ARE MY DATING HABITS TOO OLD-FASHIONED?

[LIFE ★★]

ARE MY DATING HABITS TOO OLD-FASHIONED?

Online Dating

(P1) Dear Eva,

(P2) I am pretty young, in my early 20s, and I have been using online dating apps for a while now. My problem lately has been knowing the APPROPRIATE time for a date.

(P3) Usually a guy will ask me out and then plan to meet, setting a date and a particular time. But lately I have had guys who will make plans with me and then be AMBIGUOUS about the details. Then I might get a message saying to meet them at 11pm, or in a bar or NIGHTCLUB for a date.

(P4) When I refuse to do this, I get made fun of because I am not doing what “young people” do. I get told that I should be more SPONTANEOUS and LIVE FOR THE MOMENT.

(P5) Maybe I am OLD-FASHIONED but I refuse to go on a date that starts later than 9pm. Especially when it is with someone that I do not know. I guess my question is, what is the appropriate time for a date to start when meeting someone new from online dating? Am I just being really old-fashioned?

(P6) Dear reader,

(P7) When I was your age, I met a man 25 YEARS MY SENIOR who I was really KEEN to work for. A mutual contact had introduced us, and the impressive professional man invited me to meet him in his private members’ club at 9pm one evening.

(P8) “Hm,” I thought to myself, “MY GUT TELLS ME that this seems like an AWFULLY late time for a business meeting in a private members’ club, but certainly there’s no way that this man would be HITTING ON ME, so I guess this is just what he does when he is having serious professional business meetings.”

(P9) Guess who was right? That’s right, my gut! The man who I wanted to work for had asked me on what he believed was a date. As a result, we both left disappointed: him, without sweet romance; me, without employment.

(P10) It sounds to me like you’re SETTING BOUNDARIES that you’re personally comfortable with, and expecting people you date to understand and respect those boundaries. You should be proud of yourself for staying true to what you believe in and what makes you happy. If some people think that what you believe in is “old-fashioned”, then you don’t want to date them anyway.

(P11) This goes for the time of day when you meet, the place where you meet, and any physical contact that you choose to have.

(P12) On a first date, you’re allowed to require the interaction to be in a time and a place and a CONTEXT that you enjoy and which makes you comfortable.

(P13) And I think you’re right, by the way: a person who wants to meet you for the first time at 11pm is very likely to be ANGLING for a sexual encounter. If that’s not what you want, then STICK TO YOUR GUNS.

(P14) Love, Eva

WORDS: 488

SOURCE: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/sep/17/swipe-right-online-dating-tinder-first-date-behavior-booty-call

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. This letter and reply are from a newspaper ADVICE COLUMN. Are advice columns popular in your country?
  3. Have you ever used an online dating app? Was your experience good or bad?
  4. Do you think it is hard to meet potentially serious dating partners these days?
  5. Do you consider yourself old-fashioned, or CUTTING-EDGE?

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.

  • Live for the moment
  • Old-fashioned
  • Years my senior
  • My gut tells me
  • Hitting on someone
  • Set boundaries
  • Stick to your guns
  • Advice column
  • Cutting-edge

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WOMEN SHOULD BE SUBJECT TO THE MILITARY DRAFT

[OPINION ★★]

WOMEN SHOULD BE SUBJECT TO THE MILITARY DRAFT

Military Women

(P1) President Obama and I agree: Equality for women should mean equal SUBJECTION to DRAFT REGISTRATION.

(P2) Will America’s military be FUNDAMENTALLY transformed? Maybe.

(P3) I’m against a draft in general, despite ONGOING efforts by people like  Congressman Charles Rangel to bring it back. But if we’re going to have a draft, I don’t see why it shouldn’t apply to women, too. And I’m happy to see that President Obama agrees with me.

(P4) In the old days, a nation could lose a large CHUNK of its FIGHTING-AGE men and still BOUNCE BACK, so long as its FERTILE women remained.

(P5) But nowadays, women’s primary activity is no longer childbearing, and many women will never have kids at all. And even those who do have kids often delay childbearing until their late 20s or even 30s, long after any draft-induced military service would end.

