News & Reports 2010-07-04(在线收听

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In This Edition

China and Pakistan conduct a joint antiterrorism drill in northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.

Polish presidential candidates hold their final rallies before the final round of the presidential election on Sunday.

Toyota says it intends to recall 138-thousand Lexus vehicles in the United States to fix faulty engines in the latest quality problem to afflict the troubled automaker.

And China's eastern city of Hangzhou becomes the country's first provincial capital to provide free basic funeral services to its residents.

Hot Issue Reports

China, Pakistan Begin Antiterrorism Drill

China and Pakistan have begun a joint antiterrorism drill in northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.

The drill codenamed "Friendship-2010" is the third of its kind between the two countries.

Wang Guosheng, Commander of China's Lanzhou Military Area Command, says the drill will help enhance military exchanges and cooperation between the two sides.

"The joint exercise is of profound and far-reaching importance in upgrading our capabilities in fighting terrorism together and safeguarding regional peace and stability."

Lieutenant General Khalid Shameem Wynne, Chief of the General Staff of the Pakistan Army, also places high hopes on the drill.

"The presence of professional soldiers for the joint counterterrorism exercise is a testament of our commitment to defeat the evils of extremism, terrorism and separatism in our region. The third joint antiterrorism exercise will go a long way in enhancing bilateral understanding, skills and training."

The two armies will display their counterterrorism weapons and exchange techniques and tactics. They will also hold joint training for physical endurance, shooting skills and hostage rescue.

A live ammunition drill will be held, featuring air strikes by fighter-bombers and armed helicopters.

USAID Compound Attacked in Northern Afghanistan

Six suicide bombers have stormed a USAID compound in northern Afghanistan, killing at least four people and wounding several others.

Officials say at least two of the dead are foreigners.

The attack happened in Kunduz where suicide bombers broke into a building used by a U.S. company working under contract with the United States Agency for International Aid, or USAID.

NATO chief spokesman Brigadier General Josef Blotz condemned the incident.

"These attacks, as crazy as they are, show a kind of frustration and resignation on their side. It is indiscriminate, it is useless, it is crazy. And it usually, you know, like the case we're just seeing here in Kunduz, goes against innocent civilians."

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told the Associated Press in Kabul that six suicide bombers attacked a "training center" for Afghan security forces in Kunduz and killed 55 foreigners.

The Taliban often exaggerates its claims.

Violence is rising in Afghanistan, and concern is growing in Washington and other allied capitals over the direction of the war.

General David Petraeus, the newly appointed commander of the NATO-led force in Afghanistan, is visiting Kabul.
He has already warned of hard fighting this summer.

Clinton: US Supports Good Relations between Ukraine and Russia

Visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the United States supports efforts by Ukraine to deepen its relationship with Russia.

Clinton made the remark at a joint news conference with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in Kiev.

"We hope Ukraine will have good relations with its neighbors, including Russia, and that Ukraine will pursue close, constructive relationships with the United States and countries of the European Union. We do not believe in the concept of spheres of influence. We believe that it is up to Ukrainians to chart your own course towards your own future."

Yanukovych said he viewed the U.S. as a reliable strategic partner and was prepared to take new steps to build a stronger partnership.

Yanukovych's more pro-Western predecessor, Viktor Yushchenko, had broken ties with Russia to seek membership in the European Union and NATO, in both cases without success.

Clinton told Ukrainian leaders that the door to membership in the NATO alliance remained open.

She also sounded optimistic about an expanded role for U.S. commercial investment in Ukraine, particularly in its energy sector.

Polish Presidential Candidates Hold Final Rallies

Polish presidential candidates are holding their final rallies before the final round of the presidential election as polls show the race is too close to call.

Bronislaw Komorowski, the ruling centrist Civic Platform candidate, has so far been seen as the frontrunner. He is expected to face a tight runoff against Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of the right-wing main opposition Law and Justice party.

The election was brought forward by the death of the former president, Kaczynski's identical twin brother, Lech, in a plane crash in Russia on April 10.

At a rally in central Warsaw, Kaczynski said he was satisfied with his campaign battle with Komorowski and pledged to draw conclusions about the crash if he won Sunday's election.

"We have argued, sometimes argued harshly, but it was better than before. And this is a huge source of satisfaction for me because that's what I wanted. What I wanted is to have conclusions drawn from what happened on April 10th. And I swear that I myself if I am elected, I will draw conclusions. I certainly will."

Komorowski opted to hold his final rally in the rural town of Lowicz where he was greeted by people dressed in traditional Polish outfits.

