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

Story #1

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #1: Russia's Paralympians Finish on Top
After winning 8 medals on the final day of in Vancouver, Russia's Paralympic team came out on top with 38 medals, including 12 golds. This was an important win for Russia, President was openly critical of the country's standings after the Winter Olympics. Russia's able-bodied athletes came in 6th place overall with only three golds, making it their worst in the Winter Olympics in almost 100 years. The of the Paralympic team was crucial for Russia as it begins to host the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Comprehension Questions: Story #1

  1. How did Russia's Paralympic team do at the Paralympics?
  2. How did the President of Russia react to the results from the able bodied athletes in the Winter Olympics?
  3. What will happen in 2014?

Discussion Question: Do you think a Paralympic gold is more difficult to achieve than an Olympic gold? Explain your answer.

Story #2

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #2: Google Cuts Censorship in China
Google announced this March that it would no longer offer censored in China. Users in mainland China will be redirected to the uncensored version of Google in . The decision came a few months after Google claimed that it had been a victim of a cyber attack in China. In Google's official blog, the chief legal officer noted that China's government could block access to search services . Baidu.com is currently the search engine service in China.

Comprehension Questions: Story #2

  1. Where was Google previously censoring user searches?
  2. Why does the report mention Hong Kong?
  3. What is Baidu.com?

Discussion Question: Do you think Google made the right decision? Why or why not?

Story #3

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #3: Obama Signs Historic Health Care Bill
US President Barack Obama will likely go down in history for making reform a reality in America. The near trillion dollar health care reform was signed into law at the end of March despite a lack of Republican support. The bill access to medical insurance for all Americans, including 32 million who previously had no coverage. It also requires Americans to purchase health insurance and make changes to existing policies. The changes will take place over the next . Obama's next task is to convince the American public that the government in health care was a necessity.

Comprehension Questions: Story #3

  1. What is the estimated cost of health care reform in the US?
  2. What will Americans be required to do under the new rules?
  3. According to the report, what is Obama's next challenge?

Discussion Question: Do you think a country's government should require all citizens to have health insurance? Why or why not?

Story #4

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #4: Black Widows Suspected in Metro Attack
At least 38 people were killed and more than 60 in a subway train attack in central Moscow this March. Two female suicide bombers have been the attack. The terrorists may be part of the Black Widows, a group of Chechen women who have lost family members at the hands of Russia's military. The blasts went off forty minutes apart during rush hour. say the bombs were timed to go off as the trains reached a station. The Moscow subway system is used by over passengers every day.

Comprehension Questions: Story #4

  1. Where did the attack take place?
  2. What type of terrorism attack was used?
  3. Why was the timing of the blasts significant?

Discussion Question: Do you feel safe on public transit in your nearest city? Why or why not?


ANSWER CHECK

Story #1: Russia's Paralympians Finish on Top
After winning 8 medals on the final day of competition in Vancouver, Russia's Paralympic Team came out on top with 38 medals, including 12 golds. This was an important win for Russia, whose President was openly critical of the country's standings after the Winter Olympics. Russia's able-bodied athletes came in 6th place overall with only three golds, making it their worst finish in the Winter Olympics in almost 100 years. The success of the Paralympic team was crucial for Russia as it begins preparations to host the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Comprehension Answers: Story #1

  1. Russia's Paralympic team came first overall at the Paralympics.
  2. The President of Russia was critical of the results from the Winter Olympics.
  3. In 2014 the Winter Olympics will be hosted by Sochi, Russia.
Story #2: Google Cuts Censorship in China
Google announced this March that it will no longer offer censored search services in China. Users in mainland China will be redirected to the uncensored version of Google in Hong Kong. The decision came a few months after Google claimed that it had been a victim of a cyber attack originating in China. In Google's official blog, the chief legal officer noted that China's government could block access to search services at any time. Baidu.com is currently the leading search engine service in China.

Comprehension Answers: Story #2

  1. Google was previously censoring user searches in China.
  2. The report mentions Hong Kong because this is where Chinese users of Google will be redirected to now.
  3. Baidu.com is the leading search engine service in China.
Story #3: Obama Signs Historic Health Care Bill
US President Barack Obama will likely go down in history for making health care reform a reality in America. The near trillion dollar health care reform was signed into law at the end of March despite a lack of Republican support. The bill guarantees access to medical insurance for all Americans, including 32 million who previously had no coverage. It also requires Americans to purchase health insurance and possibly make changes to existing policies. The changes will take place over the next six years. Obama's next task is to convince the American public that the government involvement in health care was a necessity.

Comprehension Answers: Story #3

  1. The cost of the health care reform in the US will be around a trillion dollars.
  2. Americans will be required to have health insurance.
  3. According to the report, Obama's next challenge is to convince the American public that the government needs to be involved in health insurance.
Story #4: Black Widows Suspected in Metro Attack At least 38 people were killed and more than 60 injured in a subway train attack in central Moscow this March. Two female suicide bombers have been tied to the attack. The terrorists may be part of the Black Widows, a group of Chechen women who have lost male family members at the hands of Russia's military. The blasts went off forty minutes apart during rush hour. Investigators say the bombs were timed to go off as the trains reached a busy station. The Moscow subway system is used by over 5 million passengers every day.

Comprehension Answers: Story #4

  1. The attack took place on two central Moscow Metro trains.
  2. Suicide bombers were used in the attack.
  3. The blasts were timed to go off during rush hour in order to cause the most casualties.

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