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[第三册] 阅读练习:美国房屋销量降到历史新低

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发表于 2010-8-28 15:49 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
BBC News with Jonathan Izard

Police in Mexico have confirmed that the murder victims from a mass killing near the US border were foreign migrants. Mexican marines discovered 72 unburied corpses at a ranch after a gun battle with suspected gang members. From Mexico City, here is Julian Miglierini.

According to the Mexican authorities, the bodies belong to citizens of Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras and Brazil. The young man, who tipped off the authorities about the bodies at the ranch, is an Ecuadorian and managed to escape being killed. Authorities quoted the man as saying that the group was kidnapped by the Zetas, one of Mexico's most powerful criminal organizations, who demanded money from them. When they refused to pay, they were killed at the ranch. The Zetas, who have a strong presence in Tamaulipas, are known to use kidnapping and extortion of migrants as a means to finance their activities.

At least 50 people have been killed and some 250 wounded in a string of bomb attacks across Iraq. There were at least a dozen blasts, including car bombs and roadside bombs with almost all of them targeting the police. The heaviest casualties were after explosions in the southeastern city of Kut and in the capital Baghdad, but there were also attacks in Kirkuk, Basra, Ramadi, Karbala and Falluja. The Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said a number of conditions, including the political vacuum in Iraq and the withdrawal of United States troops were helping insurgents to grow in confidence.

"In such environment, these terrorist networks flourish actually and would love to deepen division among Iraqi politicians to apportion blame on each other in order to create as much chaos as possible."

Evidence is emerging that the devastating floods in Pakistan are worsening with new reports of rising floodwaters, thousands more people in urgent need of shelter while crops and livestock have been destroyed in isolated communities which can now be supplied only by air. A senior minister in the province of Sindh says his team are on a war footing. The chief of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization says that a significant amount of crops such as rice, maize and vegetables have been destroyed.

Art collectors in Italy have been duped out of nearly $9 million after buying fake paintings. Police arrested 12 people for forgery. Five hundred works were seized, including copies of paintings by Matisse, Magritte and Fontana. Duncan Kennedy reports from Rome.

The counterfeits came to light during police raids on the homes of dozens of legitimate art collectors across Italy. Investigators say the collectors have bought the pictures on the Internet in good faith. The fraud was discovered after police monitored payment transactions on well-known websites and by consulting art historians. The police say the fakes were of good quality with the forgers meticulously reproducing paintings using the original techniques of the genuine artists.

BBC News

Figures show that the sale of new homes in the United States has fallen sharply to the lowest level since the government started keeping records 40 years ago. These new figures come a day after equally dismal news about the sale of existing homes which have reached a 15-year low. Paul Adams reports from Washington.

The housing market is still in trouble. New and existing homes sales are down with the bad news coming from all over the country. Prices are also falling. And in these jittery post-recession days, everyone is wondering just what it all means. Some economists attribute the bad results to the end of a federal tax credit which expired earlier this year, but others warn that the economy is teetering on the edge of another recession. There could be more bad news on Friday when the government releases lower-than-expected growth figures for the second quarter of this year.

Medical officials in the Somali capital Mogadishu say 10 people have been killed in a third day of heavy fighting between government troops and Islamist militants. Thirty others were injured. A BBC correspondent in Mogadishu says it's likely many more people have been killed as both the military and the Islamists have reportedly suffered heavy casualties.

The communist government of Cuba has said it will stop funding heavily-subsidized cigarettes for its senior citizens. Traditionally, Cubans over the age of 55 could claim up to 80 cigarettes a month for just 30 US cents. But the government has now announced this privilege will end on September 1st as part of the state's drive to reduce public spending.

Scientists in Canada and Sweden say they've successfully restored vision to a group of partially blind patients. They created a kind of artificial cornea by inserting a sliver of collagen into the eye which then coaxed the natural cells to grow again. They say that in 6 out of 10 individuals some vision was restored. One of the researchers, Dr May Griffith, said that with further research this new approach could help restore sight to millions of people.

