VOA

[19jan14M vbm] What the US debt ceiling means http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGXmaIm-ALw&list=PL6FA614EF0CB2AD82&feature=c4-overview-vl

From VOA learning english, this is the economics report. There has been a lot of talk about the debt [hutang] ceiling [plafon, bts tertinggi] in the US. The debt ceiling is a legal limit on how much the federal government can borrow. Political disputes [percekcokan] over that amount have concerned [megkuatirkan] investors in recent weeks. American lawmakers must negotiate [merundingkan] a new debt ceiling every time the federal debt reaches that legal limit. National debt grows when a government spends more money that it has available [tersedia]. Governments offer bonds [obligasi, ikatan] & other investments to raise money to pay for this spending [pengeluaran]. In return [in response, in reply], the government promises to repay w/ interest, the investors who buy these securities [surat berharga]. The financial demands of world war one led American lawmakers to establish [membuat, menyusun, menetapkan] a total debt limit. In 1917, congress agreed that the president could borrow up to a set amount without seeking approval. Congress has agreed to change the debt limit 10 times since 2001. But the major parties may disagree on spending levels or the need to borrow to pay for government operations. Other nations buy US Treasury [dept keuangan] securities [surat berharga] because they are considered [betul2 dipertimbangkan] the safest investment in the world. The partial [sebagian] shutdown [kemacetan, penutupan] of the federal government led to worldwide concern [perhatian, urusan] about the safety of these investments. Congress agreed to re-open the government without enforcing [melaksanakan, menegakan] the debt ceiling only one day before borrowing reached the legal limit.

[21jan14Sl vbm] Lawmarkers agreed to let the president decide what the Treasury [kas, perbendaharaan] could borrow through Feb 7th. Congress must now negotiate a new debt limit & resolve [solve, menyelesaikan] other budgetary [anggaran] issues [masalah] in order to avoid another crisis.

For VOA Learning English, I’m Carolyn Presutti.
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[23jan14K vbm] Debt limit talks show deeper debate on government’s duties http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYb-0cvPicI

This is the VOA special English Economic Report. Anyone who ever borrowed money can relate to debate [berhub dg perdebatan] over [pd] raising America’s borrowing limit. People who reached their limit can try to ask their bank to increase it & go deeper into debt. Or they can cut their spending & try to get their finances under control. Or they can do both. Either way [cara baik], they have to keep paying their bills [tagihan]. If they default [melalaikan kewajiban, tdk melunasi hutang, fail to pay] on their debt, that only makes it harder & costlier [mewah, yg merugikan] to borrow in the future. In July, President Obama & congressional [berkenaan dg kongres]leaders held hours of sometimes [kadang2] tense meetings at the White House.

[24jan14J vbm] Opposition Republican leaders agreed on the need to raise the borrowing limit by August second or risk the nation’s first default. The argument was over how to cut deficits. Most Republicans oppose any kind of tax increase. Most Democrats in Congress oppose big cuts in government spending, esp social programs for retirees & the poor. Jerry Webman is chief economist for Oppenheimers Funds, an investment company. He says “the control issue is how the US is going to brings its federal budget back down to a sustainable [berkelanjutan] deficit level” He syas the debate has deep roots in the constitution. “The Constitution was written by people who were very, very suspicious [curiga] of executive authority [kewenangan, kekuasaan] & built into the constitution lots of ways in which the three branches of government could check & balance each other. Those three branches represent the president, congress & the courts [pengadilan]. Congress passed the first debt-limit law in 1917.

[25jan14St vbm] That was to control the costs of America’s entry [pembukuan, catatan] into Wordl War One. Today, Jerry Webman says the US is going through an important debate on what services Americans can expect from their government. He says “I think we may be looking at one of those almost generational changes in the role of the federal government in US society”. Lenders worried about the risk of not getting repaid usually demand [permintaan] higher interest rates [suku bunga]. That has happened to heavily indebted [berhutang] countries such as Greece, Ireland & Portugal. On July fourteenth, Federal Reserve [cadangan] Chairman Ben Bernanke warned [memperingatkan, mengingatkan] lawmarkers that lack of action to raise the borrowing limit would mean [menandakan] a lower credit rating [peringkat kredit] for the US. The central banker said that means [mengartikan, berarti] the government could have to pay sharply higher interest rates [suku bunga]. And that would only add to deficits in what he called a “self-inflicted [akibat perbuatan sendiri] wound [luka yg ditimbulkan sendiri’.

