Week89

[Animals ★] Orcas in Russia

[People ★] London’s Muslim Mayor

[Travel ★★] Dangerous turbulence

[World News ★★] Driver Following GPS Ends Up in Lake

[Business ★★] Budweiser beer renamed “America”

[Entertainment ★★] Justin Bieber Is Acting Very Strangely

[Science ★★★] The World Has a New Lightning Capital

[Medical ★★★] 72-year-old woman gives birth

[People ★★★] Dying CIA Agent Admits Sending Mandela to Jail

[Life ★★★] Road Rage

Dying CIA Agent Admits Sending Mandela to Jail

[People ★★★]

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(P1) He says he provided the tip that led to 1962 arrest.

(P2) In an interview recorded two weeks before his death, a former CIA agent claimed he had prevented a war by giving South African authorities a tip that led to the arrest of the “Black Pimpernel”—better known as Nelson Mandela. In March, 88-year-old Donald Rickard told film director John Irvin that when he was the US vice consul in Durban in 1962, African National Congress informants told him Mandela was visiting the city and he shared that information with police, leading to Mandela’s arrest at a roadblock as he tried to return to Johannesburg, the Times of London reports. The ANC leader spent the next 28 years in prison. An unrepentant Rickard said he and his CIA handlers saw Mandela as “a toy of the communists” who was completely controlled by the Soviet Union.

(P3) Rickard—who retired in 1978 and died on March 30, according to an obituary in the Pagosa Springs Sun—claimed Mandela was preparing to incite a communist rebellion against apartheid, which could have led to Moscow’s involvement. “If the Soviets had come in force, the United States would have had to get involved, and things could have gone to hell,” he said. “We were teetering on the brink here and it had to be stopped, which meant Mandela had to be stopped. And I put a stop to it.” Irvin’s movie about the months before the arrest, Mandela’s Gun, will debut at the Cannes Film Festival this week, the Guardian reports. An ANC spokesman called the news “a serious indictment” and accused the agency of interfering in South African politics to this day, reports the Telegraph. The CIA has declined to comment.

WORDS: 287

SOURCE: http://www.newser.com/story/225171/dying-cia-agent-admits-sending-mandela-to-jail.html

VOCABULARY: CIA, informant, roadblock, unrepentant, handlers, obituary, incite, apartheid, teetering, brink, indictment

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 been to South Africa? If yes, describe your experience. If no, do you want to visit there?
  3. Does your country have a similar agency like the CIA? If yes, describe the agency.
  4. When the movie, Mandela’s Gun, is released; do you plan to go see it? Why or why not?
  5. Why do you think the retired CIA agent, Donald Rickard, told the film director, John Irvin, about the Mandela?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • Provided the tip (P1)
  • “A toy of the communist” (P2)
  • Gone to hell (P3)

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Image source:  by “unknown” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mandela_burn_pass_1960.jpg

Road Rage

[Life ★★★]

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(P1) Road rage is aggressive behavior by drivers on the road.  It has become so common that some psychologists say it is a mental disorder. Many things can cause road rage. Some driving experts think road rage occurs because people watch chase scenes on TV. Others watch Formula One races and want to copy their favorite driver. Road rage results in accidents, which can lead to serious injuries or the death of other road participants.

(P2) In today’s world, driving is a very stressful and risky activity. A driver must be alert at all times and not get distracted by other things, like phone calls or fellow drivers. When a motorist becomes angry they often do wrong things, which lead to aggressive behavior. Drivers tend to change lanes frequently or increase their speed to overtake another car because they are not patient enough. Others flash their lights all the time to show their impatience. Road rage also includes gestures or shouting towards other drivers, bad language or threatening others.

The most important causes of road rage are

  • bad behavior by other motorists
  • getting into traffic jams
  • driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • being tired due to work or stress
  • problems with the family
  • having a bad day

(P3) Fortunately, many things can be done to avoid road rage. For one, you can try to calm down as far as possible and not become aggressive yourself towards other drivers. You can also try to get farther away from aggressive drivers. You might also think about taking your time in getting to the place you are going to. Listen to music and drive with enough rest. You might also try pulling over for a break and getting some fresh air before you continue on the road.

