VOA Special English - UNSV英语学习频道VOA Special Englishhttp://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/http://www.unsv.com/images/unsv.gifVOA慢速英语即VOA Special English,又叫VOA特别英语,是快速提高听力、纠正发音、改善阅读理解,扩充英语知识的绝佳节目,还被新东方、疯狂英语等培训机构选作核心教材。http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/zh-CNhttp://www.unsv.com60版权所有©2003-2011 UNSV.COM英语学习频道,保留所有权利。Wed, 17 Jul 2019 00:28:31 UTC<![CDATA[ARTS & CULTURE - HBO's 'Game of Thrones' Breaks Emmy Record]]>Caty Weaver如果想下载文章的MP3声音、PDF文稿、LRC同步字幕以及中文翻译等配套英语学习资料,请访问以下链接:
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The hit television series Game of Thrones has broken a 25-year record for Emmy nominations. The Television Academy on Tuesday honored the show's eighth and final season with 32 Emmy nominations.

A police show, NYPD Blue, had held the record since 1994, the year it received 27 Emmy nominations.

Game of Thrones is set in a fantasy world of dragons, magic, warring rulers and unusual love relationships.

If Game of Thrones successfully defends the best drama series prize and wins a fourth Emmy in the category year, it will join four of the most-honored dramas. They are Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, The West Wing and Mad Men.

The latest praise from the Television Academy sharply differs from reactions from fans to Game of Thrones' last season. There was much internet humor and criticism, for example, over a major mistake in one episode. A modern-day paper coffee cup was left on set during shooting and appeared in the broadcast.

But ratings never weakened for the series, which is based on George R.R. Martin's novels. Game of Thrones set new highs for HBO.

The show received many acting nominations for cast members and guest stars, including the show's only past winner, Peter Dinklage.

Series star Emilia Clarke's decision to seek a best actress nomination -- after a series of supporting actress nominations -- succeeded.

The best actress category is notable for its diversity, including past winner Viola Davis for How to Get Away with Murder and repeat nominee Sandra Oh for Killing Eve. Oh seeks to become the first actress of Asian descent to win an Emmy.

Last year's best comedy series, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, leads the Emmy comedy group with 20 nominations. Star Rachel Brosnahan is may have a difficult fight for a best actress award against Emmy record-holder Julia Louis-Dreyfus of Veep. That show received a total nine nominations for its final season.

FILE - Julia Louis-Dreyfus poses in the press room with her awards for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series and outstanding comedy series for 'Veep' at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, Sept. 17, 2017.
FILE - Julia Louis-Dreyfus poses in the press room with her awards for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series and outstanding comedy series for 'Veep' at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, Sept. 17, 2017.

Other top nominees for Emmys include the nuclear disaster HBO miniseries Chernobyl, which earned 19 nominations, and the comedy skit show Saturday Night Live with 18. When They See Us, a Netflix miniseries that dramatized the Central Park Five case, received 16 nominations.

The 71st Emmy Awards ceremony will be held in September 22 in Los Angeles, California, and broadcast live on the Fox network.

I'm Caty Weaver.

The Associated Press reported this story. Caty Weaver adapted it for Learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.

Words in This Story

fantasy - n. a book, movie, etc., that tells a story about things that happen in an imaginary world​

drama - n. a play, movie, television show, or radio show that is about a serious subject and is not meant to make the audience laugh

comedy -​ n. a play, movie, television program, novel, etc., that is meant to make people laugh

novel - n. a long written story usually about imaginary characters and events

skit - n. a short, funny story or performance

category - n. a group of people or things that are similar in some way​

diversity - n. the state of having people who are different races or who have different cultures in a group or organization​

network - n. a group of radio or television stations that usually broadcast the same programs​

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<![CDATA[Charity Group Gives Free Corrective Operations in Malawi]]>Jonathan Evans如果想下载文章的MP3声音、PDF文稿、LRC同步字幕以及中文翻译等配套英语学习资料,请访问以下链接:
http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/17/7557/

An aid group called Operation Smile has been helping people born with cleft lips and cleft palates for over 30 years.