For VOA Learning English, I’m Carolyn Presutti.
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[26jan14M vbm] A debt deal in US, but Stocks still slide [kesepakan utang di US ttp saham masih bergeser] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzR3FDF6-K4

This is the VOA special English Economic Report. On August second [pd agt kedua], President Obama signed a bill raising the nation’s borrowing limit. That debt deal [transaksi, perjanjian], however, failed to keep stock [saham] markets from dropping on economic concern [perhatian, urusan] about the US & the world. The legislation [per-undang2an] followed months of arguing that only added to those concerns. Congress sent the bill to the president on the last day that the government said that the government said it had enough money to make all of its payments. The Budget [anggaran belanja] Control Act [keputusan, tindakan] of 2011 lets [membiarkan] the government seek financing [pembiayaan, pembelanjaan] to pay its bills until twenty-thirteen. Congress agreed to lift the debt ceiling [plafon utang] by over two trillion dollars, but also to make spending cuts. President Obama said “This compromise guarantees more than two trillion dollars in deficit reduction. It’s an important first step to ensuring that as a nation, we live within [in] our means [cara, sarana, harta benda]. Yet it also allows us to keep making key investments in things like education & research that lead to new jobs. And assures [memastikan] that we’re not cutting too abruptly while the economy is still fragile”. Richard Gordon formerly worked w/ the Int’l Monetary [yg berhub dg keuangan/valuta] Fund. He says there is a risk in cutting the federal budget too much when unemployment is high.
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[27-2-12Sn lab mikropal] Does Physical Activity Lead to Higher Grades?

Recently we told you about a finding that more years of school could help students get higher scores on intelligence tests. That was the finding of a study of teenage males in Norway. Now, other research shows that physical activity may help students do better in their classes. The research comes as educators in some countries are reducing time for activities like physical education. They are using the time instead for academic subjects like math and reading. Researchers at VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam reviewed the results of fourteen studies. Twelve were from the United States, one from Canada and one from South Africa. The studies appeared between nineteen ninety-seven and two thousand nine. They included more than fifty-five thousand children, ages six to eighteen. Researcher Amika Singh says the studies showed a link between physical activity and scores on subjects such as math, English and reading. “Based on the results of our study we can conclude that being physically active is beneficial for academic performance.” Ms. Singh offers some possible explanations. “There are, first, physiological explanations, like more blood flow, and so more oxygen to the brain. Being physically active means there are more hormones produced like endorphins. And endorphins make your stress level lower and your mood improved, which means you also perform better.” Also, students involved in organized sports learn rules and how to follow them. This could improve their classroom behavior and help them keep their mind on their work. The study leaves some questions unanswered, however. Ms. Singh says it is not possible to say whether the amount or kind of activity affected the level of academic improvement. This is because of differences among the studies. Also, they were mostly observational studies. An observational study is where researchers do not do controlled comparisons. They only describe what they observe. So they might observe that physically active students are more likely to do better in school. But that link does not necessarily mean being active was the cause of those higher grades. The researchers called for more high-quality studies to confirm their findings. They said they found only two high-quality studies. They also pointed out that “outcomes for other parts of the world may be quite different.” The findings appeared in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. For VOA Special English, I’m Carolyn Presutti. (Adapted from a radio program broadcast 26Jan2012)
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[26-2-12M vbm] When a Textbook Is Online, Not on Paper

Electronic books have changed the way many people read for pleasure. Now online textbooks are changing the way some students learn and some teachers teach. More than one hundred seventy-five thousand students attend the public schools in Fairfax County, Virginia, outside Washington. Last year, the school system used digital books in fifteen schools. This school year, middle schools and high schools changed from printed to electronic textbooks in their social studies classes. Luke Rosa is a history teacher at Falls Church High School. His students work on school laptop computers. He explains the idea to them this way: “It’s just like a regular textbook, except it’s got it all online.” Peter Noonan, an assistant superintendent of schools, says with electronic textbooks, publishers can quickly update the content. “The world’s changing consistently. And the online textbooks can change right along with the events that are happening.” Online books also cost less than printed textbooks. “Usually it’s in the neighborhood of between fifty and seventy dollars to buy a textbook for each student, which adds up to roughly eight million dollars for all of our students in Fairfax County. We actually have purchased all of the online textbooks for our students for just under six million dollars.” Many students like the idea because it means they do not have to carry a textbook around. Also, they can write notes on their work and save the notes in their account. But one student complained that the Internet connection does not always work. Social studies teacher Michael Bambara says the e-book he uses in his government class is better than a printed textbook. He likes the way it has materials for students with different reading levels. “So a person can individualize their learning and I can individualize their instruction.” But the students also need Internet access when they are not at school. About ten percent of students in Fairfax County do not have a computer or online access at home. Public libraries in the county have free Internet. There are also after-school computer labs as well as computer clubhouses supported by the county. Other school systems in the area are considering online textbooks. Officials in Prince George’s County, Maryland, plan a test project next year. A survey showed that forty percent of students there do not have computer access at home. We have a video about online textbooks at voaspecialenglish.com. For VOA Special English, I’m Carolyn Presutti. (Adapted from a radio program broadcast 02Feb2012)
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[25-2-12St vbm] These People Really See the Point in Body Ink

