Week86

[Sports ★] 2016 Olympic Games

[Travel ★] Glaciers in Argentina

[Science ★★] Looking for alien life

[World News ★★] Queen Elizabeth II Turns 90!

[Animals ★★] Croc Drags Aussie Camper From Tent

[Entertainment ★★] Nintendoland to open in Japan

[World News ★★★] Leak Shows How Putin’s Friends Hid Billions of Dollars

[Travel News ★★★] How the World Attracts Chinese Tourists

[Entertainment ★★★] Rock superstar Prince dies at 57

[Technology ★★★] New Software Helps to Predict Crimes and Catch Criminals

New Software Helps to Predict Crimes and Catch Criminals

[Technology ★★★]

police database search illustration Harry Campbell Briefing Solutions

(P1) New technology in the world of police and crime aims at making it easier to catch criminals. Researchers and computer experts are working on new computer programs that try to find out which areas of a city might be more prone to crime than others.

(P2) The software analyzes how police have patrolled certain districts of a city in the past and compares this information to present day data. This data is also compared to behavior patterns of criminals.  While it may take humans hours to spot a certain pattern, machines can do this in a short time. The program has been successfully tested in the United States and Great Britain.

(P3) Software giants like IBM are helping combat crime. The company states that over the past years it has helped to bring down crime in Memphis by 30%. Software programs help to find out where the city’s hotspots are so that police can concentrate on patrolling certain areas.

(P4) In Los Angeles, a similar program is being tested with the help of another computer company. The city’s police supervisor states that working with serious data is far better than just tracing calls and hoping to get lucky in catching a criminal.

(P5) In Great Britain, millions of pounds have been spent on TV surveillance. Although government officials say that CCTV is working critics say that despite getting camera images from all over the country there are not enough police officers patrolling the streets.

(P6) In the future, the European Union hopes to combine both techniques, sophisticated computer software paired with camera surveillance. One of the problems is that there is too much video material, which makes it impossible for the police to examine. With special software, a lot of footage could be examined in a relatively short period of time.

WORDS: 295

SOURCE: http://www.english-online.at/news-articles/technology/new-software-helps-catch-criminals.html

VOCABULARY: prone, patrolled, patterns, hotspots, concentrate, tracing, surveillance, sophisticated, impossible, footage

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

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.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Do the police in your city patrol your neighborhood? If yes, how often? If no, do you want them to?
  3. Do you feel safe where you are living at now? Why or why not?
  4. Tell me 3 things the police could do better in your city.
  5. Do you think camera surveillance (CCTV) is an effective way to stop people from committing crimes? Why or why not?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • Bring down (P3)
  • Get lucky (P4)
  • CCTV (P5)

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Image source: by Harry Campbell For TIME http://time.com/3858364/caught-by-the-cloud/?xid=gplusshare

Rock superstar Prince dies at 57

[Entertainment ★★★]

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(P1) The rockstar Prince has died at the age of 57. He passed away at his home in Minneapolis. Last week, his plane made an emergency landing to take him to the hospital. He had dehydration and the flu. His death has shocked the entertainment world. Many celebrities have shared their thoughts about him online. Madonna wrote: “He changed the world. A true visionary.” Barack Obama called him, “one of the most gifted and prolific musicians of our time”. He added that: “Prince…was a virtuoso instrumentalist, a brilliant bandleader, and an electrifying performer.”

(P2) Prince was the son of a jazz pianist. His real name was Prince Rogers Nelson. He became famous in the late seventies. His singing, songwriting, guitar playing, performances and producing changed the music world over four decades. The Washington Post called him, “one of the most popular, inventive and influential recording artists of his generation“. Prince sold over 100 million records. He is perhaps best known for his 1984 album ‘Purple Rain’. The music magazine ‘Rolling Stone’ ranked Prince at number 27 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

WORDS: 185

SOURCE: http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/1604/160423-prince-2.html

VOCABULARY: dehydration, visionary, prolific, virtuoso, electrifying, decades, influential, generation, ranked

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

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.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Are you a fan of Prince? Why or why not?
  3. Which types of music do you like?
  4. Do you think listening to music helps you learn English? Why or why not?
  5. Name 3 music artist or bands you like.

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • Rockstar (P1)
  • Passed away (P1)
  • Recording artists (P2)
  • All time (P2)

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Image source: by Theo Wargo/Getty Images http://www.tvguide.com/special/super-bowl/gallery/memorable-super-bowl-halftime-performances-1076982/

How the World Attracts Chinese Tourists

[Travel News ★★★]

chinese-tourist

(P1) A hundred million tourists from China travel to all corners of the world every year. Destinations around the world are fighting desperately to attract these tourists because they know Chinese big spenders will bring them money in the following decades. In 2013 alone, Chinese travelers spent over 100 billion dollars abroad.

(P2) A booming economy and a growing Chinese middle class allow more people to travel than ever before. Western countries have been preparing for the mass influx of Chinese tourists for some time. They are also making it easier for Chinese travelers to feel at home when on holidays.

(P3) France, for example, has started hiring police officers from China to protect tourists in Paris and other cities. Other countries, including the United States and Great Britain, are not requiring visas for Chinese travelers anymore. Chinese credit cards are becoming more and more accepted in Europe and elsewhere. Hotels, airports, and shopping malls around the world have been hiring Mandarin speakers.

(P4) Shopping is the main reason for Chinese citizens to travel abroad. China is becoming the biggest market for luxury goods. Louis Viton bags and Rolex watches are only two items that Chinese are fond of, and they will do anything and go anywhere to get them.  Luxury items are bought as status symbols. Many Chinese buy them abroad because there are high taxes on such goods inside China.