The two candidates are divided on major economic policies. Komorowski is expected to curb Poland's budget deficit and public debt. He also wants Poland to adopt the euro. Kaczynski opposes cutting state spending and privatization and is skeptical about the euro.

Toyota to Recall 138,000 Lexus Vehicles in US to Fix faulty Engines

Toyota Motor Corporation says it intends to recall 138-thousand Lexus vehicles in the United States to fix faulty engines in the latest quality problem to afflict the troubled automaker.

Toyota has confirmed in a statement it plans to file paperwork on the recall with the government next week.

The Japanese automaker says flaws in valve springs, a crucial engine component, could make the vehicles stall while in motion.

Jessica Caldwell, an auto analyst at, says this round of recalls points to the weakening of Toyota's strength.

"What they're really feeling is still the pinch of people very weary of their brand. And although we're not seeing sales completely nosedive, they're definitely not as strong as they used to be. And if you look at a lot of their year-over-year comparisons for both Toyota and Lexus, I mean, they're not as strong as a lot of their competitors, especially Lexus."

Toyota has announced in Japan that it will recall 270-thousand Lexus vehicles around the world to address the engine stalling problems.

Of the 270-thousand recalled cars, some 180-thousand were sold overseas, including the United States.

Toyota says owners will be notified of the recall by mail, and dealers will repair the engine's valve springs at no charge.

The company says it has received about 200 complaints in Japan, but no accidents have been reported there or abroad.

The automaker has already been scrambling to repair its reputation after it recalled 8.5 million vehicles starting last October because of problems with sticking accelerator pedals and other issues.

Super Skimmer Arrives to Assist with Clean up Efforts in Gulf of Mexico

A massive ship converted into a "super skimmer" recently arrived in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico to assist with the cleanup of the BP oil spill.

The ore and oil carrier is more than 300 meters in length.

It is called a "super skimmer" because it can scoop up millions of gallons of oily water mix every day, much more than skimming vessels already in use.

Thad Allen, the National Incident Commander for the oil spill, describes how the vessel will be used.

"We're going to have to use it right around the well site where it's got the greatest economy of effort in dealing with the oil and where it can give it the greatest return on investment. I think we just need to see how it works."

The cleanup rate has recently picked up.

More than 28 million gallons of oily water mix have been collected since the beginning of the spill about two and a half months ago.

Alleged Mastermind Behind Death of US Consulate Employee Held

A top Mexican drug gang leader has confessed that he ordered the killing of a U.S. consulate worker.

Jesus Ernesto Chavez, whose arrest was announced on Friday, was the leader of a group of hitmen for the Los Aztecas drug gang.

The gang works for La Linea, the armed branch of the Juarez Cartel.

Ramon Pequeno, the head of antinarcotics for the Federal Police, said Chavez ordered the March 13th attack that killed U.S. consulate employee Lesley Enriquez and her husband as they drove through the violent city towards a border crossing to the United States.

"Chavez Castillo said that the order to kill the employee of the U.S. consulate came from La Linea because this employee was providing visas to members of a rival gang."

The suggestion that drug gangs may have infiltrated the U.S. diplomatic mission runs counter to previous statements by U.S. embassy officials that Enriquez was never in a position to provide visas and worked in a section that provides basic services to U.S. citizens in Mexico.

Jorge Alberto Salcido, the husband of a Mexican employee of the consulate, also was killed by gunmen after leaving the same event in a separate vehicle.

Chavez told police that gunmen opened fire on Salcido because the two cars were the same color, and the hit men did not know which one Enriquez was in.

U.S. Police Reopen Sexual Assault Investigation into Former VP

Police in the United States have reopened a sexual assault investigation involving former Vice President Al Gore.

The police said an extra review is needed because detectives looking into the matter last year failed to notify high-ranking officials of their decision to drop the case.

Massage therapist Molly Hagerty accused Gore of repeatedly groping and kissing her during a late-night, alcohol-fuelled attack in a luxury hotel suite in October 2006.

"I squirmed to try and get out of his grasp telling him to stop, don't, several times. I finally told him, 'You're being a crazed sex poodle.'"

Detectives investigated the claims in 2006 and 2009 but decided not to pursue the case because of Hagerty's lack of cooperation and erratic behavior.

The story re-emerged last week after Hagerty told her story to the "National Enquirer." The tabloid's latest edition identified the masseuse by name.

