BBC News with Iain Purdon
The leader of Italy’s center-left has described the impasse following the country’s general election as dramatic. But Pier Luigi Bersani whose coalition won most seats in parliament gave no clear answer to the question which group was his preferred partner in government, the center-right or the party of protest led by Beppe Grillo. From Rome, Gavin Hewitt reports.
Twenty-four hours after the polls closed, the leader of the center-left, Pier Luigi Bersani said Italy faced a dramatic situation and blamed the result on austerity. Mr. Bersani said it was not just an Italian problem. The bell was tolling for Europe. The deadlock in Italy has rattled Europe’s leaders. Ministers from Germany, France and Spain all called on Italy to establish a stable government as soon as possible. They fear that the uncertainty will damage the fragile Euro zone. Silvio Berlusconi said Italy cannot be ungoverned and over the days ahead there will be attempts to form a governing coalition.
Aid agencies say they are shocked and appalled by the number of children killed in Syria last week. At least 70 children died as a result of government missile strikes on Aleppo. More details from Leliana Hosea.
A new investigation by Human Rights Watch inside Syria’s northern city of Aleppo has confirmed the deaths of 141 people, half of whom were children. They were killed in four separate government attacks on civilian areas in and around the city. The Human Rights Watch researcher Hula Sullivan says despite documenting violations in Syria for a long time including shelling and air strikes what he has seen in the last four days is the worst yet.
The former head of the International Monetary Fund Dominique Strauss Kahn has failed in his attempt to halt the publication of a book written by a former lover outlining a fictionalized account of their affair. But the book Beauty and Beast will have to include an insert and the author, the lawyer Marcela Iacub and her publisher have been ordered to pay damages to Mr Strauss-Kahn.
A court in the Maldives has convicted a 15-year-old rape victim of engaging in premarital sex and sentenced her to 100 lashes. The government has criticized the conviction. Charles Havilland reports.
Behind the Maldives’ image as a honeymoon paradise of Coral Islands lies a society whose people are often subjected to harsh laws. This girl in the north of the country was raped last year by her stepfather who was also convicted of murdering the baby born as a result. But during investigations the 15-year-old was accused of having premarital sex with a separate man. She’s now been sentenced to eight months of house arrest and to 100 lashes. The Islamic Sharia punishment is to take place when she turns 18 but can happen earlier if she requests it.
World News from the BBC
President Obama has urged Congress to pass a bill to avert billions of dollars of automatic spending cuts which are due to start taking effect on Friday. The cuts were originally scheduled to begin two months ago alongside tax hikes after a bitter and protracted partisan row, the tax increases were played back but the spending cuts were merely postponed.
The prosecution at the international criminal court in The Hague has said it would not subject to a delay in the trial of a candidate in the forthcoming Kenyan presidential election Uhuru Kenyatta and his running mate William Ruto. Four suspects face charges of crimes against humanity and accuse of organizing violence that left more than 1,000 people dead after elections in 2007. They will due to go on trial at The Hague in April. Anna Hooligan has more.
The defense called for a delay the prosecution rejected their arguments. But now admits operational constraints such as the availability of court space may make an April date untenable. The four suspects are among Kenya’s richest and most powerful men. The greatest impact though of a delayed start date will be the potential political implications. A trial in April may have jeopardized the chances of Uhuru Kenyatta and his running mate William Ruto participating in a second round run-off if there is no clear winner in the first round of voting on the 4th of March.
Owners of horse and donkey drawn carts in the Colombian capital Bogota have started handing them into the authorities as part of the deal to replace them with motorized vehicles. The project aims to make the city animal-free. People who trade in their animals will receive money, a new vehicle or help with a business plan. The authorities say nearly 2,000 animals are to be replaced and put out to grass in rural communities by the end of the year.
1.impasse n. 僵局；死路
The company says it has reached an impasse in negotiations with the union.
2.rattle vt. 使慌乱，使惊慌
She seemed rattled about our presence.
3.appall vt. 使胆寒；使惊骇
They were appalled by the damage from the fire.
4.fictionalized adj. 小说化的 v. 编成小说；使小说化
The writer fictionalized the lives of his parents in his latest novel.
5.premarital adj. 婚前的
He did not agree with his mother's views on premarital sex.
We don’t want to see Europe weakened by a protracted crisis.
7.untenable adj. （论据等）站不住脚的；不能维持的；不能租赁的；难以防守的
This allegation in my view is totally untenable.
8.jeopardize vt. 危害；使陷危地；使受危困
He jeopardized his life to save the drowning child.
1.Behind the Maldives’ image as a honeymoon paradise of Coral Islands lies a society whose people are often subjected to harsh laws.
subject to 使服从；使遭受；受…管制
You should subject yourself to my command.
We were subjected to very close questioning.
Have they been subjected to the war?
2.People who trade in their animals will receive money, a new vehicle or help with a business plan.
trade in 买卖；抵价购物；以旧折价换新
She traded in her old refrigerator for a new one.
Richard refused to trade in his old Canon cameras.