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BBC News with Jerry Smit

President Obama has praised the leadership of the Burmese President Thein Sein during historic talks at the White House. Mr Obama for the first time called the country Myanmar, the name adopted by the military rulers in 1989. And he hailed the country's political and economic reforms. Paul Adams is in Washington.

I think what's interesting was a couple of things. One, President Obama's demeanour. It was very serious and very sober, no kind of warm embrace here. I think the president is acutely conscious that there are people in Washington and elsewhere who think that a visit like this is premature. And he also said, President Obama said, that although President Thein Sein was making what he called ‘genuine efforts to solve ethnic conflicts, he did say that violence against Muslims in Myanmar, as he called it, must stop.

Iraq has suffered one of the worst days of sectarian violence in years with more than 70 people killed in car bomb attacks across the country. The majority of the victims in Baghdad and Basra were thought to be Shia Muslims. Caroline Hawley reports.

Most of the explosions were in Baghdad at restaurants, open-air markets and a bus station. Tensions between Sunnis and Shiites are now running so high that some fear a return to the all-out conflict of 2006 and 2007.

A grim-faced Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki blamed militants of exploiting Iraq’s current political instability, which had led, he said, to sectarian chaos with the links beyond the country's borders. It was a clear reference to Syria where Iraqis are now fighting on both sides of the civil war.

The Russian security services say they’ve foiled a plot to carry out an attack on Moscow, killing two of the three suspects. From Moscow, here's Daniel Sandford.

The National Anti-terrorism Committee said the three men were Russian citizens, who they believed had been trained in Afghanistan or Pakistan. They were suspected of planning an attack on Moscow. Following an intelligence lead, special units of the FSB surrounded a house in Orekhovo-Zuyevo, a city about 90km east of Moscow. They say that when the men inside were asked to surrender, they opened fire. Two of the suspects were killed in the subsequent shoot-out; one was detained.

There's been fighting in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo between the M23 rebel group and the Congolese army. The rebels attacked an army position north of the city of Goma. A BBC correspondent says he’s seen people fleeing. The clashes are the first since the rebels withdrew from Goma in December.

The Nigerian military says it's taken the five strongholds of the Islamist group Boko Haram in the north-eastern Borno state. The Ministry of Defence also said it had arrested 120 Islamists in Maiduguri, the state capital.

World News from the BBC

A gunman in Israel has shot dead four people before killing himself in a bank in the southern city Beersheba. The attacker, a former paramilitary border policeman, was apparently enraged that the bank had refused to grant him an overdraft. The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the incident as a "great tragedy".

One of the world's biggest internet companies, Yahoo, is buying the social media website Tumblr for more than $1bn. Yahoo hopes it will now be able to attract younger users in its battle with rival firms such as Google and Facebook. Rory Cellan-Jones reports.

The aging web giant left flat-footed by the arrival of social media has been trying to reach new audiences under the leadership of a new boss, Marissa Mayer. She used her own Tumblr page to promise, in her words, “not to screw it up”. Yahoo now has to show it can continue to increase the website's audience and make money. This kind of deal can pay off or it can prove a costly disaster. As when AOL bought the social network Bebo for nearly $850m and sold it for less than $10m.

In London, shares have closed at their highest level for 13 years in line with trends on stock markets in the United States and Germany. Although the economy remains weak, the main FTSE index ended the day up 32 points at 6,756. Analysts said investors were putting their money into stock markets because low interest rates have made the return on bonds unattractive.

The agent for the South African Paralympic gold medallist Oscar Pistorius says the athlete will not compete again this year while he awaits trial for murder. Pistorius is on bail after being charged with the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. In March, he successfully challenged his bail conditions, allowing him to travel abroad and compete in events.

BBC News


1.demeanour n. 行为,(待人的)态度,风度,外表

You need to study a person's whole demeanour: gesture, voice, posture, gaze, and also, of course, the words themselves.

2.hail v.向…致敬;对…表示欢迎

They hailed the winner with clapping.

3.all-out adj. 全部的;竭尽全力的;毫无保留的

He launched an all-out attack on his critics.

4.shoot-out n.枪战,交火

Three IRA men were killed in the shoot-out.

5.overdraft n. [金融] 透支;[金融] 透支额

Her bank warned that unless she repaid the overdraft she could face legal action.

6.flat-footed adj. 扁平足的;直截了当的;断然的;无准备的

The government could be caught flat-footed.

7.medallist n. 奖章获得者

The silver medallist joined the winner in a lap of honour.


1.She used her own Tumblr page to promise, in her words, “not to screw it up”.

screw sth up 把事情弄糟

Get out. Haven't you screwed things up enough already!

I was trying to help, but I screwed up again.

2. Pistorius is on bail after being charged with the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

on bail 保释;保释中

He was released on bail pending committal proceedings.

He was released on bail pending further inquiries.

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