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NPR 2011-08-19

时间:2011-09-07 06:01来源:互联网 提供网友:gmeng   字体: [ ]

 Stocks extended their loss on Wall Street today. Blue chips down more than 500 points at one time. Preliminary closing numbers have the Dow down 421 points right now, with financials and tax stocks hit hard. The NASDAQ and the S&P 500 both down more than 4%. Sour economic news out today didn't help as more people filed for unemployment benefits last week, and word that manufacturing activity in the Federal Reserve’s Philadelphia region weakened. Also economists2 at Morgan Stanley say both the US and European economies are dangerously close to recession. 

The existing home sales fell down 3.3% in July. That translates to a seasonally3 adjusted annual rate of just under 4.7 million homes, the lowest rate since late last year. NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports.
The numbers were well below expectations. Analysts4 were expecting July sales to be higher, not lower. But three factors continue to drive sales and prices downward. First, credit remains5 hard to get. While interest rates are at record lows, lenders have imposed higher standards, and low appraisals6 don't help. Cancellations of sales contracts are increasing. Some of that may be cold feet by buyers; some of it could be the inability to get a loan. And finally consumer confidence remains weak. The debt crisis, the job outlook, the possibility of a double-dip recession. As the chief economist1 for the National Association of Realtors put it, economic catastrophe[s] are not good words for buyers. Wendy Kaufman, NPR News.
And if you can qualify, home loans are cheap right now. The average rate on the 30-year fixed7 mortgage is down to the lowest level on record. Freddie Mac says the rate dipped to 4.15%. The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage is down to 3.36%.
President Obama says the time has come for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step aside. As NPR's Michele Keleman reports the US is also stepping up sanctions to punish Assad for a brutal8 crackdown on protesters.
Shortly after President Obama issued a written statement condemning9 what he called "disgraceful" attacks on Syrian citizens, his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeared before cameras to put a fine point on the tougher line from Washington. 
"The transition to democracy in Syria has begun, and it's time for Assad to get out of the way." 
The Obama administration is banning the import of Syrian petroleum11 products and preventing Americans from investing in Syria. As President Obama explained, he wants to deepen Assad's financial isolation12 and disrupt the Syrian government's ability to finance a campaign of violence against the Syrian people. Michele Keleman, NPR News, Washington.
And on Wall Street, preliminary closing numbers, the stocks did pull off earlier lows. The Dow down 419 points at 10,991. The NASDAQ down 131 points. That's more than a 5% drop, ending at 2,380. The S&P 500 down 53 points at 1,141. That's about a 4.5% drop. 
This is NPR.
Hackers13 again have broken into the computer system of the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit10 System called the BART. It's the second time this week, this time gaining access to the website of BART police union, publishing the names, home addresses and email addresses of police. The hacking14 group Anonymous15 is angry over the agency's controversial decision to block cell phone service for a day last week. Agency officials say they were trying to prevent a flash mob over a transit police shooting death this summer.
Some 20,000 people gathered today to honor three men killed in Britain's recent riots. NPR's Philip Reeves says the ceremony was in the city of Birmingham. 
They filled a park. A crowd of many thousands gathered to mourn and celebrate the men. Haroon Jahan and brothers Shazad Ali and Abdul Musavir were mown down by a car during riots in Birmingham, Britain's second largest city. They were trying to protect stores from looters. Four men were accused of their murder. Many of the crowd were Muslims, but members of other faiths were there too in a remarkable16 show of solidarity17. Prayers were held ahead of private burials. One man stood out. Tariq Jahan, father of one of the three, whose extraordinary appeals for calm just after his son's death, is(are口误) believed to have averted18 violence between Birmingham's black and Asian populations. This ceremony brought more calls for peace and unity19. Philip Reeves, NPR News, London.
The worst drought in Texas since the 1950s is drying up lakes, emptying reservoirs and leaving some towns facing the prospect20 of running out of water. Nearly 500 water systems are under mandatory21 restrictions22. State environmental officials say that is unprecedented23
Oil down sharply today, down 5.20$ to 82.30$(口误) a barrel in New York.


