As It Is - Bangladesh Garment Workers' Rights Strengthened
From VOA Learning English, welcome to As It Is. I’m Steve Ember.
Today we tell about efforts to strengthen the rights of about four million garment workers in Bangladesh.
And we hear about conditions in the Congo Basin rainforest. A new report says the area is losing fewer trees than a few years ago.
Finally, from the Model T to the Mustang, we celebrate the 150thanniversary of the birth of the man who brought the assembly line to automobile building.
最后，从 T 型车到野马车，我们将庆祝一位把流水作业线引入汽车生产的人的 150岁诞辰。
But first, to the clothing factories of Bangladesh:
Recent actions by the government in Bangladesh and western companies are leading to changes in the country’s garment industry.
More than 1,100 workers died last April after the Rana Plana garment factory fell down in Bangladesh. The incident led to international pressure to improve conditions in factories. The pressure led Bangladesh to amend its labor law.
去年 4 月，Rana Plana 服装厂倒塌造成超过 1100 名工人死亡，这一事故引发了国际上对工厂的状况施压。压力迫使孟加拉国修订了劳动法案。
Akramul Qader is the Bangladeshi ambassador to the United States. He says the new measure will strengthen the rights of his country’s four million garment workers. Most of them are women. Mr. Qader says the legislation will let the workers form labor unions and receive other benefits, like financial aid after they retire.
Akramul Qader 是孟加拉国驻美国大使。他说，新的措施会加强该国 400 万服装工人的权益，多数是女性。Qader 先生说，这项立法将让工人形成工会，并可以获得其他福利，比如退休后的经济援助。
Kimberly Elliott is with the Center for Global Development. She says the law may help prevent another building collapse. Ms. Elliott says the measure takes steps to try to improve building safety requirements.
Kimberly Elliott 是全球发展中心的职员。她说，这项法律能帮助防止建筑倒塌事故的发生。Elliott 女士说，该措施开始尝试提高建筑安全的要求。
Such improvements can take place only if there are enough inspectors. Ambassador Qader says Bangladesh has at least 5,000 factories. But he says the government does not know where they all are.
这些改进只有在足够的监管下才能真正实现。Qader 大使说，孟加拉国至少有5000 家工厂，但他指出政府并不知道它们的全部位置。
“We’re taking different steps now to insure that a good number of inspectors are in place so that they can go and inspect the factories and submit their reports and the government can take action.”
The new law bars unequal treatment based on sex and disability. Factories are required to place five percent of profits into an employees’ welfare fund. However, that requirement does not include the export workforce, which involves a large number of workers.
Kimberly Elliott says that under the law, workers no longer need approval from factory owners to form unions.
Kimberly Elliott 说，在这项法律下，工人们组建工会将无须工厂所有者批准。
“There were provisions to try and avoid a problem that has been a big one in the past - (the problem of) the labor ministry sharing the names of union supporters with management who can then fire them or move them to a different factory. So that has been changed.”
The measure was passed soon after the United States said it was suspending favorable trade treatment for Bangladesh.
European retail companies recently approved a plan to accept legal responsibility for safety. The companies have ordered inspections at their factories in Bangladesh. North American retailers recently announced a separate agreement that does not hold them responsible for factory safety.
As It Is is coming to you from VOA Learning English.
Congo Basin Rain Forest Losing Fewer Trees...
A new report says loss of trees in the Congo Basin rain forest is slowing down. The Congo Basin is the world’s second largest rain forest after the Amazon in South America. Scientists say the report has good news about the environment. Christopher Cruise has more.
一项新的报告指出，刚果盆地热带雨林的树木损失正在减缓。刚果盆地拥有世界第二大热带雨林，仅次于南美的亚马逊。科学家认为该报告对环境来说是好消息。Christopher Cruise 带来更多报道。
Researcher Simon Lewis is with the University College London. He says Central Africa lost about 285,000 hectares worth of forests each year during the 1990s. In the 2000s, he says, the area lost about 100,000 hectares of trees each year. He called the big drop in deforestation, “quite surprising.”
