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BBC News在线听力附文本(2009-1-31)

发表时间:2009-01-31内容来源:VOA英语学习网
BBC news with Jonathan Izzard. The International Monetary Fund has warned that the world is facing its most severe economic downturn since the Second World War. In its latest forecast, the organization says that it expects the global growth rate to be only 0.5% this year. The IMF's Director of Research, Olivier Blanchard, expanded on the forecast. "We expect the global economy to come to a virtual standstill in 2009. There are important differences across countries. In the advanced economies, we basically forecast the sharpest contraction." The IMF says a gradual recovery should start in 2010. The International Labour Organization has meanwhile said that the downturn could result in a loss of 51 million jobs this year, and that unemployment will rise steeply even if economic stimulus packages work. A report also suggests many who manage to stay in work will be pushed into lower paid, less secure jobs. The US central bank, the Federal Reserve, says industrial production, new housing projects, employment and consumer and business spending are all in steep decline in the United States. It warned that the global demand also appears to be slowing down significantly. The bank said that it was keeping interest rates at close to zero. Andrew Walker reports. The Fed's assessment of the outlook is very downbeat. There was also an implicit acknowledgement in the Fed's statement that there's a risk of deflation or falling prices which can aggravate debt problems. The statement said that the Fed's willing to expand its program of buying financial securities including long-term government bonds. It's a very unusual policy which can help reduce a range of market interest rates for businesses and households. The approach is sometimes desCRIbed as printing money, although it doesn't necessarily involve creating more hard cash, it does add to some measures of the money supply. President Obama says businesses and workers are counting on his administration for bold and swift action to help the American economy recover. From Washington, here's Rajini Vaidyanathan. President Obama is keen for bipartisan support for his 825-billion-dollar recovery plan. Following a meeting with business leaders, the president said he was confident that the ailing US economy could still be turned round. The president hopes his stimulus package will help do that by creating as many as four million jobs and providing long-term investment on improvements on roads, schools and electricity lines. Republican CRItics fear the plan would just throw money away, arguing it needs to include more tax cuts. 2009-1-30 15:55 The Cuban leader Raul Castro has arrived in Moscow for the first such visit since the end of the Cold War. In talks with Russian leaders, Mr. Castro, who took over as president from his brother Fidel in February 2008, is expected to focus on reviving economic ties that have flagged since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The visit reciprocates one made by the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to Havana last November. World news from the BBC. The Sri Lankan Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse says that there is no humanitarian CRIsis in the north of the country where his government is carrying out a major offensive against Tamil Tigers rebels. His comments contradict statements from the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross. From Colombo, Chris Morris reports. Gotabhaya Rajapakse, a former army colonel, who's the brother of Sri Lanka's President, was defiant. There is, he said, no humanitarian catastrophe in northern Sri Lanka. It's all propaganda and wrong information, he said, caused by pressure from the Tamil Tigers. "I'm not saying the UN and the Red Cross are lying," he continued, "but they are exaggerating." Mr. Rajapakse rejected a statement made by the ICRC that hundreds of people had been killed or injured by shellfire. "We have a policy," he declared, "of zero civilian casualties." President Obama's new envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, has held talks on the prospects for peace in the region with Israeli leaders in Jerusalem. At a news conference afterwards, Mr. Mitchell said he and the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert discussed the critical importance of consolidating the ceasefire in Gaza. The Israeli military says a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip has struck southern Israel hours after Mr. Mitchell ended his talks with Israeli officials. There were no reports of casualties or damage. The strike is thought to be the first since the start of a shaky truce between Israel and the militant Palestinian group Hamas ten days ago. The Chief Rabbinate of Israel has suspended its ties with the Vatican over the decision to reinstate a conservative Catholic bishop who denies the full extent of the Nazi Holocaust. Other Jewish leaders and organizations have also criticized the lifting of the excommunication of Bishop Richard Williamson who denies the existence of gas chambers and says only 300, 000 Jews were killed in the holocaust. Pope Benedict stressed his full and indisputable solidarity with Jewish people.来自:VOA英语网 文章地址: http://www.tingvoa.com/html/20090131/747.html
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