The group, based in the United States, works in countries around the world.

In the African nation of Malawi, Operation Smile's medical team operates on babies affected by a cleft lip or palate for free.

Many parents there feel embarrassed if their child is born with either condition. Agnes Chiotcha is a Malawian. She gave birth to a son with a cleft lip last year.

Chiotcha says she was overcome with emotion and wondered why she had given birth to such a child.

In Chiotcha's home village, people began to say that her child's cleft lip resulted from a failed abortion. They claimed that she had asked a doctor to end the pregnancy.

Others accused her of using birth control methods that deformed her baby.

Chiotcha says she denied that any kind of birth control was involved. She said that God created her boy with a cleft lip.

Operation Smile says cleft lips and palates are the world's third most common birth defect. They reportedly affect one out of every 750 babies.

In Malawi, Operation Smile has performed 1,000 surgical operations over the past seven years. But the group heavily depends on foreign doctors because few local plastic surgeons are available.

Ibrahim Nthalika is program manager for Operation Smile-Malawi.

"We have only two [Malawian] plastic surgeons that...volunteered to work with us, that can do this and volunteer to work with us."

People born with a cleft lip or palate may have difficulty speaking and eating. They also face unkind treatment and discrimination like the kind James Rice experienced.

Rice says his aunt insulted him a lot. He says she told him that if he had been born when she was there, she would have thrown him away -- into the toilet.

But those who receive the operation have reason to smile. Agnes Chiotcha says now those who used to insult her will feel guilty once they see her child had an operation.

James Rice says now he will be able to do everything without any problem and will not feel badly as before. He adds that he can now tell others who have clefts to have their defect repaired.

Operation Smile estimates that 3,000 people in Malawi still suffer from cleft lips or palates. The group is now training local doctors to perform the operation.

I'm Jonathan Evans.

Lameck Masina reported this story for VOA News. Jonathan Evans adapted the report for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

----------------

Words in This Story

abortion – n. a medical procedure used to end a pregnancy and cause the death of the fetus

aunt – n. the sister of your father or mother or the wife of your uncle

cleft lip – n. a split in the upper lip that some people are born with

defect – n. a physical problem that causes something to be less valuable, effective, healthy, etc.

embarrassed – adj. feeling confused and foolish in front of other people

]]>
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<![CDATA[Iranian Women Seek Greater Freedom Over Head Coverings]]>Susan Shand如果想下载文章的MP3声音、PDF文稿、LRC同步字幕以及中文翻译等配套英语学习资料,请访问以下链接:
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Walking in public has become a protest for a young Iranian woman who moves through Tehran's streets without her head covering, or hijab.

She is risking arrest. Iran's morality police are looking for women like her: women who refuse to follow the rules for women's appearance. Those rules were put in place after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

"I have to confess it is really, really scary," the 30-year-old fire safety expert said in a WhatsApp audio message. She would not permit her name to be used because she is afraid of repercussions.

But she also is hopeful. She says she believes the police and other officials find it difficult to stop the protests as more women join.

"They are running after us, but cannot catch us," she said. "This is why we believe change is going to be made."

The hijab debate has angered some Iranians. It comes at a time when the country is suffering under strong sanctions placed on the country by the United States. President Donald Trump restarted the sanctions after the U.S. withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers last year.

Now, the exchange value of Iranian money is collapsing, house prices are rising and unemployment is high. So how much can the government really do about the protesting women? And how far will the women go?

There is some evidence that more women are pushing back against the rules. They are trying to test the ruling Shiite Muslim government and their security agencies.

An Associated Press reporter saw about 24 women in the streets without a hijab over nine days. It was mainly in the richer parts of Tehran.