(P4) Scientists in Switzerland are working on software that may help combat road rage. They are testing a special camera that can be mounted on the dashboard of your car.  It recognizes your facial expressions and judges by the way you look if soft and calming music should be turned on.

WORDS: 343

SOURCE: http://www.english-online.at/society/road-rage/road-rage-aggressive-behaviour.htm

VOCABULARY: road rage, psychologists, mental disorder, lanes, overtake, flash, impatience, gestures, avoid, dashboard, judges

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 you think drivers have road rage?
  3. Have you ever been involved in a road rage incident? If yes, explain.
  4. Is there a lot of traffic jams in your city?
  5. Have you ever seen a road rage incident? If yes, explain.

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • Lead to (P1)
  • Traffic jams (P2)
  • Calm down (P3)
  • Going to (P3)
  • Turned on (P4)

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Image source: by Nevermind2 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Moscow_traffic_congestion.JPG

72-year-old woman gives birth

[Medical ★★★]

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(P1) A 72-year-old woman in India is celebrating the birth of her first child. Daljinder Kaur posed for photos for the Indian press last week. She was proudly holding her healthy baby boy Arman. She had been trying to have a baby for decades. She was under a lot of pressure during that time to start a family. Most people would have accepted their fate and resigned themselves to a life without children, but Daljinder persisted with her dream. She started attending a fertility clinic for IVF treatment in 2013 and successfully became pregnant last year.

(P2) Specialists initially had reservations about Daljinder because of her age. Dr. Anurag Bishnoi told reporters: “I first tried to avoid the case because she was very weak, but her medical reports were normal and she was fit to conceive.” He said his clinic had a good track record with older women. He added: “In Daljinder’s case, she looked visibly frail too, so I had to refer her to a cardiologist to get clearance for the procedure and for a battery of other tests.” Daljinder is over the moon. She said: “I can live happily now. My life is complete.” She is the oldest woman ever to give birth.

WORDS: 203

SOURCE: http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/1605/160515-childbirth-5.html

VOCABULARY: fate, resigned, fertility, conceive, frail, cardiologist, clearance, battery

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 have a baby at such an old age? Why or why not?
  3. Would you consider having a baby at such an old age? Why or why not?
  4. What are some of the pros and cons of having a baby at an older age, say over 50?
  5. What are you over the moon about? Why?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • Under a lot of pressure (P1)
  • IVF treatment (P1)
  • Good track record (P2)
  • Over the moon (P2)

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Image source: by “unknown” http://brightcove04.o.brightcove.com/4221396001/4221396001_4888723155001_4888700057001-vs.jpg?pubId=4221396001

The World Has a New Lightning Capital

[Science ★★★]

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(P1) Like watching lightning? Book your next vacation for Venezuela. NASA has determined that country’s Lake Maracaibo is the new lightning capital of the world. Using 16 years of data from the satellite-based Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS), scientists determined Lake Maracaibo averages about 233 lightning flashes per square kilometer every year; during its peak rainy season, it can experience 28 strokes per minute. The researchers published their findings in February, and NASA discussed the results in a press release this week. The previous record-holder, Africa’s Congo Basin, averaged approximately 160 flashes per square kilometer per year, the International Business Times reports.

(P2) Lake Maracaibo’s high amount of lightning activity is due to its “unique geography and climatology.” Various breezes meet over the warm lake waters, causing thunderstorms around 297 nights a year. Despite being unseated from the top spot, Africa still has more lightning than any other continent. The most lightning-heavy spot in the US is the Florida Everglades near Orangetree, Florida. But it doesn’t rank very high overall: It’s No. 14 on North America’s list and 122nd globally. “Better understanding of lightning activity around the world enables policy makers, government agencies, and other stakeholders to make more informed decisions related to weather and climate,” says Richard Blakeslee, an LIS project scientist for NASA.

