Monthly News Digest Online comes to you from EnglishClub.com Dateline: January 1, 2011

Story #1

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #1: South Korea Threatens Air Strikes
South Korea's new defence minister that his military would attack North Korea with air strikes if there was any further provocation. This came after the November 23 shelling of a South Korean island in which four people were killed. The defence minister resigned that attack due to criticism of his weak response. When the South followed through with war drills, North Korea responded with propaganda tactics. Many fear that the long term rivals are on the brink of war.

Comprehension Questions: Story #1

  1. What happened on November 23?
  2. Who resigned from his leadership post?
  3. What will happen if the North strikes again?

Discussion Question:
Do you think North and South Korea are on the brink of war? What will 2011 bring for these rivals?

Story #2

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #2: WikiLeaks Founder Arrested
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested and released on bail in December 2010. Assange has been accused of sexual crimes in though his supporters say the arrest was politically motivated. Many governments and want to shut down Assange's whistle-blowing site. WikiLeaks is a website that releases confidential , especially classified government and military communication related to misconduct. On December 3rd the site changed its after numerous cyber attacks. Even while Assange was in jail, the site fully operational.

Comprehension Questions: Story #2

  1. What is Julian Assange famous for?
  2. What was Assange arrested for?
  3. What happened while Assange was in jail?

Discussion Question: Do you think WikiLeaks will change how government and military figures share private information?

Story #3

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #3: King Henry IV's Head Verified
A team of forensic scientists has declared that an embalmed head passed down by over many years belonged to Henry the IV. "Good King Henry" was assassinated in 1610. His head went missing during the French Revolution after it was chopped off and stolen from the royal graves. Radiocarbon dating, documents, and portraits of the popular king were used to verify that it is his head. King Henry the had a stab wound from a assassination attempt. He also had a lesion near his nose. After a national Mass and funeral next year, the head will be next to other French kings and queens at the Basilica of Saint Denis.

Comprehension Questions: Story #3

  1. When did King Henry the IV's head go missing?
  2. What did the scientists use to verify that the head belonged to King Henry IV?
  3. What will happen to the head next year?

Discussion Question: Some researchers say they need DNA evidence to prove that this is the king's head. Do you agree that DNA evidence is the only persuading method of identification?

Story #4

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #4: Female Suicide Bomber Attacks in Pakistan
Over 40 people died and more than 100 were injured when a suicide bomber in Pakistan attacked a security checkpoint on December 25th. A crowd was lining up to receive when a woman dressed in a burka began throwing hand grenades. The terrorist then blew herself up and killed people in the crowd. The victims were displaced members of a tribe who supported the Army and believed they were in a safe zone. In his message, President Obama called the attack at the World Food Program distribution point an insult to "all ".

Comprehension Questions: Story #4

  1. Who killed the victims?
  2. Where did the attack take place?
  3. Why was President Obama mentioned?

Discussion Question: Searching a burka-clad woman is difficult for security forces. Do you agree with the burka ban that was recently passed in France?


ANSWER CHECK

Story #1: South Korea Threatens Air strikes
South Korea's new defence minister announced that his military would attack North Korea with air strikes if there was any further provocation. This warning came after the November 23 shelling of a South Korean island in which four people were killed. The previous defence minister resigned shortly after that attack due to criticism of his weak response. When the South followed through with scheduled war drills, North Korea responded with propaganda tactics. Many fear that the long term rivals are on the brink of war.

Comprehension Answers: Story #1

  1. On November 23 North Korea attacked a South Korean island, killing four people.
  2. South Korea's defence minister resigned from his leadership post.
  3. If the North strikes again, the South will respond with air strikes.
Story #2: WikiLeaks Founder Arrested WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested and released on bail in December 2010. Assange has been accused of sexual crimes in Sweden though his supporters say the arrest was politically motivated. Many governments and corporations want to shut down Assange's whistle-blowing site. WikiLeaks is a website that releases confidential material, especially classified government and military communication related to misconduct. On December 3rd the site changed its website address after numerous cyber attacks. Even while Assange was in jail, the site remained fully operational.

Comprehension Answers: Story #2

  1. Julian Assange is famous for starting the whistle-blowing site, WikiLeaks.
  2. Assange was arrested for sexual crimes in Sweden.
  3. While Assange was in jail the site continued to operate.
Story #3: King Henry IV's Head Verified
A team of forensic scientists has declared that an embalmed head passed down by collectors over many years belonged to King Henry the IV. "Good King Henry" was assassinated in 1610. His head went missing during the French Revolution after it was chopped off and stolen from the royal graves. Radiocarbon dating, historical documents, and portraits of the popular king were used to verify that it is his head. King Henry the IV had a stab wound from a previous assassination attempt. He also had a lesion near his nose. After a national Mass and funeral next year, the head will be reburied next to other French kings and queens at the Basilica of Saint Denis.

Comprehension Answers: Story #3

  1. King Henry the IV's head went missing during the French Revolution.
  2. Scientists used radiocarbon dating, historical documents, and portraits to verify that the head belonged to the king.
  3. Next year the head will be buried next to other French kings and queens at the Basilica of Saint Denis.
Story #4: Female Suicide Bomber Attacks in Pakistan
Over 40 people died and more than 100 were injured when a suicide bomber in north-west Pakistan attacked a security checkpoint on December 25th. A crowd was lining up to receive food aid when a woman dressed in a burka began throwing hand grenades. The terrorist then blew herself up and killed numerous people in the crowd. The victims were displaced members of a tribe who supported the Army and believed they were in a safe zone. In his Christmas message, President Obama called the attack at the World Food Program distribution point an insult to "all humanity".

Comprehension Answers: Story #4

  1. A female suicide bomber dressed in a burka killed the victims.
  2. The attack took place at a World Food Program distribution point in north-west Pakistan.
  3. President Obama condemned the attack in his Christmas message and called it an insult to all humanity.

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