From NPR News in Washington, I'm Lakshmi Singh.
The US Senate is taking procedural votes on competing bills aimed at avoiding the across-the-board spending cuts known as the sequester, which are set to take effect tomorrow. The GOP measure has failed to get enough votes to advance. A vote is underway on a democratic bill. NPR's Craig Windham reports Senate majority leader Harry Reid is accusing Republicans of being completely inflexible for refusing to consider closing tax loopholes and reducing subsidies as a part of the plan.
Reid says polls show the vast majority of Americans, and even the majority of Republicans, favor reducing the federal deficit with the combination of spending cuts and revenue increases.
'The only republicans in America that don't agree, are those that serving Congress.'
But GOP Senator John Cronyn says president Obama already got all the revenue he's going to get in the deal that avoided the fiscal cliff.
'He got a $ 600 billion in additional tax revenue from the American people. So where is the balance to that.'
That $ 600 billion in revenue was only half of what the president thought though, and less than House Speaker John Boehner offered in the failed talks in 2011 aimed at achieving a so-called grand bargain on deficit reduction. Craig Windham NPR News, Washington.
Today is the deadline for filing briefs in the proposition eight same-sex marriage case before the US Supreme Court. NPR's Nina Totenberg has previously reported the administration will file a brief citing with those contending the California's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.
What is still unknown is what legal argument the administration makes in the brief to be filed later today. The president has sent mix signals as to whether he'll urge the court to strike down all state laws banning same-sex marriage or a limited number of laws or just California's law. Best bet is a middle ground , urging the court to take one step at a time instead of taking a giant leap. Nina Totenberg NPR News, Washington.
Work is underway to plug a leaking oil well off Louisiana's coast. NPR's Debbie Elliott reports oil has been leaking since Tuesday night when a boat struck a sealed well head.
The US coast guard is overseeing Swift Energy's operation to secure its well head, located in a bay about nine miles southwest of Port Sulphur, Louisiana. The shallow water well had been out of service for about five years when one of Swift crew boats crushed into it. Builds up natural gas forced an oily water mixture to spew from the damaged well. The coast guard says less than 840 gallons a day is being discharged and skimmer boats are on site to help with cleanup and containment. The spill prompted the State of Louisiana to close nearby oyster beds in Plaquemines Parish. Debbie Elliott NPR News.
At last check on Wall Street, Dow was up 34 points; make that 35 points, at 14,110.
This is NPR.
A former executive of Massey energy claims that the defunct company CEO was part of the conspiracy to violate mine safety laws. NPR's Howard Berkes reports the alleged conspiracy precede the explosion in 2010 that killed 29 Massey coal miners.
David C. Hughart once run a Massey coal mining sub-city area in west Virginia and implicated former CEO Don Blankenship as he plead guilty to federal conspiracy charges. Hughart told the court that the company's Chief Operating Officer ordered managers to illegally warn miners underground when federal inspectors arrived on the surface for surprise inspections. Hughart didn’t utter Blankenship's name, but he was CEO at the time. The accusation implicates Blankenship in the conspiracy and signals for the first time publicly, that prosecutors have a witness against him. Blankenship has insisted he did nothing wrong in advance at the deadly Upper Big Branch mine disaster. Howard Berkes NPR News.
大卫·休哈特曾经是梅西能源在西弗吉尼亚州附属煤矿的负责人，他在承认联邦的受贿指控后暗示，前首席执行官唐·布兰肯希普也牵涉其中。休哈特告诉法庭，当联邦调查员抵达矿厂进行突击检查时，公司的首席执行官命令经理们非法警告地下的矿工。休哈特并没有说出布兰肯希普的名字，但是他是当时的首席执行官。这条指控暗示布兰肯希普也涉嫌受贿，而且这也是第一次公开表示，起诉方有指控他的证人。布兰肯希普曾坚称，在Upper Big Branch致命矿难发生前他没有任何不当行为。NPR新闻，霍华德·贝尔克斯报道。
Call him pope, emeritus. Amid much fanfare in Vatican City, Benedict, the 16th, stepped down earlier today as head of the Roman Catholic Church, becoming the first pontiff to do so in 600 years. Observers say Benedict appeared relieved though he also seems fragile he had retired citing health reasons. Cardinals will hold a conclave to decide on Benedict's successor.
Story Co., the national oral history organization whose works have been heard here on NPR, is receiving a one-million dollar prize from the McArthur foundation. It's among 39 non-profit groups to be recognized. Story Co. says it will use the money to invest its technological infrastructure and grow its cash reserves.
Story Co.获得了麦克阿瑟基金会颁发的100万美元的奖金，Story Co.是国家口述历史组织，它们的作品也曾出现在NPR节目中。共39家非赢利组织获此荣誉，Story Co.是其中一家。Story Co.组织表示，这笔奖金将用于技术基础设施的投资，及增加组织的现金储备。
I'm Lakshmi Singh, NPR News in Washington.
eg. The government contends that he is fundamentalist.
eg. American businesses could soon have a new kind of lawsuit to contend with.
eg. Even the best athletes have to contend with the ineluctable fact that they will grow older and must someday face opponents who are younger, faster, and stronger.
2. best bet
eg. Your best bet is to say nothing about it.
eg. Make them see you are the best bet for the position.
eg. New zealand and australian cities continued to show they are probably the best bet for cheap but high quality living, with scores consistently around 50 or below.
3. middle ground
eg. Negotiations have failed to establish any middle ground.
eg. Many desperately want to find some rational middle ground.
eg. Even though reaching some middle ground is so difficult, we still should try our best.
4. build up
eg. The collection has been built up over the last seventeen years.
eg. Build her up with kindness and a sympathetic ear.
eg. The media will report on it and the tabloids will build it up.
eg. They bought all their equipment from a defunct brewery in Manhattan.
eg. By then the firm was defunct.
eg. "Practical men were often the slaves of some defunct economist," he wrote.