And that's the latest BBC News.
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 楼主| 发表于 2010-8-28 15:49 | 显示全部楼层
墨西哥警方证实,美国边境附近大规模谋杀事件的受害者是外国移民。墨西哥海军在跟犯罪团伙成员进行激烈枪战之后,在一个农场发现了72具未埋葬的尸体。墨西哥城,Julian Miglierini报道。

据墨西哥当局所说,死者分别是厄瓜多尔,萨尔瓦多,洪都拉斯和巴西公民。向警方提供关于农场尸体消息的年轻男子是厄瓜多尔人,他侥幸逃过一劫。警方引用此人的话说,受害者被墨西哥势力最强大的犯罪团伙Zetas劫持,被索要金钱。这些人拒绝给钱,因此在一个农场被杀害。Zetas在塔毛利帕斯州频繁出没,通过绑架和勒索移民来为团伙的活动提供资金。

伊拉克发生的一系列炸弹袭击已造成至少50人死亡,大约250人受伤。全国发生了至少12起爆炸,其中包括汽车炸弹和路边炸弹,袭击的目标几乎都是警察。造成伤亡最惨重的是东南部城市库特和首都巴格达发生的爆炸。但是,Kirkuk, Basra, Ramadi, Karbala 和Falluja也发生了袭击。伊拉克外交部长哈什亚尔·兹巴里(Hoshyar Zebari)表示,一系列因素造成反叛分子气焰上涨,包括伊拉克政治真空和美国军队的撤退。

“在这样的环境下,恐怖主义网络再次蔓延,进一步加剧伊拉克政治家之间的分化,使他们相互指责,制造尽可能混乱的局面。”

有证据表明,巴基斯坦破坏性的洪水越来越严重,有报道称水位不断上升,又有数千人紧急需要庇护所。一些孤立的社区作物和牲畜被完全毁坏,只能依靠空运来提供补给。信德省一名高级官员表示,他的团队正在努力应对。联合国粮农组织负责人表示,大量的稻米,玉米和蔬菜等作物被完全毁坏。

意大利艺术品收藏家因购入伪造油画被骗走接近900万美元。警方逮捕了伪造油画的12名嫌疑人。他们共缴获了500幅赝品,包括马蒂斯,马格利特和封塔纳等人的作品的伪造品。Duncan Kennedy在罗马报道。

警方突击检查意大利各地数十名合法的艺术品收藏家的府邸时,这些赝品浮出水面。调查人员表示,这些收藏家善意地在互联网上购买了这些油画。警方在知名的网站上监控了交易记录,并咨询了艺术历史学家之后发现这些作品纯属赝品。警方表示,这些假冒油画的质量非常好,伪造者使用了真实艺术家使用的最初技术将这些油画复制。

BBC新闻。

相关数据显示,美国新房屋的销量骤降至政府有记录的四十年以来的最低值。这些最新数据出炉前一天还有同样凄凉的消息,现存房屋的销量已经降低到15年来的最低水平。Paul Adams在华盛顿报道。

房屋市场仍然困难重重。全国各地关于新房和二手房销量下降的坏消息层出不穷。房价也出现下降。在经济衰退过后紧张不安的日子里,每个人都在想这意味着什么。一些经济学家将这种现象归咎于今年年初联邦税收地面政策的结束。但是另外一些人则警告经济正在另一次经济衰退的边缘徘徊。周五还将有更坏的消息,政府将发布第二季度低于预期的经济增长速度。

索马里首都摩加迪沙医疗官员表示,在政府军队和伊斯兰好战分子之间冲突的第三天,至少10人遇难,30人受伤。BBC驻摩加迪沙一名记者表示,由于报道称军队和伊斯兰分子均伤亡惨重,遇难人数可能远远不止于此。

古巴共产主义政府表示,他们将终止高龄公民享用的提供大幅补助的香烟。传统地来讲,55岁以上的古巴人每月可以以30美分的低价购入80支香烟。但是政府现在宣布,这项优惠政策将在9月1日结束,作为国家减少公共支出的动力。