Many other women have decided to test the rules in a different way. They cover a bit of their hair with loose, colorful scarves.

Tehran's Grand Bazaar attracts traditional women, but even there many women wore a loose hijab. Still, a large number were covered completely in black and wore tight hijabs.

The struggle against wearing the hijab began in December 2017. That was when a woman climbed onto a box in Tehran's Revolution Street and waved her hijab on a stick. Since then more than 36 protestors like her have been detained. Nine are still in detention, said Masih Alinejad. She is an Iranian activist who now lives in New York.

While police try to silence protesters, public debate has only grown. It has been helped by social media.

Last month, a widely watched online video showed a security agent grab a young girl who was not wearing a hijab and violently push her into a police car. The incident was strongly criticized.

Others have called for punishments, even lashes. They argue that permitting women to show their hair leads to social problems and the collapse of families.

The judiciary recently asked Iranians to inform on women without hijabs. It asked them to send photos or video to government social media accounts.

"The more women dress in an openly sexual way, the less we'll have social peace," said Minoo Aslani last week. She is the leader of the women's part of the paramilitary Basij group.

Reformist lawmaker Parvaneh Salahshouri said that forcing people to obey does not work.

"What we see is that the morality police have been a failure," said Salahshouri. She wears the hijab because of her religious beliefs.

The laws are unlikely to be changed, she said, urging women to use non-violent civil disobedience.

It will be hard, she said, adding "Iranian women will not give up their efforts."

The hijab issue goes back to the mid-1930s when police forced women to take off their hijabs. This was part of a Westernization policy of Shah Reza Pahlavi who ruled at the time. Under his son and successor, women could choose. The wealthy dressed like Westerners.

Attitudes have changed. In 1980, about 66 percent believed women should wear hijabs. Today, fewer than 45 percent think the laws should be enforced, an Iranian research group said.

The activists in Iran take risks.

In March, human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh was sentenced to more than 38 years in prison. She has represented women protestors. Her husband said she will serve about 12 years.

In April, activists Yasaman Aryani, her mother Monireh Arabshahi and Mojgan Keshavarz were arrested after posting a video showing themselves without headscarves in the Tehran metro.

Amnesty International said Monday that Iranian officials have used detentions, and threats against families to try to force activists to change their ideas. The "confessions" are videotaped. The group said it had seen six "confessions" since April.

I'm Susan Shand.

The Associated Press reported this story. Susan Shand adapted it for Learning English. Mario Ritter Jr. was the editor.

Words in This Story

hijab – n. a head covering worn by Muslim women which covers the hair

confess – v. to admit that you did something wrong or unlawful

repercussion – n. something, usually bad, that happens as a result of an action

sanctions – n. punishment, usually in the form of restricting trade, that are meant to force a country to obey international law

attitude – n. a way of thinking that affects a person's behavior

lash – n. to be struck with a whip

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<![CDATA[Poor Sleep Behavior Tied to Many Health Issues]]>Alice Bryant如果想下载文章的MP3声音、PDF文稿、LRC同步字幕以及中文翻译等配套英语学习资料,请访问以下链接:
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People who have repeatedly changing sleep and wake times and get different amounts of sleep each night are more likely to have metabolic health conditions. That is the finding of a new study.

For years, lack of sleep has been linked to a wide collection of metabolic conditions, including obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes. But until the recent study, health researchers did not know much about the effects of inconsistent sleep, including nightly changes in sleep amount and timing.

Tianyi Huang is among the writers of the study. Huang is with the Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston.

In an email to Reuters News Agency, Huang said that more inconsistent sleep times are associated with higher metabolic disease risk. And that is "no matter if one has short or long sleep duration or has good or poor sleep quality."

The researcher explained that night-to-night differences in sleep, either duration or timing, are associated with high risk of having several metabolic problems at the same time.

Huang added that these effects cannot be avoided by having a longer sleep duration on some nights.

