Treasure Hunt 寻宝

Jana: So, Peter, you mentioned treasure diving. How did you find out about this?

嘉娜:彼得,你之前提到过寻宝潜水。你是怎么知道这个的?
Peter: Oh, well, I had this friend and he actually used to work for the government but he was diving just for pleasure at that time but then he met, I think while on a diving excursion, he met another guy who was into treasure diving and he, they formed a company and they’ve actually become, I guess, professional treasure divers and it’s, I think I mentioned about the sunken treasure around the tip of Africa because of the ancient sea route but I think my friends have now moved off to other parts of the world that are also known for sunken treasure spots. I think one of the areas are close to Florida in the United States because there used to be an ancient shipping route between Europe and the United States and, yeah, they go diving for treasure around that area.
彼得:哦,我有个朋友以前在政府部门工作,当时他潜水只是为了休闲,之后他在潜水之旅中认识了一个人,那个人喜欢潜水寻宝,所以他们成立了一家公司,成为了职业寻宝潜水员,我记得我之前提到过由于古代航线的设计问题而沉没在非洲之角的宝藏,不过我想我朋友现在已经去世界其他著名的沉没宝藏地寻宝了。其中一个宝藏地在美国佛罗里达州附近,那里以前是欧洲和美国之间的航线,他们去那个地区寻找宝藏了。
Jana: There must be a lot of mysteries under the sea?
嘉娜:海底一定很神秘吧?
Peter: I think so too and I think it involves a lot of dispute possibly because it’s, it can become a political issue I guess in some ways if the treasure is found and who does it belong to and the countries that originally sent the money or the gold or the treasure or the whatever and the country that it’s found in now and also by the guys that find it. Is it finders keepers or is it a matter of dividing up the discovery and of course I think there’s a lot of historical value involved with the find as well. So, yeah, I think it’s an interesting, fascinating kind of adventure story.
彼得:我也是这么认为的,我认为这种活动可能还会引发争议,因为从某种方面来说这可能成为政治问题,如果发现了宝藏,那宝藏该归谁所有,是属于原本运送这笔钱财、金子或宝藏的国家,还是属于宝藏的发现地,或是属于发现宝藏的那个人。是谁找到就归谁,还是要对这笔宝藏进行分配,当然我认为这些发现包含很多历史价值。我认为这是一个有趣又迷人的冒险故事。
Jana: It would be quite an adventurous hobby to have.
嘉娜:这也是一个充满冒险精神的爱好。
Peter: I think so too. Yeah, I kind of envy his lifestyle. He seems to go from one grand yacht in one very nice area of part of the world and goes to the next treasure area and yeah that’s what he does for a living.
彼得:我也是这么认为的。我有点儿羡慕他这种生活方式。看起来他会从世界上其中一个宝地的游艇去往另一个宝藏地,他就是这样谋生的。

Shipwrecks 沉船

Jana: So, Peter, I’ve been asking you about hunting for treasure. Can I ask you a few more questions?

嘉娜:彼得,我之前问过你寻找宝藏的事情。我能再问几个问题吗?
Peter: Sure.
彼得:可以。
Jana: So why are there so many sunken ships in South Africa?
嘉娜:为什么南非有那么多沉船呢?
Peter: Well I guess around the southern tip of Africa because of the really bad weather. It really changes really quickly in those parts and with the ancient ships I guess they weren’t really prepared for that kind of weather, it’s unexpected, so I think that’s probably one reason. And I think one of the other reasons is probably piracy, people that were after them, the loot I guess if you want to put it that way, yeah.
彼得:我想是因为非洲南端那边天气非常恶劣。那个地区的天气变化非常快,而且古代船只并没有为应对这种天气做准备,这是当时始料未及的,我认为这可能是其中一个原因。另外一个原因可能是海盗猖獗,海盗会抢劫那些船只,我想可以这样说。
Jana: Right, and if it’s so dangerous, how do people find these sunken ships nowadays?
嘉娜:好,那既然这么危险,现在人们为什么还要寻找这些沉船呢?
Peter: I think, obviously with technological advances it’s easier to track where the, possibly where these sunken ships might be. I think they can use satellite navigation and things like that but obviously also finding out more about history and, you know, going through historical records and finding out the old shipping routes and possibly where ships got lost and finding it that way, I think, is now, is more easier than it used to be.
彼得:显然由于技术进步,现在更容易追踪这些沉船的位置。我认为可以使用卫星导航之类的设备,而且还可以找到更多的历史,通过历史记录找到古老的航线,查到船只的失踪位置,继而找到那些船只,我想现在比以前更容易做到。
Jana: So it sounds like an interesting combination of technology, science, history…
嘉娜:听起来很有意思,是技术、科学和历史的结合……
Peter: I would guess so.
彼得:我想也是。
Jana: Adventure.
嘉娜:还有冒险。
Peter: Adventure, yeah.
彼得:对,冒险。
Jana: So your friend does this as a hobby. Do you know if it’s very expensive? Is it a big investment to…?
嘉娜:你朋友是因为爱好而去寻宝。你知道那花费高吗?需要大投入吗?
Peter: As far as I remember what he told me and I think it’s really expensive and they formed a little company to start off with but because it involves so much searching and basically doing historical research, also doing a lot of preparation and technological preparation and finding, first tracking, sorry first finding places where possible finds may be and then actually preparing equipment and some of it’s really deep sea diving so it involves, I think, a lot of initial capital investment to get it going. Obviously there might be a lot of return when they actually find something but I think in many cases they don’t find as much as they expected so there’s a potential for losing a lot of money so you’d have to have quite a bit of capital investment behind you if you start out.
彼得:我记得他告诉过我花费非常高,他们成立了一家小公司,因为寻宝需要做很多搜寻工作,要进行历史研究,还要做很多准备工作,进行技术准备,首先要追踪……抱歉,首先要找到船只可能沉没的地方,然后准备设备,有时需要进行深海潜水,所以需要投入很多初始资本。当然在他们发现宝藏以后,他们会很多丰厚的回报,不过我认为在很多情况下,他们找到的不如他们预期的那样多,所以可能他们还会损失很多钱,如果你要开始这种工作,那需要很多资金投入。
Jana: Right. So you need a lot of courage and a lot of money?
嘉娜:好。就是说需要很多勇气和资金?
Peter: Yes. But I think he’s an adventurer so he, I think he goes where adventure leads him so it would be a nice job to do I think.
彼得:对。不过我认为他是一名冒险家,是冒险引领他去各个地方,所以我认为这是份不错的工作。