加拿大和瑞典科学家表示,他们成功地恢复了一些部分失明的病人的视力。他们创造了一种人造角膜,将一小片胶原插入病人眼中,油诱导自然细胞再次增长。他们表示,10人中有6人恢复了一些视力。其中一名研究人员,May Griffith医生表示,随着进一步的研究,这种方法将帮助数百万人恢复视力。

BBC新闻。
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 楼主| 发表于 2010-8-28 15:49 | 显示全部楼层
1.ranch n.牧场,大农场(尤指北美或澳大利亚的)

例句:He went to work on a ranch.
      他去一个大农场干活。

2.presence n.出席, 到场, 存在

例句:Your presence at the party is requested.
      敬请光临。

3.extortion n.敲诈,勒索,逼取;被勒索的财物

例句:He was known for running a brutal extortion racket.
      他因干过一起残忍的敲诈勒索而出名。

4.flourish vi.茂盛, 繁荣

例句:Crops flourish in rich soil.
      作物在肥沃的土壤中长得茂盛。

兴旺发达

例句:His business seemed to be flourishing.
      他的生意似乎很兴隆。

5.deepen vt.vi.变深, 加深

例句:Her wrinkles deepen with age.
      她的皱纹随年龄增长而变深。

6.apportion vt.分摊, 分配

例句:The federal government apportioned money among the states.
      联邦政府在各州间分配资金。

7.significant adj.重要的, 重大的, 可观的

例句:This is a significant contribution to knowledge.
      这是对知识的重大贡献。

8.counterfeit n.仿制品, 伪造物

例句:This coin is a counterfeit.
      这个硬币是伪造的。

9.meticulously ad.拘泥地;小心地

10.dismal adj.阴沉的, 凄凉的, 令人忧郁的, 惨淡的

例句:That is a rather dismal melody.
      那是一支相当忧郁的歌曲。

11.expire vi.期满, (期限)终止; 文件、协议等(因到期而)失效, 终止

例句:When does your trade agreement with Japan expire?
      你们同日本签订的贸易协定何时期满?

12.privilege n.特权, 特别待遇
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 楼主| 发表于 2010-8-28 15:50 | 显示全部楼层
1.The young man, who tipped off the authorities about the bodies at the ranch, is an Ecuadorian and managed to escape being killed.

tip off暗示, 警告

例句:They tipped me off about a good bargain.
      他们将一笔赚钱生意的情报泄露给我。

manage to达成, 设法

例句:He managed to edge his way into the hall.
      他设法侧身挤进大厅。

2.In such environment, these terrorist networks flourish actually and would love to deepen division among Iraqi politicians to apportion blame on each other in order to create as much chaos as possible.

blame on把责任推给…

例句:They blamed the failure on John.
      他们把失败的责任推给约翰。

3.The counterfeits came to light during police raids on the homes of dozens of legitimate art collectors across Italy.

come to light显露, 为大家所周知

例句:It has come to light that he was lying.
      大家都知道他在说谎。

4.Investigators say the collectors have bought the pictures on the Internet in good faith.

in good faith真诚地, 诚意地

例句:I doubt whether he is in good faith.
      我怀疑他是否有诚意。

5.The police say the fakes were of good quality with the forgers meticulously reproducing paintings using the original techniques of the genuine artists.

“of+抽象名词”的用法与形容词用法相同,在句中可作表语、定语、补语。在抽象名词(如use, value, help, importance, difference等)

前面可用little, some, any, no, great, not much 等修饰;有的可用同根形容词代替,如:

The work I am doing is not of much value. 我做的工作没有多大价值。

His speech is of little significance. 他的讲话毫不重要。

It is of greatest consequence. 它极为重要。

It’s an invention of great importance. 这是一项非常重要的发明。

Don’t follow the way of least resistance. 不要走最省力气的路。

I regard this as of great importance. 我认为这个具有重要意义。

The work I am doing is not of much value. 我做的工作没有什么价值。

6.Some economists attribute the bad results to the end of a federal tax credit which expired earlier this year, but others warn that the economy is teetering on the edge of another recession.

attribute to把某事归因于某人〔某事〕

例句:I attribute our success to him.
      我把我们的成功归功于他。

      He attributes his success to working hard.
      他认为他的成功是艰苦工作的结果。
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