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明星资讯腾讯娱乐2020年02月27日 13:13:36
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McDonald`s Corp CEO Don Thompson, the head of the world`s biggest restaurant chain, who for much of his two years at the helm has been battling to spark sales growth in the ed States and Europe, got battered by headline-grabbing bad news in late July.作为全球最大的跨国连锁餐厅麦当劳的首席执行官,唐#8226;汤普森上任两年来一直在为提升麦当劳在美国与欧洲的销售业绩而不懈努力,而今年七月末他却因各种备受关注的丑闻头条“四处受挫”。In the final days of the month, its China business was hit with a food-safety scare involving a key supplier; the chain got ensnared in the West`s sanctions standoff with Russia; burger flippers at U.S. restaurants claimed an incremental win from the National Labor Relations Board in their fight to hold McDonald`s responsible for the actions of franchisees; and, a Texas jury slapped the company with a million verdict. Add to all that its results showed second-quarter profit dropped more than expected.7月末,麦当劳中国业务首先因主要供应商曝出食品安全问题而受到影响;随后,因俄美关系紧张,麦当劳成为俄罗斯反制裁目标;同时,美国餐厅麦当劳员工取得胜利,美国国家劳资关系委员会认定,如果存在侵犯雇员权利的行为,可以寻求追究麦当劳、而不仅是具体麦当劳餐厅的责任。;紧接着,麦当劳德克萨斯一家餐厅造成顾客伤亡,麦当劳被判决赔偿2700万美元。这一切最终导致今年第二季度,麦当劳的利润跌幅高于市场预期。McDonald`s was caught up in the latest China food safety scare after a July 20 television expose showed workers allegedly mishandling meat at Shanghai Husi Food Co Ltd, a factory owned by OSI Group LLC, a major supplier to the chain.7月20日,麦当劳首先卷入中国食品安全丑闻,电视媒体曝出其主要供应商OSI集团旗下的上海福喜食品有限公司工人承认使用过期、劣质原料加工生产肉制品。When the story broke, McDonald`s China business had been rebounding from the double whammy of a food safety scare and a bird flu outbreak that crushed sales in 2013.此时,麦当劳在中国的业务才刚刚从2013年的食品安全问题与禽流感的双重打击下恢复元气。McDonald`s roughly 2,000 restaurants in China suffered meat shortages after it ended its relationship with OSI China.而随着与OSI(中国)终止供应关系,麦当劳在中国的大约2000多家餐厅都面临肉类供应短缺的问题。;They`re under siege on three continents,; said Howard Penney, restaurant analyst at Hedgeye Risk Management, an investment research firm.来自从事投资研究的对冲基金风险管理公司的餐饮行业分析师霍华德#8226;彭尼称:“麦当劳在三块大陆上受困。”To be sure, the company`s famous name and the ubiquity of its restaurants worldwide help to fuel the media storm, said Penney: ;McDonald`s is a pawn in many instances around the world. It`s an easy target.;毋庸置疑,麦当劳极高的知名度以及遍布世界各地的分店是引发媒体高度关注的主要原因,彭尼说:“在全球很多事件中,麦当劳都‘中’,因为它很容易成为目标。”Such upheavals are not uncommon for McDonald`s and other global power houses, including Coca-Cola Co and Wal-Mart Stores Inc, experts said, though perhaps not quite so many in such a short period.在一些专家看来,可口可乐、沃尔玛等跨国企业也会遇到类似麻烦,只是麦当劳所遭遇的负面新闻集中在相对较短的时间内。Investors, analysts and franchisees are clamoring for the company to stop trying to be ;all things to all people;. They want it to simplify its unwieldy and point to the success of rivals, which have won passionate fans by selling just a few items.一些投资者、分析师和门店认为认为,麦当劳应该停止尝试迎合所有消费者的口味,为菜单“瘦身”,仿效一些竞争对手的做法,用特色产品吸引“死忠”消费者。 /201408/318556China gets it. Russia doesn#39;t.中国明白了。俄罗斯却没有。For now, Vladimir Putin appears to be outsmarting the West. The Group of Seven nations called on Russia Wednesday to #39;cease all efforts to annex Crimea#39; and condemned its #39;unprovoked violation of Ukraine#39;s sovereignty.#39; But there was no sign of real, meaningful sanctions. And that#39;s because Europe--for now--needs Russia#39;s gas.暂时而言,俄罗斯总统普京(Vladimir Putin)现在似乎比西方国家技高一筹。七大工业国(Group of Seven)周三呼吁俄罗斯停止一切吞并克里米亚的努力,并谴责俄罗斯无故侵犯乌克兰主权的行为。但没有迹象显示俄罗斯将真正受到有实质意义的制裁。原因在于欧洲目前需要俄罗斯的天然气。The good news is that future Russian presidents will find it harder to follow in Mr. Putin#39;s footsteps. In due time, capacity improvements in world energy markets will erode Russia#39;s ability to use its mammoth supplies of natural gas to hold its neighbors hostage. Russia will eventually have to join, rather fight against, the modern global economy. It#39;s as if the protesters who ousted Ukraine#39;s Russia-leaning President, Viktor Yanukovych, moved a few years too early.好消息是,俄罗斯未来的总统将发现他们很难追随普京的脚步。在未来的某个时间,全球能源市场产能的提高将削弱俄罗斯利用其庞大天然气供应来挟持邻国的能力。俄罗斯最终将不得不加入现代全球经济,而不是与之对抗。只不过那些抗议者推翻乌克兰亲俄罗斯总统亚努科维奇(Viktor Yanukovych)的时间或许稍微早了几年。By contrast, policymakers in that other former communist power seem to understand that the world is changing and that their economy#39;s standing hinges upon integration rather than isolation. China is hardly a model international citizen--it engages in restrictive trade practices, cyber-spying and saber-rattling over regional territorial claims. But at least some key officials--notably People#39;s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan--are deliberately setting a path of liberalization that will eventually compel their country to fall in line with international norms.相比之下,另一个前共产主义阵营中的国家的决策者似乎了解世界正在变化,意识到经济地位取决于融合而非孤立。很难把中国看做标准的国际公民,因为中国采取限制性贸易措施,展开网络间谍活动,并咄咄逼人地提出地区领土主张。但至少一些关键的官员正在刻意设定自由化之路,而这将最终推动中国遵循国际惯例。其中最明显的便是中国央行行长周小川。This week, Mr. Zhou announced that interest rate policy would be fully liberalized in one to two years and that a fully floating, convertible yuan wouldn#39;t be far behind. His comments didn#39;t grab headlines in the way that Mr. Putin#39;s troop maneuvers in Crimea did. But these actions will generate market pressures that will drive further political and economic reform in China, shifting it toward a more market-driven and consumer-focused economy to the benefit of its own citizens and those of rest of the world.本周,周小川宣布利率将在两年内完全放开,人民币距离自由浮动和完全可兑换也不远了。和普京派军队进入克里米亚相比,周小川的讲话并不是那么重要的消息。但这些行动将带来市场压力,进一步推动中国的政治和经济改革,使中国经济向更加依赖于市场力量的消费主导型经济转型,从而令中国民众和世界其他地方受益。Once China removes a cap on deposit rates and forces banks to compete for savings, the artificially cheap borrowing rates that have propped up thousands of inefficient government-connected enterprises and allowed them to flood the world with cheap goods will have to be phased out. Next, as local banks#39; profit margins shrink, the government will need to fully open up the Chinese capital account. This will bring welcome cheap foreign capital into the economy, but it will also radically shake up the hitherto cloistered Chinese financial system. The end result will be a wholesale restructuring of the Chinese economy, which in turn will test the viability of a centrally planned system and the Communist Party apparatus that has thrived off it. Big changes are afoot.一旦中国取消存款利率上限,迫使为揽储而展开竞争,则中国被人为压低的借款利率将最终一去不复返。这样的低利率造就了成千上万低效率的政府相关企业,并让它们得以在全球大量销售廉价商品。接下来,随着中国本地的利润率收窄,中国政府将需要完全放开中国的资本项目。这将为中国经济引入受欢迎的低成本外资,但这同时也将从根本上动摇中国至今仍与外界相对隔绝的金融体系。最终的结果将是中国经济的大规模重组,而这反过来又将检验中央计划体制的可行性以及中共通过中央计划而发展出来的运作方式。巨大的变革正在酝酿之中。These are incredibly bold moves in China. But they are also realistic and pragmatic. With financial innovations --digital currencies, for example--making it ever harder to shut out world economic forces, Beijing knows it can#39;t swim against the tide. The evolving Chinese model recognizes that in the 21st century, true power comes from a nation#39;s ability to harness the innovative drive of global competition. In Russia, by contrast, power is seen as a function of military might and control of natural resources.