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Dateline: 1 January 2009

Story #1

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #1: Expansion Project Halted in Monaco
The of Monaco, Prince Albert II, announced that plans for his state to expand into the sea were cancelled due to the . Monaco is the world's most densely populated state. With almost no land left to build upon, plans to build an artificial peninsula were well underway. Two top architects, Norman Foster of and Daniel Liebeskind of the US were competing for the chance to lead the multi-billion-dollar project. The winner was supposed to be announced in . While financial times were for the cancellation, the prince stated that there were also environmental concerns.

Comprehension Questions: Story #1

  1. What was cancelled?
  2. Who are Norman Foster and Daniel Liebeskind?
  3. Why is Monaco a state that would consider this type of building project?
Discussion Question:
Do you think humans should get involved with projects that change the earth, such as building artificial land? Why or why not?

Story #2

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #2: Iraqi Journalist Throws Shoes at George Bush
A Iraqi journalist threw his shoes at US President George Bush during a press conference in Baghdad in December. Bush, who was in Baghdad a security pact as he bid farewell, was standing alongside Iraqi Prime Minister, Nuri al-Maliki when the shoes flew by him. The journalist, who was quickly arrested and sent to jail also called the President a dog and called the a farewell kiss. Throwing shoes at another person is an insult among Muslims. Shortly after the , thousands of Iraqi protestors took to the streets demanding the journalist's .

Comprehension Questions: Story #2

  1. Why was George Bush in Baghdad?
  2. Why was a journalist arrested?
  3. What did many Iraqis do following the incident?
Discussion Question: Protesters claimed that the journalist should be freed because he was exercising his freedom of self expression. Do you agree or disagree?

Story #3

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #3: Memorial Followed by Christmas Tree Protest in Greece
A memorial service for Alexis Grigoropolous, a boy in Athens who was killed by police during a small youth protest, was followed by a series of rioting. This included a second attack on the Christmas tree in Athens' . The first tree during a widespread protest on December 8th, two days after the killing. Youth had violent clashes with authorities throughout the month of December even after a policeman was charged with the murder. Protesters in Greece view the government as politically corrupt and hope to topple it before the economic crisis .

Comprehension Questions: Story #3

  1. What sparked the violent protests?
  2. Why was a second Christmas tree placed in Athens' central square?
  3. What happened to the policeman who killed the teen?
Discussion Question: The youth protests in Greece have been violent in nature; however, there has also been a peaceful demonstration and a general strike. Which do you think is most effective and why?

Story #4

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #4: Santa Claus Massacre on Christmas Eve
On Christmas Eve a man dressed as knocked on the door of a home in Los Angeles and began people at a Christmas party. Guests jumped from windows as neighbours called 911. Bruce Jeffrey Pardo ten people at the home of his ex in-laws before spraying gasoline around the home and setting it on fire. The house shortly after. Pardo, who was bitter over a recent divorce, suffered third degree burns before taking his own life at his brother's home. Police who found the body and the booby trapped rental car say Pardo killed himself instead of using an airline ticket to .

Comprehension Questions: Story #4

  1. Where did the massacre occur?
  2. Why did guests not recognize Bruce Pardo at the party?
  3. What part of Pardo's plan did not take place?
Discussion Question: Bruce Pardo was an aerospace engineer who recently lost his job. He also had personal problems. Do you believe that similar stories of rage will follow as the global economy worsens?

ANSWER CHECK

Story #1

Story #1: Expansion Project Halted in Monaco
The ruler of Monaco, Prince Albert II, announced that plans for his state to expand into the sea were cancelled due to the global economic crisis. Monaco is the world's most densely populated state. With almost no land left to build upon, plans to build an artificial peninsula were well underway. Two top architects, Norman Foster of Britain and Daniel Liebeskind of the US were competing for the chance to lead the multi-billion-dollar project. The winner was supposed to be announced in February 2009. While financial times were blamed for the cancellation, the prince stated that there were also environmental concerns.

Comprehension Answers: Story #1

  1. Plans to expand Monaco into the sea by building artificial land were cancelled.
  2. These men are famous architects from Britain and America. Both were hoping to lead the expansion project.
  3. Monaco is the most densely populated state in the world, and there isn't much land left to build on.

Story #2

Story #2: Iraqi Journalist Throws Shoes at George Bush
A well-known Iraqi journalist threw his shoes at US President George Bush during a press conference in Baghdad in December. Bush, who was in Baghdad to sign a security pact as he bid farewell, was standing alongside Iraqi Prime Minister, Nuri al-Maliki when the shoes flew by him. The journalist, who was quickly arrested and sent to jail also called the President a dog and called the shoe throwing a farewell kiss. Throwing shoes at another person is an insult among Muslims. Shortly after the arrest thousands of Iraqi protestors took to the streets demanding the journalist's release.

Comprehension Answers: Story #2

  1. Bush was in Baghdad to sign a security pact and bid the country farewell.
  2. A journalist threw his shoes at Bush.
  3. Many Iraqis protested on the streets. They wanted the journalist to be released.

Story #3

Story #3: Memorial Followed by Christmas Tree Protest in Greece
A memorial service for Alexis Grigoropolous, a 15-year-old boy in Athens who was killed by police during a small youth protest, was followed by a series of rioting. This included a second attack on the Christmas tree in Athens' central square. The first tree burned down during a widespread protest on December 8th, two days after the killing. Youth had violent clashes with authorities throughout the month of December even after a policeman was charged with the teen's murder. Protesters in Greece view the government as politically corrupt and hope to topple it before the economic crisis worsens.

Comprehension Answers: Story #3

  1. A teenage boy was killed by a policeman during a small youth protest in Athens.
  2. The first Christmas tree was burned down during a large protest two days after the killing.
  3. The policeman has been charged with murder.

Story #4

Story #4: Santa Claus Massacre on Christmas Eve
On Christmas Eve a man dressed as Santa Claus knocked on the door of a home in Los Angeles and began executing people at a Christmas party. Guests jumped from windows as neighbours called 911. Bruce Jeffrey Pardo killed ten people at the home of his ex in-laws before spraying gasoline around the home and setting it on fire. The house exploded shortly after. Pardo, who was bitter over a recent divorce, suffered third degree burns before taking his own life at his brother's home. Police who found the body and the booby trapped rental car say Pardo killed himself instead of using an airline ticket to Canada.

Comprehension Answers: Story #4

  1. The massacre occurred at the home of Bruce Pardo's ex inlaws
  2. It was a party on Christmas Eve and the murderer was dressed up as Santa Claus.
  3. Pardo killed himself instead of using his airplane ticket to Canada.