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BBC News 2012-02-16

2012-02-17 12:31来源:未知


BBC News with David Austin


There's been a harsh exchange of words at the United Nations after Russia and China vetoed a resolution critical of Syria. The Americans said the two countries had sold out the Syrian people. The British said they'd turned their backs on the Arab world. The Russians in turn accused Western nations of pursuing regime change through the resolution they'd sponsored. Here's Barbara Plett in New York.


The vote was delayed by an hour or two as Russia tried to win support for amendments to the draft. The Russians were still unhappy with the Arab plan for a political transition which the resolution endorses . They said it imposes a solution on Syria. They also wanted language condemning the armed opposition as well as the Syrian army. This in particular was a step too far for Western diplomats on a day when Bashar al-Assad's forces are accused of killing scores of people.


There have been heavy casualties in a Syrian army attack against the city of Homs. More than 50 people have been documented as killed.


Some reports said as many as 200 may have died. Activists and rebel fighters said the authorities had pounded parts of the city with mortars and tank fire. The Syrian government has dismissed the reports as fabricated . Paul Wood has just got into the city of Homs and sent this report.


I'm speaking to you from a rooftop in a suburb of Homs. And just within past couple of minutes, we've seen clashes on the horizon , and a cloud of smoke now hanging over another part of Homs, which seems to suggest that shelling of some description has resumed. As we came into the city earlier this afternoon, we heard of a lot of heavy machine gun fire, and there were a lot of unexplained explosions. Parts of Homs - those parts which oppose the regime - are now virtually cut off, and we have to come in using a very elaborate route escorted by activists who are bringing in medical supplies and bringing in fresh blood donated a few hours earlier in the villages around Homs.


More than 50,000 protesters opposed to the Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin have demonstrated in Moscow despite bitterly cold weather. They called for political reform. Supporters of the Russian leader held their own rally.


The former Cuban President Fidel Castro has made a rare public appearance to launch his memoirs called Guerrilla of Time. Fidel had not been seen in public since April last year. Vanessa Buschschluter has the details.


Wearing a tracksuit jacket and a checkered shirt, Fidel seemed animated and laughed as he reminisced about his early life. This first instalment of his recollections runs to 1,000 pages in two volumes, but it only takes the story up to December 1958 - the eve of the revolution. The director of the Cuban Writers' Union, Miguel Barnet, said it made vivid reading. But like many storytellers, it seems the old revolutionary is saving the real action for later. Vanessa Buschschluter reporting.


World News from the BBC


Police in Mexico said they've arrested the suspected leader of the armed wing of the Sinaloa drug cartel. Prosecutors suspect the man, Jose Antonio Torres Marrufo, of ordering an attack on a drug treatment clinic in Ciudad Juarez, in which 18 people were killed in 2009. The patients were lined up against a wall and shot dead.


The governing African National Congress in South Africa has upheld a decision to suspend its controversial youth leader Julius Malema. However, the party's appeals committee said they would give Mr Malema another chance to argue that his sentence is too harsh. Here's Karen Allen in Johannesburg.


Mr Malema wasn't present as the appeal panel's ruling was made public, neither were his supporters, who in the past had flooded the streets of central Johannesburg in large numbers. After November's decision to suspend the maverick youth leader from the governing party, the ANC, an appeals panel agreed that he was guilty of sowing division in the party, but they said they would give him another chance to argue that his sentence is too harsh. Mr Malema - a man who once said he would kill for President Jacob Zuma - paints himself as a champion of the young and unemployed. But his combative style has angered many in the ANC, and he is now considered by some as an impediment .


In football, Zambia have become the first team to qualify for the semi-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations. The two-time finalists beat Sudan 3-0 after dominating the game throughout. And in today's other semi-final qualifier, Ivory Coast have just beaten the hosts Equatorial Guinea 3-0.


Snow and freezing temperatures across Europe have claimed more than 200 lives. Eastern Europe is the worst-affected area with a recorded temperature of -38C in Ukraine and the Czech Republic. Most of the deaths have occurred in Ukraine. In Britain, Heathrow Airport has cancelled around a third of Sunday's flights because of expected heavy snow, and the canals in Venice have started freezing over.


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