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[BBC] 【整理】 BBC 2008-02-10

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BBC News with John Jason.

The American media is predicting that Barack Obama has won two of the latest contests in the race to secure the presidential nomination for the Democratic Party. Media predictions put Mr. Obama well ahead of his rival Hillary Clinton in Washington State and in Nebraska. From Washington, James Coomarasamy reports.

The Clinton campaign has been lowering expectations all day and it seems with reason. Barack Obama has convincingly won the caucuses in / Nebraska, just over a month after his victory in neighboring Iowa, kicks off what remains a close and fascinating race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination. The Illinois Senator is also leading in one of the days other contests in Washington State where both he and Hillary Clinton have campaigned in recent days.

In the Republican race, the former Arkansas governor, Mike Huckabee, has won the vote in Kansas, beating John McCain who is over the shot of the party's nomination.

The Burmese opposition has described as vague, incomplete and strange the military government's decision to hold a referendum on a new constitution in May. The general said a multi-party election would follow in 2010, two decades after they held the last election. Here is Jonathan Head in Bangkok.

The so-called "seven-stage roadmap to democracy" proclaimed by Burma's generals has always been hard to treat seriously. They've shown no visible interest in adopting democratic habits. The first stage of this roadmap, the Constitutional Assembly, took 14 years and was entirely controlled and directed by the military. But now for the first time, the government has given a date for a referendum on the new constitution in May this year and a promised multi-party election in two years time. Just how a free vote is susposed to happen in a country with no freedom of expression or assembly hasn't been explained.

The United Nations says an upsurging fight in Western Darfur has forced at least 4,000 people to flee across the border into Chad. Rebel commanders say 200 civilians have been killed in attacks on three towns by Sudanese government planes and Arab Janjaweed militia. Meanwhile, the government of Sudan has agreed operational rules for a joint UN-African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur. Amber Henshaw reports.

After weeks of painstaking negotiations, Sudan has now agreed to give the United Nations-African Union peacekeeping operation freedom of movements around Darfur. Khartoum would also allow the mission to have unrestricted communications. These were seen as two major barriers to deploy with the full 26,000-strong force. So far, only 9,000 soldiers and police are on the ground.

At least 20 people have been killed and dozens injured in an explosion at an election rally in northwestern Pakistan. The Interior Ministry said it appeared to be a suicide bomb attack. It happened at a rally by the Awami National Party which opposes the Taliban.

World News from the BBC.

Britain has sent emergency antidote medicine to the Middle East to try to save the lives of a number of Iraqis who are critically ill after eating cakes laced with a deadly poison that was used in Saddam Hussein era to kill his opponents. It's the first known use of the poison Thallium since the former president was ousted. The poison cakes were delivered to a military club in Baghdad, two officials then took them home.

Israel has threatened to retaliate after two brothers aged 8 and 19 were seriously injured in a rocket attack launched by Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip. The rocket, which landed in the town of Sderot, was one of the several fired into southern Israel on Saturday. During the day, Israeli planes attacked Palestinian positions thought to be used as rocket launch sites, wounding two people. In another airstrike, a Palestinian militant was killed.

The union representing Hollywood scriptwriters says it has reached, what it calls, a tentative deal with a major film and television studios. The writers went on a strike three months ago over payment for materials used on the Internet which led to cancellation of several US television shows and disrupted Hollywood's awards season. The union's East Coast president Michael Winship says he is happy with the outcome of the strike.

"I believe it's a good deal. I'm going to be recommending this deal to our membership. I think that it covers a lot of what we are asking for; we are asking for jurisdiction in the new media; we are asking for a part of distributors' gross, and we have achieved those goals. No negotiation is ever perfect, but I think that we've done very well and I'm very happy with the deal."

A large fire has ripped through one of London's most popular tourist attractions, Camden Market. Shops, warehouses and a famous pub were gutted by the blaze. The London Fire Department said the fire was brought under control after three hours. The spokesman said more than 100 firefighters and 25 engines fought the blaze. There've been no reports of casualties.

BBC News.



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