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IN THE NEWS - Questions for Britain After the Riots

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The silhouettes of rioters are seen as they run through the street of the South London area of Croydon. A shop burns behind them.
The silhouettes of rioters are seen as they run through the street of the South London area of Croydon. A shop burns behind them.

This is IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English.

(SOUND)

This week, Britain faced its worst riots since the nineteen eighties. The unrest began in London and spread to other cities, including Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool.

Police have been launching raids, making arrests and studying images from security cameras. Officials charged hundreds of people with disorder, violence and stealing from looted stores.

Police said a sixty-eight-year-old man became the fifth person to die as a result of the violence. He was attacked during the riots.

The rioting began last Saturday after a peaceful demonstration over the deadly police shooting of a twenty-nine-year-old man. The shooting happened last week in a poor neighborhood in north London.

Rioters burned buildings and cars, broke into hundreds of stores and fought with police.

Britain had its first calm night on Wednesday. Sixteen thousand police officers will remain on duty in London through the coming days. This is the most ever during peacetime.

Prime Minister David Cameron says he will seek advice from American cities that have fought gang violence. These include Boston, Los Angeles and New York.

Mr. Cameron returned early from a vacation to deal with the unrest. He said he was considering interfering with electronic devices and websites that rioters have used to organize their activities.

DAVID CAMERON: "Free flow of information can be used for good but it can also be used for ill. So we are  working with the police, the intelligence services and industry to look at whether it would be right to stop people from communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality."

Mr. Cameron spoke Thursday at an emergency meeting of parliament. He said the violence was not political but criminal.

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron leaves Downing Street in London, to attend Parliament, August 11, 2011
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron leaves Downing Street in London, to attend Parliament, August 11, 2011

DAVID CAMERON: "Mr. Speaker, we will not put up with this in our country. We will not allow a culture of fear to exist on our streets, and we will do whatever it takes to restore law and order and to rebuild our communities."

In Birmingham, three Pakistani men were killed Wednesday when a car struck them as they tried to protect businesses in their community. Hours later, Tariq Jahan, the father of twenty-one-year-old victim Haroon Jahan, appealed for calm.

TARIQ JAHAN: "Basically, I lost my son. Blacks, Asians, whites -- we all live in the same community. Why do we have to kill one another? What started these riots, and what's escalated? Why are we doing this?"

Many people blamed the unrest on high unemployment, slow economic recovery and cuts to public services by the new British government. Mr. Cameron blamed it on selfishness, lack of responsibility, poor discipline in schools and bad parenting.

Chris Hamnett lives in north London, not far from some of the worst rioting.

CHRIS HAMNETT: "Essentially, what we've seen is rioting for fun and profit. This is not people expressing their anger against an oppressive state. This is people thinking it would be nice to get a slice of the action."

The riots were centered in neighborhoods with large African and Caribbean populations. Both groups have a history of tensions with the police. Basani Mabyalane lives in the area.

BASANI MABYALANE: "I feel there is maybe more that could be done to empower the young people because, from what I saw yesterday, to me it looked like they don't have much to do. They have got the time.  They have got the energy. But they are using that energy on negative things."

In the north London neighborhood of Haringey, some young people are using their energy to do positive things. They have formed a group called HYPE: Haringey's Young People Empowered.

One of those young people is Erica Lopez. She thinks a majority of the rioters simply wanted to loot. But she says she understands and shares the anger of many of her young neighbors over a lack of jobs and cuts in youth services.

ERICA LOPEZ: "The government really needs to actually take time and listen to these young people because for a long time they have been crying in silence saying, 'This is what matters to me.' They have really been crying for a long time."

And that's IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English. I'm Steve Ember.

__

Contributing: Avi Arditti, Selah Hennessy and Al Pessin

网友的学习评论(9条):
作者:flying fish
I want to follow it,but it's so hard.
作者:Mia
i want to learn it ,but i can't, it's so long
作者:Violet
Thanks for the news, but I can't understand all.
作者:lvjiaying1984
The biggest reason why so many young people do harm to the society is that they don't have much to do or they think it is easier to earn money than working. My brother is one of those examples. Several years ago, he stole things from his relatives and then from his neighbors and then to everyone who has something valuable. He though it was completely impossible to be caught and put into prison because he thought there were so many people in the society
作者:lvjiaying1984
which made it hard for the police to find the persons committing stealing. And after being stolen, those people who hadn't lost much, chose not to inform the police because they thought it was particularly complicated to do this, not being worth the things they had lost. This kind of idea promoted the spread of stealing. To tell the truth, my family, three people have lost about ten bikes in the past ten years, so new, some old. But we never chose to inform the police because
作者:lvjiaying1984
we think it was unlikely to get the things that had been stolen. Although few people who had lost something not valuable chose not to inform the police, those people who had lose some prestigious things chose to inform the police, hoping that their properties could be found some day. The things people had lost which were valuable contained cars, motorcycles, computers and something like that that were valuable. It is the owners of the valuable properties
作者:lvjiaying1984
that had been stolen talking loudly that the police should do what they should do, instead of the police saying it was time for us to commit behaviors. After sever years of stealing, my brother was finally admitted into the prison where he stayed for four years, eating poor food, doing much work, suffering a lot. Now he understood that there was no chance you shouldn't be caught as long as you didn't stop the stealing.
作者:Snoopy
民不告官不究,民不反官不改If translated literaly, that is Officials will never investigate if civilians don't accuse.The government will never make a change if citizen donot rebel.
作者:落花人
A western civilization countries could happen this large evil thugs ,really ought to reflect on.
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