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Dateline: 1 July 2009

Story #1

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #1: Air France Flight Vanishes
229 people lost their lives on June 1st after an Air France jet vanished of Brazil. The flight had left Rio de Janeiro, and was heading to Paris when it crashed into the during a . While the pilots didn't send out any distress calls, automatic messages from the cockpit suggest that the electrical system was down and cabin pressure was lost. The mini-sub used to collect debris from the Titanic was launched to for the black boxes.

Comprehension Questions: Story #1

  1. Where did the aircraft depart from?
  2. How was the weather when the flight went down?
  3. What was the mini-sub previously known for?

Discussion Question:
Without the black boxes, the cause of an accident like this may never be known. How important do you think it is for victim's families to know why a plane went down?

Story #2

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #2: GM Files for Bankruptcy
General Motors officially for bankruptcy on June 1st, making the US the primary shareholder of the automaker. As well as and discontinuing some of its brands, GM will be closing approximately one third of its dealerships in the US. By declaring bankruptcy many of GM's debts will be . GM's CEO said the goal is to make the New GM a more "cost competitive" company that is customer and product focused.

Comprehension Questions: Story #2

  1. How will GM restructure?
  2. Who is now the main owner of GM?
  3. According to GM's CEO, what will be the main focus of the new GM?

Discussion Question: Should large corporations be rescued when they are in trouble, or should they be left alone to fail and make room for new companies?

Story #3

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #3: Iranians Protest Election Results
Protests broke out around Iran this June, following the announcement that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had won the presidential election by a landslide. People joined the demonstrations on the of Tehran, accusing the government of rigging the election. of the nearest rival, Mir Mousavi, have been arrested, detained, and killed following a ban on protesting. Though the has been largely blocked from covering the events, Iranians are calling the unrest the biggest "crisis" since the Islamic revolution.

Comprehension Questions: Story #3

  1. What sparked the protests?
  2. Who is Mr. Mousavi?
  3. Why is it difficult for the world to know what is going on in Iran?

Discussion Question: In the week following the election, protests were banned in the streets of Iran due to violence and death. Some civilians have said they will fight back by striking. Which do you think is more powerful a strike or a protest?

Story #4

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #4: King of Pop Dies at age 50
Michael Jackson, also known as the world's "King of Pop", died in hospital on June 25th after suffering cardiac arrest in his rented . A doctor found Michael Jackson unconscious in bed, and had him rushed to UCLA medical centre where the star was pronounced dead. Michael Jackson's world renowned album "Thriller," released in , remains the most popular album of all time. the scandals of recent years, Michael Jackson had recently announced one final comeback tour, which was to take place in the UK. Tickets, which at a rate of , will likely be collectors items.

Comprehension Questions: Story #4

  1. Where was Michael Jackson pronounced dead?
  2. What is significant about Jackson's album "Thriller"?
  3. What will likely happen to tickets that people bought for Jackson's final tour?

Discussion Question: News of Michael Jackson's death sparked record breaking use of mobile devices. Did you consult a mobile device (cell phone, lap top) when you heard the news of Michael Jackson's death? If yes, in what way. If no, what did you do?


ANSWER CHECK

Story #1: Air France Flight Vanishes
229 people lost their lives on June 1st after an Air France jet vanished off the coast of Brazil. The flight had left Rio de Janeiro, and was heading to Paris when it crashed into the Atlantic Ocean during a heavy storm. While the pilots didn't send out any distress calls, automatic messages from the cockpit suggest that the electrical system was down and cabin pressure was lost. The French mini-sub used to collect debris from the Titanic was launched to search for the black boxes.

Comprehension Answers: Story #1

  1. The aircraft departed from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  2. The airplane was caught in a strong storm.
  3. The vessel previously searched for wreckage from the Titanic.
Story #2: GM files for Bankruptcy
General Motors officially filed for bankruptcy on June 1st, making the US government the primary shareholder of the automaker. As well as selling off and discontinuing some of its brands, GM will be closing approximately one third of its dealerships in the US. By declaring bankruptcy many of GM's debts will be forgiven. GM's CEO said the goal is to make the New GM a more "cost competitive" company that is both customer and product focused.

Comprehension Answers: Story #2

  1. GM will close many plants and sell or discontinue many of their brands.
  2. The US government now owns most of GM.
  3. The new GM will focus on reducing costs and filling customer needs.
Story #3: Iranians Protest Election Results
Protests broke out around Iran this June, following the announcement that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had won the presidential election by a landslide. People of all ages joined the demonstrations on the streets of Tehran, accusing the government of rigging the election. Supporters of the nearest rival, Mir Mousavi, have been arrested, detained, and killed following a ban on protesting. Though the foreign media has been largely blocked from covering the events, Iranians are calling the unrest the biggest "crisis" since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Comprehension Answers: Story #3

  1. The results of Iran's presidential election sparked the protests.
  2. Mir Mousavi is the main rival of the elected Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
  3. The foreign media has not been able to film the protests.
Story #4: King of Pop Dies at Age 50
Michael Jackson, also known as the world's "King of Pop", died in hospital on June 25th after suffering cardiac arrest in his rented house. A doctor found Michael Jackson unconscious in bed, and had him rushed to UCLA medical centre where the star was pronounced dead. Michael Jackson's world renowned album "Thriller," released in 1982, remains the most popular album of all time. Despite the scandals of recent years, Michael Jackson had recently announced one final comeback tour, which was to take place in the UK. Tickets, which sold out at a rate of 11 per second, will likely be collectors items.

Comprehension Answers: Story #4

  1. He was pronounced dead at UCLA medical centre.
  2. "Thriller" is the most popular music album of all time.
  3. The tickets will likely become collectors items.