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News & Reports 2011-02-27

时间:2011-05-06 05:52来源:互联网 提供网友:ty4116   字体: [ ]
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Hello and Welcome to News and Reports on China Radio International.

In This Edition

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urges the Security Council to take "concrete action" to protect civilians in Libya.

The United States is to impose unilateral and multilateral sanctions on Libya, including cutting diplomatic ties.

The CIA employee accused of murdering two Pakistanis appeared handcuffed in a Pakistani court.

The Chinese government sets the goal of building ten million affordable apartments this year in an effort to ease growing public housing pressure.


Hot Issue Reports

Top UN Official Urges Security Council to Take Concrete Action on Libya

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged the Security Council to take "concrete action" to protect civilians in Libya.

Ban Ki-moon is urging the council to consider a wide range of options, including trade and financial sanctions, travel bans, an arms embargo and a freeze of Libyan assets.

He has also called for punishing those responsible for human rights violations.

"It is time for the Security Council to consider concrete action. The hours and the days ahead will be decisive for Libyans and their country with equally important implications for the wider region."

The UN's most powerful body met in New York hours after its Human Rights Council called for an investigation into possible crimes against humanity.

At the Security Council, Libya's UN Ambassador Mohamed Shalgham made a passionate plea, calling for a
"courageous resolution" from the UN Security Council to "save Libya."

"Libya was established by a resolution of the United Nations. Please, United Nations, save Libya. No to bloodshed. No to killing of innocents. We want a decisive, rapid and courageous resolution from you. I thank you for your attention."

Within hours on Friday, senior Libyan diplomats in Portugal, France, Sweden and at the UN's cultural and education organization UNESCO announced their rejection of Gadhafi's regime.

The Human Rights Council also called for Libya's ouster from the group.

The UN Security Council is set to consider a draft resolution on Libya with a decision expected on Saturday.


US to impose sanctions on Libya

The United States is to impose unilateral and multilateral sanctions on Libya, including cutting diplomatic ties with the country.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the United States was suspending embassy operations in Tripoli and would withdraw all staff. Washington is also moving ahead with unilateral sanctions, which would be coordinated with allies and others.

"We are initiating a series of steps at the unilateral level and the multilateral level to pressure the regime in Libya to stop killing its own people. This is a first step, and obviously we will continue to review our options going forward and the steps that we take in the near future are not the only steps we're prepared to take if -- if other steps are necessary."

The Obama administration said earlier it is studying options that include sanctions, asset freezes, a "no-fly" zone over Libya and military action.

The news from the White House came after US citizens in Libya had been evacuated from the country by a chartered boat and a plane.

The White House said that President Barack Obama consulted on the Libyan strategy in telephone conversations with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, and with the leaders of Britain, France and Italy earlier in the week.

The US Treasury has told American banks to closely monitor transactions that may be related to unrest in Libya for the sudden movement of funds from the country.

The move followed Switzerland's announcement on Thursday that it was freezing any assets Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and his family might have in the country.


Libya's Arab League delegation renounces Gaddafi

The Libyan delegation to the Arab League in Cairo has renounced links to Moammar Gadhafi and lowered the Libyan flag, saying it now represents the will of the people.

At the delegation's headquarters, the green flag introduced by Moammar Gadhafi was replaced by the red, black, and green flag, which Libya used before Gadhafi came to power.

The Libyan delegation said they supported the Libyan people's demands for democratic change and condemned the "crimes" committed against the people.

The deputy director of protocol Ahmed Nassouf said the delegation had changed its name to "the representative of Libyan people to the Arab League."

"We have to stop this massacre that happened in Libya. Gadhafi must get out of Libya."

Wissam Selim is another staff member.

"The Libyan people are free and Gadhafi has no business in Libya at all. Forty years of corruption and oppression and the absence of freedom and democracy are enough."

Several Libyan diplomats and politicians have resigned their posts or voiced their opposition to the violent crackdown on anti-government protesters in their country.

Earlier in the week, the Arab League suspended the Libyan delegation's participation in the body.

