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Europe France’s economy欧洲 法国经济Austerity stakes紧缩困境A reluctant government faces the imperative of public-spending cuts法国削减公共出势在必行,政府陷入两难境界Franse’s finance minister, Pierre Moscovici, staged a charm offensive in London this week to improve his country’s battered economic image. Days after the European Commission had forecast that France would miss its budget-deficit target of 3% of GDP in 2013, a key promise of President Francois Hollande’s, Mr Moscovici urged people to look beyond “simplistic stereotypes”. The government may miss its target, he said, but it was making structural reforms to restore competitiveness and sound public finances.法国的财务首相皮耶尔 莫斯科维奇本周在伦敦打了漂亮的一仗,改善了法国经济窘迫不堪的形象。欧盟委员会预测法国将难以兑现2013年GDP3%的预算赤字目标,而那是总统弗朗西斯奥朗德的重点承诺。数日之后,莫斯科维奇呼吁人们看穿“单纯的陈见”。他表示,也许政府不能如期完成目标,但它采取结构化改革以恢复竞争力,重塑夯实的公共财政。The commission’s verdict was sobering. French GDP will grow by 0.1% this year, compared with a government forecast of 0.8%, and the deficit will reach 3.7%. After long defending the 3% target as a sign of its credibility, and insisting on overly ambitious growth forecasts, the government has abruptly switched message to plead for more time. And the commission clearly intends to opt for indulgence.委员会的裁定是一盆冷水。新的一年,法国GDP增长率将会是0.1%,与政府0.8%的预测相差甚远。而且赤字会达到3.7%.长期坚守3%的目标已成为法国信誉的象征,同时伴随着野心勃勃的增长预测。但风云突变,政府扭转口径,央求着要更多时间。显然,委员会意欲纵容之。Without much struggle, it seems, France has won the argument that it should not be punished for its failure. It blames poor growth—the commission forecasts a euro-zone recession in 2013—and fears that more belt-tightening might make things worse. The French claim that, judged by the structural deficit, adjusted for the cycle, the government has made a bigger effort than at first appears. Mr Moscovici does not plan an emergency budget to squeeze the deficit back towards 3% this year, partly for fear of provoking “a political and social shock”. Jens Weidmann, the Bundesbank chief, said that “putting consolidation off would just shift the problem into the future.” But the German government stayed silent and Wolfgang Schauble, the finance minister, told a newspaper he was “fully confident” thatFrance was on the right track.虽未曾付出太多的努力,但看上去,法国已经赢得不必为失败而受惩的舆论持。它责难低下的增长率——委员会预测了2013年欧元区的萧条——并担心紧缩政策会让一切更糟糕。法国宣称,由相对经济周期校准的结构性赤字判断,政府作的努力比表面上的要更为显著。莫斯科维奇并未制定紧急计划以在年内将赤字压缩到3%,部分是由于担心这会引起“政治和社会的震荡。”德国央行主观简魏德曼表示延迟“延迟”只是把问题留给未来。但德国政府保持沉默,而且财政首相沃尔夫冈邵伯向报纸表示他“无比自信”地认为法国经济正步入正轨。Mr Moscovici may get away with drift once, but he is unlikely to be indulged twice. As it is, letting him off the hook depends on taking seriously his efforts to sort out the public finances. This year, three-quarters of the effort to curb the deficit consists of higher taxes, says the Cour des Comptes, the national auditor. Yet with a total take of over 44% of GDP, Franceis aly the most heavily taxed country in the euro. Companies and the rich have been squeezed; investment has gone on hold. The constitutional court has rejected Mr Hollande’s planned 75% top income-tax rate, although the government plans to revive it in another form. Even some Socialist deputies concede that the government cannot go on pushing up taxes.但事不过三,莫斯科维奇很难继续得到包容。事实上,只有正视他为解决公共财政问题作出的努力才能让他免于责难。据国家审计员Cour des Comptes表示,今年控制赤字的努力有四分之三都用于征收高额税。法国已是欧元区课税最繁重的国家,税收占到GDP的44%。公司和富人保守压榨,投资搁置了。立宪法院拒绝了奥朗德设立最高75%所得税的计划,但政府计划通过别种形势实现它。甚至一些社会党代表也承认政府不能无止尽地抬高税收。That leaves no choice but cuts in public spending. Mr Moscovici says these will account for “most” of the deficit reduction in the 2014 budget. This is where the hard part begins. The commission forecasts a deficit in 2014 of 3.9%, even higher than in 2013, as well as a rise in unemployment to 11%. The government has begun to float various ideas, such as means-testing family benefits and lengthening the period for pension contributions. A policy review is under way with the aim of eliminating duplication and cutting jobs. The prime minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, has set up a commission to look into pension reform. “This is all very different to what Socialist governments did before,” says an insider.