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  • Former U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush are joining with President Barack Obama to aid the earthquake-stricken people of Haiti. The two former presidents returned to the White House to discuss what they and the American people can do to help.美国前总统克林顿和布什与美国现总统奥巴马一起为遭受地震灾难的海地民众提供援助。这两位前总统回到白宫,讨论他们与美国人民能如何帮助海地灾民。President Obama says the Haitian earthquake relief effort will not be measured in days or weeks, but in months and even years. 奥巴马总统说,海地地震救援工作不是一朝一夕或者几星期的事情,而是成年累月的工作。Mr. Obama stood between his two predecessors Saturday and said they have answered his call to coordinate efforts to involve more Americans in helping Haiti recover and rebuild.奥巴马星期六站在两位前总统中间时表示,他俩响应他的呼吁,为使更多美国人帮助海地克灾难,从事重建进行协调。"Presidents Bush and Clinton will help the American people to do their part, because responding to a disaster must be the work of all of us. Indeed, those wrenching scenes of devastation remind us not only of our common humanity, but also of our common responsibilities," he said.奥巴马说:“布什总统和克林顿总统将帮助美国人民发挥自己的作用,因为对一场灾害作出反应务必是我们所有人的共同使命。的确,那些令人痛苦的灾难景象唤起了我们共有的人道主义精神,也唤醒我们的共同责任感。”The president says by coming together, Mr. Bush, a Republican, and Mr. Clinton, a Democrat, send an unmistakable message that the U.S. stands united with the people of Haiti.奥巴马总统说,布什是一位共和党人,克林顿是民主党人,他们在一起共同努力发出了一个不容置疑的信息,那就是美国和海地人民团结一心。201001/94895
  • Economy, Job Losses Critical for Voters in Ohio选战必争俄亥俄 经济裁员关注多  The faltering U.S. economy and the loss of manufacturing jobs in the Midwestern U.S. state of Ohio are dominating the presidential election contest there, and that could spell trouble for Republican candidate John McCain. McCain needs to win the Ohio vote to have any hope of becoming the next president. Analysts are keeping a close eye on the state, which has gone for the winner in the last 11 presidential elections. Experts say social issues have helped swing the state to the Republican side in the last two elections. Economic issues are on the minds of Ohio voters this year, and that could help Democratic candidate Barack Obama. 美国经济的衰退、大规模生产厂家裁员的问题成了中西部的俄亥俄州总统大选的主导议题,而这可能成为笼罩在共和党总统侯选人麦凯恩头上的魔咒。麦凯恩要赢得俄亥俄州才有可能得到成为下届总统的最基本的希望。分析人士都密切注视这个州的动向,因为在过去11次大选中赢得俄亥俄州的候选人最后都获胜。专家认为,社会议题在上两次大选中帮助这个州的选民倒向了共和党。今年俄亥俄州选民的关注点在经济议题上,这可能给民主党候选人奥巴马带来帮助。Ron Davis started his career as a steelworker in Ohio 29 years ago. Davis, who is president of the local branch of the ed Steel Workers Union, just learned that 350 people who work in his plant's remaining building are going to be laid off. 戴维斯作为一名俄亥俄州的钢铁工人已经有29年的时间了。他是钢铁工人联合工会在当地分部的工会主席。戴维斯刚刚了解到在他所在的工厂所剩的车间中,有350名工人将被辞退。"I've got family and friends that are working in there, people that I've known for many years," said Ron Davis. "And their future's the one I'm worried about." 戴维斯:“我有亲戚和朋友在这家工厂工作, 也有很多相处多年的同事。他们的前途是我担心的事情。”That worry is translating into action at the local Union hall where members who usually support Republicans are campaigning for Democratic candidates. 这种担心在当地工会的会厅里逐渐变成了人们的行动,那里的工会会员通常持共和党,现在帮助民主党候选人竞选。Ron Davis says that this year, things are different. 戴维斯说,今年情况不一样了。"This year, the scales are tipped," he said. "And I think you're going to see a lot of Republicans voting for Obama this year." “今年,天平的重心变了。你会看到很多共和党人今年将投奥巴马的票。”Presidential elections are usually hard-fought battles in Ohio, and public opinion polls show that the race between Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama is close. 