Week98

[Animals ★] Hippos in Russia

[World News ★] Anger in France

[Education ★★] Educators recommend more outdoor learning

[Science ★★] Pictures of Pluto

[Thoughts ★★] What life will be like in 2116

[People ★★★] Man finds gold coins

[Travel ★★★] Flight Crew Narcs on Allegedly Drunk Pilots

[Sports ★★★] Henrik Stenson Wins British Open

[Travel ★★★★] Six reasons why you could be booted out of your seat on a flight

[Business ★★★★] Yahoo: Still no buyer as losses widen to $440m

Yahoo: Still no buyer as losses widen to $440m

[Business ★★★]

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(P1) Yahoo gave no update on attempts to sell its core internet business as the firm slumped to a $440m (£332m) loss in the second quarter.

(P2) Investors are likely to be disappointed by the lack of an update on the sale of its search and advertising operations.

(P3) Chief executive Marissa Mayer said only that the board had made “great progress on strategic alternatives”.

(P4) Yahoo reported a $60m rise in revenue to $1.3bn for the three months to June. The increase was mainly generated by its core internet business, although mobile revenue jumped from $252m to $378m.

(p5) Much of the speculation about Yahoo’s future is centered on Verizon, the telecoms giant that recently bought AOL, another faded internet star.

(P6) AT&T and a partnership between Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert and billionaire Warren Buffett were also thought to be in contention.

(P7) Yahoo could announce a buyer by the end of the month, according to some reports. It remained unclear how much Yahoo might fetch, with estimates ranging from $5bn to $8bn.

(P8) In a recent note, BGC analyst Colin Gillis wrote: “We expect any offer in the range of $5-plus billion should be accepted by the Yahoo board to bring the process to a close.”

(P9) Shares rose 0.6% to $37.95, valuing the company at $35.8bn. Much of that sum is due to Yahoo’s stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.

(P10) The future of Yahoo has been in question for several years and Ms. Mayer has made little progress in returning the company to profit.

(P11) Her plan to spin-off Yahoo’s stake in Alibaba was scrapped last year in favor of selling the search and advertising business.

(P12) Ms. Mayer said despite the impending sale, she was still focused on increasing growth and cutting costs: “It is important to maximize the value of Yahoo in any scenario.”

(P13) In February Yahoo cut 15% of its global workforce.

(P14) The company faced another hurdle last week after a report alleged many of the company’s technology patents were flawed, lowering their value.

WORDS: 330

SOURCE: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-36828177

VOCABULARY: slumped, contention, fetch, spin-off, scrapped, impending, flawed

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 Yahoo is not profitable anymore?
  3. Who do you think would be a good buyer of Yahoo? Why?
  4. If you had the money to invest into one technology company, who would it be and why?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Who is the CEO of Yahoo?
  2. Which company bought AOL?
  3. The current Yahoo CEO has made no headway to make the company profitable again. (T or F)
  4. What percent of Yahoo’s employees lost their jobs in 2016?
  5. What other problem is Yahoo facing that’s decreasing its worth?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • was mainly generated by its core internet business (P4)
  • another faded internet star (P5)
  • bring the process to close (P8)
  • has been in question for several years (P10)
  • in favor of (P11)
  • patents were flawed (P14)

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Image source: by REUTERS

Six reasons why you could be booted out of your seat on a flight

[Travel ★★★]

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1) THE SKY MARSHALL NEEDS YOUR SEAT

These guys still fly to protect you, and they’re sometimes seated without prior warning.

If one of them shows up and needs your seat, you’ll either be bumped off the flight entirely or reassigned.

And you won’t even get an explanation (obviously, the authorities don’t want you to blab that there’s a sky marshal on board).

2) YOU MESSED WITH THE CREW

When Bobby Abtahi, a Dallas lawyer, was rushing through one of those large revolving doors at New York’s LaGuardia Airport, he supposedly “cut off” a Virgin America flight attendant who was attempting to enter at the same time.

He was booted off his flight after the flight attendant complained to the captain flying his plane.

At least Virgin later apologized for the “misunderstanding” and refunded his fare.

(P3) YOU OR YOUR CHILD WON’T LISTEN

Actually, if you do anything to annoy the cabin crew or fail to obey their instructions and ignore lit placard signs, you risk being booted.

4) THE AIRLINE OVERSELLS OR DOUBLE-BOOKS A SEAT

Even in this era of sophisticated computer systems or perhaps because of them, airlines oversell flights and even, on rare occasions, sell the same seat to two people.

