From NPR News in Washington, I'm Nora Raum.
Vice President Joe Biden said today the United States is prepared to hold direct talks with Iran on its nuclear program if that country shows it’s serious about such negotiations. Biden spoke in Munich where he's attending an international conference on security.
The five men accused in the brutal gang rape of a young woman in New Deli who subsequently died from injuries in the attack have pleaded not guilty in a special court set up to expedite the case, NPR's Julie McCarthy reports.
The five men are charged with a range of offenses including criminal conspiracy, gang rape, kidnapping and murder. The accused now face a judge trial which is set to begin Tuesday. The maximum penalty under the charges they face is death. Police say that the young victim who died and her male companion had been attacked with an iron rod and that she had been gang raped. The assault provoked national outrage and calls to overhaul the laws regarding sex crimes. The cabinet approved an ordinance Friday that includes the death penalty for grave sex offenses but women's groups say it fails to bar those charged with sexual assault from seeking office or bring the armed forces charged with sex crimes under Indian criminal law. Julie McCarthy, NPR News, New Deli.
In an interview with NPR outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says while there may be some reluctance he expects the military will allow women to serve in ground combat posts, much like firefighters and police have accepted women into their ranks. NPR's Tom Bowman has more.
Panetta has scrapped the so-called ground combat exclusion policy, a move that can open up as many as a quarter million jobs to women. But the Marine Corps Commandant General James Amos says some jobs might be closed to women if too few can meet the standards. That didn't sit well with Panetta.
"I think getting rid of the barrier makes it a little tougher for them to come back and ask for exceptions and I don't think it’s gonna be that easy to do if you want to know the truth."
Panetta says it's important that the military maintain tough standards. Tom Bowman, NPR News, Washington.
A hostage situation is in its fifth day in rural Alabama where negotiations continue to try and free a five-year-old boy being held in an underground bunker. From member WBHM Dan Carsen reports authorities say they’ve been in constant contact with the suspect about the safety of the boy.
They found out that there is an electric heater and some blankets down in the bunker where Jimmy Lee Dykes is holding the five-year-old boy. And the sheriff thanked the suspect. There might be a negotiating tactic to thank the suspect because the suspect has allowed authorities to pass medication and coloring books down through the PVC pipe that they are using to communicate down to the boy. Dan Carsen reporting from Midland city, Alabama. The boy had been taken from a school bus Tuesday. The bus driver was shot dead during the kidnapping.
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Federal mediators say they’ve worked out a tentative agreement between longshoreman and the operators of fifteen ports along the east coast. George Cohen, head of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, says the proposed new contract must be ratified by both parties. But port operations will continue during that process. He did not provide any details of the deal. Both sides have been intense negotiations since the previous contract ended in September.
A former First Dog has died. George W. Bush and his wife Laura issued a statement announcing the passing of their 12-year-old Scottish Terrier Barney. NPR’s Julie Rovner says the cause was reported as lymphoma.
The former president said Barney was a “fierce armadillo hunter” whose favorite activity at Camp David was chasing golf balls on the chipping green. Around the White House he was best known for his annual stint as host of BarneyCam, trotting through the rooms decorated for the holidays with a camera strapped to his head. The dog was the star of several videos made by the White House. He was also known to nip the occasional visitor although he was mostly well-behaved. According to the Dallas News, Barney is survived by the family’s other Scottish Terrier Miss Beazley and Bob the cat. Julie Rovner, NPR news, Washington.
It's Groundhog Day and Punxsutawney Phil reported he did not see its shadow today, meaning spring is on its way . But the Pennsylvanian rodent has competition. There are two groundhogs in New York and they disagree. Malverne Mel of Long Island did see its shadow, meaning another six weeks of winter. But Staten Island Chuck agreed with its Pennsylvanian counterpart.
今天是土拨鼠日，土拨鼠Punxsutawney Phil并没有看见自己的影子，所以这意味着春天就要来临了。可是宾夕法尼亚州的土拨鼠今天迎来了竞争。纽约有两只土拨鼠同样进行了预测，而且它们意见不一。来自长岛的土拨鼠Malverne Mel确实看见了自己的影子，也就是说冬季还有6星期结束。而史坦顿岛的土拨鼠Chuck则同意其宾夕法尼亚州同伴的预测。
I am Nora Raum. NPR news in Washington.
1. hold talks with
eg. The state-owned carrier will also hold talks with local trade unions to discuss implementing cost-saving measures.
eg. They're going to hold talks with us this afternoon.
eg. North korea after its nuclear program has always refused to hold talks with south korea, insisted that its action is to resist the u. s. invasion, should be primarily with the u. s. side to negotiate.
2. open up
eg. As the market opens up, I think people are going to be able to spend more money on consumer goods...
eg. It was also felt that the collapse of the system opened up new possibilities...
eg. The Chinese team had opened up a lead of more than two minutes.
3. sit well with
eg. All this toughnessdoes not sit well with everyone.
eg. His proposal doesn't sit well with manager of the department.
eg. But it didn't sit well with my logical side either.
4. get rid of
eg. Let us get rid of the fork to see and jointly works.
eg. His wisdom seems to have annoyed him; he made unsuccessful efforts to get rid of it.
eg. It's hard to say how far he would go to get rid of his opponents.
5. on one's way
eg. It is as broad as it is long whether we agree or disagree. The work is already on its way.
eg. He had a difficult time overcoming the difficulties cropped up on his way to reaching his goal.
eg. It's no doubt that everyone has his own dream, even through some of them is on their way to fulfill their dream.