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Today in history:May 12

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发表于 2016-7-9 23:21:11 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
  May 12
          John Smith: Regarded as a man of great integrity
          1994: Labour leader John Smith dies at 55
          England have
          The Labour leader John Smith has died in St Bartholomew"s hospital in
London after two serious heart attacks.
          The 55-year-old leader of the opposition suffered his first attack at his
central London flat.
          He had a second heart attack in the ambulance on the way to hospital and
was pronounced dead at 0915 BST.
          He leaves behind his wife, Elizabeth, and three daughters, all in their
twenties.
          The news comes as a shock to his party and the nation.
          He was regarded as a man of integrity - decent and honest and was widely
expected to lead Labour to victory at the next general election and become prime
minister.
          Senior politicians from all parties have paid tribute to Mr Smith and
today"s sitting of the House of Commons has been suspended as a mark of
respect.
          John Smith trained as a barrister and entered Parliament in 1970 as a
Labour member for North Lanarkshire, Scotland. He served as secretary for trade
in 1970 and subsequently as Labour spokesperson on economic and industrial
issues, developing a reputation as a moderate.
          After the Conservative election victory two years ago, he took over from
Neil Kinnock as party leader and set about unifying the left and right factions
of Labour.
          Family man
          Mr Smith was devoted to his family and was determined to spend as many
weekends as possible at his home in Morningside, Edinburgh, but this made for a
punishing public regimen.
          It took its toll on a man who had already had one heart attack back in
1988.
          The deputy party leader Margaret Beckett is interim party leader until a
successor is chosen. Home Affairs spokesman Tony Blair is favourite to win the
leadership and Gordon Brown, Robin Cook and John Prescott are expected to stand
too.
          Ford says production facilities on the continent are more flexible
          2000: Ford quits Dagenham after 70 years
          Artificially 1969:
          The
          Ford has confirmed that car production at its Dagenham plant in Essex is to
end after more than 70 years.
          In total, it will mean the loss of around 3,000 jobs with car assembly at
the plant ceasing within two years.
          Ford unions reacted angrily to the news. They say the real number of
redundancies is closer to 5,000 because Ford"s numbers do not include job losses
among caterers, cleaners and suppliers.
          "I"m sickened." Dagenham worker said.
          Two years ago Ford had promised to give Dagenham the contract for the new
Ford Fiesta. That now goes to Germany and Spain.
          "We"re extremely angry. There is no justification for the 3,000 job losses
and the closure of this assembly plant," said Tony Woodley of the Transport
Workers" Union.
          "My view is simply this. To be in the car manufacturing industry, quite
simply, you"ve got to make cars."
          Outside the factory, union members made their feelings plain. "I"m sickened
to tell you the truth," said one Dagenham worker. "I"ve been working here 23
years. I"m not old enough to take a pension or leave. I"m just sickened."
          Ford"s European operations have been struggling recently, hit by falling
car sales and intense competition.
          The company has the capacity to produce 2.25m cars in its European
factories, but sold only 1.65m during the past year.
          The decisive factor in moving production from Dagenham to its German
factory in Cologne was that facilities there were more flexible, with a second
assembly line, enabling Ford to switch to other models quickly.
          The company tried to soften the blow by saying the losses would be offset
by investment in diesel manufacturing at the plant.
          Nick Scheele, chairman of Ford Europe, said Dagenham would become Ford"s
"global centre" for the production of diesel engines , creating 500 jobs over
four years.
          Vocabulary:
          barrister: a lawyer admitted to plead at the bar in the superior
courts(能出席高级法庭的律师)
          diesel engine: 柴油机
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