BBC News Summary 2023-03-20 (Mon)

The following copy was transcribed by me from BBC News Summary. Copyright belongs to the BBC. Welcome to visit my personal blog: Welcome to follow my personal wechat official account: ratpub

BBC News

Switzerland’s biggest bank UBS has agreed to take over its rival Credit Suisse as uncertainty continues in global financial markets. The 3-billion-dollar deal was made after emergency talks over the weekend between the 2 banks and Swiss financial regulators. Switzerland’s central bank is backing the deal with a loan facility of up to 110 billion dollars. The US Federal Reserve and other central banks have announced coordinated action to ease financial strain worldwide. The measures to make dollars available more quickly between central banks will take effect on Monday.

Iran says Saudi Arabia has invited President Ebrahim Raisi to visit, just over a week after Tehran and Riyadh agreed to restore diplomatic relations. There has been no comment by the Saudi authorities.

A senior accountant in South Africa, who has been investigating serious corruption cases, has been shot dead. * was the liquidator for the company *, which has been implicated in scandals involving government contracts.

Ukraine has condemned President Putin’s visit to the devastated city of Mariupol. An aide to President Zelenskyy said it was a criminal returning to the crime scene.

Exit polls following Kazakhstan’s snap parliamentary election suggest President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s ruling * Party has won about 54% of the vote.

Officials in the Central African Republic say 9 Chinese nationals have been killed during a raid in a gold mine. A previous attack was blamed in a group linked to the former President *.

Ecuador’s state oil company has triggered a clause that exempts it for fulfilling its contractual obligations after weeks of protests outside an oil field in the Amazon forest region.

BBC news.

BBC News Summary 2023-03-17 (Fri)

The following copy was transcribed by me from BBC News Summary. Copyright belongs to the BBC. Welcome to visit my personal blog: Welcome to follow my personal wechat official account: ratpub

The First Republic Bank in New York, on March 11, 2023. The shares of First Republic Bank fell 60 percent on Monday, March 13, 2023. (Casey Steffens/The New York Times)

BBC News

A group of 11 US private banks including JP Morgan Chase and City Group have confirmed their 30 billion dollar rescue package for the embattled First Republic Bank. Initial reports indicate the package caused Wall Street to rally and First Republic shares to soar.

French riot police have used tear gas and water cannons to clear protesters from the vast Place de la Concorde in Paris. Thousands had gathered there after a parliamentary vote on controversial pension reform was overwritten by a rarely used constitutional provision to force through the legislation.

The number of women dying in pregnancy and childbirth in America rose significantly during the pandemic, worsening a pre-existing health crisis. In 2021 it was 40% higher than in the previous year.

The UN nuclear watchdog says its verifying reports that 10 barrels of missing Uranium have been recovered in Libya. The militia that backs the rival administration in eastern Libya says it’s found the barrels close to the border with Chad.

The Pentagon says it’s not seen any evidence of China providing lethal military assistance to Russia in its war in Ukraine. US media reports suggest Beijing has supplied Chinese made weapons. CNN said Ukrainian troops had shown the broadcaster the wreckage of a drone in eastern Ukraine with parts from a Chinese manufacturer Mugen.

An opinion poll suggests the majority of Swiss have favored closer relations with NATO. That’s a rise of 10 percentage points in 2 years. Switzerland’s Defense Ministry attributed the change of heart to the war in Ukraine.

The Italian government is relaunching a project to build a bridge to the Island of Sicily. Supporters of the bridge say it could cut pollution and save time.

And parliament in Spain has passed legislation to improve animal welfare and toughen penalties for animal cruelty. It applies mainly to pets with obligatory training courses for prospective dog owners.

BBC news.

BBC News Summary 2023-03-16 (Thu)

The following copy was transcribed by me from BBC News Summary. Copyright belongs to the BBC. Welcome to visit my personal blog: Welcome to follow my personal wechat official account: ratpub

BBC News with Moira Alderson

Swiss financial regulators have pledged to provide liquidity lifeline to the troubled banking giant Credit Suisse if needed. Credit Suisse shares have plunged 24%, sparking a wider selloff in European stocks.

Poland has arrested a group of foreigners on suspicion of spying for Russia. The suspects have been monitoring transport infrastructure close to a regional airport which is a hub for military aid for Ukraine. Dozens of hidden cameras are said to have been discovered at railway junctions in a province bordering Ukraine.

America’s top general Mark Milley says the US surveillance drone which came down in the Black Sea on Tuesday is now under more than 1,200 meters of water and would be difficult to recover.

The International Atomic Agency says 2.5 tons of natural Uranium is missing from a Libyan site that is not under government control. A confidential statement from the IAEA Chief Rafael Grossi said the discovery was made on Tuesday.

