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NPR 2008-07-19

时间:2009-02-14 05:23来源:互联网 提供网友:jinyingxue   字体: [ ]

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's planned trip to the Middle East drew faint praise today from his Re:publican rival John McCain. Sarah Hulett  of Michigan Radio reports.

Senator McCain told an audience at a General Motors facility in suburban1 Detroit that he's glad Obama plans to meet with General David Petraeus in Iraq. But he also suggested Obama should have asked for a briefing with the top US commander sooner. McCain also criticized Obama's oppostion to the troop surge in Iraq. He said Obama would be going to a very different Iraq if the US had not boosted its military presence there. "There would be an increase in sectarian violence, there would be widening Iranian influence, and we would be facing disaster, certainly, if not disaster, a lost war. " McCain also predicted that al-Qaeda would attempt another spectacular attack before the election to try to erode2 support for Iraq's government. For NPR News, I'm Sarah Hulett.

US and Iraq have agreed to what is being described as “a general time horizon” for the further reduction of US combat forces there, though the White House is also saying today there will not be, what it termed, “an arbitrary date for withdrawal”. The White House confirms the agreement was hammered out yesterday in a discussion between Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and President Bush via video link. Administration officials say the timing3 of a troop reduction would be tied to security concerns in Iraq.

Officials in Houston say the collapse4 of a huge crane at one of the nation's largest refineries5 has claimed the lives of four people and left half a dozen others injured today. Fire Department officials say a several-hundred-foot-long section of the crane at the LyondellBasell Refinery6 toppled over. According to a spokesman for the company, all of those killed and injured were contract employees. The accident apparently7 took place as the workers were preparing to do maintenance work at the refinery which is located in southeast Houston.

NPR has learned that White House overruled a senior official's advice to fire Scott Bloch, the man in charge of representing government whistle-blowers. Many people in and outside the government have urged Special Counsel Bloch to leave. NPR's Ari Shapiro reports.

Scott Bloch has been under fire for a long time. Whistleblower and government watchdog groups have sued him. His deputy resigned, saying Bloch put political agendas and personal vendettas8 above the office’s integrity. The FBI is investigating him, and now, NPR has learned that the White House rejected a senior executive branch official's advice to fire Bloch. That official is Clay Johnson at the Office of Management and Budget. According to people familiar with the conversations, Johnson advised the White House to fire Bloch, but was overruled. Johnson's spokeswoman said in an email, Mr. Johnson has not given nor been asked for a recommendation regarding Scott Bloch. People who’ve spoken directly with Johnson say he is pained by the situation of the Special Counsel's Office. Ari Shapiro, NPR News, Washington.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 49 points, The S&P was up a fraction.

This is NPR.

The nation's largest airline, Fort Worth-based American Airline, said today it is eliminating 1,500 jobs in its maintenance division. The latest cuts at the airline come at a time the carrier is reducing the size of its fleet and taking other actions to cut costs as it grapples with record high fuel prices and a weak economy that has cut into the travel.  AMR, American's parent company, two weeks ago said the company plans to eliminate around 8% of its total workforce9 or upwards10 of 6,800 jobs.

Jo Stafford has died. The 90-year-old singer died from congestive heart failure at her home in Century City, California. A frequent presence on the pop charts during the 1950s, Stafford also won a Grammy for a comedy album and sold more than 25 million records in her career. NPR’s Felix Contreras has this report.

 Jo Stafford's vocal11 talents were such that her son has said she “graduated from  high school on a Friday, and by Monday, she was doing soundtracks on RKO sound stages”. She started her professional singing career with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra in 1939. She recorded with singers Frankie Laine  and Perry Como  among others, and placed over 70 songs on the pop charts between 1944 and 1954. "See the pyramids along the Nile, watch the sunrise on a tropic isle12." In 1960, Jo Stafford and her husband Paul Weston won the Grammy for Best Comedy Album for their parody13 of less-than-talented entertainers. Felix Contreras, NPR News.

 Crude oil prices moved lower at week’s end. The near-month contract for benchmark grade crude fell 41 cents a barrel to end the session at $128.88 a barrel in New York.


1 suburban Usywk     
  • Suburban shopping centers were springing up all over America. 效区的商业中心在美国如雨后春笋般地兴起。
  • There's a lot of good things about suburban living.郊区生活是有许多优点。
2 erode NmUyX     
  • Once exposed,soil is quickly eroded by wind and rain.一旦暴露在外,土壤很快就会被风雨侵蚀。
  • Competition in the financial marketplace has eroded profits.金融市场的竞争降低了利润。
3 timing rgUzGC     
  • The timing of the meeting is not convenient.会议的时间安排不合适。
  • The timing of our statement is very opportune.我们发表声明选择的时机很恰当。
4 collapse aWvyE     
  • The country's economy is on the verge of collapse.国家的经济已到了崩溃的边缘。
  • The engineer made a complete diagnosis of the bridge's collapse.工程师对桥的倒塌做了一次彻底的调查分析。
5 refineries f6f752d4dedfa84ee0eead1d97a27bb2     
精炼厂( refinery的名词复数 )
  • The efforts on closedown and suspension of small sugar refineries, small saccharin refineries and small paper mills are also being carried out in steps. 关停小糖厂、小糖精厂、小造纸厂的工作也已逐步展开。
  • Hence the sitting of refineries is at a distance from population centres. 所以,炼油厂的厂址总在远离人口集中的地方。
6 refinery QiayX     
  • They built a sugar refinery.他们建起了一座榨糖厂。
  • The purpose of oil refinery is to refine crude petroleum.炼油厂的主要工作是提炼原油。
7 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。
8 vendettas 6287e0b3b258123640dc8d194bb4bb1c     
n.家族世仇( vendetta的名词复数 );族间仇杀;长期争斗;积怨
  • I'm not getting involved in your personal vendettas. 我没有牵扯到你们的私人恩怨里。 来自互联网
9 workforce workforce     
  • A large part of the workforce is employed in agriculture.劳动人口中一大部分受雇于农业。
  • A quarter of the local workforce is unemployed.本地劳动力中有四分之一失业。
10 upwards lj5wR     
  • The trend of prices is still upwards.物价的趋向是仍在上涨。
  • The smoke rose straight upwards.烟一直向上升。
11 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。
12 isle fatze     
  • He is from the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea.他来自爱尔兰海的马恩岛。
  • The boat left for the paradise isle of Bali.小船驶向天堂一般的巴厘岛。
13 parody N46zV     
  • The parody was just a form of teasing.那个拙劣的模仿只是一种揶揄。
  • North Korea looks like a grotesque parody of Mao's centrally controlled China,precisely the sort of system that Beijing has left behind.朝鲜看上去像是毛时代中央集权的中国的怪诞模仿,其体制恰恰是北京方面已经抛弃的。
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