Monthly News Digest Online comes to you from EnglishClub.com Dateline: 1 January 2010

Story #1

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #1: Climate Summit Leaves Many Disappointed
A two-week climate conference in Copenhagen, Denmark this December that nations all over the world are deeply concerned about emissions and climate change. Hundreds of protesters to the conference centre and police arrested several people. Much of the debate centred around what rich countries should do to help developing countries survive and the impact of climate change. Inside, negotiations were largely unsuccessful until the drafting of the Copenhagen Accord on the final day. The document states that climate change is currently greatest global challenges and that temperature increases should be kept to below 2 degrees Celsius. Many leaders and delegates expressed disappointment over the non-binding .

Comprehension Questions: Story #1

  1. Where did the conference take place?
  2. What major concern do developing countries have?
  3. When was the Copenhagen Accord created?

Discussion Question: Is the state of the environment more important than other global issues such as war and terrorism? Why or why not?

Story #2

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #2: Italy's Prime Minister Suffers Broken Nose
A 42-year-old man has been charged with assault after attacking Prime Minister at a political rally in Milan. Mr. Silvio Berlusconi, 73, suffered a broken nose and two broken teeth after being struck in the face by a replica of a Milan . Berlusconi was signing autographs when the attack occurred. After being rushed into a car, the prime minister jumped out to show he was okay. Criticism of Berlusconi had been escalating after scandalous of his involvement with prostitutes became public. However, even those who oppose the leader consider the violence .

Comprehension Questions: Story #2

  1. How old is Italy's Prime Minister?
  2. What was the Prime Minister doing when he was assaulted?
  3. Why has there been so much criticism of Berlusconi lately?

Discussion Question: Do the private lives of leaders affect your vote? Why or why not?

Story #3

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #3: Tiger Woods Takes Hiatus from Golf
After a minor car out front of his Florida home, the world's number 1 golfer, Tiger Woods, announced that he would be from golf. Shortly after the crash, several women came forward claiming to have had extra-marital affairs with the golfer. On his website, Tiger Woods, a father of two, admitted to letting his family down but refused to go into about his private life. Tiger's statement included an to the fans and PGA and a goal to focus on being "a better husband, father and person". Accenture, one of Tiger's top sponsors, announced that it would be cutting ties with the golfer who has been their sole in advertising campaigns.

Comprehension Questions: Story #3

  1. Where did Tiger Woods' crash occur?
  2. Who did Tiger Woods apologize to?
  3. Why does the report mention Accenture?

Discussion Question: Do you think Tiger Woods should discuss his private life with the media? Why or why not?

Story #4

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #4: Christmas Day Bomber Fails
A man who carried explosives onto a Northwest Airlines flight on Christmas Day failed to a plane carrying nearly 300 passengers that was on its way to Detroit. Airline attendants and passengers tackled the alleged terrorist who had caught himself on fire while trying to detonate explosives inside his clothing. In November, the accused bomber's family members had warned US officials that their was missing and could be plotting something with extremist . US President Barack Obama expressed anger that the man who had been placed on a was not on the no-fly list.

Comprehension Questions: Story #4

  1. When did the terrorist attempt take place?
  2. What happened when the bomber tried to detonate the explosives?
  3. Why was the President of the US upset?

Discussion Question: The explosives used in the attempted bombing were made of a powdery substance that is difficult for scanners to detect. Do you think this information should be publicized? Why or why not?


ANSWER CHECK

Story #1: Climate Summit Leaves Many Disappointed
A two-week climate conference in Copenhagen, Denmark this December proved that nations all over the world are deeply concerned about emissions and climate change. Hundreds of protesters marched to the conference centre and police arrested several people. Much of the debate centred around what rich countries should do to help developing countries survive and reduce the impact of climate change. Inside, negotiations were largely unsuccessful until the drafting of the Copenhagen Accord on the final day. The document states that climate change is currently one of the greatest global challenges and that temperature increases should be kept to below 2 degrees Celsius. Many leaders and delegates expressed disappointment over the non-binding agreement.

Comprehension Answers: Story #1

  1. The conference took place in Copenhagen, Denmark.
  2. Developing countries want rich countries to help pay for the cost of reducing and living with climate change.
  3. The Copenhagen Accord was created on the last day of the climate summit.
Story #2: Italy's Prime Minister Suffers Broken Nose
A 42-year-old man has been charged with assault after attacking Italy's Prime Minister at a political rally in Milan. Mr. Silvio Berlusconi, 73, suffered a broken nose and two broken teeth after being struck in the face by a replica of a Milan cathedral. Berlusconi was signing autographs when the attack occurred. After being rushed into a car, the prime minister jumped out to show he was okay. Criticism of Berlusconi had been escalating after scandalous reports of his involvement with prostitutes became public. However, even those who strongly oppose the leader consider the violence unacceptable.

Comprehension Answers: Story #2

  1. Italy's Prime Minister is 73.
  2. He was signing autographs at a political rally when he was attacked.
  3. Scandalous reports of Berlusconi using prostitutes have emerged.
Story #3: Tiger Woods takes Break from Golf
After a minor car accident out front of his Florida home, the world's number 1 golfer, Tiger Woods, announced that he would be taking a break from golf. Shortly after the crash, several women came forward claiming to have had extra-marital affairs with the golfer. On his website, Tiger Woods, a father of two, admitted to letting his family down, but refused to go into details about his private life. Tiger's statement included an apology to the fans and PGA and a goal to focus on being "a better husband, father and person". Accenture, one of Tiger's top sponsors, announced that it would be cutting ties with the golfer who has been their sole representative in advertising campaigns.

Comprehension Answers: Story #3

  1. The crash occurred outside his home in Florida.
  2. Tiger Woods apologized to his fans and the PGA.
  3. Accenture was a top sponsor of Tiger Woods, but has now cut ties with the golfer.
Story #4: Christmas Day Bomber Fails
A Nigerian man who carried explosives onto a Northwest Airlines flight on Christmas Day failed to bring down a plane carrying nearly 300 passengers that was on its way to Detroit. Airline attendants and passengers tackled the alleged terrorist who had caught himself on fire while trying to detonate explosives inside his clothing. In November, the accused bomber's family members had warned US officials that their son was missing and could be plotting something with extremist groups. US President Barack Obama expressed anger that the man who had been placed on a watch list was not on the no-fly list.

Comprehension Answers: Story #4

  1. The attempted terrorist attack took place on Christmas Day on a plane bound for Detroit.
  2. The man was tackled and a fire was put out after he tried to detonate explosives inside his clothing.
  3. Barack Obama was upset because the terrorist was on a watch list but was still allowed to fly.

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