这些都是中国极其大胆的举措。但这些措施也是现实而可行的。随着诸如电子货币之类的金融创新使得世界经济力量越来越难以被拒之门外,北京深知其不能逆潮流而动。不断变革中的中国模式认识到,在21世纪,真正的实力来自一国利用全球竞争创新动力的能力。相比之下,俄罗斯则认为,实力是军事力量和对自然资源的控制。But this model of power is at the mercy of changes in the rest of the world#39;s energy capacity. Just look at Venezuela, which for many years used its oil monopoly to cajole Latin American states into defying the liberal economic prescriptions of the Washington Consensus. With technological advances now allowing the U.S. to extract ever growing amounts of domestic shale oil and gas, Venezuela#39;s influence is rapidly waning. Not coincidentally, it is now gripped by a roiling financial and political crisis, with inflation hitting 56%.但这种力量模式受制于世界其他地方能源产能的变化。委内瑞拉就是一个例子。该国多年来利用其原油垄断地位诱使拉美国家反对“华盛顿共识”(Washington Consensus)提出的自由经济政策。现在,技术进步令美国得以在本土开采越来越多的页岩油气,委内瑞拉的影响力正迅速减弱。同时委内瑞拉现在正陷入一场动荡的金融和政治危机,通胀率高达56%,这绝非偶然。For now, Russia is avoiding such a fate. The E.U.#39;s hands are tied so long as it needs Russian gas to keep the power on. The U.K. foreign secretary#39;s suggestion this week that the E.U. will purchase more gas from the U.S. wasn#39;t much of a threat while the infrastructure needed to get liquefied natural gas across the Atlantic is still lacking. The best anyone could suggest was Poland#39;s idea that E.U. member countries pool their bargaining power and jointly negotiate gas contracts with Russia.俄罗斯目前暂时避免了这种命运。只要欧洲还需要俄罗斯的天然气发电,欧盟(EU)就难以对俄罗斯采取什么措施。英国外交大臣本周表态称,欧盟将从美国购买更多的天然气,这话还没有太大的威胁,原因是目前仍缺乏跨越大西洋输送液化天然气的基础设施。最好的建议就是波兰提出的办法,即集合欧盟成员国的议价能力,联合起来共同与俄罗斯谈判天然气合约。But Russia#39;s belligerence in Ukraine will inspire an acceleration in the upgrade of production infrastructure elsewhere. What better reason to open up hydraulic fracturing, or fracking -- the technology behind the U.S. shale revolution -- in hitherto inaccessible gas fields in Eastern Europe and the U.K.? And there#39;s now greater incentive to build the liquefaction and re-gasification plants, along with the shipping ports and vessels, that will transport U.S. LNG into Europe#39;s power generation plants.但俄罗斯在乌克兰问题上的好战性将促使世界其他地区加快升级能源生产设施。要在东欧和英国迄今尚难以开采的天然气田采用美国页岩气革命所用的水力压裂技术,这是再好不过的理由了。同时,现在修建液化再气化工厂以及运输口岸和船只的理由也更充分了,这些设施将把美国的液化天然气输送到欧洲的发电厂。Such advances could quickly challenge Russia#39;s closed model of economic and political power. With energy export revenues shrinking, speculators would attack the ruble, eventually running Moscow#39;s sizable foreign-currency reserves dry and forcing a depreciation that provokes defaults by Russian companies on their dollar-based loans. Much like 1998, wealthy Russians would again flee into dollars, euros or pounds, and inflation would return along with economic and political chaos.这类技术进步可能很快对俄罗斯封闭的经济和政治权力模式形成挑战。随着能源出口收入的下降,投机者将会攻击俄罗斯卢布,最终让莫斯科庞大的外汇储备趋于枯竭,并迫使卢布贬值,这会引起俄罗斯企业的美元贷款违约。与1998年的情形一样,俄罗斯的富人将再次通过抢购美元、欧元或英镑来规避风险,俄罗斯也将重新受到通胀的冲击,并再次陷入经济和政治动荡。These changes won#39;t happen overnight. But this is exactly the path that Mr. Putin is laying out.这些变化不会一夜之间就出现。但这正是普京现在安排的道路。 /201403/279767

A 48-year-old woman died Thursday morning in the Fabre métro station after it appears her scarf and then her hair got caught in the teeth of the escalator. She was apparently strangled by her scarf.The incident, which has been deemed an accident by Montreal police, occurred at 9:15 a.m. at the station on the corner of Jean Talon Street East and Fabre Street in the Villeray district, said Constable Jean-Pierre Brabant.“The woman’s scarf got caught in the escalator and then she bent down to try to get it out and her hair got stuck, too,” Brabant said. “A bystander called 911 and by the time police arrived, she was declared dead,” by an Urgences-Santé paramedic.加拿大蒙特利尔市(Montreal)地铁发生扶手电梯杀人事件,一名48岁妇人的围巾被扶手电梯夹住后,蹲下企图将围巾扯出时,却不幸地连头发也被夹住,最后活活被勒死。“We got a call a little after 9 a.m. that there was a woman found at the bottom of an escalator, trapped, and that there was an article of clothing involved,” said Robert Lamle, a spokesperson with Urgences-Santé. “The woman was in cardiac arrest.;事发于前天(1月30日)早上9时15分,现场为蒙特利尔一个无人站岗的法布雷(Fabre)车站。目击者表示,出事妇人当时搭下行扶手电梯,围巾被夹住,她蹲下身子企图扯出围巾,却连头发也被夹住,躺在电梯末端。两名好心乘客立即上前施救,妇人最初仍有呼吸,但救护人员赶到时,她已没心跳。“The firefighters, first responders, got there first and began resuscitation efforts. Our technicians arrived and took over but it was not viable and the woman was declared dead,” Lamle said.There is an emergency stop button at the top and bottom of the escalator, which is the case for all escalators serving the métro system. Brabant said he did not know whether anyone pressed the stop button while the woman was struggling. He said a witness, whom police are looking for, used an STM emergency phone to call for help. He asked anyone else who witnessed the incident to call police.An engineer who has been working on these mechanisms for the Sociéte de Transport Montreal for the past nine years told The Gazette escalators are equipped with safety mechanisms that are supposed to prevent this kind of accident.交通局工程师表示,地铁扶手电梯设有安全装置,一旦有乘客跌倒或有物件夹住,电梯就会停止运作。每个地铁站的扶手电梯也设有“停止”按钮,乘客遇有意外,可立刻按键,煞停电梯。 /201402/274941

In a prelude to protests planned for the McDonald#39;s annual shareholders meeting Thursday morning, police arrested 139 protesters on Wednesday afternoon outside McDonald#39;s world headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill.据《今日美国报》网站报道,周三(5月21日)下午在伊利诺伊州橡树溪麦当劳全球总部大楼外,警方逮捕了139名示威者,他们原定计划周四上午在麦当劳股东年会再次举行抗议活动。Oak Brook police said protesters arrested for criminal trespass were from a group of 101 McDonald#39;s workers and 38 clergy and union activists who chose to cross a police barricade.橡树溪警方称,包括101麦当劳员工、38名神职人员以及工会激进分子在内的示威人群穿过警戒路障,涉嫌非法入侵而被捕。Workers chanted ;Hey McDonald#39;s You Can#39;t Hide, We Can See Your Greedy Side,; and ;No Big Macs, No Fries, Make our Wage Supersize,; as the arrests were made.员工们被捕时高喊:“嘿,麦当劳你不要隐藏,我们能看到你贪婪的一面,”以及“不要巨无霸汉堡!不要炸薯条!给我们加工资!”The Oak Brook Police Department was assisted by several surrounding-area departments, said Officer George Peterson, a department spokesman.警方发言人乔治·皮特森警官称:橡树溪警方是在周围地区几个部门的协助下开展工作。Some of those arrested were uniform-wearing McDonald#39;s employees who had come for the protest from 33 U.S. cities. Also arrested was Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union, according to the union. Police could not immediately confirm that. The union is the financial and logistical backer for Fast Food Forward, the group organizing the protests.被逮捕的部分示威者是来自美国33个城市身穿统一制的麦当劳员工。据务职工国际联盟称,该联盟主席玛丽·凯·亨利也被捕了。警方无法立即确认。该联盟向组织抗议的快餐前进(Fast Food Forward)运动提供财政和物资援助。Workers and activists — who demand -per-hour pay and the right for fast-food workers to try to unionize without retaliation — say they have focused on McDonald#39;s because of its size and influence. ;Workers are taking on the biggest, baddest, richest in the 0 billion fast-food industry,; says Kendall Fells, leader of Fast Food Forward. ;If we can bring McDonald#39;s to the table, the road ahead will be a lot easier.;无报复之意只是为尝试组建快餐业工会,要求给快餐员工增至时薪15美元的麦当劳员工和激进分子说:由于麦当劳规模以及影响力,所以他们主要针对的是麦当劳。