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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: 08 August 2018

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Conflict between Saudi Arabia and Canada Sparked by Tweet

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • sparked: set off; caused something to suddenly happen
  • foreign affairs: issues and relations with other countries
  • activist: a person who fights for a cause
  • slam: to criticize strongly; to speak out against
  • interfere: to get in the way of something
  • ambassador: a representative of a foreign country

Conflict between Saudi Arabia and Canada Sparked by Tweet

Saudi Arabia has taken several measures to punish Canada for a by the Canadian foreign affairs minister about human rights in the Kingdom. Chrystia Freeland took to Twitter to Saudi Arabia for its recent arrests of several female human rights activists. Freeland also called on Saudi Arabian officials to them and others. In response, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister slammed Canada for interfering in another country’s affairs. Saudi officials then took several measures to punish Canada for this criticism, including expelling the Canadian ambassador, withdrawing Saudi nationals from Canadian schools, freezing trade talks, and cancelling flights between Toronto and the .

Comprehension Questions

  1. What caused Canada’s foreign minister to criticize Saudi Arabia on Twitter?
  2. Why did the foreign minister’s tweet upset Saudi officials?
  3. What has Saudi Arabia done to punish Canada for this criticism?

Discussion Questions

Is Twitter an appropriate place for governments to express concerns about foreign affairs? Is it right for government officials to speak out about human rights in other countries, or is it better to leave nations to their own domestic affairs?

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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