MATT KNOPP: “My job is: I come to [revive] work; I hang out [spend time, interact] with my friends, and I draw [mendptkan, mendpt]. When you’re, you know, that big, I mean isn’t that the job you’d wanna [want to] have?”

Mr. Knopp owns Tattoo Paradise in Washington, DC.

MATT KNOPP: “Those are the people I usually hang out [spend time, interact] with. You know, if I worked with a bunch [group, team] of guys that were doctors I’d be hangin’ out with those guys all the time. We’re not all saints [org suci], but I mean, you come in and I’m going to treat [deal with, consider, touch on] you with respect until you make it where I can’t treat [memperlakukan] you like that.”

Ian Palmiero has been Tattoo Paradise many times.

IAN PALMIERO: “The people here are great [large]. They treat [memperlakukan] each other like family. They treat their clients like family.”

He says getting a tattoo is not enjoyable.

IAN PALMIERO: “There’s no thrill [excitement, ectasy, kecemasan] about getting tattooed. It sucks [menghisap]. It hurts [menyakiti, melukai]. If that’s a deterrent [warning, pencegah] to anyone, believe me … it sucks … it does not feel good. I can’t tell you why I keep doing it. Every two weeks.”

Every two weeks. That means he gets a tattoo as often as [sesering] most Americans are paid.

IAN PALMIERO: “I know that it’s in the 10s of …maybe even 50, 60 grand [1000 dolar] over the years [selama ber-tahun2]?”

Mr. Knopp says people should be prepared to spend a lot of money for a good tattoo.

MATT KNOPP: “People don’t wanna [want to] spend money. And honestly [truly, really], a good tattoo costs money. They would rather [lebih suka] go spend $200 on a pair of jeans or $150 on a pair of shoes that last [mencukupi] you, you know, X amount of time. And a tattoo that’ll last [mencukupi] you forever, they’d rather go spend 30 bucks [uang dolar] for.”

Mr. Knopp warns [memperingatkan] against getting a tattoo from someone other than a tattoo shop worker.

MATT KNOPP: “You don’t want to get tattooed outside of a tattoo shop, because of the threat [ancaman] of infectious disease. I mean, who knows how old the needle is, or how old the ink is, or whatnot [yg lainnya, barang kecil]?” I’m June Simms.
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[2-8-15M vbm, mlm mkn2 drmh] The Devil and Tom Walker
http://learningenglish.voanews.com/content/devil-tom-walker-washington-irving/2850897.html

Our story today is, “The Devil and Tom Walker. ” It was written by Washington Irving. Here is Shep O’Neal with our story.

Before we begin our story, let us go back 300 years to the late 1600s. In those years, one of the most famous men in the world was Captain William Kidd. Captain Kidd was a pirate. He sailed the seas, capturing any ships he found. He and his men took money from these ships. Captain Kidd hid this money in different places.

Captain Kidd was captured by the English in Boston, Massachusetts and executed in the year 1701.

From that time on, people all over the world searched in many places for Captain Kidd’s stolen money.

The people who lived in Massachusetts in the seventeen hundreds believed Captain Kidd buried some of his treasure near Boston. Not far from Boston was a small river which ran into the Atlantic Ocean. An old story said that Captain Kidd had come up this river from the ocean. Then he buried his gold and silver and jewels under a big tree.

The story said that this treasure was protected by the devil himself, who was a good friend of Captain Kidd.

In the year seventeen twenty-seven, a man named Tom Walker lived near this place. Tom Walker was not a pleasant man. He loved only one thing — money. There was only one person worse than Tom. That was his wife. She also loved money. These two were so hungry for money that they even stole things from each other.

One day, Tom Walker was returning home through a dark forest. He walked slowly and carefully, so that he would not fall into a pool of mud.

At last, he reached a piece of dry ground. Tom sat down on a tree that had fallen. As he rested, he dug into the earth with a stick. He knew the story that Indians had killed prisoners here as sacrifices to the Devil. But this did not trouble him. The only devil Tom was afraid of was his wife.