Earlier, exit polls from elections to 12 provincial parliaments in the Netherlands suggest a standing victory for the Farmer-Citizen Movement established in 2019 in the wake of widespread farmers protests. The party is projected to win the most seats in north Holland and Overijssel.

The Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has appointed an investigator to look into allegations that China interfered in the country’s last 2 elections. David Johnson, a former governor general, will conduct the probe.

The Vjosa River in southern Albania has been declared a protected area. It should help to ensure the survival of more than 1,000 species, including the critically endangered European eel.

Scientists say a dinosaur that roamed Asia more than 100 million years ago may have had the longest neck ever seen in an animal. More than 6 times longer than the necks of Giraffes.

BBC news.


我每天在听写两分钟的 BBC 国际新闻综述(BBC news summary)。听久了,也就渐渐感觉到他们在新闻选择上的一些偏好。其中的最后一则,一般都是一些比较轻松的新闻,比如体育赛事啊,科技新发现啊,奇闻逸事(anecdota)啊,之类的。但是最多的类型,还是名人的讣闻(obituary)。

讣闻作为一种最常见的新闻文体,在西方媒体中非常常见。不过,因为它简单又费时(在没有 Wikipedia 的年代,一个人的生平并不存在于鼠标一击的瞬间),是名副其实的脏活累活(dirty work)。通常负责讣告撰写的,都是一些新手(green hand),或者是报社无足轻重的人物(nobody)。在裘德·洛、娜塔丽·波特曼和茱莉亚·罗伯茨主演的电影《偷心》(Closer)中,洛饰演的男主角就是一个在小报专门撰写讣闻的记者,电影讲述了小人物的感情纠葛。


丧葬在中国文化中,似乎很难有幽默轻松的一面。有一个英文单词叫 celebrate,我们一般会翻译成“庆祝”。只是,英文中很多事都可以 celebrate,连死都可以,所以会叫 celebrate the death。此处也许我们要将其翻译成“祭奠”更合适,但“祭奠”很明显只能用于死者,另一个侧面也许也反映出死亡在中国文化中的特殊地位。





英女王伊丽莎白二世的死因(cause of death)是年老(old age),寿终正寝在中国文化里当然是很好的,是白喜。我很小的时候,家中阁楼里就摆着一副棺材,那是给我曾祖母百年后用的。那时候,家里会给上了年纪的老人准备一副棺材和老衣。好像说这体现了子女对老人的孝心。





说到赡养,估计久病是最棘手的,无法自理的老人是累赘确也是事实。中国人的寿命在解放后提高了近 30 年,但是目及很多老人在生命最后的日子里,生活质量其实不高。



《阿甘正传》(Forrest Gump)中,阿甘问妈妈:
Why are you dying, Mama?

It’s my time. It’s just my time.

老顽童倪匡先生将自己的死说成是“蒙 C 宠召”,也是一个意思:时间到了,上帝在召唤,那就快快乐乐地进那窄门吧。

倪先生是在赛马会癌症康复中心离世的。这是一家为末期癌症病人提供安宁疗护(hospice care)的医院。安宁疗护也叫慈怀疗护、善终服务、姑息治疗或临终关怀。球王贝利在生命的最后阶段,也在医院接受了安宁疗护直至去世。这也是我比较提倡的方式。

我们的身体,其实比我们的意志更希望能活下去。很多时候医疗手段只是在为身体争取时间(buy time)。如果时间到了还不放手,施救就会变成另一种残忍。


BBC News Summary 2023-03-15 (Wed)

The following copy was transcribed by me from BBC News Summary. Copyright belongs to the BBC. Welcome to visit my personal blog: Welcome to follow my personal wechat official account: ratpub

BBC News with Moira Alderson

The United States has accused Russia of reckless behavior after an American civilian drone crashed into the Black Sea following an encounter with a Russian fighter. The Pentagon says one jet struck the drone’s propeller in international airspace. Moscow denies hitting the drone.

One of the most powerful storms ever to hit Southern Africa is now known to have killed at least 190 people in Malawi. Thousands have been left homeless.

President Biden has signed a new executive order on gun control to try to reduce mass shootings in the United States. He wants to close legal loopholes and require checks during every gun sale.

Stock markets in the United States and Europe have rebounded after turbulence following last week’s collapse of the California based Silicon Valley Bank. They’ve been bolstered by the continuing decline in the annual rate of US inflation.

The former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has accused the authorities of acting outside the law in trying to arrest him. Earlier, police clashed with his supporters as they tried to detain him on a court order.

