BBC news with Gaenor Howells.
The United Nations says the number of people killed since the start of the Syrian uprising in March 2011, has reached at least 60,000. This is higher than opposition activists estimated. Here's Mike Wooldridge.
The monitoring group known as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has, in its own most recent calculations, put the death toll in Syria to around 45,000, but also said the real number was likely to be much higher. That's now the conclusion of the UN after what it says its five months of exhaustive analysis carried out by data specialists. This produced a list of 59,648 individuals killed between the start of the uprising in March 2011 and the end of November 2012. And as the UN points out, there's been no let-up in the conflict since then.
In the latest violence in Syria, activists say a government air attack on a petrol station in the east of Damascus has killed more than 75 people. John Donnison reports from Beirut.
Unverified video footage, apparently from outside the petrol station in the suburb of Mleiha in eastern Damascus, showed a scene of devastation. The bloody bodies of the injured could be seen staggering out from among burning cars. A plume of thick black smoke rose into the sky. One witness said people had been queuing to fill up after the arrival of a fuel delivery when the air strike hit around lunchtime. The Mleiha district is not rebel-held, but is considered to have strong opposition support. Many people living in the capital had reportedly fled there from other areas which had been the focus of fighting, regarding Mleiha as being safe.
The president of the Central African Republic, Francois Bozizé, has sacked the Defense Minister, his son Jean Francis and the army chief of staff for failing to stop the rebel advance on the capital Bangui. As Thomas Fessy reports.
中非共和国总统弗朗索瓦·博齐泽解雇其子即国防部长Jean Francis以及陆军参谋长，原因是他们未能阻止叛军向首都班基挺进。Thomas Fessy报道。
President Bozizé, who's also a general, has taken on the role of Defense Minister, a portfolio which had already been combined with his presidential seats until four years ago. Government spokesman Gezuai Binuwa, told the BBC that questions about poor results of the army in the past weeks couldn't be left unanswered. A new army chief of staff should be named in the coming hours or days, Mr. Binuwa said. The decree was announced on state radio just after the rebel coalition said it would hold its positions and join peace talks in Gabon.
Mauritania has become the latest country to prohibit the use of plastic shopping bags. The Environment Minister Amedi Camara said the ban would protect the environment as well as the lives of animals and fish. A ministry spokesman in Nouakchott, said 80% of all cattle slaughtered in the Mauritanian capital were found have plastic bags in their stomachs.
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Share prices have jumped in the United States and around the world after the late-night deal in Washington on Tuesday staved off automatic tax rises and spending cuts that were due to take effect in the New Year. All the major US stock indexes were up, the FTSE Index in London closed above 6,000 for the first time in more than a year, and there were also significant rises elsewhere in Europe.
Hundreds of people have demonstrated outside government buildings in the Nepalese capital Katmandu to demand justice for crimes against women. Joanna Jolly reports.
For the past six days, hundreds of people have demonstrated outside the Prime Minister's house and other state buildings in Katmandu. The protests began in response to the case of a young Nepalese woman who said she was robbed by custom officials as she returned from working abroad. She was raped and robbed again by a policeman. The victim says she's now pregnant following the attack. Protesters are demanding that the Nepalese government properly investigate this case, and want better justice for women in general. They say they were inspired by similar protests in India, in response to the gang rape and murder of a student in Delhi.
Two Egyptian presidential aides have travelled to the United Arab Emirates, after the arrest of 11 Egyptian nationals accused of forming a Muslim Brotherhood cell there. Egyptian officials said the delegates will deliver a message from President Mohamed Morsi, to the leader of the UAE, Sheikh Khalifa al Nahyan. All political party or groups are banned in the Emirates.
The national court in Spain has approved the extradition to Serbia of one of the men convicted of killing the former Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic in 2003. Vladimir Milisavljevic, who was sentenced in absentia by a Serbian court to 35 years in prison for his part in Mr. Djindjic's assassination, (Mr. Milisavljevic) was arrested in February last year. He's accused of a number of serious crimes in Spain.
1.death toll 死亡人数
The death toll continues to rise from yesterday's earthquake.
2.exhaustive adj. 详尽的；彻底的；消耗的
This is not an exhaustive list.
3.unverified adj. 未经核对的，未经证实的
For that which is unverified today may be verified tomorrow.
4.portfolio n. 公文包；文件夹；证券投资组合；部长职务
He has held the defence portfolio since the first free elections in 1990.
5.stock index [金融] 股票指数；[金融] 证券指数
The stock index's weighting for the total equity of listed companies.
6.extradition n. 引渡；亡命者送还本国
The smuggler is in prison tonight, awaiting extradition to Britain.
7.absentia n. 缺席；
He was tried in absentia and sentenced to seven years in prison.
1.The bloody bodies of the injured could be seen staggering out from among burning cars.
stagger out 摇摇晃晃地走
It was sad to watch the old woman stagger out with the big bundle and disappear.
A boy staggered out of the bus, stumbled, and collapsed on the snowbank at the curb.
2.Share prices have jumped in the United States and around the world after the late-night deal in Washington on Tuesday staved off automatic tax rises and spending cuts that were due to take effect in the New Year.
stave off 避开；延缓
I will do my best to stave off his participation.
He stove off his failure as best he could.