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CRI Hourly News (updated at 13:00 2011/03/24)
    2011-03-24 13:12:23     CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Xu Xiaoguang

Air strikes continues, heavy fighting in the cities of Misrata, Ajdabiya, adds naval blockade
Western coalition forces have launched a fifth day of air strikes against government and military targets in Libya, with more anti-aircraft fire being reported near the capital, Tripoli.
British Air Vice Marshal Greg Bagwell says Muammar Gaddafi's air force now "no longer exists as a fighting force".
However, in the east, rebels have so-far failed to capitalise on the air strikes, and have been pinned down outside Ajdabiyah, 150 km west of Benghazi.
Meantime, Qatar is expected to start flying air patrols over Libya by this weekend, becoming the first member of the Arab League to participate in the military mission.
Speaking in Washington along side Morocco's Foreign Minister, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton suggests that Qatar may not be the only Arab country taking part.
And in Brussels, NATO has confirmed that it is activating military operations to try to enforce the arms embargo against Libya.

'Civilians spared' by Libya raids
The US chief of staff for the mission in Libya has insisted there have been no reports of civilian casualties caused by allied action.
Rear Admiral Gerard Hueber's comments come despite claims to the contrary by the Libyan government, which said earlier dozens were killed by the air attacks.

Japan resumes work to restore power to damaged nuke plant
In Japan, engineers have resumed work at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant to bring the six reactors back online so that their own cooling systems can lower the temperature of the reactors' cores and stabilize the nuclear fuel.
Work has been foreced to a halt after black smoke was seen billowing out of the No. 3 reactor building.
The UN's nuclear watchdog says the overall situation at the plant "remains of serious concern."
Meanwhile, a spike in radiation levels in Tokyo's tap water has spurred new fears about food safety. Many shops in the city have run out of bottled water after a warning of radiation danger for babies.
Radiation particles have been found as far away as Iceland, though Japan insists levels are still not dangerous to adults.

Government agencies stage tsunami drill tomorrow
Carribean countries are now taking part in a staged drill, coordinating how to respond to a tsunami alert.
The drill is designed to evaluate the readiness capacity of the agencies involved.
The drill, called the 'Caribbean Wave Exercise II', which has been scheduled since last October, is based around the historical tidal wave which hit the Virgin Islands in 1877.

Portuguese PM resigns as parliament rejects his deficit plan
Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates has announced that he is stepping down from his post, putting the country on course for new parliamentary elections.
His decision comes after his government lost a crutial vote in parliament connected to his government's attempts to bring in austerity measures to try to get its financial house in order.

Bus, train collision in China's Xinjiang leaves at least 5 dead, 30 wounded: police
A bus and train collision has left at least 5 people dead and dozens injured in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
A runaway bus rushed onto a railway track and was hit by a running train in Urumqi, the regional capital.
Passengers on the bus were mostly students on their way to school.
The wounded have been rushed to three local hospitals, one of which says it has already taken in around 30 injured people.

Party officials brought to account by new rule in Beijing
Officials in China's capital city Beijing will be held accountable for erroneous decision making and inept leadership by a new regulation.
Both Communist Party officials and administrative officials in Beijing will be forced to resign or to submit to punishments if the government offices they oversee fail to perform their duties.
Some provinces, for their part, have passed similar rules, but those have only applied to administrative officials.

96% of roads in China to be toll-free
China's Ministry of Transport says 96 percent of the country's roads will be toll-free in the futre.
A ministry spokesman says China is considering building two road networks: one that will mainly consist of low-charge but highly efficient expressways and another one made up of non-toll common roads.
Currently, China's roads transport 74.1 percent of the country's freight traffic and 94.5 percent of passenger volumes.

Japan earthquake rattles carmakers in China
The global supply chain disruption following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan has sent shockwaves through auto makers in China, especially companies that are funded by Japanese car makers.
The joint ventures of the three Japanese auto giants in China, Toyota, Honda and Nissan, have announced that in the mid- and long-term, they might have to reduce or even halt output if Japanese suppliers fail to ship parts due to the slow recovery.
Managers at Guangzhou Toyota and Guangqi Honda, the two joint ventures in Guangzhou, have said their inventory of auto components could only sustain normal production for two weeks through the end of March.



Medicine & Healing
When you are ill do you prefer western medicine or do you use a more holistic approach? What are the pros and cons of western medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine and alternative healings? [China Now]