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BBC News with Jerry Smit

Syrian government troops have launched an offensive to recapture the western town of Qusair where rebels have been under siege for weeks. The government says it's killed 70 rebel fighters. Jim Muir reports.

Al-Qusair shook to a massive bombardment as government forces softened up rebel positions in preparation for a multi-prompt attack on the town. There are conflicting accounts about how much progress the army has made, but activists admitted that the rebel suffered very heavy casualties. They posted video on the internet showing chaotic scenes of what they said was a field hospital in al-Qusair. It was flooded with casualties, some of them clearly fighters, others, civilians who have been trapped in the encircled town.

Tunisian police have used tear gas to disperse supporters of a hardline Islamist movement Ansar al-Sharia in a suburb of the capital Tunis. Reports say at least one protester has died. Earlier, thousands of soldiers and police stopped the group's supporters from holding their annual conference. Richard Hamilton reports.

On Wednesday, Tunisia's governing Ennahda party said the congress was illegal as it has not been given permission. Ansar al-Sharia responded by saying it didn't need government permission to preach the word of Gods. The movement advocates an ultra-conservative form of Sunni Islam and does not recognize the authority of the states. Although it has some support from marginalized and unemployed youth, Ansar al-Sharia seems to have succeeded in uniting more moderate Muslim and secular parties against its hard line agenda.

The Nigerian army says it's killed 40 fighters from the extremist group Boko Haram as it continues its offensive in the northeast of the country. From Abuja here's Will Ross.

The Nigerian military says the militants are in disarray and are heading in large number towards Nigeria's borders. As a sign of how well-resourced Boko Haram may have become, the army says the rebels are trying to move scores of vehicles from the camps that have been attacked. It's not been possible to independently verify any of this information. Efforts have been made to close the borders, but they remain porous, and there are reports of many civilians crossing into Cameroon and Niger as they fear getting caught up in the offensive.

Hundreds of people have attended the funeral of a senior Pakistani politician from Imran Khan's Movement for Justice Party. Zahra Shahid Hussain was buried in Karachi amid heighten tension, the day after she was shot dead outside her home. Imran Khan blamed his political rivals, the MQM party, accusing it of targeted active terror which the MQM denies. On Sunday, Karachi held a partial re-run of last week's general election prompted by accusations of vote-rigging.

News from the BBC.

The Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has ruled out negotiating with kidnappers of seven security personnel taking in the Sinai Peninsula on Thursday. His comments came as a video emerged online showing seven blindfolded men who said they were the hostages begging the President to intervene. One of the men asked Mr Morsi to free political detainees in Sinai in exchange for their release.

The High Court in Bangladesh has banned the owner of a cloth factory destroyed in a fire last year from leaving the country. The court also ordered the owner, Delwar Hossain, to explain the circumstances surrounding the fire, in which 112 workers died. The court action follows outrage over the deaths of more than 1,100 when a factory collapsed last month.
去年孟加拉国一家服装厂在大火中被毁,目前最高法院禁止厂主离开本国。法院还下令厂主Delwar Hossain解释火灾现场的情况,当时有112人在火灾中身亡。就在上月,一家工厂倒塌,导致1100人丧生。

Farc rebels in Colombia have rejected criticism that efforts to end almost 50 years of conflict are moving too slowly. Marking exactly six months of peace talks with Colombian government, the Farc lead negotiator Ivan Marquez said that overall progress was being made.

"The balance is positive. We've advanced amid difficulties, try to find some common ground on positions that are diametrically opposite. This explains that those complications and difficulties are following a pace thought by people who don't know the internal circumstances of the talks."

The country's President Juan Manuel Santos hopes the two sides will sign a peace accord this year, but no agreements have, so far, been reached.

Scientists in Croatia say they are training bees to find unexploded mines thanks to their perfect senses of smell. Researchers from Zagreb University say that when they set out feeding points inside an experimental tent, the bees gathered mainly at those pots which had a sugar solution laced with TNT. He says the insects are faster and safer than sniffer dogs.

And that's the BBC's News


1.encircle vt. 包围;围绕;环绕

The army encircled the airport.

2.hardline adj. 强硬的;不妥协的 n. 强硬路线

The president has adopted a hardline stance against abortion.

3.marginalize vt. 排斥;忽视;使处于社会边缘;使脱离社会发展进程

My view is students marginalize classes like that.

4.disarray n. 无秩序;杂乱;衣冠不整

Our plans were thrown into disarray by the rail strike.

5.porous adj. 多孔渗水的;能渗透的;有气孔的

He added sand to the soil to make it more porous.

6.blindfold vt. 蒙住…的眼睛;挡住…的视线;使…模糊不清

The tall man in the front blindfolded me.

7.diametrically adv. 完全地;作为直径地;直接地;正好相反地

The American and Soviet governments drew diametrically opposite conclusions from it.

8.complication n. 并发症;复杂;复杂化;混乱

Normally there are no complications with the medicine.


1.Al-Qusair shook to a massive bombardment as government forces softened up rebel positions in preparation for a multi-prompt attack on the town.

soften up 缓和;减轻;削弱:削弱(敌方)的抵抗力

The enemies' defences were softened up after bombing.

The special cream will help to soften up your skin.

2.Efforts have been made to close the borders, but they remain porous, and there are reports of many civilians crossing into Cameroon and Niger as they fear getting caught up in the offensive.

get caught up 被卷入,卷入到

How did the contract get caught up in a legal dispute?

Don't get too caught up in calculating exact values.

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