(P6) There’s also the question of fairness. In the past, it maybe made sense to require men to PUT THEIR LIVES ON THE LINE for their nation. But we have equality, now. Women vote, are overrepresented among college graduates, live longer than men, and so on.

(P7) Meanwhile, to be CONSCRIPTED into the military is to be ripped from your home, friends and family, to see your life plans PUT ON HOLD, and to be subjected to a kind of harsh DISCIPLINE that civilians never encounter — while being placed at the risk of death. If men, who have historically been subjected to this, are to remain subject to it in the future, then why shouldn’t women?

(P8) In today’s modern society, I see no reason why men should be subjected to the draft, or to its PRECURSOR, registration, while women are not.

(P9) This puts me ON THE SAME PAGE as President Obama, who has backed draft registration for women. Here’s what Obama said in 2008: “I think that if women are registered for service, I think it will help to send a message to my two daughters that they’ve got OBLIGATIONS to this great country as well as boys do.”

(P10) I agree. Women should be just as subject to draft registration as men. That’s what equality means.

WORDS: 361

SOURCE: http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2015/10/15/glenn-reynolds-draft-women-why-not-equality-sexes-column/73930900/

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. In Israel, there is MANDATORY military service for both men and women; in South Korea, only for men. Which system do you think is better?
  3. Do you think that women in the military should serve in COMBAT, or not?
  4. Has anyone in your family served in the military?
  5. Is the idea of equality between men and women completely accepted in your country?

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.

  • Draft registration
  • Fighting-age
  • Bounce back
  • Put life on the line
  • Put on hold
  • On the same page

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HONG KONG PHOTOGRAPHER TO FACE TRIAL IN THAILAND

[WORLD NEWS ★★]

HONG KONG PHOTOGRAPHER TO FACE TRIAL IN THAILAND

Anthony Kwan

(P1) A Hong Kong photographer DETAINED in Thailand for carrying a BULLETPROOF jacket and HELMET will face trial after pleading NOT GUILTY on Monday to a weapons possession charge.

(P2) The case has SPARKED an OUTCRY from media freedom groups, who say JOURNALISTS should not be punished for carrying BODY ARMOUR and PROTECTIVE GEAR in and out of dangerous zones.

(P3) Anthony Kwan Hok-chun, who works for the Hong Kong-based Initium media group, was held briefly on 23 August after trying to leave from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport with a FLAK JACKET and helmet in his hand luggage.

(P4) Both items are CLASSIFIED as weapons under Thai law and Kwan was charged with BREACHING the Arms Control Act, which is punishable by up to five years in jail.

(P5) He was in Thailand to cover the AFTERMATH of August’s DEADLY Bangkok bombing.

(P6) Kwan told reporters on Monday after the hearing at the Samut Prakan court, near Bangkok, that he DENIED the charge. “I don’t think that a flak jacket is a weapon and I definitely didn’t know it was illegal here,” he said.

(P7) His PLEA means he will face a trial starting next month. The court granted Kwan BAIL and his lawyer later said he was free to leave the kingdom until the trial. “I think everyone in my situation would be a little bit concerned. I’m preparing for the worst but hoping for the best,” Kwan added.

(P8) Thailand’s classification of protection equipment as a weapon that requires a licence has been criticised by media groups, who say they are VITAL PIECES OF KIT for reporters in a country where political violence routinely SPILLS onto the streets.

(P9) About 10 PROTESTERS, mostly journalists, RALLIED in Hong Kong on Monday outside a building that houses Thailand’s CONSULATE, calling for the case against Kwan to be dropped.

(P10) “This was UNREASONABLE. Journalists face all kinds of situations and sometimes it can be dangerous. Anthony carried a bulletproof vest to protect himself and he was not the first one to do so,” said Ho Ka-tat, the vice-chairman of the Hong Kong Press Photographers Association.

(P11) The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand, in a statement late on Sunday, also expressed disappointment at the charge.

(P12) “Thai authorities should consult with the media community … to explore a way around the 1987 law, which was surely not intended to PROSECUTE journalists carrying out their normal duties,” the statement said.

