[WORLD NEWS ★★]
ARMENIANS PROTEST RISING ENERGY PRICES
(P1) Thousands of people in the Armenian capital Yerevan have taken part in RENEWED PROTESTS against rising electricity prices.
(P2) At least 6,000 made a second ATTEMPT to march to the presidential residence on Tuesday evening, reports said.
(P3) Earlier, RIOT police with water cannon had DISPERSED a similar march and arrested about 200 DEMONSTRATORS.
(P4) Protestors are OPPOSING a decision to increase electricity prices for HOUSEHOLDS by 17-22% from 1 August.
(P5) Armenia’s electricity network is owned by a Russian company, which says the rise is necessary because of a fall in the value of the national CURRENCY.
(P6) Witnesses said extra police were brought in late on Tuesday as protesters FLOODED Yerevan’s central Freedom Square.
(P7) Many waved national flags and chanted “Shame!” and “No to robbery!”
(P8) They also DEMANDED the release of those DETAINED earlier on Tuesday.
(P9) Officers in riot GEAR stood shoulder to shoulder to stop the crowd advancing towards the presidential residence.
(P10) But early on Wednesday, protesters continued to fill the streets, witnesses said.
(P11) The US EMBASSY said it was concerned by reports of police violence and called for a full INVESTIGATION.
(P12) A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Kremlin was closely following the protests.
(P13) About 5,000 people had taken part in the earlier RALLY that was blocked by police.
(P14) Protesters then STAGED a SIT-IN and stopped traffic before being dispersed with water cannon.
(P15) CLASHES ERUPTED, with seven demonstrators and 11 police injured. Police said arrests were made after some officers were hit with rocks.
(P16) There have been a number of demonstrations in Yerevan in recent weeks, REFLECTING public DISCONTENT with the country’s FALTERING economy.
(P17) The former Soviet nation still has close links with Russia. Armenia hosts a Russian military base and a Russian company runs its power distribution network.
(P18) The LANDLOCKED country has faced economic ISOLATION since the CLOSURE of its borders with Turkey and Azerbaijan over a land DISPUTE.
If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.
- Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
- Has the cost of energy such as electricity, heating oil, and gasoline been going up in your country?
- Armenia is a landlocked country. Why is that a problem for Armenia?
- The value of most national currencies has been falling against the U.S. dollar. Has this had any effect on you personally?
- Have there been any protests or demonstrations in your country recently?
EXPRESSIONS TO PRACTICE:
What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.