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    From Washington, this is VOA News. Protesters hit the streets in Russia and the U.N. Security Council still divided over Syria. I’m Steve Karash, reporting from Washington.

    Tens of thousands of demonstrators rallied in the Russian capital Saturday in the largest protest so far over election fraud, signaling a growing outrage over Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's 12-year rule. Saturday’s demonstrations are the large show of discontent the nation has seen since the Soviet collapsed. The protest started after Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's United Russia party was named the winner of the December 4 elections. The prime minister’s party barely held on the lower house of parliament, but opposition parties and observers contend the vote counts were inflated. Ruling parties have denied cheating. On the eve of Saturday’s rally, an advisory Kremlin rights panel reports that there were several violations in the parliamentary vote and that they discredited the new parliament. The panel was also calling for the head of Russia's Election Commission to resign.

    Thousands of Syrians gathered on Saturday at the funeral for the 44 people killed in twin suicide blasts. Syrian state TV reports that two bombers used vehicles packed with explosives to attack a pair of state security facilities early Friday. Nearly 150 people were wounded in the suicide bombings. The state-run SANA news agency blamed al-Qaida for the blasts, but the opposition claimed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government could be responsible. Even as the violence in Syria worsens, the United Nations Security Council efforts to curb Mr. Assad's bloody crackdown on protesters remains stalled. The issue of sanctions is dividing in the Security Council. Russia's ambassador to the U.N., Vitaly Churkin, urged the council to act as quickly as possible, but again refused to endorse calls for sanctions. “If their insistence is to have some kind of reference to sanctions, that is not going to happen. But in terms of strong emphasis on human rights, on stopping violence, no impunity, investigation, cooperation with human rights institutions, we are open to discussions and to various formulations which can hopefully satisfy our colleagues in the Security Council.'' The United States, the European Union and Arab League are among those who have already placed sanctions on the Syrian government. For more on the situation in Damascus, log on to

    Thousands of pilgrims and tourists began arriving in Bethlehem Saturday, to spend Christmas in the town believed to be Jesus' birthplace. Bethlehem’s mayor says this Christmas carries special meaning for Palestinians as their bid for statehood moves forward. “This year’s Christmas is a unique Christmas because it is a Christmas of hope for the Palestinian people. We are celebrating this Christmas hoping that in the near future we'll get our right to self-determination, our right to establish our own democratic, secular, Palestinian state on the Palestinian land. That is why this Christmas is unique.” Victor Batarseh, mayor of Bethlehem.

    Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani is welcoming comments from his military chief ruling out the possibility of a coup. General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani said Friday that speculation about a possible military takeover of the civilian government is called misleading. He said such reports are being used to divert attention from real issues, and pledged that the army will continue to support the democratic process in the country. The prime minister told reporters Saturday that General Kayani's statement is called extremely well taken by democratic circles in the country and

    will bring improvement. Mr. Gilani’s government is facing faces mounting criticism over a secret memo, sent months ago, appealing for U.S. help to prevent a military coup.

    North Korea’s state media on Saturday hailed Kim Jong Un as the supreme commander of the military, a sign that the generational transition of power is going smoothly. It’s the first time that one of the North Korea's official outlets has used the title supreme commander for the new leader, who is a four-star general, despite having little military experience and being only in his late 20s.

    Authorities in Nigeria say at least 46 people have been killed in fighting between security forces and members of Boko Haram, a radical Muslim sect in the north.

Reporting from Washington, you are listening to VOA News. I’m Steve Karash

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    From Washington, this is VOA News. Dozens are killed in two Syrian bombings. Expelled Iranian diplomats leave Britain. I’m Dave Deforest, reporting from Washington.

    Syrian officials say two suicide bombings in Damascus have killed at least 40 people and left 100

    injured. State television reports two bombers used vehicles packed with explosives to attack state security facilities in the capital. Witnesses reported hearing heavy gunfire after the explosions. Syrian officials said al-Qaida militants may be responsible for the attacks.

    The United States Thursday announced a $10 million reward for information leading to the arrest of a Syrian national said to be operating as an al-Qaida paymaster from a base in Iran. David Gollust reports.

    The bounty of up to $10 million for Syrian national Ezedin Abdel Aziz Khalil is the second largest currently posted under the State Department rewards program, underscoring the degree of U.S. concern about his Iran-based operation. The State Department says the Syrian, better known by his alias Yasin al-Suri, is a senior al-Qaida facilitator and financier working in Iran with the consent and knowledge of Iranian authorities. David Gollust, VOA News, the State Department.

