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

Story #1

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #1: France to Tackle Piracy
On January 1st, an anti-piracy was passed in France to prevent illegal downloading on the Internet. Those who are illegally downloading items such as music, films, or video games will receive two warnings before a notice in court. A French senator believes that two thirds of people will stop engaging in piracy after receiving the first warning and that a second warning will prevent up to of illegal usage. Many Internet users are opposed to the decision while others think policing of web use is long .

Comprehension Questions: Story #1

  1. What change was made in France on Jan 1 2010?
  2. How many warnings do illegal users get?
  3. What did the French senator suggest?

Discussion Question: Do you think the government should get involved in Internet piracy? Why or why not?

Story #2

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #2: Airports introducing Full Body Scanners
The attempted bombing on a flight to Detroit has prompted international airports to step up efforts in introducing full body scanners for departure passengers. Scanners are already being used at select in places such as the Netherlands and the UK and are also rolling out in North America. In some airports, not all passengers are required to pass through the sophisticated . Many travellers argue that racial profiling will become even more of a problem in the future unless the scans become mandatory for all. Full body scanners make it for "pat down" searches and are considered less intrusive. The scanners have electromagnetic waves that can look through clothing and objects concealed on the body.

Comprehension Questions: Story #2

  1. What event caused authorities to speed up the introduction of body scanners at airports?
  2. According to the report, what are some travellers upset about?
  3. What previous security measure is no longer necessary in an airport with these machines?

Discussion Question: Do you think all airports should have mandatory full body scanners for all passengers? Why or why not?

Story #3

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #3: Earthquake leaves Haiti in Ruins
A 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti on January 12 leaving much of the country in ruins. On January 22nd the declared that the search and rescue for survivors was officially over. While dozens of survivor stories gave hope to those with missing loved ones, the death toll continued to rise as the days . When the search was called off, the death toll exceeded 150 000 people in the capital of Port-au-Prince alone. relief was slow to reach the devastated area due to the broken infrastructure, which included a major loss of . Countries around the world have pledged millions to provide aid to Haitians who were already the poorest people in the .

Comprehension Questions: Story #3

  1. How strong was the earthquake in Haiti?
  2. What does the report say about foreign aid?
  3. What does the report suggest about life in Haiti before the earthquake?

Discussion Question: How long do you think it will take for Haiti to recover from this catastrophe? What can everyday people around the world do to help?

Story #4

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #4: Avatar Breaks Titanic's Record
For the past twelve years, James Cameron's movie Titanic has held the for being the world's highest-grossing film. This January, the director broke his own box-office record with his movie Avatar. After just seven weeks, the sci-fi film broke Titanic's record, surprising critics who the film wouldn't be able to make back its half a million dollar budget. The film, which is most popular in , combines and special-effects, appealing to moviegoers of various interests, ages and genders.

Comprehension Questions: Story #4

  1. What does the report mean when it says James Cameron beat his own record?
  2. What genre is Avatar classified under?
  3. Why does this movie appeal to such a large audience?

Discussion Question: Do you think too much money is wasted on creating blockbuster films? Why or why not?


ANSWER CHECK

Story #1: France to Tackle Piracy
On January 1st, an anti-piracy law was passed in France to prevent illegal downloading on the Internet. Those who are caught illegally downloading items such as music, films, or video games will receive two warnings before a notice to appear in court. A French senator believes that two thirds of people will stop engaging in piracy after receiving the first warning and that a second warning will prevent up to 95% of illegal usage. Many Internet users are opposed to the decision, while others think policing of web use is long overdue.

Comprehension Answers: Story #1

  1. As of Jan 1 2010, the French government began taking measures to prevent illegal downloading.
  2. Illegal users will get two warnings before being sent a court notice.
  3. The French senator suggested that 95% of illegal users would stop engaging in piracy after receiving two notices.
Story #2: Airports Introducing Full Body Scanners
The attempted bombing on a Christmas Day flight to Detroit has prompted international airports to step up efforts in introducing full body scanners for departure passengers. Scanners are already being used at select airports in places such as the Netherlands and the UK and are also rolling out in North America. In some airports, not all passengers are required to pass through the sophisticated security systems. Many travellers argue that racial profiling will become even more of a problem in the future unless the scans become mandatory for all. Full body scanners make it unnecessary for "pat down" searches and are considered less intrusive. The scanners have electromagnetic waves that can look through clothing and spot objects concealed on the body.

Comprehension Answers: Story #2

  1. An attempted bombing on an airplane to Detroit on Christmas Day caused authorities to speed up the introduction of body scanners at airports?
  2. Some travellers feel that body scanners will lead to more racial profiling.
  3. "Pat downs" are no longer necessary in an airport with these machines.
Story #3: Earthquake Leaves Haiti in Ruins
A 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti on January 12 leaving much of the country in ruins. On January 22nd the United Nations declared that the search and rescue for survivors was officially over. While dozens of survivor stories gave hope to those with missing loved ones, the death toll continued to rise as the days passed. When the search was called off, the death toll exceeded 150 000 people in the capital of Port-au-Prince alone. Global relief was slow to reach the devastated area due to the broken infrastructure, which included a major loss of communication. Countries around the world have pledged millions to provide aid to Haitians who were already the poorest people in the Western Hemisphere.

Comprehension Answers: Story #3

  1. January's earthquake in Haiti had a magnitude of 7.0.
  2. It took a long time for foreign aid to arrive because much of the infrastructure, including communications, was destroyed.
  3. Before the earthquake, Haitians were already the poorest people in the Western Hemisphere.
Story #4: Avatar Breaks Titanic's Record
For the past twelve years, James Cameron's movie Titanic has held the record for being the world's highest-grossing film. This January, the director broke his own box-office record with his latest movie Avatar. After just seven weeks, the sci-fi film broke Titanic's record, surprising critics who feared the film wouldn't be able to make back its half a million dollar budget. The film, which is most popular in 3D, combines romance and special-effects, appealing to moviegoers of various interests, ages and genders.

Comprehension Answers: Story #4

  1. James Cameron was also the director of Titanic, which held the previous #1 record at the international box-office.
  2. Avatar is classified as a sci-fi movie.
  3. The movie attracts a large audience because it contains romance and special effects.

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