Passengers can be eligible for compensation in cash when this happens.

In 2013, Delta was fined more than $1 million for, among other bumping violations, not informing passengers that they’re entitled to cash compensation rather than a travel voucher, and last year American Airlines paid a fine for similar infractions.

5) YOU’RE NOT PROPERLY DRESSED

Again, this is up to cabin crew, but if you wear a T-shirt with offensive wording, are exposing too much flesh, or are otherwise provocatively dressed, flight attendants and cockpit crew have been known to kick people off the plane or refuse to let them board.

Spirit Airlines once deplaned a passenger for refusing to pull up his baggy, underwear-revealing pants, and Southwest has been known to refuse passage to passengers whose clothes reveal too much cleavage or other body parts.

Thankfully, airlines no longer require employees to wear suits and ties when flying on company passes, but they’ll take it out on you if they don’t approve of your fashion sense.

6) YOU’VE BEEN OVER-SERVED

If you’re obviously inebriated or otherwise impaired, don’t expect to fly. You won’t be breathalyzed so it’s entirely up to crewmember discretion.

WORDS: 391

SOURCE: http://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-advice/flights/six-reasons-why-you-could-be-booted-out-of-your-seat-on-a-flight/news-story/1196783d7798c4965f51538a708e52f4

VOCABULARY: Sky Marshall, blab, infractions, provocatively, deplaned, cleavage, inebriated, breathalyzed

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 6 reasons to lose your seat on a flight are good reasons? Why or why not?
  3. In your opinion how should people dress for a flight?
  4. How do you think you would react if you lost your seat?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. The airline will tell you if a Sky Marshall was given your seat. (T or F)
  2. What’s the name of the passenger who had a run in with a flight crew?
  3. A seat can be sold to one or more people. (T or F)
  4. Which airline kicked off a passenger for not pulling up his pants?
  5. If you are drunk and kicked off the plane, the crew has to administer a breathalyzer test first. (T or F)

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • bumped off the flight (1)
  • “cut off” a Virgin American flight attendant (2)
  • booted off his flight (2)
  • lit placard signs (3)
  • oversell flights (4)
  • bumping violations (4)
  • offensive wording (5)
  • fashion sense (5)

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Image source: Richard I’Anson/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2014/05/should-members-of-congress-be-forced-to-fly-coach/

Henrik Stenson Wins British Open

[Sports ★]

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(P1) After an epic duel at the British Open, Henrik Stenson has claimed his first major title, the AP reports. Stenson shot an 8-under 63 on Sunday to beat Phil Mickelson by three strokes, becoming the first man from Sweden to win one of golf’s biggest events. Mickelson, seeking his sixth major title at age 46, did all he could to capture the claret jug. But Stenson gained the upper hand by rolling in a 50-foot birdie putt from off the green at No. 15 to take a two-shot lead—the first time all day the final group had been separated by more than one stroke.

(P2) In a fitting touch after two days of foul weather, the sun broke through just as the final group was teeing off at No. 1. This head to head matchup will surely be remembered alongside the “Duel in the Sun” at Turnberry between Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus in 1977. Stenson finished at 20-under 264 overall, breaking both the Open scoring record of 267 set by Greg Norman at Royal St. George’s in 1993 and the major championship mark of 265 by David Toms at the 2001 PGA Championship. Mickelson shot 65 for a 267 total.

WORDS: 199

SOURCE: http://www.newser.com/story/228241/henrik-stenson-wins-british-open.html

VOCABULARY: epic, upper hand, foul, alongside, breaking, mark

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 play golf? Why or why not?
  3. Have you ever won a trophy? If yes, tell me about it.
  4. Are there any pro golfers from your country in the PGA? If yes, tell me about them.

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Which championship were the golfers playing for?
  2. Who did the Swedish golfer beat?
  3. What’s the name of the trophy?
  4. The golfers saw two straight days of bad weather. (T or F)
  5. What was the champion’s final score?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • did all he could (P1)
  • by rolling in (P1)
  • In a fitting touch (P1)
  • the sun broke through (P2)

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Image source: by AP Photo/Matt Dunham http://www.newser.com/story/228241/henrik-stenson-wins-british-open.html

Flight Crew Narcs on Allegedly Drunk Pilots

[Travel ★]

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(P1) Two allegedly drunk Canadian pilots were arrested Monday at Glasgow Airport just before taking to the skies with hundreds of passengers in tow, Glasgow Live reports. According to CBC, the flight crew noticed there was something off about the pilots and went to authorities. “We saw five policemen get onto the plane and we thought, ‘There’s a problem,” one passenger says. The 250 or so passengers on board the Scotland to Canada flight were told there were “operational reasons” for the delay, the BBC reports.

