GOLFER BUBBA WATSON APOLOGIZES FOR NEGATIVE COMMENTS

[SPORTS ★]

GOLFER BUBBA WATSON APOLOGIZES FOR NEGATIVE COMMENTS

Bubba

(P1) Two days after saying he didn’t like changes to the golf course for the Phoenix Open and that he only was playing in the event because three of his SPONSORS wanted him to, Bubba Watson said he was sorry.

(P2) “I used the wrong words,” Watson said.

(P3) “I have nothing against the fans and the TOURNAMENT. The fans have been great. I love coming here. I’ve lived here every winter for eight years. This is a beautiful place. And the reason why I’m here is because of the excitement around this golf tournament. The fans have been great.”

(P4) But earlier in the week, Watson had said, “I don’t like it. I don’t like it at all. I just mentioned why I’m here. I’ve got three sponsors that love it here.”

(P5) Watson heard a strong reaction from fans at the tournament on Thursday and again on Friday. He was booed MERCILESSLY ahead of his tee shot at the par-3 16th during both rounds.

(P6) The two-time Masters winner created this problem for himself. He tried to APPEASE angry fans with a pre-round tweet praising the event on Thursday, but it clearly didn’t work.

(P7) “I used words that I shouldn’t have used,” he said. “I didn’t explain myself well. My wife says that, too, when I go home. I don’t communicate very well.”

(P8) Now Watson has to hope his MEA CULPA reaches the fans. He tried his best to DOWNPLAY their reaction the last two days and discussed how he hopes to win them back.

WORDS: 257

SOURCE: http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/golf-devil-ball-golf/bubba-watson-apologizes-for-phoenix-open-comments-031732785-golf.html

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. Have you ever said or done something that you later REGRETTED? What did you do about it?
  3. Is it better for athletes and other public figures to be honest, or should they say what is expected of them?
  4. Bubba Watson’s sponsors pay for his golfing. How do you think they felt about what he said?
  5. Watson is a talented golfer, but SURVEYS show that he is the most unpopular golfer. Are there athletes in your country who are CONTROVERSIAL?

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.

  • Mea culpa

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THE TIME TO CANCEL THE RIO OLYMPICS IS NOW

[OPINION ★★]

THE TIME TO CANCEL THE RIO OLYMPICS IS NOW

Zika Mosquito

(P1) It is beginning to look like the time has come to CALL OFF the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The reason is simple: young women cannot travel there safely. While POLLUTED water and security issues have already made things tough for anyone who would be a visitor there, now Brazil is suffering from the MOSQUITO-BORNE ZIKA VIRUS EPIDEMIC. To host the Games at a site TEEMING with Zika, an OUTBREAK the World Health Organization (WHO) has labelled a “public health emergency of international concern,” is IRRESPONSIBLE.

(P2) Who is going to go to Rio in the middle of a Zika outbreak? Not young women fans, who might get pregnant and risk giving birth to a child with a BIRTH DEFECT. Not male fans who are sexually active and risk transmitting the disease to a partner. Maybe the athletes, coaches, and other members of national Olympic teams will travel to Rio.

(P3) Imagine playing a sport so well that it earns you a spot on your country’s Olympic team. All of the time, sweat, and money you’ve dedicated to your sport have resulted in an opportunity to compete with the best in the world. If you are one of those gifted and fortunate enough to compete in the Rio Games, you want to go. This may be your only chance to PARTICIPATE in the Olympics.

(P4) So, athletes may still want to go to Rio. But there is no way the International Olympic Committee (IOC) should let them. Corporations and media organizations also need to put safety ahead of their BOTTOM LINES.

(P5) Virus-carrying bugs attacking people in a city hosting a sports mega-event sounds like the basis of a Hollywood plot line. But this is no sci-fi or action movie. And it’s certainly not THE STUFF OF comedy or B-movies, either. The Zika virus is real, of course, and it requires a COORDINATED response from government institutions, health care organizations, and local and regional communities.

(P5) WHO officials said the virus is “spreading rapidly,” and could infect between 3 million to 4 million people within one year. Adding to the ANXIETY is that the particular type of mosquitoes that transmit Zika are the same ones that help spread diseases such as dengue, yellow fever, and chikungunya.

(P6) The IOC is advising national Olympic committees to KEEP TABS ON and follow WHO guidance. IOC officials aren’t overly concerned about the Games taking place as planned in light of the Zika outbreak. Organizers in Rio are of the same thinking.

(P7) This is a risky—maybe even crazy—approach.

(P8) By the time the Games start, many fans aren’t likely to attend. The media will report on nothing but mosquitos and birth defects, more than a few athletes and coaching staffs will BALK at competing in Rio, and Brazil will be sinking further into debt trying to battle an epidemic while paying for the Games.

