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Dateline: 1 January 2007

Story #1

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #1: Airline Workers Sacrifice Camel
After finishing a job of schedule this month, a group of Airline workers sacrificed a camel. The animal was led ceremoniously onto the grounds of Istanbul airport before it was slaughtered. Its meat was divided up among the workers, who held it up when the media arrived. The technical workers were celebrating after sending the last of a flawed batch of aircraft back to the . It is tradition to sacrifice an animal after completing a difficult task in Turkey. However, Turkish Airlines apologized for the act, and that those involved would be strongly disciplined.

Comprehension Questions: Story #1

  1. Why did the workers kill the camel?
  2. How did the event become public knowledge?
  3. Why might this action not surprise people in Turkey?
Discussion Question: It is customary in many cultures to sacrifice animals in a ceremonious way. Is this any different than killing animals for food?

Story #2

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #2: Tree Pins Man in Vancouver's Stanley Park
Windstorms devastated of trees in Vancouver's legendary Stanley Park last month, trapping a 59-year old man for several days. The man was rescued by police on horseback after he attempted to make several emergency calls with a deactivated cell phone. Though the battery cut out a number of times, the police were able to find him from the few details he gave them. His feet her pinned beneath a tree and submerged in water. The man survived on and bits of food from his . The Vancouver police called his survival a 'Christmas miracle'.

Comprehension Questions: Story #2

  1. Where did this incident occur?
  2. How did the man contact police?
  3. How did the man stay alive?
Discussion Question: People are often pulled out alive after long periods of time following natural disasters. What does the will to survive require?

Story #3

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #3: Virgin Komodo Dragon Expecting at Christmas
Flora, a female Komodo dragon that laid fertile eggs without the help of a lizard, is expecting seven babies this Christmas. The Komodo, which lives in a , has not been in contact with any male lizards. Three of the eggs were tested for DNA and Flora was found to be the mother and of the embryos. While self-fertilization has been observed in some small lizard species, scientists only realized this year that the Komodo also had this ability. The unique conception is a way for females to adapt to their environment and the continuation of their species.

Comprehension Questions: Story #3

  1. Who is Flora?
  2. How do researchers know that she is the mother and father of the embryos?
  3. What does Flora's case prove about Komodo dragons?
Discussion Question: Komodo dragons are a rare breed of lizards. Is it right to keep them protected in captivity, or should they be left in nature where they are at risk of going extinct?

Story #4

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #4: Saddam Hussein Hastily Executed
Saddam Hussein, recently sentenced to death for against humanity, was executed just days after his appeal was denied. The former Iraqi president who had been in US custody for three years was handed over to authorities and hanged at dawn on December 30th, at the beginning of a Muslim holiday. Since his death, new information has come forward on the of the execution. A cell phone video, circulated around the Internet, suggests that the former dictator was shown little dignity and taunted by witnesses before his death. Reports also suggest that a disrespectful celebration occurred around his body.

Comprehension Questions: Story #4

  1. Who was holding Saddam Hussein in the days leading up to his execution?
  2. What is significant about the execution date?
  3. How did people learn about the details of the execution?
Discussion Question: American officials have denied having anything to do with how fast this execution was ordered and have suggested that they would have handled the execution differently. What do you think?

ANSWER CHECK

Story #1

Story #1: Airline Workers Sacrifice Camel
After finishing a job ahead of schedule this month, a group of Turkish Airline workers sacrificed a camel. The animal was led ceremoniously onto the grounds of Istanbul airport before it was slaughtered. Its meat was divided up among the workers, who held it up proudly when the media arrived. The technical workers were celebrating after sending the last of a flawed batch of aircraft back to the supplier. It is tradition to sacrifice an animal after completing a difficult task in Turkey. However, Turkish Airlines apologized for the act, and promised that those involved would be strongly disciplined.

Comprehension Answers: Story #1

  1. The workers killed the camel in celebration after sending the last of 100 faulty planes back to the supplier.
  2. The public found out about this incident after the media arrived at the airport and the workers were filmed holding up the camel meat.
  3. This act may not surprise people in Turkey because it is customary there to sacrifice an animal after hard work has been completed.

Story #2

Story #2: Tree Pins Man in Vancouver's Stanley Park
Windstorms devastated hundreds of trees in Vancouver's legendary Stanley Park last month, trapping a 59-year old man for several days. The man was rescued by police on horseback after he attempted to make several emergency calls with a deactivated cell phone. Though the battery cut out a number of times, the police were eventually able to find him from the few details he gave them. His feet her pinned beneath a tree and submerged in water. The man survived on rainwater and bits of food from his backpack. The Vancouver police called his survival a 'Christmas miracle'.

Comprehension Answers: Story #2

  1. This incident occured in a famous park in Vancouver Canada called, Stanley Park.
  2. The man used an old cell phone to contact emergency personnel.
  3. The survivor lived on rainwater and small amounts of food from his backpack.

Story #3

Story #3: Virgin Komodo dragon expecting at Christmas
Flora, a female Komodo dragon that laid fertile eggs without the help of a male lizard, is expecting seven babies this Christmas. The Komodo, which lives in a British zoo, has not been in contact with any male lizards. Three of the eggs were tested for DNA and Flora was found to be the mother and father of the embryos. While self-fertilization has been observed in some small lizard species, scientists only realized this year that the giant Komodo also had this ability. The unique conception is a way for females to adapt to their environment and ensure the continuation of their species.

Comprehension Answers: Story #3

  1. Flora is a Komodo dragon living in a British zoo.
  2. The eggs were tested for DNA evidence.
  3. This proves that Komodo dragons have evolved in order to make sure that their species lives on.

Story #4

Story #4: Saddam Hussein Hastily Executed
Saddam Hussein, sentenced to death for crimes against humanity, was executed just days after his appeal was denied. The former Iraqi president who had been in US custody for three years was handed over to Iraqi authorities and hanged at dawn on December 30th, at the beginning of a Muslim holiday. Since his death, new information has come forward on the handling of the execution. A cell phone video, circulated around the Internet, suggests that the former dictator was shown little dignity and taunted by witnesses in the minutes before his death. Reports also suggest that a disrespectful celebration occurred around his lifeless body.

Comprehension Answers: Story #4

  1. The former Iraqi leader was in US custody for three years before his execution.
  2. Hussein was executed at the beginning of a Muslim holiday, shortly after his appeal was denied.
  3. The execution was videotaped with a cell phone and given to the media.