Tom’s stick hit something hard. He dug it out of the earth. It was a human skull. In the skull was an Indian ax.

Suddenly, Tom Walker heard an angry voice: “Don’t touch that skull!”

Tom looked up. He saw a giant sitting on a broken tree. Tom had never seen such a man. He wore the clothes of an Indian. His skin was almost black and covered with ashes. His eyes were big and red. His black hair stood up from his head. He carried a large ax.

The giant asked, “What are you doing on my land?” But Tom Walker was not afraid. He answered, “What do you mean? This land belongs to Mister Peabody.”

The strange man laughed and pointed to the tall trees. Tom saw that one of the trees had been cut by an ax. He looked more closely and saw that the name Peabody had been cut into the tree. Mr. Peabody was a man who got rich by stealing from Indians.

Tom looked at the other trees. Every one had the name of some rich, important man from Massachusetts. Tom looked at the tree on which he was sitting. It also had a name cut into it — the name of Absalom Crowninshield. Tom remembered that Mister Crowninshield was a very rich man. People said he got his money as Captain Kidd did — by stealing ships.

Suddenly, the giant shouted: “Crowninshield is ready to be burned! I’m going to burn many trees this winter!”

Tom told the man that he had no right to cut Mister Peabody’s trees. The stranger laughed and said, “I have every right to cut these trees. This land belonged to me a long time before Englishmen came to Massachusetts. The Indians were here. Then you Englishmen killed the Indians. Now I show Englishmen how to buy and sell slaves. And I teach their women how to be witches.”

Tom Walker now knew that the giant was the Devil himself. But Tom Walker was still not afraid.

The giant said Captain Kidd had buried great treasures under the trees, but nobody could have them unless the giant permitted it. He said Tom could have these treasures. But Tom had to agree to give the giant what he demanded.

Tom Walker loved money as much as he loved life. But he asked for time to think.

Tom went home. He told his wife what had happened. She wanted Captain Kidd’s treasure. She urged him to give the Devil what he wanted. Tom said no.

At last, Misses Walker decided to do what Tom refused to do. She put all her silver in a large piece of cloth and went to see the dark giant. Two days passed. She did not return home. She was never seen again.

People said later that Tom went to the place where he had met the giant. He saw his wife’s cloth hanging in a tree. He was happy, because he wanted to get her silver. But when he opened the cloth, there was no silver in it — only a human heart.

Tom was sorry he lost the silver, but not sorry he lost his wife. He wanted to thank the giant for this. And so, every day he looked for the giant. Tom finally decided that he would give the giant what he wanted in exchange for Captain Kidd’s treasure.

One night, Tom Walker met the giant and offered his soul in exchange for Captain Kidd’s treasure. The Devil now wanted more than that. He said that Tom would have to use the treasure to do the Devil’s work. He wanted Tom to buy a ship and bring slaves to America.

As we have said, Tom Walker was a hard man who loved nothing but money. But even he could not agree to buy and sell human beings as slaves. He refused to do this.

The Devil then said that his second most important work was lending money. The men who did this work for the Devil forced poor people who borrowed money to pay back much more than they had received.

Tom said he would like this kind of work. So the Devil gave him Captain Kidd’s treasure.

A few days later, Tom Walker was a lender of money in Boston. Everyone who needed help — and there were many who did — came to him. Tom Walker became the richest man in Boston. When people were not able to pay him, he took away their farms, their horses, and their houses.

As he got older and richer, Tom began to worry. What would happen when he died? He had promised his soul to the Devil. Maybe. . .maybe. . . he could break that promise.

Tom then became very religious. He went to church every week. He thought that if he prayed enough, he could escape from the Devil.

One day, Tom took the land of a man who had borrowed money. The poor man asked for more time to pay. “Please do not destroy me!” he said. “You have already taken all my money!”

Tom got angry and started to shout, “Let the Devil take me if I have taken any money from you!”

That was the end of Tom Walker. For just then, he heard a noise. He opened the door. There was the black giant, holding a black horse. The giant said, “Tom, I have come for you.” He picked up Tom and put him on the horse. Then he hit the horse, which ran off, carrying Tom.

Nobody ever saw Tom Walker again. A farmer said that he saw the black horse, with a man on it, running wildly into the forest.

After Tom Walker disappeared, the government decided to take Tom’s property. But there was nothing to take. All the papers which showed that Tom owned land and houses were burned to ashes. His boxes of gold and silver had nothing in them but small pieces of wood. The wood came from newly cut trees. Tom’s horses died, and his house suddenly burned to ashes.

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