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目前日期文章:200704 (7)

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INTRO: Sri Lankan military on alert as Tamil Tiger rebels launch air raid.

STORY: Sri Lanka(
斯里蘭卡)'s military went on alert on Sunday (April 29) when radar detected a suspect plane, military sources said, and witnesses said they heard explosions and firing in the capital Colombo(科倫坡:可倫坡).

A Reuters correspondent at
Colombo international airport said passengers had been told to get off their flights, but were later told to re-embark. The security alert came after a similar one late on Thursday (April 26) when Sri Lankan authorities temporarily closed Colombo international airport after reports suspicious airplanes were seen flying south along the coast.

That air raid scare came two days after the Tamil Tiger rebels(
泰米爾猛虎組織塔米爾之虎反叛軍)' newly unveiled air wing staged its second attack ever, dropping bombs on a military position in the north killing six people.

The rebels' first air strike was on the air force base next to
Colombo airport, and it took the military by surprise. Analysts believe the Tamil Tigers' air force consists of just two to five light propeller planes assembled from pieces smuggled in over time.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(
泰米爾民族解放之虎), as the rebels are officially known, want to create an independent state in the north and east of the island for ethnic minority Tamils.

Since 1983, the war in
Sri Lanka has claimed some 68,000 lives, including more than 4,000 since late 2005. The intensified violence of the past 16 months has left a 2002 ceasefire in tatters.

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INTRO: Award-winning
Mexico film released in Mexico. 

STORY: After capturing dozens of international awards and circling the globe, the Mexican film "El Violin"(
小提琴革命曲) was finally released in its home country on Friday (April 27). 

"El Violin" is an independent film by Mexican director Francisco Vargas(
法朗西斯柯‧瓦蓋斯). It tells the story of a poverty-stricken elderly violinist, Don Plutarco(唐‧普魯塔克), who joins his fellow townspeople in opposing the federal government with an armed struggle. An army attack forces the villagers to flee and leave behind their weapons. But with only his violin and his music, Don Plutarco makes a perilous journey past the army to recover the weapons.

Vargas said that the violin had long fascinated him, and represented far more to him than merely an instrument. "There are things in the violin that concern me, interest me, hurt me, questions without answers - it's a topic that I believe can go from fiction to documentary, to radio, to press - I believe that this combination and touching on themes of our reality is possible," he said.

The movie was shot entirely in black and white in a rural community of
Mexico, using a mix of professional and amateur actors taken from impoverished areas of Mexico. 

"El Violin" premiered in
Cannes in 2006 and met with rave reviews from some of the world's most prestigious festivals. "The film has won 33 awards so far and, according to our research, is now the second most awarded Mexican movie in history, and that makes us very happy," said Vargas.8. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) VARGAS SAYING: "The film has won 33 awards so far and, according to our research, is now the second most awarded Mexican movie in history, and that makes us very happy."

"El Violin" is based on Vargas' 2005 short film of the same name and is his first feature-length film.


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Denmark's Crown Princess gives birth to second child.

Denmark's Australian-born Crown Princess Mary gave birth to her second child on Saturday (April 21), a healthy baby girl, her husband, Crown Prince Frederik said. 

39-year-old Frederik said the birth at
Copenhagen University Hospital took six hours and had been as beautiful and impressive as that of the couple's first child, Prince Christian, in October 2005. The baby princess, third in line to the Danish throne after her father and her older brother, had been expected at the beginning of May.In a statement the royal court said the baby princess weighed 3,350 grams (7.4 lbs) at birth and was 50 cm (20 inches) long.

35-year-old Princess Mary, was Mary Donaldson, a real estate agent from
Tasmania, until she married Frederik in May 2004 after a romance that began when they met in a bar in Sydney
during the 2000 Olympics.

Frederik's mother Queen Margrethe and the royal family, said to be
Europe's oldest royal house, are highly popular in Denmark.


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Venezuela announces it has paid off IMF and World Bank debt of $3 billion.

STORY: Venezuela said Friday (April 13) that Venezuela has paid of the $3 billion it owed to the World Bank and the IMF(

President Hugo Chavez made the announcement during an evening speech celebrating the fifth year anniversary of the brief 2002 coup(
政變) which failed to topple(推翻) his government. 

