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WORLD NEWS - Dec 13th, 2012

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我们勤劳的会员“Edward”于2012年12月15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 United States says it wants consequences for North Korea’s rocket-launch and that it will seek international action in the coming days. On Wednesday, the United Nations Security Council condemned the launch. Members called it a clear violation of UN resolutions that ban North Korea from carrying out missile or nuclear-related tests. United States ambassador to the UN Susan Rice said the statement out of the council was one of the quickest and strongest that the 15-member body has issued. She said the United States will be working with the international community toward action on North Korea. Ms. Rice also said North Korea’s actions more than call into question its commitment to return to six-nation talks on its nuclear program. North Korea says it has launched a rocket which put a weather satellite into earth’s orbit. The launch represents a major step forward in North Korean efforts to develop a long-distance missile able of carrying a nuclear weapon.

A group of more than 100 nations has recognized a new Syrian opposition coalition as the representative of the Syrian people. Delegates at the Friends of Syria Meeting in Morocco Wednesday approved the newly-reorganized opposition Syrian National Coalition. Those nations are also calling for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to resign. The meeting Wednesday was aimed at agreeing on a method of political change if President al-Assad’s government falls. Delegates also discussed how the conflict is affecting area security as well as efforts to provide humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees.

Egyptian citizens living oversea have started voting on the country’s new constitution. The document was written mostly by Islamists and has been denounced by liberals and those who do not want a religious state. Voting inside Egypt began Saturday. The opposition has been trying to force a delay. Many Egyptians fear the constitution will limit civil rights because it increases the power of Islamic law and does not include women’s rights. Islamic lawmakers approved the document last month after liberal and Christian members walked out complaining they were being ignored. The Egyptian army says unity talks between Islamist-backed President Mohamed Morsi and the opposition have been postponed. The talks were to have been held on Wednesday.

The United States military judge in charge of the future trial of five September 11th terror suspects has ordered that some information must remain secret. Judge James Poll ruled Wednesday that releasing information about their capture, imprisonment and suspected torture could endanger national security. Five suspects including suspected 911 plotter Khalid Sheikh Mohamed are set to go on trial next year at the United States Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. American intelligence officials have admitted flying terror suspects to secret prisons and using a form of torture that is like drowning.

You are listening to the news in VOA Special English.

United States Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is in Kabul on a surprise visit to Afghanistan. The Defense Secretary is to discuss the United States presence in Afghanistan after international troops complete their withdrawal in 2014. American, Afghan and Pakistani officials have recently held talks on local area security and agreed to cooperate on defense priorities as the troops prepare to leave.

A Pakistani investigative journalism group says less than 33% of the country’s lawmakers declared income and paid taxes last year. The center for investigative reporting in Pakistan said most of the country’s lawmakers failed to file tax returns in 2011. The reporters’ group also says about 66% of cabinet members did not file tax statements. The report was released on Wednesday. It examined income other than government pay. The study found that politicians who did pay taxes often paid very small amounts.

There is growing international criticism of the events around the sudden resignation of Malian Prime Minister Cheick Modibo Diarra. Mr. Diarra resigned on Tuesday after he was arrested by soldiers who supported the ouster of Mali’s government in March. On Wednesday, the African Union condemned the events that led to his resignation. The Economic Community of West African States condemned the military’s part in the resignation. An ECOWAS official called on the international community to work with his group to make sure that the military stays within the confines of their mandate.

The International Criminal Court in The Hague has ruled that it has the legal right to try former Ivory Coast President Lauren Gbagbo on charges of crimes against humanity. The court Wednesday dismissed an appeal by the former president. He was arrested in 2011 and is being held at The Hague. Mr. Gbagbo faces four counts of crimes against humanity.

The United States Central Bank says it is beginning a new plan to buy government securities. This is its latest effort to keep borrowing rates low and to help the American economy. Federal Reserve policy-makers in Washington agreed Wednesday to buy $45billion worth of government bonds each month beginning in January. This is in addition to the $40billion of real estate-related securities the Central Bank already buys monthly. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said this action should put downward pressure on long-term interest rates, help business growth and expand the labor market.

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

The United States says it wants consequences for North Korea’s rocket-launch announced on Wednesday & that it will seek international action in the coming days. More than 100 nations have recognized a new Syrian opposition coalition as the rightful representative of the Syrian people. And Egyptian citizens living overseas have started voting on the country’s new constitution.

And that’s the news read in VOA Special English and coming to you from Washington.

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