(P9) The IOC needs to either move the Games, POSTPONE them, or cancel them. Prevention is the best course in the face of a serious threat to humanity.

WORDS: 523

SOURCE: http://www.forbes.com/sites/leeigel/2016/02/03/zika-outbreak-means-it-is-now-time-to-cancel-rio-olympics/#da6bc5c4f922

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 the Olympics will be cancelled before the summer?
  3. If you were an athlete, would you go?
  4. If you were a spectator, would you go?
  5. Are mosquitoes and the illnesses they carry a problem 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.

  • Call off
  • Mosquito-borne
  • Zika virus
  • Birth defect
  • Bottom line
  • The stuff of
  • Keep tabs on

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OBAMA ANNOUNCES NEW PUSH FOR COMPUTER EDUCATION

[EDUCATION ★]

OBAMA ANNOUNCES NEW PUSH FOR COMPUTER EDUCATION

Coding Education

(P1) U.S. President Barack Obama has announced his new Computer Science for All INITIATIVE. The $4 billion plan aims to fulfill Obama’s commitment to “offer every student the HANDS-ON computer science and math classes they need.”

(P2) The CS for All initiative is intended to provide every student between kindergarten and 12th grade with computer science education. The $4 billion would be distributed to states over three years, with $100 million going directly to school districts, to train teachers and purchase high-quality instructional materials.

(P3) “In the new economy, computer science isn’t an OPTIONAL skill, it’s a basic skill,” Obama said.

(P4) While more than 90% of parents say they want their children to have computer science courses, only about 25% of schools in the United States offer quality coding and programming classes. In 22 states, computer science classes are not allowed to COUNT TOWARDS high school graduation. At the same time, a growing number of jobs require computer science skills, and there is a shortage of people who are qualified for the jobs. Last year, more than 600,000 high-paying tech jobs in the U.S. went unfilled. Experts predict that in the next two years, more than half of all Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) jobs will involve computer science.

(P5) The initiative is also designed to promote diversity in the tech industry. In 2015, only 22% of students who took the Advanced Placement Computer Science test were female. Only 13% of students who took the test were either African American or Latino. These percentages were similar in large technology companies. MANDATORY computer science classes should encourage more students from all different BACKGROUNDS to confidently pursue technology careers.

WORDS: 280

SOURCE: http://www.timeforkids.com/news/commitment-coding/349606

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. Is technology education in your country good, or could it be improved?
  3. Do you feel that your own computer skills are good?
  4. Is it important for everyone to be able to code and program, or only for a few people?
  5. Not everyone would agree that studying computer science helps people find jobs; some computer science graduates have a difficult time finding work. Is it easy to find technology jobs in your country, or difficult?

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.

  • Hands-on
  • Count towards

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HOW TO BECOME A FILM COMPOSER

[CULTURE AND ENTERTAINMENT ★★]

HOW TO BECOME A FILM COMPOSER

Film Composer

(P1) The music you hear as you are watching a favorite scene is a big part of the magic of movies. This is what Carlos José Alvarez does, and at 36, he’s a PROLIFIC young COMPOSER.

(P2) Alvarez has already composed and arranged the SCORES for Hollywood films such as “Deadline,” “One for the Money,” the DOCUMENTARY “Cubamerican,” and the Oscar-winning “Still Alice.” He arranged and wrote the music for the THRILLER “Exposed,” starring Keanu Reeves and Ana de Armas, which recently opened in theaters.

(P3) Alvarez, who has lived in Los Angeles for the past decade and now considers it home, says his career as a film score composer chose him. He also gives his two grandmothers credit.

(P4) “My mother’s mother was BED-RIDDEN, and I used to watch films with her,” Alvarez says. “That’s where my FASCINATION with films began. My father’s mother, who is still alive, is an incredible musician. She was a musical voice in our family.”

(P5) Alvarez was raised in West Palm Beach, Florida to a music-loving Cuban family. Sounds of classical pieces, Cuban folk music, and Beatles tunes often EMANATED from his house. By 12 years old, he started playing the CONGAS and the piano.

(P6) He explains he always knew he wanted to compose music for films, because he had always been in love with cinema, as well as music, and it was a perfect marriage of both of his passions.

(P7) “I was always into music, the story, the characters, the setting,” says Alvarez. “The music is there to tell us what’s happening when nothing is happening on the screen. It’s like the poetry behind it all for me.”

(P8) His most INFLUENTIAL moment, he says, was meeting Michael Kamen, the composer for films such as “Lethal Weapon,” “X-Men,” Die Hard,” and “Mr. Holland’s Opus,” while Alvarez was in high school.

(P9) “He came to West Palm Beach to give a concert, and I heard about it and I wanted to be a part of it,” remembers Alvarez. “I AUDITIONED for the TIMPANI part, and I got the job… It was such a BIG DEAL for me.”