Soccer Moms 足球妈妈

Todd: So, Julia, now you are a parent.

托德:朱莉娅,你现在已经当妈妈了。
Julia: That’s right.
朱莉娅:没错。
Todd: And have you heard of all these terms that we have in the US for different types of parents? I wonder if you have them in the UK?
托德:你听说过美国对家长的分类吗?我想知道英国是不是也有这种分类?
Julia: You mean like soccer mum, stuff like that?
朱莉娅:你是指“足球妈妈”这种吗?
Todd: Exactly.
托德:没错。
Julia: That’s the only one I’ve heard of actually.
朱莉娅:其实我只听说过这个。
Todd: OK. So what do you think a soccer mom is? What have you heard?
托德:好。你认为什么是“足球妈妈”?你听说过什么?
Julia: My image is a mother who dedicates her time to running her kids to and from soccer practice. Is that right?
朱莉娅:我的理解是将时间都用在接送孩子参加足球训练上的那种母亲。对吗?
Todd: Right.
托德:对。
Julia: And also drives a big vehicle? My image is of a big SUV or a big four wheel drive.
朱莉娅:通常她们会开比较大的车?我想是SUV那种或是大的四驱车。
Todd: Right. I think it’s also, it’s like a parent that has many scheduled events for their child.
托德:对。我认为就是那种为孩子安排很多活动的家长。
Julia: Oh, OK.
朱莉娅:哦,好。
Todd: So maybe they have swimming class or soccer practice, ballet and stuff like that.
托德:可能孩子要上游泳课、足球课、芭蕾课之类的。
Julia: Oh, maybe I’m a little bit of a soccer mum.
朱莉娅:哦,也许我算是“足球妈妈”。
Todd: Yeah, I think now, yeah. I think it’s actually a good term. It’s like, I think a soccer mom usually is considered a caring parent.
托德:嗯,对。我认为这是一个褒义词。我认为“足球妈妈”是那种关怀备至的家长。
Julia: OK.
朱莉娅:好。
Todd: And they try to have their child doing productive things.
托德:他们尽力让孩子去做富有成效的事。
Julia: It must be pretty, quite an affluent perhaps middle class kind of parent.
朱莉娅:那一定是非常富有或是中产阶级家长。
Todd: Yeah, exactly, exactly. Now we have the equivalent, it’s called a Nascar dad.
托德:对,没错。现在还有一个相同意思的词,“纳斯卡爸爸”。
Julia: Is Nascar some kind of car racing?
朱莉娅:纳斯卡是赛车比赛的名字吗?
Todd: Yeah, basically it’s just the, these cars they run around and ride around in a circle. It’s kind of like horse racing for cars, you just go round and round. But, yeah, so I guess it’s the same thing. It’s just a dad who’s really, you know, really into his kids, spends a lot of time with his kids.
托德:对,比赛时车辆要一圈一圈地绕赛道。就好像是赛马比赛一样,在赛道上一圈一圈地跑。不过我想意思是一样的。就是指非常关心孩子、花很多时间和孩子在一起的那种爸爸。
Julia: Would this be a stay at home dad, like a…?
朱莉娅:那是全职爸爸吗?
Todd: No, no. It’s just kind of like a good old boy father, like a dad who’s kind of blue collar, not rich, you know, maybe lower middle class maybe but just kind of like your typical sitcom, TV sitcom dad I guess.
托德:不是。有点儿像是优秀爸爸,他们可能是蓝领工人,不是很有钱,也可能是中低阶层,或是情景喜剧里那种爸爸。
Julia: But that’s nice. Takes his kids everywhere, that’s nice.
朱莉娅:这很好。他们会带孩子去各个地方,这很好。
Todd: Yeah, yeah.
托德:对,没错。
Julia: Involved in the…
朱莉娅:参与其中……
Todd: Yeah, like a Nascar dad would probably take his sons hunting and maybe take his daughter shopping and stuff like that.
托德:“纳斯达爸爸”可能会带儿子去打猎,或是带女儿去购物。

特朗普不满希拉里阵营支持重新点票

Donald Trump and his transition team have accused Democrats of being “sore losers” after Hillary Clinton’s campaign backed an election recount effort based on suspicions that foreign hackers manipulated this month’s result in key states.