快餐前进(Fast Food Forward)领导人肯德尔说:“员工在拥有资产2000亿美元而且最大规模、最糟糕也最有钱的快餐业上班。如果我们能够让麦当劳公司出面解决问题,前面的路会容易很多。”The Rev. Dr. William Barber II, head of the NAACP#39;s North Carolina chapter, led the march onto the sprawling McDonald#39;s campus. ;We can#39;t treat corporations like people, and people like things,; he said. ;A living wage is a moral mandate, and it#39;s time for McDonald#39;s to pay fast-food workers their just due now.;(美国)全国有色人种协会(简称NAACP)北卡协会主席Rev. Dr. William Barber II带领游行队伍进入了麦当劳公司大院。他说:“我们既不能把企业当成人看,也不能把人当物看。最低生活保障金只是一种道德准则,现在该是麦当劳按时给员工付工资的时候。”Fast Food Forward officials said more than 2,000 gathered for Wednesday#39;s protest. McDonald#39;s officials estimated the crowd at 600, and Oak Brook Police estimated the crowd at 1,000 to 1,500. Department spokeswoman Erica Huff said they arrived in 32 buses.快餐前进(Fast Food Forward)官员称周三的抗议者多达2000人。麦当劳官员估计600人,而橡树溪警方估计1000至1500人。美国国务院发言人艾瑞卡说,示威者来时乘坐32辆大巴。Wednesday started out as a day of cat-and-mouse among the group, police and McDonald#39;s. The protest was planned for McDonald#39;s U.S. headquarters building, but police closed a key road, and McDonald#39;s had advised workers at that building to work from home.周三开始了示威者、警方以及麦当劳三方之间猫捉老鼠的一天。抗议活动原定计划在麦当劳美国总部大楼举行,但是警方关闭了主干道,而且麦当劳也曾规劝大楼里的员工在家工作。When protesters arrived to a mostly empty parking lot, they opted to move to the other side of the campus to the company#39;s world headquarters.在示威者抵达空荡荡的停车场时,他们选择从另一个入口进入公司全球总部的大院。McDonald#39;s said it has no plans to make any changes for Thursday#39;s annual meeting. ;Folks have a right to protest peacefully and express their views,; says spokeswoman Heidi Barker Sa Shekhem. ;We#39;re gearing up for our annual business meeting tomorrow and welcoming our shareholders to campus.;据麦当劳说,周四的年度股东大会不打算更改。发言人Heidi Barker Sa Shekhem说:“人们有权进行和平示威游行以及表达他们的观点。我们正在筹备明天的年度业务会议,而且欢迎我们的股东到公司全球总部的大院来。” /201405/302470

  Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant, has a growing cloud computing business and a hunger for American companies. And soon, it will most likely have a large amount of cash. Will it take on the American cloud giants?中国电子商务巨头阿里巴巴的云计算业务正不断扩张,收购美国企业的欲望又十分强烈。而且几乎可以肯定,它不久之后就能获得大量现金。阿里巴巴会对美国的云计算巨头构成威胁吗?It would be an amazing change from the way cloud computing seems to be developing. Public cloud computing is the rental of infrastructure, like raw computing power and online data storage, and sophisticated applications. It is a multibillion-dollar business, expected to grow much bigger, and is currently led by Amazon Web Services, or AWS; Google; and Microsoft Azure. IBM and others also have designs on the market.与云计算目前的发展态势相比,这将是一个令人惊奇的转变。公共云计算指基础设施的出租,包括计算能力和网络数据存储空间,以及复杂的应用程序。这是一项价值数十亿美元的业务,预计还将进一步增长。目前在该领域处于领先地位的是亚马逊网络务(Amazon Web Services,简称AWS)、谷歌(Google),以及微软(Microsoft)的Azure。IBM等公司也有相关规划。To date, all of the big global players are ed States companies. In a recent evaluation of the cloud infrastructure business, analysts at the technology research firm Gartner counted 15 companies. Just two, Dimension Data and Fujitsu, were not American firms. There was no mention of Alibaba.迄今为止,国际上的大型云计算公司都来自美国。在最近的一份对云基础设施产业的评估中,科技研究公司高德纳(Gartner)的分析师统计了15家公司的数据。只有两家公司不是美国公司,它们是达科(Dimension Data)和富士通(Fujitsu)。这份评估中没有提及阿里巴巴。Yet according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission ahead of Alibaba#39;s proposed public offering, Alibaba had revenue of 2 million from cloud and infrastructure sales last year. That was an increase of 26 percent from a year earlier. That is not the 50 percent annual growth seen at AWS, perhaps, but not bad.然而在阿里巴巴申请上市之时,向美国券交易委员会(Securities and Exchange Commission,简称SEC)提交的文件显示,阿里巴巴去年有1.02亿美元(约合6.3亿元人民币)的收入来自云务和基础设施销售,较上年增长了26%。这或许比不上AWS较去年提高50%的增幅,但也并不算差。So why isn#39;t Alibaba an international cloud contender? Particularly since, as The New York Times reported last week, it has sunk a fortune in American tech companies. Not to mention that at least one of the companies high in Gartner#39;s estimation, Rackspace, told the S.E.C. in May that it had hired Morgan Stanley to find it a partner or acquirer.那么,阿里巴巴的云务为什么没有参与国际市场的竞争?尤其是考虑到《纽约时报》上周报道,它还拿出了大笔资金来收购美国的科技公司。此外,在高德纳给出较高评价的公司中,至少有一家公司,Rackspace,曾在5月份告诉SEC,已经聘请根士丹利(Morgan Stanley)为其寻找合作伙伴或收购者。A spokesman for Alibaba, citing the company#39;s quiet period ahead of its I.P.O., declined to comment on its plans. But people with knowledge of the company said that Alibaba, like other possible Chinese contenders, seemed to have its hands full just handling its China business.阿里巴巴的一位发言人以公司IPO前的静默期为由,拒绝谈论公司的计划。但了解该公司的人透露,就像其他可能的中国竞争者一样,阿里巴巴的精力似乎只能应付在中国的业务。Alibaba#39;s cloud business was formed in 2009. Like AWS, it began as a way of serving the company#39;s own online commerce and payment businesses. Its external customers are mostly small and medium Chinese companies.阿里巴巴的云务业务创立于2009年。就像AWS一样,它最初的目的是为本公司的电子商务和付业务提供务。其外部客户主要是中国的中小型企业。The Chinese website for the service, Aliyun.com, lists mostly Chinese mobile and gaming companies as customers. It also provides online stores for Microsoft and Apple in China. In all, Alibaba says that one million customers tap into its cloud, either directly or through a reseller of computing services.阿里巴巴云务的中文网站Aliyun.com显示,其客户主要是中国的移动和游戏公司。它也为微软和苹果(Apple)提供在中国的网上商店。阿里巴巴说,总共有100万客户使用其云务,一些是直接使用,另一些是通过其计算务经销商使用。In other ways, however, the company is a laggard, with just three large data centers in China and a smaller one in Hong Kong. AWS, by comparison, has 25 core regional data centers globally, which are backstopped with 52 smaller “edge locations” around the world. Another regional facility is being developed in China.不过,阿里巴巴在其他方面却有些落后,它在中国内地只有三个大型数据中心,另外在香港设有一个规模较小的数据中心。相比之下,AWS在全球拥有25个核心的地区性数据中心,而且在世界各地还有52个较小的“边缘节点”为它们提供持。In terms of performance, Alibaba cannot come close. For a Chinese site, it does impressive work, handling .8 billion in commerce on China#39;s heaviest shopping day. The Alibaba S.E.C. filing says its cloud does 3.6 million computing transactions a minute. That sounds like a lot, until you consider that the AWS databases alone handle 1.5 million transactions a second.在性能方面,阿里巴巴也无法与顶级对手相竞争。作为一家中国网站,阿里巴巴的表现令人印象深刻,它在中国最繁忙的购物日,处理了58亿美元的交易。阿里巴巴在提交给SEC的文件中称,其云务每分钟可以处理360万次计算请求。这听起来仿佛很多,但是要知道,单是AWS的数据库,每秒钟就能处理150万次请求。Like Baidu and Tencent, two other big Chinese online companies with cloud businesses, Alibaba#39;s focus for now seems to be on mainland China, possibly as a place to learn the business before moving farther out.就像另外两家拥有云计算业务的中国互联网企业百度(Baidu)和腾讯(Tencent)一样,阿里巴巴目前的关注点似乎在中国大陆,可能是想先在这里充分掌握这项业务,然后再向外拓展。Like Alibaba, Tencent recently opened a data center in Hong Kong. Politically, Hong Kong is China#39;s special administrative region; practically, it can be a midway point between international and domestic commerce. From there, the probable growth would be in Asia, where China has many existing commercial relationships, or Africa, still mostly open territory for cloud computing.与阿里巴巴一样,腾讯最近也在香港设立了一个数据中心。在政治方面,香港是中国的特别行政区;实际上,它则可以成为国际和国内商业活动之间的中点。从这里开始,云计算的增长潜力将在亚洲,因为中国已经与亚洲有了很多商业往来,或者是非洲,那里基本上没有云计算业务。In other words, the American cloud companies should not have to worry in the short term. Further out, however, it#39;s likely that the Chinese clouds will have a lot of paying customers in the domestic market to fuel additional expansion.换句话说,美国的云计算公司在短期内应该无需担忧。然而,从长远来看,中国的云务企业可能会在国内市场拥有大量付费客户,为进一步的扩张提供动力。 /201408/323115