总统选举在俄亥俄州通常是一块艰难的必争之地,民意调查显示,共和党的麦凯恩和民主党的奥巴马的选情十分接近。Rural central Ohio often goes Republican. Most of the big cities - Cleveland in the northeast, Columbus in the middle - lately have supported Democrats. So do industrial towns, such as Youngstown in the northeast. 俄亥俄中部的乡村地区通常是共和党的地盘,而多数大城市,比如东北部的克里夫兰,中部的哥伦布最近都持了民主党。工业城市也是如此,例如东北部的扬斯敦。During his campaign visits to the state, Senator Obama has focused on the economic crisis he says is the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930s. 奥巴马参议员在他竞选行程中来到了俄亥俄,他集中探讨了紧急危机的议题。他说,这次危机是1930年以来最严重的一次。"I don't have to tell you, Ohio, 760,000 workers have lost their jobs so far this year," said Barack Obama. “我不必说,你们也知道,今年俄亥俄州有76万工人已经失去了工作。”Senator McCain has tried to counter that message, warning Ohio voters that Obama would increase their taxes. 麦凯恩参议员试图改变焦点,警告俄亥俄州的选民说,奥巴马将会增加他们的税收。"He believes in redistributing the wealth not in policies that grow our economy and create jobs and opportunities for all Americans," said John McCain. “他相信财富的再分配,而不是增长经济、为所有美国人增加工作机会的政策。”Around the city of Youngstown, many manufacturing jobs have been lost. An aluminum plant on the outskirts of the city closed last year. Although Democrats are running strong here, retired union leader, Mike Rubicz, says many voters feel conflicted. 在扬斯敦周围的一些大型工厂,很多工作机会都没有了。这个城市近郊的一家铝厂去年倒闭 。虽然民主党在这里声势浩大,退休工会负责人鲁比茨说,很多选民感到困惑。"Because on one hand, there's a concern about Obama in terms of his experience and the fact that he's a black man and, at the same time, they don't see that McCain really has a program to help them," said Mike Rubicz. “因为一方面,人们关心的是奥巴马的资历,以及他是黑人这一事实,同时,选民们又没有看到麦凯恩真正拿出一个计划来帮助他们。”Although Democrats appear to be using the faltering economy to their advantage, Youngstown Republicans like McCain volunteer Tracey Winbush say they are making headway. 虽然民主党人显然在用经济衰退的议题为自己竞选,但是扬斯敦的共和党人、麦凯恩竞选义工温布什说他们已经开始了助选活动。"It's the economy," said Tracey Winbush. "It is social issues." 温布什说:“那是经济议题,那是社会议题。”"We pray for the president," said Chuck Michaelis. "We pray for the vice president." Chuck Michaelis leads a Wednesday evening prayer group. Religion is a powerful political motivator in Ohio, especially among abortion opponents like Kevin Dill."I probably lean more towards the Republican side," said Kevin Dill. "But I would say that's mainly because I have been more impressed with Sarah Palin."Despite the efforts of John McCain and his vice presidential running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, many Democrats say they will vote for Barack Obama and his running mate Senator Joe Biden. 尽管麦凯恩和他的竞选夥伴、阿拉斯加州州长佩林十分努力,但是很多民主党人说,他们要投奥巴马和他的副手拜登参议员的票。And while many social conservatives favor John McCain, some, like Diana Anderson, are reconsidering. 很多社会保守人士喜欢麦凯恩,但与此同时,一些人也在重新考虑,就像这位安德森女士。"Ya, I had to relook at things and study harder and I'm back to where I'm definitely going to vote for Obama," said Diana Anderson. 她说:“是呀,有一些问题我还要思考,进一步研究。我回到我当初的想法,一定把选票投给奥巴马。”Opinion polls show the race between McCain and Obama is still too close to call, as Ohio's wrenching economic transformation will play a key role in the election. Both candidates are counting on victory in Ohio to give them the edge in the state-by-state battle to win the 270 electoral votes necessary to claim the White House. 民意调查显示,麦凯恩和奥巴马之间的持率太过接近,难分胜负。此时,俄亥俄州痛苦的经济转型将成为选举的一个关键角色。双方候选人都把赢得俄亥俄作为一个契机,以便在各州赢得入主白宫总共所需的最基本的270张选举人票。200811/54690