WORDS: 402

SOURCE: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/12/hong-kong-photographer-anthony-kwan-hok-chun-trial-thailand

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. In many countries, journalism is among the most dangerous jobs. Why is this true?
  3. Relationships between many countries in East Asia are often quite TENSE. Why is this true?
  4. Has this been any recent “political violence” in your native country?
  5. Legal scholars often point out that there can be a difference between “THE LETTER OF THE LAW” VS. “THE SPIRIT OF THE LAW.” How is that true in this case?

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.

  • Not guilty
  • Body armour
  • Protective gear
  • Flak jacket
  • Piece of kit
  • Letter and spirit of the law

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YOUNG INVESTMENT BANKERS CHEAT, GET FIRED

[BUSINESS ★]

YOUNG INVESTMENT BANKERS CHEAT, GET FIRED

Goldman Sachs

(P1) A HANDFUL of Goldman Sachs ANALYSTS have seen their careers at the INVESTMENT BANKING giant CUT SHORT.

(P2) Goldman has fired about 20 analysts in both London and New York for cheating on internal tests.

(P3) Sebastian Howell, a Goldman Sachs spokesman in London, said in a statement: “This conduct was not just a clear VIOLATION of the rules, but completely INCONSISTENT with the values we FOSTER at the firm.”

(P4) When analysts begin their career at Goldman, they have to enter the Goldman Sachs University training and ORIENTATION program. There, they have training across various areas and topics. They have to take tests to make sure they’re learning what they’re being taught. This is something that is COMMONPLACE at investment banks.

(P5) One former banker from a RIVAL firm said that they used to cheat “all the time.”

(P6) He explained that they cheated “not because the [tests] were hard, but because they were a waste of time.”

(P7) “[Besides] saving time, there’s no real INCENTIVE to cheat on these tests because typically it’s just to get a certification of ‘hours’ for internal training, so your score doesn’t matter, and if you don’t pass, you can take it again. And I don’t think a bank would fire anyone over that.”

(P8) LANDING an analyst role at Goldman is extremely difficult.

(P9) Last year, Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein wrote just how competitive it is to get an analyst position at Goldman.

(P10) For that analyst class, the investment banking giant had more than 43,000 candidates apply for 1,900 analyst positions. The bank accepted just 4% of them, making it harder to get a job at Goldman than to be accepted to Harvard.

WORDS: 273

SOURCE: http://www.businessinsider.com/goldman-sachs-university-2015-10

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. Does the cheating behavior of these junior bankers surprise you?
  3. Have there been any cheating scandals (such as on college entrance exams) in your country recently?
  4. Some people say, “Everyone cheats.” What sort of people don’t cheat to GET AHEAD?
  5. Have you ever applied for a very competitive and difficult-to-get job or academic program? Was it stressful?

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.

  • Investment banking
  • Cut short
  • Get ahead

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SCIENTISTS WORK TO SAVE STRIPED LEGLESS LIZARD

[ENVIRONMENT ★★★]

SCIENTISTS WORK TO SAVE STRIPED LEGLESS LIZARD

Legless Lizards

(P1) An UNREMARKABLE looking piece of land opposite Canberra’s Exhibition Park is where conservationists are attempting the rescue of the ENDANGERED reptile, the striped legless lizard.

(P2) The GRASSLAND site is being cleared to create a park and tourist ACCOMMODATION for up to 480 people.

(P3) Unfortunately, the animal INHABITANTS of the grassland are unaware their home is set to be TORN ASUNDER and only the INTERVENTION of a conservation group, Bush Heritage Australia, is saving 200 striped legless lizards, one of the last populations of the species left in the country.

(P4) South-east Australia has lost 99% of its grasslands since Europeans arrived and decided that houses, cattle, and sheep were WELL-SUITED for these treeless, largely unloved areas.

(P5) “Protecting grasslands is a hard thing to sell to people – they aren’t particularly valued,” says Peter Saunders, a Bush Heritage landscape manager.

(P6) “People see them as a place to walk their dog or maybe GRAZE some sheep. But they are incredibly VALUABLE for a large number of plants and a surprising number of reptiles and insects. Even FUNGUS. Did you know Australia has two-thirds of the world’s fungus species?”

