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News & Reports 2011-10-09

时间:2011-12-09 06:23来源:互联网 提供网友:gmeng   字体: [ ]
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 Hello and Welcome to News and Reports on China Radio International.

 
In This Edition
 
Libyan fighters loyal to the interim-ruling National Transitional Council fight intense street battles in the town of Sirte, suffering at least two fatalities.
 
Representatives of Syrian opposition groups begin talks in Sweden, as they seek to unify their efforts against the government of President Bashar al-Assad and end the violence across Syria.
 
Thousands of workers from the public sector gather in central Rome to protest the austerity package recently introduced by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's government.
 
IOC officials give positive remarks on venues intended for use during the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
 
 
Hot Issue Reports
 
NTC Fighters Engage Intense Street Battles in Sirte
Libyan fighters loyal to the interim-ruling National Transitional Council have fought intense street battles in the town of Sirte, suffering at least two fatalities.
 
The advance in Muammar Gaddafi's hometown allowed government fighters to capture a large state housing complex in the past 24 hours.
 
Abdel Salam Gad Allah is a commander of the East Frontline.
 
"The Gaddafi forces and his loyalists are so limited and they are besieged in few kilometres. A week ago, they came together to battle against us and now we are seizing them from all sides. They are hiding in the University of Sirte, Ouagadougou centre, Ibn Sinai clinic and some buildings, but their number is so small. We are seizing Sirte from all sides and I hope the battle will end within 24 hours."
 
But the fighters said the offensive into the city was halted by die-hard Gaddafi loyalists, mostly hiding in buildings and rooftops as snipers.
 
The fighting has been some of the heaviest in weeks.
 
Field hospital doctor Hassan Emlitan says at least two fighters were killed by Gaddafi loyalists.
 
"Two martyrs and 30 wounded fighters and among them five cases that are serious, caused by sniper fire targeting the head, chest and neck areas."
 
Along with the interior desert town of Bani Walid, Sirte is one of the last urban areas of Gaddafi loyalists in the country.
The capture of the city will be a welcome boost to Libya's new leadership, who has put a full transition on hold until highly-symbolic Sirte is under their full control.
 
International Oil Companies Resume Operation in Libya
Meanwhile, international oil companies are now deploying small teams of workers to the oil rich basin east of Sirte, where fields have a combined output capacity of around 210,000 barrels per day.
 
Germany's Wintershall joined others by sending a small team of Libyan workers to the middle of the desert, to a site near the Jakhira oasis.
 
Libya's Agoco and Canada's Suncor joint venture also returned workers to the Amal oil field site.
 
Amal field general manager Saad Ali Eshiem says production levels at the field will soon return to normal.
 
"Now we're somewhere around 50 percent and insha'Allah (God willing) in two or three weeks we can reach the maximum production."
 
Amal is one of Libya's top four oil fields. Three of the largest fields are in the east of Libya and one is to the west.
Production at the Amal oil field was halted during the national uprising which sought to topple former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
 
Meanwhile, off-shore fields operated by France's Total, and fields further east operated by Italian oil and gas company Eni, have also restarted.
 
As fighting continues in Libya, many oil fields are still on high-alert, with men armed with AK-47s and Kalashnikovs patrolling sites that have restarted.
 
Africa's fourth largest oil producer exported 1.3 million barrels per day before the war, and since resuming production in September, has sold less than two days worth of pre-war output.
 
Syrian Opposition Groups Hold Talks to End Domestic Violence
About 80 representatives of Syrian opposition groups have begun talks in Sweden, as they seek to unify their efforts against the government of President Bashar al-Assad and end the violence across Syria.
 
The meeting included the chairman of the recently formed National Council Bourhan Ghalioun, as well as representatives from inside Syria.
 
"The National Council and the opposition party demand protection. We demand the international community assumes its responsibilities and find ways to protect Syrian civilians with the United Nations charter. I think it is the responsibility of the international community to show solidarity and protect civilians."
 
