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【整理】SENEWS-2004-0803-1530

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It is 15: 30 Universal Time. I'm Steve Ember in Washington.

Committees of the United States Congress have begun hearings about the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001. The committees are discussing suggestions from an independent committee that investigated the attacks. On Monday, President Bush supported creation of the new government position of national intelligence director. President Bush also supports creation of a national center to work against terrorism. American officials say a recent terror warning is based mainly on information collected by al-Qaeda before the 2001 terrorist attacks. They say much of the information about the 5 financial centers is 3 or 4 years old. The officials say they do not know if al-Qaeda agents are still watching the same buildings. Homeland Security Chief Tom Ridge is urging Americans to be watchful. Since Sunday security has been increased near the buildings in Washington DC, New York City and Newark New Jersey. Most of the information was found on a computer seized during raids in Pakistan last week.

At least 6 Iraqi national guardsmen were killed Tuesday when a bomb exploded near the Iraqi city of Baquba. 6 others were wounded in the explosion. Earlier, a bomb explosion in Baghdad killed a local police chief and wounded 2 other officers. Also the United States military says resistance fighters bombed an oil pipeline in northeastern Iraq. Military officials say that attack has delayed efforts to export Iraqi oil through Turkey.

Turkish Media are attempting to identify the killers of a Turkish hostage in Iraq. A video recording released Monday showed the hostage truck driver Murat Yuce asking Turkish companies to leave Iraq. He was then shot and killed by his kidnappers. Some of them were heard speaking in Turkish. A group led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi of Jordan claimed responsibility for kidnapping Mr. Yuce. Turkish media say some of the kidnappers may be linked to militants responsible for bomb attacks against British and Jewish targets in Istanbul last year. Those bombings killed more than 50 people.

Another Jordanian man has been kidnapped in Iraq. The family of businessman [] says he was kidnapped on Sunday. One newspaper in Jordan says the kidnappers are asking for 250, 000 dollars for his release. 4 Jordanian drivers were kidnapped in Iraq last Tuesday. 2 others were seized the day before that.

A committee of Muslims and Christians has condemned attacks on religious centers in Iraq. The committee said the attacks violate the name of god and true religion. On Monday, Pope John Paul also said the bombings are aggression against religious community that has been working for peace. On Sunday, there were 5 explosions near Christian centers in Iraq. At least 11 people were killed.

Bangladesh says it will need food aid for 20 million people over the next 5 months because floods have destroyed food crops. Disease also is spreading because of the floods. Disaster Minister Chowdhury Kamal Ibne Yusuf says floods now cover 60 percent of Bangladesh. The floods also have affected the nation's cloth industry. Bangladesh earns 4, 000 million dollars a year by producing cloth. Cloth production is responsible for nearly 80 percent of the country's export earnings.

You are listening to the news in VOA Special English.

Officials in Sudan say they will send in 1, 000 extra police to the Darfur area. They say 5, 000 Sudanese troops are already in Darfur. The Minister of Information in Sudan reportedly says the government will send 12, 000 troops to Darfur if they are needed. Sudanese Arab fighters are accused of killing many civilians in Darfur. The United Nations Security Council has told Sudan to disarm the fighters within 30 days or face economic or diplomatic actions.

American officials say Afghan and United States forces may have killed as many as 50 militants in eastern Afghanistan. At least 1 Afghan soldier also was killed during a battle in Khost province. The fighting began early Monday when militants attacked a border station between Khost and Pakistan. Officials say al-Qaeda fighters are operating training camps in the area.

Officials from India and Pakistan have begun two days of talks in New Delhi. They are discussing travel and joint cultural activities. The officials may decide to ease restrictions on travel permits required to visit each country. The Indian and Pakistani Foreign Ministers are meeting in New Delhi next month.

Indonesia says it will increase security before the final voting in the country's presidential election. National Police Chief General Dai Bachtiar says police and troops will guard election officers and voting centers. Last month, a small explosion delayed vote counting at one building in Jakarta. The final vote is set for September 20th. Indonesian voters will choose between President Megawati Sukarnoputri and her former Security Minister Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

The Prime Minister of Burma has criticized economic restrictions and political pressure on the Burmese military government. General Khin Nyunt says such measures only widen the difference between rich and poor people in Burma. He also says they lead to human rights violations. General Nyunt says the Burmese military government is serious about its goal to establish democratic rule. Last month, President Bush said the trade restrictions will continue against Burma until there is clear progress toward democracy and improved human rights.

And Prime Minister of Cambodia says he dose not want Cambodians used in any tests for new drugs to fight the disease AIDS. Prime Minister Hun Sen says testing should be done on animals not Cambodians.

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

American lawmakers are discussing proposals made by the committee that investigated the 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States. A Jordanian businessman has been kidnapped in Iraq. And Bangladesh says it will need 20 million dollars in food aid over the next 5 months because of flooding.

That's the news in VOA Special English. From Washington, this has been Steve Ember reporting.
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