The United States’ Secretary of State Anthony Blinken is in Ethiopia to assess the peace deal that ended the country’s civil war. The 2-year war is thought to have claimed more than half a million lives.

A prominent broadcaster and political activist in Mali has been detained for asserting that the former Prime Minister, who died last year in prison, was assassinated. * made the remarks about * on Saturday.

Bolivia and Colombia have urged the United Nations to remove the cocoa leaf from its list of prohibited narcotics. Cocoa is banned as it;s the raw material for cocaine production. But it has been used as a ritual sacrament for centuries by indigenous people.

That’s the latest BBC news.

BBC News Summary 2023-03-14 (Tue)

The following copy was transcribed by me from BBC News Summary. Copyright belongs to the BBC. Welcome to visit my personal blog: Welcome to follow my personal wechat official account: ratpub

BBC News with Moira Alderson

The leaders of the United States, Britain, and Australia meeting in California have given details of a defense pact that will provide Australia with nuclear power attack submarines. President Biden said the Aukus pact would boost security and stability in the Asia and Pacific region.

The British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has described China as a challenge to the world order. He said the UK needed to take steps to protect its interests, such as blocking Chinese investments in sensitive sectors.

The US Federal Reserve says there will be a thorough and transparent review of the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. It triggered a plunge in share values of some other US banks.

A storm that’s ripped through Malawi has left about 100 people dead and has overwhelmed rescue teams. The government declared a state of emergency following tropical storm Freddy.

Russia says it’s prepared to prolong a deal that allows grain to be shipped from Ukrainian ports for another 60 days. First signed in July, the agreement ended the Russian blockade of Ukrainian ports and helped ease a global food crisis.

Two Italian government ministers have said they believed a big rise in the number of migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean is partly due to Russian mercenaries operating in some African countries.

Donald Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen has testified before a grand jury in New York that’s investigating a payment to a porn star Stormy Daniels shortly before the 2016 presidential election. His appearance comes as prosecutors consider whether to file criminal charges against the former US President.

The legendary American high jumper Dick Fosbury has died at the age of 76. The method he pioneered throwing himself backwards over the bar is almost used by all serious high jumpers. It became known as the “Fosbury flop”.

That’s the latest BBC news.

BBC News Summary 2023-03-13 (Mon)

The following copy was transcribed by me from BBC News Summary. Copyright belongs to the BBC. Welcome to visit my personal blog: Welcome to follow my personal wechat official account: ratpub

BBC News. I’m John Shea.

Saudi Arabia has executed a Jordanian man for drug smuggling in a case that has caused international concern. The family * says the Saudi authorities strung him up by his feet and beat him until he made a confession.

The Italian authorities say around 30 people are missing after a boat carrying migrants capsized off the coast of Libya. The Italian Coast Guard said 17 people had been rescued.

Nicaragua has suspended relations with the Vatican. It comes after Pope Francis compared the government of * to the Nazi under Hitler and the Soviet Communists.

The US Government and regulators are rushing to contain the damage caused by the failure of the Silicon Valley Bank. Reports say the government is considering ways to make sure depositors get their money back.

North Korea says it’s launched 2 strategic cruise missiles. The state news agency described it as a submarine launch. It’s been seen as a show of force by Pyongyang ahead of joint-military exercises by the US and South Korea on Monday.

Fog is hampering search efforts off the Californian coast where at least 8 people died after 2 boats capsized. The incident happened near San Diego.

The United States has denied reports that it has agreed to a prisoner exchange with Iran. The White House said Tehran’s claim that a deal had been reached for the release of its citizens was false.

Saudi Arabia has announced the creation of a new national airline. It’s to be called Riyadh Air and plans to serve more than 100 destinations worldwide by 2030.

And guests have begun arriving for the Oscar ceremony which begins in Hollywood in just over an hour from now. The science fiction film Everything Everywhere All at Once is in a dominant position with 11 nominations.

And that’s the latest BBC world news.

BBC News Summary 2023-03-12 (Sun)

The following copy was transcribed by me from BBC News Summary. Copyright belongs to the BBC. Welcome to visit my personal blog: Welcome to follow my personal wechat official account: ratpub

BBC News with Gareth Barlow

The authorities in the US State of Taxes have advised American citizens against traveling to Mexico during the Spring break for security reasons. The Taxes Department of Public Safety said the drug cartel violence represented a significant threat for any one crossing into Mexico.

More than a quarter of a million Israelis are taking part in the 10th weekly nationwide protest against government plans to radically overhaul the judicial system. The largest demonstration was in Tel Aviv.

A human rights group has accused government forces in Burkina Faso of killing at least 20 civilians in the north of the country. The collective against impurity and stigmatization said that women and children were among those killed.

