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[SE 1530 NEWS] 【整理】2008-05-17

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       It is 15:30 Universal Time. I’m Steve Ember in Washington.

 

1. Chinese officials have ordered thousands of people to flee a village close to the center of a recent earthquake. The official Xinhua News Agency says landslides resulting from the earthquake have blocked parts of the Jinxiu River. Officials are concerned that water from the river will cause a nearby lake to flood the area. Xinhua reported that officials in Beichuan county wanted to explode part of the lake’s sides to reduce some of water level pressure. Chinese officials now say nearly 29,000 people have died because of the earth quake.

2. An underground passageway at a hydroelectric station collapses Saturday in southwestern China. It is not clear if the collapse was linked to the earthquake on Monday. Eight workers are trapped in a tunnel in the Dayanjiang hydropower station in Yunnan Province. The Xinhua News Agencysays rescuers heard voices behind the wreckage. This could mean at least some workers survived.

3. Diplomats in Burma had controlled visits of the Irrawady delta area Saturday. The visit comes after international criticism of the Burmese military for bothering aid groups from providing emergency supplies. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown criticizes the military for what he called inhumane treatment of over 2,000,000 storm survivors. Burmese state media say the number of dead and missing people from cyclone Nargis is more than 133,000. This number almost doubles earlier Burmese estimates. Also Saturday President Bush extended economic action against Burma’s military government for one more year. He said restrictions will not affect aid going to victims of the storm.

4. The leader of Zimbabwe’s main opposition party will not return home as planned Saturday because of security concerns. A spokesman for the party says it has received information about a plot to kill Morgan Tsvangirai. Mr. Tsvangirai has been out of Zimbabwe since presidential and parliamentary elections in March. Official results show he defeated President Robert Mugabe. But he failed to win the majority of votes necessary to become president.

5. Reports from Somalia say Islamic fighters have seized the town after clashes with government troops. People fled the town of Jilib early Saturday after the heavely armed fighters took control. Somalia’s exiled Islamic opposition has rejected taking part in peace talk with the government. The peace talks began Tuesday in Djibouti. The alliance for reliberation of Somalia says opposition members at talks are not permitted to meet the government or sign any agreements. The group has also said it will never hold talks with Somalia government as long as Ethiopian troops remain in Somalia.

 

     You are listening to the news in VOA special English.

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