Ghalioun said the meeting aimed at arriving at an action plan, which in a draft of the agenda of the talks was called the Stockholm Action Plan.
 
Ghalioun said the opposition's goal was the peaceful change of power, which the international community had to do more to help.
 
Earlier, Russia and China as permanent members of the UN Security Council vetoed a US and EU-backed resolution which aimed to urge Syria to halt its six-month crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.
 
However, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said last Friday that Syrian leaders should relinquish power if they could not carry out promised reforms.
 
Ghalioun hopes that Russia can help to end the domestic violence.
 
"It is scandalous that Russia accepts or even encourages, I think the Syrian regime to continue its violence against the Syrian people. Russia has a responsibility. It is unacceptable."
 
A report from the United Nations shows that 2,700 people, including 100 children, have been killed in six months of protests across Syria.
 
Italians Protest against Govn't Austerity Package
Thousands of workers from the public sector have gathered in central Rome to protest the austerity package recently introduced by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's government.
 
The protest was promoted by Italian General Confederation of Labor, the country's largest union. It came just one day after students and teachers rallied across Italy against government measures that they say will destroy the country's educational system.
 
"The situation is a real disaster, but we keep trying hard to make the government understand that cutting jobs at the expense of the people is a sacrilege, and we cannot go on like this."
 
"I think that a government deciding cuts to balance the country's budget is a responsible government. But a government cutting only at the expense of families to pay its own debts is nothing more than organized crime looking for future cheap laborers. Cutting in education and research is cutting the legs out from under us and our children's future."
 
A 60-billion-euro austerity package to balance the budget by 2013 was passed last month after weeks of hesitation and delay.
 
Along with a public debt burden that is second only to Greece in the euro zone at 120 percent of gross domestic product, Italy has one of the world's most sluggish economies.
 
Nearly a third of Italy's youth are unemployed, its labor market is strangled by laws that make it nearly impossible to fire anyone but temporary workers.
 
Belarusian Protest against Economic Woes
Hundreds of protesters have gathered in Minsk to protest against Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko's government amid the worst economic crisis since the end of the Soviet Union.
 
Police presence was heavy at the protest, but there were no arrests.
 
The country's current economic woes were themes at the protest, with one protester holding an empty pot to collect donations, reading, "Motherland! Feed my children!"
 
One of the rally's organizers Victor Ivashkevich called on people not to be afraid to come out and protest more often.
 
"You need to explain to people that it's not scary to fight for their interests, but it's necessary to get out of their burrows, it's necessary to get out of their kitchens - stop complaining to each other that life's gotten hard - you need to change this life."
 
The Belarussian rouble has been devalued twice this year - each time by more than 30 percent. Prices of staples such as meat, dairy products and bread have soared.
 
The protesters have also called for more freedom and democracy in the country.
 
Lukashenko has ruled since 1994 and said he is ready to release opponents jailed for joining public protests, but only if the protesters requested a pardon.
 
Andrei Sannikov, a former deputy foreign minister who ran against Lukashenko for the presidency in 2010, remains in jail nine months after a crackdown on protests against Lukashenko's re-election.
 
French President: Georgia Has Right to Choose its Path
During the visit to Tbilisi, French president Nicolas Sarkozy says that Georgia has the right to choose its path but trust with Russia has to be restored.
 
"In order to restore trust the rhetoric of confrontation has to be stopped and the priority has to be dialogue. It is time to stop intimidation and attempts of destabilization. This is unacceptable. Everyone has to understand that the Soviet Union is the past and it cannot be changed by the policy of spheres of interests."
 
Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili has also addressed the crowd, emphasizing his country's move towards Europe and away from Russia.
 
"The ways of Georgia and Russia have parted. Our path is taking us to Europe. The path of Russia takes us back to Asia. I want to reiterate with more strength and energy that we choose Europe and European democracy."
 
