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2014-01-09    来源:fortunechina    【      美国外教 在线口语培训


Edward Snowden and the NSA leaks

Without question, the scandal of the year: The U.S. government still doesn't know the number of secrets Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency contractor-gone-rogue, snuck out of the country with last June. The strands to this scandal are many: from the extent of government spying at home and abroad to the ease with which a single contractor got a security clearance, fled the country with untold amounts of sensitive data, and outran that government on a wild goose chase. And the scandal, of course, is still unfolding.

毫无疑问,这是今年最大的丑闻:美国政府至今仍不确定爱德华•斯诺登到底掌握了多少秘密。这位“潜伏”在美国国家安全局(National Security Agency,NSA)的合同工于去年六月秘密逃往国外。这起丑闻涉及多个方面,比如:政府在国内外进行暗中监控的程度,合同工竟然可以轻易获得安全许可,掌握大量敏感数据的斯诺登能够顺利逃往国外,而政府只能望洋兴叹。目前,这出闹剧仍未收场。

Bangladesh factory collapse

The deadliest accident in the history of the garment industry -- something you would have expected in 1813 rather than 2013 -- killed 1,100 workers in Bangladesh last April, after the factory in which they worked collapsed. The disaster was entirely preventable -- the owner had violated building code and failed to heed repeated warnings that it was unsafe -- and the incident prompted a rethink among Western clothing companies that rely on the cheap labor (and substandard conditions and facilities) in Bangladesh, the second-largest exporter of clothing behind China, to keep their costs low.


The disastrous debut of Healthcare.gov

Where to begin? The glitches, the website crashes, the dismally low enrollment numbers. It's hard to see the Oct. 1 launch of Obamacare and its virtual face, Healthcare.gov, as anything but a disaster. In the much-awaited initiative's first month, the site was offline more than it was online. Notably, the contractors the government hired for the enormous project, including Canadian outfit CGI Federal, have emerged relatively unscathed.

从那里说起呢?故障频频、网站崩溃、极少的注册人数。无论从哪个角度来看,10月1日推出的奥巴马医改计划及其网站Healthcare.gov的上线只能用“灾难”这个词来形容。这个公众期待已久的网站在上线后的一个月里大部分时间都处于离线状态。尤其是,政府为这个重大项目所聘请的承包商,包括加拿大CGI Federal公司等,却几乎没有受到太大影响。

JP Morgan, scandal machine

The nation's biggest bank was in the news a lot this year, and rarely for something not related to one of its many past or present scandals. From the fresh investigation into the bank's questionable recruiting practices in China, targeting the children of the elite and politically powerful, to the billions of dollars it's had to shell out for its part in other scandals related to Bernie Madoff, mortgage-backed securities, manipulation of electricity markets, and the London Whale, it has not been a great year for JPMorgan (JPM,Fortune 500).

GlaxoSmithKline bribery scandal

Chinese officials detained employees of the British pharmaceutical company last summer for allegedly using travel agents to bribe doctors, hospitals, and government officials to sell more expensive drugs in the country. GSK is cooperating with the investigation, but sales still fell 60% in the third quarter. Other multinational drug companies in China, believed to fall under similar suspicion, have changed their marketing practices.


Lululemon sheer pants scandal

As if the price of a pair of yoga pants ($98!) from this cultish Canadian company was not scandalous enough, the outfitter had to recall them when customers complained the pants were see-through. Lululemon (LULU) founder Chip Wilson only made matters worse when he blamed the sheerness issue on the size of women's thighs. He resigned from his chairman position in December.

如果说这家疯狂的加拿大公司推出的瑜伽裤价格(98美元!)似乎还算不上丑闻,那么,由于消费者投诉这款瑜伽裤过于透明,这家公司被迫宣布召回该款产品就真的算是丑闻了。而露露柠檬(Lululemon )创始人奇普•威尔逊却让情况进一步恶化,因为他把裤子的透明问题归咎于女顾客们的大腿太粗。他在十二月份辞去了公司董事长的职务。

European horse meat scandal

The European Union's heavily regulated food and drug industries couldn't keep horse meat, secretly substituted for beef, out of a number of foodstuffs, from lasagna to beef burgers to Ikea's meatballs. The cases of "food fraud" first detected in Ireland last January were later discovered, to much dismay, in countries across the continent. Organized crime groups are suspected to have been the fraudsters.


Shop-and-frisk scandal

New York retailers Barney's and Macy's (M, Fortune 500) came under fire -- and a state investigation -- last fall after reports surfaced that black shoppers including Treme actor, Rob Brown, had been detained by security at the stores after buying luxury goods. The allegations of racial profiling sparked outrage and culminated with a shopper's "Bill of Rights," which was signed by major retailers and announced at a press conference with Al Sharpton.

纽约零售商巴尼百货(Barney's)和梅西百货(Macy's ,《财富》500强)的声誉倍受打击,并正在接受调查。去年秋天,有报道称黑人购物者,包括《劫后余生》(Treme )中的演员罗伯•布朗在内,在购买奢侈品后均遭商场保安扣留。这种涉嫌种族歧视的做法激起了民愤,而一项购物者“人权法案”更是将事件推向高潮。这项法案征集了多家大型零售商的签名,并由阿尔•夏普敦在新闻发布会上公布。

The poop cruise

Four thousand cruise-goers aboard the Carnival Triumph were stranded at sea for four days in February without power or working toilets, due to a fire in one of the ship's generators. After being towed to shore in Mobile, Ala., the ill-fated sail became known famously as "the poop cruise." It's since been revealed that Carnival (CCL) knew the ship had issues. Lawsuits are pending.

二月份,由于船上的一台发电机起火,导致乘坐嘉年华凯旋号(Carnival Triumph)的4,000多名游客在海上漂泊了四天,没有电也没有厕所可用。船被拖回阿拉巴马州莫比尔的海岸后,这场不幸的航行变成了“大便漂流之旅”,进而臭名远扬。之后,有消息称嘉年华邮轮公司(Carnival )早已知道凯旋号存在问题。目前,相关诉讼仍在进行中。

Google's love triangle

Very few secrets can escape Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) these days, so it must have seemed like sweet justice to some when the personal and messy affairs of Google co-founder Sergey Brin became a topic of brief internet fascination last fall. The particulars of this Silicon Valley scandal: Brin separated from his wife, Anne Wojcicki, sister of Google executive Susan Wojcicki, and took up with a Google Glass marketing manager, who worked under his purview. That employee had also recently been romantically linked to another Google exec, who left Google for a phone company in China, not long before all this news involving Brin broke.



Lance Armstrong

This one already seems like a distant memory. After years of denials and deflective finger-pointing, Lance Armstrong, cancer survivor and cycling champion, came clean in January and told us (via Oprah) what we already knew: He doped. The cyclist lost all of his major sponsors and cut his ties to the Livestrong foundation.


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