VOA 1分ニュース スクリプト 12/03/14

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Violence continued across Syria Tuesday as former United Nations chief Kofi Annan waited for an answer to his proposals. Mr. Annan has suggested ways to settle the country's deadly unrest and continuing campaign against protest. “I'm expecting to hear from the Syrian authorities today since I left some concrete proposals for them to consider. And, once I receive those...their answer, we will know where...how to react. But, let me say the killings and the violence must cease.” Mr. Anan spoke in Turkey after meeting with members of the Syrian National Council. The council is the main opposition group outside Syria. He left the Syrian capital, Damascus, on Sunday after two days of talks ended without a settlement. Mr. Annan is the UN-Arab League special diplomat for Syria. In related news, Syrian reports say President Bashar al-Assad has set May seventh as the date for parliamentary elections.



President Barack Obama has promised that the American soldier suspected of killing sixteen civilians in Afghanistan Sunday will be held responsible for his actions. Mr. Obama said the United States takes the incident as seriously as if our own citizens and our own children were murdered. He spoke to reporters Tuesday at the White House. President Obama met with the United States Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker and the top commander of coalition forces Lieutenant Colonel John Allen. He said he trusts troops and military leaders stationed in Afghanistan. He added that the United States will not leave Afghanistan now. President Obama said the challenge of defeating al-Qaida and other terrorist groups continues.



Pakistani officials say an American drone strike killed at least eight militants on Tuesday in the country's northwest near the Afghan border. Officials say one missile from the unmanned aircraft hit a vehicle traveling in the Birmal area of the South Waziristan tribal area. The dead include two top commanders of a militant group led by Maulvi Nazir. The group supports the Taliban in Afghanistan. But, it is not hostile to Pakistani officials. Security officials said the pilotless plane fired up to four missiles into the vehicle. Earlier this year, President Obama publicly stated for the first time that the United States uses drone strikes against militants in Pakistan.



Indian lawmakers demanded Tuesday that the central government take stronger action on reported war crimes in Sri Lanka at the end of the country's civil war. The crimes are said to have been committed by both sides, the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tigers in two thousand nine. Next week, the United Nations Human Rights Council will vote on whether to support an investigation into the reported war crimes. India's Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee, has suggested that India may not vote. He said India does not support resolutions related to individual countries. Last year, a United Nations report said tens of thousands of civilians may have been killed during the conflict. The government of Sri Lanka has denied any wrongdoing.



The United States central bank says the country's economy is expanding moderately. The bank decided against taking new actions to improve the economy. At a meeting Tuesday, the bank said the American labor market continues to improve. Unemployment rates are dropping although they are still too high. Citizens are spending more and business investments are on the increase. But, the central bank said the housing market remains depressed. The bank released the statement hours after the Department of Commerce released its own report. It said retail sales made their biggest gain in five months in February. Americans bought more cars, clothing and long-lasting goods like washing machines.