(P7) Legless lizards are related to SKINKS and GECKOS but are often mistaken for snakes because of their long bodies and similar-looking heads. There are a few key differences: legless lizards have visible ears, no FORKED tongue, and are not dangerous at all!

(P8) The species has other PECULIARITIES. Most of its body is made up of tail which can DETACH from its body in sections if it needs to FLEE quickly. And, oddly, the legless lizard SQUEAKS when handled, much like a STARTLED mouse.

(P9) To capture these legless lizards, Bush Heritage has purchased roof TILES. The idea is simple but effective. Reptiles like to press themselves against heated surfaces to get warm. As the sun heats the tiles, legless lizards will WRIGGLE underneath them.

(P10) The tiles are then FLIPPED OVER and the catcher quickly presses his or her palm over the legless lizard. The complication is that brown snakes, one of the world’s most VENOMOUS species, can also be under the tiles and, in a SPLIT SECOND, can look a little like a legless lizard.

(P11) “It looks a bit like a snake if you haven’t seen one before,” said Brett Howland, a Bush Heritage member. “I pick up the tiles sometimes and see snakes and that throws me backwards. There’s probably something in our evolution that means we INSTINCTIVELY fear snakes.

(P12) “But when you see a snake next to a legless lizard you’ll see they look quite different. Their behaviour is different, too. A legless lizard is very PLACID but if that was a brown snake” – Howard points to a recently flipped tile – “it would have looked towards me and been quite AGGRESSIVE. Not all snakes are like that, of course.”

(P13) Not having legs means the lizard can move quickly through grasslands and is an instinctive burrower. When you hold one, it appears as if it is REARING ITS HEAD to strike but it is, in fact, looking for somewhere to hide.

(P14) Once the legless lizards are caught – 31 so far – they are taken to the Australian National University to be weighed, measured and marked so that their progress can be checked. The longest can measure 30cm, and weight is about the 9g mark.

(P15) The striped legless lizards are being moved to Scottsdale, a former farming property 75km south of Canberra. Bush Heritage bought the site in 2006.

(P16) This is the first species to be moved to the Scottsdale property to save it. If the legless lizards survive a few years and successfully breed, the RELOCATION will be HAILED a TRIUMPH.

WORDS: 611

SOURCE: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/oct/14/the-partys-over-for-the-striped-legless-lizard-in-the-nations-capital

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 afraid of snakes? Are there any dangerous snakes in your country?
  3. What kinds of WILDLIFE can be seen in your town or city?
  4. Grassland areas often have interesting plants. Have you ever GARDENED as a hobby?
  5. Are there any zoos or BOTANICAL GARDENS near where you live?

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.

  • Endangered species
  • Torn asunder
  • Well-suited
  • Flip over
  • Split second
  • Rear its head
  • Botanical garden

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BAN ON NEW ZEALAND YOUNG ADULT NOVEL LIFTED

[CULTURE AND ENTERTAINMENT ★★]

BAN ON NEW ZEALAND YOUNG ADULT NOVEL LIFTED

Into the River

(P1) CENSORS in New Zealand have lifted the BAN on the award-winning teen novel Into the River, IMPOSED last month.

(P2) Ted Dawe’s COMING-OF-AGE tale was removed from CIRCULATION after LOBBY GROUP Family First complained about its sex and drug content.

(P3) But censors said that, after review, they believed it contained “a number of important issues and problems that many young teenagers will have to confront”.

(P4) It was New Zealand’s first such ban since LEGISLATION introduced in 1993.

(P5) The book, about a MAORI boy who faces BULLYING and racism, won the top prize at the 2013 New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards.

(P6) It contains EXPLICIT descriptions of sex and drug use, as well as an OFFENSIVE term for female PRIVATE PARTS.

(P7) Dawe said he was “THRILLED” by the decision from the Film and Literature Board of Review.

(P8) “It has RESTORED my faith in New Zealand’s legal system,” he said.