    Egyptian activists have begun gathering in Cairo’s Tahrir Square to demand that the country’s interim military rulers to apologize for recent violence against female protesters and speed up their plans to transfer power to a civilian government.

    Expelled Iranian diplomats packed up London’s embassy, Iran’s London embassy today. Embassy staff were expelled by the British government in response to the recent ransacking of the British embassy in Tehran. Crowds in Iran chanted “Death to Britain”.

    Turkey has accused France of committing genocide in Algeria more than 60 years ago. The charge from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan comes a day after French lawmakers passed a bill making it crime to publicly deny that the mass killings of Armenians in Turkey nearly a century ago was genocide.

    World leaders and the people of the Czech Republic were paying final respects to former President Vaclav Havel at a state funeral in Prague. The 75-year old former Czech leader died in his sleep of respiratory problems on Sunday.

    The U.S. Congress, after months of political haggling, is set today to pass a payroll tax cut extension. The House of Representatives will vote on a Senate-passed measure to extend the two months of a payroll tax cut set to expire at the end of the year. The House Republicans say they are under pressure to accept the two-month extension.

Pakistan’s army chief is denying reports that the military have planned to oust the civilian

    government from power. General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani said today speculations of any military takeover are in his words “misleading”.

Pakistan’s military is rejecting the findings of a U.S. inquiry into last month's coalition attack that

    killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. The army said today the investigation's findings were quoting now short on facts.

    Police in the Democratic Republic of Congo fired tear gas Friday at supporters of opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi who had gathered for his self-declared swearing in ceremony. He insists he won last month's presidential election and called on supporters to gather at a stadium for his inauguration. Nico Colombant has more.

There is a heavy security deployment across Congo’s capital Kinshasa, as Etienne Tshisekedi says

    he will swear himself in as president. Mr. Tshisekedi has even called on his supporters to capture the controversially re-elected President Joseph Kabila. "Concerning people who have created all these problems, starting with Mr. Kabila, I call on all of you to look for this man wherever he is in the country.” When Congo’s top court rejected an opposition bid to annul the presidential vote, the opposition reacted by saying it was totally rejecting that ruling, setting up what many Congolese fear could turn into an increasingly violent showdown. Nico Colombant, VOA News, Washington.

    The World Food Program says two of its aid workers and a local contractor have been shot and killed in central Somalia. The agency said the incident happened today near the settlement of Mataban, as the Somali workers were on their way to a food distribution center.

    From the VOA News Center in Washington, I’m Dave Deforest. More news on the Internet at


     Weak eyesight is a term that is generally used to refer to nearsighted eyes. / People who are nearsighted can see well at a short range, / but anything very far away is likely to be unclear. / The term "weak eyesight" is misleading, / for in nearsighted eyes the lens of the eye is actually too strong. / The nearsighted lens is so powerful that it focuses the light coming onto the eye so quickly. / Nearsightedness is common, and its growth may be graded; / often the unclearness of distant object is so slight at first / that a person may not recognize the condition. / Nearsightedness is frequently discovered first at school. / It is here that a student first realizes the difficulty of seeing words on the blackboard, / whereas others in the class have no trouble reading the blackboard at all. / After discovery, nearsightedness can easily be corrected. / You just needs a pair of glasses / which can decrease the power of the lens of the eye. / (161 words)

nearsightedness: n. 近视

lens: 晶状体

First Sign of AIDS

     The virus causing AIDS enters the blood and quickly penetrates certain white cells in the body. / At first there is often little or no trace of the virus at all. / This situation usually lasts for six to twelve weeks. / During this time the person is free of symptoms / and antibody tests are negative. / The first thing that happens after infection / is that many people develop a flue-like illness. / This may be severe enough to look like glandular fever / with swollen glands in the neck and armpits, / tiredness, fever and night sweats. / Some of those white cells are dying, / virus is being released, / and for the first time the body is working hard to make correct antibodies. / At this stage the blood test will usually become positive. / Most people do not realize what is happening, / although when they later develop AIDS they look back and remember it clearly. / Most people have produce antibodies in about twelve weeks. / (156 words)

Useful words and expressions:

