Monthly News Digest Online comes to you from EnglishClub.com 1 May 2010

Story #1

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #1: Korea Announces Gaming Curfew
Korea's top 3 gaming will be forced to impose a curfew for minors as of September 2010. Gamers will be forced to choose a six-hour blackout period between midnight and 8am. A slowdown system will also be put in place to reduce the speed for underage users logged in for lengthy gaming sessions. Online gamers in Korea register with a social security number. This allows sites to the age of players. Psychologists argue that Korea's schoolchildren show signs of depression and addiction related to gaming. Critics fear the restrictions will only encourage minors identities. Last month, a young Korean couple allowed their real baby to starve to death while they played house in a virtual world.

Comprehension Questions: Story #1

  1. When will the new rules "take effect"?
  2. What will the "slowdown" system do?
  3. What concern do critics have about the new curfew?

Discussion Question:
Do you agree with government imposed gaming restrictions for minors? Why or why not?

Story #2

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #2: Polish Dignitaries Die in Airline Crash
A jet carrying Poland's President, First Lady, army chief of staff, chief commander and several other military staff and clergy in Russia this April killing all 96 people on board. President Lech Kaczynski and his entourage were on their way to Russia for a memorial service marking the anniversary of the Katyn massacre. The plane went down in the woods near the site where much of the mass murder occurred. During World War II, over 20 000 elite Polish prisoners of war were killed there by the secret police. The crash has been blamed on poor visibility, and the pilot reportedly disregarded a recommendation to land at another airfield. The suspicious coincidence between the two has sparked many theories of conspiracy.

Comprehension Questions: Story #2

  1. Where were the dignitaries going when the plane crashed?
  2. What error did the pilot reportedly make?
  3. Why is the tragedy considered suspicious?

Discussion Question: Do you think the plane crash will bring public awareness to the historic Katyn massacre?

Story #3

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #3: Coal Ship Threatens Great Barrier Reef
A giant Chinese coal carrier went near Queensland this April, threatening the Great Barrier Reef. An Australian salvage team was able to refloat the ship and avoid a massive oil spill near The World Heritage Site. The paint on the ship, which is meant to barnacles from attaching to the bottom of it, has been left on the reef. say the will kill the reef if it is not removed immediately. The ship was travelling outside the authorised shipping channel, and its operators may have been looking for a shortcut. The shipping lanes were put in place to protect the . The site is already struggling to survive because of carbon emissions.

Comprehension Questions: Story #3

  1. Which World Heritage Site was threatened?
  2. What did the salvage team do?
  3. Why are the shipping lanes important?

Discussion Question: What type of fine or punishment is suitable for an act that threatens a World Heritage Site?

Story #4

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #4: Volcano Strands Millions of travellers
A volcanic in Iceland on April 14th caused the European airspace to shut down for , leaving millions of air travellers stranded. Flights were cancelled in and out of Europe due to a large cloud of ash. Ash clouds are dangerous for planes because the dust particles can cause engine . Airline companies are in financial chaos due to the losses from the shutdown. Days after the zone restrictions were lifted, passengers around the world continued to complain of being . A British Airways spokesperson said the logistical nightmare was "unprecedented".

Comprehension Questions: Story #4

  1. What caused the flight disruptions?
  2. What danger is mentioned in the report?
  3. What word did a BA spokesperson use to describe the airline shutdown?

Discussion Question: Major airlines sold tickets (at a high price) to new customers before all of the stranded passengers got home. Do you think this was fair? Why or why not?


ANSWER CHECK

Story #1: Korea Announces Gaming Curfew
Korea's top 3 gaming operators will be forced to impose a curfew for minors as of September 2010. Gamers under 19 will be forced to choose a six-hour blackout period between midnight and 8am. A slowdown system will also be put in place to reduce the connection speed for underage users logged in for lengthy gaming sessions. Online gamers in Korea register with a social security number. This allows sites to monitor the age of players. Psychologists argue that Korea's schoolchildren show signs of depression and addiction related to gaming. Critics fear the restrictions will only encourage minors to steal adult identities. Last month, a young Korean couple allowed their real baby to starve to death while they played house in a virtual world.

Comprehension Answers: Story #1

  1. The new rules will "take effect" in September 2010?
  2. The "slowdown" system will reduce the speed of the Internet connection for young gamers who are online too long.
  3. Critics fear that the new curfew will cause young gamers to steal adult identities.
Story #2: Polish Dignitaries Die in Airline Crash
A jet carrying Poland's President, First Lady, army chief of staff, navy chief commander and several other military staff and clergy crashed in Russia this April killing all 96 people on board. President Lech Kaczynski and his entourage were on their way to Russia for a memorial service marking the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre. The plane went down in the woods near the site where much of the mass murder occurred. During World War II, over 20 000 elite Polish prisoners of war were killed by the Soviet secret police. The crash has been blamed on poor visibility, and the pilot reportedly disregarded a recommendation to land at another airfield. The suspicious coincidence between the two tragedies has sparked many theories of conspiracy.

Comprehension Answers: Story #2

  1. The dignitaries were on their way to a memorial for the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre.
  2. The pilot reportedly landed in at an airfield during poor visibility despite being told to land elsewhere.
  3. The tragedy is considered suspicious because it is so coincidental. Both tragedies occurred at the same time of year, in the same place, and included a massive death of Polish elite.
Story #3: Coal Ship Threatens Great Barrier Reef
A giant Chinese coal carrier went off course near Queensland this April, threatening the Great Barrier Reef. An Australian salvage team was able to refloat the ship and avoid a massive oil spill near The World Heritage Site. The paint on the ship, which is meant to prevent barnacles from attaching to the bottom of it, has been left on the reef. Environmentalists say the paint will kill the reef if it is not removed immediately. The ship was travelling outside the authorised shipping channel, and its operators may have been looking for a shortcut. The shipping lanes were put in place to protect the coral. The site is already struggling to survive because of carbon emissions.

Comprehension Answers: Story #3

  1. The Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Queensland was threatened by the ship.
  2. The salvage team refloated the ship and helped reduce the risk of a devastating oil spill.
  3. The shipping lanes prevent ships from travelling too close to the endangered reef.
Story #4: Volcano Strands Millions of travellers
A volcanic eruption in Iceland on April 14th caused the European airspace to shut down for six days, leaving over 10 million air travellers stranded. Flights were cancelled in and out of Europe due to a large cloud of ash. Ash clouds are dangerous for planes because the dust particles can cause engine failure. Airline companies are in financial chaos due to the losses from the shutdown. Days after the no-fly zone restrictions were lifted, passengers around the world continued to complain of being stranded. A British Airways spokesperson said the logistical nightmare was "unprecedented".

Comprehension Answers: Story #4

  1. A volcanic eruption in Iceland caused the disruptions.
  2. The report mentions the danger of engine failure. This can happen when planes travel through ash clouds.
  3. A BA spokesperson used the word "unprecedented" to describe the airline shutdown.

Terms | Privacy | Contact | Report error

EnglishClub Group EnglishClub EasyEnglish ESLDepot Teflnet

© 1997-2014 EnglishClub