唐纳德.特朗普(Donald Trump)和他的过渡团队指责民主党人是“输不起的人”,此前希拉里.克林顿(Hillary Clinton)的竞选阵营支持一项重新点票的努力,理由是有人怀疑境外黑客在本月美国大选期间操纵了几个关键州的结果。

Reacting to a weekend decision by the Clinton campaign to participate in a recount in Wisconsin, one of three swing states targeted for new counts by the Green Party’s Jill Stein, the US president-elect took to Twitter on Sunday to attack his former rival.

希拉里团队在刚刚过去的周末决定参加威斯康星州的重新点票,该州是绿党(Green Party)候选人吉尔.斯坦(Jill Stein)寻求重新点票的三个摇摆州之一。对此,美国当选总统在Twitter上攻击他的选举对手。

“So much time and money will be spent — same result! Sad,” Mr Trump said.

“要花那么多时间和金钱——而结果不可能改变!悲哀。”特朗普表示。

His campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, went further in appearances on Sunday talk shows, accusing Democrats of undermining the peaceful transition of power.

他的竞选经理凯莉安妮.康韦(Kellyanne Conway)在参加周日谈话节目期间说得更不客气,她指责民主党人破坏权力的和平交接。

“Their president, Barack Obama, is going to be in office for eight more weeks. And they have to decide whether they’re going to interfere with him finishing his business, interfere with this peaceful transition … or if they’re going to be a bunch of crybabies and sore losers about an election that they can’t turn around,” she told ABC’s This Week.

“他们的总统,巴拉克.奥巴马(Barack Obama),在职位上还有八个星期。他们必须拿定主意,要不要干预他履行自己的使命,干预这个和平的过渡进程……或者他们想做一群哭哭啼啼的人,输不起的人,对于一场他们不能扭转的选举耿耿于怀,”她在美国广播公司(ABC)的《本周》(This Week)节目上表示。

The Trump offensive came as the president-elect faced fresh questions about how his property empire’s international ties may influence his conduct of foreign policy and more scrutiny of the messy nature of his transition and the divide within his party over key appointments.

特朗普发起攻势之际,这名当选总统面临新的质疑,症结是他的房地产帝国的海外联系可能影响他的外交政策行为。同时他的过渡工作的混乱,以及共和党内部对于关键任命的分歧,都受到更多密切关注。

日本社会的不平等 一份稳定的工作有多重要?

Finance and economics: Inequality in Japan The secure v the poor

财经:日本社会的不平等,稳定工作者与穷人
The problem is not the super-rich.
问题不在于巨富之人。
IN THOMAS PIKETTY’S bestseller, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century”, Japan appears as another rich country in which wealth is becoming ever more concentrated.
在托马斯·皮克提的畅销书《21世纪资本论》中,日本作为一个财富正在变得越来越集中的富有国家出现。
It is certainly another rich country in which the book is selling well.
当然,它也是又一个畅销此书的富有国家。
日本社会的不平等.jpg

Mr Piketty visited Tokyo this month, to a rapturous reception.

