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【整理】BBC 2011-08-03 美政府竭力避免债务危机

2011-10-12    来源:普特整理    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

 

BBC News with Marion Marshall

President Obama has signed into law an agreement raising the government's debt limit, averting the risk of a possible default. He described the deal, which came after weeks of political wrangling, as an important first step towards ensuring that America lived within its means. The budget agreement raises the borrowing limit by more than $2tn and, in effect, imposes spending cuts of a similar amount over 10 years with no new taxes. The Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said it had been hard work to reach a deal.

"The push and pull Americans saw in Washington these past few weeks was not gridlock. It was the will of the people working itself out in a political system that was never meant to be pretty."

Our North America editor Mark Mardell has been following events in Washington.

The deal has been done backed by the Senate by a large majority just hours before the deadline. It's a compromise that leaves neither party happy. The Republicans, particularly those backed by the Tea Party movement, should feel that they've won an important victory. After all, they crafted a crisis out of what used to be a routine vote by insisting raising the debt ceiling should be linked to deep spending cuts with no tax increases. They've done that and put America on a new course.

In the light of the agreement, the ratings agency Fitch is maintaining the United States AAA credit rating.

A court in Vietnam has upheld a seven-year jail sentence imposed on a prominent human rights campaigner for spreading propaganda against the state. Cu Huy Ha Vu, whose father was a colleague of former President Ho Chi Minh, was convicted in April. He'd been detained after demanding a multi-party system and twice trying to sue the prime minister. Mr Vu's sentence prompted the United States and the European Union to question Vietnam's commitment to reform.

Police in Venezuela say they've captured the alleged leader of a deadly prison riot. Yorvis Valentin Lopez escaped from El Rodeo prison near the capital Caracas last month. Police say he was behind a month-long standoff at the prison which pitted inmates against security forces. More than 20 people died.

The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has held talks with Syrian opposition activists for the first time. The US-based dissidents say they used the meeting in Washington to urge the US to call on the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down immediately. It came as diplomatic pressure intensified on the Syrian government to halt its operations in the city of Hama. Jim Muir has been monitoring events from neighbouring Lebanon.

The sounds of protesters on the streets of Hama, according to Syrian state television, which aired footage showing many of the young men carrying guns. The pictures were said to have been taken on Sunday. Activists on the ground admit that on that day weapons were seized from a number of police stations which were stormed after civilians had been shot dead. But they insist that the bulk of the protest remains peaceful and unarmed.

BBC News

An Irish politician who'd hoped to become Ireland's first openly gay president has pulled out of the race following allegations about an attempt to help his former partner. Several years ago, David Norris wrote a letter to the Israeli authorities, asking for leniency for the man Ezra Nawi, who'd been convicted of having sex with an underage boy. Mr Norris now says he should have shown more compassion for the victim.

"I do not regret supporting and seeking clemency for a friend, but I do regret giving the impression that I did not have sufficient compassion for the victim of Ezra's crime.

Police in Britain have released on bail the latest person to be arrested as part of their investigation into alleged phone hacking at the now defunct tabloid newspaper, the News of the World. He's the former managing editor Stuart Kuttner. Police are investigating allegations that the newspaper, owned by the media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, illegally hacked into the phones of celebrities, politicians and victims of crime. The paper is also accused of making inappropriate payments to police officers.

A comedian who threw a paper plate full of shaving foam at Rupert Murdoch while he was being questioned about the phone-hacking scandal by a committee of British MPs has been jailed for six weeks. Jonathan May-Bowles pleaded guilty to charges of assault. Our correspondent Jane Peel was at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London.

The district judge rejected a suggestion from the probation service that the punishment should be unpaid community work. Daphne Wickham said May-Bowles' behaviour merited a custodial sentence. She jailed him for six weeks and told him he'd serve half. Mrs Wickham said Rupert Murdoch's evidence on phone hacking was of huge importance to those affected by the conduct of his employees and millions of other people had an interest in what he had to say. May-Bowles' lawyer said the prison term was excessive and he planned to appeal.

BBC News



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