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BBC News with Jonathan Izard

President Obama has mounted a strong defence of his controversial use of unmanned aircraft to hit militant targets abroad. In a major speech on counter-terrorism, the president said drone strikes were effective and legal, but he stressed they should be used only when faced with imminent threats. Paul Adams reports from Washington.

With greater frankness than ever before, the president discussed his administration's guidelines for the use of unmanned drone strikes to kill members of al-Qaeda and its affiliates. He said they could only be used in the context of what he called "continuing imminent threats" to Americans and when there was near certainty that no innocent civilians would be affected. And he listed a number of specific steps to make good on his long-standing pledge to close the military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and identifying a place in the United States where military commissions can take place.

British security sources say the two men who hacked a soldier to death in the full public gaze on a London street on Wednesday had been investigated in the past because of terrorist suspicions but were no longer under surveillance. One of them has been identified as Michael Adebolajo, a British man of Nigerian origin who converted to Islam 12 years ago. Both men remain under armed police guard in hospital after being shot by police. Here's our security correspondent Frank Gardner.

It's reassuring that both of the Woolwich murder suspects were already known to the security services, but it's also a cause for concern that they were no longer under surveillance. It emerged that in the past both men had been the subjects of a security service investigation, but somewhere between MI5 deciding that these men did not pose a threat to national security, and the events of yesterday something changed and MI5 missed it - what were classed as radical views had turned into violent action, and there was no one close enough to the men to stop it.

The victim of the attack has been named as 25-year-old British soldier Lee Rigby, who had served two tours in Afghanistan.

Militants in Niger have killed more than 20 people in two almost simultaneous suicide car bomb attacks targeting a military barracks and a uranium mine in the north of the country. Most of the casualties were soldiers who died in the attack on a barracks in Agadez. Separately one worker was killed and others injured when insurgents targeted a uranium mine run by the French nuclear group Areva. Our West Africa correspondent Thomas Fessy has been following events.
尼日尔武装分子对一处军营和该国北部一处铀矿发动自杀式汽车炸弹袭击,两起爆炸案几乎同时发生,导致20多人丧生。大多数受害者是士兵,他们是在阿加德兹军营袭击案中身亡。另外,叛军还对法国核集团阿海珐的一处铀矿发动袭击,导致一名工人遇难,另外数人受伤。西非记者Thomas Fessy报道。

A spokesperson for the French company Areva said a team was going to assess the damage of the uranium sites of Arlit, but production has stopped for now. According to government and local sources, the crushing and grinding units were particularly hit as a result of the suicide bomb attack. Areva wouldn't confirm whether it was planning to withdraw its staff from the sites while activities are suspended. In Agadez, where the army barracks was targeted by militants, security forces have cordoned off several areas in the town according to residents.

World News from the BBC

A leading figure in the Syrian opposition has presented a plan for President Assad and his family to be given a safe exit if he stands down - something the president has repeatedly said he won't do. Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib, the outgoing leader of the Syrian National Coalition, said the Syrian president would have 20 days to accept the offer.

Thousands of people gathered in the southern Nigerian town of Ogidi for the funeral of the writer Chinua Achebe, who's been described as the father of modern African literature. From Nigeria Will Ross has this report.

I doubt the church here in Ogidi town has seen anything like it. Thousands of people flocked here. They were coming to pay tributes to Chinua Achebe, who died at the age 82 earlier this year. Many of the people who come to here took shelter under the trees and under tents because there was simply no room inside. The President of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan was here, and he paid a tribute to Chinua Achebe, and he also referred to some of his books, including one called The Problem with Nigeria, in which the writer summed up the problem of the country in one word: leadership.

The Russian Environment Minister Sergei Donskoi has ordered all 16 workers at a scientific research base in the Arctic Ocean to make plans to evacuate. The minister said the precautions were necessary because the station was surrounded by melting ice. Russian officials said a nuclear-powered icebreaking ship was being brought in to move the station onto an island.
俄罗斯环境部长Sergei Donskoi下令在北冰洋科考基地的16名工作人员计划撤离,他说由于考察站周围都是融冰,因此很有必要撤离。俄罗斯官员称将派遣一艘核动力破冰船来将考察站转到一座岛屿上。

For the second time during this year's Canne Film Festival, thieves have pulled off an audacious jewelry heist at the France resort. A diamond necklace worth more than $2m was stolen at a glitzy party attended by film stars including Sharon Stone on Tuesday's night. The jewellers De Grisogono said the item was one of 20 paraded by models at the event which had been protected by police, bodyguards and hotel security staff. They admitted they didn't know how the item had been taken. On the opening night, thieves stole millions of dollars worth of gems from a hotel's safe.


1.imminent adj. 即将来临的;迫近的

Every one feels that a disaster is imminent, as if a catastrophe is about to come.
谁都感到大事不好, 似乎有什么极大的灾难即将来临。

2.convert vt. 使转变;转换…;使…改变信仰 vi. 转变,变换;皈依;改变信仰

This article converted him to our point of view.

3.gaze n. 凝视;注视

She lowered her head under his gaze.

4.barrack n. 营房;兵舍

The troops were ordered back to barracks .

5.outgoing adj. 外出的;即将离职的;乐于助人的

The toadies were gone, for the outgoing president had nothing to give.

6.flock vi. 聚集;成群而行

Sheep usually flock together.

7.glitzy adj. 眩目的;闪光的;耀眼的

The film star's wedding was a glitzy affair.


1.In Agadez, where the army barracks was targeted by militants, security forces have cordoned off several areas in the town according to residents.

cordon off 布置警戒线戒严;隔离

Police cordoned off part of the city centre.

Police cordoned off the area until the bomb was defused.

2.For the second time during this year's Canne Film Festival, thieves have pulled off an audacious jewelry heist at the France resort.

pull off 赢得;脱下;努力实现

Father enjoys pulling off a miracle.

The Hungarians pulled off a surprise victory against the Italian champions.

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