THE BEAUTIFUL SIDE OF BORDER TOWNS

[TRAVEL ★★★]

THE BEAUTIFUL SIDE OF BORDER TOWNS

Tachileik

(P1) International borders can be difficult to cross and easy to hate. Lines are long, TEMPERS SHORT, guns PLENTIFUL.

(P2) Borders mean HASSLES like paperwork and annoying questions – exactly the sort of NONSENSE you want to escape when you travel. Borders are INCONVENIENT, an OBSTACLE separating where you are from where you want to be.

(P3) It seems that no one likes borders. Charitable organisations choose names like Doctors Without Borders, Teachers Without Borders, or even Clowns Without Borders.

(P4) BORDER TOWNS are RIFE with naked OPPORTUNISM. And nowhere is this more true than in the Burmese border town of Tachileik. SNUGGLED along the Thai border, it’s one giant BAZAAR, a WARREN of tiny stalls stretching in every direction and PROFFERING every imaginable WARE. From the moment I SET FOOT IN the town until I left a few hours later, I was SHADOWED by a young man with PASSABLE English and a DISARMING smile, DETERMINED to sell me pirated DVDs, Louis Vuitton KNOCK-OFFS and BLACK MARKET Viagra.

(P5) Borders are all of these things, yet it is not the whole story. Borders serve a purpose, and there is pleasure, even beauty, to be found amid the BARBED WIRE and persistent HAWKERS.

(P6) At a very basic level, borders provide contrast. It’s been said that time is nature’s way of ensuring everything doesn’t happen at once. Likewise, borders are mankind’s way of ensuring everything doesn’t happen in the same place. At some boundaries, life on either side stands in STARK RELIEF to the other. I felt that most strongly during a visit to Berlin when the city was still divided. After crossing from West to East Berlin (a process that involved as much paperwork and HAIR-TRIGGER tension as any I’d experienced before or since) I felt as if I’d stepped into not only another country but another world, one RENDERED entirely in black and white, in sharp contrast to the living colour I’d left behind.

(P7) Borders can also serve as a SAFETY VALVE. At the Wagah border crossing separating Indian and Pakistan, I realized as soldiers from both nations angrily STOMPED and HIGH-STEPPED, MERE metres apart from one another. This daily PANTOMIME of violence, I realized, helps prevent the real thing from breaking out again.

(P8) Sometimes borders are almost comical in their ARBITRARINESS. The US-Canadian border BISECTS the towns of Derby Line, Vermont, and Stanstead, Quebec. The boundary runs directly through a library, which I visited recently. It was great fun BROWSING science fiction in Canada and then walking a few steps to GAZE at self-help in the US. (A line of MASKING TAPE on the floor DEMARCATES the boundary.)

(P9) Even the RENOWNED SLEAZINESS of some border towns is, in a way, admirable. Such ENTREPRENEURSHIP TAKES ROOT for SOUND economic reasons. In a border town, everyone wants everything now, so people who are RESOURCEFUL or DESPERATE take advantage of that. Can you blame them? Borders represent cracks in the wall of commerce, and for the desperate, cracks mean opportunities.

(P10) There’s something LIBERATING about a good border town, and very liberating about a bad one. Neither here nor there, these INTERSTITIAL places stand apart from the usual rules that govern the rest of the world. There’s something about their roughness, their raw energy, their INSOUCIANCE that I find IRRESISTIBLE.

(P11) View these frontiers as inconveniences or IMPEDIMENTS, and that’s what they will be. But view them for what they are – magical points on the atlas – and the possibilities are BOUNDLESS.

WORDS: 571

SOURCE: http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20150611-the-beautiful-side-to-border-towns

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 countries does your country share a border with? Are they friendly borders?
  3. Have you ever visited a border town? What was it like?
  4. Border towns and PORT CITIES are unfortunately well-known for crime, and they can be dangerous. Why is this true?
  5. Do you have a PASSPORT? What foreign countries have you traveled to?

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.

  • Short temper
  • Border town
  • Set foot in
  • Knock-off
  • Black market
  • Barbed wire
  • Hair-trigger
  • Safety valve
  • High-step
  • Masking tape
  • Take root
  • Port city

PRACTICE ARTICLE NOW

MAN LOSES “RIGHT TO BE FORGOTTEN” CASE

[TECHNOLOGY ★]

MAN LOSES “RIGHT TO BE FORGOTTEN” CASE

_84549597_malcolm_edwards

(P1) A man involved in a 50-million pound SCAM has lost a legal bid to have news stories about him removed from Google under the so-called “right to be forgotten”.

(P2) Malcolm Edwards originally applied for an INJUNCTION forcing five media organisations including the BBC to remove their articles about him.

(P3) He discontinued this claim, then applied for permission to serve PROCEEDINGS on Google instead.

(P4) The judge at Nottingham County Court DISMISSED the application.

(P5) In his judgment, His Honour Judge Nigel Godsmark said the applications were “totally without MERIT“.

(P6) He granted three of the defendants – the Nottingham Post, Derby Telegraph and Associated Newspapers – costs of £6,627.

(P7) The former law lecturer and LAY PREACHER must also pay the Guardian costs of £6,859 and the BBC £5,127.

(P8) Mr Edwards claimed the continued publication of the stories interfered with his right to privacy and his ability to lead a normal life.

(P9) He wanted to INVOKE the right to be forgotten under the Data Protection Act 1998, the European Union (EU) Data Protection Directive, and/or Article 8 of the Human Rights Act 1998, which protects the right to respect for private and family life.