  McDonald`s Corp CEO Don Thompson, the head of the world`s biggest restaurant chain, who for much of his two years at the helm has been battling to spark sales growth in the ed States and Europe, got battered by headline-grabbing bad news in late July.作为全球最大的跨国连锁餐厅麦当劳的首席执行官,唐#8226;汤普森上任两年来一直在为提升麦当劳在美国与欧洲的销售业绩而不懈努力,而今年七月末他却因各种备受关注的丑闻头条“四处受挫”。In the final days of the month, its China business was hit with a food-safety scare involving a key supplier; the chain got ensnared in the West`s sanctions standoff with Russia; burger flippers at U.S. restaurants claimed an incremental win from the National Labor Relations Board in their fight to hold McDonald`s responsible for the actions of franchisees; and, a Texas jury slapped the company with a million verdict. Add to all that its results showed second-quarter profit dropped more than expected.7月末,麦当劳中国业务首先因主要供应商曝出食品安全问题而受到影响;随后,因俄美关系紧张,麦当劳成为俄罗斯反制裁目标;同时,美国餐厅麦当劳员工取得胜利,美国国家劳资关系委员会认定,如果存在侵犯雇员权利的行为,可以寻求追究麦当劳、而不仅是具体麦当劳餐厅的责任。;紧接着,麦当劳德克萨斯一家餐厅造成顾客伤亡,麦当劳被判决赔偿2700万美元。这一切最终导致今年第二季度,麦当劳的利润跌幅高于市场预期。McDonald`s was caught up in the latest China food safety scare after a July 20 television expose showed workers allegedly mishandling meat at Shanghai Husi Food Co Ltd, a factory owned by OSI Group LLC, a major supplier to the chain.7月20日,麦当劳首先卷入中国食品安全丑闻,电视媒体曝出其主要供应商OSI集团旗下的上海福喜食品有限公司工人承认使用过期、劣质原料加工生产肉制品。When the story broke, McDonald`s China business had been rebounding from the double whammy of a food safety scare and a bird flu outbreak that crushed sales in 2013.此时,麦当劳在中国的业务才刚刚从2013年的食品安全问题与禽流感的双重打击下恢复元气。McDonald`s roughly 2,000 restaurants in China suffered meat shortages after it ended its relationship with OSI China.而随着与OSI(中国)终止供应关系,麦当劳在中国的大约2000多家餐厅都面临肉类供应短缺的问题。;They`re under siege on three continents,; said Howard Penney, restaurant analyst at Hedgeye Risk Management, an investment research firm.来自从事投资研究的对冲基金风险管理公司的餐饮行业分析师霍华德#8226;彭尼称:“麦当劳在三块大陆上受困。”To be sure, the company`s famous name and the ubiquity of its restaurants worldwide help to fuel the media storm, said Penney: ;McDonald`s is a pawn in many instances around the world. It`s an easy target.;毋庸置疑,麦当劳极高的知名度以及遍布世界各地的分店是引发媒体高度关注的主要原因,彭尼说:“在全球很多事件中,麦当劳都‘中’,因为它很容易成为目标。”Such upheavals are not uncommon for McDonald`s and other global power houses, including Coca-Cola Co and Wal-Mart Stores Inc, experts said, though perhaps not quite so many in such a short period.在一些专家看来,可口可乐、沃尔玛等跨国企业也会遇到类似麻烦,只是麦当劳所遭遇的负面新闻集中在相对较短的时间内。Investors, analysts and franchisees are clamoring for the company to stop trying to be ;all things to all people;. They want it to simplify its unwieldy and point to the success of rivals, which have won passionate fans by selling just a few items.一些投资者、分析师和门店认为认为,麦当劳应该停止尝试迎合所有消费者的口味,为菜单“瘦身”,仿效一些竞争对手的做法,用特色产品吸引“死忠”消费者。 /201408/318556。

  Belgium#39;s new Waterloo coin比利时新滑铁卢硬币Belgium was forced to abandon the idea of issuing a two-euro commemorative coin marking the bicentennial of the Battle of Waterloo after France objected to the move in March.今年3月,因法国反对,比利时不得不放弃了铸造2欧元硬币纪念滑铁卢之战200周年的计划,不过比利时还是找到了发行滑铁卢纪念硬币的办法。But Belgium has come up with a way to get its Waterloo euro coins after all.本周,比利时决定援引一条鲜为人知的欧盟规定,从而绕开法国的阻挠。This week, Belgium decided to circumvent French resistance by invoking a little-known European Union rule that allows countries to issue euro coins of their choice, provided they are in an irregular denomination.根据这条规定,欧盟成员国可自行选择发行欧元硬币,只要面值不常见即可。That led to the unveiling of a EUR2.50 coin - a first in Belgium - and 70,000 of them have now been minted.于是,比利时推出了面值为2.5欧元的硬币——这在比利时历史上是头一遭——并已铸造了7万枚。The coins can only be spent inside Belgium.这些硬币只能在比利时境内使用。 /201506/380225

  A Chinese mother has become a walking dictionary by memorising the English-Chinese Dictionary from cowt to cover, reported the People#39;s Daily.一名中国妈妈成了活字典,她记住了整部英汉词典,《人民日报》报道。Li Yanzhi, 51, from Xi#39;an, Shaanxi Province, is able to explain the meaning of every single word in the 2 ,458-page book, which consists of 220,000 entries.今年51岁的李艳志来自西安,她能说出字典里每个单词的意思,总共2458页,包含了22万个词条。Ms Li, who divorced more than 20 years ago,undertook the mission in order to receive more translating work.李女士20多年前离婚,她背诵单词的目的是为了获得更多的翻译工作。This helps her support her 26-year-old son who suffers from autism and is not able to take care of himself.这样她才足以持自己26岁患有孤独症的没有自理能力的儿子。Ms Li is a lecturer in Financial English at Xian Transport University#39;s Economic and Banking School.李是西安交通大学经济与金融学院金融英语专业的一名老师。Since August 2013, she has been ing the dictionary six hours every day from 3am.自2013年8月份以来,她每天从凌晨3点钟开始阅读字典6个小时。Within 19 days, she finished the memorisation for the first time.在19天内,他第一次背熟了这本字典。According to People#39;s Daily, to succeed in the College English Test Band 6, which most university students in China are required to pass, the candidates need to understand 6,000 words.根据《人民日报》的报道,在大多数中国大学生都被要求通过的英语6级考试中,要想通过考试,就得记住6000个单词。In comparison, Ms Li#39;s vocabulary is extraordinary.相比之下,李女士的词汇量惊人。To help her memorising, Ms Li borrowed 465 English language magazines from the university library.为了帮助自己记忆,李女士从大学图书馆里借来了465本英语杂志。#39;My biggest dream is to enter The Brain to challenge myself, said Ms Li. The Brain is a popular reality TV show in China which uses a series of games, such as memorisation, to test the contestants#39; brainpower.;我最大的梦想是参加《最强大脑》挑战自己,;她说。《最强大脑》是中国的一款电视真人秀,使用一系列的游戏比如记忆来测试选手的智力。Ms Li said that son is autistic and cannot look after himself. Since her divorce more than 20 years ago, she and her son have been reliant on each other.她说儿子患有孤独症,无法照顾自己,自20多年前离婚以来,母子相依为命。As a single mother, Ms Li had to lock her son in the house whenever she went out for work. She said when she returned the house was always a complete mess.作为单亲妈妈,不管她什么时候出去工作都得把儿子锁在房子里。她说当她回到家里时,家里总是一团糟。But she said she never gave up.但是她说她从来就没有放弃过。#39;If I can fly I will fly, if I cant fly I will run, if I cannot run I will crawl,#39; she said.#39;No matter what you must move forward.#39;“如果我能飞,我就飞,如果我不能飞,我就跑。如果不能跑,我就爬,”她说。“无论发生什么,你都得向前进。”In order to improve their lives, Ms Li does translation work as a freelancer on top of her regular teaching. Through this,she has earned enough to buy herself a new apartment.为了提高生活水平,她除了教书外还做点翻译的兼职。现在她已经有钱购买一套新公寓了。Apart from English, Ms Li has learned to speak more than 10 different languages, including French, Russian, German,Japanese and Polish.除了英语,她还学会讲10多种不同的语言,包括法语,俄语,德语,日语和波兰语。