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NPR 2008-03-18

时间:2008-10-05 08:24来源:互联网 提供网友:Alinath   字体: [ ]

From NPR News in Washington, I'm Carl Kasell.

The Federal Reserve is moving to calm jitters1 in the financial markets amid a credit crunch2 that's already claimed one of the biggest Wall Street firms. NPR's Scott Horsley reports.


Bear Stearns agreed over the weekend to sell itself to Wall Street rival JPMorgan Chase for the fire-sale price of just two dollars a share. The 85-year-old Bear Stearns, which had been a major investor3 in mortgage-backed securities, saw most of its value evaporate over the last two weeks. The Federal Reserve quickly approved the sale and took additional steps to shore up shaky financial markets. Without waiting for its regular meeting on Tuesday, the Fed lowered the discount rate it charges on loans to banks by a quarter percentage point. The Fed also set up a new lending facility which can provide Wall Street firms with financing for at least six months. The Fed is expected to approve further rate cuts this week as it tries to combat the spreading credit crunch. Scott Horsley, NPR News.


Vice4 President Dick Cheney arrived in Iraq today to speak to US and Iraqi officials as part of a nine-day Mid-East swing. For security reasons, the trip was not announced ahead of time. NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reports from Baghdad.

The vice president comes to Baghdad at a time when it's unclear whether the lull5 in violence Iraq has enjoyed in recent months is going to continue. A drawdown of US troops to about 140,000 is supposed to be completed in July. The question of whether more troops follow them home depends on whether violence continues to decline. Cheney has been a vocal6 supporter of the so-called "surge" strategy, in which a flood of US military troops were brought in to tamp8 down violence and give the Iraqi government room to make some political progress. The general feeling has been that the al-Maliki government hasn't taken advantage of the opportunity. Few laws have been passed and little reconciliation9 has been achieved. Cheney is expected to assess that for himself while he's here. Dina Temple-Raston, NPR News, Baghdad.


Democrats10 Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton took the day off from campaigning yesterday, but their surrogates were speaking out. Strategists for Obama are demanding the Clinton release more financial documents. Clinton's strategist Mark Penn says that the Obama campaign has repeatedly shifted negative when they find the momentum11 working against them. Today, Obama heads to Pennsylvania to campaign. Clinton is giving a speech on the Iraq War in Washington.


Japanese stock prices plunged12 today after JPMorgan said it would buy the troubled US investment bank Bear Stearns. The Nikkei average fell by 454 points or 3.7 percent. Oil prices jumped to an all-time trading high in Asian trading. US light crude for April delivery hit a record $111.80 a barrel, up $1.59 from Friday's close in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at mid-morning. It later fell back to $111.61 a barrel.


This is NPR News.


The brackets are set for this year's NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. Scott Graf from member station WFAE reports from Charlotte.


North Carolina was awarded the top overall seed in the field of 65, joining Kansas, UCLA and Memphis who top their respective regions. North Carolina locked up its No.1 seed by winning the ACC Tournament in Charlotte over the weekend. The NCAA selection committee awarded the Tar7 Heels by allowing them to begin play in Raleigh, just miles away from their Chapel13 Hill campus. They could advance to the final four without ever having to leave the State of North Carolina. Schools from the so-called power conferences received 28 at-large bids, compared to six from smaller schools. Two-time defending champion Florida is not in this year's field. The tournament's play-in game kicks off action tomorrow. The rest of the field would be featured in first round match-ups on Thursday and Friday. For NPR News, I'm Scott Graf in Charlotte.


A blinding snowstorm and unsafe driving led to a huge pile-up in Arizona that left two people dead and at least ten others seriously injured. Authorities say that the accident forced the closure of Interstate 40 near Flagstaff in both directions yesterday. Rescuers used hydraulic14 equipment and hand tools to pry15 some people from the wreckage16. According to the National Weather Service, nearly four inches of snow fell in the area, and there were on and off whiteout conditions. The initial cause of the pile-up is believed to be a passenger vehicle traveling too fast and losing control, leading to a chain-reaction crash. The Arizona Department of Public Safety says that the weather was only a contributing factor.