(P10) After the concert, Alvarez spoke to Kamen and said, ‘You know I’m going to be a composer like you someday?’ He said, ‘I believe you.’ He really knew I meant what I said, and I think that was a TURNING POINT for me.”

(P11) Alvarez received a scholarship to attend Florida State University. He put up FLYERS all over campus offering to score student films for practice.

(P12) “I’d PULL ALL-NIGHTERS to compose music,” says Alvarez, who later attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he graduated with a degree in film scoring.

(P13) Today, a TYPICAL day for him still involves up to 14 hours when working on a film.

(P14) “I cannot wait to be inspired, there’s no time for that,” says Alvarez, who works from a studio in his house. He was given six weeks to work on the score of “Exposed.” “I have to sit down and work. I have to shut out the world.”

(P15) Usually, Alvarez says his work starts when the film is at the end of the editing process.

(P16) “Once the film is close to being completed, I sit with the filmmaker and we go through the entire movie. We decide where the music should start, stop – there’s a lot of problem solving,” he explains.

(P17) Then he begins writing the music. Once the score is approved, then comes getting the SHEET MUSIC ready for the musicians, and the recording process. Once the music is recorded, it is time to edit it into the film.

(P18) “The job is so magical,” says Alvarez. “I wake up every day hoping to create great music. If I do my job correctly, I’m breathing life into the film.”

WORDS: 635

SOURCE: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/film-score-composer-carlos-jos-alvarez-breathes-life-movies-n504476

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 aware of the music when you watch a movie, or not really?
  3. Did you play in musical groups in school?
  4. Was your family very musical like Mr. Alvarez’s family?
  5. Was there a turning point that helped you decide what your career would be

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.

  • Bed-ridden
  • Big deal
  • Turning point
  • Pull an all-nighter

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LUXEMBOURG WILL BEGIN SPACE MINING

[TECHNOLOGY ★★]

LUXEMBOURG WILL BEGIN SPACE MINING

Asteroid

(P1) The government of the nation of Luxembourg has announced a plan to MINE ASTEROIDS in space.

(P2) It is going to support R&D in space mining technologies and may invest directly in some companies.

(P3) Former European Space Agency director Jean-Jacques Dordain will advise the project.

(P4) He told reporters that space mining was no longer science fiction in the pages of a JULES VERNE novel. The basic technologies – of landing and returning materials from asteroids – have been proven to work.

(P5) He urged European entrepreneurs to follow the example of American companies that had already begun to consider how they could EXPLOIT the expensive metals, rare elements, and other VALUABLE resources in space.

(P6) “Things are moving quickly in the United States, and IT IS HIGH TIME THAT there was an INITIATIVE in Europe. I am glad the first initiative is coming from Luxembourg,” he said. “It will give no excuse for European investors to go to California.”

(P7) Two notable American companies, Deep Space Industries and Planetary Resources, have begun assembling teams to design spacecraft systems that can explore asteroids and IDENTIFY minerals and metals that can be mined.

(P8) 13,500 asteroids have been discovered. Some may contain rare metals on their surfaces that are important to high technology but difficult to find on Earth, such as platinum, iridium, and palladium.

(P9) Although it is a small nation, Luxembourg has an important position in space activity.

(P10) It is the HEADQUARTERS of SES, the world’s largest commercial satellite telecommunications company. Intelsat, the second biggest company in that industry, also has offices in Luxembourg.

(P11) Luxembourg now wants to become a HUB for European space mining companies.

(P12) During the past decade, space missions run by international agencies have landed on asteroids and returned samples from them.

(P13) The next step would be to extract and return enough valuable minerals and metals to JUSTIFY the high cost of mining in space.

WORDS: 318

SOURCE: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-35482427

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 that mining in space will be economically practical?
  3. Have you seen recent movies about this sort of space exploration, such as The Martian or Moon?
  4. Jules Verne is the first great SCIENCE FICTION writer. Have you read much science fiction?
  5. Luxembourg is a very small country. Why is it getting involved in this project? What are the BENEFITS?

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.

  • R&D
  • It is high time that
  • Science fiction

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DEAL REACHED TO PRESERVE CANADA’S GREAT BEAR RAINFOREST

[ENVIRONMENT ★★]

DEAL REACHED TO PRESERVE CANADA’S GREAT BEAR RAINFOREST

Great Bear Rainforest

(P1) The Canadian PROVINCE of British Columbia has announced a HISTORIC agreement that will protect the Great Bear RAINFOREST along its COASTLINE. The deal considers the interests of FIRST NATIONS, the LOGGING industry, and ENVIRONMENTALISTS.

(P2) Under the agreement, about 85 percent of forest within the Great Bear Rainforest would be protected, with the other 15 percent available for logging.

