BBC News with Marion Marshall
Pakistani government officials said they released another eight senior members of the Afghan Taliban, all are ex-government ministers or provincial governors. The Afghan government welcomed the move, but said they need to locate those released to get them involved in the peace process. A P of the BBC Pashto Service reports.
Among those released according to Pakistani officials, all the former Taliban Justice Minister Mullah Nooruddin Turabi and the former governor of Helmand province, Abdul Bari. Mullah Turabi is told to be in poor health. But Pakistan's most high-profile Taliban detainee, former deputy leader, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar remains in custody. Last month Pakistan freed at least nine other Afghan Taliban following a visit to Islamabad by the head of the Afghanistan peace council.
Politicians in the United States are making a final pushed to reach a deal that would avoid what become known as the financial cliff. A combination of major spending cuts and tax rises is due to begin automatically on new year's day. President Obama expressed some optimism that deal could still be reached. Paul Adams reports from Washington.
Amid reports that the deal was beginning to take shape, Mr Obama took to the podium at the White house to cajole congress one more time. With two rows of middle class American stand behind him, the President said the deal to prevent tax increase on the all but the very wealthiest was now in sight but not yet in place. Those making over $400,000 a year would find their taxes going up reverting to rates last in placed during the presidency of Bill Clinton. A deal could also also put off the swingeing automatic spending cuts that supposed to coming into a fact at midnight local time.
Portugal's President Anibal Cavaco Silva has signed next year's budget which includes big tax increase described by critics as a fiscal earth quake. This coming at the start of the new year. The government says the tax increase is a necessary if Portugal is to reduce its debts as agreed with the international creditors.
Rebels in the Central African Republic who made rapid advances towards the capital Bangui have dismissed a series of concessions after on Sunday by President Francois Bozize. The rebels told BBC it was impossible to trust the president because his security forces was still attacking their supporters in Bangui. Here is our West African correspondent Thomas Fessy.
The rebel coalition warned that it will act soon if President Bozize doesn't stop what it calls a campaign against its supporters. It says still committed to talks but accused Mr Bozize of sending out contradictory messages. The main human rights group in the Central African Republic told the BBC that dozens of people suspected of supporting the rebels have been arrested in the capital. There was not possible to confirmed these reports and the government has denied them.You are listening to the latest world news from the BBC
A ban has been imposed in Ghana on the import of second-hand refrigerators which often contain chemicals banned in many western countries because they are seriously harmful to the environment. The Ghana energy commission saying people handing in old fridges will also be able to buy new ones at a discount. The head of Ghana energy commission Alfred Ofosu-Ahenkora told the BBC he hopes the move will provide new employment opportunities.
I know some investors have already drawn up plans to come and visit Ghana to see how they can go ahead. So it is not a matter of stopping some business but it rather encouraging manufacturing. I think manufacturing will create more jobs than importation of second-hand of refrigerators.
Israel has confirmed that it start to allow some building materials into the Gaza Strip supply which has been banned under the long running Israeli blockade. The decision is a part of a ceasefire deal which ended the eight-day conflict between Israel and Hamas run Palestinian territory in November.
The daughter of the former Iranian President Ayatullah Akbar Rafsanjani has been moved to solitary confinement at a Tehran prison where she serving a 6-month sentence. A spokesman for the Iranian judiciary said Faezeh Hashemi was putting in solitary confinement after participating in a protest against condition of the jail. Faezeh Hashemi, who is herself a former MP was sentenced in September for propaganda against states.
Burma has welcomed in the New Year with public firework display for the first time, the latest sign of easing of political control on daily life. Public gatherings were banned on the military rule, but organizers said tens of thousands of people congregated in Rangoon this year to watch the fireworks. The display was held against the backdrop of Burma most secret sight - the golden Shwedagon Pagoda.
1.custody n. 保管；监护；拘留；
Barrett was taken into protective custody.
2.podium n.表演台； 讲台； 乐队指挥台； 领奖台
She was introduced and stepped up to the podium.
3.revert vi. 回复；重提；返祖遗传；归还
After his divorce he reverted to his old habit of drinking.
4.swingeing adj. 激烈的；极好的；严厉的
Let others make their swingeing cuts first in the hope that they will deflect attention from you.
5.concession n. 让步；特许（权）；承认；退位
We can not make heavy concession to the matter.
6.blockade n. 阻塞,封锁
They ran a blockade and got to the border.
7.confinement n. 限制；监禁；分娩
The animals are kept in close confinement.
8.congregate v. 聚集
Many children congregated around their teacher.
1.With two rows of middle class American stand behind him, the President said the deal to prevent tax increase on the all but the very wealthiest was now in sight but not yet in place.
in sight 在即，在望；看得见；被看到
The spokesman made it evident that no compromise was yet in sight.
A ship hove in sight just above the distant horizon.
in place 在对的位置； 适当的； 在工作； 准备就绪
They put in place the tools of my new business.
He went fore to see whether the sail was properly in place.
2.Amid reports that the deal was beginning to take shape, Mr Obama took to the podium at the White house to cajole congress one more time.
take shape 形成；成形；体现；具体化
The new building is beginning to take shape.
His intention took shape in action.