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BBC news 2017-01-11 加文本

[日期:2008-01-15]   [字体: ]
BBC 2008-01-11


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BBC News with Neil Nunes

Two women held hostage in Colombia for more than five years by FARC rebels have finally been released after weeks of frustration and delay. The two Colombian politicians, Clara Rojas and Consuelo Gonzalez, were reunited with their families at a Venezuelan airport. From Caracas, we get the details from James Ingham.

"A thousand thanks the hostages said after their rescue. They spoke on the phone soon afterwards to Venezuela’s president, Hugo Chavez, telling him he brought them back to life. They urged him on behalf of other hostages they'd left behind not to give up. The release marks the end of a five-year ordeal for these women at the hands of Colombia's Marxist guerillas. It was the result of mediation by Mr. Chavez who, although no longer a part of official negotiations, maintained contact with the rebels. "

Edmund Hillary, the New Zealand mountaineer and explorer, has died at the age of 88. Sir Edmund and the Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Norgay were the first to climb the summit of Mount Everest, a feat they achieved in 1953. He was described by the country's Prime Minister, Helen Clark, as the best-known New Zealander ever to have lived. Years after his conquest of Everest, Sir Edmund said he hadn't felt that thrilled at the time as people probably expected.

"Being on top for me was not near perhaps as tremendously exciting as many people would expect. We were tired and we'd sort of laboured up the last slopes . We were now on top I felt a sense of quiet satisfaction and also a little sense of surprise perhaps. "

Relief agencies in Southern Africa say that torrential rain and flooding are threatening the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in countries across the region. The authorities in Mozambique say 45, 000 people have been displaced after the River Zambezi burst its banks. From Maputo, here's Peter GREste.

"Across northern Zimbabwe, southern Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique, relentless rain has waterlogged fields, destroyed crops, and washed out roads and villages. The worry from Mozambique though is that most of that water drains out to the east along the Zambezi River Valley through the center of the country. That river has already burst its banks in certain areas forcing tens of thousands of people to flee their homes. The National Institute of Disaster Management has been coordinating the Emergency Response in Mozambique. Its director, Paulo Zucula, said that if forecast rains fall in the catchment area the Zambezi could reach levels as high in 2000 when half a million people fled the rising water. "

The chairman of the United States Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, has said further interest rate cuts may be needed to shore up economic growth. His words were seen as a clear indication of the banks' intention to lower interest rates at the end of the month amid continuing financial turmoil in the wake of a housing slump.

World News from the BBC

The United States has welcomed the appointment of a group of senior African politicians led by the former United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan, to take over mediation efforts in Kenya, after the latest bid to resolve the political crisis there ended in failure. The President of Ghana, John Kufuor, tried unsuccessfully to bring together President Mwai Kibaki and the opposition leader Raila Odinga for talks.

The United States has protested to Iran after a confrontation on Sunday between American warships and Iranian patrol boats. Iran said on Thursday that it had been just a routine incident but the Americans said they were close to firing on the Iranian boats. A State Department spokesman, Tom Casey, said the US was concerned about any possible repetition of the incident.

"We certainly don't want to see the Iranians taking any kind of provocative actions or provocative steps against our ships or against any ships that are transiting what is a primary international waterway.”

President Bush has said there should be an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory as part of efforts to conclude a peace agreement before he leaves office. Mr. Bush also emphasized the need for Palestinians to halt attacks against Israel, outlining what he called the painful concessions both sides would have to make to reach a deal. Mr. Bush stressed that Israel wouldn't have to withdraw from all occupied land and that mutually agreed adjustments to the 1967 borders would be necessary.

In the United States major league baseball and the national football league have joined forces with the US Olympic Committee to fund a multi-million-dollar research program to combat drug use in American sport. The initiative which includes the US anti-doping Agency, will invest 10 million dollars over four years to develop new systems for the detection of illegal drugs.
BBC news
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