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

Story #1

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #1: Flight Attendant Quits via Emergency Chute
A flight attendant working on JetBlue quit his job suddenly last month by down the plane's emergency chute. He had received a bump on the head after an altercation with a at the overhead cabins. When the plane landed Steven Slater got on the public address system and at the passenger who had caused the problem. He then grabbed some beer from the beverage cart and deployed the emergency slide. The story turned into a web sensation as people around the world the fight attendant for being human.

Comprehension Questions: Story #1

  1. What caused the flight attendant to lose his temper?
  2. What did Steven Slater say over the public address system?
  3. What did Slater grab before sliding to the ground?

Discussion Question:

Steven Slater was having more than just a bad day. He was under added stress with his mother suffering from Stage 4 lung cancer. Do you think JetBlue should charge this man and fire him, or should they excuse his behaviour as their customers have?

Story #2

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #2: Worst Natural Disaster in Pakistan History
17 million people have been by the flooding in Pakistan this summer. The extreme monsoon rains began in the north at the end of July but south in August. Entire towns and villages have been wiped out in Punjab and Sindh provinces. 500 000 were told to evacuate on August 26th. Besides , victims have had to deal with unsanitary water, a lack of medical facilities, and a fear of terrorism. President Zardari has been criticized for continuing on a tour while his country was in crisis.

Comprehension Questions: Story #2

  1. When did the flooding in Pakistan begin?
  2. What happened to 500 000 people on August 26th?
  3. Why was the president of Pakistan criticized?

Discussion Question: India donated 5 million dollars to its rival Pakistan, but donations from other sources have been slim. Do you think the lack of donations is due to donor fatigue (many people donated to Haiti) or other reasons?

Story #3

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #3: Bus Hostage Ordeal Ends Tragically
Ex-police officer Rolando Mendoza took a hostage in Manila this August. The hostage taker was protesting his dismissal from duty, which reportedly came before his planned retirement and was based on extortion charges. Nine hostages were released during the 12 hour ordeal, including and her three children. The gunman spoke out on the radio vowing to kill all of the hostages if the police outside the bus did not stand down. After the bus driver escaped out a window the police the bus and Mendoza used the hostages as human shields. The highly trained gunman was finally killed by a sniper after tear gas was used. 8 Hong Kong tourists died during the ordeal, including 3 with Canadian.

Comprehension Questions: Story #3

  1. What reason did Rolando Mendoza have for taking the bus passengers hostage?
  2. Why does the report mention the radio?
  3. How did the police finally kill Mendoza?

Discussion Question: The gunman became agitated after watching his brother being arrested on TV. He then began shooting and killed several hostages. Could the media be partly to blame for the deaths of these passengers?

Story #4

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #4: Trapped Chilean Miners Found Alive
A group of 33 trapped in a Chilean mine since August 5th tied a note to a drill stating that they were . The men survived for over two weeks on tiny scraps of tuna, milk and cookies. They have since created a video in which they sing their . Plans are underway to the miners, but officials say it could take months. The men are receiving food, water, and vitamins through a slim shaft. Besides their physical health, their mental health is also being monitored. The goal is to reunite the men with their families by Christmas. The miners will have to help by large amounts of rock.

Comprehension Questions: Story #4

  1. How long were the miners trapped before the world learned they were alive?
  2. What did the miners do in the video?
  3. What goal do rescuers have?

Discussion Question: Family members of the trapped miners are thinking of ideas to help keep the men's spirits high, such as writing notes and preparing football videos. If you were trapped in isolation, what would help keep your spirits up?


ANSWER CHECK

Story #1: Flight Attendant Quits via Emergency Chute
A flight attendant working on JetBlue airline quit his job suddenly last month by sliding down the plane's emergency chute. He had received a bump on the head after an altercation with a passenger at the overhead cabins. When the plane landed Steven Slater got on the public address system and swore at the passenger who had caused the problem. He then grabbed some beer from the beverage cart and deployed the emergency slide. The story turned into a web sensation as people around the world congratulated the fight attendant for being human.

Comprehension Answers: Story #1

  1. The flight attendant lost his temper after a passenger hit him on the head with an overhead cabin door
  2. Steven Slater swore at the passenger over the public address system.
  3. He grabbed a beer before sliding to the ground.
Story #2: Worst Natural Disaster in Pakistan History
At least 17 million people have been affected by the flooding in Pakistan this summer. The extreme monsoon rains began in the north at the end of July but swept south in August. Entire towns and villages have been wiped out in Punjab and Sindh provinces. 500 000 were told to evacuate on August 26th. Besides homelessness, victims have had to deal with unsanitary water, a lack of medical facilities, and a fear of terrorism. President Zardari has been criticized for continuing on a European tour while his country was in crisis.

Comprehension Answers: Story #2

  1. The flooding in Pakistan began in July.
  2. 500 000 people were told to evacuate their homes on August 26th.
  3. The president of Pakistan was criticized because he stayed abroad when the crisis began instead of returning home.
Story #3: Bus Hostage Ordeal Ends Tragically
Ex-police officer Rolando Mendoza took a tour bus hostage in Manila this August. The hostage taker was protesting his dismissal from duty, which reportedly came one year before his planned retirement and was based on extortion charges. Nine hostages were released during the 12 hour ordeal, including a mother and her three children. The gunman spoke out on the radio vowing to kill all of the hostages if the police outside the bus did not stand down. After the bus driver escaped out a window the police stormed the bus and Mendoza used the hostages as human shields. The highly trained gunman was finally killed by a sniper after tear gas was used. 8 Hong Kong tourists died during the ordeal, including 3 with Canadian passports.

Comprehension Answers: Story #3

  1. Rolando Mendoza was dismissed from duty as a police officer due to extortion charges.
  2. Rolando communicated with police by making his demands on the radio.
  3. The police threw tear gas into the bus and a sniper shot Mendoza.
Story #4: Trapped Chilean Miners Found Alive
A group of 33 miners trapped in a Chilean mine since August 5th tied a note to a drill stating that they were alive. The men survived for over two weeks on tiny scraps of tuna, milk and cookies. They have since created a video in which they sing their national anthem. Plans are underway to rescue the miners, but officials say it could take months. The men are receiving food, water, and vitamins through a slim shaft. Besides their physical health, their mental health is also being monitored. The goal is to reunite the men with their families by Christmas. The miners will have to help by removing large amounts of rock.

Comprehension Answers: Story #4

  1. The miners were trapped for over two weeks before the world learned they were alive.
  2. The miners sang the Chilean national anthem in the video.
  3. Rescuers hope to reunite the miners with their families by Christmas.

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