来源：网络 发布时间：2014-09-11 作者：上外口译培训
Q6-10 are based on the following news.
London, the United Kingdom
The UK housing market is seeing a slight pick-up in activity with mortgage lending and prices both rising, figures have suggested. Gross mortgage lending was up 4% in April, compared with March, to £12.1bn, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders. This was 21% higher than April 2012, but this data is skewed by the end of the stamp duty concession a year ago. Official figures show UK house prices rose by 2.7% in the past twelve months. However, this was driven by rises in England and Wales, with property price falls in Scotland and Northern Ireland, according to the Office for National Statistics.
mortgage lending 抵押借贷
stamp duty concession 调低(在英国购房时缴纳的)印花税
Developed economies returned to growth in the first three months of the year, although the euro zone continued to lag behind the U.S. and Japan, according to figures released by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Tuesday. The Paris-based research body said the combined gross domestic product of its 34 developed-country members grew by 0.4% from the final three months of 2012. There were “diverging patterns” across its members, but that largely involved a contrast between contractions in France, Italy and the euro zone as a whole, and a pickup in growth in Japan, the U.S. and the U.K. With growth so unbalanced and business and consumer confidence weak in the face of uncertainties surrounding the outcome of the euro zone’s financial crisis and fiscal difficulties in the U.S., economists don’t expect a strong pickup in global growth in the near term.
lag behind 落后
Washington, the United States
Apple has been accused of being "among America's largest tax avoiders". A Senate committee said Apple had used "a complex web of offshore entities" to avoid paying billions of dollars in US income taxes. But it said there was no indication the firm acted illegally. Apple chief Tim Cook will go before the panel on Tuesday. In prepared testimony Apple said it did not use tax gimmicks. The US Senate had said that Apple paid little or nothing on billions of dollars in profits placed in Irish subsidiaries. The company says it is one of the largest taxpayers in the US, having paid $6bn in federal corporate income tax in the 2012 fiscal year. US corporation tax is one of the highest in the world at 35%. However, companies typically pay far less, thanks to numerous deductions and exemptions.
tax avoidance 避税
Oklahoma City, the United States
At least 91 people, including 20 children, are feared to have been killed by a huge tornado which tore through Oklahoma City suburbs, local officials say. Worst hit was Moore, south of the city, where neighborhoods were flattened and schools destroyed by winds of up to 200mph. About 120 people are being treated in hospitals. President Barack Obama has declared a major disaster in Oklahoma. He also ordered federal authorities to join in the search efforts which have continued throughout the night. The official death toll is 51, but local authorities say the figure is expected to rise as another 40 bodies have been found.
death toll 死亡人数
Dubai, Saudi Arabia
A Saudi woman has made history by reaching the summit of the world's highest mountain. Raha Moharrak, 25, not only became the first Saudi woman to attempt the climb but also the youngest Arab to make it to the top of Everest. She is part of a four-person expedition that also includes the first Qatari man and the first Palestinian man attempting to reach the summit. They are trying to raise $1m for education projects in Nepal. Originally from Jeddah, Ms. Moharrak is a university graduate currently based in Dubai. Coming from Saudi Arabia - a conservative Muslim country where women's rights are very restricted -- she had to break a lot of barriers to achieve her goal, her climb team said.
Q6. According to the official figures, by how much did UK house prices increase in the past year?
Q7. Which of the following statements best describes the economic state of the world’s developed countries?
Q8. What has the Apple company been accused of by a US senate committee?
Q9. At least how many people are feared to have been killed by a huge tornado in Oklahoma?
Q10. According to the report, what has a Saudi woman done recently to make history?