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【整理】VOA 2014-05-08 乌克兰分裂投票

2014-05-27    来源:普特英语听力    【      美国外教 在线口语培训
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From Washington, this is VOA news.

Russian President Putin calls for postponement of Ukraine's secession vote. Hundreds feared dead in a new Nigerian militant attack. I'm Ray Kouguell reporting from Washington.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is calling on pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine to postpone a secession vote set for Sunday. Speaking at the Kremlin Wednesday, Mr. Putin also suggested publicly for the first time the Ukraine's May 25th presidential election is now a move in the right direction. The surprise comments came during a meeting between the president and the visiting head of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Mr. Putin also said Russian military units massed on the Ukraine border have pulled back from their forward positions. But the White House, the Pentagon and NATO all say there are no signs of that withdrawal.

Hundreds of people are feared dead after militants attacked a town in northeastern Nigeria, setting fire to homes and businesses and shooting residents as they tried to escape. Local officials say a suspected Boko Haram militant stormed the remote town of Gamboru, Ngala, on the border with Cameroon. Reports say more than 250 homes, along with the town's largest market and a police station were destroyed.

The U.S. military is providing details now, about a team of experts heading to Nigeria to help with the search for 276 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram. Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren says the team will arrive in a few days. “Their mission there is to simply assess and advise. These personnel will be experts in areas to include communications, logistics, intelligence. All of the functionalities that we believe will be helpful.”

Colonel Warren says the United States is not considering a military operation to rescue the girls. Nigeria says Britain has also agreed to assist with the search.

South Africans cast ballots Wednesday in the first nation-wide elections to include voters born after the end of apartheid in 1994. Analysts predict the ruling African National Congress will capture more than 60% of the popular vote. That would pave the way for parliament to elect President Jacob Zuma to a second five-year term.

Thailand's Constitutional Court ruled the country's caretaker prime minister and some of her Cabinet must step down for abuse of power. VOA's Steve Herman reports. The constitutional court ruled Ms. Yingluck Shinawatra and members of her Cabinet abused their authority when they transferred a national security council official, which paved the way for her relative to become the National Police Chief. Presiding Judge Jaroon Intachan read the final part of the lengthy verdict, which removed the Prime Minister. The judge says that in accordance with the constitution, the premiership is now declared vacant. He adds that all nine surviving members of the Cabinet, when the unlawful personnel transfer was made in 2011, must also step down. Steve Herman, VOA news, Bangkok. The commerce minister was appointed as acting prime minister.

Hundreds of Syrian rebels began withdrawing from parts of the besieged city of Homs, under a cease-fire deal, which hands back control to the government less than a month before Syria's presidential elections. Rebels also agree to ease their siege and allow aid into two Shiite majority towns in northern Syria, as well as release some captives.

The World Health Organisation is warning air pollution is putting the health of millions of people at risk. Lisa Schlein has details. Data from a survey of 1,600 cities across 91 countries reveal people living in the cities are breathing in dirty air. The World Health Organization says this puts millions at risk of serious long-term health problems. WHO public health and environment director Maria Neira calls this a major public health issue. “The situation we have in front of us tell us that globally unfortunately the situation on air pollution is deteriorating.”

The World Health Organisation estimates 3.7 million people under age 60 died prematurely from outdoor air pollution in 2012. Lisa Schlein for VOA news, Geneva.

Cuba says it arrested four residents of the state of Florida for allegedly planning terrorist actions on the island. The Communist Party newspaper Granma reports Interior Ministry says the men were planning to attack Cuban military installations.

I'm Ray Kouguell, VOA news. Details on these and other stories are on our website on the internet at voanews.com.















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