1 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。
2 economists 2ba0a36f92d9c37ef31cc751bca1a748     
n.经济学家,经济专家( economist的名词复数 )
  • 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》
3 seasonally ljbzVh     
  • The price of vegetables fluctuates seasonally. 蔬菜的价格随季节变动。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • They moved seasonally among various vegetation types to feed on plants that were flourishing. 它们还随着季节的变化而在各种类型植物之间迁移,以便吃那些茂盛的植物。 来自辞典例句
4 analysts 167ff30c5034ca70abe2d60a6e760448     
分析家,化验员( analyst的名词复数 )
  • 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。
5 remains 1kMzTy     
  • He ate the remains of food hungrily.他狼吞虎咽地吃剩余的食物。
  • The remains of the meal were fed to the dog.残羹剩饭喂狗了。
6 appraisals 82b0aba4d96c75b71c09801177d6be82     
估计,估量,评价( appraisal的名词复数 )
  • He had read many detailed critical appraisals of her work. 他读了许多详细评论她的作品的文章。
  • The English themselves are somewhat insular in their literary appraisals. 英国人评价自己的文学,也不免有偏狭处。
7 fixed JsKzzj     
  • Have you two fixed on a date for the wedding yet?你们俩选定婚期了吗?
  • Once the aim is fixed,we should not change it arbitrarily.目标一旦确定,我们就不应该随意改变。
8 brutal bSFyb     
  • She has to face the brutal reality.她不得不去面对冷酷的现实。
  • They're brutal people behind their civilised veneer.他们表面上温文有礼,骨子里却是野蛮残忍。
9 condemning 3c571b073a8d53beeff1e31a57d104c0     
v.(通常因道义上的原因而)谴责( condemn的现在分词 );宣判;宣布…不能使用;迫使…陷于不幸的境地
  • The government issued a statement condemning the killings. 政府发表声明谴责这些凶杀事件。
  • I concur with the speaker in condemning what has been done. 我同意发言者对所做的事加以谴责。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
10 transit MglzVT     
  • His luggage was lost in transit.他的行李在运送中丢失。
  • The canal can transit a total of 50 ships daily.这条运河每天能通过50条船。
11 petroleum WiUyi     
  • The Government of Iran advanced the price of petroleum last week.上星期伊朗政府提高了石油价格。
  • The purpose of oil refinery is to refine crude petroleum.炼油厂的主要工作是提炼原油。
12 isolation 7qMzTS     
  • The millionaire lived in complete isolation from the outside world.这位富翁过着与世隔绝的生活。
  • He retired and lived in relative isolation.他退休后,生活比较孤寂。
13 hackers dc5d6e5c0ffd6d1cd249286ced098382     
n.计算机迷( hacker的名词复数 );私自存取或篡改电脑资料者,电脑“黑客”
  • They think of viruses that infect an organization from the outside.They envision hackers breaking into their information vaults. 他们考虑来自外部的感染公司的病毒,他们设想黑客侵入到信息宝库中。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Arranging a meeting with the hackers took weeks againoff-again email exchanges. 通过几星期电子邮件往来安排见面,他们最终同意了。 来自互联网
14 hacking KrIzgm     
  • The patient with emphysema is hacking all day. 这个肺气肿病人整天不断地干咳。
  • We undertook the task of hacking our way through the jungle. 我们负责在丛林中开路。
15 anonymous lM2yp     
  • Sending anonymous letters is a cowardly act.寄匿名信是懦夫的行为。
  • The author wishes to remain anonymous.作者希望姓名不公开。
16 remarkable 8Vbx6     
  • She has made remarkable headway in her writing skills.她在写作技巧方面有了长足进步。
  • These cars are remarkable for the quietness of their engines.这些汽车因发动机没有噪音而不同凡响。
17 solidarity ww9wa     
  • They must preserve their solidarity.他们必须维护他们的团结。
  • The solidarity among China's various nationalities is as firm as a rock.中国各族人民之间的团结坚如磐石。
18 averted 35a87fab0bbc43636fcac41969ed458a     
防止,避免( avert的过去式和过去分词 ); 转移
  • A disaster was narrowly averted. 及时防止了一场灾难。
  • Thanks to her skilful handling of the affair, the problem was averted. 多亏她对事情处理得巧妙,才避免了麻烦。
19 unity 4kQwT     
  • When we speak of unity,we do not mean unprincipled peace.所谓团结,并非一团和气。
  • We must strengthen our unity in the face of powerful enemies.大敌当前,我们必须加强团结。
20 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。
21 mandatory BjTyz     
  • It's mandatory to pay taxes.缴税是义务性的。
  • There is no mandatory paid annual leave in the U.S.美国没有强制带薪年假。
22 restrictions 81e12dac658cfd4c590486dd6f7523cf     
约束( restriction的名词复数 ); 管制; 制约因素; 带限制性的条件(或规则)
  • I found the restrictions irksome. 我对那些限制感到很烦。
  • a snaggle of restrictions 杂乱无章的种种限制
23 unprecedented 7gSyJ     
  • The air crash caused an unprecedented number of deaths.这次空难的死亡人数是空前的。
  • A flood of this sort is really unprecedented.这样大的洪水真是十年九不遇。
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