News & Reports 2011-10-02(在线收听

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In This Edition
China celebrates the 62nd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.
Italy is to release frozen Libyan assets to help new rulers rebuild their country despite continued fighting with supporters of the fugitive leader.
France says Europe is obliged to help debt-choked Greece get out of the financial crisis.
Supporters of former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide rally in Port-au-Prince, marking the 20th anniversary of the military coup that toppled the two-time leader during his first term in office.
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Italy Will Release Frozen Libyan Assets
Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini says his country has authorized to release frozen Libyan assets as requested to help Libya's new rulers rebuild their country despite continued fighting with supporters of the fugitive leader on three fronts.
Franco Frattini made the remarks on his first visit to Libya since Moammar Gadhafi's fall, saying Italy is ready to unfreeze 2.5 billion euros in frozen Libyan assets.
"Over the next few days a delegation of experts from Italian banks will meet with the governance of the Central Libyan Bank and the Commercial Libyan Bank to validate all projects for which funds have already allocated and authorised in Italy, to be used as soon as they are unfrozen."
The funds would be welcomed by Libya's interim leaders as they try to get the nation back on track while facing difficulties not only with their balance sheets but also on the battlefield, both of which translate to political struggles as well.
The National Transitional Council has drawn up a roadmap, setting out plans for a new constitution and elections over a 20-month period.
Tripoli Residents Demand for "Weapons-free" Capital
Meanwhile, residents of the Libyan capital have asked fighters who flooded into Tripoli to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi to leave the city.
Hundreds gathered in the city's central square, listening to speeches from local clerics encouraging a weapons-free capital.
Tripoli cleric Sheikh Ali Khadour expressed their appeals.
"We don't want the terror of weapons. We welcome all our brothers from all the cities in Libya. We welcome them in their capital, in their open capital. Visit it, work in it, walk around in it but we do not want weapons."
Tripoli has seen almost complete calm since rebel fighters stormed Gaddafi's fortress-like compound in Tripoli, but no effective central authority over armed groups has emerged.
The weapons-free request comes as the ruling National Transitional Council is deadlocked in attempts to form a government.
Meanwhile, groups also gathered at the site in a show of support for those demonstrating in Syria.
Activists claim at least 11 protesters were killed after thousands took to Syrian streets after Friday prayers, calling for the overthrow of President Bashar al-Assad.
The United Nations estimated that about 2,700 people have been killed in Assad's crackdown on anti-government protest since it erupted earlier this year.
France Ready to Help Greece Get New Bailout
French President Nicolas Sarkozy says Europe is obliged to help debt-choked Greece after meeting with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou in Paris.
Sarkozy's comments came as Greece was under international review for a key bailout fund.
"Europe is a civilisation, it is a family, and it is a solidarity. When one member of the family is going through difficulties, the other members of the family should rally to help them. Failure in Greece would be failure for all of Europe. There is no other credible alternative possible."
For his part, Papandreou re-affirmed Greece's commitment to meeting its economic reform goals in exchange for Europe bailout.
"I want to make it very clear that Greece is determined. I, myself, our government, the Greek people, are determined to make the necessary changes. We are making the sacrifices and we will live up to our part of the decisions that we have taken, our responsibilities, making all of the necessary reforms."
Meanwhile, in Athens, inspectors from the International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and European Commission – are continuing their review of reforms Greece must make to qualify for its latest installment of bailout loans.
The Greek government is under pressure to negotiate the disbursement of an 8-billion euro aid tranche it needs to avoid bankruptcy in mid-October.
Lee Urges Korean Army Reform
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak urged the country's army to reform in order to build a stronger military force, at a ceremony marking the 63rd Armed Forces Day.
Lee has been determined to accomplish military restructuring during his term, which ends in 2013, after his government was widely blamed for not reacting fast enough against attacks from the North last year.
The president says that reforming the military was not a matter of choice, reaffirming his previous stance.
"... it is clear that military reform is an urgent task, which cannot be delayed any longer, especially after dealing with the North's attack on Cheonan and the shelling of Yeonpyeong Island."
