BBC News with Fiona MacDonald
After a day of talks in Brussels, European Union foreign ministers have so far been unable to agree on whether to relax the EU’s arms embargo on Syria. The talks have resumed following a short break in an effort to reach a compromise. Britain and France want the ability to supply weapons to what they call the “moderate opposition” to President Bashar al-Assad. But many other EU members want the arms embargo and other sanctions renewed. Speaking earlier, the French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius outlined his country’s position.
“What we the French want is first to find a consensus solution. It’s very important for us that the European Union adopt a sole position on this matter. Then we obviously want the fighters, the resistance, to get access to arms in order to resist all attacks by Bashar al-Assad’s regime. This is the second point. And thirdly, if weapons were to be delivered, they must be controlled.”
It’s emerged that one of the strongest advocates of US military aid for the Syrian opposition, Senator John McCain, has made a surprise visit to Syria to talk to rebel leaders. He’s the highest ranking elected US official to go there since the civil war began in 2011. The visit came as the US Secretary of State John Kerry met his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Paris. Ben Wright reports from Washington.
It’s not known how John McCain entered Syria on Monday or which rebel leaders he met when he was there. But it’s a typically daring visit by the 76-year-old Republican senator. He has called for the imposition of a no-fly zone over Syria and the arming of rebel forces. Earlier this month, the White House and the Pentagon said they were looking at all the options, but there remains caution in Washington about extending US involvement in Syria. The Obama administration currently provides non-lethal aid to the rebels, but has so far refused to provide weaponry.
Car bombs in and around the Iraqi capital Baghdad have killed at least 65 people. These attacks targeted busy shopping areas and markets. Rami Ruhayel reports from Baghdad.
A series of car bomb attacks struck predominantly Shia areas in the Iraqi capital. Most of the casualties appear to be civilians. The bombs struck just a few hours after the Ministry of Interior released a statement, saying that the violence in Iraq cannot be seen as sectarian in nature because the bombs do not distinguish between Sunnis and Shia. The people behind the violence appear to be targeting different communities by turn in order to maximize the perception that one attack is in response to the other.
Nigeria’s governing party, the PDP, has suspended a powerful state governor who does not support President Goodluck Jonathan standing for reelection in 2015. Party officials said Rotimi Amaechi of the oil-rich Rivers state had violated party rules.
World News from the BBC
African Union leaders meeting in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa have accused the International Criminal Court of being racially biased against Africa. The Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, who hosted the gathering, said almost all the suspects who had been pursued by the ICC were Africans. More from Genc Lamani.
The Ethiopian prime minister said the ICC had moved away from its original objective of fighting impunity, ill governance and crime. Instead, he said, the process on Africa had degenerated into what he called “race hunting”. He said the AU heads of state were opposed to the ICC trying Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto on charges of crimes against humanity.
Firefighters have rescued a new-born baby who was lodged in a waste pipe of a public toilet in China. They were called when people heard the infant crying. Dramatic television pictures show rescuers cutting out a section of the pipe in a residential building in the city of Jinhua. The pipe was then taken to a hospital where it was carefully pulled apart, revealing a baby boy inside. The infant who’s now recovering is thought to be just a few days old. His parents have not been found.
The authorities in Chile have ordered the evacuation of more than 2,000 people living near a volcano in the south of the country. They issued a red alert, the highest possible, saying the Copahue volcano could erupt again. Last December it began spewing ash and gas with smoke rising more than 1km into the sky. The authorities in neighbouring Argentina are also on alert.
The Catholic Church in Venezuela said it’s running out of wine to celebrate Mass because of renewed shortages of basic products. Monsignor Roberto Lucker told the BBC that a lack of basic ingredients had forced the only winemaker in Venezuela to stop selling it to the church. He said he didn’t know whether they could afford more expensive wines from abroad.
1.embargo n. 禁令；禁止；封港令
The conference became embogged in arguments over the issue of weapons embargo.
2.renew v. 更新；重新开始
They regrouped their forces and renewed the attack.
3.imposition n. 征收；强加；欺骗；不公平的负担
Everyone grumbled at the imposition of new taxes.
4.perception n. 知觉；[生理] 感觉；看法；洞察力；获取
He was a man of uncommon intelligence, perception and charm.
5.impunity n. 不受惩罚；无患；[法] 免罚
These gangs operate with apparent impunity.
6.degenerate vi. 退化；堕落
The morale of the enemy soldiers degenerated, and they were unable to fight.
7.evacuation n. 疏散；撤离；排泄
Develop emergency and evacuation plans for your family and business.
8.spew vt. 喷出；呕吐
The angry walker spewed his charges at a garbage can.
1.Nigeria’s governing party, the PDP, has suspended a powerful state governor who does not support President Goodluck Jonathan standing for reelection in 2015.
stand for 代表；支持；象征；担任…的候选人
He will stand for Parliament in this autumn.
In China, every citizen who has reached the age of eighteen has the right to vote and stand for election.
2.The Catholic Church in Venezuela said it’s running out of wine to celebrate Mass because of renewed shortages of basic products.
run out of 用完
We ran out of coal,and had to burn wood.
A few of the jeeps had run out of ammunition.