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BBC news 2010-04-06

时间:2010-04-09 15:42来源:未知 作者:admin 点击:

2010-04-06 BBC

BBC News with Iain Purdon

The BBC has learned that the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has decided that the British general election will take place on 6 May. Mr Brown will go to Buckingham Palace tomorrow Tuesday to ask Queen Elizabeth to dissolve parliament, and then make a formal announcement of the election date. That will start the official election campaign, which, a BBC correspondent says, will be dominated by issues of taxation and spending in the wake of the global recession.

Pakistani militants have launched their first attack in five years on a United States facility in the country. The local Taliban say they carried out the assault on the US consulate in Peshawar. Seven people including all four attackers were killed. The White House has strongly condemned the attacks. The Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi rejected suggestions that Pakistan wasn't doing enough to prevent suicide bombings.

"If somebody is determined to kill and get killed in the process, it's very limited what you can do. We have deployed 150,000 troops on the western border. We are doing our utmost, but this is a challenge that Pakistan cannot face alone."

Earlier, at least 43 people were killed and dozens wounded when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a political rally in Lower Dir district in northwestern Pakistan. The event, which was attended by hundreds of people, was organized by the largely secular Awami National Party, which strongly opposes the Taliban and other Islamist militants and has been targeted before.

Forces from the United Nations and the Congolese army have secured an airport in the northwest of the Democratic Republic of Congo after heavy fighting. On Sunday, at least 100 armed men attacked the capital of Equateur province Mbandaka, killing three UN staff. Thomas Fessy reports from Kinshasa.

The airport was retaken on Monday morning after a new joint offensive between Congolese and UN troops. Both sides have now confirmed that operations are underway around the airport and the provincial capital to find the insurgents. A UN spokesman in Kinshasa says that a few fighters have been arrested by the Congolese police, but the number of insurgents detained is still unknown. The Congolese army is expected to send an assessment mission in the coming days to decide whether reinforcement is needed.

The United States government says it intends to impose the maximum penalty available on the Japanese carmaker Toyota over the way it handled the mass recall of its vehicles because of safety faults. The US Transportation Department said it would seek to fine Toyota more than 16 million dollars for failing to inform Washington about problems with the accelerators in a number of models. In some cases, the malfunction caused cars to accelerate uncontrollably.

World News from the BBC

Anti-government protesters have settled in for another night in the center of the Thai capital Bangkok despite a court ruling that the government has the right to evict them. The leaders of the red-shirts, as they are known, have also indicated they may be extending the protest. On Monday, the demonstrators briefly forced their way into the offices of the election commission.

The Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has asked parliament to reconsider its rejection of his plans for heavy cuts in food and energy subsidies. The legislature said it was concerned that implementing the proposed 40-billion-dollar cuts in full would lead to a surge in inflation. Instead, parliament approved savings worth just 20 billion dollars.

A South Korean warship is pursuing a supertanker which was hijacked by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean. The ship was on its way from Iraq to the US and is carrying up to 160 million dollars worth of crude oil. From Seoul, here is our correspondent John Sudworth.

The hijack took place hundreds of kilometers from the coast of Somalia in the middle of the Indian Ocean, an area of sea normally thought to be relatively safe from this kind of attack. The South Korean navy, which already has a warship based in the Gulf of Aden to assist with the international efforts to protect shipping, has ordered it to reach the oil tanker before it reaches the African coast. But any attempt to recapture the ship by force would be risky. The volatile cargo makes a gun battle inconceivable.

The United States has criticized a string of planned defence contracts which could see Venezuela buying billions of dollars of additional weapons from Russia. Earlier, the Prime Minister Vladimir Putin revealed that Moscow had recently signed arms deals estimated to be worth up to five billion dollars. However, a US State Department spokesman said Washington failed to see why President Chavez needed to purchase more arms.

BBC News

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