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NPR 2008-05-14

时间:2009-02-04 01:48来源:互联网 提供网友:jette   字体: [ ]
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The death toll1 in China’s earthquake now stands at nearly 12,000. Thousands of people remain missing. So, that number is certain to rise. Today, bodies covered with sheets line the streets as rescue workers continue to dig through schools and homes toppled by the quake. At least two Chinese-American tourists are listed among the missing. China’s official news agency is reporting that fewer than 60 people have been pulled alive from demolished2 buildings. One report says 80% of the buildings in one county were destroyed. And to make matters worse, rain is hindering rescue efforts today.

 President Bush leaves today on his second trip to the Middle East this year. The main goal is to give a boost to Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts. NPR’s Jackie Northam reports.

 President Bush will spend much of his time in Israel, taking part in celebrations to commemorate3 the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Jewish state. The president and first lady will host a reception at an Israeli museum. They’ll also travel to the ancient mountaintop fortress4 of Masada. In the first century A.D., hundreds of Jewish rebels killed their wives, children, then each other, rather than become slaves to the Romans who were set to invade the fortress. President Bush will also use his time in Israel to push for fast progress on Middle East peace negotiations5. He’ll meet with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, but he will not meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas until later in the week, when Mr. Bush travels to Egypt. The president says he wants a peace deal by the time he leaves office in January. But analysts6 say there are still huge divisions between the two sides. Jackie Northam, NPR News, Washington.

 Consumers trimmed their spending again in April, but some parts of the economy held up better than many economists8 had expected. NPR’s Paul Brown has more.

 The Commerce Department says total retail9 sales fell in April for the second time in three months. And this figure is considered important because retail commerce accounts for about two-thirds of total US economic activity. The April drop of two-tenths of a percent was twice what most analysts had expected and it comes after an increase in March. The biggest decline in April was in auto10 sales as consumers struggled with higher fuel prices and other strains on their budgets. But one surprise for analysts was that outside the auto sector11, April sales actually rose by half a percentage point, much more than anticipated. That led economist7, Kurt Carl of Swiss Re ,to say the figures don’t point to a recession and other economists say that if there is a recession, it will be mild. Paul Brown, NPR News, Washington.

 Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says turmoil12 in financial markets has eased, but the situation is still not back to normal.

 On Wall Street this morning, prices were down. At this hour, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 26 points to 12,850. The NASDAQ is down five points to 2,482. This is NPR News.

 Democratic presidential contenders Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are watching West Virginia today where the state is holding its primary. Scott Finn of West Virginia Public Broadcasting has more.

 This year for the first time, independent voters are being allowed to cast ballots13 in the Democratic primary. A record number participated in early voting and election officials are bracing14 for a big turnout. West Virginia is one of the oldest, widest and most low-income states. If earlier contests are any guide, these are all demographics that favor Clinton. In recent appearances, Barack Obama has focused on the state’s large population of veterans. Democrats15 dominate at the local and state level, but the state voted Republican in the last two presidential elections. West Virginia hasn’t been in the primary spotlight16 since 1960, when the largely Protestant state helped nominate the nation’s first Catholic President, John F. Kennedy. For NPR News, I’m Scott Finn, in Charleston, West Virginia.

 Congressional Democrats are pushing for an extension of the GI Bill. They want a big boost in college aid for military veterans. The plan would essentially17 guarantee a full-ride scholarship to any in-state public university, along with a monthly  housing stipend18, for individuals who serve in the military for at least three years. The proposal would give veterans 15 years to use the benefit instead of the current ten-year limit. The Congressional Budget Office says the plan would cost nearly 52 billion dollars over ten years, and that has Republicans and even fiscally-conservative Democrats hesitant about the plan. President Bush has indicated that he supports a modest expansion of GI benefits, but congressional Democrats are not likely to back down.