  • Obama Likely to Change US Leadership Style奥巴马称将外交上更多使用软实力  President-elect Barack Obama has indicated his administration is likely to be less reliant on the threat of military force to persuade and influence other countries, and more likely to use so-called "soft power," the attractiveness of a nation's ideals, culture and way of life. 美国当选总统奥巴马表示,他的政府很可能减少通过军事威胁的力量来说或影响其他国家的做法,而更多地使用所谓的“软实力”,也就是美国的理念、文化和生活方式等。The sheer military might of the ed States is unquestioned - U.S. troops are among the best trained and equipped in the world and they are stationed in some 130 countries. But as American military superiority has increased, its reputation and ability to persuade others appear to have taken a hit.  美国军力的绝对优势是不容质疑的,美国的军队在世界上是经受过最好的训练、配备最精良装备的军队之一,他们在130来个国家有驻军。但是在美国军力独占鳌头的势力不断加强的时候,它的声望和说力却似乎有所减弱。A recent Pew Global Attitudes survey shows that positive views of the ed States declined in 26 of the 33 countries where the question was posed in 2002 and 2007, with even close U.S. allies critical of American foreign policy. Recent surveys show majorities in nearly all countries think it is time for U.S. troops to leave Iraq and Afghanistan. 民意调查机构皮尤公司最近所作的全球态度调查显示,2002年和2007年,该机构在33个发放了调查问卷的国家中,有26个国家对美国的正面看法有所下降,有些美国的紧密盟国也对美国的外交政策持批评的态度。最近的调查显示,几乎所有国家中的多数人都认为,现在是美国军队撤离伊拉克和阿富汗的时候了。Nancy Snow is associate professor of public diplomacy at Syracuse University in New York. She says the election of Barack Obama itself is likely to boost America's standing in the world, before he even sets foot in the White House.  南希.斯诺是纽约州雪城大学公共外交副教授,她说奥巴马当选总统这件事本身就很可能提高美国在世界上的地位,甚至在他入主白宫之前就显现效应了。"The world was holding its collective breath, hoping that the outcome would favor Obama-Biden," said Snow. "And it did. And I think there was an immediate downtick of the anti-American sentiment. Now how long that will last is another thing. Because now he has to govern. But just as candidate, a candidate of change, to use his words, really symbolically represented a release from a very unpopular president worldwide."During his victory speech on election night in Chicago, President-elect Obama promised "a new dawn" of American leadership in the world. 奥巴马赢得选举当天晚上在芝加哥所做的胜选演讲中承诺要开启美国在世界上领导地位的“新曙光”。"And to all those who have wondered if America's beacon still burns as bright - tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope," he said.  “对这些想知道美国的灯塔是否还依然明亮的人们来说,今天晚上我们再次明,美国真正的力量不是靠我们军队的威力,不是靠我们国家的财富,而是来自我们理想持久的威力,这就是民主、自由、机会和坚定不移的希望。”Mr. Obama has promised to take the nation in a different direction than the Bush administration. He has said he will close down the prison at Guantanamo Bay as one of his first acts in office, and declared the ed States will not use techniques such as water-boarding to obtain information.  奥巴马承诺将领导美国走向与布什政府不同的方向。他说过,他要关闭设在关塔纳湾的拘押中心,以此作为他执政的以后最新的行动之一,他还宣布美国将不再利用把犯人的头部强按到水里等手段获取口供。Nancy Snow say Mr. Obama knows that restoring trust is key. 南希.斯诺说,奥巴马知道,恢复信誉才是关键。"He said he wants to restore trust in government. He wants to restore trust in American leadership, both abroad, and at also here at home," she said. "I think what is required now through soft power, it includes non-violent practices of attracting people, through what you represent, and what you do, and that is the type of president he has said he would be." “他说,他要恢复人们对政府的信任。他要恢复人们对美国的领导地位的信任,不仅让国内民众,也让海外民众信任。我认为这就要通过软实力,包括吸引民众的非暴力行为,通过你所代表的政策,通过你的所作所为来说话,这就是奥巴马所说的,他要当这样的总统。”