本月,皮克提先生应盛情邀请访问了东京。
Yet Japan may be the place where his thesis holds up least well.
然而日本还是一个对他在本书中的思想最不追捧的国家。
The bursting of Japan’s asset bubble in 1991 is one reason why the rich have amassed less than in America or many European countries.
1991年,日本地产泡沫就破灭了。这是日本富人源何比美国或一些欧洲国家的富人聚集财富较少的原因之一。
The share of wealth held by the richest tenth of Japanese is lower than in famously egalitarian spots such as Norway and Sweden.
占日本人口十分之一的富人所握有的财富比挪威和瑞典的富人们要少,后两者是以平等主义闻名与世。
In fact, it is the second-lowest of the 46 economies surveyed by Credit Suisse Research Institute, above only Belgium.
事实上,根据瑞士信用研究所对46个经济体在这方面的调查,日本位列倒数第二,仅高于比利时。
The share of income going to the wealthiest has been fairly stable too.
国民收入中流向富人的比例也已相当稳定了。
Levels of executive pay are far less egregious than in America.
只对富人们征收的费用又远低于美国。
According to an analysis prepared for the Wall Street Journal by Mr Piketty’s collaborators, the share of national income taken by the top 1% in Japan, excluding capital gains, fell from a high of 9.5% in 2008 to 9% in 2012.
根据出自皮克提合作者的一份“华尔街新闻”的分析报告,不包括资本收益,占日本人口1%的上层人士所占有的国民收入比例已经从2008年的9.5%下降到了2012年的9%。
Other types of inequality, however, are on the rise.
然而其他类型的不平等也在增加。
The most important is not between the mega-rich and the rest, as “Capital” would have it, but between a privileged cadre of workers on permanent contracts and those with more precarious jobs, who account for a rising share of the workforce.
最重要的是这些上升的不平等不是存在于巨富与其他人之间,而是存在于签订了终生劳动合同、享有特权的骨干工人与比例越来越大的那些工作更不稳定的劳动力之间。
The average annual salary for permanent employees is around ¥5m ($41,500) , compared with ¥2m for less secure workers.
长期工作者的平均年薪是约500万日元(41500美元),而工作不稳定者仅为200万日元。
Many argue that what Japan really needs is a lot more inequality, but of a different kind.
一些人认为日本的不平等现象有所增加,但类型不同。
Its employment system still tends to reward seniority and status rather than performance, in what Japanese call aku byodo or “bad egalitarianism”.
它的雇佣体系仍趋向于让高级别和地位的雇员获得更多,而非根据受雇者的工作表现,这就是日本人所谓的“糟糕的平均主义”。
If people were paid for what they accomplish, argues Robert Feldman of Morgan Stanley, the economy would grow faster.
如果实行按劳取酬,那么日本的经济将会获得更快的发展,摩根斯坦利公司的罗伯特·菲德曼如是说。
And Japan’s chronically low levels of business creation mean that there is worryingly little wealth inequality of the sort created by entrepreneurs who become billionaires by dreaming up exciting new products and services.
对于那些力求以创造出令人兴奋的新产品和服务而跻身百万富翁行列的创业者们来说,日本长期低水平的商业创造意味着这方面的财富差距不够大,令人担心。
None of that has stopped “Capital” selling over 130,000 copies so far in Japan.
以上这些都不能阻挡《21世纪资本论》这本书在日本迄今为止的销量已超过了13万本。
Idiots’ guides to the 700-page tome have also done well.
Idiots’ guides公司对这部700页的大部头所作的也非常棒。
Mr Piketty’s timing is ideal, for he has tapped into growing doubts about Abenomics, the economic-revival plan of Shinzo Abe, the prime minister.
皮克提先生的时间把握得很完美,因为他已将人们对于日本现任首相安倍的经济复兴计划,即安倍经济学不断上升的疑虑写进了书中。
By inflating asset prices, Mr Abe’s schemes could increase the gap between haves and have nots, Mr Piketty warned during his visit.
皮克提先生在本月的访问期间警告说,通过提高地产价格,安倍计划可能会拉大既得与未得之间的差距。
Ironically, however, Mr Abe’s main economic concern at the moment is bullying big companies into lifting workers’ pay.
然后讽刺的是,安倍在现阶段对于经济的主要关注是迫使大公司提升工人的工资。

美国堕胎率达几十年来最低水平

According to new data, the number and rate of abortions have fallen to their lowest level in decades.

根据新的数据,美国堕胎的数量和比例已经下降到几十年来的最低水平。

The latest annual report was released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

最新的年度报告是由美国疾病控制和预防中心发布的。

It said the rate for 2013 was 12.5 abortions per one thousand women, ages 15 to 44.That is down five percent from 2012.

报告指出,2013年的比率是每一千名15到44岁女性有12.5个堕胎,比2012年下降了百分之5。

The last time the CDC recorded a lower abortion rate was in 1971, two years before the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.

上一次美国疾病控制和预防中心记录的较低堕胎率是在1971年,在美国最高法院罗伊诉韦德案的前两年。

wochitnov21.jpg

That ruling established a nationwide right for women to have abortions.

该裁决规定女性具有堕胎权。

The CDC report suggests several factors that are behind the abortion decline.

美国疾病预防控制中心的报告显示,堕胎下降的背后有几个因素。

They include a sharp drop in adolescent pregnancies, expanded coverage of contraception costs by health care plans, and more use of effective, long-lasting contraceptive methods.

它们包括急剧下降的青少年怀孕,保健计划下避孕费用的覆盖,以及更多使用有效的、持久的避孕方法。

How do we effectively teach this language?

How do we effectively teach this language?

For Beginners:
In beginner’s level, our teacher will give a brief introduction about the Arabic language in a way that sounds interesting, informative and something fun that the student will be looking forward to learn.

Next we will start the drawing of the Arabic Alphabet( 28 letters ) so in a matter of 5-6 classes the very beginner student can recognise the Arabic letters on his own if he spots a sign on the street or a headline newsfeed and can even make the effort to read on his own or at least practice handwriting a word he saw somewhere.

We will practice with beginners how to perfectly read a word in Arabic after they are done with the Arabic alphabets.

For intermediate and advanced levels:

In intermediate level, we focus on using the language more in a practical way so we teach formal and informal greetings, most common phrases to use in public( airport, hotel, street etc..) plus the ability to effectively listen to a conversation and recognise what it is all about(we use YouTube, Aljazerah Arabic and BBC Arabic Radio ).

In the advanced level the focus will be with students on handwriting or keyboard writing, reading more confidently plus the ability to get engaged in real life conversations.

