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NPR 2009-02-03

时间:2009-03-24 00:24来源:互联网 提供网友:罗雯   字体: [ ]
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After years of big spending, Americans continue to pull back. Consumer expenditures1 fell for a sixth straight month that's according to the Commerce Department. NPR's Frank Langfitt reports.

Consumer spending was down 1% in December. Amid all the recent layoffs2 and fears of more, ordinary people are trying to hold on to their money. Last month the personal savings3 rate hit 3. 6%. That's striking in a country where, in recent years, many people actually spent more than they made. All that savings though does not help a recession. Consumption makes up most of America's Gross Domestic Product. And while it's good for individuals to save, economists4 say it isn't good if everyone does it at once. Not surprisingly personal income fell 0. 2% last month as well. That was driven by the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs across the economy. Frank Langfitt, NPR News, Washington.

Attorney General nominee5 Eric Holder6 appears to be headed for almost certain confirmation7. Debate is underway in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Despite some partisan8 bickering9, the ranking Republican on the Committee, Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter has said Holder is well-qualified for the job and should be confirmed.

Hillary Clinton, with her husband President Bill Clinton and daughter Chelsea standing10 by her side, was officially sworn in as the Obama administration's new Secretary of State. Today's swearing-in comes as the former first lady prepares for her first substantial meeting since her appointment. A session is scheduled for tomorrow with the foreign ministers of Germany and Britain.

Weak oversight11 and greed help undermine US efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, that's according to the US Inspector12 General who says the 50-billion-dollar effort amounted to a significant waste of taxpayer13 dollars. Stuart Bowen has issued a report containing that part of the problem was poor planning from the start. NPR's Tom Bowman has more.

So where was most of the money wasted? Bowen says rebuilding Iraq's infrastructure14 like the electrical grid15, but six years later, electricity and oil production are still below goals. And key watering and sewer16 projects have not lived up to plans. Bowen did not see much evidence of fraud but simple waste, from contractors17 overhead cost, award fees and delays, sometimes due to lack of security. But some of those billion spent, Bowen says, were better put to use  rebuilding Iraq's army and police. Bowen's report was called hard lessons. Among them, the US government, especially the Pentagon, thought the Iraqis could quickly resume control in 2003. While that didn't happen, Bowen says, there was no well-defined plan B. Tom Bowman, NPR News, Washington.

Department store chain Macy's is cutting 7, 000 jobs around 4% of its workforce18 in response to the economic slowdown. Macy's expects a difficult year with forecast that the same-store sales will fall by between six and eight percent.

On Wall Street today, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 64 points to close at 7, 936. The NASDAQ gained 18 points today.

This is NPR.

The Treasury19 Department announced today it will need to borrow nearly 500 billion dollars in the first three months of this year. That's a record amount for the January to March period. The announcement comes on top of 569 billion the government borrowed for the October to December quarter. Large amounts of borrowing come as the government works to fund the 700-billion-dollar financial rescue program and deal with the deepening recession that is cutting into tax revenues. For the budget year that began October 1st, the government is forecasting a budget deficit20 set to reach record trillion dollars or more.

President Obama says his decision to close Guantanamo Bay has been met with positive reaction around the world. Mr. Obama said he is worried, however, released detainees could go back to the battlefield. NPR's Jackie Northam reports.

President Obama said closing Guantanamo is the right thing to do. He said he has to make the best judgments21 as to what's going to keep the US safe. Mr. Obama indicated that equally important, though, is upholding the US Constitution and American sense of due process. "If we don't uphold our Constitution and our values, that over time, that will make us less safe and that will be a recruitment tool for organizations like Al Qaeda. That's what I've got to keep my eye on. " Only two dozen of the roughly 245 men remaining at Guantanamo have been charged with any crime. The Obama administration is trying to release at least one third of the detainees and will have to decide how to try and where to hold the remaining prisoners once Guantanamo is closed a year from now. Jackie Northam, NPR News, Washington.

The groundhog saw his shadow today meaning, according to legend, we're in for six more weeks of winter, when our weather prognosticator Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his burrow22 this morning in front of an estimated 13, 000 witnesses to issue his annual forecast.