She hopes that by memorising the 220,000 words from the dictionary, she can encourage students to learn English and increase their vocabulary.她希望通过记住这22万个单词可以激励学生们学习英语并提高词汇量。#39;Lecturer Li really is a living English-Chinese Dictionary,#39; says Zhang Xinjie, one of her students.她的一名学生说:;李老师真的是一部活的英汉词典。; /201503/363920When I close my eyes and think back to apartheid, it’s 1984 and I’m sitting on my grandparents’ veranda in Johannesburg. It’s a blazing December day, and I’ve just had a swim in their pool. Nesta, the black maid who lives behind the kitchen, is cutting the chocolate cake. In the garden below, her grandchildren are playing in our old underpants from Europe. We all know that apartheid will last forever.当我合上双眼回忆种族隔离年代时,脑海里就会闪现1984年我坐在约翰内斯堡祖父母家门廊上的画面。那是11月的一天,屋外艳阳高照,我刚在他们家的游泳池里游了个泳。黑人女仆奈丝塔在切巧克力蛋糕,她就住在厨房后面。门廊下的花园里,她的孙辈们在玩耍着,身上穿着我们从欧洲带回来的旧内裤。我们都以为种族隔离会永远维持下去。Twenty years ago this Sunday, South Africa’s first multiracial elections officially buried apartheid. But I still see apartheid everywhere I go. In part, this is a personal deformation. The apartheid I witnessed on visits to my grandparents was the most vivid sight of my childhood, more interesting than anything in the small Dutch town where I grew up, and so it remains my frame for understanding the world.20年前的4月27日,南非首次不分种族的选举正式埋葬了种族隔离制度。但我不管去哪儿,仍到处可见种族隔离的影子。这多少带有个人性质的畸形。在祖父母家目睹的种族隔离是我最生动鲜明的童年画面,比我长大时的常居地——荷兰小镇里的一切要有趣得多,因此它成了我理解世界的框架。True, the analogy with South African apartheid is never perfect. Today’s apartheid isn’t as naked. No country now has laws dividing people by “race”. No country proclaims a policy of “Bantu education”, which deliberately teaches blacks only just enough to do lowly jobs for whites. And yet things often seem to end up that way.没错,与南非种族隔离制度的任何类比都是不完美的。今天的种族隔离表现得没有那么裸。如今再没有国家立法以“种族”划分人民,也没有国家宣布“班图人教育”(Bantu education)政策——一项将黑人刻意教育得仅能为白人完成低端工作的教育政策。可事情往往最终会向那个方向发展。I especially see apartheid in the US. True, the country has made racist speech taboo. Use a racial epithet in public and your career combusts. That’s lovely.我在美国见到的种族隔离尤胜于别处。没错,这个国家禁止发表种族主义言论。如果谁当众用到带种族主义色的词语,他的职业生涯就算完了。这挺好。However, American school taxes are usually raised locally, and many neighbourhoods are segregated, and so most poor black children attend underfunded schools where they learn just enough to do lowly jobs for whites. The US later tries to airlift a few victims out of the ghetto through “affirmative action”, but by then the damage is done. Like apartheid South Africa, the US ensures through schooling that most black people won’t succeed. It just doesn’t call this “Bantu education”.然而,美国的学校通常靠地方税收维持,而许多居民区是隔离的,因此家境贫寒的黑人孩子大多只能就读于资金匮乏的学校,他们在那儿所受的教育仅够为白人完成低端工作。虽然后来美国试图通过“平权法案”从贫民区里救出少数牺牲品,但到了那时伤害已经铸就。就像种族隔离制度下的南非,美国的教育制度意味着大多数黑人无法走上成功道路。美国只是不把这称作“班图人教育”。My instinctive measure of a society is how closely it resembles South African apartheid. On that score the Netherlands – despite ample racist speech – arguably beats the US, because the Dutch give so-called “black schools” more funding than white suburban schools. Similarly, ethnically mixed-up London has less apartheid than segregated Paris.我衡量一个社会时,本能上会看其与南非种族隔离制度的相近程度。以这个评分标准来看,充斥着大量种族歧视言论的荷兰可以说胜过美国,因为荷兰给所谓的“黑人学校”的拨款要高于白人郊区学校。同样地,伦敦种族混杂,而巴黎种族隔离,伦敦的种族隔离没有巴黎那么严重。South African apartheid determined people’s life paths from before birth. If you were a white embryo, you’d be fine. A black embryo wouldn’t. I remember, aged about 16, sitting on the porch of some ridiculous white adult fraud, listening to him preach about the stupidity of his black servants, and realising: this guy needs to believe he made his own success. Few people at the top can think, “Luckily, I chose the right parents.” Instead they tell themselves a story about work and talent – even though their maid probably outworks them, and nobody ever cared whether she had talent.南非的种族隔离在人们出生前就决定了他们的人生轨迹。如果你投胎为白人,你的人生将一路畅通,但如果投胎为黑人就不行了。我记得自己大约16岁时,坐在一个有些可笑的、伪善的白人的门廊上,听他唠叨他的黑仆如何愚蠢,心想:这家伙得相信他是靠自己成功的。上层人很少意识到,“太走运了,我投对了胎。”相反,他们用工作和才华这种故事来自欺欺人,哪怕他们的女仆很可能比他们辛苦得多,而且无人在乎她是否有才华。Inequality is the new apartheid. Your life path is largely determined before birth. The ruling classes pass on their status by sending their children to exclusive schools, much like in apartheid Johannesburg.不平等是新的种族隔离。你的人生轨迹在出生前就已基本决定。统治阶层通过将孩子送进贵族学校来传承自己的地位,这跟种族隔离的约翰内斯堡十分相似。Happily, ethnicity is no longer always decisive. Still, today’s apartheid delivers outcomes as unequal as the old apartheid did. One measure of a society’s inequality is its Gini coefficient. South Africa’s Gini in 1995, just after apartheid, was a shocking 0.59 (where 0 is perfect equality, and 1 is perfect inequality). But Manhattan today has almost exactly the same Gini: 0.6, according to the US Census Bureau. Amazingly, South Africa itself has become less equal since apartheid: by 2009 the country’s Gini had risen to 0.63, says the World Bank.幸运的是,种族已不再决定一切。但今天的隔离所产生的效果与旧的种族隔离制度一样不平等。衡量社会不平等的一个指标就是它的基尼系数。1995年,刚结束种族隔离制度之后的南非基尼系数很糟,为0.59(0代表完全平等,1代表完全不平等)。但根据美国人口普查局(US Census Bureau)的数据,曼哈顿今天的基尼系数几乎与之完全相同:0.6。令人惊奇的是,南非自己居然变得比种族隔离时期更加不平等,根据世界(World Bank)的数据,该国2009年基尼系数升到了0.63。Political talk today often sends me drifting back to apartheid. I remember white South African liberals bemoaning apartheid while the maid served supper. I grasped only recently (after ing Mark Gevisser’s excellent new book Dispatcher, about Johannesburg) that most of them didn’t want to end apartheid. They just liked talking liberal talk. It made them feel virtuous, and set them above peasants who actually believed in apartheid. In fact, apartheid liberals resemble liberals today who bemoan climate change while flying everywhere and not voting for parties that would tackle the problem (I know: I’m guilty too). As climate change gets forgotten, the latest fake liberals are the Davos types who bemoan inequality at billionaire-sponsored cocktail parties.当今的政治言论常常让我穿越时空,回到种族隔离时代。我想起那些一边享用女佣端上的晚餐,一边抱怨种族隔离的南非白人自由派人士。最近我读了马克#8226;格维瑟(Mark Gevisser)新出的有关约翰内斯堡的杰作《调度员》(Dispatcher)之后,才了解他们大多数人并不想终结种族隔离。他们只是喜欢空谈自由派的言论。这令他们产生高尚感,将他们置于那些信奉种族隔离的“农民”之上。事实上,种族隔离时期的自由派人士,跟今天那些一面抱怨气候变化,一面频频搭乘飞机出行,还不愿意投票持有意对付这一问题的政党的自由派人士(我知道,我也难逃其咎)如出一辙。随着气候变化渐渐被人们抛诸脑后,那些齐聚达沃斯、在亿万富翁赞助的鸡尾酒会上抱怨不平等的人成了最新的伪自由派人士。Still, South Africa showed me that progress can happen. Apartheid ended partly for the same reason why communism collapsed in 1989, and why inequality may yet diminish: the ruling class became ashamed. Apartheid’s demise taught me that politics matter, that individual politicians matter (the white regime trusted Nelson Mandela with the country) and that history never happens the way you expect. South Africa avoided civil war. Instead, as the old communist Albie Sachs told me, “The communists made the liberal revolution.” I’ve learnt that utopia never arrives: South Africa won’t ever be Switzerland. But it could become Chile.话虽如此,南非还是向我明了进步是可能发生的。种族隔离制度结束的原因,部分类似于东欧共产党政权在1989年垮台,它也是不平等有望减少的原因:统治阶层变得羞愧了。种族隔离制度的灭亡告诉我,政治是重要的,个别政治家可能扭转乾坤(白人政权信任纳尔逊#8226;曼德拉(Nelson Mandela)执掌国家),以及历史永远不按照你预期的道路发展。南非避免了内战。相反,正如老共产主义者阿尔比#8226;萨克斯(Albie Sachs)对我说的,“共产主义者开创了自由派革命。”我认识到乌托邦永远不会到来:南非永远不会变成瑞士,但它有可能变成智利。Some things have got better. Nesta, while working for my grandparents, simultaneously raised her own grandchildren in her house five hours away. This month she died, aged about 85. Her grandchildren buried her. She had worked them hard. They books. Several of them graduated from university. They have a slightly better chance in life than she did.有些事变得好一些了。奈丝塔的家离我祖父母家有5小时路程,她在为我祖父母工作的同时,在自己家养大了她的孙辈。她上个月过世了,享年85岁,她的孙辈们安葬了她。她教导他们勤奋上进。他们念过书,有些还念到大学毕业。相比她,他们的人生机会略好一些。 /201405/300416