We also offer corporate courses which is an intensive course for business people in HK who have business links in Dubai and Middle East and want to enhance only the speaking ability in order to integrate in the business culture in the Middle East, for that purpose we can only focus on speaking skills and conversations so the learner can confidently use the most common phrases in that regard. That can be done (one on one ) so the quality of the content can be maximised and delivered efficiently.

希腊退出欧元区 究竟是谁抛弃了谁?

The government gets its latest austerity measures through, but only just
希腊新一轮紧缩政策终以微弱优势通过
Greece’s fragile coalition government only narrowly averted disaster on November 7th when it won parliamentary approval for a drastic new austerity package. The package scraped through with 153 votes to 128 in the 300-member house.
11月7日,希腊风雨飘零的联合政府终于在国会通过了新一轮大规模财政紧缩的一揽子计划,但全过程命悬一线。在300人组成的国会中,该计划仅以153票对128票的微弱优势勉强得到通过。
Antonis Samaras, the prime minister, made the best of it, saying that “Greece has turned a page.” Meanwhile furious anti-austerity protesters outside parliament hurled stones and Molotov cocktails at police in what has become a grim ritual.
希腊总理安东尼斯·萨马拉斯(Antonis Samaras)对此大加吹捧,表示此刻“希腊翻开了崭新的一页”。而与此同时,紧缩政策的反对者们十分愤怒,他们在国会外向警察投掷石块和燃烧弹,这一严峻的事实已令人习以为常。
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The debate over the latest austerity measures, the toughest yet, had turned angry even before lawmakers studied the 500-page “poly-law” before them. Presenting the four-year programme to parliament’s economics committee, Yannis Stournaras, the finance minister, fended off attacks from Syriza, the leftist opposition party, pointing out that if it were voted down Greece would lose a desperately needed 31.5 billion euro($40 billion) slice of its bail-out funding, would default on its next debt repayment and would surely then make a disorderly exit from the euro.

本次财政紧缩是目前规模最大的一次,甚至在立法机关亲自研究了这500页的“多方法案”之前,关于该政策的论辩已被激化。向国会经济委员会递呈这项四年计划的是希腊财长亚尼斯·斯图纳拉斯(Yannis Stournaras)。面对左翼反对党派“希腊极左翼联盟”(Syriza)的抨击,他回应称,若该计划未得到通过,那么,希腊将失去其急需的一笔315亿欧元(约400亿美元)救助金,进而无法在下一规定时间完成债务偿还,最终必然退出欧元区,引发经济混乱。
Mr Stournaras had gradually given ground over four months of negotiations with the “troika” of the European Union, the European Central Bank and the IMF on the package to be implemented in 2013 and 2014. Greek proposals for cuts in government operating costs were rejected as unrealistic. So they were replaced by “permanent” spending reductions, code for slashing salaries and pensions.
斯图纳拉斯财长与“三驾马车”(troika,即欧盟、欧洲央行和国际货币基金组织)就本次预计于2013年至2014年实行的紧缩计划进行过谈判。在这场长达4个多月的谈判中,斯图纳拉斯不断陷入被动。希腊政府曾提议削减政府运营资本,但“三驾马车”认为该计划不够现实而予以否决。因此,最终希腊政府接受了“永久性”减少政府开支,这表示公务员的收入和年金将遭到大幅削减。
Many elderly Greeks’ worst fears were realised when the law was unveiled. The biggest chunk of savings next year, about 4.6 billion euro, comes from reducing pensions, starting with a 5% cut for those on a modest 1,000 euro a month. “It feels as if the troika has selected the old for special punishment,” commented Constantina Athanassakis, a 70-year-old retired hairdresser.
这一法案出炉的同时,众多希腊老人的噩梦成真了。政府明年预计达到的财政储蓄额度中,约46亿欧元的大头将通过降低养老金来获得。而首当其冲的则是对每月1000欧元的低额年金削减5%。“看来三驾马车选择让老人来接受这特殊的惩罚。”年高70的退休理发师Constantina Athanassakis表示。
Salaries of better-paid public-sector workers such as central-bank employees, university teachers, judges and hospital doctors, will also be cut. Salaries at public-sector corporations are being reduced by 35% and capped at 5,000 euro a month, which means take-home pay of just 2,900 euro for bosses and fewer perks. Some cuts will be backdated. Next year’s budget assumes the economy will shrink by another 4.5%, but local economists predict that a collapse in spending by cash-strapped consumers could lead to an even bigger fall.
而如央行职员、大学教师、法院法官和医院医生这些公共部门的高薪岗位,同样面临减薪。国有企业员工的降薪幅度达35%,月薪将不得高于5000欧元。换言之,领导们的税后月薪将仅为2900欧元,津贴也将大幅缩减。其中,部分减薪还将提前施行。据财政部估计,明年希腊经济规模将再次缩减4.5%。但希腊国内经济学家则预计,本已囊中羞涩的消费者,加上本次开支削减,将使希腊经济面临进一步衰退。
Antonis Samaras, the centre-right prime minister, promises this will be the “last and final” round of cuts. But Greece’s creditors are not so sure, given the poor record of all Greek governments on reform. The economy is not expected to start growing again before 2015. Few observers expect the government to keep to its new timetable of cutting 110,000 civil-service jobs by 2016. The privatisation programme has been disappointing. With Greece looking politically unstable and facing two more years of recession, it will be hard to attract foreign investors.
对此,身处中间偏右派立场的萨马拉斯总理承诺本轮紧缩将是“最后最后一次”。但鉴于希腊政府在改革上鲜有佳绩,其债权国则并不表示乐观。据预计,希腊经济将至2015年才有望再次回升。希腊政府最新出台了2016年前削减11万公务员岗位的安排,但并不为观察家们所看好。另外,其私有化计划也收效甚微。像希腊这样政局动荡,外加后两年经济不振的国家,实非海外投资者的佳选。
It does not help that Mr Samaras’s three-party coalition is increasingly fragile. His centre-right New Democracy party is expected to stay loyal at the next parliamentary test, approving the 2013 budget this weekend. Fotis Kouvelis, leader of the small Democratic Left, has also pledged to back the government. But his decision to abstain from the vote on November 7th has undermined his credibility with Mr Samaras. Mr Kouvelis could soon face a leadership challenge.
即使财政紧缩计划得到了通过,也无力挽回萨马拉斯总理领导下三党联合政府(由希腊“新民主党”、“泛希腊社会主义运动”与“左翼民主党”于今年6月协商联合成立的政府,译者注)走向衰弱的事实。萨马拉斯总理所在的中右翼“新民主党”(New Democracy)将支持下一轮国会的考验,即本周末通过2013年财政预算。联合政府中的小党“左翼民主党”(Democratic Left)党首佛提斯·科维利斯(Fotis Kouvelis)同样宣誓忠于政府决定。但11月7日法案投票当天,科维利斯宣布弃权。这一行为有损于他与萨马拉斯总理间的信任。因此,科维利斯此后不久可能乌纱不保。
Many observers also believe that Evangelos Venizelos, leader of the PanHellenic Socialist Movement (Pasok), may be unseated. Mr Venizelos’s reluctance when serving as finance minister to investigate the so-called Lagarde list of 2,000 Greeks with bank accounts in Geneva has annoyed many in his party. Several former ministers think they could do a better job of rebuilding Pasok’s popularity, which is at an all-time low of around 6%, according to the polls. Yet if Pasok fragments, the government risks losing its majority—and the prospect of a Grexit will loom yet again.
据众多观察家表示,同样面临失势的还有“泛希腊社会主义运动”(Pasok,简称“泛希社运”)领导人伊万格勒斯·维尼则罗斯(Evangelos Venizelos)。这位前财长在任期间曾拒绝调查所谓的“拉加德名单”,该名单中记录着2000名拥有日内瓦银行账户的希腊人信息(即2000名有逃税嫌疑的希腊人,译者注)。此行为引来其党内众多人士的不满。据民调显示,泛希社运的支持率跌至历史最低的6%。对此,众多前任要员都认为,在重振该党支持率上,自己一定比维尼则罗斯要干得出色。但若泛希社运一旦分裂,联合政府可能失去国会的多数席位。随之而来的,将是“希腊脱欧”危机的再一次降临。