如此一来,法国别无选择,唯有削减公共出。莫斯科维奇表示那会占到2014年预算赤字削减的“大部分”。艰险的征程由此展开。委员会预测2014年的赤字率会达到3.9%,甚至高于2013年的,与此同时失业率会上升至11%。政府集思广益,采用诸如家庭付能力调查以及延长养老金的供期。首相吉恩马克 艾洛特已成立一个委员会调查养老金改革。“这与此前社会党政府的所作所为大相径庭。”内部人士透露说。The difficulty is political. It may be evident to outsiders—and to some in the government—that, given its competitiveness and growth problems, France has no choice but to rethink its generous welfare state and well-staffed public sector. But a year after the 2012 election campaign, public debate has barely begun. Mr Hollande was elected on a promise to kick-start growth, cut unemployment and end austerity. Now he presides over recession, rising joblessness—and the need to impose more austerity on dumbfounded voters.难度在于政治方面。考虑到法国的竞争力和经济增长困境,它除了对优厚的福利和齐整的公共部门加以慎思外别无选择。但2012年选举结束的一年之后,公众的质疑声才刚刚开始泛滥。奥朗德带着促进经济增长,降低失业率和终结紧缩的承诺上任。如今,他要为经济萧条和上涨的失业率买单——以及让投票者目瞪口呆的紧缩政策。翻译:袁航译文属译生译世 /201610/471723Air pollution空气污染The big smoke雾都Britain needs to do more to clean up its dirty air英国需要采取更多措施来净化污浊的空气VISITING Oxford Street, a road teeming with tatty shops and overcrowded with people, is plainly a trial. Less plainly, levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a noxious gas, have been found to be around three times higher there than the legal limit. In 2013 the annual mean concentration of NO2 on the street was one of the highest levels found anywhere in Europe.来到牛津街,你会看到街道两边布满了各式杂乱的商店,而道路上人满为患。行走在这条街上,很明显是个磨练。不为人觉察的是,这里有毒气体二氧化氮(NO2)测出含量超出法定水平的约三倍以上。2013年,这条街的NO2年均浓度是欧洲最高之一。British air is far cleaner than it was a few decades ago. Fewer people use coal-burning stoves; old industrial plants have been decommissioned. But since levels of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, coarse or fine particles that are linked to lung cancer and asthma, have fallen more slowly. The exact number of deaths caused by dirty air is unknown. But in 2010 a government advisory group estimated that removing man-made fine particulate matter from the atmosphere would increase life expectancy for those born in 2008 by an average of six months.英国的空气比几十年前干净多了。使用燃煤炉灶的人越来越少;老工业厂已经停产。但自年起,氧化氮、微粒物质、以及与肺癌和哮喘相关的粗、细颗粒含量的下降速度减慢了。因污浊空气所引发的死亡人数是未知的。但2010年,一个政府顾问组估算如果将大气中人为造成的微粒物质除去的话,2008年的出生人口人均寿命将增加六个月。Much of the slowdown is the result of fumes from diesel cars, which were championed by successive governments because they use less fuel and thus produce less carbon dioxide than petrol cars. In 2001 only 14% of all cars ran on diesel; by 2013 the proportion had increased to 35%. (Greener “hybrid” and electric cars have increased ninefold since 2006, but account for just 0.5% of the entire fleet.) Second-hand cars are particularly noxious, but even newer ones have not been as clean as hoped. Many cars that belched out few pollutants in tests produced more when on the roads.下降速度放缓的大部分原因在于柴油汽车排放的尾气—这为历任政府所持,因为柴油汽车耗用更少的能源,比汽油汽车排放更少的二氧化碳。2001年,仅14%的汽车使用柴油。2013年,这个比例上涨到了35%。(更绿色的“混合动力”和电瓶车自2006年以来增加了九倍,但仅占汽车总量的0.5%。)二手汽车尤其有害,但新车也没所期望的那样清洁。很多车在污染物排放测试中排放量低,车在上路时却排放了更多。Government dithering has not helped. Part of the problem is that several departments are responsible for air pollution. This means nobody has taken a lead on it, complains Joan Walley, a Labour MP who chairs an environmental committee that has released a series of damning reports. And few politicians are keen to bash drivers. Talking to Britons about car ownership is “like talking to an American about hand guns”, quips one air-pollution scientist.政府的犹豫不决并没有起到作用。部分问题在于有好几个部门都对空气污染负有责任。这意味着没有人愿意出头,琼·沃利抱怨道,她是一名工党议员,也是一个已发布一系列谴责报告的环境委员会的主席。很少有政客愿意解雇司机。一名空气污染科学界嘲讽说,跟英国人谈论汽车所有权就像“跟美国人谈论手一样。”