An international team of experts led by the South's military concluded that a North Korean torpedo sank one of its navy ships last year, killing 46 sailors; an event which North Korea denies involvement in.
Tensions rose to their highest level since the 1950-53 war, following an artillery attack by the North on a South Korean island.
The head of South Korea's conservative ruling party made a rare visit to North Korea this week in the hope of improving soured relations between the rivals, but returned home without a substantial breakthrough.
Trial of Former Ukraine PM Adjourned
Judges have adjourned the trial of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko until October 11 in order to render a verdict in the case.
Tymoshenko's lawyer Mykola Siry said the decision to adjourn the trial meant his client was being illegally detained for nearly two weeks.
"Yulia Tymoshenko will be detained until October 11, as the judge said. But it doesn't mean that he'll announce the verdict on October 11. He can do it on another day after October 11. In other words Yulia Tymoshenko will be illegally detained for one and half or two weeks."
Prosecutors have asked to sentence Tymoshenko, the country's top opposition leader, to seven years in jail on charges of exceeding her authority in the signing of a natural gas import contract with Russia in 2009.
Tymoshenko has denied the charges and said the trial was orchestrated by her long-time foe, President Viktor Yanukovych, to force her out of politics.
The United States and the European Union have condemned the trial as politically motivated.
18 Killed in Iraq Blast
Police say 18 people have been killed and another 63 wounded in a large blast near a mosque in the Iraqi town of Hilla, a mainly Shi'ite city.
A car bomb exploded among crowded mourners as they attended a Shi'ite funeral.
One witness blamed US forces for the violence and continuing instability in the county.
"There was a blast in Hilla, near a funeral tent. It was close to a Shi'ite mosque and the shrine of prophet Ayyoub. I think that the US forces are responsible for this attack, one way or another. We condemn such criminal acts that are mainly supported by the U.S. and operated by Takfiri terrorist groups against innocent people."
Violence in Iraq has eased since sectarian strife took the country to the brink of civil war a few years after the 2003 U.S. invasion. But Sunni Islamists tied to al Qaeda and Shi'ite militias launch attacks almost on a daily basis as American troops prepare to leave at year end.
Sunni insurgents have often targeted Shi'ites with car bombs and suicide attacks in an attempt to rekindle sectarian tensions, and to test Iraq's government and security forces.
Recent attacks and incidents in the Sunni heartland of Anbar in western Iraq, and in the Shi'ite holy city of Kerbala, have fueled worries of resurgent sectarian violence and tensions over who controls disputed areas.
Haitians Mark 20th Anniversary of Military Coup
Supporters of former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide have held a rally in the capital Port-au-Prince, marking the 20th anniversary of the military coup that toppled the two-time leader during his first term in office.
Aristide supporters say the 1991 ouster of the populist leader was a rupture in Haiti's long struggle for a more democratic society.
Rene Civil, a member of Aristide's Lavalas Party, pointed out abuses committed by the Haitian army at the time of the coup.
"After the coup in September (1991), many people died and went missing. There was a massacre perpetrated by the army against the civil population who wanted democracy, change, peace and participation."
The rally was the first of its kind since Aristide returned to his homeland last March after a seven-year exile in South Africa.
Aristide has been a divisive figure since he emerged as a fiery priest in the 1980s but he is still beloved by much of the country's poor.
A rebellion of former soldiers in 2004 ousted the former Roman Catholic priest during his second term.
Current Haitian President Michel Martelly is planning to revive the country's disbanded military, who would eventually replace a United Nations peacekeeping mission present in the country.
Four Rescued after Ultra-light Plane Crashes in Australia
Four people have been rescued after an ultra-light plane crashed into a ferris wheel near the small coastal town of Old Bar, about 300 kilometers north of Sydney, Australia.
The plane was leaking fuel as it dangled from the ferris wheel, about 10 metres above the ground, with two occupants trapped inside.
After 90 minutes, two children, who were riding the ferris wheel at the time, were rescued without injury.
The pilot and passenger of the plane were also rescued, after being trapped for several hours inside their aircraft atop the ferris wheel.
