From NPR News in Washington, I'm Nora Raum.
Syria's president has struck a defiant tone in a rare speech to his country. NPR's Kelly McEvers reports the address disappointed those who had expected a meaningful offer to end Syria's conflict.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad spoke to a crowded opera house in the capital Damascus. As he spoke, supporters rose to their feet , pumped their fists in the air and shouted his name. Assad said the uprising that started in Syria nearly two years ago was not a revolution, but merely the work of terrorists funded by countries trying to bring Syria down. This is the same message his regime has delivered throughout the conflict. Assad offered some political reforms, but said there was no legitimate opposition to work with. He said any peace plans, such as those by the UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, were not necessary, and Syria can handle its problems on its own. The speech comes as some analysts had hoped Assad would offer a few concessions and try to work with the opposition to bring an end to the violence. Kelly McEvers, NPR News, Antakya, Turkey.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell today ruled out raising tax revenues as part of dealing with the budget deficits. He said the legislation that allowed higher income tax rates on wealthier Americans is done. He says the tax issue is finished. McConnell was interviewed this morning on ABC's "This Week." On Fox News Sunday Congressman Chris Van Hollen disagreed. The Maryland Democrat said Congress must consider raising more revenue as well as cutting spending to reduce deficits.
"If Mitch McConnel is gonna draw that line in the sand , it's gonna be a recipe for more gridlock."
And on CBS's "Face the Nation" House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said Congress should examine the tax code to close loopholes to raise more revenue.
众议院民主党领袖南希·佩洛西参加CBS电视台的《Face the Nation》节目时表示，国会应检查税法，以填补漏洞，增加税收。
Negotiations between Congress and the White House on budget matters may be further complicated by the fact that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will be leaving office by the end of the month. Steve Beckner of Market News International has more.
Although an eleventh-hour deal raising taxes on upper-income Americans has temporarily averted the so-called "fiscal cliff," there are thorny problems yet to be resolved on government spending and the debt ceiling. But Geithner, who played a central role in battling the financial crisis and who has been President Obama's point man on fiscal policy for four years, won't be there to handle negations with Congress this time. He has said he will leave Treasury in a matter of weeks. That will force the president to nominate a replacement for Senate confirmation at a very awkward time in the budgetary process. For NPR News, I'm Steve Beckner.
Royal Dutch Shell says its grounded drill rig is ready to be towed off the rocks where it's been stranded since New Year's Eve. Officials say they are waiting for the right weather and time conditions. The barge is carrying 150,000 gallons of diesel fuel.
This is NPR News from Washington.
Australian emergency workers are searching dozens of burned-out homes and cars on the island of Tasmania, where more than 40 wildfires continue to burn. The blaze started Thursday during a heat wave and was strengthened by powerful winds. Police in Tasmania say about 80 buildings have been destroyed in one town alone.
There are two wild-card games remaining as part of the NFL's post-season schedule. NPR's Mike Pesca has this preview.
The Baltimore Ravens host the surprising Indianapolis Colts, the team that finished this season with an 11-5 record after winning only two games last year. The Colts are led by rookie quarterback Andrew Luck. Opposing him will be Ray Lewis, one of the greatest and most inspirational defensive players in NFL history. Lewis, after missing much of the season with a triceps tear, announced he will retire after the Ravens lose their next game or win the Super Bowl. In the NFC, the Redskins and Seahawks play in Washington. Two rookie quarterbacks face each other. Both Washington's Robert Griffin III and Seattle's Russell Wilson are adept at passing and rushing. The winner travels to Atlanta next week. Mike Pesca, NPR News.
In the first game, the Baltimore Ravens are leading the Indianapolis Colts 10 to 6 in the third quarter.
There is an agreement to bring back professional hockey. The heads of the National Hockey League and the players' union emerged this morning from an all-night session to say they have a deal. The players' share of hockey-related income will drop from 57% to 50%. They've agreed on a new pension plan. No details were provided. It's not clear when the games will resume. Officials say they hope to salvage this season with 48 or 50 games.
I'm Nora Raum, NPR News in Washington.
1. rise to one's feet
eg. Rise to your feet when the visitor comes in.
eg. The guests rose to their feet, applauding the golden couple.
eg. After ten minutes of struggle, the old man was able to rise to his feet unsteadily.
2. rule out
eg. The Prime Minister is believed to have ruled out cuts in child benefit or pensions.
eg. Local detectives have ruled out foul play.
eg. A serious car accident in 1986 ruled out a permanent future for him in farming.
3. draw a line in the sand
eg. Gordon brown, the british prime minister, accused iran of "serial deception over many years" and concluded that outsiders have "no choice today but to draw a line in the sand."
But at some point, before too much code gets written, it is important to draw a line in the sand and create a requirements baseline.
4. be adept at
eg. He is adept at getting himself out of difficult situations.
eg. The flatfish is remarkably adept at hiding itself on the sea bed.
eg. Their years in parliament had sharpened their wits and made them adept at insinuation.
5. emerge from
露出； 浮现；<正>来自； 产生于
eg. These countries will need assistance as they emerge from the shadows of war.
eg. It took over 60 years for the beach volleyball game to emerge from obscurity to the international spotlight.
eg. Rights emerge from duties; or duties produce rights.