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From NPR News in Washington, I'm Korva Coleman.

It took all night, but the Senate passed a budget just before dawn today. The vote was 50:49. It's been four years since the Senate last adopted a budget blueprint. And Republican leader Mitch McConnell praised his colleagues for it.

"I know everyone is exhausted and you may not feel it at the moment, but this is one of the Senate's finest days in recent years and I commend everyone who's participated in this extraordinary debate. "

The White House is praising the Senate's $3.7 trillion proposal. But NPR's Allison Keyes tells us it's very different than the plan approved by the Republican controlled House.

White House Spokesman Jay Carney says at a statement that the Senate's plan will create jobs, cut the deficit in a balanced way and eliminate tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans to reduce the deficit. And while he praises both the House and Senate for passing budgets. He says the Republican proposal makes deep cuts to education and manufacturing, while asking seniors and the middle class to pay more. He criticizes the Republican plan for not reducing the deficit, by closing tax loopholes for the wealthy. That, Carney says, is not an approach the White House supports. He says it's time for the leaders to come together to find common ground . Allison Keyes, NPR News, Washington.

The Federal health law known as Obamacare turns three years old today. And as NPR's Julie Rovner reports debate over the measure is still raging.

Backers of the law like Health and Human service Secretary Kathleen Sebelius are relieved that it survived last year's election and supreme court ruling. They are looking ahead to October when enrollment begins for potentially millions of Americans.

"We really have an opportunity now to put the law in full gear."

But opponents like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, haven't given up the hope of repealing the measure.

"The biggest mistake in modern times, in my judgement, was the passage of Obamacare, which seeks to turn America into a Western European country. "

The budget bill just passed by Congress didn't defend implementation effort as House Republicans wanted. But it didn't give the administration the additional money it asked for, either. Julie Rovner, NPR News, Washington.

Politicians in Cyprus are rushing to finish a new legislative package that will save their country from bankruptcy. Cypriots need to come up billions of dollars to secure a rescue loan from European countries. A prior plan was rejected this week by lawmakers, that's because it took up to 10% of money from people's savings in private banks.

The Pentagon says it's reached an agreement with Afghanistan on control of an Afghan prison. The U.S. is to transfer control of the Parwan facility on Monday to Afghan officials. The prison houses dangerous inmates. The U.S. was concerned that some of them would be released.

New Pope Francis paid a visit to predecessor Pope Emeritus Benedict, the XVI today. They made lunch together and they had a private talk at the papal summer residence south of Rome.

You are listening to NPR News from Washington.

A late winter snowstorm is coming out of the Rocky Mountains and headed for the Midwest. The National Weather Service says heavy snow is falling from Colorado and will reach Ohio. This will mean heavy rain further south along the Gulf Coast. It could shape up to be the third major snowstorm to hit the Midwest in a month. As much as eight inches of snow could fall.

Protesters say they will continue to demonstrate against the long list of proposed school closures in Chicago. NPR's Cheryl Corley reports the Chicago Teachers Union which has been at odds with the city's mayor, is calling for all opponents of school closings to join them in a rally next week.

"No school close. No school close."

That's been the chant of angry demonstrators ever since the Chicago public school said it plans to shut down 54 schools in programs. That will make it the largest school shakeup in the country. The school district faces a $1 billion deficit and says the schools on the list are under utilized. Joshua Marburger teaches at one of them.

"None of the board has been at our school. How can you make a decision to close school without even being there. "

The Chicago Teachers Union will rally against the proposed school closures on Wednesday. School officials say they will hold public hearings before a vote in May. Cheryl Corley, NPR News, Chicago.

Russian financier Boris Berezovsky has been found dead at his home in England. The cause of death is not known. Berezovsky was a severe critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin. He lived in England because he was wanted in Russia for charges of fraud. Berezovsky had been one of the Russia's oligarchs. He gained incredible amounts of wealth in the 1990s by handling the assets of the former Soviet Union.
俄罗斯金融家鲍里斯·别列佐夫斯基被发现死于英格兰的住所中。目前死因尚不清楚。别列佐夫斯基曾严厉批评俄罗斯总统弗拉基米尔·普京。他住在英格兰,因为他在俄罗斯因欺诈指控被通缉。别列佐夫斯基曾是俄罗斯寡头之一。上世纪 90年代,他通过处理前苏联的资产获得了难以想象的巨额财富。

I'm Korva Coleman, NPR News.

1. commend
eg. I commended her for that action.

eg.I commend Ms. Orth on writing such an informative article.

eg.The book was widely commended for its candour.

2. common ground
eg. And just because the differences between individuals, people like to live with the ones who have common ground.

eg. On some big issues there is emerging common ground.

eg. The goal of politics should not be the pursuit of an ideal, but rather the search for common ground and reasonable consensus.

3. look ahead to
eg. It's that time of year when each of us reflects on the previous year and look ahead to the new year.

eg. During the first half of life, people look ahead to the second half. But during the second half of life, people look back to the first half.

eg. It is said that "young people often look ahead to the future while the elderly look back on the past".

4. repeal
eg. The government has just repealed the law segregating public facilities.

eg. He has made out a strong case for the repeal of the law.

eg. The legislation body can not only pass a law but also repeal it.

5. be at odds with
eg. I have been at odds with my fate for many years.

eg. Your actions are at odds with your words.

eg. Your actions are at odds with your words.

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