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Dateline: 1 June 2008

Story #1

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #1: Cyclone Damage Blamed on Government
A major hit Myanmar this May, causing massive destruction in a region already suffering from poverty and political strife. Cyclone Nargis has been called one of the storms on record in Asia. Approximately 80, 000 people were confirmed killed, while tens of thousands are still reported missing. Many have blamed the government for the damage, saying that the protective barrier of mangrove forests had been from the coastline to make room for rice paddies and shrimp farms. The government is also being criticized for not allowing foreign aid workers to the survivors.

Comprehension Questions: Story #1

  1. What was the name of this storm?
  2. Approximately how many people died as a result of the storm?
  3. According to scientists, what could have prevented some of the damage?
Discussion Question:
Do you think an event such as this will cause governments in other countries to reconsider their practices of clearing forests?

Story #2

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #2: 5 Million Chinese Left Homeless
A devastating earthquake in China claimed the lives of over 60, 000 people and left over five million people in May. This is the first time in ten years that the Chinese government has requested international assistance, which the UN says demonstrates the severity of the crisis. survivors were pulled from the debris days after the quake, including a year old woman who was trapped for more than a week. Mass evacuations resulted due to powerful aftershocks and fear of flooding and .

Comprehension Questions: Story #2

  1. Approximately how many people lost their homes as a result of this earthquake?
  2. What good news is mentioned in this story?
  3. Why are so many survivors fleeing their towns?
Discussion Question: How do you think this devastating earthquake will affect the upcoming Olympics in Beijing?

Story #3

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #3: South Africa Not a Safe Haven
Though they had hoped for a life in South Africa, thousands of immigrants and refugees who fled Zimbabwe and other economically devastated African are on the run again. Anti-immigrant violence erupted in Johannesburg this May, reminding many of the apartheid era which ended in the early. In many of the poorest areas there is a long-held concern that immigrants take and jobs from the local people. More than 50 immigrants have been murdered, and hundreds have had their homes torched. Temporary shelters have been set up, though many are taking buses back to their .

Comprehension Questions: Story #3

  1. Why are there many refugees in South Africa?
  2. Why does this violence remind people of the 1980's?
  3. What are some of the immigrants doing instead of going to shelters?
Discussion Question: Many immigrants and refugees in South Africa accept less pay than locals. This leads to greater unemployment among the natives. Does this problem occur in your country? What role should a government have in this type of situation?

Story #4

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #4: Lost Parrot Gives Directions Home
An African Grey that flew away from its pet owner's house in Japan this May gave his rescuers directions home. The parrot was in protective care at a veterinary clinic when it began to and greet people. About ten days later the parrot began to recite a street address. When police checked out the lead they found the rightful pet owner, and quickly reunited the pair. The African Grey parrot is known for its mimicking . Some scientists believe that this species has the cognitive ability of a child.

Comprehension Questions: Story #4

  1. Where did this parrot get taken to after it was found?
  2. How did the parrot find its way home?
  3. What is this species well known for?
Discussion Question: How do you feel about people keeping birds as caged pets? Why do you feel this way?

ANSWER CHECK

Story #1

Story #1: Cyclone Damage Blamed on Government
A major storm hit Myanmar this May, causing massive destruction in a region already suffering from poverty and political strife. Cyclone Nargis has been called one of the deadliest storms on record in Asia. Approximately 80, 000 people were confirmed killed, while tens of thousands are still reported missing. Many scientists have blamed the government for the damage, saying that the protective barrier of mangrove forests had been cleared from the coastline to make room for rice paddies and shrimp farms. The government is also being criticized for not allowing foreign aid workers to access the survivors.

Comprehension Answers: Story #1

  1. The storm was named Cyclone Nargis.
  2. Approximately 80, 000 people died as a result of this storm.
  3. If the government had not allowed the clear cutting of the mangrove forests at the coastline, the people of Mayanmar may have been protected.

Story #2

Story #2: 5 Million Chinese Left Homeless
A devastating earthquake in south western China claimed the lives of over 60, 000 people and left over five million people homeless in May. This is the first time in ten years that the Chinese government has requested international assistance, which the UN says demonstrates the severity of the crisis. Numerous survivors were pulled from the debris days after the quake, including a 102 year old woman who was trapped for more than a week. Mass evacuations resulted due to powerful aftershocks and fear of flooding and landslides.

Comprehension Answers: Story #2

  1. At least 5 million people became homeless because of this earthquake.
  2. Some survivors were pulled out after many days, including a 102 year old woman.
  3. People have to flee their homes because of the threat of flooding and landslides.

Story #3

Story #3: South Africa Not A Safe Haven
Though they had hoped for a better life in South Africa, thousands of immigrants and refugees who fled Zimbabwe and other economically devastated African nations are on the run again. Anti-immigrant violence erupted in Johannesburg this May, reminding many of the apartheid era which ended in the early 90's. In many of the poorest areas there is a long-held concern that immigrants take housing and jobs from the local people. More than 50 immigrants have been murdered, and hundreds have had their homes torched. Temporary shelters have been set up, though many are taking buses back to their homeland.

Comprehension Answers: Story #3

  1. Many Africans immigrated to South Africa because of poverty in their homelands.
  2. The anti-immigrant violence reminds people of what South Africa was like during the apartheid era.
  3. Some immigrants and refugees are taking buses back to their homeland.

Story #4

Story #4: Lost Parrot Gives Directions Home
An African Grey parrot that flew away from its pet owner's house in Japan this May gave his rescuers directions home. The lost parrot was in protective care at a veterinary clinic when it began to sing songs and greet people. About ten days later the parrot began to recite a street address. When police checked out the lead they found the rightful pet owner, and quickly reunited the pair. The African Grey parrot is known for its mimicking ability. Some scientists believe that this species has the cognitive ability of a six-year-old child.

Comprehension Answers: Story #4

  1. The parrot was taken to a veterinary clinic.
  2. The parrot told the caretakers its address.
  3. The African Grey parrot is known for being able to repeat what people say.