From VOA Learning English, this is In the News.
A special advisory group in the United States is urging President Barack Obama to make changes to the government's surveillance programs. The group offered its suggestions in a report released this week.
Mr. Obama ordered the report on the intelligence gathering activities earlier this year. The order followed information leaks from Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency contract worker. The leaks created a huge problem for the NSA and the president.
They also added to public knowledge about government information gathering, including the collection of data from telephone calls and activities on the Internet.
The surveillance programs are operating under U.S. congressional approval. They have been amended at different times, and are under the supervision of a special court.
Mr. Obama has described the programs as important to keeping Americans safe. But he has called for more "self-restraint" by the NSA.
In its report, the Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies proposes 46 changes. One is to end the government's storage of "metadata" of the telephone records of Americans. The report proposes that private companies or a non-government agency keep the records instead, not the NSA.
Another proposal is to require a court to approve individual searches of phone and Internet data records. The report also proposes limits on the NSA's power to study known targets of counter terrorism surveillance after they enter the United States.
The report is calling for a new process to identify "uses and limits of surveillance on foreign leaders and in foreign nations." It says decisions should consider whether other methods or targets of collection could provide needed information.
The review group met with President Obama on Wednesday after sending him their report last week.
Press secretary Jay Carney said President Obama plans to study the document over the holidays. He will speak to the nation about it next month after a separate government investigation is completed.
"The president has been clear that even as we review our efforts and make some changes in how we do things, we will not harm our ability to face those threats. That is, his number one obligation as commander-in-chief."
The official US position on Edward Snowden remains unchanged. The Obama administration says he should return to the United States to face criminal charges. It disagrees with suggestions that he receive a pardon to prevent him from releasing additional information.
Earlier this week a federal court ruled that secretly collecting the telephone records of Americans is likely unconstitutional.
Mr. Obama also faced pressure from leaders of high-tech companies. Reports said they urged him to make aggressive reforms, and expressed concern about damage to the United States' image and business interests overseas.
The "60 Minutes" television program recently spoke with the head of the NSA, Keith Alexander. He denied that the agency is collecting e-mails or listening to the phone calls of Americans. He said the NSA's job is foreign intelligence.
And that's In the News, from VOA Learning English. I'm Faith Lapidus.
Similar methods are used in advisory work in the Netherlands.
2.offer v. 给予，提供
He offered me a glass of wine.
3.approval n. 批准；认可
I feel I can't give my approval to such an arrangement.
4.amend v. 改良；修改，修正
Please amend your copy of the contract accordingly.
5.propose vt. 提议，建议
I propose that we cancel the negotiation.
6.obligation n. 责任，义务
He is under no obligation to do it.
1.They also added to public knowledge about government information gathering.
Her comments will add to the uncertainty of the situation.
2.It says decisions should consider whether other methods or targets of collection could provide needed information.
宾语从句除了常由that引导外，还可由从属连词if或whether引导，表示“是否”，常放在动词ask, see, say, know, wonder和find out等之后。一般情况下，两者可交替使用，但在口语中许多用if, 例如：
I wonder whether/if he lives here. 我想知道他是否住在这里。
Nobody knows whether/if it will rain tomorrow. 没有人知道明天是否会下雨。
3.It disagrees with suggestions that he receive a pardon to prevent him from releasing additional information.
He likes to fight it out whenever others disagree with him.
奥巴马总统于今年年初下令进行关于情报收集工作的报告。该命令是由于美国国家安全局前雇员爱德华·斯诺登泄露的信息 。这次泄露事件为国安局和奥巴马造成了巨大的问题 。
在这份报告中，情报和通讯技术审查小组建议作出46项改革。其中一项就是终止美国政府对美国人电话记录元数据的存储 。该报告建议由私营公司或非政府机构保存记录，而不是国家安全局 。
美国对爱德华·斯诺登的官方立场没有任何改变。奥巴马政府表示，他应该返回美国接受罪行指控 。有人建议应该特赦斯诺登，防止他泄露更多信息，奥巴马政府并不赞同 。
“60分钟”电视节目最近采访了国家安全局局长亚历山大。他否认国安局正在收集美国人的电子邮件或监听电话内容 。他表示，国安局的工作是收集外国情报 。
以上就是今天的美国之音慢速学英语时事新闻节目。我是Faith Lapidus 。