Georgia is the last leg of Sarkozy's Caucasus tour, which also saw him visit Azerbaijan and Armenia. It's the French President's third trip to Georgia. In 2008 he helped Georgia and Russia sign a peace agreement after a five day war.
 
Georgia accuses Russia of violating the 2008 peace deal by not pulling its troops back to pre-war positions and occupying the breakaway provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
 
The rift between the two countries culminated in Russia recognizing the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in 2008, which resulted in a war lasting for five days.
 
Thai PM Warns a Crisis Brought from Flooding
Thailand's Prime Minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, has made a TV address to warn the country that it is facing a crisis as a result of severe and widespread flooding.
 
Yingluck said the level of the crisis is more severe than anything experienced by the country in the past few decades.
The worst floods in two decades have affected the country's 59 provinces and continued to inundate the ancient city of Ayutthaya, forcing thousands to evacuate their homes in central Thailand.
 
Official reports show that at least 252 people died as a result of the floods since mid-July.
 
Yingluck said urgent measures have been taken in order to fight the floods. She called for cooperation from everyone in the country.
 
"Agencies and governmental officials had prepared to handle the flood as usual as, they do every year. But this time, they cannot handle the crisis properly, because of the massive volume of water that is flowing in; something that we didn't expect beforehand. This is a time when we need help and cooperation from everyone and every sector to handle the natural disaster which is threatening the lives of the Thai people."
 
Dams are struggling to cope with the flow of water caused by unusually heavy monsoon rain, which seasonally falls from August to October.
 
It is estimated that the severe flood has cut Thailand's forecast for GDP growth this year from 4.4 percent to 3.6 percent.
 
Mexico Authority: New Drug Cartel Responsible for at Least 67 Lillings
Mexican authorities say a relatively new drug gang is thought to be responsible for killing at least 67 people whose bodies were found over the course of a couple of weeks in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz.
   
Mexican navy spokesman Jose Luis Vergara said marines have arrested eight members of the suspected Jalisco New Generation drug gang.
 
Vergara said the suspects led authorities to 32 bodies left in three houses in Veracruz, a port city that carries the state's name.
 
"After being captured, they said that besides the house where they were in, they had another three safe houses where there were 32 abandoned human bodies. This prompted immediate (military) action to locate those bodies."
 
The spokesman added that the gang was also believed to be responsible for dumping 35 bound, tortured bodies on a busy boulevard in a suburb of Veracruz in September.
 
Sinaloa and the Zetas have emerged as Mexico's dominant drug cartels and appear locked in a nationwide battle for territory.
New Generation members have dubbed themselves "Mata Zetas", or "Zetas Killers", and many of their victims appear to be from that cartel.
 
But the navy appeared eager to dampen speculation that the New Generation gang, believed to be allied with Sinaloa, is some sort of paramilitary group aimed at eliminating the hyper-violent Zetas cartel.
 
Mudslide in Colombia Kills Two
A mudslide in northwestern Colombia has left at least two people dead and five others missing.
 
Heavy rains triggered the mudslide in the northwestern region of the country. Five houses, built along the highway connecting the cities of Buenaventura and Cali, were destroyed.
 
Buenaventura firefighter Jose Herrera said rescue workers were still searching for a man and his four missing children.
 
"We found two dead bodies. We sent three injured people to Buenaventura. Four children and the children's father are still missing, according to the man's wife. She was injured and is in Buenaventura right now."
 
Emergency workers have closed the road to Buenaventura port, the country's main Pacific port.
 
Penultimate Inspection of London Olympics "Positive"
A commission of the International Olympic Committee has finished its penultimate inspection of venues intended for use during the 2012 Olympic Games in London, describing arrangements for the games as "very positive".
 
Commission chairman Denis Oswald said some elements of the event's organization might need "fine tuning".
 
"Generally speaking, I am very happy to say that the test events which took place so far have been very positive and the feedback that we have from the athletes and the relevant international federations are totally positive."
 