权利的游戏 西班牙面临分裂亟待改革

Leaders Centrifugal Spain

先驱 沙盘上的西班牙
Umbrage in Catalonia
阴云笼罩卡泰罗尼亚
Even though the spectre of secession is an unwelcome distraction, Spain still needs to change
分裂的阴影分散了西班牙的注意力,尽管不受欢迎,但这个国家依旧需要变革
George Orwell, a British writer, fought in the trenches in the Spanish civil war to defend Catalonia from General Franco. He would surely be saddened by what is going on in that beautiful, cultured corner of Spain. On November 25th Catalans will vote in a regional election called as an unofficial referendum on independence. Since Catalonia represents a big chunk of the euro zone’s fourth-largest economy, and since Spain is in the front-line of efforts to save the euro, the vote and its aftermath will be felt farther afield.
英国作家乔治·奥威尔曾经参加过西班牙内战,保卫过卡泰罗尼亚,抵御了佛朗哥将军的部队。如果他还在世,定会为在这个美丽文明的西班牙东北角上演的悲剧而痛心。11月25日卡泰罗尼亚人将进行地区性选举,也作非正式独立公投。由于卡泰罗尼亚是欧元区第四大经济体西班牙的重要一部分,且西班牙又处在拯救欧元行动的前线,无疑这次投票及其结果都将产生及其深远的影响。
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What could be wrong with 7.5m people with their own language and culture choosing to become a nation-state? At first blush, it is hard to object to what Catalan nationalists call the “right to decide”. In fact, there are many reasons why Catalans should not waste their energy trying to break away from Spain. Start by recalling Orwell’s definition of nationalism as “power-hunger tempered by self-deception”。

