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BBC News 2012-02-07

时间:2012-02-07 12:58来源:未知 作者:admin 点击:

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BBC News with David Austin

 

President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria has challenged the Islamist militant group Boko Haram to identify themselves and clearly state their demands as a basis for dialogue. He said military intervention was not the sole means of ending the conflict.

 

"The military confrontation is required now because you must reduce it by all means, but military confrontation alone will not eliminate terror attack. Your superior intelligence and providing enabling environment for young people to have jobs."

 

Mr Jonathan, who was speaking in an interview with the Reuters news agency, said there was no doubt that Boko Haram had links with other jihadist groups outside Nigeria.

 

The American Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has been giving details of billions of dollars in cuts in the US military over the next 10 years. He said after a decade of war and expanding defence budgets, a turning point had been reached. Outlining his department's spending plans, Mr Panetta announced the army would shrink by 80,000 soldiers from some 570,000 by 2017. Here's Paul Adams.

 

Mr Panetta said that after a decade of war and expanding defence budgets, this was a turning point: an opportunity to develop a new defence strategy which would result in a leaner but more flexible military. As expected, he announced significant reductions in manpower in both the army and Marine Corps. The navy and air force will lose older and less relevant equipment and some major procurement programmes, like the Joint Strike Fighter, will be slowed down. The military's global focus will shift with greater emphasis on the Asia-Pacific region and the withdrawal of two brigades from Europe.

 

A former Guatemalan military leader Efrain Rios Montt has appeared before a court in Guatemala for a preliminary hearing that could lead to him being charged with genocide. He was in power in the early 1980s when some of the worst atrocities of Guatemala's long civil war were committed. Many indigenous Mayans were massacred as part of government efforts to defeat left-wing rebels. Mr Rios Montt denies responsibility.

 

The Senate in Argentina has been discussing the future of the Falkland Islands. The Argentine President Cristina Fernandez has rejected an accusation by the British Prime Minister David Cameron that her government has a colonialist attitude to the islands, over which Argentina maintains its claim of sovereignty .

 

The Arab League is to ask the United Nations Security Council on Monday to back its plan to end the violence in Syria. On Sunday, the league called for the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down and hand power to his deputy. In Syria itself, activists say there have been renewed clashes between the security forces and anti-government protesters near Damascus. Clashes were also reported in Deraa, south of the capital.

 

This is the World News coming to you from the BBC.

 

Scientists working with a species of locusts found in Asia believe they've made an important discovery about why the insects gather in such vast numbers. They say the locusts are looking for food which is high in carbohydrates similar to a junk food diet for humans. Writing in the journal Science, the researchers say that the insects find this food on land which is low in nitrogen. The lead researcher Arianne Cease from Arizona State University said this makes them vulnerable to nitrogen fertilizers that encourage the growth of protein-rich foods.

 

"Our study suggests (that) sort of counter-intuitively that if we have an impending outbreak - so a large number of juveniles of this particular locust - (that) we could use nitrogen fertilizer to apply that to some of the localised outbreaks, and then that would actually suppress their numbers going into adults and would likely suppress future swarms."

 

The front-runner in the race to be the next president of France, the Socialist candidate Francois Hollande, says he can erase the country's public deficit and increase spending. Unveiling his manifesto , Mr Hollande said he'd increase tax on high earners but cut it for small businesses.

 

A government office in the Irish capital Dublin has banned applicants from wearing pajamas when they attend interviews to assess their welfare payments. Andy Martin takes up this story.

 

It may have started when people nipped out wearing their slippers to the shops, but welfare officers in north Dublin are, it appears, fed up with what has been branded "pajamafication". In a community welfare office near Blanchards town where unemployed people can make appointments to seek advances or supplements to benefits payments, an official warning has now been posted. "Please be advised," it says, "that pajamas are not regarded as appropriate attire when attending these offices."

 

And that was Andy Martin reporting. And that's the BBC News.

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