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[BBC] 【整理】 BBC 2008-04-03

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BBC News with Marian Marshall.

 

 The governing party in Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF, has lost its majority in parliament for the first time since independence in 1980. Official results show opposition parties won more than half the available seats with Movement for Democratic Change getting the largest share. The BBC is banned from reporting from Zimbabwe, but Ian Pannell has managed to get into the country.

 

 “There was a streak of joy and a small victory dance as the latest results from parliamentary elections came through. We joined supporters of the MDC in their office as news was released that they will take control of the country's parliament for the first time. The economy is disastrous, inflation is rampant, jobs are scarce ,and people had simply had enough. They feel that Zimbabwe is the on the verge of an historic change, but no that until the results of the presidential race are announced, it's still not guaranteed.

 

NATO has agreed that Ukraine and Georgia would be allowed to start discussing membership of the military alliance, but an official said it wouldn't happen at the summit which started in Bucharest. After a working dinner of the 26 governments, a NATO spokesman said members tend to agree/ it wasn't a matter of whether but when they would join. Our("a" here falls short of formality, I suppose) BBC correspondent at the summit said this would be seen as a significant setback for President Bush, who wants NATO enlargement as part of his legacy. Greece has also stopped Macedonia continuing accession talks.

 

The World Bank has called on the international community to coordinate its efforts in a new deal to fight global hunger. The bank's President Robert Zoellick said food prices had soared recently as financial markets tumbled. Our economics correspondent Andrew Walker has the details.

 

Mr. Zeollick said that high and volatile food prices are likely to be with us for years to come. The World Bank estimates that 33 countries face potential social unrest because of high food and energy prices. He said the World Food Programme, the United Nations agency/ which responds to emergencies need at least half a billion dollars, otherwise many more people will suffer and starve he said. He said the World Bank would almost double lending to African agriculture to 800 million dollars. That he argued could help break the cycle of poverty for smallholder farmers.

 

The Chairman of the US Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke has predicted that the American economy may shrink in the coming months as a result of the credit crunch, but that the growth will resume later in the year. Speaking to a congressional committee in Washington, Mr. Bernanke acknowledged that a recession was possible. In his estimation it would be brief and mild.

 

"It now appears likely that real gross domestic product will not grow much, if at all, over the first half of 2008 and could even contract slightly. We expect economic activities to strengthen in the second half of the year. However, in light of the recent turbulence in financial markets, the uncertainty attending this forecast is quite high and the risks remain to the downside."

 

This is / World News from the BBC.

 

The army in the African state of Mali has used helicopter gunships to attack Tuareg rebel positions in the northeast of the country after the rebels reportedly tried to ambush a military convoy. Reuters News Agency quoted a Malian official as saying that several people were killed by the helicopters. This skirmish came just hours after Libyan mediators said / negotiations were progressing over the fate of government soldiers captured by the rebels in March.

 

A deal to sell the loss-making Italian airline Alitalia to one of his competitors has collapsed. Another European airline Air France-KLM had been negotiating to take over Alitalia. Announcing the news, Alitalia said its Chairman Maurizio Prato had resigned. Negotiations with trade unions in Rome ended with a walkout by Air France's Chief Executive Jean-Cyril Spinetta. David Willis reports.

 

Mr. Spinetta told the unions that the deal couldn't go ahead unless there was an agreement on a number of Alitalia pilots, cabin crew and maintenance workers who would lose their jobs. And although Air France promised help in resettling former Alitalia staff, the deadline for /agreement expired after the union's rejected the deal. The Italian government has been trying for more than a year to sell its 49.9% share in the national flag carrier, which is said to be losing more than a million dollars a day.

 

An Islamist militant accused of involvement in the killing of four French tourists in Mauritania has escaped from police custody, just as he was about to go on trial. The suspect Sidi Ould Sidna is accused of shooting dead four French tourists in Southern Mauritania in December last year.

 

A British cruise ship with more than 400 passengers on board is being detained by the authorities on the Portuguese island of Madeira. The vessel has been held in port because of a debt allegedly owed by a company which used to operate it which went into administration. The new owners say they are working to get the ship released as soon as possible.

 

BBC News.

 

 

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