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Dateline: 1 May 2008

Story #1

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #1: Pregnant Man is Expecting a Girl
An man announced to the world this April that he is pregnant and carrying a healthy baby girl. Thomas Beatie's Nancy, who previously had a hysterectomy, helped her husband conceive artificial insemination. Beatie was previously a female beauty pageant winner, but chose to become a male after spending many years feeling unfeminine. In a interview, Beatie explained that he held onto his female sex organs in hopes of one day having a baby of his own. The couple, who appeared in several last month, expressed their hope that their story would help the world become more accepting of untraditional families.

Comprehension Questions: Story #1

  1. Why can't Thomas Beatie's wife bear a child?
  2. What type of contest did Thomas Beatie win when he was a female?
  3. How is it possible that this man is pregnant?
Discussion Question:
Do you think there will be a day when a man who is born male will be able to bear a child too?

Story #2

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #2: Heathrow Headache Persists
Heathrow Airport's grand opening of Terminal 5 to be a major headache for travellers, causing flight cancellations and baggage for more than a week. Over 8.6 billion dollars was spent on the new terminal, which was expected to improve the reputation of Britain's overcrowded airport. Problems with the new high-tech baggage handling system caused thousands of to be separated from their luggage throughout the first week. British Airways, which is the only using the terminal, took the blame for the delays, saying that staff members experienced technical difficulties on the first day causing many flights to .

Comprehension Questions: Story #2

  1. What happened during the grand opening of Terminal 5?
  2. Why was this terminal built?
  3. Which airline uses the new terminal?
Discussion Question: Have you travelled through Heathrow Airport? If yes, what was your impression of it? If no, have you heard others complaining about hassles and headaches there?

Story #3

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #3: China Named World's Top Polluter
China is the world's biggest polluter and has been for about two years, according to a University of research team. Though the US may be losing its label as the world's highest emitter of C02, Americans themselves still produce at least more pollution per capita than Chinese citizens. The new report, however, suggests that China's emission growth has been greatly underestimated, and will dwarf the reduction efforts of countries involved in the Kyoto Protocol. While China's energy are a global concern, the UN expects rich countries such as the US to reduce emissions first and to help nations do the same.

Comprehension Questions: Story #3

  1. Who collected evidence to support the theory that China is the world's top polluter?
  2. Who produces more pollution, the average American or the average Chinese citizen?
  3. What does the research team believe has been greatly underestimated?
Discussion Question: Do you think it will be possible for the global community to stabilise emissions growth by the year 2020? Why or why not?

Story #4

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #4: Global Food Crisis
Over 100 people do not have enough food, according to the UN Secretary General. The UN is now calling the a global crisis, and is urging nations to donate more funds. A task force is being created to address the shortage and the soaring food prices. The price of staple foods such as flour and sugar has doubled in the past year, and the cost of has risen by more than 90%. Numerous countries have already export bans on food stocks, which the UN says will lead to "unprecedented" starvation in poor countries.

Comprehension Questions: Story #4

  1. What does the UN want rich countries to do?
  2. What happened to the cost of rice ?
  3. What are some countries doing that is adding to the food shortage problem?
Discussion Question: One cause of the current food shortage is that many Chinese people can now afford to eat meat. With more grains being used to feed chicken and cattle, there is less for feeding people. Do you think there will come a day when vegetarianism is the law?

ANSWER CHECK

Story #1

Story #1: Pregnant Man is Expecting a Girl
An American man announced to the world this April that he is pregnant and carrying a healthy baby girl. Thomas Beatie's wife Nancy, who previously had a hysterectomy, helped her husband conceive via artificial insemination. Beatie was previously a female beauty pageant winner, but chose to become a male after spending many years feeling unfeminine. In a talk show interview, Beatie explained that he held onto his female sex organs in hopes of one day having a baby of his own. The couple, who appeared in several magazines last month, expressed their hope that their story would help the world become more accepting of untraditional families.

Comprehension Answers: Story #1

  1. Thomas Beatie's wife cannot bear a child because she had a hysterectomy.
  2. Thomas Beatie won a female beauty contest before changing his gender to male.
  3. He decided to keep his uterus when he became a man.

Story #2

Story #2: Heathrow Headache Persists
Heathrow Airport's grand opening of Terminal 5 proved to be a major headache for travellers, causing flight cancellations and baggage errors for more than a week. Over 8.6 billion dollars was spent on the new terminal, which was expected to improve the reputation of Britain's overcrowded airport. Problems with the new high-tech baggage handling system caused thousands of travellers to be separated from their luggage throughout the first week. British Airways, which is the only airline using the terminal, took the blame for the delays, saying that staff members experienced technical difficulties on the first day causing many flights to back up.

Comprehension Answers: Story #2

  1. Many flights were cancelled and a lot of baggage was lost during the grand opening at Terminal 5.
  2. The previous airport was always overcrowded.
  3. British Airways uses the new terminal.

Story #3

Story #3: China Named World's Top Polluter
China is officially the world's biggest polluter and has been for about two years, according to a University of California research team. Though the US may be losing its label as the world's highest emitter of C02, Americans themselves still produce at least five times more pollution per capita than Chinese citizens. The new report, however, suggests that China's emission growth has been greatly underestimated, and will dwarf the reduction efforts of countries involved in the Kyoto Protocol. While China's energy policies are a global concern, the UN expects rich countries such as the US to reduce emissions first and to help poor nations do the same.

Comprehension Answers: Story #3

  1. The research was conducted by a team at The University of California.
  2. The average American produces much more pollution than the average Chinese person.
  3. These researchers believe that China's future emissions growth has been greatly underestimated.

Story #4

Story #4: Global Food Crisis
Over 100 million people do not have enough food, according to the UN Secretary General. The UN is now calling the food shortage a global crisis, and is urging wealthy nations to donate more funds. A task force is being created to address the shortage and the soaring food prices. The price of staple foods such as flour and sugar has doubled in the past year, and the cost of rice has risen by more than 90%. Numerous countries have already placed export bans on food stocks, which the UN says will lead to "unprecedented" starvation in poor countries.

Comprehension Answers: Story #4

  1. The UN is pleading with wealthy countries to donate money to feel the poor.
  2. The price of rice increased by 90%.
  3. Some countries are placing export bans on their foods.