(P2) The pilots were arrested on suspicion of violating the Railway and Transportation Safety Act of 2003. If convicted of being drunk prior to a flight, they face up to two years in prison. The airline, Air Transat, apologized and provided vouchers to passengers, who had their flight delayed until Tuesday.

WORDS: 133

SOURCE: http://www.newser.com/story/228347/flight-crew-narcs-on-allegedly-drunk-pilots.html

VOCABULARY: allegedly, authorities, suspicion, convicted, vouchers

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 all pilots should be tested for alcohol before they fly a plane? Why or why not?
  3. If you were on the plane, what would you think if you saw police entering the plane?
  4. Do you think the flight crew should be rewarded for telling authorities about the pilots? Why or why not?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. What’s the nationality of the pilots?
  2. How many police officers got on the aircraft?
  3. The flight was going from Canada to Scotland. (T or F)
  4. Which regulation are the pilots accused of breaking?
  5. The pilots could be sentenced to more than 2 years in jail if found guilty. (T or F)

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • taking to the skies (P1)
  • passengers in tow (P1)
  • something off about the pilots (P1)
  • up to two years in prison (P2)

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Image source: AP / CBS http://www.cbsnews.com/news/alleged-drunk-pilot-arrested/

Man finds gold coins

[People ★]

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(P1) An amateur archaeologist struck gold when he came across a hoard of old coins in northern Germany. Florian Bautsch uncovered 10 gold coins last October using a metal detector and on examination of the scene, professionals found 117 more.

(P2) The coins are of French, Belgian, Italian and Austro-Hungarian origin and date from 1831 to 1910. They’re believed to have been buried during the Nazi era or shortly after the Second World War.

(P3) Two aluminum seals featuring swastika crosses, eagles, and the words “Reichsbank Berlin 244” were also in discovered in the same field. Researchers think the coins were part of the German central bank’s gold reserves and were probably stolen.

(P4) The hoard has been valued at around 45,000 euro, but unfortunately for Florian Bautsch, it’s not finders keepers. He reportedly receives a relatively modest finder’s fee of 2.5 thousand euro, and the coins will go on display at the local museum next week.

WORDS: 153

SOURCE: http://www.newsinlevels.com/products/man-finds-gold-coins-level-3/?utm_source=old

VOCABULARY: archaeologist, hoard, swastika, crosses, finders keepers, modest

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 he should be able to keep the gold coins? Why or why not?
  3. Do you think the finders fee he received was acceptable? Why or why not?
  4. If you were an archaeologist, where would you try to find artifacts? Why?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. The person who found the gold coins is a professional treasure finder. (T or F)
  2. When did Mr. Bautsch discover the money?
  3. How old are the coins?
  4. What else was discovered?
  5. Where are the coins now?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • struck gold (P1)
  • Nazi era (P2)
  • valued at around 45,000 euro (P4)
  • finder’s fee (P4)

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Image source: Photo JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images http://www.ibtimes.com/nazi-era-gold-coins-germany-worth-45000-euros-found-novice-archaeologist-2009437

What life will be like in 2116

[Thoughts ★]

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(P1) A new report describes life in 2116. There are many tall buildings and underwater cities. Experts said the way we live, work, and play will be very different. They said that 25 years ago, people could not imagine how the Internet would change our lives. The changes in 2116 will be more unbelievable.

(P2) People made predictions about the future. We will work at home and have online meetings. We will download ideas for furniture or food and then ‘print’ it on our 3D printer. Our home health system will tell us about our health problems. We will also take holidays in space. No one predicted if people will need to study English.

WORDS: 112

SOURCE: http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/1602/160218-the-future-0.html

VOCABULARY: describes, underwater, imagine, unbelievable, predictions, furniture

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 people can predict the future? Why or why not?
  3. Will people take holidays in space in the future? Why or why not?
  4. Will there be cities underwater in the future? Why or why not?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Which year in the future does the article talk about?
  2. The internet did not alter lives. (T or F)
  3. In the future, we will not work in our house. (T or F)
  4. Which type of printer will be used in 2116?
  5. One of the predictions was people will still need to learn English. (T or F)

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • the way we live (P1)
  • 25 years ago (P1)
  • online meetings (P2)
  • home health system (P2)
  • take holidays (P2)

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Image source: by “unknown” http://www.bbc.com/news/business-25184175