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Tobacco Fights Back

The news media, the federal government and public opinion have lined up against Big Tobacco. But the industry has managed to keep courts and regulators off its turf. So far.

The media:Two years ago ABC charged that manufactur­ers manipulated the level of nicotine in their cigarettes to addict smokers. Sued for libel, ABC partly apologized.

▲Lawyers:New Orleans attorney Wendell Gauthier helped unite 60 law firms to file a class action on behalf of smokers and former smokers who claim to be addicted. The suit has the industry worried.

▲The states:Six states are suing tobacco companies to recover the cost of treating smoking-related ailments. When Sen. Virginia Brown-Waite spoke out against the industry, Florida kept a law making it easier to sue.

▲The Feds:David Kessler, head of the Food and Drug Administration, wants to regulate tobacco products. The Environmental Protection Agency wants to crack down on 'secondhand smoke.' Criminal probes are also underway.

▲Smokers:Individual smokers and former smokers have filed hundreds of lawsuits over the health consequences of tobacco use. Only one case was ever won, for financial damages, and that verdict was later overturned.

With Daniel McGinn in New York,Daniel Klaidman and Mark Hosenball in Washington and Peter Katel in Miami

þ Выполните упражнения на тренировку употребления и перевода клишированных словосочетаний СМИ

­ 1. Read the article and Look up the meaning of the words and phrases in the dictionary.

Helping poor nations

The US president’s plan to add $5 billion to the foreign aid budget shows that his administration is rethinking the importance of helping undeveloped countries. Obviously, that is a good thing — not o because the money may ease the hopelessness that breeds terrorism. Foreign aid, well spent, will also liberate enterpreneural energies, protect human rights and help millions achieve better lives.

The president’s vision, however, is larger than his financial commitments. He wants to spend the extra $5 billion over three yea Shamefully, America, once the world’s most generous aid giver, n gives less, relative to the size of its economy, than any other developed country, and much of what it does provide goes to military rather the humanitarian purposes. Many Americans have supported the retreat from foreign aid under the assumption that the money is wasted anyway. The president’s plan would use economic development funds as a reward for countries that agree combat corruption, strengthen the rule of la respect human rights and maintain open markets.

And after a decade in which foreign assistance spending remain virtually flat, this proposal marks a significant advance. A three-year rise of $5 billion can do much good fighting MJ2 and other infection diseases, ridding of malnutrition, spreading computer literacy an helping Third World business to market their goods in the developed world.

Washington’s leadership cannot be reduced to a show of military might. This proposal could help lead America back towards it traditional role as a generous partner in spreading economic development.

2. Give Russian equivalents of the following words and phrases.

Developed country; foreign aid; entrepreneurial energies; to combat corruption; underdeveloped country; computer literacy; to waste money; human rights; commitments; malnutrition; AIDS; the rule of law

­ 1. Read the article and Look up the meaning of the words and phrases in the dictionary.

International humanitarian law and human rights

International humanitarian law has a brief but eventful history It not until the second half of the nineteenth century that nations interternational rules to avoid needless suffering in wars — rules they bound themselves to observe in a Convention. What is international humanitarian law? This body of law can be defined as the principles and rules which limit the use of armed conflict. The aims are:

To protect persons who are not, or are aged, wounded, shipwrecked, and civilian.

To limit the effects of violence in fighting.

Three main currents are the “law of Geneva,” represented by 11w international Conventions and Protocols established under the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) with 11w protection of the victims of conflict as their central concern; the “law of the Hague,” based on the results of the Peace Conferences in the capita I of the Netherlands in 1899 and 1907, which dealt principally with the permissible means and methods of war, and the efforts of the United Nations to ensure that human rights are respected in armed conflicts and to limit the use of certain weapons.

The Peace Conferences at The Hague in 1899 and 1907 adopted conventions defining the laws and customs of warfare and declarations forbidding certain practices, including the bombardment of undefended towns, the use of poisonous gases and soft-nosed bullets. The conferences failed to agree on a system of compulsory arbitration as a means of settling disputes which threaten peace.

