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[VOA] 【整理】VOA 2008-02-19

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I'm Susan Yackee from the VOA News Center in Washington.

Vote counting has begun in Pakistan where a general election was held today following months of political violence. Partial early results could be available later today. Official returns are not expected until Wednesday. Opposition parties are predicting strong gains in the balloting. VOA's Barry Newhouse reports from the capital Islamabad.

Local media reported morning turnout was light in Pakistan's cities, but picked up in the afternoon. After casting his vote in Rawalpindi, President Pervez Musharraf told state television that he wants all parties to end the confrontational politics that have gripped the country in recent months. "confrontational policies. . . " Mr. Musharraf said he is ready to work with whatever parties win the election and whoever becomes the country's new prime minister. The president has said he believes lawmakers allied with his PML-Q party will win a majority of seats, despite recent surveys that indicate opposition parties have the strongest support. Voters are choosing lawmakers for seats in Pakistan's national assembly as well as the four provincial assemblies. Election officials have denied there is a plan to rig the vote. But simmering politically motivated violence in recent months has raised concerns about how opposition parties will respond if they believe the election was rigged. Barry Newhouse, VOA News, Islamabad.

A suicide car bomber has killed at least 37 people and wounded more than 30 in southern Afghanistan, the second such deadly attack in 24 hours. Interior Ministry officials say today's attack targeted a Canadian military convoy in the town of Spin Boldak, in the southern province of Kandahar. Officials say those killed in the blast were civilians. At least 3 Canadian soldiers were wounded. The Taliban has claimed responsibility for today's bombing. The blast came one day after Afghanistan's deadliest suicide attack since the Taliban was ousted in 2001. At least 100 people were killed Sunday when a bomber blew himself up in a crowd of people watching a dog-fighting competition outside Kandahar city.

President Bush has reaffirmed his support for Kosovo's independence. The president told a US television interview in his words "the Kosovars are now independent. " But he stopped short of formally recognizing Kosovo's statehood, saying the United States will be guided by a United Nations' blueprint for the territory. Mr. Bush spoke on a trip to Africa today as deeply divided European Union foreign ministers met in Brussels to discuss Kosovo's declaration of independence. All 27 EU member countries have endorsed dispatching a police and / administrative mission to Kosovo to bolster its stability.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is in Kenya to meet with the various parties in the country's reconciliation talks. The US official's one-day visit is seen as raising international pressure for a political settlement to the disputed Kenyan elections. VOA's Scott Bobb reports from Nairobi.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived in the Kenyan capital and immediately met with the chief mediator in the crisis talks, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. After the meeting, Rice said the December elections did not produce an outcome that would lead to the governance of Kenya, so that outcome now has to be produced by negotiation and goodwill. "There needs to be a governance arrangement that will allow real power-sharing, that will allow a coalition, indeed a grand coalition, so that Kenya can be governed. " Rice's one-day visit also included separate meetings with President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga. The two sides have agreed on the need for a political solution to the Kenyan crisis, but government negotiators have rejected power-sharing which the opposition demands. Rice was sent to Kenya by President Bush who also said the U. S. government wants to see a power-sharing agreement. Kenya's Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula reacted angrily to the remark, saying any solution must be a Kenyan one. Scott Bobb, VOA News, Nairobi.

President Bush traveled to Tanzania's rural north today to promote the fight against mosquito-born malaria. Mr. Bush announced the plan in 2005 to reduce malaria deaths by 50% in 15 Sub-Saharan African countries, the worst affected region in the world.

The top U. S. negotiator on North Korea's nuclear weapons program has arrived in China on a trip that is focused on helping restart stalled disarmament talks. Speaking with reporters today in Beijing, Christopher Hill said he has met with Chinese officials and welcomed any support, any opportunity to meet with North Korea's representatives in China.

I'm Susan Yackee, VOA News. More news on the Internet at voanews. com.

这个慢慢陌生的普特

那些渐渐远去的记忆
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