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【听力教程】高级英语听力 lesson 23  

2016-05-28 20:36:31|  分类: 【英语】听力 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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 Soviet1 officials have confirmed that a crippled nuclear submarine sank in the Atlantic early today. US officials believe the sub carried at least sixteen nuclear missiles. Explosion and fire on the vessel2 last Friday killed three crewmen. The rest of the crew was successfullyevacuated3 before the vessel sank. Soviet officials say no radiation leaked in the air or the ocean. It's unclear what may have caused the explosion that led to the sinking. 



A news agency in Beirut released a videotape today with pleas from three Frenchmen held for more than a year by the Islamic Jihad. Each hostage called on the French government to change its policy in the Middle East. Melody Walker reports from Paris. "During the twenty-eight-minuterecording4, the three hostages criticized the French government for failing to gain their release, and said they had the impression they were being forgotten. Taking turns reading prepared texts, the two diplomats5 and one journalist looked physically6 exhausted7and emaciated8. Declaring that he was at the end of his rope, one of the hostages said that the government forgot about the remaining hostages after the release of two Frenchmen in June. A total of seven French citizens are currently held hostage in Lebanon. A communiqué from the Islamic Jihad which accompanied the video cassette calls on France to negotiate the release of seventeen Shi'ite prisoners jailed in Kuwait. The French Minister for Foreign Affairs did not comment on the content of the video cassette or the demands, but said tonight that the government was doing everything possible to free the hostages. For National Public Radio, this is Melody Walker in Paris." 


Skies are clearing over Oklahoma where heavy rains have produced what's being called "the worst flooding in the history of that state." Thousands of people began returning to their homes and officials began the task of assessing the damage. Floods have caused millions of dollars in damage, but specific estimates may not come until tomorrow when clean-up operations are expected to start. 


Tonight, a Soviet nuclear submarine is on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, damaged three days ago by a fire on board. Officials in Washington and Moscow confirmed this morning's sinking. Officials in both countries also said the loss of the vessel presents no atomic threat despite the presence of both nuclear missiles and a nuclear power reactor9 on the submarine. NPR's Daivd Malthus has a report: 
Pentagon officials say the crippled Soviet submarine, which normally carries sixteen nuclear missiles, each with two warheads, went down just before dawn six hundred and eighty miles northeast of Bermuda. The Soviets10 put the precise time of sinking at 4:03 am eastern time, and Moscow says there was no further loss of life aside from the three crewmen killed when a fire broke out Friday. 
American surveillance planes observed that towing efforts were halted shortly after midnight. About three hours later, the remaining crew members were observed abandoning ship in an orderly and planned fashion, according to American officials. The crew was rescued from life rafts by five Soviet surface ships in the area. 
Pentagon officials say a US ocean-going tugboat was nearby and ready to assist, but the Soviets refused any help. Pentagon sources do not rule out the possibility that the Soviets scuttled11their sub once it became clear that leaks could not be controlled. 
The Soviets have not explained the cause of the damage to the ship, but Pentagon officials say there was an explosion in one of the missile tubes that blew a big hole in the deck. Vice12Admiral Powell Carter describes the damage this way: 
"You're talking about a structure that's enormously strong up there. It's like, each of those missile tube doors that shuts is just like a safe vault13. And then it shuts and locks with a big rotating ring, and that's been torn completely loose and bent14 like a pretzel back. So the force of the explosion was enormous." 
While Pentagon officials say they don't know what caused the missile tube explosion, they point out that Soviet missiles use highly volatile15 liquid fuel, and a fuel leak could have caused theeruption16. Again, Admiral Carter: 
"These liquid fuel systems are very, very dangerous; they're very unstable17. That's why, very early in our missile program as pushing a leading edge of technology, we moved to solid fuel missiles, early on just for that fact, because liquid fuel is extremely dangerous." 
Admiral Carter said it was possible the nuclear warheads on top of the missile burned in the fire, or were thrown out into the water and sunk to the bottom 18,000 feet below. He said the other missiles and warheads might have been damaged by pressure as the sub sank, but there was no chance of a nuclear detonation18 or serious radiation leakage19
The submarine's nuclear reactors20, officials say, are self-contained in what amounts to rust-proof metal vaults21, and the Soviet say the reactors were shut down prior to sinking. 
US officials say preliminary tests of the air and sea in the area have produced no signs of radioactive release. Pentagon officials say the US will not make any attempt to recover the Soviet sub. "It's Soviet property," says the Navy. Retired22 submarine Captain James Bush of the Center for Defense23 Information says a salvage24 effort just isn't warranted in this case with the submarine that was designed in the 1960s. 
"It's an old submarine with old missiles. I don't know that we would consider it worthwhile to have them to look at for the amount of money involved. Now, it would probably be worthwhile if we could, get their communications equipment and their coding equipment, their key lists, and things like that to decode25 messages. But I'm sure that the Soviets, with the time that they had prior to the submarine sinking, should have gotten all of that material off." 
Pentagon officials say the sub loss should not be a serious setback26 for the Soviets, but some analysts27 disagree. Pentagon consultant28 Norman Freedman says the Soviets have to be worried about liquid fueled missiles on other subs. "These things are time bombs," Freeman says. "They should all be called in and checked out." I'm David Malthus in Washington. 


