Week103

[People ★] Man Falls Down a Building

[World News ★] Dancing thief

[Entertainment ★★] Star Wars land is coming

[Science ★★] What the 5,300-year-old Iceman wore

[World News ★★] Fidel Castro Turns 90

[Sports and World News ★★★] Ethiopia ‘hero’ runner gets asylum donations after Oromo protest sign

[World News ★★★] Germany Wants Citizens to Stockpile Food

[Science ★★★] New edible food wrap made of milk protein

[Travel ★★★★] Airfare Will Get Even Cheaper In September, Experts Say

[Business ★★★★] Airbnb Is on Its Way to Becoming One of the World’s Largest Travel Companies

Airbnb Is on Its Way to Becoming One of the World’s Largest Travel Companies

[Business ★★★]

airbnb-alps-hed-2015

(P1) Airbnb is quickly becoming a crucial company within the travel sector and may even become the fourth largest online travel company by the end of this year, according to research firm Phocuswright.

(P2) Looking at news and reports on the company’s business performance and funding, Phocuswright has built its own estimates for Airbnb that indicate the company’s gross bookings for 2015 valued at around $7.5 billion.

(P3) This, in combination with the website’s continued growth, could put it behind the three major travel companies of Expedia Inc, Priceline Group, and Ctrip, when it comes to gross bookings.

Phocuswright’s research also found that one in three travelers from the United States stayed at a home-based unit last year, a sharp increase from the one in 10 American travelers that were staying in these types of accommodations back in 2011.

(P4) Airbnb has been looking to expand its services beyond rentals to tap into increased travel experiences for its users, with the most recent news indicating a travel app they were testing out for a possible release this November.

(P5) Though the test version was pulled from the Google Play Store this Tuesday, some possible features the app could include are detailed travel itineraries, city guidebooks, and local listings like happy hour deals.

(P6) According to Bloomberg, the company secured a $1 billion debt facility in June of this year towards its expansion, working on features like its “magical trips” to offer users restaurant services, art tours, meals made by personal chefs, bicycle rentals, and more.

(P7) “Airbnb has played a pretty big role in making alternative accommodations mainstream,” Douglas Quinby, vice president of research at Phocuswright told Travel + Leisure. “Travelers are now looking for the right place to stay in the best location that fits the bill, which might not necessarily be a home, hotel, or hostel.”

WORDS: 300

SOURCE: http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/travel-trends/airbnb-travel-company

VOCABULARY: crucial, bookings, home-based, tap into, debt facility, mainstream

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 you use the internet to make travel arrangements? Why or why not?
  3. Why do you think people like staying in homes of other people that they don’t know?
  4. Would you stay in somebody else’s home you didn’t know them? Why or why not?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Phocuswright predicts Airbnb will occupy which position among online travel businesses?
  2. Which online travel companies are forecasted to still be ahead of Airbnb in ranking?
  3. Airbnb only wants to be in the rental business. (T or F)
  4. Bloomberg reported that Airbnb obtained a $1 million loan this year. (T or F)
  5. Airbnb only offers traditional places to stay. (T or F)

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • within the travel sector (P1)
  • could put it behind (P3)
  • beyond rentals (P4)
  • that fits the bill (P7)

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Image source: by Vercruysse/Studio Paris http://marketmadhouse.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/185232cb3bfa2d3e39f24dcc458efbe58540369b.jpg

Airfare Will Get Even Cheaper In September, Experts Say

[Travel ★★★]

passenger looking at timetable board at the airport

(P1) Don’t purchase those plane tickets just yet.

(P2) Prices may look cheap now, but airfare is going to get even cheaper in the coming months, according to travel analysts at Hopper. By October, flight prices will have dropped 8.2 percent from their current levels to an average $213 per domestic round-trip. That’s a steal, considering it’s 16 percent cheaper than in the fall of 2014.

(P3) The price drop is nothing new: It’s normal for airfare prices to drop as summer ends and fall begins, The Points Guy’s Zach Honig told HuffPost.

(P4) This year, in particular, there’s been much debate about the absolute cheapest time to buy. We’ve heard recent chatter about “Cheap Flights Day,” a day in August when prices supposedly start to plummet. But according to the experts, HuffPost asked, “Cheap Flights Day” is not it’s all cracked up to be. You’re better off waiting until September or October to buy your ticket, at least this year.

