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[BBC] 【整理】 BBC 2008-02-20

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All after this news. BBC news with Leon Newence.

The United States says it sees no prospect of its economic embargo in Cuba being lifted soon in spite of the sudden announcement that Fidel Castro is about to stand down. The Cuban leader said he wouldn't accept another term as president after almost half a century in power. This report is from Paul Kenyon.

Western reaction to Fidel Castro's announcement, led by President Bush, has been a chorus of calls for Cuba to begin the transition towards democracy and open elections. Cuba's old cold war partner Russia praised Mr. Castro as a brave leader while China, a more recent economic ally, referred to him as an old friend. In Cuba itself, there was a mixed mood of sadness and hope for change as people digested the news that the leader of the Cuban resolution was stepping down.

Voting is under way in the latest round of primaries in the American presidential election. Most interest centers on the Democrat's contest in Wisconsin with Hillary Clinton seeking to end the recent surge of 8 straight wins by Barack Obama. Justin Webb is in Washington.

A strong win for Clinton or Obama could set them on the course to an eventual victory, for Mrs. Clinton in particular. A good showing might allow her campaign to refind its feet after a strain of recent losses. For Barack Obama, success would add to the growing sense that he is now the frontrunner. Over the Republican side, the race between John McCain and Mike Huckabee continues although it's virtually inconceivable that Huckabee could win. McCain is well ahead in delegates and has the support of the party establishment.

The two main opposition parties in Pakistan have a clear majority after elections to a new parliament. With most of the results now in, the Muslim League and the Pakistan People's Party have said they are willing to work together to form a coalition in parliament as Barbara Plett reports now from Lahore.

The Pakistan People's Party of the late Benazir Bhutto won the most votes, but not a majority. Its members say the president was partly to blame for Ms. Bhutoo's assassination, but its leaders have not ruled out working with him, much depended then on the PPP's coalition partners. It may join forces with the party that came second, headed by the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. That could lead to confrontation because Mr. Sharif takes a much tougher line against the president.

Early results in the Armenian presidential election show a big lead for the current Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian, a friend and ally of the outgoing President Robert Kocharian. The electoral commission said that with about a quarter of the votes counted, Mr. Sarkisian had received 42%. His main rival, the former President Levon Ter-Petrosyan, it said had received 11%. Mr. Ter-Petrosyan has accused the authorities of major electoral violations including fraud and intimidation and he has called for mass protests.

World news from the BBC.

NATO troops have taken control of and sealed the Kosovo's northern borders after angry Serb protesters torch customs and police posts. The protesters opposed Kosovo's declaration of independence last Sunday. From Pristina, Nick Thorpe reports.

The NATO decision to close Kosovo's northern borders initially for a 24-hour period cuts the predominantly Serb north off from the country to which its inhabitants insist it still belongs to Serbia. US soldiers blocked the main road crossing with Serbia. Estonian and French troops, the main road crossing with Montenegro. Both border posts were ransacked earlier by Serb crowds who arrived in convoys of cars and buses and what was clearly carefully planned and coordinated action.

The United Nations mission in Eritrea says that the Eritrean authorities are continuing to block the movement of UN peacekeepers who've been monitoring the security zone along the country's border with Ethiopia. The UN mission is now trying to move all its personnel and equipment up to the capital Asmara. The Eritrean authorities refused to allow the peacekeepers to relocate to Ethiopia. The Ethiopian government has written to the UN Security Council demanding punitive measures against Eritrea.

The Ugandan government and the rebel Lord's Resistance Army have reached an agreement in how to deal with war crimes committed during more than two decades of conflict in northern Uganda. Under the deal, severe crimes committed by the rebels will be tried by a special division of Uganda's High Court. The government says there are hopes that a final peace agreement can be reached at the end of the month.

The Arab News Newspaper in Saudi Arabia said the country will hold its first official film festival in May. It says the event is being supported by the Saudi government. Public screenings of films were banned in Saudi Arabia in the early 1980s because they were considered to be against Islamic law.

That's the latest BBC news.
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