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【整理】SENEWS-2004-0912-1530

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And we come now to 15: 30 Universal Time.

In the news at this hour,

1. Clashes between American forces and resistance fighters in Iraq have killed at least 23 people. A hospital official in Ramadi says at least 10 people were killed in that city. The official says 40 others were wounded. In Baghdad, Iraqi officials say at least 13 people died in the fighting, more than 50 others were wounded. Reports say resistance fighters fired rockets and shells into a protected area that houses the temporary Iraqi government and embassies. A reporter for Al Arabiya Television was among the dead there.

2. American Secretary of State Colin Powell says the United States does not believe North Korea has carried out a nuclear test. Mr. Powell says he saw the report of an explosion in North Korea`s Pyongyang province on Thursday, but he says it was not a nuclear event, the Secretary spoke on American Television. The South Korean News Agency Yonhap first reported the explosion. It said the explosion created a cloud more than 3 kilometers wide. A South Korean spokesman says officials there also do not think North Korea carried out a nuclear test. And diplomats in Japan say the explosion could have been caused by rocket fuel.

3. Indonesian police are warning of more possible attacks in Jakarta. National police chief Da'i Bachtia says Indonesia continues to face a threat from terrorists. Nine people were killed in a bomb attack on Thursday outside the Australian Embassy in Jakarta. More than 180 others were wounded. Police are blaming the Islamic group Jamma Islamia. It is also suspected of a similar bomb attack in Jakarta last year and a bombing in Bali in 2002. Indonesian investigators say they have identified a house in Jakarta where the latest bomb was built. They are studying video recordings of the attack.

4. Legislative elections have just ended in HongKong. Officials say about 40% of more than 3-million possible voters entered ballots. Unofficial results are expected within hours. Pro-democracy candidates hope to win a majority of the 30 seats decided by direct election. Business and professional groups supportive of the Chinese government choose the remaining 30 seats in HongKong`s legislature. China has barred full democratic elections in HongKong for at least another 7 years.

You are listening to the news in VOA Special English.

5. Landslides caused by a powerful ocean storm in northern Taiwan have buried a family of four. Officials say 5 days of rain loosened the land in a mountain village in the Xinzhu area, several homes were destroyed. Weather experts in Taiwan say the storm is about 60 kilometers northeast of the capital Taipei and moving toward mainland China. More than 800 centimeters of rain have fallen on Taipei since Friday.

6. Hurricane Ivan in the Caribbean has weakened. However, weather experts say the powerful ocean storm could cause more damage as it moves toward Cuba and Cayman islands. United States National Hurricane Center says storm winds are blowing about 250 kilometers an hour. But they say the Hurricane could regain strength. Hurricane Ivan has killed almost 60 people in the Caribbean Sea area, at least 14 people died in flooding in Jamaica. The storm also destroyed the homes of about half the population of Grenada.

7. Hundreds of demonstrators have burned United Nations offices in the western Afghan city of Herat. The demonstrators were protesting a decision by President Hamid Karzai to dismiss provincial governor Ismail Khan. He is one of the most powerful provincial leaders in Afghanistan. Reports say supporters of Mr. Khan set fire to the offices of the United Nations Refugee Agency and the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. No injuries or arrests were reported. However, officials say at least 3 people were hurt when American and Afghan forces try to control the crowd. Protests of the dismissal also took place on Saturday in Herat.

8. Three Indian police officers and two Islamic fighters have been killed in Indian Kashmir. Indian police say the fighters attacked a heavily guarded security camp in the city of Srinagar on Saturday night. Police say the fighters used guns and small bombs in the attack. At least 5 police officers were wounded.

9. Greece has dismissed its Airforce Chief after 17 people died in a helicopter crash on Saturday in the Aegean sea. Lieutenant General Panagiotis Papanikolaou was blamed for the slow rescue effort following the crash. Officials say poor communications caused a 2-hour delay. The cause of the crash is under investigation. Greek Orthodox clergyman Petros of Alexandria was among those killed. He was the spiritual leader for hundreds of thousands of members of the Greek Orthodox religion in Africa.

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

Clashes in Iraq have killed at least 23 people. American Secretary of State Colin Powell says the United States does not believe that North Korea has carried out a nuclear test. And Indonesian police are warning of more possible attacks in Jakarta.

And so ends the news in VOA Special English.

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