  Starting with his first novel, “Native Speaker,” the Korean-American author Chang-rae Lee has written of immigrant experiences in the ed States. His latest novel, “On Such a Full Sea,” centers on a Chinese woman named Fan who is a laborer in a city called B-Mor, a future version of Baltimore. The novel is a dystopian tale, set in an era when nations around the world are suffering from overwhelming environmental degradation. Fan is one of tens of thousands of Chinese from smog-choked Shanxi Province who have taken jobs as food production workers in B-Mor to escape their toxic homeland.从小说处女作《母语人士》(Native Speaker)开始,韩裔美国作家李昌来(Chang-rae Lee)写了很多在美国的移民经历。在他的最新小说《在如此完满的大海上》(On Such a Full Sea)中,主人公是一个名叫“范”(Fan)的中国女人,生活在一个名为B-Mor的城市,而B-Mor其实是未来的巴尔的。这部小说讲述了一个反乌托邦的故事,设定各国处在铺天盖地的环境退化灾难之中。范来自雾霾严重的山西省,那里有数以万计的中国人和她一样,逃离环境毒化的家乡,前往B-Mor当食品生产工人。Mr. Lee, who also teaches creative writing at Princeton University, was in Beijing for the annual Bookworm Literary Festival, which runs to March 29. Last Sunday, I hosted a conversation with him that included questions from an audience at the Bookworm. Following are lightly edited excerpts, transcribed by Becky Davis:李昌来在普林斯顿大学(Princeton University)教授创意写作课程,本次他前往北京参加一年一度的老书虫国际文学节(Bookworm Literary Festival)期间,我主持了与他的对话,其中包括书虫节听众的提问。书虫节将于3月29日周日闭幕。以下是稍作编辑的对话摘要,由贝基·戴维斯(Becky Davis)从录音转录为文字。Q. Earlier today, I was at the Chinese prime minister’s press conference. He said China hadn’t done enough on pollution and that he really needs to push forward in the war against pollution. In your latest novel, “On Such a Full Sea,” the future that you envision is one in which China loses the war on pollution. Can you tell us why you see this being the future of the world? 问:今天早些时候,我参加了中国总理的记者招待会。他说,中国在防治污染方面做得不够,他需要大力推动反污染的斗争。在你的最新小说《在如此完满的大海上》中,你设想中国未来在这场斗争中失败。你能讲讲为什么会设定这样的未来世界吗?A. It’s not just China — it’s really everyone, in the book. 答:这不只是中国——在这本书里,其实所有国家都是这样。The book is set some vague number of years ahead, 150 to 200 years, I’m not that specific about it. But I am very specific about the kinds of implications for the people of the society, which is that they all suffer from a certain kind of inevitable disease, which they call “sea,” which is something that’s sort of lurking out there mysteriously. They can’t really address it. And obviously that comes from the violation of the environment.这本书设定了一个不太确切的未来时刻,是未来150到200年之间,我没有把年份弄得很具体。但我非常具体地描述了那个社会的公众所处的境况,即他们全都患上了某种不可避免的疾病,他们称这种疾病为“海”,是一种潜伏在外面的神秘东西。他们没法真正应对这个问题。显然,这种疾病来自环境污染。They’re always talking about being careful about the things that you eat, the water that you drink. One of the conceits of the book is that there is a production facility called B-Mor in the former Baltimore, and this production facility is a facility that provides pristine fishes and vegetables for an elite class of people. And the very fact of its existence is that everything outside is too poisoned and too ruined to trust.他们总是在谈论要小心注意吃的东西,喝的水。书中设定了一个生产基地,名为B-Mor,位于以前的巴尔的。这个生产基地为精英阶层提供未受污染的鱼类和蔬菜。它的存在表明,外面的一切东西都毒化了,受到了毁损,不能信任。I don’t get into the environmental issues very much. There’s some guy who kept writing me every week after the book came out and said, can you just come out and say that this is a “Cli-Fi” novel? I don’t know, he must have had a trademark [on the term] or something. There’s climate anxiety [in the novel], but it’s not that geeky about it. It’s almost a psychic condition, of feeling beleaguered.我没有非常深入地阐释环保问题。这本书出版之后,有个人每周都写信给我,希望我能站出来说这是一本“气候变化小说”。我不清楚,他肯定有个和这个词有关的商标什么的。这本书中涉及了关于气候的焦虑感,但没有达到那种怪咖程度。它差不多算是一种焦头烂额的心理状态。Today, we were just walking around. I bought my first mask here, which I kind of liked. But then I noticed that the mask itself smelled sort of chemically. So I was thinking, maybe the mask is actually worse for you than the air.今天,我们只是到处闲逛了逛。我在这里买了第一个口罩,我还有点喜欢它。但后来我发现,口罩本身就散发出某种化学味道。所以我想,也许对你来说,在这里戴口罩其实比直接呼吸空气更糟糕。Q. You were originally going to write a novel about China but then you took the train past Baltimore, and decided to set it there. In your original conception of the novel, why did you want to set a book in China? You came to China on one or two trips to do some research — could you tell us about that? 问:你本来打算写一本关于中国的小说,但你在有一次乘火车路过巴尔的之后,决定把背景设置在那里。在你最初的小说构思中,为什么要把一本书的背景设置在中国呢?你来了中国一两趟,做了一些调研,能介绍一下这方面的情况吗?A. My original idea was to write a kind of social fabric novel about Chinese factory workers. So in about 2011 or so, I went to Shenzhen. My sister lives in Hong Kong, so it was an easy trip. I sort of finagled my way into a factory. It was a really fascinating visit for me. I hadn’t been to a factory and had all these preconceptions about what I would see. It actually wasn’t so horrible. I don’t know if people have gone to that area — that’s where you know all the factories are, you know. They’re not really factories so much as they are settlements. And this particular settlement, this factory that I went to was a facility that produced tiny electrical motors, the kind that drive a DVD tray or a side-view mirror. So it wasn’t a big, huge industrial complex. It was really more like a campus, but a really grubby one — kind of rundown. There was nothing aesthetically pleasing about it. 答:我最初的想法是写一部关于中国工厂工人的社会结构小说。因此,大约在2011年,我去了深圳。我住在香港,所以去那里很方便。我差不多连哄带骗地进入了一家工厂。对我来说,这次访问真正的很有意义。我之前从没有去过工厂,对于将会在那里看到什么存在各种成见。实际上那里并不是那么可怕。我不知道大家是否去过那里——所有工厂都在那儿。说那是工厂,还不如说是他们的定居点。我去的这家工厂,这个具体的定居点,生产的是驱动DVD拖盘或侧视镜的微型电机。所以,这不是一个非常庞大的工业园区。它看起来更像一个校园,但真的很寒碜,感觉有些破败。毫无美感可言。Q. It wasn’t like Princeton. 问:它和普林斯顿不像。A. No, no. At Princeton, every blade of grass is accounted for. It’s a little creepy. 答:不,不。在普林斯顿,每根草都被解读过。这有点让人起鸡皮疙瘩。Q. That’s a dystopian novel! 问:那才是一部反乌托邦小说!A. Well, dystopias are always about utopias, of course. But this particular place was … it was exactly what I needed for the book I wanted to write. It had a little health center. It had a basketball hoop that was rusty. It had the dining hall. It had the dormitories of course, which housed eight people in one little room, in bunks, with a little hot plate and a plant there. People were trying to make a life out of it, obviously, and choosing to be there. And of course most of the workers were young women. 答:实际上,反乌托邦作品的关键总是乌托邦。但是,这个地方是......正是我想写的这本书所需要的素材。它有一个小型医疗中心。有个锈迹斑斑的篮球架。有食堂。当然还有宿舍,一个小房间住八个人,上下铺,有一些轻便电热炉,还有一株绿植。人们试图在这种状况下过点像样的日子,很明显,他们是自愿待在那里的。当然,大部分工人都是年轻女性。