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Dateline: 1 November 2006

Story #1

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #1: First Female Space Tourist Shares Experience
Anousheh Ansari, an born American, had dreamed of travelling to space since early childhood. Her dream came true this September after training as a back up space tourist. Ansari was selected to a Japanese businessman who failed a physical. She spent the month of October describing her trip to the International Space Station onboard a Russian spacecraft. Besides being the first female , Ansari was also the first Iranian to travel to space, and the first space blogger. She was by how Earth looked from space and suggested that world leaders would benefit from seeing the world without borders.

Comprehension Questions: Story #1

  1. Why was Ansari given this opportunity?
  2. What did Ansari do from space before any other person?
  3. What does Ansari think presidents and prime ministers should do?
Discussion Question: If you were a millionaire, would you consider spending over 20 million dollars on a 10-day trip to space?

Story #2

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #2: North Korea Tests Nuclear Weapons
Despite pressure from the US, , China, Japan, and South Korea to dismantle its nuclear program, North Korea claimed to have successfully a nuclear weapons test on October 9th. North Koreans called the test a "historic event," while scientists monitoring the blast called it a "fizzle" rather than a . Within days North Korea began talking of a second test, determined to prove its status as a nuclear state. This enraged Chinese officials, who have since used pressure to convince their North Korean allies to call off further testing. Beijing provides imports including food and fuel.

Comprehension Questions: Story #2

  1. What did North Korea do on October 9th?
  2. Why did North Korea threaten to conduct further tests?
  3. How did China convince North Korea not to test nuclear weapons a second time?
Discussion Question: Is it right for other countries that hold nuclear weapons (i.e.the US) to try to prevent North Korea from having nuclear weapons?

Story #3

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #3: Bush signs for Fence along US-Mexico border
In hopes of deterring illegal immigrants from the US from Mexico, President Bush signed the Secured Fence Act. The bill approves the building of over 1000 km of between the two countries. Mexican President, Vicente Fox, compared the proposed fence to the Berlin Wall. Mexico plans to have the fence at the UN. Over 1 million illegal immigrants were arrested last year while trying to jump the southern border into the US. Skeptics believe an fence will do little but slow down illegal immigrants and suggest that , rather than cameras, will also be needed.

Comprehension Questions: Story #3

  1. What did President Bush do last month?
  2. How did Mexico's goverment describe the planned fence?
  3. Why might the fence not be effective?
Discussion Question: Do you think the US should spend more than a billion dollars on this type of border security? Will the fence eventually pay for itself?

Story #4

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #4: Hundreds dying from Illegal Vodka
The Russian town of Psykov announced a this month due to an epidemic of alcohol poisoning. Bad alcohol causes a disease, known as toxic hepatitis, which is almost impossible to . The tainted alcohol affects the first before destroying all of the other major systems in the body. Public Health Officials estimate that illegal alcohol makes up for up to half of alcohol sales in Russia. This explains why the average male life expectancy in Russia is only 58 years. The majority of those who are being hospitalized for alcohol poisoning in Psykov and towns are unemployed males.

Comprehension Questions: Story #4

  1. Why was Psykov in a state of emergency?
  2. How common is the sale of illegal alcohol in Russia?
  3. What physical effects occur as a result of tainted alcohol?
Discussion Question: Is the Russian government responsible for the low life expectancy of its male citizens? If yes, what should be done to raise it?

ANSWER CHECK

Story #1

Story #1: First Female Space Tourist Shares Experience
Anousheh Ansari, an Iranian born American, had dreamed of travelling to space since early childhood. Her dream came true this September after training as a back up space tourist. Ansari was selected to replace a Japanese businessman who failed a preflight physical. She spent the month of October describing her trip to the International Space Station onboard a Russian spacecraft. Besides being the first female space tourist, Ansari was also the first Iranian to travel to space, and the first space blogger. She was fascinated by how Earth looked from space and suggested that world leaders would benefit from seeing the world without borders.

Comprehension Answers: Story #1

  1. Ansari got to travel to space because the man who was first in line failed a medical test.
  2. Ansari was the first person to write an online diary (blog) from space.
  3. Ansari thinks the world leaders should see Earth from space because there are no visible borders.

Story #2

Story #2:North Korea Tests Nuclear Weapons
Despite pressure from the US, Russia, China, Japan, and South Korea to dismantle its nuclear program, North Korea claimed to have successfully conducted a nuclear weapons test on October 9th. North Koreans called the test a "historic event," while scientists monitoring the blast called it a "fizzle" rather than a bomb. Within days North Korea began talking of a second test, determined to prove its status as a nuclear state. This enraged Chinese officials, who have since used economic pressure to convince their North Korean allies to call off further testing. Beijing provides essential imports including food and fuel.

Comprehension Answers: Story #2

  1. North Korea tested nuclear weapons on October 9th.
  2. North Korea said it would conduct further nuclear tests because there was doubt that the original test was successful.
  3. China used economic pressure to convince North Korea to call off further nuclear tests.

Story #3

Story #3: Bush signs for Fence along US-Mexico border
In hopes of deterring illegal immigrants from entering the US from Mexico, President Bush signed the Secured Fence Act. The bill approves the building of over 1000 km of fencing between the two countries. Mexican President, Vicente Fox, compared the proposed fence to the Berlin Wall. Mexico plans to have the fence challenged at the UN. Over 1 million illegal immigrants were arrested last year while trying to jump the southern border into the US. Skeptics believe an unmanned fence will do little but slow down illegal immigrants and suggest that agents, rather than cameras, will also be needed.

Comprehension Answers: Story #3

  1. President Bush signed a bill to support the building of a fence between Mexico and the US.
  2. The president of Mexico said the proposed fence would be just like the Berlin Wall.
  3. The fence might not stop illegal immigration because there won't be any agents securing the area.

Story #4

Story #4: Hundreds dying from Illegal Vodka
The Russian town of Psykov announced a state of emergency this month due to an epidemic of alcohol poisoning. Bad alcohol causes a disease, known as toxic hepatitis, which is almost impossible to treat. The tainted alcohol affects the liver first before destroying all of the other major systems in the body. Public Health Officials estimate that illegal alcohol makes up for up to half of alcohol sales in Russia. This explains why the average male life expectancy in Russia is only 58 years. The majority of those who are currently being hospitalized for alcohol poisoning in Psykov and neighboring towns are unemployed males.

Comprehension Answers: Story #4

  1. The town of Psykov was in a state of emergency because many people had purchased and consumed tainted vodka.
  2. The sale of illegal alcohol is about equal to the sale of legal alcohol in Russia.
  3. After consumption of tainted alcohol the human liver can shut down and then the rest of the body may begin to fail.