卡泰罗尼亚拥有750万人口和属于自己的语言,选择独立何错之有?乍一看,似乎很难反驳卡泰罗尼亚民族主义者所谓的“自主决定权”。事实上,有很多理由解释了为什么卡泰罗尼亚不应该在争取独立这件事上耗费精力。首先回顾一下奥威尔对于名族主义的定义:“一种因自欺而产生的权利饥渴”。
Under Spain’s constitution of 1978, Catalonia enjoys more self-government than almost any other corner of Europe. It runs its own schools, hospitals, police, prisons and cultural institutions. It lacks only tax-raising powers and the Ruritanian trappings of statehood, which nationalist politicians appear to be hungry for. As for the self-deception, this is sometimes farcical: Catalan public television offers a weather forecast that includes provinces that have been part of France since 1659, but no meteorological information for Zaragoza or Madrid. And most Catalans still seem happy to be both Catalans and Spaniards. Support for independence has risen mainly because Catalans think it would offer relief from recession.
依照西班牙1978年的宪法,卡泰罗尼亚享有比欧洲其他地区更多的自治权,拥有自己的学校、医院、警察、监狱和文化机构,但唯独没有征税的权利和理想王国的标志,即被承认的国家地位。而后两者正是名族主义者所觊觎的。谈到自欺,有时很可笑:卡泰罗尼亚公共电视的天气预报会播放早在1695年就隶属法国的一些行省的天气预报,却不播报萨拉戈萨或马德里的气象信息。而且卡泰罗尼亚人似乎很满意自己既属于卡泰罗尼亚又属于西班牙。他们支持独立主要是因为他们觉得这样能减轻经济衰退带来的痛苦。
It would not. An independent Catalonia would have more fiscal revenues, but it would also have a higher debt burden than Spain. The argument that Catalans should not subsidise feckless Andalusians is a dangerous one: apply that more widely and the euro zone would fall apart. Indeed, far from welcoming Catalonia as an independent member, the euro zone’s leaders hardly yearn for an extra nation-state.
然而事实并非真如他们所想。如果独立,泰罗尼亚人民将上缴更多的税,而且承受的债务压力要比没有独立时还大。有人认为安达鲁西亚人软弱无用,卡泰罗尼亚不应对其进行补助,但这一论调很危险:若广泛采纳,每个国家都这么想,欧元区将分崩离析。诚然,欧元区领导人一点也不支持卡泰罗尼亚独立,不希望多出一个国家来。
Spilling the Spanish beans
道破天机
All that said, the Catalan problem cannot be wished away. Roughly three-quarters of the next Catalan parliament is likely to vote for the right to decide. The constitution says only the Spanish parliament can approve a referendum—and it will not do so. The constitution has in general served both Spain and Catalonia well—but there is a case for updating it.
说归说,但卡泰罗尼亚问题不是想结束就能结束的。下届卡泰罗尼亚议会成员中大约四分之三将投票支持“自主决定权”。虽说宪法规定只有西班牙议会才能批准公投,但宪法可以修改——宪法不会否决卡泰罗尼亚进行公投的权利,总体来说宪法对于西班牙和卡泰罗尼亚同样适用。
The Catalans’ complaints come down to two things. First they feel that Mariano Rajoy’s conservative government in Madrid refuses to recognise that Spain is a plurinational and pluri-linguistic country. Second, they think that, set beside the other 16 regions, they pay too much.
卡泰罗尼亚的不满主要归结于两件事上。第一,他们觉得马里亚诺·拉霍伊政府不承认西班牙是多民族国家,拥有多种语言。第二,他们认为与其他16个地区相比,自己上缴的税太多了。
The neatest answer to these grievances would be for Spain formally to embrace federalism, with a federal senate and clear rules about who collects which taxes. Federalism would mean each region was equal, with the same rights and obligations. But it has been a dirty word in Spain since a failed federal government in 1873-74. A messier, but more feasible, alternative would be to accept that some regions—Catalonia, the Basque country and perhaps Galicia—should have more autonomy than the rest and be recognised as cultural nations within Spain. Doing this would require a national pact to revise the constitution. After the Catalan vote, Mr Rajoy would be wise to set that process in motion.
针对这些不满,西班牙最直接的解决方案就是正式建立联邦制,设立参议院,并明确征税体制。而联邦的建立将意味着地区平等,享有同等权利,履行同等义务。事实上早在1873-74就已尝试过建立联邦,却以失败而告终,从那以后西班牙一直把联邦制当做污浊腐败的代名词。因此选择一个相对较次但更可行的办法将更容易为人接受——允许卡泰罗尼亚、巴斯克和加利西亚等一些地区享有更多自治权,并承认其各自的文化。若采取这一措施,西班牙需要制定一个宪法修改协定,而且拉霍伊最好在卡泰罗尼亚非正式公投后就行动起来。

中澳关系紧张?澳大利亚担心外资会蚕食国家独立性

Asia: Australia and China: You can’t buy trust

亚洲:澳大利亚和中国:买不了信任
A politician’s blunder exposes inconsistencies in Australia’s attitudes.
澳大利亚一位政客的失误暴露了他们态度上的不一致。
Seldom have Australia’s complex relations with China been more starkly exposed than in the agonies of Sam Dastyari, a prominent opposition MP.
澳大利亚和中国复杂的关系很少像著名反对党下院议员山姆·达斯提亚里之痛一般展露无疑。
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Three months ago Mr Dastyari gave a press conference with Huang Xiangmo, the head of YuhuGroup, a subsidiary of a property company linked to China’s government.