Some improvements have been made. In 2008 a “low-emission zone” was created in London, which targets large vans and coaches. A smaller “ultra low-emission zone” has been proposed for 2020, which would charge all vehicles that are not of a certain standard 12.50 (18.80) a day. European Commission fines for breaching limits may encourage cities to do more. But other countries are more ambitious: 60 such zones exist in Germany, targeting private cars as well as vans. In December Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, announced that she wanted to ban diesel cars by 2020. Cities in Denmark and the Netherlands do more to boost cycling.成效还是有的。2008年,伦敦设置了一个“低排放区域”,针对的是大卡车和长途公车。已有提案建议在2020年建立一个更小的“超低排放区”,对没达到一定标准的所有车辆一天收费12.5英镑(18.8美元)。欧盟委员会对排烟限制的罚款措施可能促进城市采取进一步的行动。但是其他国家更加具备野心:德国有60个类似的区域,既针对卡车也针对私人汽车。12月,巴黎市长安娜·伊达尔戈宣布她希望在2020年前淘汰柴油汽车。丹麦城市和挪威更侧重于鼓励骑自行车。When a thick “pea souper” smog enveloped London in 1952, causing the deaths of around 4,000 people in one week, the government was compelled to push through legislation to clean the air. Perhaps the largest problem now is that, with rare exceptions such as a Saharan dust smog that covered the capital in April 2014, this new pollution is invisible. But policy-makers should not lose sight of it.当1952年伦敦被浓浓的”淡黄色烟雾”笼罩时,在一周内造成了约4,000人死亡,政府不得不立法来净化空气。也许现在最大的问题是,除了像2014年4月笼罩首都的撒哈拉沙尘烟雾这样的少数情况外,这种新污染是看不见的。但是政策制定者们不能看不见这一点。译者:王颖 校对:唐宇 译文属译生译世 /201501/354256For most of Michigan, this has been one of the driest starts to summer weve seen in a long time.With Fourth of July coming up, there are concerns about fires in these dry conditions.For this reason, Julie Secontine, the State Fire Marshal, has been considering banning fireworks this Fourth of July.As of now, no burn ban or fireworks ban has been issued.;But we are monitoring the situation very closely and its a day-to-day assessment,; Secontine said.Fireworks can aly be dangerous, but this dry spell has upped the ante.;Its a very serious concern,; Secontine said. ;I cannot stress safety enough. Safety is something that people generally make fun of, but this is a very serious situation in Michigan with the dry weather and we are monitoring the situation closely.;Suggested precautionsIf located in an area where a local burn ban or fireworks ban has not been issued, Secontine said its crucial to take ;extreme caution; when lighting fireworks, a grill or campfire.;The area in which you ignite fireworks has to be clear of all debris, people and pets,; Secontine said. ;Most injuries occur to bystanders, so you want to make sure the area in which you ignite is clear.;She also recommends igniting fireworks only from a hard surface, like a driveway, and having water at-the-y.;You need to make sure you have a bucket of water, a hose thats y and charged, maybe even wet the area down,; Secontine said. ;But with consumer-grade fireworks, the biggest problem is theyre airborne and we never know where theyre going to land or where the sparks from them are going to land.;For more safety tips, like what to do if your fireworks dont explode, listen above.GUESTJulie Secontine, State Fire Marshal201607/452576

The National Weather Service said a major storm system is expected to start impacting the western, central and southern ed States late Friday and continue through next week. 国家气象局称,强大风暴系统预计周五晚开始影响美国西部、中部和南部地区,并继续影响至下周。Heavy rainfall, mountain snow, and strong winds will impact the West Coast and Intermountain West this weekend and early next week. 暴雨、山间飘雪和大风在本周末及下周初会影响西海岸和西部山区。starting on Monday, heavy rainfall and severe weather will be possible in the central and southern U.S. 从周一开始,中部和南部地区可能会有强降雨和恶劣天气。That weather is expected to continue through the rest of the week. Residual river flooding is also possible.预计那样的天气将持续本周的其它几天。河流洪水泛滥也是可能的。译文属。201603/429568

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