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photo Tara Benwell Listen to News with Tara Benwell - Instructions:
1. Preview the vocabulary and read the gapfill text.
2. Play the news report and try to fill in the blanks.
3. Answer the comprehension questions by writing full sentences.
4. Use the discussion question to write an essay or discuss the story with other students.
5. Click "show Answers" to see the full text.
6. Pretend to be a news anchor by reading each story out loud.

dateline: 23 December 2014

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US and Cuba Restoring Relations

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • restore: to bring back to normal
  • diplomatic: related to sensitive matters
  • controversial: leading to argument or debate
  • impregnate: to make a woman or female animal pregnant
  • artificial insemination: a medical procedure in which a male’s sperm sample is injected into a female’s reproductive organs in hopes of achieving pregnancy
  • trade embargo: the temporary prohibition of trade

US and Cuba Restoring Relations

After months of between President Obama and President Castro, the US and Cuba have agreed to restore diplomatic relations. The deal, which involved a controversial transfer of prisoners, was organized through a of secret meetings with American and Cuban officials in Canada. While the negotiations were , the US reportedly helped one Cuban prisoner impregnate his wife via artificial insemination. The prisoner has since been united with his pregnant wife who is due their daughter in two weeks. The negotiations were the first diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba in 50 years. The trade embargo and ban on tourist travel will remain in place for now, but both leaders have stated that the prisoner exchange was an important first step in relations.

Comprehension Questions

    1. Where did the secret meetings take place?
    2. Why does the report mention a pregnant woman?
    3. What does the report say about tourist travel to Cuba?

Discussion Questions: Do you believe that Americans will be able to travel to Cuba freely in the near future? Will it be safe for Americans to travel there?

show Answers

Written by Tara Benwell for EnglishClub
Tara Benwell is a Canadian freelance writer and editor who specializes in materials and articles for the ELT industry.
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