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

Story #1

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #1: Brazil Elects first Female President
The first female President has been in Brazil. Dilma Rousseff of the Workers' Party hopes this will set a precedent for equality in her country. "I would like who have daughters to look straight in their eyes and tell them: 'Yes, a woman can," she said in her victory . Her main goal is to eliminate poverty in Brazil. She will also lead an effort to expand her country's oil industry. President Lula, Rousseff's mentor, is for the future of Brazil.

Comprehension Questions: Story #1

  1. Who is Dilma Rouseff?
  2. Summarize what Ms. Rouseff said to parents in her victory speech.
  3. What is the main issue Ms. Rouseff wants to tackle?

Discussion Question: How do men and women differ in the way they take on leadership roles?

Story #2

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #2: Cambodia Festival Turns Deadly
Cambodia's annual Water Festival turned this year when 347 people died in a bridge stampede. Thousands of people were trapped on the Diamond Island Bridge for hours on the last of the festival. Rumours that the swaying suspension bridge was going to collapse seem to have caused panic and resulted in the stampede. Those who were close enough to the edge into the river below to save their lives. Many drowned while others suffocated or were trampled to death. The Water Festival, which celebrates the and the harvest, features boat races, light shows, cruises and concerts. It is attended by close to people.

Comprehension Questions: Story #2

  1. What seems to have caused the stampede?
  2. What events take place at the annual water festival?
  3. What causes of death were mentioned?

Discussion Question: The water festival draws many tourists to Cambodia's capital every year. Should a tragedy such as this cause the government to call off this annual festival?

Story #3

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #3: Royal Wedding Set for 2011
Prince William and his long-term , Kate Middleton, announced their engagement this November. The couple will be married at Westminster Abbey in London on. This is where kings and queens have been crowned and also where Princess Diana's funeral service took place. Prince William gave Kate his mother's engagement . Unlike his parents who hardly knew each other when they married, Prince William has known Kate for eight years. The couple met at the University of . Prince William is second in line to the throne.

Comprehension Questions: Story #3

  1. Who is Kate Middleton?
  2. Where will the wedding take place and what other events have taken place here in history?
  3. What is significant about Kate's engagement ring?

Discussion Question: Will the public expect Kate to try to fill Princess Diana's shoes?

Story #4

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #4: 3 Boys Found Alive after 50 Days at Sea
On November 25th three boys were rescued by a tuna ship in the South Pacific. They had been drifting in the open sea for 50 days in an aluminium boat. The Air Force had searched for the boys after they went missing off a small island between New Zealand and Hawaii. Families of the castaways had given up hope and presumed the boys . A funeral service was held two weeks before the boys were spotted by the . being sunburnt and dehydrated, the teenagers were in good condition. They had survived by drinking rainwater and eating fish and a .

Comprehension Questions: Story #4

  1. How long did the boys survive at sea?
  2. Who rescued the boys?
  3. What had the boys' families done prior to the rescue?

Discussion Question: The boys had been catching rainwater in a tarp, but when it stopped raining they started drinking sea water. What do you think would have happened if the tuna fish boat hadn't spotted them?


ANSWER CHECK

Story #1:Brazil Elects first Female President
The first female President has been elected in Brazil. Dilma Rousseff of the Workers' Party hopes this will set a precedent for equality in her country. "I would like parents who have daughters to look straight in their eyes and tell them: 'Yes, a woman can," she said in her victory speech. Her main goal is to eliminate poverty in Brazil. She will also lead an effort to expand her country's oil industry. Former President Lula, Rousseff's mentor, is hopeful for the future of Brazil.

Comprehension Answers: Story #1

  1. Dilma Rouseff was just elected to be the President of Brazil.
  2. Ms. Rouseff told parents to remind their Brazilian daughters that they can do anything they set out to do. Their gender should not stand in the way.
  3. Poverty is the main issue Ms. Rouseff wants to tackle during her presidency.
Story #2: Cambodia Festival Turns Deadly
Cambodia's annual Water Festival turned deadly this year when 347 people died in a bridge stampede. Thousands of people were trapped on the Diamond Island Bridge for hours on the last evening of the festival. Rumours that the swaying suspension bridge was going to collapse seem to have caused panic and resulted in the stampede. Those who were close enough to the edge jumped into the river below to save their lives. Many drowned while others suffocated or were trampled to death. The Water Festival, which celebrates the full moon and the harvest, features boat races, light shows, cruises and concerts. It is attended by close to 4 million people.

Comprehension Answers: Story #2

  1. A rumour that the bridge was going to collapse seems to have caused the panic that resulted in the stampede.
  2. Boat races, fireworks, light shows, and concerts take place at the annual water festival.
  3. Causes of death mentioned include drawing, suffocating, and being trampled to death.
Story #3: Royal Wedding Set for 2011
Prince William and his long-term sweetheart, Kate Middleton, announced their engagement this November. The couple will be married at Westminster Abbey in London on April 29th, 2011. This is where kings and queens have been crowned and also where Princess Diana's funeral service took place. Prince William gave Kate his mother's engagement ring. Unlike his parents who hardly knew each other when they married, Prince William has known Kate for eight years. The couple met at the University of Scotland. Prince William is second in line to the throne.

Comprehension Answers: Story #3

  1. Kate Middleton is Prince William's long-term girlfriend and now fiancee.
  2. The royal wedding will take place at Westminster Abbey. This is where Princess Diana's funeral was held. Many kings and queens have been crowned here.
  3. Kate's engagement ring was Princess Diana's engagement ring.
Story #4: 3 Boys Found Alive after 50 Days at Sea
On November 25th three teenage boys were rescued by a tuna ship in the South Pacific. They had been drifting in the open sea for 50 days in an aluminium boat. The New Zealand Air Force had searched for the boys after they went missing off a small island between New Zealand and Hawaii. Families of the castaways had given up hope and presumed the boys dead. A funeral service was held two weeks before the boys were spotted by the fishing boat. Despite being sunburnt and dehydrated, the teenagers were in good condition. They had survived by drinking rainwater and eating fish and a seabird.

Comprehension Answers: Story #4

  1. The boys survived for 50 days at sea.
  2. Fishermen on a tuna boat rescued the boys.
  3. The boys' families had given up finding them alive. They had already held a funeral service for the boys.

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