BBC News with John Jason
America’s powerful gun rights lobby, the National Rifle Association, is holding its first annual convention since the massacre of 20 children in Newtown last December. About 70,000 members are expected to attend the event in Texas. David Willis reports.
Despite being heavily criticised for its stance on gun ownership after the Newtown shootings, the National Rifle Association defeated attempts by President Obama and others to expand background checks for gun buyers and since consolidated its position as one of the most powerful pressure groups in America. But moves are afoot to reintroduce gun-control legislation and the polls continue to show the majority of Americans are in favour of some kind of reform, hence the theme of this year’s NRA convention which is “stand and fight”.
The Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho has announced new austerity measures to avoid another international bailout. In a televised address, he said the retirement age would be raised from 65 to 66. He also announced plans to cut another 30,000 public-sector jobs and added that civil servants would be required to work an extra hour a day. The cuts are designed to save more than $6bn over the next three years.
Turkey and Japan have signed a deal to build a large nuclear power plant on the Turkish Black Sea coast. The project is controversial because Turkey lies in an earthquake-prone region. As James Reynolds reports:
Turkey has decided to invest in nuclear energy. Its first tender was given to Russia. Now it’s signed a second agreement to allow a Japanese-French consortium to build a nuclear plant at Sinop. It will be the first nuclear power station built overseas by Japan since the severe failures at its own Fukushima power plant in 2011. The Turkish government appears to have strong faith in Japan’s ability to get it right. But Turkey’s investment in nuclear energy worries environmental campaigners. Greenpeace in Turkey calls the decision to build this new plant a high-risk project.
Gunmen in the Pakistani capital Islamabad have killed one of the country’s senior prosecutors. Chaudhry Zulfiqar was investigating the murder of the former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto as well as a militant attack in Mumbai, India four years ago. Mike Wooldridge is in Islamabad.
In broad daylight, in a busy middle-class suburb of Islamabad, gunmen opened fire as Mr Zulfiqar drove away from his home. A woman passer-by was also killed. Chaudhry Zulfiqar was to attend another hearing in connection with the unresolved murder of the former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in 2007. Chaudhry Zulfiqar had pushed the court to speed up proceedings against Pakistan Taliban members detained for her murder. Pakistan is no stranger to violence, particularly in these past few weeks in the run-up to the elections on May 11th. But a targeted attack of this kind here in the capital is more rare.
World News from the BBC
President Barack Obama has arrived in Costa Rica to attend the summit of Central American leaders and discuss ways of tackling the increasing violence generated by drug cartels operating in the area. Most of the cocaine produced in Colombia and other South American countries is smuggled through the region before it reaches the United States. Mr Obama is also expected to discuss immigration and trade with leaders attending the summit.
A plane powered only by the Sun has set off from San Francisco on the first leg of a journey across the United States. It’s being piloted by Bertrand Piccard, who was the first person to circumnavigate the globe in a hot-air balloon in 1999. Martin Vennard has more.
It has the same wingspan as that of an Airbus A-340 passenger jet, but thanks to its carbon fibre construction, weighs only as much as an average car. The aircraft’s wings and rear stabiliser are covered with some 12,000 solar cells which in daylight charge batteries that are hung below the wings. They provide power to the plane’s four electric motors and allow flight in daylight and night conditions with the maximum speed of around 70km/h and flights of up to 24 hours.
The internet company Google has changed the homepage of its Palestinian edition so that the word Palestine appears under its logo instead of Palestinian Territories. The move could prove controversial in Israel, which considered any formal use of the word Palestine as prejudging the outcome of currently stalled peace talks. Palestinians are seeking recognition for the state they are trying to establish and the adoption of the name Palestine.
An inquest has opened into the death of a suspected burglar whose partially decomposed body was found wedged in the chimney of a law firm in the English town of Derby. Police said they used fingerprints to identify the man who had probably been in the chimney for four weeks. Staff called in the police after a bad smell was traced to the bricked-up chimney.
1.stance n. 立场；姿态；位置；准备击球姿势
He has changed his stance on monetary union.
2.afoot adj. 在进行中的；徒步的；准备中
There is a scheme afoot to improve recreational facilities in the area.
3.prone adj. 俯卧的；有…倾向的，易于…的
Some people are prone to jump to hasty conclusions.
4.consortium n. 财团；联合；合伙
The new aircraft was developed by a European consortium.
5.tackle vt. 处理；抓住；固定；与…交涉
That depends on how you tackle the problem.
6.circumnavigate vt. 环航
He circumnavigated the globe with his family.
7.stabiliser n. 稳定器；安定剂
Pecin can be used as a stabiliser acidified milk drinks.
8.decompose vi. 分解；使腐烂 vt. 分解；腐烂
The bacteria decomposed the milk into its solid and liquid elements.
1.The Turkish government appears to have strong faith in Japan’s ability to get it right.
have faith in 相信，对……信任
I have faith in his ability to succeed.
There are a lot of difficulties in front of us, yet we still have faith in victory.
2.A plane powered only by the Sun has set off from San Francisco on the first leg of a journey across the United States.
set off 出发；引起；动身；使爆炸；抵销；分开
They set off at once along the lane in pursuit.
Get prepared so that you can set off immediately if sth. happens.