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[VOA] 【整理】VOA 2008-02-06

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From the VOA News Center in Washington, I'm Frances Alonzo.

Voters were at the polls on this day, known as Super Tuesday, to choose their Democratic or Republican nominee for the November presidential election. In last-minute appeals of presidential candidates appeared on various television networks today to urge the voters to go to the polls and to reiterate their positions on topics such as healthcare and the economy. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more details in this report.

Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator Barack Obama will do battle in 22 Democratic contests around the country, including states with large numbers of delegates like California, New York and New Jersey. The latest national public opinion polls show Obama gaining on Clinton and the race nearly even. But Clinton continues to hold narrow leads over Obama in most of the larger states voting on Tuesday. In the Republican race, 21 states are holding nominating contest on Tuesday. Senator John McCain is trying to fend off a challenge from former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee hopes to do well in some of the southern primaries on Tuesday while Texas Congressman Ron Paul is looking for a strong showing in Alaska. More than a thousand Republican delegates are at stake on Tuesday. A total of 1,191 delegates are required to win the Republican nomination. Jim Malone, VOA News, Washington.

France has warned rebels in Chad that it might intervene in the conflict there if rebel forces continue to threaten the capital, N'Djamena. French President Nicolas Sarkozy said today that France will do its duty and has the means to respond to continued rebel aggression. He was speaking a day after the United Nations Security Council called on all member states to support the Chadian government. France has about 1,500 troops stationed in Chad, a former French colony.

The Kenyan Red Cross says the death toll from post-election violence in that country has risen to 1,000. Red Cross officials announced the new figures today as government and opposition negotiators were to resolve political differences stemming from December's disputed elections. Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan is meeting in the talks in Nairobi and has given the two sides 15 days to resolve the crisis. On Monday, the rival sides agreed on plans to assist 300,000 people made homeless by more than a month of fighting.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice departs later today for London where she will meet with British officials to discuss growing concerns about NATO troop levels in Afghanistan. The Bush Administration wants NATO countries to commit more troops there. VOA's David Gollust has more details on this report from the State Department.

Rice's London talks with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Foreign Secretary David Miliband are being portrayed here as strategy sessions in advance of alliance-wide ministerial meetings on Afghanistan. Both the United States and Britain are moving to increase their troop commitments in Afghanistan, especially in the volatile southern part of the country where insurgent activity by the Taliban has been increasing. The Bush Administration has made it clear that it would like other NATO countries to boost their Afghan contingents as well. Divisions over the issue flared into the open last week, when Germany whose forces are in the relatively stable northern part of Afghanistan bluntly spurned a call by U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates to send combat troops and aircraft to the south. Canada, meanwhile, threatened to pull its troops out of Afghanistan next year unless other allies send reinforcements. David Gollust, VOA News, the State Department.

Meanwhile, Japan says it will give Afghanistan 110 million dollars in aid to help with border security, literacy in the plight of refugees in the country. Japan announces its pledge today at the beginning of a two-day international conference in Tokyo on Afghan reconstruction aid. Representatives from 24 countries and international organizations are attending the meeting. Speaking in Tokyo today, the Afghan foreign minister thanked the international community for its support and asked for its help and asked for its continued support.

US stock market indexes dropped sharply as trading got underway today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1 percent to hit 12,501. The S&P 500 fell one quarter of a percent to reach 1,363. And the NASDAQ resolved 1.5 percent to hit 2,348.

More details on these and more at voanews.com 24 hours a day. I'm Frances Alonzo in Washington, VOA News.
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