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US, Japan meet in women's World Cup; in Los Angeles, 'Carmageddon'

[ 2011-07-18 13:00]     字号 [] [] []  
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US, Japan meet in women's World Cup; in Los Angeles, 'Carmageddon'

This is IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English.

Two of the world's favorite activities -- soccer and wordplay -- are in the news this week.

On Sunday, the United States plays Japan for the women's World Cup championship. The game is in Frankfurt, Germany. This is the Americans' first time in the final in 12 years. They won against China in 1999 and against Norway in 1991. That was the first year of the women's World Cup in football, or what Americans call soccer.

On Wednesday the United States defeated France to reach the final. Striker Abby Wambach gave her team a two to one lead with a header off Lauren Cheney's corner kick in the 79th minute. Cheney had given the United States an early lead, but she told ESPN television that she credits Wambach for her efforts.

LAUREN CHENEY: "Not only is she at the right place at the right time, but she has more heart than anybody that I've ever played with. And I know that in the last minute, she's going to get it done."

Alex Morgan added another goal in the 80-second minute. At 22, she is the youngest player on the American team.

Japan defeated Sweden in the other semifinal game. Host nation Germany, the two-time defending champion, lost to Japan in the quarterfinals.

So that was news from the playing field. Now to the wordplay.

Commentators and bloggers often use the word "gate" when a politician is accused of trying to hide the truth. A recent example: "Weinergate." Congressman Anthony Weiner of New York denied, then later admitted, that he sent sexually suggestive messages and pictures to women. He resigned in June.

Next June will be 40 years since the very first "gate." Watergate is the name of a group of buildings in Washington. In June of 1972, police arrested five men who broke into Democratic Party offices there.

Two Washington Post reporters, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, linked the break-in to the committee to re-elect Republican President Richard Nixon. He resigned because of Watergate.

Another place name is "Armageddon." The Christian Bible says there will be a final battle there between the forces of good and evil at the end of time.

President Obama even used the term on Friday to describe proposals to avoid a crisis over raising the government's borrowing limit.

BARACK OBAMA: "It is constructive to say that if Washington operates as usual and can't get anything done, let's at least avert Armageddon."

These days, people joke about events like "Snowmageddon," the huge snowstorms that hit the Washington area a year ago.

Right now, officials in Los Angeles are warning drivers to avoid "Carmageddon." Road work will close a major north-south link this weekend. The work is part of a project to widen Interstate 405, also called the San Diego Freeway. The 405 will close for 16 kilometers between the city's Westside and the San Fernando Valley.

US, Japan meet in women's World Cup; in Los Angeles, 'Carmageddon'

The closure is planned for 53 hours, until Monday morning at five. California transportation official Mike Miles told TV station KABC that people normally try to avoid the 405 anyway because of heavy traffic.

MIKE MILES: "The biggest thing that's going to help is if the public stays away and stays home on this weekend. Most of the people go through their lives trying to avoid the 405. This is the one weekend we want to tell you, you really need to avoid the 405."

But Carmageddon or not, local businesses are offering special deals to keep people from staying home and not spending money. That would be the biggest disaster of all.

And that's IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English. I'm Christopher Cruise.

Armageddon: in the Bible, a battle between good and evil at the end of the world 世界末日的善恶大决战

Carmageddon: 疯狂飞车

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Weiner seeks leave of absence from Congress


(来源:VOA 编辑:崔旭燕)