(P5) “Flight prices do tend to decline for travel towards the end of the summer,” said Patrick Surrey, the chief data scientist at Hopper. But, “we haven’t observed a specific day where flight prices are always cheap.”

(P6) Hopper recommends buying tickets before prices creep back up again in November. Of course, you should always book domestic flights about 54 days ahead of time for the best price, and check cheap flight websites for hot deals.

(P7) Follow these tips, and you’ll be on your way in no time. Happy travels!

WORDS: 245

SOURCE: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/cheap-airfare-september-hopper_us_57b613f2e4b00d9c3a166a5d?section=us_travel

VOCABULARY: chatter, plummet, cracked up, creep

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. After reading this article, will you wait until September or October to buy cheaper airfare? Why or why not?
  3. Why do airfare prices change throughout the year?
  4. Do you use cheap flight websites to check for cheaper prices? Why or why not?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Airfare will be what percent lower by the end of September?
  2. It’s not common for air prices to be lower at the end of summer. (T or F)
  3. It’s assumed that Cheap Flights Day is sometime in August. (T or F)
  4. Which month will airfare slowly increase again?
  5. How far in advance should domestic airfare be purchased?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • that’s a steal (P2)
  • price drop (P3)
  • better off waiting (P4)
  • hot deals (P6)
  • on your way in no time (P7)

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Image source: by “unknown” GETTY IMAGES http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/cheap-airfare-september-hopper_us_57b613f2e4b00d9c3a166a5d?

New edible food wrap made of milk protein

[Science ★★★]

450milkprotein

(P1) A biodegradable film made of milk protein has been invented, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Aug. 21.

(P2) The film is a mixture of a milk protein called casein and citrus pectin. Pectin is a substance that turns fruits into jams and jellies.

(P3) The film looks like a normal plastic wrap. But it is less sticky and even edible.

(P4) “The purpose was to make a packaging that had zero waste,” Bonnaillie, a research chemical engineer with the USDA, told CBC News.

(P5) The film is safer, stronger and much more resistant to moisture than a plastic wrap.

(P6) A small company in Texas plans to sell the new film within the next three years.

(P7) But there are drawbacks on the new product as some question whether the product is necessary.

(P8) “I doubt whether it is ethical to use milk to make food wrap while there are more than two billion people around the world that are starving,” says Lee Deok-hwan, a Professor in Sogang University’s Department of Chemistry.

WORDS: 169

SOURCE: http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/world/2016/08/182_212495.html

VOCABULARY: biodegradable, plastic wrap, edible, resistant, drawbacks, ethical

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 you think it’s unethical to sell this new biodegradable milk protein film because people are starving around the world? Why or why not?
  3. Would you buy this new biodegradable film? Why or why not?
  4. Do you think there should be more zero waste products invented? Why or why not?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. The biodegradable film has 2 ingredients. What are they?
  2. The milk protein wrap is less sticky than the regular plastic wrap. (T or F)
  3. Where’s the company that will market the new product located?
  4. The film has a greater ability to withstand the effect of moisture. (T or F)
  5. How many people worldwide suffer from extreme hunger?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • has been invented (P1)
  • turns fruits into jams and jellies (P2)
  • zero waste (P4)
  • within the next three years (P6)
  • around the world (P8)

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Image source: © American Chemical Society http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/world/2016/08/182_212495.html

Germany Wants Citizens to Stockpile Food

[World News ★★★]

food-stockpile

(P1) Germany doesn’t want its citizens to panic—but it would like them to be a little more prepared for an attack or a disaster. According to a report in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, the German government plans to bring back the Cold War-era requirement for people to stockpile enough food for 10 days and enough drinking water for five, as well as medicine and other supplies. The government is also planning to boost security by bringing in a nationwide alarm system.

(P2) A “Concept for Civil Defense” plan that will be discussed by lawmakers this week says an armed invasion of German territory is unlikely, but citizens should “prepare appropriately for a development that could threaten our existence and cannot be categorically ruled out in the future.” Reuters notes that the new civil defense plan comes amid other security measures, including major increases in police funding and the creation of a new anti-terror unit.

