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From NPR News in Washington, I'm Lakshmi Singh.

President Obama has nominated former GOP Senator Chuck Hagel to be secretary of defense and CIA veteran John Brennan to head the Central Intelligence Agency. Both could face tough questioning during their Senate confirmation hearings . NPR's Craig Windham reports Mr. Obama says the nominations were based on who would do the best job of securing America.

The president says both men have the advantage of experience on the ground working with rank-and-file troops and intelligence officers .

"It will provide me the kinds of insights that I need in making very difficult decisions, but it will also mean that these folks are gonna be looking out for the people who work for them."

Hagel says he has a deep connection with the nation's military personnel.

"These are people who give so much to this nation every day with such dignity and selflessness."

And Brennan has similar words for those in the intelligence community.

"They need and deserve the support of all of their fellow Americans, especially at a time of such tremendous national security challenges."

Craig Windham, NPR News, Washington.

Regulators are hitting 10 mortgage-servicing companies with 8.5 billion dollars in penalties for widespread abuses involving mortgages and foreclosures. NPR's John Ydstie tells us eligible borrowers will receive compensation ranging from a few hundred dollars up to 125,000 dollars.

The penalties include 3.3 billion dollars in direct payments to borrowers and 5.2 billion in other assistance, such as loan modifications and the forgiveness of deficiency judgments. Regulators from the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said the agreement will end the Independent Foreclosure Review program, which involves case-by-case reviews of mortgage abuses, and replace it with a broad framework allowing eligible borrowers to get compensation more quickly. Citibank, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo are among the 10 companies being penalized for abuses, such as mishandling paperwork and skipping steps in the foreclosure process. John Ydstie, NPR News, Washington.

James Holmes, a former graduate student charged with last July's mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, was back in court today for preliminary hearing to determine whether he should stand trial. Megan Verlee of Colorado Public Radio tells us this was the first time the public including survivors got an extensive look at the evidence surrounding the rampage that killed 12 people and wounded dozens more.

Clear the prosecution wants to lay out how thoroughly planned this attack was that Holmes was in body armor, that he had acquired a lot of weapons. So this was not a spontaneous event for the defense "another chance to suggest Holmes" mental phase that night that he was suffering from some sort of mental illness.

This is NPR News.

Federal health officials are warning this flu season is turning out to be one of the worst they've seen in recent years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 's Tom Skinner says in the last week of December flu was widespread.

"Pretty much the whole country or most of the country is either seeing moderate or severe flu activity at this point ."

The CDC says flu-related child deaths have increased to 18. Skinner says the vaccine many people received for this year's flu strains may not have been 100% effective but has helped reduce the severity of the illnesses.

A painting by the French master Henri Matisse has been recovered in Britain a quarter of century after it was stolen in Sweden. NPR's Philip Reeves says it is valued at around one million dollars.

The painting is a small landscape called Le Jardin. It was snatched off the walls of the Museum of Modern Art in Stockholm in 1987 by a burglar who broke in at night using a sledgehammer. The museum reportedly refused several early ransom demands, and since then the painting's whereabouts have remained a mystery. Now it's been recovered by an American, Christopher Marinello, from the London-based Art Loss Register, the world's largest private database of stolen art. Marinello says his organization was contacted by a British dealer who was apparently considering buying it from a Polish collector but first wanted to check if it was stolen. For security reasons, Marinello is not saying how he got hold of the painting. But he is arranging for its return to Sweden. Philip Reeves, NPR News, London.

A last check on Wall Street, Dow was off 54 points a 13,381, NASDAQ down seven at 3,095, S&P 500 off five at 1,461.

This is NPR.


confirmation hearing

adj. 士兵的,一般大众的,一般成员的

If we make strict demands on every rank-and-file Party member, we need, indeed, to make still stricter demands on Party cadres.

intelligence officer

look out for

I you go to that place look out for pick-pockets.

美国疾病控制与预防中心,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

at this point
At this point, the writer puts in a flashback.

Centers for Disease Control

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