来源:普特英语听力 2019-02-23
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 From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm Dave DeForest reporting.

The U.N. struggles to keep Syrian talks on track: Syrian government and opposition representatives were present in Geneva Monday, but were not yet fully participating in indirect negotiations. U.N. officials said talks that had been scheduled between U.N. envoy Staffan de Mistura and the Syrian government delegation were postponed. Instead, de Mistura met with the opposition for two hours before declaring the talks officially open.

 The World Health Organization has declared microcephaly and other neurological diseases possibly linked to the Zika virus to be a global public health emergency. Lisa Schlein reports on the outcome of a special meeting of experts in Geneva.

"The group of experts who met at the World Health Organization agree the Zika virus is not a clinically serious infection and that the virus alone would not constitute a public health emergency. However, the experts conclude that the possible association of the virus in Latin America with the explosive spread of microcephaly, which causes abnormally small brains in newborns, and other neurological disorders, constitutes an extraordinary event and a public health threat to other parts of the world. Lisa Schlein, Geneva." 

 The Midwestern state of Iowa Monday begins the first U.S. political contest to pick Republican and Democratic presidential nominees. Lowa holds a series of meetings or caucuses that will be the first electoral test for the large number of candidates running. The two leading Republicans are Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.  The top Democrats, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, are locked in a tight contest for their party's nod. This is VOA news.

 A suicide bomb blast targeting a major police facility in the Afghan capital has killed at least 20 police officers and wounded 29 other people. An Afghan official said security guards first identified the bomber as he moved toward the Afghan National Civil Order Police Headquarters.  When guards tried to stop him, he blew himself up. The Taliban claimed responsibility.

New members of Myanmar's parliament took a joint oath of office Monday in the capital, Naypyidaw.  The ceremony is seen as the prelude to installing the country's first democratically-elected government in more than half a century. The parliament will appoint as president one of three vice-presidential nominees chosen by the two houses of parliament and the army.

 The U.N. high commissioner for human rights has called on Turkish authorities to investigate the shooting of civilians. Dorian Jones reports.

"This is sound from video showing the shooting of what appears to be civilians under a white flag seeking to assist those wounded in the predominantly Kurdish town of Cizre. The town is at the center of a crackdown by Turkish security forces against the Kurdish rebel group, the PKK. U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein is calling for an immediate investigation. Al Hussein criticized reports the journalist who filmed the shooting is now under investigation for terrorist propaganda.  The U.N. commissioner said, ‘Filming an atrocity is not a crime, but shooting unarmed civilians most certainly is.’ Dorian Jones, Istanbul."

 The German city of Cologne is on alert ahead of scheduled carnival celebrations.  Authorities have mobilized to prevent a repeat of the spate of sexual assaults that occurred during the city's New Year's festivities.  In that incident, hundreds of women were groped and robbed by a mob of mostly North African and Arab men. The carnival begins Thursday and runs until Ash Wednesday, February 10. German authorities plan to be out in force.

A British woman who took her child to Syria and joined the Islamic State group has been sentenced to six years in prison. Tareena Shakil was convicted by a Birmingham court of being an I-S member and encouraging acts of terrorism.

 Britain's fertility regulator has granted its first license for the genetic modification of human embryos. The Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority approved an application from a doctor at the Francis Crick Institute to renew her laboratory's research license to include gene editing of embryos.  The doctor is doing research into the causes of infertility and miscarriages.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a strong call for a change in the status quo between Israelis and Palestinians.  Ban said he is concerned the two sides are reaching a point of no return for a two-state solution to their conflict.
In Washington, Im Dave DeForest. Thats the latest world news from VOA.
grant:授予; 承认; 同意; 准许;
fertility :生育
genetic modification: 基因改造; 转基因; [医] 遗传修饰
on alert:警戒状态
sexual assault:性侵

take oath :宣誓

suicide bomb:自杀式炸弹



microcephaly :小头症

Zika virus:寨卡病毒
indirect negotiation:离间接会谈











一名携带子女前往叙利亚参加伊斯兰国组织的英国妇女,被判处6年监禁。特拉娜 莎基因参加伊斯兰国和支持恐怖主义行为被伯明翰法院宣判有罪。