From VOA Learning English, this is In the News.
President Obama this week found himself on the defensive on three different issues. Political observers say the issues could threaten his plan of action for his second term as president.
Critics say the most serious threat right now to the Obama administration involves the federal tax agency, the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS has admitted that agency officials targeted conservative political groups which sought to become tax-exempt. Organizations that are tax-exempt do not have to pay federal taxes. The groups targeted for special attention by the IRS oppose many of the administration's spending and tax policies.
Late Wednesday, the president announced that Treasury Secretary Jack Lew had asked for and received the resignation of the acting director of the IRS. Mr. Obama spoke after meeting with top officials to discuss a report from the Treasury Department inspector general.
"I've reviewed the Treasury Department watchdog's report, and the misconduct that it uncovered is inexcusable. It is inexcusable, and Americans are right to be angry about it, and I am angry about it."
Attorney General Eric Holder has ordered a criminal investigation of the actions by the IRS. On Thursday, the president said he did not know about the abuses until they were described in news reports last week.
The administration is also on the defensive over the Justice Department's seizure of telephone records from the Associated Press news agency. The AP said on Monday that the government secretly obtained two months of phone records for some of its reporters and editors.
Administration officials say the Justice Department is investigating who may have provided information for an AP story last year. The story described an American intelligence operation in Yemen that stopped an al-Qaida bomb plot.
On Tuesday, reporters questioned White House Press Secretary Jay Carney about the phone records. He said President Obama supports the constitutional right of freedom of the press.
"The president is committed to the press's ability to pursue information, to defending the First Amendment. He is also, as a citizen and as commander-in-chief, committed to the proposition that we cannot allow classified information that can do harm to our national security interests or to endanger individuals to be leaked. And that is a balance that has to be struck."
Attorney General Holder said he had no direct involvement in the Justice Department's examination of the phone records. He said the seizure was part of an investigation into what he called a grave national security leak. President Obama said he makes "no apologies" for a criminal investigation into national security leaks.
Also this week, the administration released 100 pages of e-mails about the attacks on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya. Ambassador Chris Stephens and three other Americans died in the attacks last September 11.
Administration officials first described the events in Benghazi as a spontaneous attack, with no sign of a plot. But they later called it an act of terrorism. Republicans say the administration wanted to avoid admitting it was terrorism while Mr. Obama was seeking re-election.
And that's In the News from VOA Learning English. I'm Steve Ember.
批评家表示，目前，奥巴马总统面临的最严重的威胁涉及联邦税务机构，美国国税局(Internal Revenue Service)。国税局承认，税务官员针对原本应该免税的保守派政治团体 。免税团体不需要缴纳联邦税务 。国税局刻意针对的这些团体反对奥巴马政府的许多支出和税收政策 。
周三晚些时候，奥巴马总统宣布，财政部长杰克·卢(Jack Lew)要求国税局代理局长辞职，并且收到了他的辞呈。奥巴马与高级官员举行会晤，讨论来自财政部总检察官的一份报告之后发表讲话 。
美国司法部长埃里克·霍尔德(Eric Holder)已下令对国税局的行为进行刑事调查。周四，总统表示，他并不知晓国税局的滥用职权，直到听了上周的新闻报道 。
周二，记者关于电话记录问题向白宫新闻秘书卡尼(Jay Carney)提出疑问。他表示，奥巴马总统支持宪法规定的新闻自由的权利 。
“总统致力于保障新闻媒体追求信息的能力，维护宪法第一修正案。作为一位公民，作为总司令，他致力于保护危害我们的国家安全利益或危及个人的机密信息免于泄露 。这两者之间必须取得平衡 。”
司法部长埃里克·霍尔德(Eric Holder)表示，他并没有直接参与司法部对电话记录的检查。他说，这次没收电话记录是针对一起严重的国家安全泄露事件的调查 。奥巴马总统表示，他不会对国家安全信息泄露的刑事调查做出任何道歉 。
也是在本周，奥巴马政府公布了关于美国驻利比亚班加西领事馆遭遇袭击的100页电子邮件。在去年9月11日的袭击中，美国大使克里斯·斯蒂文斯(Chris Stephens)和其他三名美国人遇难 。
政府官员最初称班加西事件为自发的袭击，没有迹象显示为预期阴谋。但是随后宣称这是恐怖主义行为 。共和党表示，在奥巴马寻求连任期间，政府避免承认这是恐怖主义行为 。
If there was a cover-up, it involved people at the very highest levels of government.
2.admit vi. 承认
I am willing to admit that I do make mistakes...
3.review vt. 检验；复查
The Prime Minister reviewed the situation with his Cabinet yesterday...
4.misconduct n. 行为不正，渎职
Dr Lee was cleared of serious professional misconduct.
5.uncover v. 揭开；揭露
Auditors said they had uncovered evidence of fraud...
6.inexcusable adj. 不可原谅的，不可宽恕的
The Home Office has been accused of inexcusable incompetence.
7.seizure n. 没收； 夺取
Police have made one of the biggest seizures of heroin there's ever been in Britain.
8.obtain vt. 获得，得到
Evans was trying to obtain a false passport and other documents...
1.President Obama this week found himself on the defensive on three different issues.
on the defensive处于守势
The enemy troops are put on the defensive.
Animal agriculture was on the defensive.
2.The president is committed to the press's ability to pursue information, to defending the First Amendment.
be committed to致力于
You must be committed to winning and working hard in a competitive sales environment.
3.But they later called it an act of terrorism.
late, later, latter, latest与 lately
1.late adj. & adv. 迟，迟的，晚的
She is never late for school.
It was late autumn and the weather was a little cold.
He came to work in a small factory in the south in the late 1990’s.
in the late afternoon 傍晚，在下午较晚的时候
in the late 1990’s / 1990s 在二十世纪九十年代末
work late /far/deep into the night 工作至深夜
late in autumn 深秋
2.later adj. & adv. 为late比较级，意指较迟，较晚一些 。
He promised to call me later.
If you work hard, your dream will come true sooner or later.
sooner or later 迟早
no later than 不迟于
later on 以后，后来
3.latter adj.指（两者中）“后者的”，“后者”，反义词是former“前者” 。
The child will go to school in the latter part of the year.
4.latest adj. & adv. 为late的最高级 。意思是“最新”，“最近”，“最迟” 。如：
Have you heard of the latest news?
5.lately adv. (=recently) “最近”，“近来”，常用于现在完成时，如：
Have you met him lately?