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BBC news:印度地震救援工作进展缓慢


[BBC News] with David Austin

The French President Nicolas Sarkozy has warned of a new cycle of violence in the Middle East if Palestinian demands for full membership of the United Nations prompt a US veto. Speaking at the UN General Assembly, Mr Sarkozy, instead, urged a compromise - granting the Palestinians enhanced status as an observer state rather than full membership. President Obama earlier told the General Assembly that peace in the Middle East required negotiations and would not be achieved through resolutions at the UN. But a spokesman for the Palestinians, Nabil Shaath, insisted that they would apply for full UN membership.

"With all respect to Mr Obama, we have to respectfully disagree. We are not seeking membership of the Mafia or al-Qaeda; we are seeking membership of the United Nations. It's morally, legally and politically acceptable in every way, and I don't really see that that is a matter that should be bargained about. It's a right that we are pursuing."

The Greek government has announced details of tough new austerity measures to secure the continued backing of its international creditors. Malcolm Brabant in Athens has the details.

Thirty thousand civil servants will be told to sit at home for a year on 60% of their normal salary. They'll join a so-called labour reserve, and if they don't find another state job within a year, they'll be sacked. One of the most brutal measures was the decision to cut tax-free income for the second time this year. It means that people earning close to the minimum wage of $6,800 will now have to pay tax. Another painful measure is the extension from two to four years of the emergency property tax, which will require householders to pay a substantial lump sum according to the size and location of their home.

China has summoned the United States ambassador to protest against plans to upgrade Taiwan's aging fleet of American-made F-16 fighter planes. Beijing, which views Taiwan as a renegade province, said the $5bn deal would undermine bilateral ties and security cooperation between China and the US. Jonathan Marcus reports.

The Taiwanese authorities have been pushing for an upgrade to their air force for some time. After a series of crashes, their aging F-5 fighters are literally falling out of the sky. They wanted 66 modern and highly capable US F-16 jets. Instead, what they are being offered is an upgrade to their existing fleet of over 140 earlier models of the aircraft. US officials say this is a cheaper option for Taiwan and they will get the upgraded aircraft sooner.

Two Americans held by Iran as spies for more than two years have arrived in the Gulf state of Oman. TV pictures showed Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal running down the steps of a plane in Muscat to be reunited with their families. They were freed earlier on Wednesday after paying bail of half a million dollars each. The two men were arrested in 2009 near the Iran-Iraq border.

World News from the BBC

The American state of Georgia is preparing to execute a man despite international pleas to spare him because of doubts about the case against him. Troy Davis was convicted of killing an off-duty police officer in 1989. Jane O'Brien reports.

The Pope, former President Jimmy Carter and a one-time FBI director are among those who have raised concern that Troy Davis may have been wrongfully convicted. He was sentenced to death for murdering an off-duty policeman in 1989. His lawyers say the trial was flawed because witnesses later recanted their testimony. But the verdict has been upheld at every appeal, and in 2010 Davis failed again to prove his innocence after the US Supreme Court halted his last scheduled execution.

Parts of northeast India are still cut off after an earthquake on Sunday. Roads to remote areas of northern Sikkim, close to the border with Tibet, are blocked or were washed away by heavy rainfall. One local resident told the BBC that several people in his community had died and they couldn't evacuate the injured.

Germany has banned the country's biggest neo-Nazi organisation, the HNG, which offers support to right-wing extremists in German jails. The Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said the HNG was outlawed with immediate effect for its aggressive stance against the peaceful democratic rule of law. The ban follows police raids on the group's members across Germany last year. The HNG, or Help Organisation for National Political Prisoners, calls itself a charity. Its opponents say it promotes a racist and anti-Semitic agenda.

The American rock band REM have announced that they are splitting up. In a statement on their official website, the band thanked their fans and said they were walking away with a great sense of gratitude and of astonishment at all they'd accomplished. REM had been together for more than 30 years, producing hits including Losing My Religion, Shiny Happy People and Man on the Moon.

And those are the latest stories from BBC News.

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