The 53-year-old pilot, Paul Cox joked that he had no ulterior motive for crashing into the ferris wheel.
"I wouldn't be here now if it wasn't for that plane. They're made so well, those planes. And the guy asked me if I've got any Al Qaeda background, and I went, 'no'".
The pilot's son-in-law, John, was the only passenger on the plane. He thanked rescuers for saving him, before being reunited with his relieved family.
The plane, a Cheetah S200, was practicing touch-and-go maneuvers at a nearby airstrip, but failed to gain enough altitude to clear the ferris wheel.
Authorities have brought a crane in to remove the plane from the structure. Air safety authorities have launched an investigation into the cause of the crash.
Paramedic Gives Evidence as Doctor's Trial Continues
In the ongoing trial of Michael Jackson's doctor, charged in relation to his death, a paramedic has stated that Dr. Conrad Murray appeared "frantic" when paramedics arrived in the singer's bedroom on the day of his death in June 2009.
Richard Senneff, the first paramedic to reach Jackson's bedroom, made the remarks when giving evidence to the jury hearing the physician's involuntary manslaughter case.
Senneff said he had to ask Dr. Murray three times about what condition, if any, Jackson was suffering from before receiving an answer from the doctor.
"He did not respond. I asked again what his underlying health condition was. He did not respond. And then he, I think it was the third time, he said, 'Nothing, nothing. He has nothing.' Simply, that did not add up to me."
Senneff was one of four paramedics who tried to revive Jackson.
He said that he found the singer cool to the touch, with his eyes open and dry, and an IV (intravenous drip) in his leg.
Emergency room personnel at a nearby hospital advised Senneff to declare Jackson dead in his bedroom, but the singer was transported because Dr. Murray wanted life-saving efforts to continue.
Authorities contend that Murray administered a fatal dose of propofol and other sedatives, but Murray's attorneys claim Jackson administered the fatal dose himself after his doctor left the room.
The 58-year-old physician has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter.
If convicted, he could face up to four years in prison and lose his medical license.
China Marks 62nd Anniversary of PRC
Chinese President Hu Jintao and other top political leaders Saturday presented flowers at the Monument to the People's Heroes in Tian'anmen Square in Beijing, to mark the 62nd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.
The leaders stood in silent tribute after singing the national anthem, and proceeded to walk around the 38-meter-high landmark.
Joined by 3,600 representatives from all walks of life, the leaders paid respect to those who sacrificed their lives for the nation's independence and prosperity.
The ceremony came just two days after the successful launch of China's first space lab module Tiangong-1, which is seen as a critical step for China to develop space docking technology.
Meanwhile, many ordinary Chinese citizens gathered around Tian'anmen square to soak up the festive atmosphere in the capital.
Forty-five-year-old Wang Xinglu said life had greatly improved as a result of China becoming the world's fastest growing economy.
"Decades ago, we used coupons, for example food coupons, and exchanged them for certain goods. Now we can buy whatever we want. People have motorbikes and cars, which we couldn't have imagined in the past."
To celebrate this year's National day, Tian'anmen Square and Chang'an Avenue have been adorned with some 700,000 flower pots. The main parterre, or Best Wishes for the Motherland flower bed, is 15 meters tall and 50 meters in diameter.
The celebrations for Chinese National Day last from October 1 to October 7.
Challenging the Taklamakan Desert at Xinjiang's International Exceptional Tourism Festival
Thousands of Chinese tourists have started their National Day holiday by driving across the Taklamakan Desert, in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
The second Xinjiang Exceptional Tourism Festival opened on Oct.1, marking the beginning of a six-day journey through the desert. The event involves hundreds of tourists from around the country, who will drive across the desert.
Guli Abulimu, Deputy Chief of the Tourism Administration of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
"Exceptional tourism is a relatively new tourism product in China. Boasting vast lands and rich geological resources, Xinjiang is an ideal place for exceptional tourism. We are going to boost the market by holding such tourism festivals."
