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[VOA] 【整理】VOA 2008-03-30

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on greatsea

 

I'm Peter Macleod from the VOA News Center in Washington.

 

Polls are open across Zimbabwe Saturday as voters choose a new parliament and decide whether President Robert Mugabe wins a sixth term in office. Many people lined up before dawn to cast ballots when the polls opened. However, a VOA reporter says voter turnout in the capital Harare and in a nearby province appeared to be light as the day went on. Votings were mostly peaceful although a bomb went off at the home of the ruling party parliamentary candidate in the city of Bulawayo. No injuries were reported. Mr. Mugabe and his main challengers, Simba Makoni and Morgan Tsvangirai, are all predicted victory as they cast their votes in Harare. Speaking to reporters, Mr. Harare renewed his assertion about the government. The president's challengers say Zimbabwe needs new leadership following an economic collapse that's seen inflation rise above 100,000%.

 

Grieving in the Iraqi city of Basra after several days of fighting between Iraqi forces and Shiite militias. Iraqi authorities say the death toll from five days of intense fighting has surged to more than 200. Many of the casualties have occured in Bagdad's Sadr City, a stronghold of militias loyal to the radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. A spokesman for the Iraqi Health Ministry says at least 75 people have been killed there and nearly 500 wounded in clashes and also in US-led air strikes.

 

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has defended his country against accusations of interfering in Lebanon's political affairs. Mr. Assad said Syria has been under pressure for more than a year to intervene in Lebanese affairs. He said the key to political stability is in the hands of the Lebanese themselves. The Syrian president welcomed delegations from the 22-member Arab League gathered at the forum in Syria's capital Damascus. Nearly a dozen heads of state are not attending the forum, including the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Jordan's King Abdullah and Lebanon's Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, all close allies of the United States. They've accused Syria of interfering in Lebanon's political affairs.

 

United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is on her way to the Middle East to try and push toward Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. But expectations are low as we hear from Robert Burger at the VOA bureau in Jerusalem.

 

Secretary of State Rice will meet Israeli and Palestinian leaders in yet another effort to push for Washington's goal, a peace agreement before President Bush leaves office in January. But both sides are pessimistic about a breakthrough. Peace talks have bogged down because of Palestinian rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip and Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Israel is negotiating with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas who heads a moderate government in the West Bank. But the Islamic militant group Hamas controls Gaza after defeating Mr. Abbas's Fatah forces in a civil war in June. Rice is preparing the ground for another visit to the region by President Bush. Mr Bush visited Israel and the West Bank in January and is due here again in May. Robert Burger for VOA News, Jerusalem.

 

Pakistan's new Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani says fighting terrorism will be his government's top priority. He made the remark Saturday in a speech laying out plans for his coalition government's first 100 days. (The) prime minister said extremism is a serious problem for the country and the government would be willing to hold talks with militants who lay down their arms.

 

Officials say at least 75 miners are missing after the flooding of a mine in northeastern Tanzania on Saturday. The accident took place near the northern city of Arusha. Reports say some of the miners died in the flood.

 

I'm Peter Macleod, VOA News. More news on the Internet at voanews.com.

 

bog down: cause to get stuck as if in a mire. vt. 陷入泥淖(陷入困境)
prepare the ground for sth.: 为某事准备条件
lay down arms: v. 放下武器

Rejoicing in hope;
Patient in tribulation.  

做某种植物, 可以尽情接受雨的洗礼.

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