WORDS: 212

SOURCE: http://www.newser.com/story/224671/the-world-has-a-new-lightning-capital.html

VOCABULARY: NASA, flashes, published, unique, climatology, thunderstorms, unseated, overall, policy makers, stakeholders

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 like to watch lightning storms? Why or why not?
  3. Is it important to know which location is the lightning capital of the world? Why or why not?
  4. Describe the current weather in your city.
  5. Why do you think it’s important for experts to study the weather and climate?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • Book your next vacation (P1)
  • Lightning capital of the world (P1)
  • Press release (P1)
  • Record holder (P1)
  • Top spot (P2)
  • Lightning-heavy spot (P2)

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Image source: By Sasa Prudkov https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/fork-lightning-striking-down-during-summer-267462152?src=LR-mhECazsZxl5qpQM7JKQ-1-51

Justin Bieber Is Acting Very Strangely

[Entertainment ★★]

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(P1) What’s going on with Justin Bieber? As People reports, he’s been acting very oddly while in Massachusetts for a concert this week. On Tuesday, he was seen walking barefoot in Boston Public Garden, feeding squirrels, lying in the grass, and taking selfies. That night at his show, “He was in a glass box onstage. He was literally in a glass case of emotion,” one concertgoer says. “He didn’t even try. At one point he just stopped singing altogether.” The following day, he was seen in the Boston Public Garden again; this time, he climbed a large tree and sat in it “listening to headphones … with his arms up in the air, “People says.

(P2) “That’s the real Justin,” a source assures TMZ, noting that all this behavior should not actually be considered strange because Bieber just loves the outdoors. But consider that Bieber also told fans this week he would no longer take pictures with them … and he got a face tattoo.

WORDS: 162

SOURCE: http://www.newser.com/story/224982/justin-bieber-is-acting-very-strangely.html

VOCABULARY: oddly, barefoot, onstage, literally, concertgoer, headphones, assures

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 Justin Bieber? Why or why not?
  3. In your opinion, do you think his behavior is strange or odd? Why or why not?
  4. Have you ever been to a music concert? If so, who did you see? If not, would you like to go to one?
  5. Does your country have its own traditional music? If so, describe it.

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • Going on (P1)
  • Sat in it (P1)
  • Face tattoo (P2)

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Image source: by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Universal Music http://www.notey.com/@musictimes_unofficial/external/7971918/dear-justin-bieber-don-t-get-another-pet-monkey-love-napsa.html

Budweiser beer renamed “America”

[Business ★★]

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(P1) One of the word’s most famous beer companies is changing the name of its best-selling beer. The company is Anheuser-Busch (AB), which is the USA’s largest maker of beer. It is going to change the name of its Budweiser beer to ‘America’. The name change will be only for six months, between May 23 and November. A company spokesperson said the name change is to try and increase sales. Budweiser used to be the USA’s most popular beer but it has been losing market share for over 25 years. The word ‘America’ will replace the word ‘Budweiser’ on its cans. It will also use the same font that AB uses for Budweiser. In addition, the initials “AB” will be replaced by “US”.

(P2) The new name and labeling are part of Budweiser’s summer-long campaign called “America is in Your Hands”. There are many important national days during the campaign period, starting with the Memorial Day weekend on May 30 and ending with the presidential elections in November. In between are the summer Olympics and Labor Day. The company wants Americans to feel proud of America – both the company and the beer. Budweiser’s vice president Ricardo Marques said: “Budweiser has always strived to embody America in a bottle, and we’re honored to salute this great nation, where our beer has been passionately brewed for the past 140 years.”

WORDS: 226

SOURCE: http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/1605/160513-america.html

VOCABULARY: spokesperson, font, labeling, campaign, presidential, strived, embody, brewed

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 like the temporary name change from Budweiser to America? Why or why not?
  3. Why is advertising important for companies?
  4. Are you influenced by advertisements? Why or why not?
  5. Does your country have beer brewing companies? If so, what are the names of the beers?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • Losing market share (P1)
  • Summer-long (P2)
  • Memorial Day (P2)
  • Labor Day (P2)

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Image source: BUDWEISER/COURTESY OF PR NEWSWIRE http://www.phillyvoice.com/if-budweiser-america-im-no-longer-american/