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Dateline: 1 July 2007

Story #1

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #1: Highway Planned for Mount Everest
In for the 2008 Summer Olympics, China announced plans to begin construction on a highway from the foot of Mount Everest to base camp at 5200 metres. If all goes according to plan, the paved road will be part of the longest Olympic torch relay , crossing five before heading to the peak of the world's tallest mountain. The road is expected to make the torch easier, but will also be a way to draw tourists to the Olympics. The construction project, budgeted at approximately 20 million-dollars (U.S.), is expected to take .

Comprehension Questions: Story #1

  1. What is happening in China next year?
  2. Why does the article mention the torch relay?
  3. How much money does the Chinese government think this road will cost?
Discussion Question:
Some say Beijing is trying to emphasize its claim over Tibet by bringing the torch to the peak of Everest. What do you think?

Story #2

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #2: Iranians Irate Over Fuel Rationing
Two hours was all motorists in Iran were given before the government enacted a monthly fuel restriction this June. At least ten petrol stations in Iran's capital of Tehran were shortly after it was announced that drivers would only be allowed 100 litres of fuel per month. Iranians believe that they have a right to fuel because they live in an country. However, Iran does not have sufficient refining capacity and has to import about half of its fuel. The government fears that the UN will put sanctions on its in an effort to shut down its nuclear program.

Comprehension Questions: Story #2

  1. What announcement was made in Iran in June?
  2. How did some motorists express their anger over this decision?
  3. Why does Iran have to import much of its fuel?
Discussion Question: How would an announcement like this affect you and your family if it was in your own country? Imagine that you could only have one tank of fuel each month.

Story #3

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #3: Paris Hilton Spends Month Behind Bars
World renowned socialite, Paris Hilton, spent much of June behind bars. She was driving on a suspended license, following a incident. The heiress was released from prison and placed on house arrest after her term began, due to a mental hardship. This caused a public outrage, and a judge ordered the celebrity back to prison the next day. The party girl, who was to 45 days, was released on after just 23 days in jail. In a post-jail interview, Hilton claimed that the time alone cured her claustrophobia and changed her life.

Comprehension Questions: Story #3

  1. Why was Paris Hilton ordered to serve jail time?
  2. Who told Hilton she could not serve her prison sentence at home?
  3. How did Hilton get out early the second time?
Discussion Question: Paris Hilton's jail term has received more media attention than many important world news stories. Why do you think the public is so obsessed with the private life of celebrities?

Story #4

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #4: Free Wedding for 30 Happy Couples
To commemorate its 30th anniversary of , Djibouti held a wedding for thirty happy couples. Hundreds of applicants answered the ad for the all-expense paid wedding, which was attended by 600 guests, including the President and first lady. To be eligible for the the couples had to prove that they were in love and that they could afford to start a family. The cost of the event, including the clothes, ceremony, , and a dowry for each bride was covered by an Arab businessman. Many young people cannot to have a wedding in Djibouti where the average person lives on two dollars per day.

Comprehension Questions: Story #4

  1. Why did 30 couples get married at the same time?
  2. Name two of the things that applicants had to prove in order to be considered for this contest.
  3. Besides the gown, the ceremony, and the reception, what else did the business man pay for?
Discussion Question: Djibouti is a poor country with a high cost of living. Do you support a lavish celebration such as this, or do you think you money could have been better spent?

ANSWER CHECK

Story #1

Story #1: Highway Planned for Mount Everest
In preparation for the 2008 Summer Olympics, China announced plans to begin construction on a highway from the foot of Mount Everest to base camp at 5200 metres. If all goes according to plan, the paved road will be part of the longest Olympic torch relay in history, crossing five continents before heading to the peak of the world's tallest mountain. The road is expected to make the torch journey easier, but will also be a way to draw tourists to the Olympics. The construction project, budgeted at approximately 20 million-dollars (U.S.), is expected to take four months.

Comprehension Answers: Story #1

  1. China is hosting the 2008 Summer Olympics.
  2. The article mentions the torch relay because the road will make it easier for the torch to be carried up Mount Everest.
  3. The project is expected to cost about 20 million U.S. dollars.

Story #2

Story #2: Iranians Irate Over Fuel Rationing
Two hours notice was all motorists in Iran were given before the government enacted a monthly fuel restriction this June. At least ten petrol stations in Iran's capital of Tehran were set on fire shortly after it was announced that drivers would only be allowed 100 litres of fuel per month. Iranians believe that they have a right to cheap fuel because they live in an oil-rich country. However, Iran does not have sufficient refining capacity and has to import about half of its fuel. The government fears that the UN will put sanctions on its imports in an effort to shut down its nuclear program.

Comprehension Answers: Story #2

  1. The Iranian government announced that motorists would be restricted on how much fuel they could use each month.
  2. Angry motorists protested the announcement by setting fuel pumps on fire.
  3. Even though Iran is an oil-rich country they do not have good oil refining resources.

Story #3

Story #3: Paris Hilton Spends Month Behind Bars
World renowned socialite, Paris Hilton, spent much of June behind bars. She was caught driving on a suspended license, following a drinking and driving incident. The heiress was released from prison and placed on house arrest three days after her term began, due to a mental hardship. This caused a public outrage, and a judge ordered the celebrity back to prison the next day. The party girl, who was sentenced to 45 days, was released on good behaviour after just 23 days in jail. In a post-jail interview, Hilton claimed that the time alone cured her claustrophobia and changed her life.

Comprehension Answers: Story #3

  1. Hilton was caught driving with a suspended license. Her license was suspended because she got caught drinking and driving.
  2. A judge ordered her to go back to jail.
  3. After 23 days of demonstrating good behaviour in jail, Hilton was released again.

Story #4

Story #4: Free Wedding for 30 Happy Couples
To commemorate its 30th anniversary of independence, Djibouti held a mass wedding for thirty happy couples. Hundreds of applicants answered the ad for the all-expense paid wedding, which was attended by 600 guests, including the President and first lady. To be eligible for the contest the couples had to prove that they were in love and that they could afford to start a family. The cost of the event, including the clothes, ceremony, reception, and a dowry for each bride was covered by an Arab businessman. Many young people cannot afford to have a wedding in Djibouti where the average person lives on two dollars per day.

Comprehension Answers: Story #4

  1. The mass wedding was organized in order to commemorate Djibouti's 30th anniversary.
  2. In order to apply for the contest, couples had to prove that they were in love and able to support a family.
  3. The man who paid for the festivities also provided a dowry for the brides.