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Dateline: 1 October 2007

Story #1

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • summit: meeting of world leaders
  • reality show: a television show that focuses on real life and is not scripted
  • motorcade: a group of vehicles containing one or more VIP's (very important person)
  • phony: not real
  • APEC: Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
  • emerged: came out
  • Story #1: Security Questioned at Australian Summit
    11 of the reality show, 'The Chasers War on Everything' were after a fake motorcade drove through Sydney during the September APEC summit. Despite the 170 million dollars that was spent on the tightest operation in Australian history, three phony VIP vehicles bearing flags were waved through two APEC checkpoints, coming within one block of President Bush's hotel. When the fake motorcade was finally stopped, an actor dressed as Osama bin Laden emerged from a and was arrested, along with actors wearing 'insecurity badges'. Police say they had anticipated trouble from the 'Chasers' who typically target politicians.

    Comprehension Questions: Story #1

    1. Why was there so much security in Australia this September?
    2. Where did the fake motorcade get to?
    3. Who was inside the limousine?
    Discussion Question:
    The producers of 'Chasers' have been accused of wasting tax payers' money and risking their lives. Do you think they crossed the line with this stunt and should face jail time, or do you think it should be laughed off?

    Story #2

    Pre-Listening Vocabulary

    Story #2: Luciano Pavarotti's Life Celebrated
    paid their respects to world renowned tenor, Luciano Pavarotti, who died of cancer at the age of 71 this September. The opera singer, who performed for for 40 years, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2006 and underwent several treatments in the past year. Family, friends, politicians, and celebrities attended a service in Pavarotti's hometown of Modena, Italy. Members of the Italian Air Force flew over the cathedral, releasing the Italian colours into the air as the coffin, decorated with Pavarotti's favourite , was carried out of the cathedral. Pavarotti is survived by his wife Nicoletta Lavani and four daughters.

    Comprehension Questions: Story #2

    1. What was this celebrity famous for?
    2. What did Pavarotti die from?
    3. What happened after the service?
    Discussion Question: While Pavarotti was admired around the world, many Italians accused him of selling out to commercialism. Pavarotti defended his success, suggesting that his goal had always been to reach people with opera music. What do you think about the accusations from some of Pavarotti's native people?

    Story #3

    Pre-Listening Vocabulary

    Story #3: 'Pumpkin' reunited with Grandmother
    A three-year-old girl, who was abandoned by her father at a station in Melbourne, was reunited with her grandmother after spending a week with a foster family. Authorities called the child 'Pumpkin after the brand of clothing she was found . Her mother, who went by the name Annie, was found dead in the of her husband's car in Aukland after a worldwide hunt for 'Pumpkin's parents. Flight records show that the child's father, a Chinese magazine publisher, boarded a flight to L.A. two hours after he was caught on camera leaving his daughter at the train station. It is believed that he proceeded to Chinatown. Nai Xin Xue, also known as Michael, was known to authorities for of family violence and is wanted for kidnapping and homicide.

    Comprehension Questions: Story #3

    1. What did the father do to his little girl?
    2. Where did authorities find the mother's body?
    3. What do authorities think the child's father did after dumping his daughter?
    Discussion Question: The abandoned girl's father was known to police due to a history of family violence. Is domestic violence taken seriously enough by the police and courts in your country?

    Story #4

    Pre-Listening Vocabulary

    Story #4: Iranian President Receives Cool Reception in NY
    Iran's President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has been widely internationally for refusing to stop Iran's production of enriched uranium, was to speak at Columbia University in New York this September. During his hour at the podium the President was for suggesting that women in Iran enjoyed great freedom and that homosexuals did not exist in his country. He also defended his denial of the Holocaust and criticized the U.S. for the world. Originally, the President planned on visiting New York's Ground Zero to pay his respects, however the visit was called off due to numerous protests and concerns.

