BBC News在线听附文本(2008-11-16)


BBC news with Jonathan Weekley.

The Head of the United Nations peacekeeping operations, Alain Le Roy, says more troops are urgently needed to protect civilians in the east of Congo. Mr. Le Roy has asked the UN Security Council for 3,000 reinforcements in the region where recent fighting between government forces and rebels has displaced a quarter of a million people. From the United Nations, here's Laura Trevelyan.

Alain Le Roy said that even though the existing UN peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo have been reassigned, so that nearly 6,000 are now in North Kivu, scene of the recent violence, that's still not enough. The UN wants an extra 3,000 troops and equipment like helicopters to cope with the instability in the eastern Congo. Mr. Le Roy said although the mood of the Council was shifting towards supporting sending more troops, no decision had yet been made and the diplomats wanted more details.

Staying in Africa, and Rwanda has expelled the German ambassador to Kigali as the row intensifies over the arrest in Frankfurt of a senior aide to the Rwandan President Paul Kagame. Mr. Kagame, who is himself visiting Germany, has condemned the detention of the aide Rose Kabuye. He said she held diplomatic immunity but a German official, Hildegard Becker-Toussaint, said her government's information was that Mrs. Kabuye was traveling privately, she said Mrs. Kabuye faced extremely serious charges.

The arrest warrant is for murder and for participation in a terrorist organization. She is also accused of involvement in the 1994 assassination, namely the crash of the then-president's plane. Many French citizens were also killed in the crash. The victims' families are joint plaintiffs and that's why there is a strong interest in the prosecution of this woman.

The former President of Taiwan, Chen Shui-bian has been taken into custody after a court approved a request by prosecutors to detain him. He is facing charges of corruption. Mr. Chen had early spent several hours answering questions in the prosecutor's office. From Taipei, Cindy Sui reports.

Prosecutors accused Mr. Chen and his wife of misusing several hundred thousand dollars of a special presidential fund, and accused the former first family of transferring millions of dollars into overseas bank accounts. Mr. Chen has denied any wrongdoing. On Tuesday, he blamed the current President Ma Ying-jeou and the ruling Party Kuomintang for his arrest, accusing them of bowing to pressure from Beijing.

Partial results from the election for mayor of Jerusalem suggest the right-wing secular candidate Nir Barkat is heading for victory. Israeli media said that with a third of the votes counted, Mr. Barkat was well ahead of his main rival, an ultra-orthodox Rabbi Meir Porush. A fiercely contested election campaign raised tensions between religious and secular Jews, but Mr. Barkat has pledged to represent all the people of Jerusalem.

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A reporter in Italy says the world financial CRIsis is helping the Mafia to strengthen its hold on the country's economy. The Italian small-business organization, the Confesercenti, estimates that Mafia gangs now earn more than 160 billion dollars a year, equivalent to six percent of Italy's economic output. The report says CRIminal syndicates are using their huge financial resources to buy up property in businesses at a time when legitimate organizations are finding it hard to borrow money.

Controversial regulations which mean the fruit and vegetables are often banned from sale in Europe because they are the wrong size or shape are due to be abolished by the European Union. Dominic Hughes reports from Brussels.

For years they had been held up as the epitome of Euro madness. Regulations that mean shops are being unable to sell oddly shaped vegetables that don't comply to a uniform size and shape. But all that is set to change, as the Commission prepares to scrap specific marketing standards for 26 types of produce. The regulations were originally introduced as a common standard, so that buyers knew what they would be getting, but over the years, they grew and became more restrictive until stories about straight bananas became part of European folklore.

A new report released here in Britain by the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution has called for urgent research into the safety of nanomaterials, tiny particles commonly used in hundreds of consumer products worldwide. The report rejected an outright ban on nanomaterials, saying that some, such as those used in sun creams to prevent skin cancer provided huge benefits. However, it raised concerns that knowledge about the potential impact of nanomaterials both on human health and the environment lag behind the pace of innovation. The commission's Chairman, Professor Sir John Lawton, said there was no evidence that nanomaterials were harmful, but added that there was no way of knowing if they were dangerous.

BBC news.

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