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 toll LJpzo     
n.过路(桥)费;损失,伤亡人数;v.敲(钟)
参考例句:
  • The hailstone took a heavy toll of the crops in our village last night.昨晚那场冰雹损坏了我们村的庄稼。
  • The war took a heavy toll of human life.这次战争夺去了许多人的生命。
2 demolished 3baad413d6d10093a39e09955dfbdfcb     
v.摧毁( demolish的过去式和过去分词 );推翻;拆毁(尤指大建筑物);吃光
参考例句:
  • The factory is due to be demolished next year. 这个工厂定于明年拆除。
  • They have been fighting a rearguard action for two years to stop their house being demolished. 两年来,为了不让拆除他们的房子,他们一直在进行最后的努力。
3 commemorate xbEyN     
vt.纪念,庆祝
参考例句:
  • This building was built to commemorate the Fire of London.这栋大楼是为纪念“伦敦大火”而兴建的。
  • We commemorate the founding of our nation with a public holiday.我们放假一日以庆祝国庆。
4 fortress Mf2zz     
n.堡垒,防御工事
参考例句:
  • They made an attempt on a fortress.他们试图夺取这一要塞。
  • The soldier scaled the wall of the fortress by turret.士兵通过塔车攀登上了要塞的城墙。
5 negotiations af4b5f3e98e178dd3c4bac64b625ecd0     
协商( negotiation的名词复数 ); 谈判; 完成(难事); 通过
参考例句:
  • negotiations for a durable peace 为持久和平而进行的谈判
  • Negotiations have failed to establish any middle ground. 谈判未能达成任何妥协。
6 analysts 167ff30c5034ca70abe2d60a6e760448     
分析家,化验员( analyst的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • City analysts forecast huge profits this year. 伦敦金融分析家预测今年的利润非常丰厚。
  • I was impressed by the high calibre of the researchers and analysts. 研究人员和分析人员的高素质给我留下了深刻印象。
7 economist AuhzVs     
n.经济学家,经济专家,节俭的人
参考例句:
  • 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。
8 economists 2ba0a36f92d9c37ef31cc751bca1a748     
n.经济学家,经济专家( economist的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • The sudden rise in share prices has confounded economists. 股价的突然上涨使经济学家大惑不解。
  • Foreign bankers and economists cautiously welcomed the minister's initiative. 外国银行家和经济学家对部长的倡议反应谨慎。 来自《简明英汉词典》
9 retail VWoxC     
v./n.零售;adv.以零售价格
参考例句:
  • In this shop they retail tobacco and sweets.这家铺子零售香烟和糖果。
  • These shoes retail at 10 yuan a pair.这些鞋子零卖10元一双。
10 auto ZOnyW     
n.(=automobile)(口语)汽车
参考例句:
  • Don't park your auto here.别把你的汽车停在这儿。
  • The auto industry has brought many people to Detroit.汽车工业把许多人吸引到了底特律。
11 sector yjczYn     
n.部门,部分;防御地段,防区;扇形
参考例句:
  • The export sector will aid the economic recovery. 出口产业将促进经济复苏。
  • The enemy have attacked the British sector.敌人已进攻英国防区。
12 turmoil CKJzj     
n.骚乱,混乱,动乱
参考例句:
  • His mind was in such a turmoil that he couldn't get to sleep.内心的纷扰使他无法入睡。
  • The robbery put the village in a turmoil.抢劫使全村陷入混乱。
13 ballots 06ecb554beff6a03babca6234edefde4     
n.投票表决( ballot的名词复数 );选举;选票;投票总数v.(使)投票表决( ballot的第三人称单数 )
参考例句:
  • They're counting the ballots. 他们正在计算选票。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The news of rigged ballots has rubbed off much of the shine of their election victory. 他们操纵选票的消息使他们在选举中获得的胜利大为减色。 来自《简明英汉词典》
14 bracing oxQzcw     
adj.令人振奋的
参考例句:
  • The country is bracing itself for the threatened enemy invasion. 这个国家正准备奋起抵抗敌人的入侵威胁。
  • The atmosphere in the new government was bracing. 新政府的气氛是令人振奋的。
15 democrats 655beefefdcaf76097d489a3ff245f76     
n.民主主义者,民主人士( democrat的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • 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》
16 spotlight 6hBzmk     
n.公众注意的中心,聚光灯,探照灯,视听,注意,醒目
参考例句:
  • This week the spotlight is on the world of fashion.本周引人瞩目的是时装界。
  • The spotlight followed her round the stage.聚光灯的光圈随着她在舞台上转。
17 essentially nntxw     
adv.本质上,实质上,基本上
参考例句:
  • Really great men are essentially modest.真正的伟人大都很谦虚。
  • She is an essentially selfish person.她本质上是个自私自利的人。
18 stipend kuPwO     
n.薪贴;奖学金;养老金
参考例句:
  • The company is going to ajust my stipend from this month onwards.从这一个月开始公司将对我的薪金作调整。
  • This sum was nearly a third of his total stipend.这笔钱几乎是他全部津贴的三分之一。
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