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[美国国家公共广播] 【整理】NPR 2008-06-27

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From NPR News in Washington, I'm Jack Spear.

 

President Bush today eased some economic sanctions against North Korea in an exchange for a North Korean declaration on details of its nuclear weapons program. NPR's Mike Shuster reports.

 

The President moved to rescind North Korea's designation as a state sponsor of terrorism imposed in the 1980s. There is a 45-day interim period while Congress looks at the issue before it goes into effect. The President also lifted sanctions imposed by the Trading with the Enemy Act which date back to the Korean War and restricted much trade between the US and North Korea. President Bush eased these sanctions because North Korea released declarations that reveals crucial details of its nuclear weapons program including an accounting of how much plutonium it has produced over the last twenty years. That will give the US a precise count on how many nuclear weapons North Korea may possess. Other sanctions against North Korea remain in effect including those imposed for human rights violations and alleged currency counterfeiting and those adopted by the UN Security Council. Mike Shuster, NPR News.

 

Sells of existing homes actually rose last month up 2%. Those are signs the housing market may be beginning to stabilize. NPR's Christ Arnold reports.

 

Home sales edged up a bit as sellers cut their prices. The National Association of Real Estate said prices were down 6% from a year ago. A different housing index showed prices down as much as 15% nationally. And that's brought buyers back into the market. Mark Zandie heads up Moody'sEconomy.com. He thinks the pace of the sales has probably found a bottom but:"I think there is still a mountain of inventory out there for sale and we are adding to it because foreclosures continue to rise. So prices will continue to come down throughout all the remainder of this year and well into next in most places across the country." But with sales now leveling off, Zandie expects the market will be in a better position to start working through that inventory of unsold homes. Christ Arnold, NPR News.

 

And if investors on Wall Street were hardened at all by the slightly stronger home sales numbers last month, they didn't show it today. Andra Markets took a major hit of the downgrades of some big banks and automaker General Motors are concerned about future profits. Investment Bank Goldman Sachs forecast more writedowns for C Group and Meril Lynch shifted its rating on GM to sell. David Wisses, an economist in S&P, says there is a lot of pessimists out there. "Goldman downgraded their reports for the financial companies. People are beginning to worry that the losses will be even bigger than they thought. And that they could spread beyond just mortgage market and other parts of consumer finance. For all the people who can't pay off their mortgage will make sure they can pay the credit card bills or the carloads." Market Soft were exacerbated by big ... crude oil prices which climbed more than 5 dollars a barrel today to settle just below 140 dollars a barrel.

 

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 358 points to close at 11453. The NASDAQ lost 79 points. The S&P was down 38.

 

This is NPR.

 

Defense Secretary Robert Gates today expressed growing concerns about the rising levels of attacks by insurgent forces in eastern Afghanistan. Speaking at the Pentagon today, Gates said there is a real concern it reflects infiltrational fighters from neighboring Pakistan. Gate's comments came in response to questions about reports of insurgent attacks in eastern Afghanistan have risen by 40% this year. And Secretary says the ability of the fighters to easily cross the border is a major factor. He says US will raise the issue with the new government of Pakistan.

 

In Los Angeles, the jury has convicted the man of first degree murder the death of 11 people who were killed after the train they were on derailed. The man intentionally parked his jeep on the tracks during a bunched suicide attempt. NPR's Kerry Kang reports.

 

The jury reached its verdict on the second day of deliberations in the case of Juan Manuel Alvarez. Alvarez parked his jeep on the train tracks in the city of Gleendale. The 29-year-old man said he had intended to commit suicide. He says he changed his mind but then couldn't get the jeep off the tracks. Prosecutors said Alvarez was set on causing a catastrophe / in order to get attention from his estranged wife. It was in Jan. of 2005 that Alvarez drove his car onto the tracks, setting off a chain reaction of collisions between commuter trains. Along with the 11 people who died, nearly 200 were injured in the accident. Prosecutors say they would seek the death penalty. Kerry Kang, NPR News.

 

Just what residents of the states' mid section don't need more rain which has been falling in already soggy parts of Missouri and Illinois, threatening again with still high river levels in the town of Pokecity, Iowa. 5 inches of rain has fallen since yesterday. The forecasters say even one more inch could cause flash flooding.

 

I'm Jack Spear, NPR News, in Washington.

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