The head of Libya's Arab League delegation, Ambassador Abdel Moneim Huni, had also said he has broken ranks with Gadhafi in response to mounting criticism of violence against anti-government protesters in Libya.


UAE and Turkey work together to send humanitarian aid to Libya

The United Arab Emirates and Turkey have said they would work together to send humanitarian aid to Libya, where hundreds of people have been killed in an uprising against Moammar Gadhafi.

After talks with his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu in Abu Dhabi, UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan, said his country would send aid to Turkey on Feb 26 for delivery to Libya.

"We are going to have two airplanes in Turkey for quite some time because the distance, of course, is much shorter to get all the supplies from the Turkish market, so it can get as fast as possible to the cities around Libya."

Meantime, Davutoglu said there was a need for humanitarian assistance in Libya, where according to the World Food Program, people were struggling with shortages of food, fuel and medical supplies.

"The first priority at this moment is to help our brothers and sisters in Libya from a humanitarian perspective, all of the other issues will be discussed in other international forums. Our decision today is especially on this main focus: helping Libya."

Oil-exporting Libya used to import large quantities of grain, but sources said this week grain cargoes bound for Libya were being diverted because of port closures.


Ireland's ruling party braces for heavy defeat-exit poll

Ireland's ruling party, Fianna Fail, has suffered a crushing electoral defeat, as voters have blamed it for the country's economic meltdown.
An exit poll for state broadcaster RTE indicated that Fine Gael, the main opposition party, was poised to take over but without an overall majority.

The poll suggested Enda Kenny's Fine Gael party had 36 percent of first preference votes, which meant it would likely turn to the center-left Labour party for a coalition government. Labour came in second with 20.5 percent of the vote. Fianna Fail was knocked into third place.

Voters blamed Fianna Fail for the end of the "Celtic Tiger's" economic boom, tax increases, public service cuts, and the humiliating EU/IMF bailout.

"Hopefully, we will have a new government in after tomorrow because we really want to get rid of the government we have at the moment, because they're all corrupt, and they spent all the money we had."

Ireland's 13-percent unemployment rate has prompted its young and jobless people to emigrate to other countries.
Brian Kelly is a 26-year-old resident of Donegal.

"I have been out of work now almost a year, and I've been looking, but no success. So I've got work lined up in the U.S., and I'm heading over to start work as soon as I get my visa."

Fianna Fail has been in power for the past 14 years with various coalition partners. It went into the race with a new leader, Micheal Martin, after Prime Minister Brian Cowen resigned because of record low popularity.


Trial of CIA employee starts in Pakistan

The CIA employee accused of murdering two Pakistanis appeared handcuffed in a Pakistani court.

During the closed hearing held in a Lahore jail, prosecutors tried to present the handcuffed Raymond Allen Davis with a charge sheet, which he refused to sign after claiming diplomatic immunity.

Asad Manzoor Butt is the lawyer for two Pakistani victims.

"Today, normal proceedings of the case of Raymond Allen Davis started, and in the beginning, under section 265C CRPC, he was provided the copies of challan under section 173 CRPC, and at the same time he gave to the court an application for the declaration of immunity. The court has issued notice to the complainant and state as well for the assistance on the next date of hearing."

The US government says Davis shot two Pakistanis in self-defense when they tried to rob him in late January in the eastern city of Lahore. Davis insists he is immune from prosecution because he is listed as a US Embassy staff member.

But the Pakistani media and some officials have portrayed those killed as innocent victims.

The question of whether Davis has immunity is also being considered by the Lahore High Court.

The detention of Raymond Allen Davis has severely frayed ties between the US and Pakistan, whose counterterrorism alliance is considered a crucial part of ending the war in Afghanistan.

Thousands Chinese nationals evacuated from Libya to Greece

Thousands of Chinese workers have arrived at the Greek port of Heraklion on the island of Crete from Libya.

Escorted via two Greek passenger ferries, they endured a journey from the Libyan port of Benghazi that took several hours in uneasy waters.

