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VOA慢速英语 2008 1220

时间:2009-01-05 07:54来源:互联网 提供网友:jy03334434   字体: [ ]
This is IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English.

An individual, a company and an industry were all in the news this week for reasons unrelated except for the idea of dishonesty.
Bernard Madoff was arrested last week

The individual was seventy-year-old Bernard Madoff. The New York money manager is accused of cheating investors1 around the world. Officials say the losses, by his own estimate, were at least fifty billion dollars.

He is accused of a Ponzi scheme. Brad Garrett, a former federal agent, explains how it works.

BRAD GARRETT: "Taking in the money from new investors, and paying it out to the old investors as income. And, as long as you have new money coming in, it works well."

And it is illegal. Charles Ponzi was an Italian immigrant in the United States. He went to prison in the nineteen twenties after he cheated thousands of investors. He promised high returns in a short time.

Bernard Madoff provided small but continual profits for his investors. He was well known in Wall Street finance -- a former chairman of the NASDAQ Stock Market.

Officials say the operation collapsed2 when the economic downturn caused some investors to demand about seven billion dollars back.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating why it did not take action against him until now. Accusations3 of wrongdoing had repeatedly been brought to its attention. Experts say possible victims, including international banks and movie maker4 Steven Spielberg, are not likely to get much back.

This week, the German engineering company Siemens pleaded guilty in Washington to violating the Foreign Corrupt5 Practices Act. That law makes it a crime for Americans and companies traded on United States markets to pay bribes6 in return for business. Investigators7 say Siemens paid one and a half billion dollars in bribes to government officials in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America.

Now, Siemens has agreed to pay a similar amount in fines and other punishments. Cases were brought by the Justice Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Munich Public Prosecutor's Office. Eight hundred million dollars of the money will go to United States authorities -- a record for such a case.

Siemens cooperated extensively and admitted to acts like falsifying its records. But it did not plead guilty to bribery8. That could have kept it from getting United States government contracts.

And finally, this week also brought a ruling that anti-tobacco activists9 in the United States called historic. The Supreme10 Court cleared the way for lawsuits12 against tobacco companies accused of dishonest advertising13 for so-called light cigarettes.

The case grew out of a lawsuit11 brought by three people in the state of Maine. They accused cigarette makers14 of hiding information that "light" or "low tar15" cigarettes are just as dangerous as other cigarettes.

The companies argued that a federal law bars such claims under state law. The Supreme Court was divided five to four, but the justices decided16 that smokers17 may sue under state consumer-protection laws.

And that's IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English, written by Brianna Blake. I'm Steve Ember.


1 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
2 collapsed cwWzSG     
  • Jack collapsed in agony on the floor. 杰克十分痛苦地瘫倒在地板上。
  • The roof collapsed under the weight of snow. 房顶在雪的重压下突然坍塌下来。
3 accusations 3e7158a2ffc2cb3d02e77822c38c959b     
n.指责( accusation的名词复数 );指控;控告;(被告发、控告的)罪名
  • There were accusations of plagiarism. 曾有过关于剽窃的指控。
  • He remained unruffled by their accusations. 对于他们的指控他处之泰然。
4 maker DALxN     
  • He is a trouble maker,You must be distant with him.他是个捣蛋鬼,你不要跟他在一起。
  • A cabinet maker must be a master craftsman.家具木工必须是技艺高超的手艺人。
5 corrupt 4zTxn     
  • The newspaper alleged the mayor's corrupt practices.那家报纸断言市长有舞弊行为。
  • This judge is corrupt.这个法官贪污。
6 bribes f3132f875c572eefabf4271b3ea7b2ca     
n.贿赂( bribe的名词复数 );向(某人)行贿,贿赂v.贿赂( bribe的第三人称单数 );向(某人)行贿,贿赂
  • It was alleged that he had taken bribes while in office. 他被指称在任时收受贿赂。
  • corrupt officials accepting bribes 接受贿赂的贪官污吏
7 investigators e970f9140785518a87fc81641b7c89f7     
n.调查者,审查者( investigator的名词复数 )
  • This memo could be the smoking gun that investigators have been looking for. 这份备忘录可能是调查人员一直在寻找的证据。
  • The team consisted of six investigators and two secretaries. 这个团队由六个调查人员和两个秘书组成。 来自《简明英汉词典》
8 bribery Lxdz7Z     
  • FBI found out that the senator committed bribery.美国联邦调查局查明这个参议员有受贿行为。
  • He was charged with bribery.他被指控受贿。
9 activists 90fd83cc3f53a40df93866d9c91bcca4     
n.(政治活动的)积极分子,活动家( activist的名词复数 )
  • His research work was attacked by animal rights activists . 他的研究受到了动物权益维护者的抨击。
  • Party activists with lower middle class pedigrees are numerous. 党的激进分子中有很多出身于中产阶级下层。 来自《简明英汉词典》
10 supreme PHqzc     
  • It was the supreme moment in his life.那是他一生中最重要的时刻。
  • He handed up the indictment to the supreme court.他把起诉书送交最高法院。
11 lawsuit A14xy     
  • They threatened him with a lawsuit.他们以诉讼威逼他。
  • He was perpetually involving himself in this long lawsuit.他使自己无休止地卷入这场长时间的诉讼。
12 lawsuits 1878e62a5ca1482cc4ae9e93dcf74d69     
n.诉讼( lawsuit的名词复数 )
  • Lawsuits involving property rights and farming and grazing rights increased markedly. 涉及财产权,耕作与放牧权的诉讼案件显著地增加。 来自辞典例句
  • I've lost and won more lawsuits than any man in England. 全英国的人算我官司打得最多,赢的也多,输的也多。 来自辞典例句
13 advertising 1zjzi3     
n.广告业;广告活动 a.广告的;广告业务的
  • Can you give me any advice on getting into advertising? 你能指点我如何涉足广告业吗?
  • The advertising campaign is aimed primarily at young people. 这个广告宣传运动主要是针对年轻人的。
14 makers 22a4efff03ac42c1785d09a48313d352     
  • The makers of the product assured us that there had been no sacrifice of quality. 这一产品的制造商向我们保证说他们没有牺牲质量。
  • The makers are about to launch out a new product. 制造商们马上要生产一种新产品。 来自《简明英汉词典》
15 tar 1qOwD     
  • The roof was covered with tar.屋顶涂抹了一层沥青。
  • We use tar to make roads.我们用沥青铺路。
16 decided lvqzZd     
  • This gave them a decided advantage over their opponents.这使他们比对手具有明显的优势。
  • There is a decided difference between British and Chinese way of greeting.英国人和中国人打招呼的方式有很明显的区别。
17 smokers d3e72c6ca3bac844ba5aa381bd66edba     
吸烟者( smoker的名词复数 )
  • Many smokers who are chemically addicted to nicotine cannot cut down easily. 许多有尼古丁瘾的抽烟人不容易把烟戒掉。
  • Chain smokers don't care about the dangers of smoking. 烟鬼似乎不在乎吸烟带来的种种危害。
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