VOA 1分ニュース スクリプト 12/02/22

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Syrian security forces killed sixty-three people Tuesday in attacks on northern villages and heavy shelling in the city of Homs. Activists said at least thirty people died and more than two hundred were wounded as government troops struck the rebel-held Homs neighborhood of Baba Amro. At least, two children were killed there. The activists said security forces launched the attack after opposition fighters holding the Sunni-Muslim area blocked troops from entering. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least thirty-three more civilians were killed in northern Idlib Province. Also on Tuesday, the International Committee of the Red Cross called on Syrian officials and rebels to immediately carry out a daily two-hour ceasefire. That would let the group provide emergency aid and take the sick and wounded out of the area.



Yemen has been counting votes from an election created to confirm Vice-president Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi as the country's new leader. Mr. Hadi is the only candidate in the election. Yemeni officials said many people voted Tuesday in the capital Sana'a. People there and in several other cities said they hope Mr. Hadi's election will end unrest in the country. But, voting was cut short in the southern city of Aden. Separatists seized ballot boxes and exchanged gunfire with security forces. Medical officials said nine people including a child were killed in vote-related violence in the south. The one-candidate election is part of a plan to end the thirty-three year rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Yemenis have been protesting against him for over a year.



Iran says a visiting team of top United Nations nuclear officials will not inspect Iran's nuclear centers. Instead, a foreign ministry official said the purpose of the visit is to develop a plan for talks and cooperation between Iran and the UN's nuclear agency. The International Atomic Energy Agency team arrived in Tehran Monday for a two-day visit. Its leader, Herman Nackaerts, said his main goal is to learn whether Iran's nuclear program is for military purposes. Israel and Western powers accuse Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons. Iranian officials say the country's nuclear program is peaceful.



Euro-zone finance ministers have approved a new one hundred seventy-two billion dollar rescue loan for Greece. It is the second for Greece in two years. The financial rescue could reduce the Greek government debt to about one hundred twenty percent of the size of the Greek economy by twenty twenty. That is the top debt level considered sustainable by the International Monetary Fund. It also lets Greece pay next month on nineteen billion dollars in debt payments. Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos called the loan agreement historic and said it gives his country a new chance to help its economy.



The President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, celebrated his eighty-eighth birthday Tuesday by speaking to reporters. Mr. Mugabe said he does not plan to leave office anytime soon. He also announced plans to call elections this year. The President said he is not yet ready to stop working and that in his words he can still go some distance. He also said Zimbabwe must have elections this year and that he will do what it takes to make sure they would happen. To hold elections, Mr. Mugabe will have to withdraw from a four-year-old agreement that created a power-sharing government. Mr. Mugabe has been in power since Zimbabwe became independent in nineteen eighty.