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[BBC] 【整理】 BBC 2008-02-17

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BBC News with Fiona McDonald.

The leader of the main opposition party in Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari has appealed for calm after a suicide car bombing at a supporters' rally killed 37 people. The blast happened on the last day of campaigning before Monday's general election. Chris Morris reports from Islamabad.

"This election campaign is ended as it began with act of violence casting a long shadow. A car was driven into a crowd waiting for food after an election meeting in the town of /, in a region where Islamic militancy has been on the rise. Eyewitnesses say the car blew up scattering body parts across the street. Many of the dead and wounded were supporters of the Pakistan People's Party. The election is supposed to be an important landmark in the transition to civilian democracy. But security concerns remain high. "

Thousands of ethnic Albanians have poured onto the streets of Pristina, the capital of the Serbian province of Kosovo to celebrate its imminent unilateral declaration of independence. In the Serbian capital, Belgrade, about a thousand demonstrators protest at the loss of territory that they consider their heartland. Kosovo's prime minister, Hashim Thaci, said the influence of Belgrade had ended and independence was a done deal and Kosovo must glue to the future. From Pristina, Helen Fawkes reports.

"The countdown to Kosovo's independence is on. Final preparation has been made for the celebrations. The song, the party has already started. On Sunday hundreds of thousands of ethnic Albanians are expected on the streets of the capital. Many people here are flying the Albanian flag. Kosovo's new is yet to be unveiled. There's concern this may spark sporadic violence. 16000 NATO troops are based in Kosovo and security is tight. "

The UN high commissioner for refugees, Antonion Guterres, has said it's time to start considering the possibility of organizing the voluntary return of some of the millions of Iraqis that had fled their homes because of the violence. Mr. Guterres has agreed with the Iraqi government for an assessment of condition on the ground to take place to see if it's safe for refugees to return.

"Returns can only take place voluntarily in safety and dignity. And people must see their basic problems, or there's a lot of work to be done. And we will be working together with the Iraqi government in an assessment in order to look at the future opportunities of return that we hope will be take place in a way that we will contribute to national conciliation and to the reconstruction of the country. "

A former Nazi SS member who was convicted in his absence of war crimes in Italy has started a prison sentence in southern following his extradition from Canada. The man, /, was found guilty in 2000 of killings committed while he was a camp guard in northern Italy in the last year of the Second World War.

World News from the BBC.

At the start of his tour of Africa, President Bush has urged an end to violence in Kenya. He said that the Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, would underline that message in her forthcoming visit there. When speaking in Benin, the first stop in his tour, Mr. Bush said Africa's many conflicts were not the main focus of his visit. He wanted to highlight success stories.

"There's a lot more work to be done. One of the reasons I've come on this trip is to say, look at these successes we've had. 'We', by the way, is not American successes, these are, joint successes. And look at the work that needs to be done. "

Tens of thousands of Armenians have held their rallies in the capital / in support of one of the main opposition candidates in Tuesday's presidential election. / has accused the authorities of preparing to rig the vote. President / is stepping down after serving the maximum, two terms. Observers say power is likely to transfer to his chosen successor, the prime minister, /.

A major scientific conference in the United States has heard that robots with artificial intelligence could become as clever as humans within 20 years. The inventor and author, Dr. /, told the meeting of the American Association for the advancement of science that progress in molecular computing would provide what he called the hardware for human level artificial intelligence by the 2020s. He said that already more 20 regions of the human brain had been modeled and stimulated.

A Brazilian film about police violence has won the Golden Bear, the top prize at the Berlin film festival. The film, the Elite Squad, directed by /, portrays the operations of a paramilitary police unit in Rio de Janeiro. The American filmmaker, Paul Thomas Anderson, won the Best Director for There Will Be Blood. The Best Actor Award went to the Iranian / for his performance in The Song of Sparrows as an ostrich farmer who moves to Tehran when he loses his job.
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