WORDS: 152

SOURCE: http://www.newser.com/story/229969/germany-wants-citizens-to-stockpile-food.html

VOCABULARY: Cold War-era, stockpile, boost, lawmakers, civil defense, amid

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 you think it’s a good idea to stockpile food and water in case of emergencies? Why or why not?
  3. Are you prepared for a disaster? Why or why not?
  4. What security measures has your country implemented in the past decade?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Germany wants to enforce an old requirement for people to store food, water, and weapons in their homes. (T or F)
  2. What does Germany’s government want to install to warn the public?
  3. What’s the name given to the strategy?
  4. The article states a war is probable. (T or F)
  5. What are the other two security initiatives mentioned?

 

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • to bring back (P1)
  • nationwide alarm system (P1)
  • ruled out (P2)
  • other security measures (P2)
  • police funding (P2)

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Image source: by “unknown” http://in-cyprus.com/germany-to-tell-people-to-stockpile-food-and-water-in-case-of-attacks/

Ethiopia ‘hero’ runner gets asylum donations after Oromo protest sign

[Sports and World News ★★★]

feyisa-lilesa

(P1) A crowdfunding campaign has raised more than $40,000 (£30,000) to help Ethiopia’s Olympic marathon silver medalist, Feyisa Lilesa, seek asylum. He crossed his hands above his head as he finished the race. A gesture made by Ethiopia’s Oromo people who have suffered brutal police crackdowns. He says he may be killed if he goes home but Ethiopia’s government says he will be welcomed as a hero. However, state media is not showing photos of him crossing the line.

(P2) There has been a wave of protests in Ethiopia in recent months over a series of frustrations, including attempts by the governments to reallocate land in the Oromo and Amhara regions. US-based Human Rights Watch says security forces have killed more than 400 Oromo protesters, a figure the government disputes.

(P3) Rule 50 of the Olympic charter bans political displays or protests and the IOC says they are gathering information about the case.

WORDS: 150

SOURCE: http://www.ethiosports.com/2016/08/22/ethiopia-hero-runner-gets-asylum-donations-after-oromo-protest-sign/

VOCABULARY: crowdfunding, asylum, gesture, crackdowns, reallocate, charter

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. Should the Ethiopian Olympic runner seek asylum or go back to his country? Why?
  3. The Olympic charter bans political displays and protests. Do you think the athlete should lose his medal for the gesture he made?  Why or why not?
  4. Do you think Feyisa Lelisa is a hero? Why or why not?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Which medal did the runner win?
  2. What did the runner do with his hands as he was crossing the finish line?
  3. Ethiopia’s news is broadcasting pictures of him finishing the race. (T or F)
  4. Why are people protesting in Ethiopia?
  5. How many people have died in the protests?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • raised more than (P1)
  • crossing the line (P1)
  • a wave of protests (P2)
  • gathering information (P3)

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Image source: photo credit: EPA http://www.ethiosports.com/2016/08/22/ethiopia-hero-runner-gets-asylum-donations-after-oromo-protest-sign/

Fidel Castro Turns 90

[World News ★★]

b43ebc181b1e7445e2121845ba4446d282021c7d

(P1) Fidel Castro turned 90 and Cuba celebrated. The former Cuban leader came to the celebration with his brother, President Raul Castro, and the Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

(P2) Raul Castro became the president in 2008, but many Cubans still highly respect Fidel Castro. They see him as the man who freed Cuba from US domination. He delighted them when they saw him at the celebration. He appeared to be in good health and happy.

(P3) Fidel Castro did not speak at the event, but he thanked everybody in a letter. He also criticized Barack Obama who visited Cuba in March.

WORDS: 98

SOURCE: http://www.newsinlevels.com/products/fidel-castro-turns-90-level-2/

VOCABULARY: former, highly, domination, delighted, criticized

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 live to be 90 years old? Why or why not?
  3. Would you like to travel to Cuba? Why or why not?
  4. Why do you think Fidel Castro didn’t speak at the celebration?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. How old is the former leader of Cuba?
  2. Who was with Castro at the celebration?
  3. When did Fidel’s brother become the leader of Cuba?
  4. The former leader looked well. (T or F)
  5. Castro read a letter at the celebration. (T or F)

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • with his brother (P1)
  • the man who freed Cuba (P2)
  • appeared to be (P2)
  • he also (P3)

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Image source: by “unknown” https://img.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_1484w/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2016/04/20/Foreign/Images/AFP_9S89U.jpg