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BBC News新闻 20110402

BBC News with Jonathan Izard

Forces loyal to the internationally recognised President of Ivory Coast, Alassane Ouattara, have been attacking areas of the main city Abidjan. Parts are still controlled by forces loyal to Laurent Gbagbo, who's refusing to give up power. His supporters called for dialogue but said that if pushed he could send his fighters onto the streets. John James reports from Ivory Coast.

Abidjan shook to the sound of heavy gunfire as the battle for control of Ivory Coast reaches what looks like its final hours. President Gbagbo is holed up inside the fortress-like presidential mansion with his last remaining allies and the Republican Guard. Many wonder if the president has now decided to go down with the ship. Western diplomats say it's impossible now for President Gbagbo to escape defeat. But it's unclear if he'll come out of this alive given the scale of the fighting around the presidential villa.

The Libyan government has rejected the offer of a conditional ceasefire by rebel forces. A spokesman said it was mad to expect the government to withdraw its forces from cities as the rebels had demanded. He described coalition air strikes as a crime against humanity and said there had been civilian casualties in an attack near Brega on Thursday. Earlier, Nato said it was investigating a report that seven civilians, most of them children, died when air strikes targeted a government convoy in a village near the rebel-held town of Ajdabiya.

The Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has proposed issuing migrants arriving in Italy with temporary permits which would allow them to travel to other European Union countries. From Rome, here's Duncan Kennedy.

Silvio Berlusconi has been calling on the European Union to do more for weeks. The Italian prime minister says Italy is struggling to cope with around 20,000 migrants who've crossed the Mediterranean to the Italian island of Lampedusa since the Arab revolutions began. Mr Berlusconi says he'll issue them with temporary residence permits, allowing them to travel beyond Italy's borders if he doesn't get more help. The Italians are particularly unhappy with the French who've been blocking hundreds of the migrants trying to cross the border from Italy.

Security forces in Syria have opened fire on anti-government protesters near Damascus, killing at least 10 people. There have also been reports of clashes in the city of Deraa. Lina Sinjab is in Damascus.

Activists had promised what they called a Day of Martyrs to honour the dozens who'd been killed in two weeks of protests. Unrest was also reported in the central city of Homs and the north of the country. President Assad said in his first address to the nation since the anti-government protests started two weeks ago that the unrest in Syria is a plot aimed to destabilise the country and create sectarian divisions.

Hundreds of thousands of protesters have gathered for demonstrations in cities across Yemen both in support of and against President Ali Abdullah Saleh. In the capital Sanaa, anti-government protesters have gathered near a university while those backing the president are in Taghyir Square.

You're listening to the World News from the BBC.

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says an attack on a UN building in Afghanistan in which at least 12 people died was "outrageous and cowardly". Demonstrators stormed the building in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif and set it alight. Police officials said local clerics had urged people to protest over the reported burning of a copy of the Koran by an American pastor in the United States last month. President Obama has also strongly condemned the attack, and a UN special envoy is flying in to investigate.

Figures from the United States show that more than 200,000 new jobs were created last month. Unemployment edged down to under 9%. Correspondents say this suggests the labour market is beginning to improve after a deep recession, but there's still a long way to go, and President Obama said job creation would remain a priority.

"Keeping the economy going and making sure jobs are available is the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning; it's the last thing I think about when I go to bed each night. And I will not be satisfied until every American who wants a good job can find one, and every American gets a shot at the American Dream."

A massive search has begun in northeast Japan for the bodies of people missing since last month's devastating tsunami. More than 100 aircraft, dozens of ships and thousands of military personnel will scour the coastline for three days. The United States is helping with the operation, which is the largest deployment of Japan's Self-Defence Forces since the Second World War. The tsunami claimed more than 11,000 lives, and more than 16,000 people are officially unaccounted for.

A number of global manufacturers of electronic products have agreed that from today they will no longer buy minerals from conflict zones in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Firms including(口误成include) Apple, Nokia and Dell will buy Congolese minerals only if they have been specially certified as conflict-free. Pressure groups have accused foreign companies of fuelling conflict in Congo by purchasing minerals from armed groups.

BBC World Service News
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