During the commission's three-day visit, its members visited the newly-opened main Olympic stadium in east London and watched competition in an official Olympic test event - the London Archery Classic tournament.
 
Oswald also commented on this week's ruling by the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport which ruled in favor of an appeal by 400 meter Olympic champion LaShawn Merritt.
 
The court held that a ban on competing in the Olympics after the end of his 21-month suspension for doping amounted to a second penalty for the same offence.
 
IOC president Jacques Rogge has worked to ban such athletes, and this ruling may have cleared the way for dozens of past doping offenders to compete at next year's Games.
 
Denis Oswald:
 
"I think the number of athletes affected is very limited. The president of the IOC has been fighting for zero tolerance all the time, and the fact that a court has decided differently should not have any influence on his personal position. He did what he thought was appropriate, and unfortunately this did not stand before the court, but as I said, there are certainly ways to make sure we can implement that."
 
The British Olympic Association (BOA) has said it would not change its by-law which bans its own athletes from the Olympics for life if they have served a previous suspension for doping.
 
This would put the BOA at variance with national sports associations which accepted the ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
 
Continuous Learning, the Key to Education
 
Some scholars have been quoted as believing that the only way to improve China's all-round quality of education and develop students' creativity is to overhaul the country's educational system.
 
But a commentary from the China Daily argues that such advocacy may have been generated over the assumption that a certain successful education pattern will result in success across the board. This assumption has overlooked individual differences among students, including their natural gifts, efforts and circumstances.
 
The commentary does agree, however, current education practices need to be reformed. Instead of cramming the students with knowledge of today, educational regimes should put in mind students' future when devising education plans and strategies for all levels.
 
The commentary pointed out three universal qualities that should be cultivated within students.
 
First, students should be educated to develop a vital sense that they must always try to stay healthy.
 
Second, mental and spiritual health. This is equally important to physical health, since some students' own healthy mindset and strong spirit have guaranteed their happiness despite physical handicaps.
 
Third, students should be cultivated to adopt a life long learning attitude.
 
The article says students who used to get good grades at all levels of education may fall behind after graduation if they stop learning. In contrast, those who maintain a strong interest and motivation to learn at all times tend to do well in facing new challenges.
 
The commentary believes that sound mental and physical health, a firm belief in oneself and the ability and willingness to learn constitute the essential elements of education in this new era. Equipped with such essentials, students would be better prepared for the future.
 
***************************
 
Village Head's Absence-from-Office Exposes Deep-Rooted Problems in the Countryside
 
An online poster has been circulating drawing attention to the long-standing absence-from-office of a village head-official of Guangfeng County, in Central China's Jiangxi Province.
 
The village official named Xia Jianbo handed over the official seal of his office to his parents, who then asked villagers to pay them bribes when applying for public service.
 
Rednet.cn, a news website based in the central city of Changsha, carries a commentary, which states that the case demonstrates a lack of supervision over officials at the grass-roots level.
 
But more importantly, the article says the scandal points to deep-seated economic and social problems in China's rural regions.
 
In recent years, villagers of working age choose to work in cities for almost the whole year due to the poverty of the countryside.
 
As a result, their rural hometowns are mainly occupied by minors and seniors, who lack the knowledge and ability to exercise their legal rights and manage village affairs.
 
Meanwhile, the commentary claims that village voters have become indifferent to the election of village officials, as local authorities often have little resources with which to improve the lives of the villagers no matter who wins.
 
The article says this situation explains the re-election of Xia Jianbo despite his long-standing absence-from-office.
 
It further points out that the scandal serves as a warning for China to shore up its underdeveloped countryside amid accelerating urbanization.
 
The commentary urges China to reconstruct its vast countryside, invest more resources towards the revitalization of local economies and finance educational and public services.
 
In conclusion, it believes good governance in the countryside depends hugely on the prosperity of villages and in the improvement of villagers' awareness to legitimately participate in public affairs.
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