(P3) The Great Bear Rainforest is one of the world’s largest rainforests and the habitat of the Spirit Bear, a rare SUBSPECIES of the black bear with white fur and claws. It is also home to 26 Native groups, known as First Nations.

(P4) “The Great Bear Rainforest is a JEWEL IN THE CROWN of magnificent LANDSCAPES in British Columbia,” Premier Christy Clark said.

(P5) She added that the agreement would protect the forest, while still ensuring economic opportunities for First Nations members and communities.

(P6) The Great Bear rainforest, which includes forests, WATERWAYS, and mountains, covers 15.8 million acres of the province’s coast. More than half its surface is forest, including 5.7 million acres of OLD GROWTH.

(P7) In the 1990s, frustrated over what they saw as destructive FORESTRY practices on their lands, First Nations partnered with environmentalists in Canada to fight back against logging companies.

(P8) By the early 2000s, environmental groups and industry players, including Interfor Corp, Western Forest Products Inc and Catalyst Paper Corp, had started talks. At the same time, the government began NEGOTIATING with the Coastal First Nations.

(P9) The final agreement “will create CERTAINTY for coastal forests, local communities and jobs for years to come,” Rick Jeffery, chief executive of Coast Forest Products Association, said.

(P10) The deal would also end the commercial GRIZZLY BEAR hunt within Coastal First Nations territories, though other existing tourism-related businesses will not be affected.

(P11) “Our leaders understand our WELL-BEING is connected to the well-being of our lands and waters,” said Chief Marilyn Slett, president of Coastal First Nations.

WORDS: 322

SOURCE: http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2016/2/2/deal-protects-canadas-great-bear-rainforest-from-logging.html

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 large forests in your country? Is forestry an important industry?
  3. Why are the Native TRIBES of Canada called “First Nations”?
  4. Why is it difficult to negotiate agreements?
  5. In your country, do you think the government or private industry is more powerful?

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.

  • Jewel in the crown
  • Well-being

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LIST OF WORLD’S MOST VIOLENT CITIES RELEASED

[WORLD NEWS ★★]

LIST OF WORLD’S MOST VIOLENT CITIES RELEASED

49-medelln-colombia-had-2691-homicides-per-100000-residents

(P1) Twenty-one of the world’s 50 most violent cities are in Brazil, a new study says, in A BLOW TO the nation’s image as it prepares to host this year’s Olympic games.

(P2) The STRIKING figure is given in a study released by the Mexico City-based Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice, and is based on the number of murders per 100,000 residents during 2015 in cities with a population of more than 300,000.

(P3) None of the Brazilian cities appear in the top 10. They do not include Rio de Janeiro, where this summer’s Olympic games will take place.

(P4) While Brazil appears in the list more frequently than any other country, the DEADLIEST place in the world in 2015 was Caracas, the Venezuelan capital, a city of 3.3 million people which recorded 3,946 HOMICIDES in 2015 – nearly 120 per 100,000 residents.

(P5) Venezuela has a higher level of URBAN violence than Brazil generally, and the worst in the world apart from El Salvador and Honduras, according to Jose Antonio Ortega Sanchez, the Citizen Council’s president.

(P6) Caracas’ SOARING murder rate meant it OVERTOOK San Pedro Sula in Honduras, which dropped to number two due to a “significant decline” in the murder rate after being the world’s violent city for the four previous years.

(P7) The report blamed Venezuela’s TURBULENT political and economic situation for Caracas’s appearance and that of three other Venezuelan cities, Maturin and Valencia, which featured in the top 10 in the fifth and seventh spots, and Ciudad Guayana, which was the 11th most violent.

(P8) Four cities in the United States appeared on the list, the highest being St Louis, Missouri, where 59.23 murders per 100,000 were recorded. Baltimore was the 19th most violent city.

(P9) The other two American cities listed were Detroit at number 28 and New Orleans at 32.

(P10) 41 of the 50 worst cities are in Latin America, including cities in Mexico, Colombia, El Salvador, and Guatamala. Much of the region’s violence is related to DRUG TRAFFICKING.

(P11) Of the other cities outside Latin America, four – Cape Town (ninth most violent), Durban, Nelson Mandela Bay and Johannesburg – are in South Africa, with the other being Kingston, the capital of Jamaica.

(P12) The list excludes cities in COMBAT ZONES and those with unavailable data, explaining why many violent cities in the world’s worst HOT SPOTS (the Middle East, parts of Africa) do not appear.

WORDS: 405

SOURCE: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/southamerica/brazil/12126593/Caracas-named-as-the-worlds-most-violent-city.html

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 are there so many violent cities in the United States, a highly developed and economically strong country?
  3. How can the cities on this list reduce their levels of violence?
  4. Are you afraid of big cities?
  5. How much of a problem is drug crime 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.

  • A blow to
  • Drug trafficking
  • Combat zone
  • Hot spot

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