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BBC News新闻 20110716

BBC World News with Steve Titherington

The media tycoon Rupert Murdoch has made a personal apology to the family of a murdered British schoolgirl, Milly Dowler, whose phone was allegedly hacked by one of his newspapers. News International said Mr Murdoch would also apologise for what he called "serious wrongdoings" in advertisements to be placed in British newspapers on Saturday. Mr Murdoch met the Dowler family at a London hotel. When he came out, he was besieged by reporters.

"I want to say it was a totally private meeting."

"Did you apologise to the Dowler family?"

"Of course I did. Of course I did."

"Can you tell us exactly what you said?"

"No, I'm not going any further. I just said that as founder of the company, I was appalled to find out what had happened."

Earlier, one of his most senior executives, Rebekah Brooks, resigned as chief executive of News International. She'd been under intense pressure over the phone-hacking scandal at the News of the World newspaper, which she edited until 2003.

The European Banking Authority says eight European banks are not strong enough to withstand further financial shocks. A total of 90 banks were tested. Five banks in Spain, two in Greece and one in Austria did not pass the test. The President of the European Union, Herman van Rompuy, has called an emergency meeting next week of the 17 leaders of eurozone countries to discuss the financial situation of the eurozone as a whole and additional aid for Greece.

The lower house of the Italian parliament has approved a tough austerity package, which was passed on Thursday by the Senate. The package includes tax measures and cuts of $68bn over three years. It's designed to end speculation on the markets about the Italian economy.

President Obama has said time is running out for a political deal to raise America's debt limit and stabilise the economy by cutting spending. American officials and economists are warning of national and global consequences if the US starts to default on its obligations. From Washington, Paul Adams reports.

Most of the country's political leaders agree that the debt ceiling must be raised and that this protracted debate is not good for economic confidence. But after long hours of meetings and with various competing solutions on the table, a deal is still not in sight. Barack Obama said he wanted to see the logjam broken in the next couple of days and urged members of Congress to think in ambitious terms.

Five civilians have been killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. They were all passengers in a minivan travelling in Helmand province. Earlier this week, the United Nations said the number of Afghan civilians dying in war-related violence had gone up 15% this year.

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

Western and Arab foreign ministers have agreed to recognise the Libyan rebels' National Transitional Council as the country's legitimate governing authority. The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the rebel council had given important guarantees on transparency and democratic reform. Kim Ghattas reports from Washington.

The diplomatic move means the US and other countries will now be able to unblock some $30bn in frozen assets and assist the Libyan opposition. It's a financial boost for the National Transitional Council of Libya, but it also adds to their credibility. Because the United States only recognises states and not governments, the wording was chosen carefully. Hillary Clinton, the secretary of state, said the United States would recognise the TNC as the legitimate governing authority for Libya until an interim authority is in place.

At least 20 protesters have been killed in Syria during mass demonstrations against President Assad. Security forces opened fire on demonstrators in the centre of the capital Damascus and in other cities. The protests are said to be the biggest in some areas since the uprising began in March.

Jordanian police and government supporters have attacked pro-democracy demonstrators to stop them gathering in the main square of the capital Amman. At least 15 people including several journalists were injured in the clashes.

Hundreds of BBC journalists working for both domestic and international services have been on strike in protest at compulsory redundancies caused by BBC cutbacks. Several news programmes have been taken off the air, though other services are broadcasting normally. The journalists' trade union, the NUJ, says the compulsory redundancies are not inevitable. The BBC says redundancies including those at the World Service are unavoidable because of cuts in the BBC's budget.

And that's the latest BBC News from the World Service.
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