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BBC News with Jonathan Izard

The main Syrian opposition group says it won’t attend meetings in Washington, Moscow and Rome in protests at what it describes as the international communities’ silence over recent missile strikes on Aleppo. Here is Jim Muir.
叙利亚主要反对派组织抗议称不会参加在华盛顿、莫斯科和罗马的会议,称国际社区对阿勒颇最近遭受的导弹袭击不闻不问。Jim Muir报道。

Opposition leaders are clearly worried that the coalition risks being discredited and getting dangerously out of touch with realities on the ground if it gets drawn into a diplomatic process which would involve compromising with the regime which shows no signs of readiness to step down. They are also enraged by the increasing use by the regime of Russian-supplied Scud missiles which have been hitting rebel-held parts of Aleppo recently with devastating results. There’s even a suspicion that Russian technicians may be firing them. Hence their reluctance to treat the Russians as honest brokers in political settlement efforts.

Iran has said it’s selected 16 potential sites to build nuclear power plants. The country’s Atomic Energy Association also announced the discovery of significant deposits of raw uranium, tripling known national reserves. Analysts say the announcements could complicate talks about Iran’s controversial nuclear programme due to start in Kazakhstan on Tuesday.

President Holland of France has said that French troops leading the fight against Islamist insurgents in Mali are in the final phase of driving them from their mountain hideouts. From Paris, Hugh Schofield reports.

President Hollande said that French troops were now engaged in the fighting in the Ifoghas Mountains near the Algerian border. It was here that large numbers of what he called the terrorists had taken refuge. “This really is the last phase” he said "because it’s here that a concentrated the forces over Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the group which is believed to be holding several French hostages." The president also paid homage to Chadian forces who were engaged in heavy fighting in the same area on Friday as result of which some 65 Islamists and 13 Chadian soldiers were killed.

Three pro-Kurdish MPs in Turkey have visited Abdullah Ocalan, the leader of the Kurdish militant organization the PKK in his island jail. On their return, the MPs said Mr. Ocalan has signaled that captives held by the PKK could be released as part of a peace process. The PKK and the Turkish government are reportedly close to a deal under which Turkish-Kurds would end their insurgency in exchange for greater minority rights.

A German government minister has suggested that food products containing horsemeat but wrongly labeled as beef could still be eaten. The development minister Dirk Niebel said they could be distributed to the poor. He said it would be irresponsible to throw away palatable and safe food. Mr. Niebel was responding to a continuing scandal in Europe with tests in one country after another detecting horsemeat in products labeled as beef.

Gun rights activists in the United States are holding what they are calling a day of resistance to protest against President Obama’s planned gun reforms. The Sandy Hook School shooting last year which left twenty children and six teachers dead led to renewed calls for tougher restrictions on gun use.

World News from the BBC

As Pope Benedict prepares to step down, the Vatican has criticized what it called news reports aimed at influencing the cardinals who will choose his successor. The Vatican said while superpowers had tried to influence the selection in the past, today there was an attempt to apply the weight of public opinion. David Willey reports from Rome.

In past centuries, it was European kings and emperors who were accused of trying to influence papal elections, now it’s the media and particularly the Italian media. That’s the Vatican view, expressed in unusually forceful language. There is anger inside Pope Benedict’s domain about what the official Vatican spokesman called slanderous reports and unverified news stories alleging corruption, intrigue and even blackmail inside the Roman Curia.

The Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has changed the opening date of parliamentary elections just days after he announced it. A statement said the change was in response to Coptic Christians who’d expressed concern that the original date coincided with their Easter holiday. Here is Sebastian Usher.
埃及总统穆罕默德·穆尔西几天前刚宣布了议会选举的开始日期,如今又改变日期。有声明称这是因为科普特基督徒担心最初的日子与复活节相冲突,Sebastian Usher报道。

President Morsi’s spokesman said the date was shifted from April 27th to April 22nd to ensure that everyone in Egypt can vote. Leaders of Coptic Christian minority had warned that starting the election during their Easter holiday could reduce their participation. Many Copts feel increasing pressure within Islamist president and the Muslim Brotherhood for dominant political power. The uncertainty over the election date has already been seen by the wider Egyptian opposition as a new political misstep by Mr. Morsi.

There are reports that an artwork by the renowned graffiti artist Banksy due to be auctioned in Miami has been withdrawn from sale after an opening bid. It was removed from a shop wall in London last week and expected to fetch more than half a million dollars. Residents of the area from where the artwork was taken had been trying to block the sale saying it belonged to them. The local authority Haringey council is investigating how it was removed.

BBC News


1.discredit v. 败坏(或破坏)…的名声;破坏对…的信任

They made an effort to discredit the politician.

2.readiness n. 准备就绪;愿意

Everyone was struck by their readiness to pass on all they knew.

3.reluctance n. 勉强;不情愿

The Netherlands, Slovakia and Austria have also expressed reluctance on the issue.

4.captive n. 俘虏;迷恋者

He described the difficulties of surviving for four months as a captive.

5.palatable adj. 美味的,可口的;愉快的

This dish is quite palatable.

6.slanderous adj. 诽谤的;诽谤性的;中伤的

No one believes your slanderous talk anyway!

7.misstep n. 失足;过失;踏错;失策

If true, this would be a gross misstep by Iran's leaders.

8.graffiti n. 墙上乱写乱画的东西

Recently, there has been a trend towards writing graffiti on freight trains.


1.The president also paid homage to Chadian forces who were engaged in heavy fighting in the same area on Friday as result of which some 65 Islamists and 13 Chadian soldiers were killed.

pay homage to 向…表示敬意

We pay homage to the genius of Shakespeare.

This dish was called Birds Pay Homage to the King!

2.The PKK and the Turkish government are reportedly close to a deal under which Turkish-Kurds would end their insurgency in exchange for greater minority rights.

close to a deal 达成协议

A distributor we part-own has just closed a deal to bolt on a smaller rival's customer base.

A month ago, Mr. Deripaska closed a deal to delay repayment of $7.4 billion in foreign loans.

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