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Dateline: 1 February 2008

Story #1

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #1: Writers' Strike Continues in US
The industry is losing millions of dollars as members of the Writers Guild of America continue to strike for a third month. With negotiations on hold, some believe the strike will for many more months. Writers are seeking royalties for work that appears on the Internet or .With no writers to create the scripts for film and , numerous productions have been postponed or canceled and reality TV has taken centre stage. Hollywood actors who support the writers have refused to cross picket lines, and entertainment workers the US are being laid off.

Comprehension Questions: Story #1

  1. How long has this strike been going on?
  2. What do the writers want?
  3. How does this strike affect viewers of American programming?
Discussion Question:
Do you think television writers should receive extra money if the scripts they write are available on the Internet?

Story #2

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #2: Japan's Prime Minister on YouTube
On New Year's Day, Yasuo Fukuda, Japan's prime minister, posted a on the world famous Internet site, YouTube. Fukuda's message discussed upcoming challenges he would address in 2008 including , the descending birthrate, and terrorism. Japan's ruling party, the Liberal Democratic Party of , has its own YouTube channel. Fukuda's party hopes to reach a younger audience through YouTube becoming more recognized on a global level. The Queen of England recently launched her own YouTube channel which features her Christmas message, as well as her first televised Christmas address in 1957.

Comprehension Questions: Story #2

  1. What did Japan's prime minister do on New Year's Day?
  2. Which party does Yasuo Fukuda belong to?
  3. Which other famous person used YouTube to broaden her audience recently?
Discussion Question: The White House is reportedly in the process of creating a YouTube channel as well. Do you think these efforts by politicians will cause young people to vote?

Story #3

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #3: Violence Plagues Kenya after Election
A December vote resulting in the re-election of Kabaki, sparked mass violence throughout Kenya this January. Close to 1000 people have died and have had to flee their homes. Opposition leader, Raila Odinga accused the of rigging the election. Violent protesters are claiming that they have been robbed of their democratic rights while Kabaki's are defending their leader. The opposition party, which called for a million man march, accused Kenya's police and government of turning the country into a . The two leaders, who belong to rival tribes, have begun peace talks with former UN head, Kofi Annan.

Comprehension Questions: Story #3

  1. What is Raila Odinga accusing Kenya's ruling government of doing?
  2. Besides their government parties, what is a major difference between Odinga and Kabaki?
  3. Who is leading peace talks in Kenya?
Discussion Question: Kabaki and Odinga were photographed shaking hands after their first meeting. Do you believe this image could help stop the violence?

Story #4

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #4: Best Known Kiwi Dies at 88
Sir Edmund Hillary, described as the "best known" citizen of New Zealand, died this January at 88. In , Sir Edmund and his Sherpa, Tenzing Norgay, became the first men to reach the top of , the tallest mountain in the world. Hillary and his companion called the feat a team effort, and avoided discussing who reached the summit first. to this historic climb, Mount Everest was often referred to as the Third Pole. Sir Edmund spent much of his life leading expeditions and helping the Sherpas of Nepal. He was named an honourary citizen of Nepal in 2003.

Comprehension Questions: Story #4

  1. What major achievement did Sir Edmund Hillary have?
  2. Who was Tenzing Norgay?
  3. Which country was very important to Sir Edmund Hillary besides New Zealand?
Discussion Question: The only photograph of this 1953 summit was taken by Hillary of Tenzing. These days, many Sherpas complain that mountaineers do not want their climbing companions in the photos even though they are breaking records together. Do you think Sherpas deserve more recognition?

ANSWER CHECK

Story #1

Story #1: Writers' Strike Continues in US
The entertainment industry is losing millions of dollars as members of the Writers Guild of America continue to strike for a third month. With negotiations on hold, some believe the strike will continue for many more months. Writers are seeking royalties for work that appears on the Internet or DVD's. With no writers to create the scripts for film and television, numerous productions have been postponed or canceled and reality TV has taken centre stage. Hollywood actors who support the writers have refused to cross picket lines, and entertainment workers throughout the US are being laid off.

Comprehension Answers: Story #1

  1. The writers' strike has been going on for over three months.
  2. The writers want payment when their scripts are used on the Internet and on DVD's.
  3. People who watch American programming are having to watch reality TV.

Story #2

Story #2: Japan's Prime Minister on YouTube
On New Year's Day, Yasuo Fukuda, Japan's prime minister, posted a message on the world famous Internet site, YouTube. Fukuda's message discussed upcoming challenges he would address in 2008 including Aids, the descending birthrate, and terrorism. Japan's ruling party, the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan, has its own YouTube channel. Fukuda's party hopes to reach a younger audience through YouTube in addition to becoming more recognized on a global level. The Queen of England recently launched her own YouTube channel which features her annual Christmas message, as well as her first televised Christmas address in 1957.

Comprehension Answers: Story #2

  1. Japan's prime minister posted a message on YouTube on New Year's Day.
  2. Fukuda belongs to the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan.
  3. The Queen also launched a YouTube channel recently.

Story #3

Story #3: Violence Plagues Kenya After Elections
A December vote resulting in the re-election of President Kabaki, sparked mass violence throughout Kenya this January. Close to 1000 people have died and hundreds of thousands have had to flee their homes. Opposition leader, Raila Odinga accused the government of rigging the election. Violent protesters are claiming that they have been robbed of their democratic rights while Kabaki's supporters are defending their leader. The opposition party which called for a million man march, accused Kenya's police and government of turning the country into a killing field. The two leaders, who belong to rival tribes, have begun peace talks with former UN head, Kofi Annan.

Comprehension Answers: Story #3

  1. Odinga believes that the current government won the election unfairly by lying about the votes.
  2. The two leaders are from rival tribes.
  3. Kofi Annan, former head of the UN, is leading peace talks.

Story #4

Story #4: Best Known Kiwi Dies at 88
Sir Edmund Hillary, recently described as the "best known" citizen of New Zealand, died this January at 88. In 1953, Sir Edmund and his Sherpa, Tenzing Norgay, became the first men to reach the top of Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world. Hillary and his companion called the feat a team effort, and avoided discussing who reached the summit first. Prior to this historic climb, Mount Everest was often referred to as the Third Pole. Sir Edmund spent much of his life leading adventurous expeditions and helping the Sherpas of Nepal. He was named an honourary citizen of Nepal in 2003.

Comprehension Answers: Story #4

  1. Sir Edmund Hillary was the first man to climb to the summit of Mount Everest.
  2. Tenzing Norgay was the Sherpa who accompanied Hillary when the first summit to Everest was made.
  3. Nepal was very important to Sir Edmund Hillary.