The festival, initiated in 2010, distinguishes itself from other tourism promotional events by emphasizing the exploration value of Xinjiang's landscape for outdoor activities and extreme sports.
The "Crossing the Taklamakan Desert" project is the first highlight of the festival. The nearly 3,000-kilometer route includes the cities of Urumqi and Korla and scenic regions such as the Gobi Desert in Hami and the mountain basin in Turpan. Participants will be divided into several teams and complete the journey in sports cars, SUVs or tour buses.
3 Years after the Wenchuan Earthquake, Recovery Efforts Are Paying off
Three years ago, an 8.0-magnitude earthquake jolted southwest China's Sichuan province and killed an estimated 69-thousand people.
The tremor could be felt as far as Japan and the Philippines.
Beichuan County was one of the worst-hit areas, with more than 8-thousand people dead.
As the saying goes, time heals all wounds. Three years on, life there is finally getting back to normal and possibly even better than before.
Shen Chengcheng reports.
A small town in northwest Sichuan, Beichuan was a popular tourist spot known for beautiful mountains, rivers and the ethnic Qiang culture.
However, the 2008 Sichuan earthquake changed all that.
"Beichuan county is located at the mountainous area, and is prone to earthquakes. In fact, the whole county was toppled during the disaster."
That's He Jiyu, head of the local Tourism Bureau. He says Beichuan is the only county that had to be rebuilt at a different location.
"Because of the severe damage, the State Council asked the local government to move the town to a new place. It has taken two difficult years to rebuild the new county."
Last October, the newly-built Beichuan county was put into use. It is 23 kilometers from the old one.
On top of that, the Qiang culture is prominently featured in the new county.
One-tenth of the Qiang people lost their lives in the earthquake, so the preservation of the Qiang culture was high on the government's agenda in the aftermath of the quake.
To that end, the protection of the ancient Qiang painted furniture was listed as one of the revitalization projects of the Qiang culture.
Because of its popularity, the shops selling such furniture have been given a first-class spot on the main commercial street in the new Beichuan county.
Zhu Hongzhi and his wife own one of such shops.
Zhu says he opened the shop to let more people know about the culture of Qiang people.
"Lots of tourists would come to this street every day, they buy our painted artifacts and take them out of Beichuan, to the entire world, so that more people will get to know our Qiang culture."
Apart from the ancient culture, the new Beichuan county is also a place with modern elements.
Head of the local Tourism Bureau He Jiyu says, the idea is to turn the new Beichuan into a tourist attraction with international standards.
"The top designers in China did a fine job, incorporating some scientific and modern ideas into the reconstruction project. Thanks to their efforts, the new county is a great place to travel and live in."
One example is the Ba Na Qia commercial street.
It has nearly all the functions you can find in a street located in big cities like Beijing and Shanghai. Shopping, dining, hanging out, you name it.
And besides the hustle and bustle, local residents have also been enjoying their lives in the new comfy communities.
Wang Li and her family have just moved in a newly-built community. She says it is only a 5-minute walk to the nearest park.
"Our 3-member family lives in a 113-square-meter apartment now. And the neighbourhood is great. With all the trees and flowers, it's like living in a park."
Like Wang Li, students from the Beichuan Middle School are also basking in happiness, a sharp contrast to the picture three years ago.
Nearly half of the students and teachers lost their lives in the quake back then.
It was one of the saddest memories in the school's history.
Thanks to donors all over the world, students have been able to have classes in their brand-new school for a year now.
60-year-old Mr. Cai is a Chinese-Canadian. He donated money to the rebuilding project.
"Chinese immigrants in Canada have donated a lot of money for the reconstuction work after the Wenchuan earthquake. And we've also got the help from the Canadian government, who doubled the money we raised."
Three years after the earthquake, people in Beichuan have shown great resilience and have started to get back on their feet.
As He Jiyu, Head of the local Tourism Bureau says, people in Beichuan will never forget all those helping hands during the tough times.
"We have received a lot of help from people in China and all over the world. We'll never forget that. Life is now getting better, so we hope our friends who have supported us can come to Beichuan."
For CRI, I'm Shen Chengcheng.