"The Finance Minister, Rodrigo Cabezas, told me this afternoon that yesterday, we made the last payment left of the old debt that the Fourth Republic (previous government) left us with the World Bank," Chavez told the crowd of supporters. "Today, today, with the last payment that debt that had been since 1998, almost $3 billion. We also had a large debt with the IMF.
Venezuela was hand tied. I can tell you today, that we don't owe a cent of debt with either the IMF or the World Bank.

The IMF reported that Venezuelan inflation this year should be the highest in the Americas at 21.6 percent, compared with September's IMF forecast of 15.4 percent, prompting the multilateral lender to urge Caracas(
加拉加斯) to rein(控制) in "exceptionally" rapid state spending. Venezuela disputes those numbers. 

Venezuelan inflation in 2008 was seen at a galloping 25.7 percent, IMF data showed.


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INTRO: Riot police in
Kathmandu clash with protesters against Miss Nepal beauty contest.

STORY: Thousands of demonstrators gathered outside the Birendra International Convention Centre in central Kathmandu(
加德满都) to protest against Miss Nepal beauty contest held in the Nepali capital on Saturday (April 7). 

Nepalese security forces in riot gear cordoned off(
包圍隔離) the area as protesters marched towards the venue of the beauty contest carrying banners(橫幅) and shouting slogans demanding the pageant(慶典) be stopped. The protesters tore down huge welcome arch outside the venue and blocked one of the entrances. Scuffles broke out between the protesters and security forces after the protesters were prevented from entering the venue.

The protest was organised by All Nepal Women's Association, the women's wing(
派系) of the Maoists and supported by nine other feminist(兩性平權主義) and human rights organisations who say the contest exploits women to promote business.

Despite the protest, the pageant, which was broadcast live on the state-run Nepal Television, went on according to schedule.

Sitashma Chand, a 23 year-old commerce graduate, won the title of Miss Nepal 2007 and was crowned by Sugarika KC, Miss Nepal 2005. The newly crowned Miss Nepal 2007 is expected to participate in the Miss World, Miss Earth and Miss Asia-Pacific pageants later this year.


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INTRO: U.S. President Bush repeats he will veto any war spending bill that sets withdrawal timetables. 

STORY: U.S. President George W. Bush used his weekly radio address on Saturday (March 31) to repeat that he will veto any war spending bill that ties funds to a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. 

The U.S. Senate on Thursday (March 29) defied earlier veto threats by President George W. Bush and joined with the House of Representatives in backing a timetable for withdrawing U.S. combat troops from Iraq.  In a mostly party-line 51-47 vote, the Democrat-controlled Senate told Bush to start withdrawing the troops this year with the goal of getting all combat soldiers out by March 31, 2008. 

Democrats took control of Congress in January, after elections that largely focused on Republicans' handling of a war that has now claimed more than 3,200 American lives and at least 65,000 Iraqi soldiers and civilians.

Now, House and Senate negotiators will try to work out a compromise from their two bills. Their most notable difference is that the House bill contains a mandatory Sept. 1, 2008, deadline for redeploying combat troops.
The Senate's shorter timetable is a goal, not a requirement on Bush and is designed to win the support of centrist Democrats.  The House bill also requires Bush to certify that troops are properly trained, equipped and rested before being sent into combat. 

Democrats insist they are enforcing existing standards at a time when the military is stressed after four years of fighting. The House and Senate hope to negotiate a compromise bill by the week of April 16 and quickly pass it and send it on to Bush. 

Bush argues that setting a deadline encourages the enemy to wait it out and hurts military commanders' flexibility. He has promised to veto any legislation that sets withdrawal timetables, which Democrats have attached to about $100 billion in war funds for the next six months. 

If Bush does veto the bill, Democrats are not expected to have the two-thirds support in the House and Senate to overturn him. As a result, Congress quickly would have to come up with a new war-spending bill, with Democrats in a high-stakes gamble over whether to send Bush another bill with conditions on the duration of U.S. troops fighting in Iraq.


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