The Chinese Ambassador to Greece, Luo Linquan, and Chinese government officials that had flown in from China were on hand to coordinate the accommodation, registration and transfer of the workers.

"The Chinese Embassy provided us with this ferry. We arrived at Crete Island, Greece, at 2pm today. Currently, these two ships carry over four thousand people. They are now disembarking. After administrative procedures they will board a big bus, 50 people at a time and we will stay in 11 hotels prepared for us. Everything is looking good. Excellent. This is the situation."

Cretan coast guard officials and the Red Cross assisted the workers after they docked, ensuring that they were given food and drinks.

Many of the workers had been employed in construction companies or had worked as agricultural workers on farms in Libya.

Local officials at Crete said another two Greek commissioned ships were expected to arrive in the coming days with more Chinese workers.

Greece and China have been coordinating the evacuation of the workers through Greece, and Greek foreign ministry officials have said as many as 15,000 Chinese nationals needed to be evacuated.


Chinese Vice Premier calls for building of 10 mln affordable housing units this year

Chinese Vice-Premier Li Keqiang has set the goal of building ten million affordable apartments this year to meet the growing demand of the common people.

During a national conference on housing construction, Li Keqiang said the goal is mandatory that must be fulfilled this year.

Li also urged local governments to increase the land supply for constructing ordinary commercial housing.

The target is 72.4 percent more than last year.

Qi Ji is the deputy-director of the Ministry of Urban-Rural Housing.

"That means that after the housing reform, the government subsidized houses available to residents has outnumbered for the first time the supply of commercial ones."

The State Council, or China's Cabinet, introduced eight measures in late January to curb rising housing prices.

The measures called for an increase in the supply of apartments affordable to poor residents and a ban on speculative activities in housing.

It also prevents residents from buying more than a certain number of properties and the adoption of higher transaction taxes.


Sotheby's to auction 18th century vase worth $23M

An 18th century imperial vase will lead Sotheby's sale of the Meiyintang collection in Hong Kong -- one of the foremost private collections of Chinese ceramics.

According to Nicolas Chow, head of Sotheby's Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, said the vase is worth more than 23 million US dollars.

"This vase, this Falangcai vase, is part of a very rare category of imperial porcelains that were produced within the confines of the Forbidden City under close scrutiny of the emperor. Only very few examples remain from that type. Most of them are in the old imperial collections in Beijing and Taipei."

The Falangcai vase with golden pheasants was made in the Jingdezhen imperial kilns in Jiangxi province and finished in Beijing's Forbidden City palace workshops of the Qianlong emperor in the 1800s.

Sotheby's said that the Meiyintang collection, owned by a European collector for over half a century, includes the best examples of imperial ceramics from between the 14th and 18th centuries.

Other lead items include a 15th century blue-and-white palace bowl from the Ming dynasty, expected to reach upwards of $10 million.

The collection will be offered in an Apr 7 evening sale that Sotheby's estimates will fetch as much as $121 million.


China Leg of Miss Universe Competition Begins

The Miss Universe Organization has announced in Beijing that it has officially begun the selection process for a contestant to represent China in this year's pageant.

Paula Shugart, President of the Miss Universe Organization, says this year's beauty pageant will take place in July. During the next four months, Chinese woman between the ages of 18 and 27 are eligible to apply through the competition's online website.

"We are about self-image. We are about confidence. When someone's competing, there is nothing more beautiful than someone who is self-confident and self-assured. I hope that young women realize they are capable of everything, and they can break barriers."

China's Zhang Zilin was crowned Miss World in 2007, becoming the first woman of East Asian origin to win that title. But so far, no Chinese woman has claimed the honor of Miss Universe.

Chinese-American media personality Yuesai Kan has been named director of the Miss Universe's China Competition. She believes Chinese women have the brains, beauty and style to be world-class winners.

"This is a chance for us to show off Chinese women. It's a chance for us to celebrate Chinese women. A wonderful, wonderful woman who is beautiful inside and outside will become the woman that can represent us Chinese."
The reigning Miss Universe, Ximena Navarette of Mexico, says Asian women, and Chinese in particular, have unique charms.

