NPR在线听附文本(2010-02-28) 简介：Download MP3 Audio 把音频贴到我的博客(Qzone)或BBS 关闭MP3地址:音频页面地址:From NPR News in Washington, I’m Korva Coleman.A House panel is hearing a…
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From NPR News in Washington, I’m Korva Coleman.
A House panel is hearing about problems with some Toyota vehicles. Some lawmakers say Toyota is wrong to insist acceleration problems have nothing to do with faulty electronics. Democratic Congressman Ed Markey of Massachusetts has also meant Toyota seems to be evading tough questions. “Toyota’s response to increased scrutiny of its safety record leaves much to be desired. In recent days, we have learned of internal documents that cite Toyota’s success at limiting the outcome of the government's safety investigations which reportedly save $100 million. Saving money should not come at the expense of saving lives.” One Toyota owner testified about her car’s electronic trouble. Her Lexus hit 100 mph. She couldn’t stop or turn off the vehicle.
Consumer confidence took an unexpectedly steep tumble this month. The drop appears to be tied to concern about the job market. NPR’s Jim Zarroli reports.
The Conference Board said its Index of Consumer Confidence fell from 56.5 in January to a ten-month low of 46 in February. That was a much bigger decline than economists had expected. The organization said consumers were more pessimistic about current economic conditions than at any time in 27 years. The number of people who expect business conditions to improve over the next six months was also down sharply. The Conference Board said people responding to the survey were noticeably more worried about the job market and about their individual income prospects. Consumer confidence is considered a good barometer of economic health and the drop in the index suggests that consumer spending will decline, something that could slow the economic recovery. Jim Zarroli, NPR News, New York.
The community group ACORN denies reports it’s ceasing operations, but two of its biggest state chapters have split off. More are likely to do the same, as NPR’s Pan Fessler reports.
ACORN has been under fire since the release of undercover video showing its workers advising a couple posing as a pimp and a prostitute. Congress banned government funding and many foundations ceased giving to the group which works in low-income communities. That’s caused a major strain for ACORN. In this month, the New York chapter dissolved and reconstituted itself as New York Communities for Change. A spokesman for that group says former New York ACORN officials felt their work was hampered by the controversy, and that it was necessary to form something new. ACORN’s California chapter did the same last month. ACORN spokesman Kevin Whelan says the national group still exists and has members across the country, although its work has been significantly diminished. Pan Fessler, NPR New, Washington.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney has suffered a mild heart attack. A Cheney aide says he’s resting comfortably in a Washington, D.C. hospital and he’s well and expected to be released by the end of the week.
On Wall Street, the Dow was down 76 points at 10,307.
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Congressional economists say between one and two million people found work last year because of the newly passed economic stimulus law. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says the law boosted the US economy; it is unclear by how much. The CBO estimates it’s between 1.5% and 3.5%. The CBO says even though the US economy struggled last year, it does not mean the stimulus package failed.
Russia is seeing a wave of anti-government protests as members of Russia’s Communist Party demonstrated in central Moscow, calling for more investments in social programs and a stronger army. NPR’s David Greene has this report.
It's an orderly crowd carrying photos of Joseph Stalin waving worn-out flags with the hammer and sickle. They were marking a holiday honoring the former Red Army, but 62-year-old Kvetoslav Zelaya said he came to condemn his leaders. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, he said, is our enemy. Recently at annual demonstrations like this and other protests, Russians have voiced anger at their government and the state of the economy. Nikolai Petrov is a political analyst at the Carnegie Moscow Center. “The social temperature is pretty high, and this kind of protest movements can appear any time and almost any region.” And so far, Russian authorities have not stood in the way. David Greene, NPR News, Moscow.
An apology by the top US commander of NATO troops in Afghanistan is airing in translation there. General Stanley McChrystal is apologizing for a NATO air strike that killed at least 21 civilians. McChrystal says an investigation will find out what went wrong, so it will never happen again.