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An Italian cruise ship with 1,000 people on board is floating adrift in the dark in an area of the Indian Ocean where Somali pirates have been active. The crew of the ship Costa Allegra issued a distress signal when a fire knocked out the ship's generators. David Willey reports.

The 28,000-tonne liner, the Costa Allegra, belongs to the same Italian cruise line as the Costa Concordia, which went aground off the coast of Italy last month with a loss of more than 30 lives. Rome coastguards say three merchant ships and two fishing boats in the area have been directed towards the stricken vessel. The authorities in the Seychelles have also dispatched a tugboat , a coastguard ship and a plane to the area where the Allegra is drifting without power.

The Syrian government says around 90% of those who voted in the referendum on Sunday approved the constitutional changes put forward by President Bashar al-Assad. His opponents rejected the vote as a farce . The American State Department said it was absolutely cynical to hold the referendum when Syrian government guns and tanks were still firing into Syrian cities. Activists say at least 40 people were killed today. With more, Jim Muir.

As reports of violence came in from many parts of the country, the interior minister announced the results of the referendum on the constitution. The referendum results showed a turnout of just 57% of the electorate. Of those who voted, nearly 90% said yes, but three quarters of a million people voted no. The figures were probably much more credible than the opposition and its supporters had expected they would be. Under the new constitution, the next step should be general elections within 90 days with a number of newly licensed parties for the first time competing with the ruling Baath party.

The senior political leadership of the Syria-based Palestinian group Hamas has left Damascus. The Hamas deputy leader Moussa Abu Marzouk is now living near Cairo. He said he and his colleagues had left Damascus because they rejected the Syrian president's solution to the crisis there.

The German parliament has voted to approve a financial rescue package for Greece agreed by eurozone ministers last week. The measure passed comfortably despite growing public unease about the bailout. Chancellor Angela Merkel had urged parliament to support the package, saying it carried opportunities that outweighed the risks.

British police have revealed they are investigating payments made by journalists to a network of corrupt officials in many areas of public life.

The Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sue Akers, said there had been a culture of illegal payments at The Sun newspaper to people in government, the health service and the armed forces. Some informants had received thousands of dollars in return for information. The Sun is owned by the media tycoon Rupert Murdoch.

BBC News

A libel case brought by the President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, against the country's main opposition newspaper has ended with the president issuing a pardon. Last July, the owners and journalists from El Universo were found guilty of libelling the president and sentenced to three years in jail and a $40m fine. Mr Correa had pressed charges after an article alleged that he'd ordered the army to open fire at a hospital during a police strike in 2010. Mr Correa said his position had been vindicated .

"The abusive press has been defeated, the same press which in the face of the decisive defeat of the right has become politically belligerent , a press which lashes out in an illegitimate, dishonest and arrogant manner against the democratic achievements of our people. We can forgive, but we can't forget."

A former Nigerian state governor, James Ibori, has pleaded guilty at a court in London to 10 charges of money laundering and conspiracy to defraud. British police believe he stole as much as $250m of public money in Nigeria. More details from Grant Ferrett.

James Ibori was once one of Nigeria's richest and best-connected politicians. During his time in office, he amassed a vast personal fortune.

British police seized $35m in accounts he controlled even though his official salary was a relatively modest $25,000 a year. He was extradited to Britain from Dubai last year after the failure of a similar case against him in Nigeria itself.

The authorities in China say they are to soften sometimes threatening slogans that are used to enforce the one-child policy. State media blamed local officials for inventing slogans such as "If you don't get sterilised , your house will be demolished." The authorities said the one- child policy itself wouldn't change.

一艘载有1000名乘客的意大利游轮在黑夜间漂流到印度洋一处索马里海盗猖獗的区域。由于船上的发电机房着火,“阿丽格拉”号船员就发出遇险信号。David Willey报道。




驻叙利亚的巴勒斯坦组织哈马斯高级领导人现已离开大马士革,哈马斯副职领导Moussa Abu Marzouk目前住在开罗附近,他说,自己和同僚离开大马士革,是因为他们弃绝了叙利亚总统解决危机的办法。


英国警方透露,目前正在调查一件有关记者向诸多腐败官员提供报偿的案子,这些报酬涉及公众生活的多方面。伦敦警察厅副助理署长Sue Akers说,《太阳报》非法向政府、卫生部门和武装军队的人员支付报酬已成一种风气,一些情报提供者会得到数千美元的报偿。《太阳报》的所有者是媒体大亨鲁伯特·默多克。



一位尼日利亚前州长James Ibori在伦敦法庭对10项涉及洗钱和阴谋欺诈指控认罪,英国警方认定Ibori在尼日利亚盗走多达2.5亿美元的公共资金。Grant Ferrett报道。

James Ibori是尼日利亚最富有、最有人脉的政客,他任职期间积聚了大量个人资产。尽管他的官方工资不多,每年2.5万美元,英国警方却在他的账户上没收了3500亿美元。去年,尼日利亚一起类似指控失败后,他被从迪拜引渡到英国。


标签:BBC News
2012-03-09 23:17 编辑:pliny
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