Snow says Mr. Obama can make use of his excellent communication skills and his multi-cultural background to restore America's ability to wield soft power through diplomacy and development programs.  斯诺说,奥巴马可以利用他优秀的沟通技巧和他多元的文化背景来恢复美国通过外交和发展项目来运用软实力的能力。Kristen Lord is an expert on U.S. relations with the Islamic world at the Brookings Institution in Washington. She says she is optimistic Mr. Obama will immediately change the tone of dialogue with other countries, from a "go it alone" approach, to one of mutual respect and cooperation. 克里斯顿.洛德是华盛顿布鲁金斯学会中美国伊斯兰世界关系研究部门的专家,她说,她对奥巴马保持乐观态度,他认为新政府会在和其他国家对话中改变腔调,从过去美国特立独行的做法,改变为相互尊重、相互合作。"When Americans show that they are willing to listen, when they are willing to engage, when they are willing to address some of the underlying challenges that Muslim societies are facing, perhaps paradoxically to some, that actually makes the ed States more secure," said Lord. 她说:“当美国人显示出他们愿意听取别人的意见,愿意接触,愿意应对穆斯林社会所面临的挑战,那么 ,尽管有些人认为这自相矛盾,这样实际上可以让美国更安全。”At her Senate confirmation hearing, Mr. Obama's choice to be Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, vowed to move away from what she called the "rigid ideology" that many analysts have associated with President Bush's foreign policy.  在奥巴马提名希拉里.克林顿为国务卿的参议院听会上,克林顿参议员强调要摈弃她所称的“僵化的意识形态”。很多分析人士把这种僵化的意识形态和布什总统的外交政策联系起来。"I believe that American leadership has been wanting, but is still wanted. We must use what has been called smart power, the full range of tools at our disposal - diplomatic, economic, military, political, legal, and cultural - picking the right tool or combination of tools for each situation. With smart power, diplomacy will be the vanguard of our foreign policy," she said. 希拉里.克林顿说:“我认为美国过去和现在都没有展现领导力量。我们必须巧妙地使用我们的实力,就是充分利用我们的各种手段,以外交、经济、军事、政治、法律和文化手段,选择最恰当的方法,或者结合某些方法,来处理具体情况。巧妙的使用实力,让外交将成为我们对外政策的先锋。”Clinton said she and Mr. Obama would always try persuasion first, and would rely on military force only as a last resort. Mrs. Clinton said the ed States needs to make more friends and fewer enemies, and called for the State Department to be fully empowered and funded to seize the many opportunities for leadership. 克林顿说,她和奥巴马都将首先尝试说对方,军事能力只能作为最后的手段。克林顿说,美国需要结交更多的朋友,减少敌人,并呼吁国务院能得到充分授权和充足资金来抓住巩固领导地位的机会。President Bush's former defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, was a well known skeptic of the notion of soft power, saying popularity is fleeting and should not guide U.S. foreign policy. Rumsfeld maintained the U.S. is strong enough to pursue its interests as it sees fit, and must accept that others will sometimes resent it. 布什总统前国防部长拉姆斯菲尔德被认为是怀疑软实力的代表人物,他说,美国是否受欢迎是经常变化的,不能用它来指导美国的外交政策。拉姆斯菲尔德坚持认为,美国有足够能力以恰当的方式来追求自己的利益,并且必须接受别人有时会产生反感这样的事实。Others caution that many people in the ed States and abroad have such high expectations for Mr. Obama to resolve the world's many problems, that some measure of disappointment is inevitable.  还有一些人警告说,很多美国人和外国人都对奥巴马解决国际问题抱有过高的期待,这将不可避免地带来失望。But millions of people across the world are expected to watch the inauguration of the new president with a sense of pride and hope for a better future, and will look to Mr. Obama's administration for a new kind of American leadership. 但是世界上数以百万计的人们都以一种自豪和对未来希望的心情期待着观看新总统的宣誓就职仪式,希望奥巴马政府让美国展现一种新的领导能力。01/61105