The United Notions role

The maintenance of peace, and the prevention of armed conflict are the concerns of the United Nations. Respect for human rights at all times and in all places is a fundamental principle of the Organization. In 1949, the International Law Commission decided not to put the law of armed conflict on its agenda as attention to this branch of international law might be seen as a lack of trust in the capacity of the United Nations to maintain peace and security. From the outset, however, United Nations bodies have cited the Geneva Conventions and Protocols. and have urged States to ratify, or to be guided by them. The application of humanitarian law features constantly in the debates and decisions of the Commission on Human Rights and the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities.

The Teheran Conference

The International Conference on Human Rights in Teheran in 1968 (the International Year for Human Rights) declared that humanitarian principles must prevail during periods of armed conflict.

In the same year, the United Nations General Assembly, in resolution 2444 (XXIII) affirmed a resolution of the Twelfth International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (Vienna, 1965) which laid down three basic principles of action in armed conflict: The right of parties to a conflict to adopt means of injuring the enemy is not unlimited; It is prohibited to launch attacks on civilian populations as such; a distinction must be made at all times between persons taking part in.

With the adoption of resolution 2444, the General Assembly declared as unacceptable the idea of waging war against the entire population in an attempt to force the adversary to give up. The resolution also marked the acceleration of the movement to bring the three currents of international humanitarian law — Geneva, The Hague, and the United Nations — into one main stream. It recognized the interaction between rules to protect the victims of war; to establish rules of combat, and to protect human rights in armed conflicts.


The prevention of armed conflict is, and must remain, the first purpose of international co-operation. The second is to preserve humanity in the face of the reality of war. That is the intention of international humanitarian law. In a little more than 100 years, an impressive body of international humanitarian treaty law has been established. There are today clear limits to the types of action that will be tolerated in armed conflict. However; treaties and conventions — even when solemnly ratified — cannot save lives, prevent ill-treatment, or protect the property of innocent people unless the will exists to apply these agreements in all conditions. Nor will they be effective unless everyone directly involved — combatants and civilians alike — realizes that the basic issue is one of respecting fundamental human rights.

2. Give Russian equivalents of the fo[[owing words and phrases.

To be engaged in smth; a prisoner of war; an attainment; an objective; to contribute to; under the aegis of; an amelioration; customs of warfare; to enshrine; tolerance; compulsory; arbitration; to settle a dispute; vital; a maintenance; an application; a minority; a party to a conflict; to lay down; to prohibit; to launch an attack; to spare; to wage war; an adversary; an ill- treatment; a combatant.

3. Give English equivalents of the following words and phrases.

Участник боевых действий; цель; плохое обращение; жизненно важный; способы ведения войны; запретить; под эгидой; меньшинство; разрешить спор; быть вовлеченным во что-либо; сохранение мира; заложить (принцип); вести войну; военнопленный; обязательный; достижение; внести вклад во что-либо; терпимость; применение; участник конфликта; подвергнуть нападению; щадить; противник; закрепить (в законе); улучшение.

4. Read the text again and finish the following statements.

1) The international humanitarian law can be defined as 2) The aims of international humanitarian law are 3) International humanitarian law was contributed by 4) The First Geneva Convention enshrined 5) The Peace Conferences at The Hague failed to agree on 6) The maintenance of peace, and the prevention of armed conflict are 7) The United Nations General Assembly affirmed a resolution of the Twelfth International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (Vienna, 1965) which 8) Three basic principles of action in armed conflict are 9) With the adoption of resolution 2444, the General Assembly declared as unacceptable 10) The prevention of armed conflict is 11) The second purpose of international cooperation is 12) However, treaties and conventions cannot 13) Treaties and conventions will not be effective unless

5. Answer the following questions using the active vocabulary.

1) How can the international humanitarian law be defined? 2) What are the aims of international humanitarian law? 3) What contributed to international humanitarian law? 4) What did the First Geneva Convention enshrine? 5) What did the Peace Conferences at The Hague focus on? 6) What arc the vital concerns of the United Nations? 7) What did the resolution of the Twelfth International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (Vienna, 1965) lay down? 8) What are three basic principles of action in armed conflict? 9) What cannot treaties and conventions do? 10) How is it possible to make treaties and conventions elective?

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