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[VOA] 【整理】VOA 2008-02-14

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

Lebanon Hezbollah says one of its top leaders wanted in Israel and the United States in connection with 3 decades of deadly attacks around the world was killed in a car bomb attack late Tuesday in Syria. The Shiite militant group announced the death of Imad Mughniyeh today and accused Israel of carrying out the attack. Meanwhile, the Israeli government has denied any involvement.

Iraqi lawmakers have passed a 2008 budget after weeks of delays and threats to dissolve the parliament over the deadlock. Iraq's parliament approved the 48 billion dollar budget today as well as two other bills, an amnesty law that could free thousands of prisoners and another on provincial powers. A day earlier, scores of lawmakers stormed out of parliament after they were unable to adopt the key bills.

Senator Barack Obama has scored 3 decisive primary victories Tuesday over Senator Hillary Clinton, winning big in Maryland, and the state of Virginia and Washington DC in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. On the Republican side, Senator John McCain has also won all 3 races though he faced a stronger than expected challenge from former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee in Virginia. VOA correspondent Sindy Sain reports.

It was a night of triumph for Senator Barack Obama. The 3 wins came after a string of wins Saturday and Sunday for Obama, putting the 46-year-old African-American in the lead with the largest number of delegates for the first time. But the race is still close. Obama and Clinton each have about 1, 000 of the more than 2, 000 delegates needed to secure the Democratic nomination. Republican John McCain won easily in Maryland and Washington DC but by a less margin in Virginia where evangelical Christians turned out in strong numbers for former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee. With his 3 wins Tuesday, McCain is edging closer to the more than 1, 000 delegates needed to secure the Republican Party's nomination. But former governor Mike Huckabee said he is still in the race. The focus now shifts to Wisconsin where both parties will hold a primary next Tuesday and to Hawaii where there will be a Democratic caucus the same day. Sindy Sain, VOA news, Washington.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has made a historic apology to the country's aboriginal people for past mistreatment. Mr. Rudd said past policies of assimilation under which indigenous children were taken from their families were a stain on the nation's soul. From Darwin in Australia's northern territory, Phil Mercer reports.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has apologized to the Stolen Generations. These were aboriginal children who were taken from their families in an attempt to diluting indigenous culture. Mr. Rudd said it was a dark period in the nation's history and issued a formal apology in the nation's parliament in Canberra.

For the pain, suffering and hurt of these Stolen Generations, their descendants and for their families left behind, we say sorry.

Tribal elders are welcoming Prime Minister Rudd's apology, saying that for the first time they feel embraced and valued by the Australian society. Mr. Rudd says the problems faced by Australia's aborigines are so serious that he plans to assemble a so-called war cabinet to address them. Tackling such disadvantage has though been beyond governments in the past. Indigenous people, who comprise 2 percent of the country's population of 21 million have a life expectancy 17 year shorter than other Australians. Phil Mercer forVOA News, Darwin, Australia.

Prosecutors in East Timor are preparing arrest warrants for 18 rebel soldiers allegedly involved in Monday's attacks on the country's top two leaders. Authorities do not provide details about those suspects. President Jos Ramos Horta has been treated in Australia's Royal Darwin Hospital after being airlifted there on Monday. He s undergone more surgeries to repair a damaged lung and to remove bullet fragments. Doctor Len Notaros says he is hopeful the East Timorese leader will make a good recovery.

"It is foolish to be overconfident at this particular stage. It's still very early days. We continue to maintain a high level of vigilance, exercise those clinical skills that we have become nationally and internationally known to perform extremely well. "

The East Timorese leader is in serious condition.

More details at voanews. com. I'm Frances Alonzo, VOA News.
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