  • Wisconsin’s recall vote威斯康星州的罢免End of a fantasy幻想的终结A backlash against the state’s feisty conservatives fizzles out对本州暴躁保守派的反抗终于失败Aug 13th 2011 | FOND DU LAC, WISCONSIN | from the print edition IN A neighbourhood of double garages and tightly cropped lawns, a woman stops her car in the middle of the road and leaps out to tell Randy Hopper, her state senator, how strongly she supports the reforms he and other Republicans legislators have championed in Wisconsin. There were not enough such voters to save Mr Hopper, who was turfed out of office in the middle of his term in a recall election this week. But there were enough of them to deny Democrats the majority they were seeking in the state Senate, and to dampen hopes on the left that aggrieved public-sector workers could restore their electoral fortunes nationwide next year.在有两个车库、草坪修剪非常整齐的街区,一位妇女将车停在马路中间,从车中走出来,告诉州参议员Randy Hopper,她是多么坚定地持他和其他共和党立法人拥护的威斯康星州的改革方案。像这样挽救Randy Hopper的选民并不多,本周的罢免选举中,Randy Hopper在任期内被扫地出门。但是否决民主党的选民到处都是,民主党是州参议院寻求的大多数,而且抑制左派希望,权利受损的公共部门的员工可以帮助民主党明年在全国范围重获多数选民持。In February the Republicans who control the state legislature had tried to push through a “budget repair” bill which aimed to reduce spending in part by severely restricting collective bargaining for the public sector. Government employees were to be stripped of any say in their benefits, while their pay, in future, would rise no faster than the consumer price index. The Democratic minority in the Senate, lacking the votes to block the bill, instead fled the state, depriving the chamber of a quorum. It was only after the Republicans worked out a parliamentary manoeuvre to get around the quorum requirement and pass the collective-bargaining reforms, three weeks later, that they returned, vowing to use every means at their disposal to avenge the Republican assault on labour.二月,控制州立法机构的共和党试图促成一项“预算修复”的法案,该法案是通过严格限制公共部门集体协商工资达到减少开的目的。政府公务员将被剥夺对福利的任何要求,而将来工资增长速度将没有消费者物价指数增长的快。参议院的民主党少数派缺乏阻止该法案的投票人数,反而离开了该州,使投票不能达到法定人数。三周后共和党采用议会策略绕过法定人数的要求,并且通过了集体协商工资改革。直到这时民主党才回来,发誓将使用一切手段报复共和党对劳工的剥削。201108/149655
  • Obama Administration Defends Higher Government Spending奥巴马政府为增加政府出辩护  The Obama administration is defending its proposals to massively boost government spending in the wake of a congressional report that projects record federal deficits and a doubling of America's national debt in coming years. Republicans and even some Democrats say the administration's ambitious spending plans will have to be curtailed. At the same time, economic adviser to U.S. Vice President Joe Biden says a congressional plan to tax executive bonuses of companies that received federal bailout money may be unconstitutional. 奥巴马政府正在为它大规模增加政府出的提议进行辩护。在此之前,国会的一份报告预测,奥巴马的预算提议将产生创记录的联邦赤字,并使未来几年美国国债加倍。共和党人,甚至一些民主党人也表示,政府雄心勃勃的开计划必须加以遏制。For weeks, President Obama has maintained that his record-breaking .6-trillion budget for the next fiscal year makes vital investments in energy, health care, and education that will pay dividends once the nation emerges from a deep economic recession.  几个星期以来,奥巴马总统一直表示,他为下个财政年度提出的创记录的3.6万亿预算将大大增加对能源、医疗保险以及教育的投资,一旦美国经济走出衰退,这些投资就会产生极大的收益。But selling the proposed budget on Capitol Hill became harder after Friday's report from the Congressional Budget Office, which projects significantly higher budget deficits than the administration estimates over the next decade, adding trillions of dollars to the national debt. 但是自从国会预算办公室星期五公布了一份报告后,在国会推销提议中的预算就愈加困难了。国会报告对国家今后十年预算赤字的预测大大高于政府的估计,美国国债也会因此增加数万亿美元。The president's top economic advisor, Christina Romer, defended the administration's proposed spending blueprint, arguing that future economic growth will be more vibrant than the CBO assumes. Romer appeared on Fox News Sunday. 