"We think that we have solved this most venerable and grand of geographic29 mysteries." With those words, Joseph Judge of National Geographic magazine announced a major discovery in American history—the true spot where Christopher Columbus first landed in the new world. And the Geographic 's declaration upsets the orthodox assertions of nearly every American history textbook. NPR's Frank Browning has this story. 
The orthodox explanation of where Columbus first landed was carved in textbook stone more than forty years ago by the dean of Columbus historians, Samuel Elliot Morrison. Morrison declared incontrovertible the evidence that Columbus first set foot on Watling Island in the eastern Bahamas. But if the question were closed for Professor Morrison, now dead, it was not for numerous other students on nautical30 history. 
For the last five years, the National Geographic 's Joseph Judge, has dispatched teams of historians, oceanographers, archaeologists and translators to find the true location andthereby31 to set straight the first footsteps of the American saga32
"The famous fleet of Columbus—the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria—made its first landfall and its landing in the new world in 1492 at a small island in the eastern Bahamas, named today, Samana Cay." 
The basic problem in identifying Columbus' landing point, which he named San Salvador in 1492, is that he left no clear markings. Moreover, the log of Columbus' voyage now exists only in a transcription made by the Spaniard Bartolomay de las Casas, and many of the descriptions are either vague or use archaic33 terminology34
Professor Morrison had based has conclusions on a straightforward35 reading of the log. But he took no account of how Columbus' route would have been affected36 by constant ocean currents and winds. When the Geographic team took the same data and then adjusted them for the effect of wind and current, they arrived at Samana Cay, to the southeast of Watling Island. Then to collaborate37 their findings, they went to points further down on Columbus' voyage, then backtracked according to the log notations38, and again found that they landed not on Professor Morrison's Watling Island, but on Samana Cay. Once on Samana, the team then returned to Columbus' log, to compare what they saw to Columbus' own visual description, recounted here by writer Judge in a film clip: 
"You need sediments39 on a ridge40 behind the beach. Here is the beach, right here. You need a lagoon41 with a very narrow entrance and that you have there. You need a piece of land shaped like an island that is not, and that you have there. In other words, every piece of geography that you're seeing before your eyes in this island is described in the Columbus' log." 
Moreover, Judge's team found archaeological traces of a settlement Columbus had mentioned finding on the actual island. So far, it is too early to know how the Geographic 's discoveries will affect the literature of professional history. But for those who worry about what may become of the site in an age of overnight historical theme parks, Bahamian Minister of Education, Paul Adderly, who attended the press conference, assured questioners that the island will be safe. In Washington, I'm Frank Browning reporting. 


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