AIDS:获得性免疫缺乏综合症(爱滋病?Acquired Immure Deficiency Syndrome

virus: n.病毒

penetrate: vt. 渗透(穿透

trace: n.踪迹

symptom: n. [临床] 症状(征兆

antibody: n. [免疫] 抗体

glandular:adj. 腺的!腺状的

swollen: adj. 肿胀的!浮肿的

gland: n. 腺体

armpit: n. 腋窝

Rice Cooking

     Rice is very much under appreciated in the United States. / With the exception of Asian cooking, / rice is usually a side dish or combined with other ingredients. / Rice is very nutritious, low cost and easy to prepare food. / There are different types of rice available and the cooking time varies by type of rice. / Follow the package instructions for the amount of liquid necessary

    and the cooking times. / Both vary for each type of rice. / Regular white rice has been milled / to remove the hull comes in long, medium and short grains. / Long grained rice is the best for all-purpose use. / Brown rice has a pleasant nutty flavor and a firmer texture. / While white rice is cooked in about 15 minutes, / brown rice takes 45 to 50 minutes to cook. / When cooking rice do not be concerned if you have cooked rice left over. / There are some excellent recipes, which use cooked rice. / (151 words)


     Balloons have been used for sport for about 100 years. There are two kinds of sport balloons, gas and hot-air. Hot-air balloons are safer than gas balloons, which may catch fire. Hot-air balloons are preferred by most balloonists in the United States because of their safty. They are also cheaper and easier to manage than gas balloons. Despite the ease of operating a balloon, pilots must watch the weather carefully. Sport balloon flights are best early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the wind is late. Over the years, balloonists have tried unsuccessfully to cross the Atlantic. It wasn't untill 1978 that three American balloonists succeeded.It took them just 6 days to make the trip, from their homes in the United States to Paris, France. Their voyage captured the imagination of the whole world.

Useful words and expressions:





     Ask three people to look out of the same window at a busy street and tell you what they see. Probably, you will receive three different answers. Each person sees the same scene, but each perceive something different about it. Perceiving goes in our minds. After three peole who look out of the window. One may say that he sees a policeman giving a driver a ticket. Another may say that he sees a rush-hour traffic jam at the street corner. The third may tell you that he sees a woman trying to cross the street with 4 children. For perception, is the mind's interpretation, of what the senses in this case our eyes tell us. Many psychologists today are working to try to explain just how a person experiences or perceives the world around him. Using a scientific

    method, the psychologists set up experiments. They are trying to find out what makes different people perceive totally different things about the same scene.

Useful words and expressions:



    traffic jam,交通拥挤!交通堵塞


    perception,知觉( 感觉(看法(洞察

     take it you're not with John or Mitch,you don't,you wouldn't vote to extend the payroll tax cut for another year.No,no,I wouldn't,look,I believe in the social security system.We got a fixed social security system,so it's there and it's solvent and it's there for future generations,and we've,so many years,I've heard we are taking the social security tax dollars and spending it on other things.Here we are,_social security tax dollars and spending it on other things.In this case,a tax cut for Americans,that's a good thing to spend it on,but it either is social security trust fund,it either is money to pay for social security benefits,and it's lovely for that purposes or it's not and in this case,you see,the President advocating and pushing to undermine the stability of the social security system and I'm against that.What is Ron Paul bringing to this race that's exciting a lot of the potential caucus goers in Iowa? A lot of money.He's been running,been here in Iowa for 2 weeks and there's a commercial break that passes that Ron Paul doesn't have an ad and of course he has a lawyer follow him,he's got a very grassroot organization and really nobody's talking about it.All the negative ads from governor Perry and from Mitt Romney have been focused on Newt Gingrich.I think the point is that this ad,this poll was taken as a lot of these other polls were taken before the last debate and I think both Michele Bachmann and I did a pretty good job of showing how dangerous Ron Paul would be as a nominee for our party where he would be in the position where he be to the left,in fact,far to the left to President Obama on the issue of national security.It would be a great thing if you're running as a liberal democrat but he's not,he's running as a republican.I think more people who see the clear contrast of someone like myself who has been out there,who understands the threats that face this country,someone who has a clear idea how we can make America safer and it isn't by guarding our defense department and making us a third world,third great power in the world.There're a lot of folks who are very concerned that between Michele Bachmann and myself,we're gonna split the conservative vote and someone like Gingrich and Romney now even a poll could end up winning the Iowa caucuses and we could be left with someone who's not particularly conservative as the standard bearer of the party.There was a lot of conversations.Several people called me and saidwould you consider,maybe,getting out,or supporting someone else and we're gonna call the other candidates to do the same.My response to that is you know,let the people of Iowa vote,this race is gonna be over after one caucus.This is a long process,let the people there decide who the best person that carrys the conservative banner is;I believe that they are gonna select me,I feel very confident about that,but you know what,if it's someone else,that's fine.We have to trust the voters instead of some deal being made between the candidates,I rejected that and thankfully so did all the other candidates rejected that.It's just people good intention as it was and I think it was good intention because they're concerned about their issues being front-and-center in this debate,but It was just not,it was not a proper idea.

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