Oscar-winning Film about Dolphin-hunt Released in Japan, Despite Protests

A few dozen protesters have gathered outside a Tokyo movie theater to demonstrate against the release of the Oscar-winning documentary "The Cove" about a dolphin hunt in the Japanese village of Taiji.

Police were on the scene to make sure the protesters did not enter the Image Forum movie theater where the film was being shown.

The movie shows scenes of a bloody but legal dolphin slaughter filmed by hidden cameras, and portrays local fishermen as rough goons.

Nationalist groups said the film shouldn't be shown because it is anti-Japanese and distorts the truth.

Yasutomo Maki is a moviegoer who has watched the film.

"I think we need to improve freedom of expression. But the question is how far we should stretch it. In that sense, I agree with the protesters here who are saying the way the movie portrayed the theme is rather problematic."

Documents on Hitler's Jail Time Auctioned in Germany

Historical records from the prison where Adolf Hitler was held in 1924 have been sold to an anonymous bidder for 27-thousand euros at an auction in Fuerth, Germany.

The approximately 500 documents from the Landsberg prison were recently found by a man in Nuremberg among the possessions of his late father, who had purchased them at a flea market in the 1970s.

Werner Behringer, whose auction house put them up for sale, said the records document the dictator's time behind bars.

"Among those is the original prison book of Landsberg prison and in a copy is the known letter in which Hitler asks for a discount at a Munich car dealership when he was released from prison, as he had not expected any income and needed it (a car) cheap."

The Bavarian State Archives in Munich examined photographs of the documents and said they appeared genuine, although experts said their authenticity could not be guaranteed without the originals in hand.

Although only one document is signed by Hitler himself, and much of the information about his time in prison is otherwise available, the records provide an intriguing window into Hitler's early days as Nazi leader.

Meanwhile in a surprise move, the Bavarian Ministry for Education and Science has started a procedure to stop the documents from being auctioned abroad.

Hangzhou Takes the Lead in Offering Free Funeral Services

The eastern city of Hangzhou has become China's first provincial capital to provide free basic funeral services to its residents.

The policy will save the families of each deceased person 1,200 yuan, or about 180 U.S. dollars, and offer additional assistance to low-income groups.

Serena Williams Wins Fourth Wimbledon Champion

In sports, world No. 1 Serena Williamns has successfully defended her title at Wimbledon. The American clinched an easy win over 21-seeded Russian Vera Zvonareva.

China Daily: Gov't Spokespersons Must Provide Credible Communication

As many as 11 departments of the Communist Party of China Central Committee have appointed spokespersons to help promote transparency in Party affairs.

But an editorial in "China Daily" raises the question of how exactly the spokespersons will go about their tasks.

The editorial says the spokespersons are expected to serve as links between their organizations and the public.

Yet, this does not mean they will facilitate the effective communication badly needed to curb corruption and strengthen the Party's governance structure.

The editorial goes on to say citizens will certainly not expect these spokespersons to smooth the communication process unless they stop using bureaucratic phraseology that is often full of cliches and empty rhetoric.

The editorial also points out that it is unclear just how much leeway these spokespersons will have in talking about Party matters. In fact, the information that the spokespersons will be able to divulge is something over which they will have absolutely no control. In this context, whether higher authorities will allow them the discretion of disclosing to the press details concerning a particular event or issue will make a big difference.

In conclusion, the editorial says appointing spokespersons is one thing, but allowing them to function as they should is another. There is still a long way to go before government spokespersons can truly start acting as a bridge between the Party and the public.

China Times: China Needs to Develop Brands

Although China failed to qualify for the World Cup, Chinese products are omnipresent in South Africa where the football matches are being held.

These products include Jabulani footballs, jerseys, nets, whistles, sneakers, socks, "vuvuzela" horns and hairpieces.

But an opinion piece in the "China Times" says we need to rethink why we have not yet cultivated a Chinese brand that could have been showcased at the event. It says Chinese enterprises lag far behind their foreign counterparts in research and development, brand marketing and quality management.

The editorial notes that most Chinese firms on the Fortune 500 list are state-owned enterprises that enjoy many preferential policies. But still they cannot represent Chinese brands.

It also points out that many Chinese factories are at the lowest end of the global industrial chain with margins that are "thinner than a blade." Furthermore, the editorial says China's cheap labor and loose environmental protection regulations have given the country a bad name.

The editorial argues that China has no reason to be complacent with its status as the "factory of the world."

Instead, it needs more technological and institutional innovations to expedite the transformation of its economic development model.

The editorial upholds the view that without having a competitive edge and sound industrial structure, China cannot become a true economic power even if its products are sold all over the world.