(P5) However, shopping is not the only reason for China’s travel boom. Chinese citizens go to other countries for sports and leisure activities.  Canada, for example, wants to help Chinese tourists during the winter months by hiring Chinese skiing instructors. They also go on extended tours of Europe and the US and enjoy a new culture that is different from what they experience at home.

WORDS: 292

SOURCE: http://www.english-online.at/news-articles/travel/how-the-world-attracts-chinese-tourists.htm

VOCABULARY: desperately, booming, influx, Mandarin, luxury goods, fond, status symbols, leisure, skiing

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

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.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Are there a lot of Chinese tourists in your country? If so, what do you think are the main reasons why they travel to your country?
  3. Have you ever traveled to China? If yes, describe your visit. If no, do you want to go? Why or why not?
  4. Tell me 3 reasons why people like to travel abroad.
  5. Describe a place in your country where tourists visit.

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • All corners of the world (P1)
  • Big spenders (P1)
  • Feel at home (P2)
  • Extended tours (P5)

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Image source: by “unknown” http://www.travelibur.com/2016/04/chinese-tourist-arrivals-to-malaysia.html

Nintendoland to open in Japan

[Entertainment ★★]

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(P1) Universal Studios Japan (USJ) will build a new theme park called NintendoLand in Osaka. There will be rides based on Nintendo characters. USJ said it would be ready in 2020, in time for the Tokyo Olympics. The park will cost $351 million. This is $100 million more than the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida. Nintendo said its park would, “include major attractions…and feature Nintendo’s most famous characters”. It will give more details later.

(P2) Nintendo did not say which characters will be in Nintendoland. Fans hope they can interact with Mario, Zelda, and Pokemon. Fans also hope the park will be for people of all ages. One Osaka resident said she was very excited about the theme park. She said Harry Potter and Hello Kitty had a theme park, so it was good that Nintendo had one too. She said it was good fans of Nintendo had a place to go and she couldn’t wait for NintendoLand to open.

WORDS: 160

SOURCE: http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/1603/160309-nintendoland-1.html

VOCABULARY: theme park, rides, characters, feature, fans, interact

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

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.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Would you like to visit this theme park? Why or why not?
  3. Do you like Nintendo games? Why or why not?
  4. Are there theme parks in your country? If so, which ones?
  5. Do you like the Harry Potter movies? Why or why not?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • Major attractions (P1)
  • Couldn’t wait (P2)

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Image source: by “unknown” http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2016/08/feature_ten_ideal_launch_year_nintendo_nx_games

Croc Drags Aussie Camper From Tent

[Animals ★★]

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(P1) A family fishing and camping trip in Australia’s Northern Territory turned terrifying Monday when a crocodile snuck up out of a creek about 50 feet from their campsite and dragged a 19-year-old from his tent, the Guardian reports. The croc yanked the teen out by his right foot at around 4:30 am. “I woke up and there was something shaking my foot … it was [10 to 13 feet] long,” Peter Rowsell tells the ABC. The “very lucky” young man “managed to kick it away with his other foot,” a health department spokeswoman tells the Guardian, adding that he’s “shaken” but in stable condition at a local hospital with puncture wounds on his lower right leg.

(P2) Meanwhile, a Charles Darwin University researcher and crocodile specialist said Rowsell was way too close to the water’s edge. “The official recommendation … croc-wise is [165 feet] minimum,” he tells the ABC. “People break [that] rule all the time. I mean, I’ve done it myself in the past, but I don’t think I’d do it today, that’s for sure.”

WORDS: 174

SOURCE: http://www.newser.com/story/224102/croc-drags-aussie-camper-from-tent.html

VOCABULARY: territory, terrifying, campsite, yanked, stable, puncture, specialist

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

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.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. What would you do if you were attacked by a crocodile?
  3. Do you like to go camping? Why or why not?
  4. Have you ever traveled to Austrailia? If yes, describe your trip. If no, do you want to go there? Why or why not?
  5. Have you ever been bitten by an animal? If so, describe the experience.

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • Snuck up (P1)
  • Water’s edge (P2)
  • Croc-wise (P2)

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Image source: Shutterstock http://www.newser.com/story/224102/croc-drags-aussie-camper-from-tent.html

Queen Elizabeth II Turns 90!

[World News ★★]

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(P1) On April 21, throngs of people lined along the street of Windsor to get a glimpse of the world’s favorite monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, on her milestone 90th birthday. They were not disappointed.

(P2) Dressed in a bright lime-green coat dress and hat, the beaming birthday “girl” mingled with the crowds, accepting bouquets of carnations (her favorite flower) and cards. She even smiled gracefully as the fans cheekily sang, “Happy Birthday, dear Queenie.” This, of course, was one of the many celebrations the sprightly 90-year-old and her husband, the 94-year-old Duke of Edinburgh, participated in that day.

(P3) And there are more parties to come. That’s because of, thanks to a centuries-old tradition, British monarchs get to celebrate their birthdays twice – Once on the day when he or she is born and the other in June. Why? Simply because the weather is much nicer! So stay tuned for Queen Elizabeth II’s summer birthday celebration on June 11!

WORDS: 155

SOURCE: http://www.dogonews.com/2016/4/25/video-of-the-week-queen-elizabeth-ii-turns-90

VOCABULARY: throngs, glimpse, monarch, milestone, beaming, mingled, cheekily, sprightly

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

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.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. How do people celebrate birthdays in your country?
  3. Do you like surprise birthday parties? Why or why not?
  4. Are there milestone birthdays in your country? If so, at what ages?
  5. What are some of the typical birthday gifts in your country?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • Lined along the street (P1)
  • Centuries-old tradition (P3)
  • Stay tuned (P3)

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Image source: Photo Credit: gov.uk https://www.dogonews.com/2016/4/25/video-of-the-week-queen-elizabeth-ii-turns-90