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Dateline: 1 January 2008

Story #1

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #1: Canoeist Scams own Sons
A British canoeist was with fraud this December after allegedly faking his own death five years ago. John Darwin recently walked into a police station, claiming to be from amnesia. Police questioned his story, thinking he appeared too healthy. After a brief investigation, police found recent of Darwin and his wife vacationing at a resort in Panama. Anne Darwin collected a large sum of insurance money after her husband's kayak was found on a beach. Darwin's two sons were initially overjoyed at their father's appearance, however, their joy quickly turned to anger when the scam was uncovered.

Comprehension Questions: Story #1

  1. What did John Darwin tell police in London?
  2. When did John Darwin disappear?
  3. What did Darwin's wife gain from his disappearance?
Discussion Question:
If you were Darwin's sons, how do you think you would feel? Would you be happy your father was alive, or would you want to disown your parents?

Story #2

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #2: 8-limbed girl Heads Home after Surgery
2-year-old, Lakshmi Tatma of , was released from hospital in December after doctors successfully removed four limbs from her body. The extra limbs belonged to a conjoined twin that stopped developing in the womb, but connected to Lakshmi's pelvis. After the 24-hour surgery doctors stated that the little girl would again one day. As well as removing the extra limbs, doctors transplanted a kidney from the twin. Lakshmi's parents named her after the Hindu of wealth who has four arms. Many local villagers protested the surgery, saying that Lakshmi is a reincarnation of this goddess.

Comprehension Questions: Story #2

  1. What was different about Lakshmi at birth?
  2. What did doctors say after the surgery?
  3. What does the name Lakshmi mean to Hindu people?
Discussion Question: Lakshmi's family had to hide her because some men wanted to put her in a circus. How would you feel if you saw a child with a birth defect in a circus show?

Story #3

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #3: Tiger Kills Zoo Patron on Christmas Day
A Siberian broke free from its enclosure at a San Francisco zoo on Christmas day, one teen and injuring two others. Police shot and killed the tiger after finding it lying next to the body of Carlos Sousa Jr., just outside its . Zoo officials, who insisted that were left open, were shocked that the wild animal was able to break free from its high-walled enclosure. The zoo was closed immediately following the incident and began treating the area as a crime scene. Many animal experts suspect that the tiger was taunted in some way.

Comprehension Questions: Story #3

  1. When did the tiger attack occur?
  2. What happened to the tiger after she killed the teen?
  3. What do animal experts think caused the tiger to attack?
Discussion Question: How do you think the tiger got free? Why do you think it attacked these men?

Story #4

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #4: Benazir Bhutto Assassinated
Just before a scheduled election, Pakistan's opposition leader, Benazir Bhutto, was killed by a suicide bomber. Bhutto had just finished a at a democratic rally when her vehicle was attacked. Pakistan's government has suggested that Bhutto died after hitting her head off her car's . However, other reports suggest that she was in the head and abdomen. Bhutto's supporters immediately began rioting across the country. Al-queda has claimed responsibility for the attack, but many Bhutto supporters fear that this is a cover up. Bhutto was buried with other family members, including her father who was executed in .

Comprehension Questions: Story #4

  1. Who was Benazir Bhutto?
  2. Where was Bhutto when she was killed?
  3. What happened to Bhutto's father?
Discussion Question: Before her death Benazir Bhutto criticized her government for not providing her with better security. An attempt was already made on her life in October. Do you believe there is a cover up surrounding her death, or do you think Al-queda is responsible?

ANSWER CHECK

Story #1

Story #1: Canoeist Scams own Sons
A British canoeist was charged with fraud this December after allegedly faking his own death five years ago. John Darwin recently walked into a London police station, claiming to be suffering from amnesia. Police questioned his story, thinking he appeared too healthy. After a brief investigation, police found recent photos of Darwin and his wife vacationing at a resort in Panama. Anne Darwin collected a large sum of insurance money after her husband's kayak was found washed up on a beach. Darwin's two sons were initially overjoyed at their father's appearance, however, their joy quickly turned to anger when the scam was uncovered.

Comprehension Answers: Story #1

  1. John Darwin told police that he had amnesia.
  2. John Darwin disappeared five years ago.
  3. Darwin's wife collected a large sum of money from his life insurance policy.

Story #2

Story #2: 8-Limbed girl Heads Home after Surgery
2-year-old, Lakshmi Tatma of India, was released from hospital in December after doctors successfully removed four extra limbs from her body. The extra limbs belonged to a conjoined twin that stopped developing in the womb, but remained connected to Lakshmi's pelvis. After the 24-hour surgery doctors stated that the little girl would walk again one day. As well as removing the extra limbs, doctors transplanted a kidney from the twin. Lakshmi's parents named her after the Hindu goddess of wealth who has four arms. Many local villagers protested the surgery, saying that Lakshmi is a reincarnation of this goddess.

Comprehension Answers: Story #2

  1. Lakshmi was born with 4 extra limbs.
  2. After the long surgery doctors said that Lakshmi would walk again one day.
  3. The name Lakshmi refers to a Hindu goddess of wealth.

Story #3

Story #3: Tiger Kills Zoo patron on Christmas
A Siberian tiger broke free from its enclosure at a San Francisco zoo on Christmas day, killing one teen and injuring two others. Police shot and killed the tiger after finding it lying next to the body of Carlos Sousa Jr., just outside its pen. Zoo officials, who insisted that no doors were left open, were shocked that the wild animal was able to break free from its high-walled enclosure. The zoo was closed immediately following the incident and investigators began treating the area as a crime scene. Many animal experts suspect that the tiger was taunted in some way.

Comprehension Answers: Story #3

  1. The tiger attack took place on Christmas day.
  2. The police killed the tiger when they found it outside the pen with its victim.
  3. Animal experts suspect that the tiger may have been taunted.

Story #4

Story #4: Benazir Bhutto Assassinated
Just weeks before a scheduled election, Pakistan's opposition leader, Benazir Bhutto, was killed by a suicide bomber. Bhutto had just finished a speech at a democratic rally when her vehicle was attacked. Pakistan's government has suggested that Bhutto died after hitting her head off her car's sunroof. However, other reports suggest that she was shot in the head and abdomen. Bhutto's supporters immediately began rioting across the country. Al-queda has claimed responsibility for the attack, but many Bhutto supporters fear that this is a cover up. Bhutto was buried with other family members, including her father who was executed in 1979.

Comprehension Answers: Story #4

  1. Benazir Bhutto was the leader of the opposition party in Pakistan.
  2. Bhutto was leaving a democratic rally when she was killed.
  3. Bhutto's father was executed in 1979.