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NPR 2009-02-28

时间:2009-03-24 03:23来源:互联网 提供网友:罗雯   字体: [ ]

President Barack Obama made it official today in a speech to Marines at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. He said US combat troops will be out of Iraq by August of next year. NPR's Don Gonyea reports from Camp Lejeune.

The president's announcement means some 100, 000 troops will be pulled out of Iraq, but a residual1 force of as many as 50, 000 will remain in place. Speaking in a field house full of Marines, he said the situation allows the US to step back. "We cannot sustain indefinitely a commitment that has put a strain on our military and will cost the American people nearly a trillion dollars. America's men and women in uniform, so many of you, have fought block by block, province by province, year after year, to give the Iraqis this chance to choose a better future." The Marines in the audience cheered. For them the announcement means not an end to a fighting but a new assignment. Most here will see tours of duty in Afghanistan as the mission escalates2 there. Don Gonyea, NPR News, Camp Lejeune.

US economy shrank at a much more rapid pace in the fourth quarter of last year than initially3 thought. That's according to the latest numbers from the Commerce Department today, which showed the nation's Gross Domestic Product the broadest measure of the overall US economy contracting at 6.2% annual rate. Bernard Baumohl is chief global economist4 with the Economic Outlook Group. He says the weakness was broad-based and led by a major retrenchment5 by consumers. "The entire private sector6 of the economy is in hibernation7. This economy is starved of demand. You're not getting any kind of purchases by consumers or by businesses." White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs said today the sharply lower quarterly GDP numbers underscored the pressing need for action by the administration on the economy, with the steepest decline in quarterly economic output since 1982.

A number of southern states have been experiencing severe weather today and that's causing problems in Alabama. Alabama Public Radio's Brett Tannehill reports.

An apparent tornado8 touched down in Shelby County, Alabama, knocking out power to around 20,000 households. The powerful winds blew windows out of cars and knocked down trees. One tree fell on a vehicle trapping its occupant inside. The storms were also being blamed for causing a major accident on Interstate 20 bringing traffic to a standstill. I-20 runs between Birmingham and Atlanta, Georgia. The biggest problem may be yet to come as heavy rains are creating the potential for flash flooding. Up to six inches of rain is expected in some areas. And to make things a bit more interesting, there's also the unusual prospect9 of snow across much of Alabama after the storm system blows through. For NPR News, I'm Brett Tannehill in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the week down 119 points to close at 7, 062. The NASDAQ lost 13 points today closing at 1, 377. The S&P 500 dropped 17 points to close at 735.

This is NPR.

General Motors has announced plans to spin off its German Opel unit into a separate entity10, bringing it to an end 80 years of sole ownership of the company. The automaker also says it needs 3.3 billion euros or around 4. 2 billion dollars in state aid if it's to avoid job cuts and plant closures. The announcement from GM follows weeks of speculation11 concerning the fate of Opel. GM says under the proposed plan, the automaker would maintain a majority stake in the company with outside investors12 owning roughly a quarter of Opel.

The Vatican is not satisfied with an apology issued by dissident Bishop13 for statements he made dismissing the Holocaust14. Those earlier statements on the Holocaust seriously damaged Jewish-Catholic relations and embarrassed Pope Benedict XVI. NPR's Sylvia Poggioli has more.

Bishop Richard Williamson reportedly issued an apology Thursday for statements broadcast by Swedish TV last month. A Catholic news agency had reported that the bishop said: "I can truthfully say that I regret having made such remarks and that if I had known beforehand the full harm and hurt to which they would give rise, especially to the Church, but also to survivors15 and relatives of victims of injustice16 under the Third Reich, I would not have made them." But Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said Williamson's statement does not seem to respect the conditions set forth17 by the Vatican on February 4th. At that time, it ordered Williamson to, in an absolutely unequivocal and public way, distance himself from his positions regarding the Holocaust. Sylvia Poggioli, NPR News.

General Electric today declined a comment on reports by the business news channel CNBC the company will cut its quarterly dividend18 from 31 cents a share to 10 cents. According to reports, such a move could save GE upwards19 of nine billion a year.


