BBC News在线听力附文本(2009-1-30)


BBC news with Marian Marshall.

Spain's largest bank, the Santander Group, says it'll pay back 1. 8 billion dollars to clients who bought into one of its funds that was exposed to the multi-billion-dollar fraud, allegedly run by the American financier Bernard Madoff. The bank proposes to offer a number of private clients the opportunity to exchange their investments in its Optimal Strategic US Equity Fund for other securities. From Madrid, Greg Wood reports.

Spain's biggest bank says it's offering 100% compensation to clients who lost their money after investing with Bernard Madoff. Santander says the total compensation will come to the value of more than 1. 5 billion US dollars. In a statement, the bank says it's taken this decision in view of the exceptional circumstances. Mr. Madoff is accused of running a fraudulent multi-billion-dollar scheme that wiped out many investors. On Monday Spanish lawyers filed a lawsuit in Florida against Santander, claiming the bank did not do enough to prevent losses from the funds invested with Mr. Madoff.

Israel carried out an air attack in the Gaza Strip and sent tanks and bulldozers across the border after defense officials said an Israeli soldier was killed by Palestinian militants. Palestinian reports said heavy fighting had been going on in southern Gaza and many people had fled their homes. Aleem Macqbool reports from Gaza City.

Israeli forces have now withdrawn after having been back in action in Gaza, but said they would return if they were attacked. On Tuesday, they were. An explosion on the Israeli side of the border killed one soldier and injured three others. Gazans living close by said the response came swiftly. Israeli troops, tanks, and helicopter gunships were deployed. Doctors say a Palestinian farmer in Gaza was killed. A militant was also injured in an air strike.

The Russian Orthodox Church has elected a new leader to succeed Patriarch Alexy who died last month. His Metropolitan Krill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, the favorite in the contest, who had been acting as the interim head. In a newspaper interview before the vote, the new patriarch said the church could play a greater role in daily life including education.

The prize-winning American writer John Updike has died. He was 76. Literary CRItics labeled him as the chronicler of his generation, who explored issues such as sex, divorce and post-war life in the US with an erudite and evocative style. His publisher said he died of lung cancer. From New York, Matthew Price.

It was Updike who wrote The Witches of Eastwick which was later turned into a movie. But in literary circles perhaps his best-known work was the Rabbit series. He won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1982 for the third novel in the series Rabbit Is Rich. Updike once desCRIbed his subject matter as the American small town Protestant middle class. Many of his writings chronicle the sexual and marital habits in the American suburbs.

World news from the BBC.

More than 30 people in Madagascar have been killed in separate looting incidents as violent anti-government demonstrations continue on the island. Firefighters say they've found 25 charred bodies in the remains of a department store in the capital Antananarivo. It's thought they may have been looters, trapped in the burning shop when the roof fell in. Police also found the bodies of six people who were crushed when a warehouse was looted. The disturbance was triggered by a political dispute between the opposition mayor of Antananarivo and Madagascan president.

The International Red Cross says a major humanitarian CRIsis is unfolding in northern Sri Lanka, as government forces continue fighting the Tamil Tiger rebels. The head of its South Asia operations Jacques de Maio said hundreds of civilians have been killed and the situation is precarious for the quarter of a million people, who he said, were trapped.

"They find themselves simply under fire, and highly vulnerable. Access to medical care is almost non-existent at this point. They are in need of food, they are in need of a shelter and most of all, they are in need of security. "

Mr. de Maio said /the/ requests to bring out 200 seriously injured civilians had been denied and they were now close to death.

President Obama has gone to Congress to urge Republicans in both Houses to support his 825-billion-dollar stimulus package. Republicans agree that the stimulus is needed but say that Mr. Obama wants to spend too much and not cut taxes enough. Congress is said to vote on the package on Wednesday.

A man in Los Angeles who recently lost his job appears to have shot dead his five young children and his wife before killing himself. The bodies were found on Tuesday in a house in the South Los Angeles suburb of Wilmington. The man is believed to have committed suicide after calling a local broadcaster, and sending a fax about problems at work. The broadcaster then alerted the police.

BBC news.

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