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NPR 2008-04-12

时间:2009-02-03 01:57来源:互联网 提供网友:jette   字体: [ ]

Defense1 Secretary Robert Gates said today that radical2 cleric Shiite Muqtada al-Sadr will not be treated as an enemy of the US if he plays a non-threatening role in Iraqi politics. Gates’ comments come at a time the US and Iraqi forces have been fighting with members of Sadr’s Mahdi Army militia3. “He is a significant political figure. We want him to work within the political process in Iraq. He has a large following. It’s important that he become a part of the process, if he is not already.” Gates made his remarks at the Pentagon on the same day a top aide to the cleric was the victim of an assassination4 in the holy city of Najaf. The aide Riyadh al-Nuri was apparently5 gunned down as he drove home after attending prayers. Al-Sadr’s office issued a statement today, blaming the US and Iraq for the aide’s death.

Frontier Airlines unexpectedly filed for bankruptcy6. The company says the restructuring process could take up to a year and a half. From Rocky Mountain Community Radio, Bente Birkeland reports from Denver.

An official of Frontier says the bankruptcy was a disappointment because the airline had been doing well with record revenues in traffic last month. But Frontier’s credit card processor cut back how much money it gave the airline from ticket sales. Frontier’s president and CEO says that change left the airline with little choice but to file for Chapter 11. He says Frontier is prepared to take the credit card processor to court over what he calls “an illegal change in the holdback”. About 12 million passengers fly Frontier each year; it has 6,000 employees. The airline says it will continue to operate normally during the restructuring period. For NPR News, I’m Bente Birkeland in Denver.

More troubling news on the economy today: consumer confidence in April slumped7 to a 26-year low. That’s according to a closely-watched University of Michigan’s survey. NPR’s Chris Arnold reports.

Consumer spending is at the heart of what keeps the economy going. So seeing the lowest reading on consumer confidence since 1982 is not a terribly good sign. Sara Johnson is an economist8 with Global Insight. “It’s very concerning, confidence dropped into the recession range in late 2007 and then this spring, it has tumbled further.” Still, most Americans, even if they are nervous, tend to keep spending if they have money in their pockets, but Johnson says inflation is now cramping9 their spending. “Year-on-year consumer price inflation is in the range of four percent while wage growth is around three and a half percent.” That’s one reason Johnson thinks we will be in a recession at least throughout the first half of this year. Chris Arnold, NPR News.

Surprise drop in earnings10 by one of the bluest of the blue chip companies, giant General Electric, a major stock on the Dow and the second biggest US company by market capitalization, announced an unexpected six percent drop in its first quarter earnings today.

Wall Street fell sharply today. The Dow was down 256 points.

This is NPR News.

Police searching a polygamous compound in Texas have now seized documents including marriage and birth records. That’s according to copies of search warrants that were released today. According to the information, more than 80 pages of items have been taken from the compound owned by a breakaway Mormon group known as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. That includes what was referred to as a cyanide poisoning document. Police raid of the religious retreat followed complaints from a 16-year-old girl. She’d been abused by her 50-year-old husband. More than 400 children have been taken into custody11 by authorities on the suspicion some had been sexually or physically12 abused.

Major League Baseball and the player’s union today announced changes to the game’s anti-drug program in response to last year’s Mitchell report on doping in baseball. The changes include increased testing and the decision not to punish players named in the report. NPR’s Tom Goldman has more.

This is the third time since 2002 that Major League players and owners have amended13 their joint14 drug agreement. Both sides say the new changes will strengthen the program. The number of drug test will increase by 600 per year. The number of off-season test will double on average. A committee of management and union officials that helped oversee15 the drug program has been disbanded and its responsibilities have been transferred to the doctor who has been serving as the so-called “independent program administrator”. This move is intended to enhance the program’s independence, although critics will say it doesn’t go far enough by turning over drug testing to an outside body, like the US Anti-Doping Agency. Finally, baseball commissioner16 Bud Selig has agreed not to punish players named in the Mitchell report, meaning Jay Gibbons and Jose Guillen won’t have to serve their 15-day suspensions handed down last year. Tom Goldman, NPR News.


1 defense AxbxB     
  • The accused has the right to defense.被告人有权获得辩护。
  • The war has impacted the area with military and defense workers.战争使那个地区挤满了军队和防御工程人员。
2 radical hA8zu     
  • The patient got a radical cure in the hospital.病人在医院得到了根治。
  • She is radical in her demands.她的要求十分偏激。
3 militia 375zN     
  • First came the PLA men,then the people's militia.人民解放军走在前面,其次是民兵。
  • There's a building guarded by the local militia at the corner of the street.街道拐角处有一幢由当地民兵团守卫的大楼。
4 assassination BObyy     
  • The assassination of the president brought matters to a head.总统遭暗杀使事态到了严重关头。
  • Lincoln's assassination in 1865 shocked the whole nation.1865年,林肯遇刺事件震惊全美国。
5 apparently tMmyQ     
  • An apparently blind alley leads suddenly into an open space.山穷水尽,豁然开朗。
  • He was apparently much surprised at the news.他对那个消息显然感到十分惊异。
6 bankruptcy fPoyJ     
  • You will have to pull in if you want to escape bankruptcy.如果你想避免破产,就必须节省开支。
  • His firm is just on thin ice of bankruptcy.他的商号正面临破产的危险。
7 slumped b010f9799fb8ebd413389b9083180d8d     
大幅度下降,暴跌( slump的过去式和过去分词 ); 沉重或突然地落下[倒下]
  • Sales have slumped this year. 今年销售量锐减。
  • The driver was slumped exhausted over the wheel. 司机伏在方向盘上,疲惫得睡着了。
8 economist AuhzVs     
  • He cast a professional economist's eyes on the problem.他以经济学行家的眼光审视这个问题。
  • He's an economist who thinks he knows all the answers.他是个经济学家,自以为什么都懂。
9 cramping 611b7a8bb08c8677d8a4f498dff937bb     
  • The bleeding may keep my left hand from cramping. 淌血会叫我的左手不抽筋。
  • This loss of sodium can cause dehydration and cramping. 钠流失会造成脱水和抽筋。
10 earnings rrWxJ     
  • That old man lives on the earnings of his daughter.那个老人靠他女儿的收入维持生活。
  • Last year there was a 20% decrease in his earnings.去年他的收入减少了20%。
11 custody Qntzd     
  • He spent a week in custody on remand awaiting sentence.等候判决期间他被还押候审一个星期。
  • He was taken into custody immediately after the robbery.抢劫案发生后,他立即被押了起来。
12 physically iNix5     
  • He was out of sorts physically,as well as disordered mentally.他浑身不舒服,心绪也很乱。
  • Every time I think about it I feel physically sick.一想起那件事我就感到极恶心。
13 Amended b2abcd9d0c12afefe22fd275996593e0     
adj. 修正的 动词amend的过去式和过去分词
  • He asked to see the amended version. 他要求看修订本。
  • He amended his speech by making some additions and deletions. 他对讲稿作了些增删修改。
14 joint m3lx4     
  • I had a bad fall,which put my shoulder out of joint.我重重地摔了一跤,肩膀脫臼了。
  • We wrote a letter in joint names.我们联名写了封信。
15 oversee zKMxr     
  • Soldiers oversee the food handouts.士兵们看管着救济食品。
  • Use a surveyor or architect to oversee and inspect the different stages of the work.请一位房产检视员或建筑师来监督并检查不同阶段的工作。
16 commissioner gq3zX     
  • The commissioner has issued a warrant for her arrest.专员发出了对她的逮捕令。
  • He was tapped for police commissioner.他被任命为警务处长。
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