1 residual SWcxl     
  • There are still a few residual problems with the computer program.电脑程序还有一些残留问题。
  • The resulting residual chromatism is known as secondary spectrum.所得到的剩余色差叫做二次光谱。
2 escalates 790680411ad69a694a6934c6db897a04     
v.(使)逐步升级( escalate的第三人称单数 );(使)逐步扩大;(使)更高;(使)更大
  • As the challenge escalates, the need for teamwork elevates. 面临的挑战越大,越需要团队协同合作。 来自互联网
  • I cannot understand why a minor disagreement escalates into a fist-fight. 我真不明白为什么一点意见不合就变成了拳头相见。 来自互联网
3 initially 273xZ     
  • The ban was initially opposed by the US.这一禁令首先遭到美国的反对。
  • Feathers initially developed from insect scales.羽毛最初由昆虫的翅瓣演化而来。
4 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。
5 retrenchment b9930aac13e3f66539d6a4166b438a4a     
  • Retrenchment will be necessary. 有必要进行紧缩。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • Defense planners predict an extended period of retrenchment. 国防规划人员预计开支紧缩期会延长。 来自辞典例句
6 sector yjczYn     
  • 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。
7 hibernation cdjxK     
  • Bears wake up in the spring after a winter of hibernation.熊经过一个冬天的冬眠后在春季苏醒。
  • The tortoise spends the winter months in hibernation.乌龟在冬眠中度过寒冬季节。
8 tornado inowl     
  • A tornado whirled into the town last week.龙卷风上周袭击了这座城市。
  • The approaching tornado struck awe in our hearts.正在逼近的龙卷风使我们惊恐万分。
9 prospect P01zn     
  • This state of things holds out a cheerful prospect.事态呈现出可喜的前景。
  • The prospect became more evident.前景变得更加明朗了。
10 entity vo8xl     
  • The country is no longer one political entity.这个国家不再是一个统一的政治实体了。
  • As a separate legal entity,the corporation must pay taxes.作为一个独立的法律实体,公司必须纳税。
11 speculation 9vGwe     
  • Her mind is occupied with speculation.她的头脑忙于思考。
  • There is widespread speculation that he is going to resign.人们普遍推测他要辞职。
12 investors dffc64354445b947454450e472276b99     
n.投资者,出资者( investor的名词复数 )
  • a con man who bilked investors out of millions of dollars 诈取投资者几百万元的骗子
  • a cash bonanza for investors 投资者的赚钱机会
13 bishop AtNzd     
  • He was a bishop who was held in reverence by all.他是一位被大家都尊敬的主教。
  • Two years after his death the bishop was canonised.主教逝世两年后被正式封为圣者。
14 holocaust dd5zE     
  • The Auschwitz concentration camp always remind the world of the holocaust.奥辛威茨集中营总是让世人想起大屠杀。
  • Ahmadinejad is denying the holocaust because he's as brutal as Hitler was.内贾德否认大屠杀,因为他像希特勒一样残忍。
15 survivors 02ddbdca4c6dba0b46d9d823ed2b4b62     
幸存者,残存者,生还者( survivor的名词复数 )
  • The survivors were adrift in a lifeboat for six days. 幸存者在救生艇上漂流了六天。
  • survivors clinging to a raft 紧紧抓住救生筏的幸存者
16 injustice O45yL     
  • They complained of injustice in the way they had been treated.他们抱怨受到不公平的对待。
  • All his life he has been struggling against injustice.他一生都在与不公正现象作斗争。
17 forth Hzdz2     
  • The wind moved the trees gently back and forth.风吹得树轻轻地来回摇晃。
  • He gave forth a series of works in rapid succession.他很快连续发表了一系列的作品。
18 dividend Fk7zv     
  • The company was forced to pass its dividend.该公司被迫到期不分红。
  • The first quarter dividend has been increased by nearly 4 per cent.第一季度的股息增长了近 4%。
19 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。
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