The former Vice President of the United States, Mike Pence, has issued his most forceful criticism yet of his old boss Donald Trump. He said history would hold Mr. Trump accountable for his role in the attack on the US Capitol 2 years ago.

California has been hit by torrential rain and strong winds as another powerful storm swept in from the Pacific, causing flooding in coastal areas. Thousands of residents are on alert to evacuate their homes. At least 2 people have been killed.

The British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak flies to the United States today for meetings with President Biden and the Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. The talks were expected to focus on the Aukus Defense Pact set up 18 months ago.

The Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has called on Germany to speed up plans to supply ammunition to Kyiv and to begin the training of Ukrainian pilots on Western fighter jets.

And a new study has found that delaying treatment for localized prostate cancer does not increase the chances of death. Professor Freddie Hamdy of Oxford University who led the study said that men diagnosed with prostate cancer should not rush to get treatment.

From London, that’s the latest BBC news.

BBC News Summary 2023-03-11 (Sat)

The following copy was transcribed by me from BBC News Summary. Copyright belongs to the BBC. Welcome to visit my personal blog: Welcome to follow my personal wechat official account: ratpub

BBC News with Moira Alderson

The US Treasury Secretary Jenet Yellen has moved to reassure investors after regulators shut down Silicon Valley Bank, one of the most significant lenders to tech companies in the US. The bank had run into financial difficulties. But Ms. Yellen expressed full confidence in the resilience of the country’s banking system.

The UN Secretary General has welcomed a deal between Saudi Arabia and Iran to reestablish diplomatic ties. China’s top diplomats said the Beijing brokered deal offered major good news at such a time of global turbulence.

Forests in the Brazilian Amazon are being destroyed at a record rate. Satellite images compiled by the Brazilian government showed the area of forest destroyed has increased by more than 60% in the year to February.

The United States and the European Union are to begin negotiation aimed at resolving trade frictions over investment in electric batteries. In December, President Biden introduced new green initiatives promoting fears of competition from the EU.

Italy’s navy and coast guards say they are racing to save about 1,300 migrants in danger in the Mediterranean. The coast guards said 3 overcrowded boats were heading towards the southern region of *.

Hundreds of young opposition supporters in the Gambia have marched through the capital Banjul calling for an end to corruption following several scandals.

The US Department of Defense says reports of sexual assaults on both men and women at its military academy last year reached their highest level since record keeping began 16 years ago.

The BBC has decided its highest-paid presenter Gary Lineker won’t be fronting the corporation’s flagship football program after he criticized the British government’s migration policy. The football pundit has said the Minister’s language resembled that of 1930’s Germany. The BBC said the remark breached its strict impartiality guidelines.

BBC News Summary 2023-03-10 (Fri)

The following copy was transcribed by me from BBC News Summary. Copyright belongs to the BBC. Welcome to visit my personal blog: Welcome to follow my personal wechat official account: ratpub

US President Joe Biden speaks about his proposed Federal budget for the fiscal year 2024 at the Finishing Trades Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on March 9, 2023. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

BBC News with Justine Greene

President Biden has unveiled his budget plans for 2024 including increased spending on infrastructure and social programs, and higher taxes for the rich and for big companies, each rise worth several trillion dollars. The plans may form the backbone of a presidential reelection bid.

President Zelenskyy of Ukraine has described as critical the situation at the Russian controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Shelling on Thursday temporarily cut power to the facility. Mr. Zelenskyy said Russia was willing to jeopardize nuclear facilities anywhere in order to create terror.

Mass protests have continued in Georgia despite the government withdrawing a bill that would have labeled some organizations foreign agents. Tens of thousands of people in the center of the capital chanting in favor of a European future.

At least 6 people have been killed in a shooting incident in the northern German city of Hamburg. Several others were injured. Police said a large scale of operation was underway in the * area. The attackers are said to be at large.

North Korea has said its military has conducted an artillery drill in what it called its western front. State media said shells had been aimed at simulated enemy airport targets. It said the drills proved its military’s capability to counter what it called an actual war scenario.

Israel police said there has been a suspected terrorist attack in Tel Aviv. Two people were wounded before the police, as they put it, neutralized the gunman.

Mexico’s President has dismissed as offensive a suggestion from two US Republican Senators that US troops might help tackle Mexico’s drug cartels. He was speaking after 2 Americans were killed in northeastern Mexico.

The last surviving member of an anti-Nazi resistant movement, the White Rose, has died in the United States. Traute Lafrenz was 103. The White Rose distributed pamphlets in Munich in 1942 urging people to rise up against the dictatorship.

BBC news.