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WORLD NEWS - December 24th, 2012


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Egypt's opposition coalition says it will continue to oppose an Islamist-supported constitution. A majority of voters apparently have approved to the measure. The two-part election was completed Saturday. Members of the Opposition National Salvation Front say they will ask electoral officials to investigate possible wrong doing in the voting. Ten provinces voted in the first balloting on the December 15th. The remaining seventeen provinces voted Saturday. The ruling Muslim Brotherhood says an official results show 64 percent of voters supported the proposed constitution. It's said 32 percent of all register voters took part in the election. The opposition argues that percentage of voters is too small to approve the measure.

The international diplomat for Syria's civil war arrived in Beirut on Sunday. Officials say Lakhdar Brahimi plans to meet this week with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad in Damascus. Mr.Brahimi was appointed be United Nations and Arab League representative to Syria in September. Since then he has apparently made little progress toward negotiating a settlement to conflict between president al-Assad’s forces and Syrian rebels.

Indian police uses tear gas and water guns Sunday to try to control demonstrators in the capital New Delhi. The demonstrators were demanding action against six men accused raping and beating a young woman. It was the second such day of protects in New Delhi where more than 600 cases of rape have been reported this year, one of the highest rape place in India. Many protesters were demanding the death sentence for the men who are suspected of attacking the woman and her male friend last Sunday. The woman remains hospitalize with serious injuries.

South Korean military officials say wreckage from a rocket fired by north Korea this month shows the North has improved its ballistic missile technology. The official said North Korea has developed a rocket that can travel more than ten thousand kilometers, while carrying a weapon weighing five hundred to six hundred kilograms. And they said that such a missile could reach the west coast of the United States. But South Korea official said it is not likely that North Korean is able to make a nuclear bomb small enough to put on a missile. South Korea has permitted question group to light a huge still Christmas tree near the country's border with North Korea. The tree is covered with lights. It will be taken down in early January. North Korea usually considers Christmas trees to be a form of propaganda, but it not yet reacted to the lighting of the tree.

You are listening to the news in VOA Special English from Washington.

Officials in central Somalia say they have rescued 22 crew members who had been held hostages on their ship for almost three years. The government of Somalia's Puntland area says the hostages were free Sunday after a 13-day-long attack on the ship which was near the village of Garaad. Somalia pirates sees the ship near Yemen in March, 2010. The ship has been sailing to the United Arab Emirates. The Puntland government says the former hostages show signs of physical torture and sickness. It says they are now getting food and medical care. The crew includes people from Yemen, India, Gana, Sudan, Pakistan and the Philippines.

Rebels in the Central African Republic have captured another town after a battle with government forces. The Rebel Alliance known as Seleka seized the town Bambari on Sunday. Witnesses say government forces withdrew after two hours of gunfire. About 40 thousand people live in Bambari is in the Central part of country. The rebels now seized at least 8 towns, since launching an offensive earlier this month. And they are threatening to ousted president François Bozizé.

Islamist militants are tearing down more ancient Mausoleums in the Malian city of Timbuctu. Witnesses and travel officials say rebels from the Ansar Dine Group began destroying the burial places on Sunday using pick-axes. In July, militants destroyed several Mausoleums in Timbuctu after the United Nations Cultural Agency added the city to its list of places that are in danger. The agency also listed the city as a World Heritage area because of its ancient religious centers some of which date back to the 15th century. Many Muslims treat the sites with respect, but Ansar Dine considers them unholy.

Part of the separatist Group in Ethiopia says it is seeking peace talks with the government. The spokesman for the Ogaden National Liberation Front said its members were in Addis Ababa in hopes of beginning talks with the government. The Ogaden National Liberation Front has fought for independence of mainly ethnic Somalia province of Ogaden since 1980th. Political obsevers said the offer of peace talks could help bring calm to the area which is said to be rich in oil and natural gas. So far, there has been no comments from Ethiopia officials.

And finally this hour Italy's temporary Prime Minister Mario Monti says he would consider an offer to gover the country again. But he says he will not see collection in voting set for February. Mr. Monti says if political party support him and ask him to be prime minister, he would consider it. He rejected call from some groups to be a candidate. Mr Monti announced a resignation on Friday after former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, people of freedom party withdrew its support from the coalition government. Mario Monti will lead a temporary government until the February elections.

Now briefly here again is major news of the hour read to you in VOA Special English.

Egypt's opposition says it will oppose an Islamist-supported constitution, even though voters had apparently approved it. The opposition accuses the government’s vote plot.

The UN diplomat try to end serious civil war will try to meet with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad this week in Damascus. And in late news, Syrian rights activists said government war planes hit a bakery in the central town of Halfaya on Sunday killing and wounding many people.

I'm Christopher Cruise in VOA news Washington.

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