总统的高级经济顾问罗默为政府提议的开计划进行辩护。她说,未来经济的增长要比预算办公室的估计更为强劲。罗默在接受福克斯星期天新闻采访时说:"When you get out five, 10 years, they are assuming that real GDP [U.S. gross domestic product] is only going to grow 2.2 or 2.3 percent a year," said Romer. "And that is just lower than private forecasters [project]; it is lower than the Federal Reserve. We think it is just too pessimistic." “再过5年,10年,他们预测,美国国内生产总值仅以每年2.2 %到2.3%的速度增长。这个比率低于私营机构的预测,也比美联储的预测要低。我们认为这种预测太悲观。”But Republicans in Congress appear united in their opposition to the president's budget as it now stands. Maine Senator Susan Collins was one of only three Republicans to back Mr. Obama's economic-stimulus package last month. Speaking on A's This Week program, Collins said she cannot vote for the president's budget. 但是,国会共和党人看来是团结一致地反对总统目前的预算计划。缅因州参议员科林斯是上个月持奥巴马经济刺激计划的仅有三名共和党人之一。科林斯在接受美国广播公司本周节目采访时说,她不能票赞成总统的预算方案。"It brings our debt levels to an unprecedented level," said Collins "It would double the public debt in five years, triple it in ten years - the highest percentage of GDP since after World War II. That is not sustainable. It poses a threat to the basic health of our economy." “这将使我们的债务达到前所未有的水平。这将使得国家债务在五年内加倍,十年内增加三倍,占国内生产总值的比率将是二战以来最高的。这样是无法维持的。这对我们经济的基本健康构成威胁。”But it is not only Republicans who are questioning President Obama's budget numbers. The chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, Kent Conrad of North Dakota, says the economy has worsened since the administration crafted its budget, meaning that revenue shortfalls will be greater than Mr. Obama had assumed. 但是,不仅仅是共和党人对总统的预算数字表示怀疑。参议院预算委员会主席、来自北达科他州的康拉德说,奥巴马政府公布预算案以来,经济每况愈下。这意味着财政收入减少的幅度要大于奥巴马政府的预想。"In fairness to this administration, they locked down their forecasts three months ago. There has been a lot of bad news since [then]. So we have a worsening [fiscal] situation that requires adjustments across a broad front," said Conrad. “公平地说,奥巴马政府三个月前就下调了经济预测。但是,从那以后,负面消息还是源源不断。我们的财政局势在恶化,这需要在广泛的层面上进行调整。”Conrad also appeared on This Week. 康拉德也是在接受本周节目采访时发表上述讲话的。The U.S. Constitution gives Congress power over the nation's purse strings. Although Democrats control both houses of the legislature, their Senate majority is not large enough to prevent Republicans from blocking legislation through parliamentary maneuvers. 根据美国宪法,国会有权控制财政出。尽管民主党控制了参众两院,但是他们在参议院中的票数不足以阻止共和党人利用国会的一些手段来制止议案的通过。Administration officials say they are prepared to negotiate with Congress on final budget numbers, but will not abandon national goals Mr. Obama set forth during his presidential campaign last year: promoting energy independence, reforming America's health care system, and boosting educational opportunities. 奥巴马政府的官员说,他们已经准备好与国会就最后的预算数字进行谈判,但是不会放弃奥巴马在去年总统竞选时定下的全国目标,那就是推进能源独立,改革美国的医疗保险体系,并增加教育机会。03/65205
  • Tamil Tigers Bomb Sri Lankan Capital猛虎组织周五晚间空袭科伦坡Sri Lankan military officials say Tamil rebels carried out an aerial bombing raid in the capital of Colombo late Friday. 斯里兰卡军方说,泰米尔猛虎反政府组织星期五晚些时候在首都科伦坡展开了空中轰炸。A military spokesman said that shortly after the bombing, Sri Lanka's air force chased two rebel light aircraft and shot down one of them. Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said the wreckage and the body of the pilot were recovered. One plane crashed into a tax building, killing at least two people and injuring 48 others.  一名军方发言人说,在轰炸后不久,斯里兰卡空军对两架反政府组织的轻型飞机展开追逐并击落了其中的一架。