Monthly News Digest Online comes to you from EnglishClub.com Dateline: 1 November 2009

Story #1

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #1: Barack Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize
With a year under his belt as President of the United States, Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize. In his acceptance , Obama claimed that he was surprised and humbled by the award. He also stated that he considered the award a "call to action". Many people around the world Obama and expect him to improve global relations. Critics, however, suggested that the award came prematurely. They that the leader of a country at war did not deserve the prestigious award. Obama is expected to donate the 1.4 million dollars in to charity.

Comprehension Questions: Story #1

  1. How long has Barack Obama been President?
  2. How did Barack Obama feel when he received the award?
  3. Why do some people disagree with the decision to award the Nobel prize to Barack Obama?

Discussion Question:

Do you think Barack Obama deserved the Nobel Peace Prize? Why or why not?

Story #2

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #2: Half of Babies in Wealthy Countries will live to 100
A new study out of suggests that more than half of the babies born in wealthy countries will live to be 100. show that life expectancy has been growing steadily since the 1800's. Not only will babies in these countries live longer, but many will be independent even in old age. The researchers concluded that there four stages of life including childhood, adulthood, young old age, and old age. While the research suggests that people will be healthier, they will still require . Providing medical assistance to the aging population will become challenging.

Comprehension Questions: Story #2

  1. According to the report, what percentage of new babies will live to their 100th birthday?
  2. What does the report call the two final stages of life?
  3. Which major challenge is named in the report?

Discussion Question: Do you believe that humans will continue to live longer and longer? Would you like to live beyond your 100th birthday?

Story #3

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #3: South America to Finally Host Olympics
Rio de Janeiro stiff competition to win the bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics. This will be the first time the Olympics will be held in South America. Thousands of people gathered on the Copacabana beach to hear and celebrate the IOC announcement. of the outdoor events will take place on this world famous beach. Rio beat out Madrid, , and Tokyo. Madrid was considered a strong bid, , the 2012 Olympics will take place in London, England and it is untraditional for Olympics to take place back to back on the same continent. The theme in Rio will be . Brazil will also be hosting the 2014 World Cup.

Comprehension Questions: Story #3

  1. Why is Rio's host city win so historic?
  2. Where were Brazilians gathered to wait for the IOC announcement?
  3. Which other two cities were hoping to host the 2016 Summer Olympics?

Discussion Question: Why do cities such as Rio work so hard to host such a costly event?

Story #4

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #4: Footballers Warned to Stop Spitting
The UK Health Protection Agency has football players to stop spitting. The agency says that the bad habit of spitting could increase the spread of the H1N1 virus, also known as swine flu. in several English and French football Leagues have caught the virus, including a few members from two Premier League clubs. Though the agency admitted that is not a major cause of spreading, a spokesperson reminded footballers that they are idolised by young fans and players. Since spitting is unhygienic in general, the Health Protection Agency hopes players will set a good example. A football in Manchester said he was not very worried about the swine flu on the pitch because his players are young and fit and get over the flu quickly.

Comprehension Questions: Story #4

  1. Who made the recommendation to stop spitting?
  2. What does the report mention young fans?
  3. Why is the Manchester manager not worried about swine flu?

Discussion Question: Some athletes argue that spitting is necessary in sports. Do you agree with the health agency that spitting is a "disgusting" habit? Why or why not?


ANSWER CHECK

Story #1: Barack Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize
With less than a year under his belt as President of the United States, Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize. In his acceptance speech, Obama claimed that he was surprised and humbled by the award. He also stated that he considered the award a "call to action". Many people around the world respect Obama and expect him to improve global relations. Critics, however, suggested that the award came prematurely. They argued that the leader of a country at war did not deserve the prestigious award. Obama is expected to donate the 1.4 million dollars in prize money to charity.

Comprehension Answers: Story #1

  1. Barack Obama has been President for less than a year.
  2. Barack Obama was both humbled and surprised to receive the award.
  3. Some people think that a leader of a country at war should not receive an award for peace.
Story #2: Half of Babies in Wealthy Countries will live to 100
A new study out of Denmark suggests that more than half of the babies born in wealthy countries will live to be 100. Records show that life expectancy has been growing steadily since the 1800's. Not only will babies in these countries live longer, but many will be independent even in old age. The researchers concluded that there ought to be four stages of life including childhood, adulthood, young old age, and old age. While the research suggests that people will be healthier, they will still require health care. Providing medical assistance to the aging population will become increasingly challenging.

Comprehension Answers: Story #2

  1. More than 50% of babies born today will live to be 100 according to the report.
  2. The final two stages of life are referred to as young old age and old age.
  3. The report states that it will become more difficult to provide health care to the aging population.
Story #3: South America to Finally Host Olympics
Rio de Janeiro beat out stiff competition to win the bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics. This will be the first time the Olympics will be held in South America. Thousands of people gathered on the Copacabana beach to hear and celebrate the IOC announcement. Many of the outdoor events will take place on this world famous beach. Rio beat out Madrid, Chicago, and Tokyo. Madrid was considered a strong bid, however, the 2012 Olympics will take place in London, England and it is untraditional for Olympics to take place back to back on the same continent.The theme in Rio will be "Live your passion". Brazil will also be hosting the 2014 World Cup.

Comprehension Answers: Story #3

  1. Rio's win is important because South America has never hosted the Olympics before.
  2. Many Brazilians celebrated on Copacabana beach when the announcement was made.
  3. Madrid, Chicago, and Tokyo were competing to host the 2016 event.
Story #4: Footballers Warned to Stop Spitting
The UK Health Protection Agency has warned football players to stop spitting. The agency says that the bad habit of spitting could increase the spread of the H1N1 virus, also known as Swine Flu. Team members in several English and French football Leagues have caught the virus, including a few members from two Premier League clubs. Though the agency admitted that spitting is not a major cause of spreading, a spokesperson reminded footballers that they are idolised by young fans and players. Since spitting is unhygienic in general, the Health Protection Agency hopes players will set a good example. A football manager in Manchester said he was not very worried about the swine flu on the pitch because his players are young and fit and generally get over the flu quickly.

Comprehension Answers: Story #4

  1. The UK Health Protection Agency made the recommendation.
  2. The young fans look to footballers as role models and should not be encouraged to pick up bad habits such as spitting.
  3. The manager said his players are healthy and usually get over the flu quickly.