BBC News with Julie Candler
Officials in Iraq say at least 60 people have been killed in sectarian attacks, the deadliest day there for months. Three separate bomb blasts hit Sunni Muslim areas in and around the capital Baghdad. Later a bomb hit a funeral procession in the town of Madain, and in the early evening, two bombs went off near different shopping areas in Baghdad. There’s been a marked increase in violence recently, but the BBC’s Rami Ruhayem says it doesn’t appear to have a clear purpose.
There will be speculation that this is all sectarian in nature. There’s probably an element of truth to that, but it doesn’t explain the whole picture. There are still many questions which are not yet answered about all of this. And most specifically, what is the strategy behind such violence? There doesn’t seem to be a clear answer to that except, of course, the will to destabilise the country. But to what end? That remains unclear.
The man in charge of the UN’s plans for reconstructing Syria after the current conflict has warned of the challenges ahead. Abdullah al-Dardari said rebuilding what’s been destroyed would cost up to $80bn.
"So far Syria lost 40% of its GDP and unemployment increased from almost half a million people to 2.5 million people out of jobs at the moment and people living under the absolute poverty line increased from two million to five million in just two years.”
Mr al-Dardari said it was important to have a plan even if the conflict was still raging.
France says it’s opposed to Iran taking part in a conference on the Syrian conflict. The foreign ministry said regional stability was at stake and a country threatening it should not be at the table. The issue of Iranian participation was raised by Russia during talks with the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
The Nigerian military says it’s scored some initial successes on the second day of its bombardment of Islamist militant camps in the north-east. A military spokesman said 30 insurgents had been killed in air raids. Will Ross reports from Abuja.
The Nigerian army says it’s already made significant progress in its fight against Boko Haram Islamist militants in the north-east of the country. A military spokesman said several enemy camps in remote forested areas of Borno state had been destroyed by a combination of airstrikes and ground troops. He said one aircraft had been damaged when fired upon by the militants. The spokesman said some of the Islamist fighters were killed. It has not been possible to independently verify any of this information.
The former military ruler of Argentina, Jorge Rafael Videla, has died in his prison cell aged 87. Gen Videla led the military government which seized power in Argentina in 1976. He was serving lengthy prison terms for human rights abuses committed during his five years in power, comprising most of the period known as the Dirty War.
World News from the BBC
More than 20 people have died in a landslide near a disused mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The authorities said the accident happened on Thursday when the banks of a stream collapsed, burying people in the Masisi region of North Kivu province.
Officials in Georgia say 28 people have been injured in clashes over a gay pride rally in the capital Tbilisi. The violence broke out as gay rights activists arrived under police protection at the event in Pushkin Park. Thousands of anti-gay protesters had occupied a street in central Tbilisi threatening to lash any activists attending the rally with stinging nettles.
A leading United States congressman has called for a radical reform of the tax system, describing it as rotten at the core. Republican Congressman Dave Camp made the comments during hearings into why the country’s Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative political groups when they sought tax-exempt status. Adam Brookes reports.
American conservatives are furious. They accuse the Internal Revenue Service, or IRS, of using its tax inspection powers to bully and intimidate conservative groups, especially those linked to the libertarian Tea Party movement. Today Mr Miller acknowledged to Congress that the IRS had singled out Tea Party groups for extra tax scrutiny. But he fiercely denied that it was for political reasons. Republicans in Congress have seized on the allegations as evidence that President Obama and his administration are using under-hand tactics against the Republican Party.
The mayor of the Canadian city of Toronto, Rob Ford, has dismissed allegations that he smoked crack cocaine as ridiculous. Mayor Ford made the denial after two Canadian journalists said they had been shown video footage, in which he appeared to be smoking from a crack pipe and making homophobic slurs against an opponent. The video has not been independently verified, but the reports have caused a public uproar in Canada.
1.sectarian adj. 宗派的；偏狭的；党派心强的 n. 属于宗派的人；宗派心强的人；宗派主义者
Sectarian politics are ruining the country's economy.
2.rage vi. 大怒，发怒；流行，风行
She raged when her jewels were stolen while under police protection.
3.bombardment n. 轰炸；炮击
After an artillery bombardment lasting several days the town finally succumbed.
4.lengthy adj. 漫长的，冗长的；啰唆的
After lengthy talks the two sides finally reached a compromise.
5.landslide n. [地质] 山崩；大胜利
The village was destroyed by a landslide.
If I had been there, I would not have let him bully you.
7.homophobic adj. 害怕同性恋的
It is not in the least bit of homophobic.
He took the remarks as a slur on his reputation.
1.The foreign ministry said regional stability was at stake and a country threatening it should not be at the table.
at stake 危如累卵；处于危险中；在紧要关头
The life of the sick man is at stake.
The Chinese nation has reached a point where its very existence is at stake.
2.Today Mr Miller acknowledged to Congress that the IRS had singled out Tea Party groups for extra tax scrutiny.
single out 挑出；挑选
The teacher singled out one composition for class discussion.
His immediate superior has singled him out for a special mention.