And I was all set to write that novel. I went back to my desk in Princeton and started to write. But I felt as if … and this I’ve got to blame on you guys, journalists who have done such a great job in doing my initial research about all the things that were going on in China. I guess I had always been someone in the last five to seven years who had a lot of interest in China, about all the awesome things that were happening, but also this kind of d about China, about its power, about its environment. All the things that make China special and noticeable.我当时全都准备好了,就要展开写作。我回到普林斯顿的书桌前,开始写小说。但我觉得好像……这得怪你们记者了,为我对中国发生的各种事情做了非常出色的初步调研。我想,在过去五到七年时间里,我一直对中国非常感兴趣,不仅是对中国发生的各种好事,而且也对中国、中国的力量,以及中国的环境怀有一种畏惧。所有这一切让中国显得与众不同,值得注目。So I got back to my desk again and I felt as if I was writing. … You know, the writing was fine. But I think I was writing just basically what you guys [journalists] were writing. I wasn’t adding anything to that story, in my view. I didn’t want to just report on it, because you know, when you’re writing a novel, it’s not just about representation. Of course, when you’re writing a great journalistic piece it’s not just about that either. But the novel, especially as something that needs to be sustained for that many pages, really needs other kinds of angles. You need other kinds of approaches to the material to make it come alive in a way that’s unlikely but is still obviously truthful, and maybe beautiful.所以,我再次回到书桌前,我感觉好像写得……其实写得还行。但我觉得基本上只是在写你们记者写的东西。在我看来,我没有添加任何新东西进去。我不想写出来的只是一个报道,因为,当你写一本小说时,它不仅仅是陈述。当然,当你写一篇出色的新闻文章时,也不能只是进行陈述。但小说,尤其是需要能写很长篇幅的小说,确实需要采用不同类型的角度。你需要不同类型的方法来处理材料,让它看似不可能,但仍然显得很真实,甚至可能还很美妙。I guess I had to admit to myself that that wasn’t happening. For whatever reason. Maybe I just wasn’t imagining the characters right. … You know, I had been so inspired by certain novels like Zola’s “Germinal.” It’s a great novel about coal miners in a town in 19th-century France and their struggles — their battle against the owners and the degradation that they suffered. And I was going to do all that, but I guess I just didn’t have that special, fresh angle on my material. So I put it away, kind of depressed, because I’d done all this work, and I was still excited about it.我想当时我不得不向自己承认,我没有做到这一点。无论原因是什么。也许我只是没有想象出恰当的角色。......你知道,某些小说一直给了我很大的启发,比如左拉(Zola)的名著《萌芽》(Germinal),讲的是19世纪法国一个镇上的煤矿工人以及他们的斗争——他们和矿主做斗争,和他们所处的恶化境况做斗争。我想要写这样一本小说,但我觉得自己还没有找到一个特殊、新鲜的视角来处理素材。所以我停下来,感觉有点郁闷,因为我已经做了这么多工作,不过我还是对这件事劲头十足。That’s when I took this train ride from New York to D.C. For those of you who have not been on that train — it’s the regular train that goes every day, many times a day. Because I’d grown up in the New York area, I’d been on that train for probably 45 years of my life, going back and forth periodically. And for 45 years, I’d always seen, as you roll into Baltimore Penn Station, the east side of Baltimore that’s always been, as I can remember since I was a little kid, a neighborhood that’s forlorn. A classic American ghetto. The reasons for it are myriad and very complicated. Race, racism, economic decline, post-industrial stuff, all that kind of stuff. Anyway, that’s the kind of neighborhood it was.这时候,我乘火车从纽约前往华盛顿特区,可能你没有坐过那班火车——它是普通列车,每天都会发很多班。我是在纽约地区长大的,所以我坐那班火车可能有45年了,过段时间就往返一次。这45年来,每次进入巴尔的宾州车站,我都会看到巴尔的东侧那片社区。我记得,从我孩提时代开始,那就一直是个绝望孤独的社区。那是个典型的美国贫民窟,形成的原因有很多,非常复杂。族裔、种族主义、经济衰退、后工业化问题,如此种种。无论如何,那个社区就是那样的。I was looking at this neighborhood, and not thinking at all of writing about it, and I just got angry and frustrated as a citizen. I said, I can’t believe I’ve been seeing this neighborhood for probably four decades in various states of neglect, disrepair, maybe hope, a little bit. The current iteration that I saw was that it was all boarded up, these very modest 2oth-century modest row houses. They’d be just boarded up with plywood so that the street was completely cleared of anything, so that no one was supposed to live there anymore. It was absolutely cleared out of people. It was like a neutron bomb went off. The buildings were still standing, but the people were all gone.我看着这个社区,完全没有要写它的念头,我只是从公民的角度感到很生气,很失望。我说,我简直不敢相信,在大约40年的时间里,我看着这片社区总体上就处在无人理睬、破败失修,也许还有一丝丝希望的状态。当时我看到的最新状况是,所有房子都用木板封起来了,它们是20世纪那种不起眼的排式房屋。它们被胶合板封起来,这样街上就彻底没有了任何东西,所以应该是没人住在那里了。绝对空无一人。就好像一颗中子弹爆炸过,建筑物仍然矗立,但人都不在了。And I thought to myself — what a waste! We need so much affordable housing in our cities, and in Baltimore especially. I thought, why don’t we just invite an environmentally ruined village in China over? People can’t live there. Fifty thousand people — bring them over here, let them have it. Right? Let’s see what they do with it! They’ve got to do something good with it. Who knows what they’ll do?我心想——这太浪费了!我们的城市需要大量廉价住房,尤其是巴尔的。我想,何不去中国找一个环境被毁坏殆尽的乡村,请那里的人到这里来住呢?在那里是没法生活的。5万人——请他们过来,给他们住。看看他们会怎么对待这些!他们肯定会带来一些好的东西。谁知道他们能做出什么事来?And I kept sort of tossing that idea about, and I said, gee, that would be kind of a fun idea. Kind of an immigration story en masse. You know, usually an immigration story is like, my family, this community. But to bring everyone over at once in an engineered way, with a real purpose, a mission to revitalize. And I said of course that’s not going to work. No one’s going to allow that, even if people needed it.这个想法我一直在琢磨着,我心想,嘿,这倒是个挺好玩的点子。有点移民众生相的意思。你知道一个移民故事通常就是讲我的家庭之类,这个社区的事。但这是奔着一个切实的目标,一种复兴的使命,有计划地把所有人一次性搬迁过来。我心想那当然是不可能实现的。就算人真的有这个需求,也不可能得到许可。But then I just kept rolling about the idea, and I thought, well maybe in the future, in a very different future, America might need a certain kind of assistance, a certain kind of revitalization. Maybe all these forlorn urban areas — in 100 years, 200 years, that’s still a problem, still something that needs to be addressed, and maybe that would happen. So I said, O.K., I’ll set the book in the future. But of course once you do that, you have to talk about the rest of the future, the rest of the context. So that’s how this book happened.但想法在我脑子里还是一直转着,我想,也许在未来,一个跟现在很不一样的未来里,美国会需要某种特定的协助,某种振兴。这些荒凉的城区——未来100、200年里,也许仍然是个问题,仍然需要去面对,那么到时也许就能实现这个想法。于是我就说,好吧,我把这本书设定在未来。但当然,一旦你要这么做,未来的其余部分,语境的其余部分,你也得说说。这本书就是这么来的。I still took a lot of the research that I did on my Shenzhen trip. Not the details of that visit, but I guess the feeling, the ethos of those workers, the sense of community that they had. And really, this novel started out as a novel about community, but a certain kind of community. But then it became larger.在深圳的那次调研至今还是能带给我很多东西。我想重要的不是那段经历的细节,而是感受,那些工人的气质,那种拥有一个社区的感觉。实际上,这部小说在一开始就是一部讲社区的小说,只不过是某种特定的社区。然后才开始扩展开来。[During the question-and-answer session, a young man asked Mr. Lee about his understanding of Chinese culture, citing a scene in “On Such a Full Sea.” There is a plot spoiler here for those who have not yet the novel.][在问答环节,一个年轻人援引了《在如此完满的大海上》中的一个片段,请李昌来谈谈对中国文化的理解。这里有对书中情节的透露,望尚未阅读这部小说的读者知悉。]