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BBC news with Jonathan Izard The British Prime Minister David Cameron has announced the biggest cuts in British defence spending since the end of the Cold War. He said manpower cuts of 17,000 would be made across the army, navy and air force over the next five years. Mr Cameron said operations in Afghanistan would not be affected. Rob Watson reports. David Cameron announced the loss of 25,000 civilian jobs at the Ministry of Defence and a 7,000 cut in the size of the British army. He also spelled out substantial cuts in aircraft and ships for the air force and navy. Mr Cameron insisted the changes to Britain's armed forces were being driven by security concerns not cost cutting, but he blamed the previous Labour government for having left such a mess and a defence budget overspent by more than $60 billion. The opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband dismissed the plans as a shambles that would not meet Britain's future defence needs. The biggest trade union in France has said 3.5 million people have taken part in today's protests against government plans to raise the age of retirement. The government put the figure at just over a million. Many flights have been cancelled, train services disrupted and schools closed. The demonstrations were the latest in a series of mass protests against pension reforms. From Paris, here is Christian Fraser. Today there were protests in 250 towns and provincial cities around the country, in Paris, in Lyon, Toulouse and in Marseille where the streets are now piled high with rubbish. Throughout the country, there is burning frustration that the government refuses to bend. Nowhere is that determination more evident than outside the oil refineries where the blockades are still in place. There are long queues on petrol forecourts. Demand has increased 50% in recent days, and tonight, 2,500 petrol stations, some 20% of the total, will be running low. The BBC World Service is facing major changes to the way it's funded as part of big public spending cuts being introduced by the British government. The World Service's annual budget of more than $400 million is currently paid by the British Foreign Office. The government now wants the BBC to meet the full cost out of the money it levies from all British television viewers. Here is Nick Robinson with the details. Although the BBC's budget is theoretically no part of the spending round, ministers have spent the past few months making it clear to the corporation that it could not remain unaffected. The first proposal they made was for the BBC to take on the £600 million cost of providing free TV licences for the elderly, in effect, a real termed budget cut of a quarter. When the BBC protested that it was not part of the welfare state, ministers returned with another idea - the BBC should take over from the Foreign Office the cost of providing the World Service and pay for the Welsh language channel S4C. In addition, it should extend the freeze on the licence fee from two years to six. Nick Robinson. World news from the BBC The Colombian government has opened a special centre to prevent the procurement of nuclear material by Marxist rebels. Police said they had confiscated computers from the Farc rebel group, showing they were trying to obtain uranium in Europe. The chief of the new centre said the Farc had been looking for nuclear material in Ukraine as far back as 2005. The German President Christian Wulff has urged the three million Turks living in Germany to learn the German language from an early age to help them integrate. Mr Wulff was addressing the Turkish parliament just days after the German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that multiculturalism in Germany had been a failure. From Istanbul, Jonathan Head reports. President Wulff is a more emollient speaker than Chancellor Merkel, and he was careful to put his points diplomatically to his Turkish hosts. But the message was the same as Mrs Merkel's that the three million strong Turkish minority must be more integrated into German society. President Wulff stressed that integration did not mean giving up Turkish culture and identity. But many Turks still suspect that the integration issue is being used by German politicians to whip up anti-immigrant sentiment. At least two people are reported to have been killed and dozens more wounded in the Guinean capital Conakry in pre-election violence. One of the parties contesting Guinea's presidential run-off on Sunday said the victims were among party supporters who had clashed with the police. Guinea's security forces have been patrolling Conakry to try to end the demonstrations that began on Monday. The Gambian President Yahya Jammeh is in Conakry to try to help resolve the CRIsis. A British court has found a Saudi prince guilty of murdering his servant at a five-star hotel in central London. The victim, Bandera Abdulaziz, was found beaten and strangled in a hotel room in February. The court heard that the prince, Saud Abdulaziz bin Nasser al-Saud, had abused his servant for his own personal gratification, and the injuries he inflicted showed that it was a brutal attack with a sexual aspect. He'll be sentenced tomorrow. BBC news 来自:VOA英语网 文章地址: http://www.tingvoa.com/html/20101022/29288.html
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