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双语新闻播报(December 21)

chinadaily.com.cn 2022-12-21 16:15


> Squeezed by inflation, families are tightening their holiday budgets

People shop at a Target store during Black Friday sales in Chicago, Illinois, US, November 25, 2022. [Photo/Agencies]

A November Quinnipiac poll found 47% of Americans have less in savings than they did just a year ago.

The same poll found 42% plan to spend less on gifts this season and only 8% plan to spend more.

Overall holiday spending hasn't slowed yet, according to the National Retail Federation, but many families are making sacrifices to buy presents for their loved ones.

Janette Duvall, a school bus driver in Maryland, is relying on coupons for the first time to afford gifts for her family.

While inflation is squeezing her budget, she wants to make sure her kids have something to open on Christmas, even if she can't buy anything for herself.

"I will do whatever I can, but I will, of course, look for something cheaper this year," she said. "Not everybody will have the same quality of gift they used to get."

In a Gallup poll this month, 55% of Americans said rising prices have caused financial hardship for their household, and 13% say that hardship is "severe."

Second-grade teacher Lindsay Cook said her family has been living paycheck to paycheck for the first time.

For months, she and her husband, a school security officer, have been dipping into savings and using credit cards to keep up with higher prices on food, gas, energy, as they take care of their two children.

Recession concerns are also impacting family spending.

Karissa Warren spoke with CNN in March when she could barely afford to fill her gas tank because of surging fuel prices.

With gas prices down, and after receiving a raise at work, Warren felt more secure heading into the holidays.

Then she received news that she's getting laid off from her job.

"It just kind of blew everything up," she said about her budget. "Now, it's like, anything extra is out of the question."

> Cambridge University to return over 100 looted Benin bronzes to Nigeria

A looted Benin Bronze known as the Okukur is returned to Nigeria during a ceremony at Jesus College in Cambridge, the United Kingdom, on Oct 27, 2021. PA

The University of Cambridge will return more than 100 looted Benin bronzes to Nigeria.

In the 1897 attack, the British burned the city’s palace and exiled Benin’s Oba, or king.

Thousands of brasses and other works – known collectively as the “Benin bronzes” – were taken and later sold off in London.

The artefacts ended up being scattered around the world in museums in the UK, Europe and the US, with claims for their restitution dating back to the mid-20th century.

A university spokesperson said: “The Charity Commission has considered and approved the return of 116 historical objects, often referred to as the Benin bronzes, from the University of Cambridge’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology to the National Commission of Museums and Monuments (NCMM) of Nigeria. The university is now working with the commission to finalise next steps regarding these Benin bronzes, and we will communicate these in due course.”

The announcement by Cambridge comes as institutions and museums come under mounting pressure to return looted artefacts.

In July, Germany handed back two bronzes and put more than 1,000 other items from its museums’ collections into Nigeria’s ownership.

Last month, the Horniman Museum, in south London, returned looted Benin bronzes to Nigeria.

Earlier this month, it was reported that the chair of the British Museum, George Osborne, had held talks with the Greek prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, regarding the possible return of the Parthenon marbles.

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