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BBC News with Marion Marshall

The American billionaire and world’s first space tourist Dennis Tito has announced he will fund a manned mission to Mars in 2018. Mr. Tito said he was looking for a middle-aged man and woman for the journey that would last about 500 days. He said the mission wouldn’t land but rather fly within 100miles of Mars and then use its gravitational pull to return to earth. Mr. Tito said the mission was needed to advance human knowledge and experience.

“We have not sent humans beyond the moon in 40 years. I’ve been waiting myself, and a lot of other people my age have been waiting and waiting. And I think it’s time to put an end to that lapse.”

The leader of Italy’s Five Star Protest Movement Beppe Grillo has told the BBC he will not support any new government and he expects fresh elections to be held within a year. Mr. Grillo said he believed the center-right would enter an unprecedented coalition with the center-left and his movement would be left in opposition but will triumph again in the longer term.

“Today in Italy what will happen is what happened before. The right, the left will get together and they will govern a country of rubble that they are responsible for. It will last one year. A year, maximum, then there will be elections again. And once again in the elections, the Five Star Movement will change the world.”

The political deadlock has raised Italy’s borrowing costs. The interest rate charged by investors buying government bonds has risen by 0.5%.

The president of Italy Giorgio Napolitano has cancelled a dinner engagement in Berlin with the German opposition leader Peer Steinbruck after the latter said he was shocked that the Italian election had been won by two clowns. Mr. Steinbruck was referring to Beppe Grillo who was a professional comedian before entering politics and the scandal tainted former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

A coalition of civil society groups in Kenya is warning about the threat of further violence ahead of Monday’s elections. The Kenyan National Commission on Human Rights released a statement citing voter intimidation, hates speech and threats expulsion. Richard Hamilton reports.

The coalition said that there had been a massive acquisition of pangas or machetes either for defensive or offensive purposes. It said the chances of the same perpetrators carrying out similar atrocities as they had done five years ago were very high. It went on to say that in some parts of the country ethnic minorities had received leaflets telling them to leave. Politicians have publicly denounced tribalism and the police are promising that law and order will be maintained but nevertheless these are worrying signs for Kenya.

More than 1,000 people were killed in clashes that followed the last election in 2007.

World News from the BBC

The president of Chad Idriss Deby has urged West African countries to speed up the deployment of troops to northern Mali. Speaking at a regional summit, Mr. Deby said it was no longer the time for talk but for action. Chad sent more than 2,000 soldiers to northern Mali to help French and Malian forces oust Islamist and Tuareg insurgents but West African nations have been slow to fulfill a promise of sending about 8,000 troops there. More than 20 Chadian soldiers have been killed so far.

The head of Mexico’s teachers union Elba Esther Gordillo has been formally charged with the use of illicit funds and conspiracy at a court in Mexico City. Mrs. Gordillo, one of the most powerful people in the country was denied bail. From Mexico City, here is Will Grant.

The image of the woman known as Elba Esther Gordillo behind bars is one which many people in Mexico never thought they would see. Flanked on either side by her co-accused, they heard the list of charges against them. Widely considered the most powerful woman in Mexico,she is accused of embezzling more than 200 million dollars in funds destining for the coffers of the teaching union to her personal accounts and those of her associates. The attorney general accuses the union leader of having used the money to fund her lavish lifestyle including on plastic surgery, a private jet and two homes in Santiago.

The American civil rights leader Rosa Parks has been honored with a commemorative statue in the capital building in Washington. Mrs. Parks who died in 2005 is widely regarded as the mother of the civil rights movement in the U.S. In 1955 she defiantly refused to give up her seat to a white man on a bus in the racially segregated city of Montgomery, Alabama. Unveiling the nine-foot bronze statue, President Obama said Rosa Parks had taken her rightful place among those who shaped American history.

BBC News


1.gravitational adj. [力] 重力的,[力] 引力的

If a spacecraft travels faster than 11 km a second, it escapes the earth's gravitational pull.

2.pull n. 拉,拉绳;拉力,牵引力;拖

A pull on the rope will make the bell ring.

3.deadlock n. 僵局,停顿

The negotiations came to a deadlock.

4.taint vt. 污染;腐蚀;使感染

He was considered tainted by association with the corrupt regime.

5.expulsion n. 驱逐;开除

The conquerors depopulated the enemy's country by destruction and expulsion.

6.oust vt. 驱逐;剥夺;取代

He was ousted from his post.

7.segregate vt. 使隔离;使分离;在…实行种族隔离

Mary and I were segregated in the crowded square.


1.I’ve been waiting myself, and a lot of other people my age have been waiting and waiting. And I think it’s time to put an end to that lapse.

put an end to 结束

Death put an end to his views and prospects.

The farmer built an electric fence around his field to put an end to trespassing.

2.The image of the woman known as Elba Esther Gordillo behind bars is one which many people in Mexico never thought they would see.

behind bars 在监狱服刑

He spent the next seven years behind bars.

The Judge will put him behind bars for at least five years.

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