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WORLD NEWS - April 19th, 2012

Thursday, April 19, 2012 -- Views:

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  1. It is 23 hours 30 universal time and here is the news in special English.
  2. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the situation in Syria has reached a critical turning point. Sec. Clinton spoke about the cease-fire agreement negotiated by former United Nations Sec. Gen. Kofi Annan. She said that either the plan will bring peace to Syria or the Syrian government will waste its last chance before other measures to stop the violence are considered. Sec. Clinton said she is concerned that government forces are once again firing on Homs and *. Wednesday a bombing in * killed six security officers. The state operated SANA news agency blamed armed terrorist group for the attack. It also said gunmen killed a police officer in the city of Dara. Activists say gunshots were fired in an area near Damascus during a visit by international observers.
  3. The head of the NATO says coalition members have begun discussing their involvement in Afghanistan after 2014 that is when international combat troops are to leave the country. NATO Secretary-General Rasmussen spoke in Belgium Wednesday. After a meeting of NATO foreign and defenseman he said a number of NATO members promised the nations support for Afghan security forces.
  4. American Secretary of State Clinton said the United States will work with Afghanistan to make sure it has the money to pay for local forces. She and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta attended the meeting. Sec. Panetta says an investigation is taking place in two pictures published by the Los Angeles Times newspaper. The pictures show United States soldiers in Afghanistan with the remains of suicide bombers. Mr. Panetta is now in Brussels for a rare joint NATO foreign and defense ministers meeting he denounced the pictures and said the individuals responsible will be held accountable for them. He also said he was disappointed that the newspaper did not honor an official request not to publish the pictures. American officials say their publication will damage relations with the Afghan.
  5. The United States says the United Nations stands ready to take steps against North Korea, if it continues efforts to launch missiles or carry out nuclear tests. The American ambassador to the UN Susan Rice spoke to reporters. She said the UN's recent statement condemning North Korea's sail missile launch shows that further acts will not be accepted her comments followed an announcement by the international atomic energy agency. The UN's nuclear agency said it is not likely to send a team to North Korea. Earlier the North Korean government sent it will no longer honor an agreement with the United States. The agreement barred tests of missiles and nuclear devices.
  6. You are listening to the news in VOA special English.
  7. The American State Department has confirmed a report claiming that a former police chief of Chong Qing visited the United States consulate in China earlier this year. The police chief had ties to Chinese politician Bo Xilai who has lost his position in the Chinese Communist party. The New York Times reported that Wang Lijun visited the United States consulate in Chengdu in February. A State Department spokesman confirmed the report Wednesday, but the spokesman did not say if Mr. Wang discussed political asylum with American officials. The report says Mr. Wang was held under the protection of the consulate. So he could be handed over to officials from Beijing rather than local police. The State Department says United States officials have not been in contact with him since then.
  8. Pakistan's army chief Gen. Ashlock parfaits carry on he has called for Pakistani and Indian troops to withdraw from the disputed Siachen area. Thousands of Pakistani and Indian troops have been deployed there for many years. General Kalyani spoke 11 days after a huge snow slide destroyed a military base in the Kashmiri area about 140 Pakistani soldiers and civilians were buried. General Kalyani said his country is seeking resolution of all disputes within the including Siachen. But he said Pakistan will not withdraw from the area unless India also withdraws.
  9. The international monetary fund says the world's financial security has improved in recent months but not enough to support long-term economic growth. IMF official * spoke Wednesday in Washington. He said the latest financial rescue plans for Europe had eased international concerns and help financial markets. But he said it is too soon to say if the financial crisis has ended. Mr. Bengals said European banks are still weak and could be affected by new financial pressures. He also said the United States and Japan both need to cut deficit spending by their government.
  10. The music you're hearing is from the show American Bandstand Dick Clark the man who developed the show and helped popularize rock roll music had died. His publicist said Clark suffered a heart attack Wednesday and died at a health center in Santa Monica California. Performers from Buddy Holly to Madonna appeared on American Bandstand which was broadcast for 30 years. Clark was also known for Dick Clark's New Year's walking he broadcast from Times Square in New York City and watched nationwide. Clark suffered a stroke in 2004 that affected his ability to speak and walk, but he continued to work. Dick Clark was 82 years old.
  11. Now briefly the top news once again, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the situation in Syria has reached a critical turning point. The head of NATO says coalition members have begun discussing their involvement in Afghanistan after 2014. And the United States says the UN is ready to take steps against North Korea, if it continues efforts to launch missiles or carry out nuclear tests. That's the news in VOA Special English.

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