Q. When I was ing the book, there was a point for me when the story really turned and I became invested. And that was when the Joseph character, the boy, drowns and then there’s the funeral scene, because that just rang so true for me in my experience of Chinese funerals. It got me really curious how much of, is it a question of how much you really know about Chinese culture or is it like overlap with your understanding of Korean culture? What is it about Chinese culture that stands out from Korean culture or American culture, that’s distinctive for you? What is something inherent besides the obvious differences? 问:在看这本书的时候,对我来说有一个转折点,让我开始投入进去了。就是那个叫约瑟夫的男孩溺死后的葬礼,因为它显得很真实,唤起了我自己参加中式葬礼的经历。这让我很想知道,你对中国文化实际上有多少了解,或者说这种文化是不是跟你对韩国文化的理解有重合?对你来说,中国文化跟韩国文化或美国文化相比,有什么格外不一样的地方?除了那些明显的差异以外,它们有什么内在的不同点?A. I don’t know that there is. There is a little bit that it just bleeds over from Korean funerals, I suppose. I’d seen Chinese ones on film. [laughs] I think my editor was like, oh, you’re really going into all this business about … Why are you going into this scene? I had a hard time explaining it to her. Because I felt like that scene — and I’m really glad you brought it up — that scene, it was important to me because it’s when the community comes together and really taps into a feeling. It’s the first time that Fan really notices that and feels like there’s been a real bonding, even with all these disparate people that don’t really care about each other. That this one moment is sort of crystallizing a feeling.答:我不知道。我认为,有些地方和韩式葬礼类似。我通过电影看过中式葬礼。[笑] 我觉得我编辑的反应是这样的,哦,你真的要深入到所有这些东西里去……你为什么要写这一幕?我艰难地就此对她作了解释。因为我感觉那一幕——我真的很高兴你提了出来——那一幕,它之所以对我很重要,是因为整个社区在此刻团结在了一起,而且它真实地挖掘了一种感受。这是范第一次真正注意到这一点,而且感觉人们之间存在一种真实的联系,即使是与这些各不相同并且对彼此漠不关心的人。这一刻在某种程度上使一种感觉变得清清楚楚。And part of my anxiety about this community that I was writing about was that they’d gotten a little bit soft, a little bit comfortable, a little bit in some ways detached from one another, because the bonds of their community were so structurally sound and structurally kind of prescribed, that they’d forgotten about them. When everyone’s a cousin, everyone’s a cousin. No one’s like, right there. And so that was something that I felt that she would see or feel. And not just her — the “we.” They begin to feel something, that there’s this final burst, for the first time in a long time, this rush, this drug of feeling. And I guess that’s why that scene exists.对于我所书写的这个社区,我的一部分焦虑原因就是人们会变得有些软弱、有些舒适,在某些方面有些彼此疏远了,因为他们社区的联系在结构上如此牢固,而且结构上早就固定下来,所以他们会忘掉这些。如果所有人都是亲戚,也就没什么感觉了。好像没人在那里。所以,那就是我觉得她会看到或感受到的东西。而且不仅是她——是“我们”。他们开始感受到了一些东西,于是后来出现这个最后时刻的迸发,这是长期以来第一次,这种强烈的感觉,这种炽烈的感情。我认为这就是那一幕存在的原因。 /201503/366242

  

  #39;Sit-still competition#39; in Guangdong;发呆大赛;在广东省展开More than 100 people took part in a ;sit-still competition; in Qingyuan, Guangdong on Sunday, with challengers required to sit motionless on a stage for an hour.5月31日,广东清远举办了一场别开生面的;发呆大赛;,吸引了上百人前来参加。Participants, whose ages ranged from 6 to 60, had to endure several rounds of ;attacks;, where ;trouble makers; danced in front of them, tried to pass food and water and cracked hilarious jokes.参赛者年纪最大的60岁,最小的6岁,统一坐在一个舞台上,以一个表情与姿势发呆一个小时。现场设置有干扰环节,比如让;捣乱分子;在发呆者面前跳舞、给发呆者递上食物和水、给他们讲爆笑笑话等等。The top three places were all won by children, who seemed to be more noise-proof than adults.坚持到最后的;呆神;冠、亚、季军均是小朋友,比起大人,他们似乎更能抗干扰。 /201506/378216。

  

  

  Chinese are now by far the biggest foreign buyers of US real estate in terms of units, dollar volume and price paid, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors, which tracks property purchases across the country.全美房地产经纪人协会(National Association of Realtors)的一份报告称,中国人现在是美国房地产遥遥领先的最大外国买家,无论以数量、美元销售额还是交易价格衡量都是如此。该协会追踪全美各地的房地产购买交易。In the 12 months to the end of March, Chinese buyers spent .6bn on mostly residential property in the US, a 30 per cent increase from the previous year and more than two and a half times the amount spent by Canadians, the next biggest group of foreign buyers.在截至今年3月底的12个月里,中国买家在美国出286亿美元(主要用于购买住宅物业),同比增加30%,而且是第二大外国买家群体——加拿大人出金额的2.5倍多。With the Chinese economy and real estate market slowing dramatically and a vociferous anti-corruption campaign in full swing at home, Chinese buyers have been scrambling in the past few years to buy real estate abroad.随着中国经济和房地产市场大幅放缓,同时声势浩大的反腐败运动不断深入,近年中国买家竞相在国外购买房地产。As a group they have become the biggest buyers of housing in many major western cities, including New York, London, Sydney, Vancouver, Toronto and Auckland. Houses in English-speaking democracies with good education systems, excellent quality of life, strong rule of law and strong property rights are regarded by Chinese buyers as excellent stores of wealth.作为一个群体,他们已成为许多西方大城市住房的最大买家,这些城市包括纽约、伦敦、悉尼、温哥华、多伦多和奥克兰。在中国买家看来,这些地方位于讲英语的民主国家,有良好的教育体系、一流的生活质量、强大的法治和产权制度,因此这里的住房是极好的保值工具。In the year to the end of March, Chinese buyers spent more than three times the average American buyer, paying an average of 1,800 per property, compared with the national average transaction price of 5,600.在截至今年3月底的一年里,中国赴美购房者的平均出金额达到美国购房者的三倍多,平均为每套住房付出83.18万美元,而美国全国平均房产交易价为25.56万美元。For all international buyers, the average purchase price was 9,600, although the next biggest buyers — from Canada, India, Mexico and the UK — all spent less than that on average.就所有海外买家而言,平均购房价格为49.96万美元,尽管排在中国后面的最大买家群体——加拿大、印度、墨西哥和英国买家——平均出都低于这个水平。Although Chinese buyers of American property overtook Canadian buyers in total transaction volume a year ago, they only overtook them in number of transactions in the latest 12-month period measured by the NAR report.尽管中国赴美购房者的交易总额在一年前就超过加拿大买家,但就交易数量而言,中国买家只是在全美房地产经纪人协会报告覆盖的最近12个月期间才超过加拿大买家。Buyers from China (including Taiwan and Hong Kong) accounted for 28 per cent of total sales of US real estate to foreign buyers and 16 per cent of the number of transactions, compared with Canada’s 14 per cent of transactions.就出售给外国买家的美国房地产而言,来自中国(包括台湾和香港)的买家占总销售额的28%,交易数量的16%,而加拿大买家占交易数量的14%。The favourite Chinese investment destination in the US was California, accounting for 35 per cent of purchases, followed by Washington state, New York, Massachusetts, Illinois and Texas.在美国,中国人最钟情的投资目的地是加利福尼亚州,占购房数量的35%,其次为华盛顿州、纽约、马萨诸塞州、伊利诺伊州和得克萨斯州。About 70 per cent of Chinese purchases were reported as all-cash, compared with 55 per cent for all foreign purchases and 25 per cent for purchases made by domestic US buyers.据报告,约70%的中国买家购房全部使用现金,相比之下,这个比例在所有外国买家中为55%,在美国国内买家中为25%。Since China has strict capital controls that limit individuals to transferring just ,000 a year out of the country, it appears that most of the money flooding into global property markets is technically illegal.由于中国实行严格的资本管制,每人每年只能汇款5万美元到国外,涌入全球房地产市场的大部分资金看起来在技术上是非法的。While there are legal ways to transfer larger sums, several major banks in Beijing told the Financial Times they had never conducted such transactions for offshore real estate buyers. People involved in the market say the vast majority of money for overseas property purchases is transferred illegally.虽然存在汇兑更大金额的合法途径,但北京的数家大向英国《金融时报》介绍说,他们从来没有为海外房地产买家安排这样的交易。参与该市场的人士透露,绝大部分海外购房资金是非法转移的。 /201506/382306

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