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[VOA] [整理]VOA 2009-01-29

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It is 15 hours Universal Time, and here is the news from the Voice of America.

 

I'm Rebecca Ward from the VOA News Center in Washington.

 

The US House of Representatives votes today on President Barack Obama's $825 billion \ stimulus plan. On Tuesday, Mr. Obama went to Congress to lobby the opposition Republicans, although Democrats in the House have enough votes to pass the bill.

 

"We had a wonderful exchange of ideas, and I continue to be optimistic about our ability  [cnn version] to get this recovery package done to put people back to work. Obviously the news over the last couple of days, the number of layoffs taking place all across the country has just underscored how severe this recession is, how urgently we need to react. " President Obama  speaking Tuesday.

 

House Minority Leader John Boehner describes the President's meating is positive, but stressed Republicans have some problems with the bill.

 

"We have a very good conversation with the president. He reiterated his desire to work with us, to try to find common ground where we could. Clearly there are some differences that were expressed with regard to the economic rescue package. "

 

Meantime a key Senate panel approved its version of the bill after adding another 70 billion dollars in tax cuts. The House and the Senate will have to reconcile their two versions of the stimulus plan before Mr. Obama can sign it into law.

 

The International Monetary Fund says the US economy is shrinking faster than had been thought and will contract by 0. 6 percent this year. With that gloomy data in mind, top officials of the US central bank have gathered to seek more ways to pull the economy out of recession.

 

US Middle East envoy George Mitchell is in Cairo today to speak with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak about the conflict and subsequent cease-fire between Israel and Gaza's Hamas rulers.

 

"It is of critical importance that the ceasefire be extended and consolidated. "

 

Mitchell says Washington supports Egypt's efforts to mediate a truce between Israel and Hamas militants. He says his visit to the region is a clear signal that the new Obama administration is committed to pursuing Middle East peace and stability. The US envoy traveled from Egypt to Israel today to listen to the views of Israeli leaders on reviving the peace process. Mitchell travels next to the West Bank for talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday.

 

In a related development, Israeli warplanes have bombed smuggling tunnels near the Gaza Strip's border with Egypt, following an upsurge in fighting between Israel and Gaza militants. Israel says it's struck the tunnels today, in response to a bomb attack that killed an Israeli soldier Tuesday near the Gaza-Israel border. Gaza militants also fired a rocket into southern Israel today causing no casualties.

 

Zimbabwean leader Morgan Tsvangirai has agreed in principle to forming a unity government. As Peta Thorneycroft reports from Harare, under the new government Mr. Tsvangirai will be prime minister, and President Robert Mugabe will remain head of state.

 

Morgan Tsvangirai's decision to push ahead with a unity government was made after an emergency summit held in the South African capital Pretoria. The 15-nation Southern African Development Community in their meeting this week gave Robert Mugabe and Mr. Tsvangirai until mid-February to form a unity government, but did not spell out what steps they would take if they did not meet the deadline.

 

Mr. Mugabe and Mr. Tsvangirai signed a power-sharing deal in September after the then-ruling party lost legislative elections for the first time since independence from Britain in 1980. But disagreements over the allocation of key ministries have stalled the formation of a unity government. On Friday, Mr. Tsvangirai will face the Movement for Democratic Change's National Council, which will vote on whether to endorse their leaders in a unity government. That's Peta Thorneycroft reporting from Harare.

 

News reports from Russia say Moscow has suspended a plan to install missiles in Kaliningrad, because the Obama administration is not rushing forward with a missile defense shield in Poland and Czech Republic. The US envoy to NATO said Russia's change of course will be a very positive step if confirmed.

 

President Obama meets with the heads of the four US military services today to discuss strategies for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Talks are likely to focus on Mr. Obama's plans to reduce the number of troops in Iraq while sending more US forces into Afghanistan. The US plans sending as many as 30, 000 additional troops to Afghanistan this year.

 

On Wall Street this hour US share prices are higher, the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 122 points.

 

Rebecca Ward, VOA News in Washington.
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