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WORLD NEWS - Dec 4th, 2012

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我们勤劳的会员“Edward”于2012年12月5日发布了关于这篇文章的精华帖子,全文如下:

From Washington, here is the news in VOA Special English.

The Obama Administration has joined European nations in trying to pressure Israel to cancel a Jewish settlement expansion plan. The project calls for building thousands of homes in the occupied areas of East Jerusalem and the West Bank. The Palestinians claim the areas as part of a future independent state. An Obama Administration spokesman said Israeli leaders should exercise restraint and reconsider the plan. He said the plans could block a return to direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Earlier Monday, Britain, France, Denmark, Sweden and Spain officially protested the settlement plan to Israeli ambassadors. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected the criticism. He said there will be no change in the decision that has been made.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman reportedly has resigned. Diplomatic and opposition forces say Jihad Makdissi left his job and the country. News agency reports say some members of the government have recently criticized some of his media appearances. Also Monday, United Nations Humanitarian officials said about 25% of their aid workers could leave Syria this week. The UN will also be restricting the remaining aid workers to the capital Damascus. The UN ordered the measures because of the worsening security situation. Last week, two groups of UN aid vehicles were hit by gunfire outside Damascus. Earlier, Syria said it would not use chemical weapons against its own people. The statement followed a warning by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that Syria’s use of such weapons could lead to American action.

Russia and Turkey have failed to reach agreement about how to help end the conflict in Syria. Russian President Vladimir Putin has supported Syrian President Bashar al-Assad throughout the rebellion. Russia has blocked proposed United Nations resolutions condemning the Syrian government. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been strongly critical of the Syrian government. On Monday, the two leaders met in Istanbul to discuss Syria and other issues. Protesters carrying anti-Putin signs gathered outside the Russian diplomatic offices in Istanbul.

Egypt’s highest level judges have agreed to supervise a national vote December 15th about a proposed new constitution. President Mohamed Morsi called for the vote after mainly Islamist politicians wrote the document. On Sunday, a group of influential judges called for a boycott of the vote. The group is normally responsible for overseeing such votes. But Egypt’s Supreme Judicial Council rejected that call. It said it would appoint officials to supervise the vote. Opponents say the proposed constitution threatens civil liberties.

Democratic Republic of Congo troops have returned to the eastern city of Goma. However, rebels who occupied the city for two weeks are still close by. They are threatening to recapture the town of the government if it does not honor its promise for negotiations. The M23 rebel group agreed to withdraw from the city on Saturday. They were to move 20km away from Goma. But reports say some are within 3km. However, M23 did permit about 600 army troops to enter Goma Monday along with some government officials.

Most of Eritrea’s National Football Team has disappeared in Uganda. Reports say there are suspicions that the members want to permanently leave Eritrea. Seventeen players and a team doctor were last seen in Kampala where the team had gone to take part in a series of games. The Chief of the Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations told VOA the head of the Eritrean Delegation confirmed the eighteen are missing. Radio France International reports an unidentified player as saying the players and the doctor are in hiding.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich has accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Mikola Azarov and his government. However the president ordered the ministers to continue with their duties until the new government is formed. Ukraine’s new parliament is preparing to meet for the first time after October’s legislative elections. President Yanukovich’s Regions Party and its allies won a majority. However, Western observers criticized the election process. They said the vote was unfair because former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko is imprisoned and unable to seek office. Observers also said the vote count was not done in an open way.

The Chief of NATO says the alliance stands together with Pakistan as the nation fights terrorism. Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Monday that Pakistan has paid a high price for its efforts to defeat terrorism. He spoke in Brussels during a meeting with Pakistani Foreign Minster Hina Rabbani Khar. Earlier, a bomb explosion killed two police officers in Northwestern Pakistan. Two other officers were reported wounded. The attack happened near the city of Peshawar.

Finally, from Britain, officials at Saint James Palace have announced that Prince William and his wife Katharine are expecting a baby. The Palace Statement said the couple is very happy about the news as are their two families. The statement also said the 30-year-old Katharine is in the hospital for treatment of pregnancy sickness. Prince William and Katharine Middleton were married on April 29th of last year.

And now, briefly, here again is the major news for this hour.

The Obama Administration has joined European nations in trying to pressure Israel to cancel a Jewish settlement expansion plan. Egypt’s highest level judges have agreed to supervise a disputed national vote December 15th on a proposed constitution. And the Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman reportedly has resigned and fled the country.

That’s the news in VOA Special English coming your way from Washington.

如果你想参与该帖讨论,请访问:World News-2012年12月4日

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