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Hello, I’m Sue Montgomery with the BBC news.
The UN Secretary General says he is encouraged that Iran has become involved for the first time in international talks in resolving the conflict in Syria. The US Secretary of State John Kerry has held preliminary discussions with his counterparts from Iran, Russia, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. As world power prepare for substantive negotiation in Vienna, Ban Ki-moon asked them to show a sense of flexibility. “I’m urging all these five countries to show their global leadership rather than their own national perspectives. For longer they take their own national perspectives, the much more our people will suffer and whole world will suffer.”
Man armed with knives has attacked rally held by the main opposition National Lead for Democracy in Myanmar’s largest city Yangon. The NLD candidate for the area, a sitting MP, has been taken to hospital with injuries tooth, head and hands. The attack comes ten days before Myanmar’s first openly contested election in 25 years and three days before the NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi is due to hold a large rally.
Paul Ryan has been elected as the new speaker of the US House of Representatives. The 45-year-old Republican from Wisconsin succeeds John Boehner who announced his retirement last month. A White House spokesman said President Obama respected speaker Ryan despite differences on policy. In his speech accepting the role Mr. Ryan described the House as broken. The BBC’s Antisy Zerker says he’s facing a difficult task. “He is generally well respected as a charismatic young men, he comes, kind of, from conservative wing of the Republican party, but they’ve turned on people who they think don’t have their backs before. So he’s going to have to try to broker some compromises that actually get legislation passed and when that happens, that’s when you see this right wing conservative tea party caucus start to breakaway and cause trouble.”
A Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi has been given the Sakharov human rights prize. He ran an internet discussion forum Free Saudi Liberals. Last year there was an international outrage when he was sentenced to ten years in prison for insulting Islamic values. Evelyne Abitbol as cofounder of the Raif Badawi Foundation for freedom, she says the award may not help his pass immediately. “It means a lot. It’s the second most important prize or the same level as the Nobel Prize for freedom, and it means that his struggle is a concern for so many people around the world for the European Parliament Area. Of course, it’s a consolation for now, but it doesn’t mean that Raif will be released tomorrow morning.” BBC news.
China has announced the end of its decades long policy of restricting most families to have only one child. The official Xinhua News Agency says that all couples would be allowed to have two children citing a statement from the ruling communist party. John Sudworth reports from eastern China. “China is obsession with birth control began with Chairman Mao and became national law after his death. Few policies anywhere can have affected so many lives so profoundly. This mother tells me she had no choice but to have abortion. You either go willingly or the government comes for you, she says. In recent years, the one child policy had already been relaxed with an increasing number of exceptions and exemptions. Now it’s finally going, but its replacement by a two-child policy is a sign that the communist Party is not yet ready to fully relinquish control over female fertility.”
Reports from Sudan say there’s been an escalation of a border dispute with Ethiopia. Sudan’s interior minister Ismat Abdul Rahman told parliament that Ethiopia cattle wrestlers had killed at least 16 farmers and stolen nearly 300 cattle in recent raids. Members of the Sudanese parliament have asked the government to send troops to the border state of Gederef.
A corruption watch dog says nearly all countries in the Middle East and North Africa have opaque defense budgets with almost no parliamentary accountability. In a new report, the London based Transparency International says secrecy across defense and security establishments remains the norm in the region. And the ensuing corruption was having a big impact on the rise of terrorism. He said only Jordan and Tunisia published their defense budgets. BBC news.
preliminary discussions 初步探讨/讨论
caucus n.核心小组，干部会议， 决策委员会，秘密会议
breakaway adj. 脱离的，分离出去的 n.分离，逃脱，背弃
consolation n.安慰，慰问，（或事物） 起安慰作用的人
birth control 计划生育