(P10) He also relied on the judgment of a top EU court in a case last year involving Google and a Spanish man.

(P11) Since the Court of Justice of the European Union ruling, individuals have had the right to request that search engines remove certain web pages from their search results when people search for certain terms.

(P12) Following the ruling, Google removed a large number of links from its search results and continues to do so.

(P13) However, media organisations including the BBC started publishing links to news stories that have been removed from Google’s search results.

(P14) In a witness statement for the Malcolm Edwards case, the BBC’s director of editorial policy and standards, David Jordan, said there was and remains “a very significant public interest” in the publication of the article complained about.

(P15) He said the BBC News online service REPLICATES a library newspaper ARCHIVE and it is “important to ensure that it is retained INTACT to maintain public confidence in the service and avoid any suggestion that the BBC is ERASING THE PAST or ALTERING history or is otherwise failing to act independently and IMPARTIALLY“.

(P16) Mr Edwards, previously called Malcolm Edwards-Sayer, was jailed for six and a half years in November 2007 after admitting eight counts of CONSPIRACY to cheat the UK taxation system.

(P17) He was sentenced to a further three and a half years in prison for other offences, and the judge decided the two sentences should run CONSECUTIVELY.

(P18) This means Mr Edwards is still serving his sentence, although he is thought to have been released from prison on licence.

(P19) The media organisations therefore argued that his offences could not be treated as historical, and it remained in the public interest for the articles to be published, particularly given the seriousness of the offences.

(P20) They objected to the stories being removed from Google searches for the same reasons.

(P21) News stories about the original case still show up when “Malcolm Edwards-Sayer” is typed into Google.

(P22) Google, which was not a defendant in the case, told the BBC it does not comment on whether individuals have requested search results about them to be removed.

(P23) However, when EVALUATING a request, Google considers whether or not there is public interest in the information remaining findable through its search engine.

(P24) This means it is unlikely that Google would remove the search results about Malcolm Edwards-Sayer.

WORDS: 588

SOURCE: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-33706475

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. The “right to be forgotten” is supposed to apply to ordinary people who are not PUBLIC FIGURES. Mr. Edwards is a convicted FELON. Should the “right to be forgotten” apply to him?
  3. Is there information about you on the Internet that you wish was not there?
  4. Are you careful about what you post on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites?
  5. Is it possible to completely erase the past?

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.

  • Lay preacher
  • Erase the past
  • Public figure

PRACTICE ARTICLE NOW

ZIMBABWE SEEKS CECIL THE LION’S KILLER

[WORLD NEWS ★]

ZIMBABWE SEEKS CECIL THE LION’S KILLER Cecil the Lion (P1) The US dentist who killed a lion in Zimbabwe should be EXTRADITED to FACE CHARGES, Zimbabwe’s Environment Minister Oppah Muchinguri has said.

(P2) Walter Palmer’s extradition was being SOUGHT so that he could “be held ACCOUNTABLE for his illegal action,” she said.

(P3) The US Fish and WILDLIFE Service was contacted by a representative of Mr Palmer on Thursday.

(P4) The contact comes as US authorities continue to investigate the hunt.

(P5) Mr Palmer, from Minnesota, is believed to have paid about $50,000 to hunt the lion, known as Cecil.

(P6) He says he thought the hunt was legal and was unaware Cecil was protected.

(P7) At a news conference in the capital, Harare, Ms Muchinguri referred to Mr Palmer as a “foreign POACHER“.

(P8) “As we FRANTICALLY try to protect our wildlife from organised gangs such as this one, there are people… who can CONNIVE to UNDERMINE Zimbabwean laws,” she said.

(P9) “One can conclude with confidence that Dr Palmer, being an American citizen, had a well-ORCHESTRATED AGENDA which would TARNISH the image of Zimbabwe and further STRAIN the relationship between Zimbabwe and the USA,” Ms Muchinguri added.

(P10) She also said Mr Palmer’s use of a BOW AND ARROW against Cecil was in CONTRAVENTION of Zimbabwean hunting regulations, Reuters reports.

(P11) Two Zimbabwean men have been IMPLICATED in the death of the lion.

(P12) A professional hunter has been charged with failing to prevent an illegal hunt – which he DENIES – and prosecutors are deciding on the exact charges the landowner should face.

(P13) “I don’t believe I failed in any duties at all, I was engaged by a client to do a hunt for him and we shot an old male lion that I believed was past his breeding age,” the Zimbabwean hunter Theo Bronkhorst told the AFP news agency.

(P14) There has been a huge online BACKLASH against Mr Palmer. The dental practice he runs in Minneapolis has been closed since he was named as the hunter who shot Cecil.

(P15) On Thursday, the White House said it would review a public PETITION to extradite the American dentist after more than 100,000 signed it.

(P16) But spokesman Josh Earnest said it was up to the US Justice Department to respond to any extradition order.

WORDS: 370

SOURCE: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-33733722

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. The death of Cecil the lion created a worldwide FUROR. Were there stories about this in the media in your country?
  3. What is your feeling about the hunting of wild animals?
  4. Do you believe that the United States will extradite Walter Palmer to Zimbabwe?
  5. Cecil the lion was an ICON of the nation of Zimbabwe. What are some of the icons of your nation?

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.

  • Face charges
  • Bow and arrow

PRACTICE ARTICLE NOW