纳纳亚卡拉将军说,飞机的残骸和飞行员的尸体已经被寻获。Much of the city was blacked out briefly just before the attack as anti-aircraft fire lit up the night sky over Colombo and searchlights scanned for signs of more rebel planes.  在地对空炮弹开始发射将天空映亮之前,科伦坡大部分地区停电,造成一片漆黑。探照灯在空中搜寻更多反政府飞机的踪影。Nanayakkara said at least one suspected Tamil Tiger aircraft attacked Colombo. One explosion was heard near the city's port, and another near the Cinnamon Grand, a luxury hotel in the heart of the city. 纳纳亚卡拉说,至少有一架泰米尔猛虎游击队的飞机攻击了科伦坡。从市区附近的海港可以听到一次爆炸的声响,而从市中心一个豪华旅馆科伦坡大酒店可以听到另外一次爆炸声。A third explosion was reported near the airport, about a 45-minute drive from the capital. 第三次爆炸据报发生在机场附近,距离市区大约45分钟的车程。Nanayakkara said a government tax office had been hit by a bomb.  纳纳亚卡拉说,政府税收办公室被一枚炸弹击中。Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, the executive director for the Center for Policy Alternatives, says the attacks were a bold move by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, or LTTE, most likely to show they are still a force to be reckoned with. 智库替代政策中心执行主任萨拉万纳穆图说,这些攻击是泰米尔猛虎组织一个大胆的行动,主要的作用大概是要显示它们还是一股需要被承认的力量。"Well, the LTTE clearly wants to show that they may be being knocked up, but they haven't been knocked out completely as yet and that they are capable of doing these things to cast some doubt on the extent to which their military capability has been destroyed," he said. “泰米尔猛虎游击队明显地是想要显示他们可能受到严重打击,不过他们还没有被完全消灭,他们还有能力展开这些攻击让人们对他们的武装力量被摧毁到何种程度产生一定猜测。”The attack comes as Sri Lanka's military closes in on what are believed to be the last of the rebel strongholds. Sri Lanka's government has claimed that the rebels are no longer capable of launching air attacks. 这些攻击发生时,斯里兰卡军方正在逼近据信是这个反政府力量的最后要塞。斯里兰卡政府曾经宣称泰米尔猛虎已经无法再展开空中攻击了。But security forces in the capital were on alert after a suspected Tiger Tamil aircraft was sighted northeast of capital hours before the attack. 不过,在空袭前几个小时有人看到被怀疑是泰米尔猛虎游击队的飞机出现在市区东北部,因此科伦坡的安全部队作出了相应的警戒。02/62907
  • Bigger and better整合之潮亦其壮大之势America’s big hospital groups will continue to gobble up competitors美国大型医疗集团将继续吞并小号医疗公司 HOSTILE takeovers are never polite. One fight in America, however, has become particularly ugly. In December a huge stockmarket-traded hospital company, Community Health Systems, announced that it wanted to buy another, Tenet Healthcare, for .3 billion. The bid soon became a brawl. In the saga’s most recent chapter, Tenet filed a lawsuit accusing Community of overbilling government and private health-insurance schemes. Community denies this and, as The Economist went to press, was due to present a more detailed rebuttal.财大气粗的收购商的字典里没有客气二字。然而,美国的一次收购事件却成为了一则丑闻战。大型上市公司社区保健医院(CYH)在十二月宣布,它想再收购一家公司——以22亿美元收购泰尼特保健(TNH)。此次收购出价迅速演变成一场争夺战。战斗打了好几个回合,最近一次,泰尼特提起了诉讼,控告社区保健医院过分干预政府和个人的医疗保险计划。为了给出更有利的回击,本刊刊登时,社区保健医院对上述指控矢口否认。Although this bid battle has become unusually rancorous, it is in line with a broader trend of consolidation in the huge but fragmented business of providing hospital care. In America’s hospitals soaked up one-third of all national health-care spending, or 9 billion, roughly equal to the entire GDP of the Netherlands. In the long term an ageing population will produce more invalids and thus more business. In 2014 the “Obamacare” health reforms will bring 32m newly insured patients. The less good news is that the health reforms also bring new regulations and intense pressure to contain costs. This is strengthening the argument for consolidation among hospital operators.