I'm Carl Kasell, NPR News in Washington.



1 jitters bcdbab80a76ba5b84faa9be81506e8ea     
  • I always get the jitters before exams. 我考试前总是很紧张。
  • The whole city had the jitters from the bombing. 全城居民都为轰炸而心神不宁。
2 crunch uOgzM     
  • If it comes to the crunch they'll support us.关键时刻他们是会支持我们的。
  • People who crunch nuts at the movies can be very annoying.看电影时嘎吱作声地嚼干果的人会使人十分讨厌。
3 investor aq4zNm     
  • My nephew is a cautious investor.我侄子是个小心谨慎的投资者。
  • The investor believes that his investment will pay off handsomely soon.这个投资者相信他的投资不久会有相当大的收益。
4 vice NU0zQ     
  • He guarded himself against vice.他避免染上坏习惯。
  • They are sunk in the depth of vice.他们堕入了罪恶的深渊。
5 lull E8hz7     
  • The drug put Simpson in a lull for thirty minutes.药物使辛普森安静了30分钟。
  • Ground fighting flared up again after a two-week lull.经过两个星期的平静之后,地面战又突然爆发了。
6 vocal vhOwA     
  • The tongue is a vocal organ.舌头是一个发音器官。
  • Public opinion at last became vocal.终于舆论哗然。
7 tar 1qOwD     
  • The roof was covered with tar.屋顶涂抹了一层沥青。
  • We use tar to make roads.我们用沥青铺路。
8 tamp kqsw3     
  • Then I tamp down the soil with the back of a rake.然后我用耙子的背将土壤拍实。
  • Philpott tamped a wad of tobacco into his pipe.菲尔波特往烟斗里塞了一卷碎烟叶。
9 reconciliation DUhxh     
  • He was taken up with the reconciliation of husband and wife.他忙于做夫妻间的调解工作。
  • Their handshake appeared to be a gesture of reconciliation.他们的握手似乎是和解的表示。
10 democrats 655beefefdcaf76097d489a3ff245f76     
n.民主主义者,民主人士( democrat的名词复数 )
  • The Democrats held a pep rally on Capitol Hill yesterday. 民主党昨天在国会山召开了竞选誓师大会。
  • The democrats organize a filibuster in the senate. 民主党党员组织了阻挠议事。 来自《简明英汉词典》
11 momentum DjZy8     
  • We exploit the energy and momentum conservation laws in this way.我们就是这样利用能量和动量守恒定律的。
  • The law of momentum conservation could supplant Newton's third law.动量守恒定律可以取代牛顿第三定律。
12 plunged 06a599a54b33c9d941718dccc7739582     
v.颠簸( plunge的过去式和过去分词 );暴跌;骤降;突降
  • The train derailed and plunged into the river. 火车脱轨栽进了河里。
  • She lost her balance and plunged 100 feet to her death. 她没有站稳,从100英尺的高处跌下摔死了。
13 chapel UXNzg     
  • The nimble hero,skipped into a chapel that stood near.敏捷的英雄跳进近旁的一座小教堂里。
  • She was on the peak that Sunday afternoon when she played in chapel.那个星期天的下午,她在小教堂的演出,可以说是登峰造极。
14 hydraulic AcDzt     
  • The boat has no fewer than five hydraulic pumps.这艘船配有不少于5个液压泵。
  • A group of apprentics were operating the hydraulic press.一群学徒正在开动水压机。
15 pry yBqyX     
  • He's always ready to pry into other people's business.他总爱探听别人的事。
  • We use an iron bar to pry open the box.我们用铁棍撬开箱子。
16 wreckage nMhzF     
  • They hauled him clear of the wreckage.他们把他从形骸中拖出来。
  • New states were born out of the wreckage of old colonial empires.新生国家从老殖民帝国的废墟中诞生。
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