"It's the elegance, the way that the Chinese girls are. Just very elegant, fashionable, in a good mood, with a good attitude."

The winner of the China round of the Miss Universe competition will represent the country in the main pageant which will be held in September in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Should she prove successful, she will be employed full-time by the Miss Universe Organization and become a citizen ambassador for China.


Record-high price cigar auctioned in Havana Cigar Festival

A one-of-a-kind hand-crafted humidor packed with Cuban cigars sold for 450-thousand euros at auction in Havana, setting a new world record.

The record came on the last day of the International Havana Cigar Festival.

Jorge Luis Fernandez is the Co-President of Habanos S.A., a dominant company in the industry and the organizer of the festival.

"I believe the 13th festival is a total success like the previous ones, and we hope this trend continues and grows."

This year's festival began last Monday with 1,400 participants from 80 countries.

Cigar fanatics can not only experience the supreme smoke at its source, but also visit cigar factories and join presentations of upscale cigars.

Cuban cigar is an important area of export for the island that produces over 350 million dollars for the country last year.

China Daily- How to improve public's sense of well-being?

As this year's session of National People's Congress and People's Political Consultative Conference are approaching, there are more media reports discussing the improvement of the public's sense of well-being.

There have even been proposals in Shanghai to substitute a happiness index for gross domestic product as a yardstick for local development.

A commentary on China Daily says, no matter if this proposal can be enacted as governmental policy in the end, all efforts conducive to the public's well-being should be applauded, and swelling GDP alone does not deliver satisfaction.

The article points out that judging from the current situation, the effort should be focused on increasing income. Various surveys and opinion polls have shown that the conspicuous disparity in income distribution is the main source of dissatisfaction for people. And this discontent is worsening as pressure rises along with the CPI.

The article further analyzes that happiness is highly subjective. A happy life, therefore, entails more than just the necessities of everyday life. It is important that our public finances place more weight on improving the conditions of the underprivileged and making a decent life accessible and affordable to the general public.

The article notes that the abuse of public power and resources by the Party and government functionaries, as well as injustices and unfairness in everyday life are seriously undermining the average citizen's sense of security and happiness.

The article concludes that what convinces the public that governments can considerably improve people's sense of well-being is simply behaving themselves.

This requires no extra-budgetary spending, but will save astronomical sums of public money from lavish official banquets and shady behind-the-scenes dealings.

........................................................................

Press Reports: Gov't-owned Cars Should Not Be Used for Personal Purposes

Officials in Guangzhou, capital of south China's Guangdong Province, will be charged for driving government-owned cars for their personal use, starting in June.

The municipal government plans to install GPS devices in the cars in an effort to stop the personal use of government-owned vehicles and reduce the amount of money the city must spend on them.

Although it is common for Chinese officials to use government-owned vehicles for personal purposes, the practice has long been criticized by the public, which wants a cleaner and more cost-efficient government.

But Guangdong's move has aroused heated discussion, as citizens doubt the effect of the reform.

A commentary in the Guangzhou-based "Southern Daily" advocates the implementation of the reform because the local government needs to compile reliable statistics under public scrutiny, and publicize all the procedures during the reform, from the purchase of the GPS devices to service fee details.

But more criticism is focused on whether the move would promote the legitimate use of government-owned vehicles for private purposes.

A commentary in the Wuhan-based "Changjiang Daily" points out that even if officials paid fees to use government cars for personal travel, such use runs counter to the primary function of the vehicles. It argues that the reform could further stimulate corruption if those who incur charges use government funds to pay them instead of their own money.

A commentary in the "China Business Morning Post," a prominent newspaper published in north China's Shenyang city, agrees. It further points out that it would be difficult for the public to monitor whether officials had paid fees to drive government cars for personal use and whether the charges would be reimbursed by government revenue. It argues that allowing government-owned vehicles to be driven for personal use even for an additional fee is a violation of the definition of government-owned property and a waste of taxpayers' money.

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