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 expenditures 2af585403f5a51eeaa8f7b29110cc2ab     
n.花费( expenditure的名词复数 );使用;(尤指金钱的)支出额;(精力、时间、材料等的)耗费
参考例句:
  • We have overspent.We'll have to let up our expenditures next month. 我们已经超支了,下个月一定得节约开支。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The pension includes an allowance of fifty pounds for traffic expenditures. 年金中包括50镑交通费补贴。 来自《简明英汉词典》
2 layoffs ce61a640e39c61e757a47e52d4154974     
临时解雇( layoff的名词复数 ); 停工,停止活动
参考例句:
  • Textile companies announced 2000 fresh layoffs last week. 各纺织公司上周宣布再次裁员两千人。
  • Stock prices broke when the firm suddenly announced layoffs. 当公司突然宣布裁员时,股票价格便大跌
3 savings ZjbzGu     
n.存款,储蓄
参考例句:
  • I can't afford the vacation,for it would eat up my savings.我度不起假,那样会把我的积蓄用光的。
  • By this time he had used up all his savings.到这时,他的存款已全部用完。
4 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》
5 nominee FHLxv     
n.被提名者;被任命者;被推荐者
参考例句:
  • His nominee for vice president was elected only after a second ballot.他提名的副总统在两轮投票后才当选。
  • Mr.Francisco is standing as the official nominee for the post of District Secretary.弗朗西斯科先生是行政书记职位的正式提名人。
6 holder wc4xq     
n.持有者,占有者;(台,架等)支持物
参考例句:
  • The holder of the office of chairman is reponsible for arranging meetings.担任主席职位的人负责安排会议。
  • That runner is the holder of the world record for the hundred-yard dash.那位运动员是一百码赛跑世界纪录的保持者。
7 confirmation ZYMya     
n.证实,确认,批准
参考例句:
  • We are waiting for confirmation of the news.我们正在等待证实那个消息。
  • We need confirmation in writing before we can send your order out.给你们发送订购的货物之前,我们需要书面确认。
8 partisan w4ZzY     
adj.党派性的;游击队的;n.游击队员;党徒
参考例句:
  • In their anger they forget all the partisan quarrels.愤怒之中,他们忘掉一切党派之争。
  • The numerous newly created partisan detachments began working slowly towards that region.许多新建的游击队都开始慢慢地向那里移动。
9 bickering TyizSV     
v.争吵( bicker的现在分词 );口角;(水等)作潺潺声;闪烁
参考例句:
  • The children are always bickering about something or other. 孩子们有事没事总是在争吵。
  • The two children were always bickering with each other over small matters. 这两个孩子总是为些小事斗嘴。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
10 standing 2hCzgo     
n.持续,地位;adj.永久的,不动的,直立的,不流动的
参考例句:
  • After the earthquake only a few houses were left standing.地震过后只有几幢房屋还立着。
  • They're standing out against any change in the law.他们坚决反对对法律做任何修改。
11 oversight WvgyJ     
n.勘漏,失察,疏忽
参考例句:
  • I consider this a gross oversight on your part.我把这件事看作是你的一大疏忽。
  • Your essay was not marked through an oversight on my part.由于我的疏忽你的文章没有打分。
12 inspector q6kxH     
n.检查员,监察员,视察员
参考例句:
  • The inspector was interested in everything pertaining to the school.视察员对有关学校的一切都感兴趣。
  • The inspector was shining a flashlight onto the tickets.查票员打着手电筒查看车票。
13 taxpayer ig5zjJ     
n.纳税人
参考例句:
  • The new scheme will run off with a lot of the taxpayer's money.这项新计划将用去纳税人许多钱。
  • The taxpayer are unfavourably disposed towards the recent tax increase.纳税者对最近的增加税收十分反感。
14 infrastructure UbBz5     
n.下部构造,下部组织,基础结构,基础设施
参考例句:
  • We should step up the development of infrastructure for research.加强科学基础设施建设。
  • We should strengthen cultural infrastructure and boost various types of popular culture.加强文化基础设施建设,发展各类群众文化。
15 grid 5rPzpK     
n.高压输电线路网;地图坐标方格;格栅
参考例句:
  • In this application,the carrier is used to encapsulate the grid.在这种情况下,要用载体把格栅密封起来。
  • Modern gauges consist of metal foil in the form of a grid.现代应变仪则由网格形式的金属片组成。
16 sewer 2Ehzu     
n.排水沟,下水道
参考例句:
  • They are tearing up the street to repair a sewer. 他们正挖开马路修下水道。
  • The boy kicked a stone into the sewer. 那个男孩把一石子踢进了下水道。
17 contractors afd5c0fd2ee43e4ecee8159c7a7c63e4     
n.(建筑、监造中的)承包人( contractor的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • We got estimates from three different contractors before accepting the lowest. 我们得到3个承包商的报价后,接受了最低的报价。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Contractors winning construction jobs had to kick back 2 per cent of the contract price to the mafia. 赢得建筑工作的承包商得抽出合同价格的百分之二的回扣给黑手党。 来自《简明英汉词典》
18 workforce workforce     
n.劳动大军,劳动力
参考例句:
  • 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。
19 treasury 7GeyP     
n.宝库;国库,金库;文库
参考例句:
  • The Treasury was opposed in principle to the proposals.财政部原则上反对这些提案。
  • This book is a treasury of useful information.这本书是有价值的信息宝库。
20 deficit tmAzu     
n.亏空,亏损;赤字,逆差
参考例句:
  • The directors have reported a deficit of 2.5 million dollars.董事们报告赤字为250万美元。
  • We have a great deficit this year.我们今年有很大亏损。
21 judgments 2a483d435ecb48acb69a6f4c4dd1a836     
判断( judgment的名词复数 ); 鉴定; 评价; 审判
参考例句:
  • A peculiar austerity marked his judgments of modern life. 他对现代生活的批评带着一种特殊的苛刻。
  • He is swift with his judgments. 他判断迅速。
22 burrow EsazA     
vt.挖掘(洞穴);钻进;vi.挖洞;翻寻;n.地洞
参考例句:
  • Earthworms burrow deep into the subsoil.蚯蚓深深地钻进底土。
  • The dog had chased a rabbit into its burrow.狗把兔子追进了洞穴。
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