(P9) The book’s publisher, Penguin Random House, said it was “a victory for FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION and the right of authors and publishers to deal with the CHALLENGING social issues young people face today in high-quality works of literature”.

(P10) Under the ban, selling the book – and having it in schools and libraries – could have led to a fine of up to NZ$3,000 (£1,300) for individuals and NZ$10,000 (£4,400) for companies.

(P11) It led to OUTRAGE not just from Dawe, who described the ban as “HEAVY-HANDED and DRACONIAN“, but from many other authors too.

(P12) “I don’t know whether I’m that happy living in a country which does those sorts of things to books and to writers,” said Dawe at the time.

(P13) He said his book reflected the reality of teenage life, and that to ban it while books with a high-sex content, such as Fifty Shades of Grey, were given the ALL-CLEAR was “almost SINISTER“.

(P14) The Film and Literature Board of Review issued the INTERIM ban after Family First said it had received more than 400 letters about Into the Woods from concerned parents.

(P15) The group wanted the novel to be given a restriction rating of R18. The ban was to allow the review board time to consider the complaint.

WORDS: 364

SOURCE: http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-34538553

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 know of any books or films that have been banned or restricted in your country? On what GROUNDS were they controlled?
  3. Teenagers today have access to a wide range of potentially DISTURBING material on the Internet. Do you think that this is a problem, or is it just part of growing up?
  4. Do you prefer books that reflect real life, or books that provide an escape from real life?
  5. Have you read any books that are considered YOUNG ADULT (YA) LITERATURE?

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.

  • Coming-of-age
  • Lobby group
  • Private parts
  • Freedom of expression
  • Heavy-handed
  • All-clear
  • Young adult literature

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ERITREAN FOOTBALL PLAYERS SEEK ASYLUM IN BOTSWANA

[SPORTS ★★]

ERITREAN FOOTBALL PLAYERS SEEK ASYLUM IN BOTSWANA

Eritrean Football Team

(P1) Ten players from the Eritrean football team have refused to return home after playing a World Cup qualifying match in Botswana and are now SEEKING ASYLUM there, officials say.

(P2) The men were DETAINED by police after deciding not to board their plane.

(P3) They are reported to have refused to go home despite the INTERVENTION of the Eritrean AMBASSADOR in Botswana.

(P4) There have been a number of mass DEFECTIONS by Eritrean athletes in recent years.

(P5) One of the most NOTICEABLE was in 2013, when Uganda granted asylum to 15 Eritrean players and their team doctor after they ABSCONDED at the end of a football TOURNAMENT.

(P6) A senior official at the Botswana Football Association says it has yet to ESTABLISH why the players refused to leave with their team-mates.

(P7) However a report in the Botswana newspaper The Voice said that the players were DISTRESSED about the PROSPECT of joining the Eritrean army and wanted to seek asylum despite being persuaded not to by the ambassador.

(P8) The newspaper reported Botswana Football Association Vice President Basadi Akoonyatse as saying that the Eritrean players were found missing from their hotel rooms early on Wednesday morning by team officials.

(P9) “A report was made to the police who spotted them LOITERING around Francistown, ALLEGING that they were in search of a Red Cross centre where they could seek assistance to… be granted asylum in Botswana,” she said.

(P10) Players’ representative Dick Bayford told the Reuters news agency that he had received reports of an attempt to remove the players FORCIBLY from Botswana.

(P11) Eritrea is NOTORIOUS for HUMAN RIGHTS abuses, with TORTURE and slavery both reported by the United Nations to be COMMONPLACE.

(P12) The country has also been accused by the UN of forcing its citizens to indefinite national service and of killing people trying to escape abroad.

(P13) The Eritrean government DISMISSED the UN’s findings as “totally UNFOUNDED and DEVOID OF ALL MERIT“.

WORDS: 321

SOURCE: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-34534975

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. Why do international sports so often become political?
  3. What is your personal understanding of “human rights”?
  4. What should the STANDARDS for seeking asylum in another country be? For example, that you are in danger in your native country?
  5. Do you have an awareness of the issues in different African countries, or do you think of Africa as a single UNIT?

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.

  • Human rights
  • Devoid of merit

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