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

Story #1

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #1: Germany Celebrates 20 Years of Unity
On October 3, 2010, of Germany held a large celebration, the 20th anniversary of the country's reunification. East and West Germany became one close to one year after the fall of the . More than 1.5 million people have moved from East to West since 1990. Germans had two other reasons to this October. The debt owed from World War I was finally paid off and the unemployment rate fell below 3 million. This is the lowest rate of unemployment in Germany since 1992. Reunification initially caused unemployment to soar.

Comprehension Questions: Story #1

  1. What anniversary is mentioned in this report?
  2. How many people have migrated west since the fall of the Berlin Wall?
  3. What other two reasons did Germans have to celebrate this month?

Discussion Question:
One reason why Germany's economy is in a better position is because of the government's "short work" policy. Do you think reducing working hours (rather than laying people off) is a good solution for unemployment?

Story #2

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #2: World's Mining Industry Experiences Highs and Lows
October 2010 was filled with and sorrow in the global mining industry. On October 13th, after 69 days in an underground cave, 33 Chilean miners were pulled to safety. Around Chile, large were erected to broadcast the event, which drew attention around the world. It took just under 24 hours for the men to ride one-by-one up the escape capsule. A few days later, China announced that all 37 of the trapped miners from a Henan province accident had died. Over 200 others were able after a gas leak forced coal dust into the mine. Miners in China are employed in one of the most dangerous industries in the world. Over Chinese miners died in 2009.

Comprehension Questions: Story #2

  1. Why does the title include the phrase "highs and lows"?
  2. How long did the Chilean miners spend under ground?
  3. What caused the mining disaster in China?

Discussion Question: The mining disaster in China did not receive very much media attention compared to the Chilean mine story. Why do you think this is?

Story #3

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #3: Cholera Outbreak Hits Haiti
Close to 300 people and more than 4000 became ill in the initial stages of a major cholera outbreak in Haiti. The outbreak occurred in a region north of Port-au-Prince where many people are living in crowded camps. Haiti is still suffering from a lack of clean, filtered water the January 12th earthquake. There is also a lack of qualified medical . The World Organization reported that this was Haiti's first cholera epidemic this century. Cholera causes severe dehydration and can be fatal hours. Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, and . Preventing contamination is vital in controlling the epidemic. Nigeria is also experiencing a cholera epidemic.

Comprehension Questions: Story #3

  1. Why are so many Haitians living in camps near Port-au-Prince?
  2. What symptoms do those affected with cholera typically have?
  3. Which other country is facing a cholera outbreak?

Discussion Question: Has the world forgotten about the people suffering in Haiti? What can the average person do to help victims of a natural disaster?

Story #4

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #4: Celine Dion Gives Birth to Twin Boys
Canadian icon, Celine Dion, to premature twin boys, Nelson and Eddy, on October 23rd. The fraternal twin boys, each weighing over 5 pounds, were by ceasarean section at a hospital in Florida. They were four weeks premature. The singer had checked into the hospital two weeks prior to the delivery, which was planned for 37 weeks. 42 year old Dion and her 68 year old husband, Rene Angelil, had undergone of in vitro fertilization to becoming pregnant with the twins. They had become pregnant the previous year, but Celine suffered a miscarriage. Rene-Charles, Dion and Angelil's first son, is now nine years old. He was also conceived by in vitro fertilization.

Comprehension Questions: Story #4

  1. What celebrity news was announced in this report?
  2. What happened to the celebrity last year?
  3. Who is Rene-Charles?

Discussion Question: A week after the birth of her twins, Celine Dion still had not named her babies. She finally named one Nelson after Nelson Mandela and one Eddy after French songwriter, Eddy Marnay. Is it common for people in your country to name babies before they are born? Does it make more sense to see a baby before naming him or her?


ANSWER CHECK

Story #1: Germany Celebrates 20 Years of Unity
On October 3, 2010, the people of Germany held a large celebration, marking the 20th anniversary of the country's reunification. East and West Germany became one close to one year after the fall of the Berlin Wall. More than 1.5 million people have moved from East to West since 1990. Germans had two other reasons to celebrate this October. The debt owed from World War I was finally paid off and the unemployment rate fell below 3 million. This is the lowest rate of unemployment in Germany since 1992. Reunification initially caused unemployment rates to soar

Comprehension Answers: Story #1

  1. The report mentions the 20th anniversary of Germany's reunification.
  2. Over 1.5 million people have migrated from East to West since the fall of the Berlin Wall.
  3. Germany also paid off its World War I debt and announced that unemployment had fallen below 3 million.
Story #2:World's Mining Industry Experiences Highs and Lows
October 2010 was filled with joy and sorrow in the global mining industry. On October 13th, after spending 69 days in an underground cave, 33 Chilean miners were pulled to safety. Around Chile, large video screens were erected to broadcast the event, which drew attention around the world. It took just under 24 hours for the men to ride one-by-one up the escape capsule. A few days later, China announced that all 37 of the trapped miners from a Henan province accident had died. Over 200 others were able to escape after a gas leak forced coal dust into the mine. Miners in China are employed in one of the most dangerous industries in the world. Over 2500 Chinese miners died in 2009.

Comprehension Answers: Story #2

  1. The title includes the phrase "highs and lows" because one mining accident ended in celebration and one ended in sorrow.
  2. The Chilean miners spent 69 days under ground.
  3. A gas leak caused the mining disaster in China.
Story #3: Cholera Outbreak Hits Haiti
Close to 300 people died and more than 4000 became ill in the initial stages of a major cholera outbreak in Haiti. The outbreak occurred in a region north of Port-au-Prince where many people are living in crowded camps. Haiti is still suffering from a lack of clean, filtered water following the January 12th earthquake. There is also a lack of qualified medical professionals. The World Health Organization reported that this was Haiti's first cholera epidemic this century. Cholera causes severe dehydration and can be fatal within hours. Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, and leg cramps. Preventing contamination is vital in controlling the epidemic. Nigeria is also experiencing a cholera epidemic.

Comprehension Answers: Story #3

  1. Many Haitians are living in camps near Port-au-Prince because of the earthquake in January.
  2. Symptoms of cholera include diarrhea, vomiting and leg cramps.
  3. Nigeria is also facing a cholera epidemic.
Story #4: Celine Dion Gives Birth to Twin Boys
Canadian icon, Celine Dion, gave birth to premature twin boys, Nelson and Eddy, on October 23rd. The fraternal twin boys, each weighing over 5 pounds, were delivered by ceasarean section at a hospital in Florida. They were four weeks premature. The singer had checked into the hospital two weeks prior to the scheduled delivery, which was planned for 37 weeks. 42 year old Dion and her 68 year old husband, Rene Angelil, had undergone six rounds of in vitro fertilization prior to becoming pregnant with the twins. They had become pregnant the previous year, but Celine suffered a miscarriage. Rene-Charles, Dion and Angelil's first son, is now nine years old. He was also conceived by in vitro fertilization.

Comprehension Answers: Story #4

  1. Canadian singer Celine Dion gave birth to twin boys.
  2. Last year Celine Dion suffered a miscarriage.
  3. Rene-Charles is Celine Dion's first son.

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