday. One of the victims was a former lawmaker from the ruling Pakistan People's Party. Officials say some of the victims showed signs of torture. Officials are blaming criminal groups for starting the most recent clashes on Wednesday, which began in the Lyari area of Karachi. That area is mainly controlled by the Pakistan People's Party. It is an area where criminal groups are known to operate. Rights groups say more than 800 people have been killed in Karachi this year. More than 200 were killed in July. Karachi is the main economic center of Pakistan. Eighteen million people live there.

Officials in Ivory Coast say they have charged former president Laurent Gbagbo and his wife with crimes, including robbing and stealing public funds. The two had been under house arrest since April 11. Ivory Coast's political crisis began late last year when Mr. Gbagbo refused to leave office, although he lost an election to the current President Alassane Ouattara. At least 3,000 people were killed in the violence. Earlier this month, Ivorian officials charged 12 supporters of Mr. Gbagbo, including his son, for their parts in the violence. President Ouattara has asked the International Criminal Court to try the most serious crimes committed during the political crisis.

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev says Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is weakening democracy in Russia. Mr. Gorbachev spoke to the British Broadcasting Corporation Thursday. Twenty years ago, Mr. Gorbachev's political opponents failed to oust him, bringing about events that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union. Mr. Gorbachev said Mr. Putin has not helped Russia move forward, and has damaged the country's system of elections. Mr. Putin caused governors to be appointed rather than elected. He also barred independent candidates from taking part in elections. Mr. Gorbachev says there has been some progress under Mr. Putin, but he said Russia now needs direct elections and new leadership.

The United States says it will provide North Korea with up to $900,000 in emergency aid. The State Department said Thursday it will send aid supplies to North Korea's Kangwon and North and South Hwanghae provinces. It said the aid shows the United States' "concern for the well-being of the North Korean people." The State Department says the assistance will be sent through private American groups. Earlier this month North Korea's state media said recent floods in the country killed 30 people and left thousands homeless.

A new economic report predicts modest economic growth for the United States. A private research group, the Conference Board, says its measurement of future economic growth rose more in July than in June. But other reports showed a weak economy. The  National Association of Realtors says home sales fell 3.5 percent in July. A separate government report showed fuel, food, and clothing costs rose in July at the highest rate in the past four months. Those costs had declined during June. Another report showed the number of Americans signing up for unemployment payments rose by 9,000 last week.

Briefly, here again is the major news of the hour. The United States and other world powers are calling for the resignation of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Libyan rebels say they have seized an oil processing center in Zawiya, 50 kilometers west of Tripoli. And Pakistani officials say at least 39 people have died in two days of political and criminal violence in the southern port city of Karachi.

And that's the news in VOA Special English, coming to you from Washington.

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