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[VOA] 【整理】VOA 2008-02-10

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I'm Bill Thompson from the VOA News Center in Washington.

At least 20 people have been killed and more than 25 others injured in a suicide bomb explosion at an election rally in northwestern Pakistan. The bomb went off in a town in northwest frontier province, closed to the stage where people have gathered to hear the Awami National Party leader speak. He was unhurt. Also today, at least 2,000 police officers were dispatched to a small southeastern town as former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's party hold its first rally since her assassination in Dec. Pakistan meanwhile is scoffing at a senior US official's assertion that Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders are operating on the remote tribal areas in Pakistan. A foreign ministry spokesman says Islamabad will take action if Washington can provide intelligence to back up its claim.

Residents of 4 US states are voting or going to party caucuses today to choose nominees for president. Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are in a tight race for the Democratic Party's nomination, while Senator John McCain is now the heavy favorite to win the Republican nomination after his chief rival, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney suspended his own campaign on Thursday. As VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports Senator McCain has some serious work to do to unify the Republican Party behind his candidacy.

Conservatives have long clashed with McCain over his initial opposition to President Bush's tax curb program and his support for measures that would establish a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. Conservative radio talk show host Laura Ingraham raised doubts about McCain in a speech to the Conservative political action conference. "I think the question is what you've been doing for conservatives lately." Later, McCain was greeted by the same group with a mixture of jeers and cheers. "All I ask of any American conservative, moderate, independent, or enlightened Democrat, is to judge my record as a whole and accept that I'm not the habit of making promises to my country that I do not intend to keep. Many Conservatives also dislike McCain because he has a reputation as a maverick Republican who's been willing to work with liberal Democrats on issues such as climate change and campaign finance reform. Jim Malone, VOA News, Washington.

Turkish lawmakers have approved controversial constitutional amendments that will end a decades-old ban on Islam head scarves of the country's universities. The change will allow female students to wear head scarves as long as the scarves are tied under the chin, leaving the face most exposed. Burkas, however, which covered the entire body, will remain prohibited.

Group of seven finance ministers are worrying that the US economy is going to slide even further, and that will hurt the global economic growth. In a draft statement today at the G-7 meeting, the finance leaders pledged to work together to promote stability. US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson acknowledges the global economy faces downside risks that are in his words "serious and persisting".

US officials say that as many as 6 detainees now being held at the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, may face charges in the next few days related to the 9.11, 2001 terrorists attacks. Military prosecutor are said to be considering seeking the death penalty against at least one of those expected to be charged. Among those facing charges is Khalid Sheik Mohammed, a former senior aide to Osama bin Laden and principal planner of the attacks that killed almost 3,000 people.

Two separate attacks in Iraq have left 5 American troops dead. Four killed yesterday when their vehicles struck a roadside bomb in Baghdad, the other killed in an explosion during an operation in northern Iraq. Meanwhile, Iraq's largest Sunni Arab political bloc says it is negotiating with the government on a possible return to the Iraqi cabinet.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his country will continue to target Kurdish rebels operating in northern Iraq. Mr. Erdogan says the offensive will continue in his words "until we win".

Lebanon's presidential election has been postponed again. It is the latest in a series of delays during the country's political crisis. Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri says the parliamentary voting session will be moved now to Feb.26th.

I'm Bill Thompson, VOA News. More news on the Internet at voanews.com.

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