研究人员 Simon Lewis 来自伦敦大学学院。他说，在 20 世纪 90 年代，非洲中部每年会损失约相当于 28.5 万公顷的森林。21 世纪前 10 年，每年损失的树木面积约为 10 万公顷。他认为森林砍伐的大幅减少“相当令人惊喜”。
The new study is based on examination of satellite images. It found the loss of trees in the Congo Basin is lower than in other major tropical forest areas.
Simon Lewis says the way that Central African countries have developed their economies may be partly responsible. He says the countries depend heavily on oil and mineral wealth, and are investing less in agricultural expansion.
Simon Lewis 说，中非国家发展经济的方式可能起到了一定作用。他说，这些国家极大地依赖石油和矿物资源，而在农业开垦方面投入较少。
“So we have not seen the big increase in industrial agriculture like we have seen in the Amazon for soya and in Southeast Asia for palm oil. That is not yet happening on a large scale in Central Africa, hence the low deforestation rates.”
But he says that could be changing. He notes that Central Africa is at an important period in its development, with better living conditions, more people and growing demand for food.
As these changes influence demand for commodities from agricultural land, he believes deforestation is likely to rise.
“In the Amazon and in Southeast Asia, really large areas of what were rainforests have been converted to do this industrial-scale agriculture. And that may be counted as the first signs that this might be coming to central Africa.”
I’m Christopher Cruise.
From the Model T to the Mustang, a 150 Year Birthday Note...
从 T 型车到野马车，150 岁诞辰……
Finally, Tuesday is the 150thanniversary of the birth of Henry Ford.Ford’s ideas about automobile production changed the world’s way of making cars.
最后，本周二是亨利•福特的 150 岁诞辰。福特对于汽车制造的想法改变了全世界的汽车生产方式。
Ford was born on his family’s farm in Wayne County, Michigan on July 30, 1863. But farming was not for him. At age 16, he left home to learn the trade of machinist in Detroit. His talent for mechanics and engineering earned him several good jobs. But while he worked at his jobs, he was planning to build a horseless carriage.
福特于 1863 年 7 月 30 日出生在密歇根韦恩郡的农场家庭，但农作并不适合他。16岁那年，他离开家乡，去底特律学习机械师贸易。他在机械和工程方面的天赋为他赢得了几份不错的工作。但在他工作时，他却在计划建造一个老式汽车。
Ford created the first model in 1896. A few trial versions of the car later, he established the Ford Motor Company in 1903. The famous Model T came five years after that.
福特在 1896 年制作了第一个模型，随后他尝试改进了几个版本，并在 1903 年建立了福特汽车公司。著名的 T 型车在 5 年后问世。
Henry Ford was a major American industrialist and businessman. But he probably is best remembered for the conveyer belt and assembly line.
This way, workers were able to put together cars by adding parts that are carried on a moving conveyor belt. The parts went directly to the worker, or workers, responsible for putting them on the vehicle. This permitted many automobiles to be produced quickly. It also enabled Ford to sell cars generally at a lower price than his competitors.
Between 1908 and 1928, almost 17 million Model Ts were produced throughout the world.
在 1908~1928 年间，全世界生产了将近1700 万台 T 型车。
Well, we’ve certainly had a good ride today, but my arm is kind of tired from cranking that Model T. But I think a little spin around the hills of San Francisco in the Mustang is just what the doctor ordered. Move over, McQueen.
我们今天也开车开得很愉快，不过由于驾驶 T 型车，我的胳膊有点累了。不过我觉得开着野马在旧金山的山上兜几圈应该正是医生建议的。闪开，麦奎因！
[Car chase from “Bullitt”]
We had help today in the pits from Jeri Watson and Chris Cruise. And final inspection of our shiny new vehicle was by editor George Grow.
And that’s As It Is, from VOA Learning English. Steve Ember, here. Thanks for joining us. See you next time…if I still have my driver’s license.