尽管此次出价战不同于一般的敌意收购,但它更倾向于是一种医疗业整合趋势——将大而散的美国医院整合起来。年,美国医院就吸金7590亿美元,占整个国家医疗保健费用的三分之一,大约相当于荷兰整整一年的国内生产总值。从长远来看,人口老龄化将产生更多医疗需求,从而带动医疗业的发展。到2014年,奥巴马医疗改革方案将使医保人数新增3200万。不过坏消息是,医疗改革方案所产生的新的规章制度让政府不得不缩紧裤腰带来应付节省开带来的压力。Mergers are nothing new in the industry. In 1979 only 31% of America’s hospitals were part of a larger hospital system. By 2001 more than half were. The rationale for joining a larger chain is simple. It means better access to capital for renovation and expansion, better management and—most important—more clout when negotiating treatment prices with health insurers.在医疗行业中合并不过是老生常谈。1979年,仅有31%的美国医院属于大型医院。到2001年,该比例超过了50%。加入大型医院并购圈的原因再简单不过——为了得到更新设备、引进设备、开发设备的资金,为了加强管理,最重要的是,为了在医疗保险金上与医疗保险公司谈判时拥有强有力的发言权。Now, the health reforms are piling on the pressure to merge. Obamacare requires hospitals to invest heavily in technology, even as the government cuts payments for treatments. Hospitals will increasingly have to demonstrate the quality of their services. Small hospitals may struggle to meet such demands; bigger groups will be better equipped. Besides, now is a good time to be doing deals, says Gary Lieberman of Wells Fargo. Credit markets have offered favourable terms to hospital groups raising money. And thanks to the downturn there has been ample supply of not-for-profit hospitals for sale. Community’s bid for Tenet is the biggest deal now in the works. The combined companies would have annual revenues of billion, second only to HCA, which last month raised .79 billion in an initial public offering (IPO). But plenty of smaller deals are going on. Vanguard Health Systems, which this month filed for an IPO, has bought hospitals in Detroit, Chicago and Arizona in the past year. HCA seems likely to use at least some of its IPO cash to make more acquisitions.如今,医疗改革给合并上的压力再加一码。奥巴马方案一方面要求医院在技术方面下重金,另一方面却不管政府在医疗费用上日销月铄。医院将越来越能显示出政府公共事业机构的建设质量。小医院可能会努力满足需求,大公司将会尽力提高医疗条件,此外,富国的盖里#8226;利伯曼还说,现在正是兼并交涉的大好时机。信用市场为医疗集团集资提供的有利的条件。由于经济危机,有相当数量的非营利性医院待售。社区保健医院对泰尼特保健的收购是正在酝酿中的一笔最大的买卖:并购后的公司将产生220亿美元的年收入,仅次于美国医院社团(上月首次公开募股筹资37.9亿美元)。除此之外,还有大量的小型并购正在进行中。去年一年中,先锋卫生系统公司它在底特律、芝加哥、亚利桑那州均收购了医院,它于上月申请首次公开募股,并很有可能用一部分或者全部的募股资金来收购更多的医院。Big hospital operators must still grapple with Obamacare’s new requirements. And in some cases, growing larger brings its own challenges. Vicki Bryan of Gimme Credit, a bond-research firm, worries that Vanguard’s shopping spree (and dividends to its shareholders) have left it with excessive borrowings. Another worry is that although there are many benefits to being big, realising them takes time. HCA’s recently improved earnings, Ms Bryan contends, are largely due to changes in accounting and billing models. Tenet says Community has boosted revenue by keeping patients in hospital unnecessarily; Community denies this vehemently.大型医院还要继续应对奥巴马方案的新要求。在某些情况下,扩大规模也就给自己带来了相应的麻烦。债券研究公司吉美信贷的维基.布莱恩为此感到担忧:一是先锋卫生系统公司的疯狂购物节已经让他们欠下负债累累,二是尽管扩张企业规模能带来可观的收益,但想让钱掉进自己的口袋尚需时日。布莱恩表示,近日美国医院社团(HCA)收入之所以增加,主要是得益于账务结算模式的改进。巧妇难为无米之炊,泰尼特保健觉得,社区保健医院何苦要通过增加病人在医院所耗的时日来增加自身收入呢。社区保健医院对此大呼自己是冤大头。Nonetheless, the hospital-merger wave still has far to go. HCA, despite being the industry’s leader, controls less than 5% of the market. There are many more deals to come, the only question is how quickly.不过,医院兼并浪潮才刚刚开始。虽然美国医院社团是医疗业的领头羊,市场掌控率却不到5%。更多的兼并事件即将到来,唯一的问题就是兼并商们如何将事情处理得更加得心应手。201110/159111
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