三个月前,达斯提亚里先生同玉湖集团(澳大利亚)有限公司(玉湖集团(澳大利亚)有限公司是一家与中国政府有关的房地产公司)董事长黄向墨举办了一场新闻发布会。
Contradicting both the government’s line and the policy of his own party (Labor) , Mr Dastyari called on Australia to “respect” China’s ill-founded territorial claims in the South China Sea, according to reports in the Chinese press.
据中国媒体报道,与政府和他所在党派(工党)政策不同,达斯提亚里先生呼吁澳大利亚尊重中国在南海无根据的领土主权。
Mr Dastyari, it recently emerged, has accepted donations from Yuhu and from the Top Education Institute, a local firm run by a Chinese-Australian with close ties to the governments of both countries.
最近,达斯提亚里先生接受了来自玉湖公司和澳大利亚精英高等教育学院的捐款,该学院由一名华裔澳洲人经营,和中澳两国政府有着密切的联系。
Mr Dastyari used the money to pay for travel and legal advice.
达斯提亚里先生将这笔钱用于旅行和法律咨询。
Yuhu also gave Mr Dastyari two bottles of Penfolds Grange, Australia’s most expensive wine, worth around A$800 ($600) a bottle.
玉湖也赠送给了山姆两瓶澳大利亚最贵的酒–奔富葛兰许,每瓶价值约为800澳币(或600美元)。
From the G20 summit in China, Malcolm Turnbull, Australia’s prime minister, described Mr Dastyari’s behaviour as “cash for comment”.
参加中国G20峰会的澳大利亚首相马尔科姆·特恩布尔将达斯提亚里先生的行为称作“金钱勾当”。
On September 7th Mr Dastyari resigned from a post within the Labor party, but not as an MP.
9月7日,达斯提亚里先生辞去了在工党内部的职务,但仍然保留下院议员的身份。
Although he admits that accepting the money was “a big mistake”, he denies any link between the donations and his remarks on the South China Sea.
他虽然承认接受捐款是“一个大错”,但是否认了就捐款和他关于中国南海问题的看法有关。
The donations, he points out, had been declared as required and were perfectly legal.
他指出,这笔捐款在接受之前就已经按照要求申报了,是完全合法的。
Australia’s politicians and political parties, it transpires, took A$5.5m in donations from Chinese-linked firms in the two years through June 2015, including A$500,000 from Yuhu.
据知情人士透露,直到2015年6月为止的两年间,澳大利亚的政党和政客们收取了来自中国相关公司的550万澳元的捐款,其中包括来自玉湖集团的50万美元。
Many are now calling for donations from foreigners to be banned.
但是现在许多人正在呼吁取缔接受外国公司的捐赠。
China is Australia’s biggest trading partner, and one of its biggest sources of immigrants.
中国是澳大利亚最大的贸易伙伴,也是其最大的移民来源国。
Chinese demand for Australian resources, as well as ever-increasing numbers of Chinese tourists and students, have helped to under pin Australia’s 25 years of unbroken economic growth.
中国对澳大利亚资源的需求、数目日益增长的游客和留学生,奠定了澳大利亚25年来经济不间断增长的基础。
But many Australians worry that a pursuit of Chinese business is undermining their country’s independence.
但是许多澳大利亚人担心大力追求中国公司在澳的发展正在蚕食澳大利亚的独立性。
Mr Turnbull seems to agree.
首相马尔科姆·特恩布尔似乎也有上述顾虑。
In April his government vetoed a bid by Dakang, a Chinese company, for S.Kidman & Co. , a vast outback empire of cattle ranches that owns 2.5% of Australia’s agricultural land.
澳大利亚政府在四月否决了一项中国公司大康对家族企业S.Kidman & Co。的竞购,S.Kidman & Co。企业是澳大利亚的一家农场帝国,拥有澳大利亚2.5%的农业用地。
Last month it turned down a joint bid by State Grid, a Chinese government-owned company, and Cheung Kong, of Hong Kong, for a 50.4% stake in Ausgrid, an electricity-distribution network in New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state.
上个月澳大利亚驳回了中国国企中国国家电网和香港长江实业联合收购Ausgrid50.4%股份的竞标,Ausgrid是一家位于澳大利亚人口最多的州新南威尔士的配电网络公司。
Scott Morrison, the treasurer (the most senior finance minister) , said both bids were “contrary to the national interest”, without explaining how.
澳大利亚财务部长(最高级别财务部长)斯科特·莫瑞森称上述两项竞标都“与国家利益相背”,却未说明其原因。
Yet British firms own 7% of Australia’s agricultural land, without apparently damaging the national interest.
英国公司占用了澳大利亚7%的农业用地,却似乎并未损坏国家利益。
And State Grid already owns stakes in several electricity distributors in other parts of Australia.
而且国家电网在澳大利亚部分电力公司中早已持有股份。
The rules have not changed since those investments were made but, judging by the uproar about Mr Dastyari, the mood has.
根据对达斯提亚里先生的争议来看,自英国在澳投资以来,规则并未改变,改变的是投资氛围。