BBC News with Iain Purdon
The senior Democrat in Congress Harry Reid says the United State seems to be heading for the financial crisis known as the fiscal cliff unless politicians stop scrambling. Mr Reid, the Democratic majority leader in the Senate, criticize the Republicans for ruling out any taxes rises as a part of a deal. He called for an urgent senate vote.
"Come first of this year, Americans will have less income than they have today. If we go over the cliff, and it looks like that’s where we’re headed, the House of Representatives — as we speak with four days left after today before the first year — aren’t here. With the speaker having told them, they'll have, they'll give 48 hours notice. I can’t imagine their consciences - they are out wherever they are, around the country. And we are here tying to get something done".
President Obama has returned to Washington after cutting short his Christmas holiday to try to bring the parties together.
Egypt's public prosecutor has ordered an inquiry into the country's top opposition leaders over allegations they tried to incite the overthrow of president Mohammed Morsi. The men were named as the Nobel laureate Mohammed El Baradei, the former Secretary general of the Arab League, Amr Moussa, and the former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi. Bethany Bell reports from Cairo.
This investigation doesn't mean the charges will be filed against the opposition leaders but it comes at a sensitive time. Egypt has been in the group of political crisis ever since president Morsi temporarily gave himself sweeping new powers last month. The three opposition leaders formed a coalition, the National Salvation Front to lead protests against the president. They organize mass rallies, some of which turned violent when their supporters clashed with the president's Islamist backers.
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has warned of a bloody chaos in Syria unless as a dialogue between the government and the rebels. He said hopes for a political solution were fading and urged the United State to redouble efforts to get a peaceful settlement.
The Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has sacked his health minister, the only woman in his cabinet. No official reason has been given for the dismissal of Marziyeh Vahid Dastjerdi, the only female cabinet minister since the Islamic revolution of 1979. Kasra Naji reports.
伊朗总统马哈茂德·艾哈迈迪—内贾德解雇卫生部长，这是他的内阁中唯一一名女性。 Marziyeh Vahid Dastjerdi是1979年伊朗革命以来首位女性内阁部长，目前官方并未透露她遭解雇的原因。Kasra Naji报道。
Iran is pressed for hard currencies. Oil exports have been reduced to less than a half in the past six months as a result of European and American sanctions. The health minister Mrs Marzieh Dastjerdi had complained that the government had allocated hard currency to the import of luxury cars and not enough to the import of drugs. This indirect contradiction to president Ahmadinejad who has said the government has allocated the budgets bigger even than the last year's for the purpose.
World News from the BBC
The son of the assassinated Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has been setting out his plans for the country at a huge rally of governing party supporters. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was speaking in southern Sindh province on the fifth anniversary of his mother's death. He told the rally his party would fight militancy, work for the poor and try to build a peaceful and democratic Pakistan.
The President of the Central African Republican Francois Bozize has appealed to France and the United States for help to stop a rebel advance that threatening the capital Bangui. Thomas Fessy has more.
There's a precarious coming in the capital Bangui, a feeling of anxiety with the people there not knowing what is going to happen next. The rebels have been sending contradictory messages, announcing twice the suspension of their operations on the ground in less than a week. But they have continued to advance and taken over major towns in the center of the country. The government has acknowleged that its troops were not able to face the rebel coalition and it's asked for external help. France, the former colonial power has insisted that it would not intervene to save president Bozize's regime but to secure its nationals only.
Shares in the troubled Spanish bank, Bankia, have falled by a fifth after a government report said the lender had a negative value because of huge losses on bad loans. The report, valuing the bank at MINUS 5.6b dollars, indicated its losses were worse than expected. Bankia is one of four Spanish banks due to receive financial assistance from the European Union.
The former economy minister in Argentina has been found guilty of concealing and illicit financial transaction after the discovery of a paper bag containing 50,000 dollars in her office bathroom. Felisa Miceli was sentenced to four years in prison.
1.scramble vi. 爬行，攀登；不规则地生长；仓促行动
Faced by emergency situations people are thought to suddenly behave like selfish animals, trampling others in the scramble to escape.
2.conscience n. 道德心，良心
The temptation was warring with his conscience.
3.inquiry n. 探究；调查；质询
In any inquiry,be careful to proceed on right principle.
4.redouble vt. 再加倍；把…再折叠；循著…折回
Tonight, I’m proposing that we redouble these efforts.
5.assassinate vt. 暗杀；行刺
The question was who had hired them to assassinate Rosenberg.
6.precarious adj. 危险的；不确定的
Our financial situation had become precarious.
7.suspension n. 悬浮；暂停；停职
So the US should set a deadline for the suspension of enrichment.
1.Mr Reid, the Democratic majority leader in the Senate, criticize the Republicans for ruling out any taxes rises as a part of a deal.
rule out 排除；取消；划去
Local detectives have ruled out foul play.
A serious car accident in 1986 ruled out a permanent future for him in farming.
2.But they have continued to advance and taken over major towns in the center of the country.
take over 接管；接收
Johnson took over the chairmanship of the committee yesterday.
The government took over the railways in 1948.