    Comprehension Questions: Story #4

    1. Where did the Iranian President give a speech?
    2. What piece of history does Iran's President believe did not happen?
    3. What did Americans prevent Ahmadinejad from doing while he was in New York?
    Discussion Question: In his introduction, the head of Columbia University, Lee Bollinger, accused his guest of being a cruel dictator. While many Americans expressed anger that Ahmadinejad was allowed to speak at all, Iranians were insulted by the lack of respect their President was given, causing them to question America's freedom of speech. Do you think a leader of a country deserves a respectful audience regardless of his or her beliefs?

    ANSWER CHECK

    Story #1

    Story #1: Security Questioned at Australian Summit
    11 crew members of the reality show, 'The Chasers War on Everything' were arrested after a fake motorcade drove through Sydney during the September APEC summit. Despite the 170 million dollars that was spent on the tightest security operation in Australian history, three phony VIP vehicles bearing Canadian flags were waved through two APEC checkpoints, coming within one block of President Bush's hotel. When the fake motorcade was finally stopped, an actor dressed as Osama bin Laden emerged from a limousine and was arrested, along with actors wearing 'insecurity badges'. Police say they had anticipated trouble from the 'Chasers', who typically target politicians.

    Comprehension Answers: Story #1

    1. Sydney was hosting an APEC summit.
    2. The motorcade almost reached the hotel where President Bush was staying.
    3. An actor dressed as Osama bin Laden.

    Story #2

    Story #2: Luciano Pavarotti's Life Celebrated
    Thousands paid their respects to world renowned tenor, Luciano Pavarotti, who died of cancer at the age of 71 this September. The opera singer, who performed for audiences for 40 years, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2006 and underwent several treatments in the past year. Family, friends, politicians, and celebrities attended a private service in Pavarotti's hometown of Modena, Italy. Members of the Italian Air Force flew over the cathedral, releasing the Italian colours into the air as the coffin, decorated with Pavarotti's favourite sunflowers, was carried out of the cathedral. Pavarotti is survived by his second wife Nicoletta Lavani and four daughters.

    Comprehension Answers: Story #2

    1. Luciano Pavarotti was the world's best known tenor opera singer.
    2. Pavarotti died of pancreatic cancer.
    3. The Italian Air Force flew over the church where the funeral service for Pavarotti was held and released the Italian colours into the air.

    Story #3

    Story #3: 'Pumpkin' Reunited with Grandmother
    A three-year-old girl, who was abandoned by her father at a train station in Melbourne, was reunited with her grandmother after spending a week with a foster family. Authorities called the child 'Pumpkin after the brand of clothing she was found wearing. Her mother, who went by the name Annie, was found dead in the trunk of her husband's car in Aukland after a worldwide hunt for 'Pumpkin's parents. Flight records show that the child's father, a Chinese magazine publisher, boarded a flight to L.A. two hours after he was caught on camera leaving his daughter alone at the train station. It is believed that he proceeded to Chinatown. Nai Xin Xue, also known as Michael, was known to authorities for issues of family violence and is wanted for kidnapping and homicide.

    Comprehension Answers: Story #3

    1. He left his daughter alone at a Melbourne train station.
    2. Her mother was found dead in the trunk of her husband's car in Aukland.
    3. Police believe that Nai Xin Xue boarded a plane to L.A. and continued on to Chinatown.

    Story #4

    Story #4: Iranian President Receives Cool Reception in NY
    Iran's President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has been widely criticized internationally for refusing to stop Iran's production of enriched uranium, was invited to speak at Columbia University in New York this September. During his hour at the podium the President was laughed at for suggesting that women in Iran enjoyed great freedom and that homosexuals did not exist in his country. He also defended his denial of the Holocaust and criticized the U.S. for mismanaging the world. Originally, the President planned on visiting New York's Ground Zero to pay his respects, however the visit was called off due to numerous protests and security concerns.

    Comprehension Answers: Story #4

    1. President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, spoke at Columbia University in New York.
    2. The President of Iran does not believe that the Holocaust happened.
    3. Americans prevented the Iranian President from visiting Ground Zero where he had asked to pay his respects to those who died in the September 11th attacks.