For the study, 2,003 patients did home-based sleep studies for one week. They used devices known as actigraphs, which measure nighttime movements and sleep-wake cycles. The study was published in Diabetes Care.

On average, these people got about 7.15 hours of sleep each night and went to bed at around 11:40 p.m. Around two-thirds of them had more than one hour of change in sleep duration. And 45 percent of them had more than one hour of change in their bedtimes.

A total of 707 patients, or 35 percent, had metabolic syndrome – several types of metabolic problems that increase heart disease risks. They included increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, more fat around the stomach, and abnormal levels of some body chemicals.

Compared to people who had less than one hour of change in sleep duration, people whose sleep duration changed by 60 to 90 minutes were 27 percent more likely to have metabolic syndrome. The increase rose to 41 percent for people with 90 to 120 minutes of change in sleep duration. It rose to 57 percent with more than two hours of change in sleep duration.

Compared with people with no more than half an hour of change in their nightly bedtime, people whose bedtime changed by 30 to 60 minutes were similarly associated with metabolic syndrome. But it was 14 percent higher when bedtimes changed by 60 to 90 minutes. It was 58 percent higher when bedtimes changed by more than 90 minutes.

The study was not designed to prove whether or how changes in sleep duration or bedtimes might cause metabolic syndrome. Instead, it showed an association between inconsistent sleep behavior and metabolic diseases.

Kristen Knutson is a researcher at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. She said the reason high inconsistency in sleep affects metabolic health may be about our biological clocks. Knutson was not involved in the study.

She said in an email that the human body has 24-hour rhythms and these rhythms must work together and with the environment for good health.

If a person sleeps at different times and different amounts, she said, the body's clocks may have difficulty "staying synchronized" which may lead to harm.

One limitation of the study is that researchers only studied sleep for one week. So the patients' longer-term sleep behavior is unknown. Researchers also lacked information on things that affect sleep consistency, like eating breakfast and meal timing, both of which also affect metabolic health.

This week-long study was part of a longer-term study on sleep consistency and metabolic problems financed by the National Institutes of Health.

Health experts say most adults need at least seven hours of sleep each night.

For the right amount and to avoid sleep-related problems, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers guidelines. They include setting a consistent bedtime, sleeping in a dark room without electronics and avoiding large meals, caffeine and alcohol before bed.

I'm Alice Bryant. And I'm Jill Robbins.

Lisa Rapaport wrote this report for Reuters News Agency. Alice Bryant adapted it for Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor.

Words in This Story

metabolicadj. related to the chemical processes by which a plant or an animal uses food or water to grow, heal and make energy

obesityn. the state of being very fat in a way that is unhealthy

inconsistentadj. not continuing to happen or develop in the same way

associatev. to connect someone or something with something else

cyclen. a set of events or actions that happen again and again in the same order

rhythmn. a regular, repeated pattern of events, changes or activities

synchronizev. to happen at the same time or speed

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http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/17/1023/http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/17/1023/VOA Special EnglishWed, 17 Jul 2019 00:26:00 UTC
<![CDATA[Is Teaching Writing As Important As Teaching Reading?]]>Ashley Thompson如果想下载文章的MP3声音、PDF文稿、LRC同步字幕以及中文翻译等配套英语学习资料,请访问以下链接:
http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/17/4605/

When educators think of literacy -- the ability to read and write -- they often place more importance on students' abilities to read and fully understand a piece of writing.

But experts say critical and creative writing skills are equally important. And, they say, they are too often overlooked in the classroom.

Compared to reading, writing is more active. It helps students be independent thinkers, take ownership of their stories and ideas and communicate them clearly to others, says Elyse Eidman-Aadahl. She heads the National Writing Project, which offers help for teachers who want to push students to write more.

Eidman-Aadahl said, "Unless we want an education system just focused on making people consumers and not focused on helping them be producers, this emphasis on reading only -- which does happen in so many places -- is very short-sighted."

She said students' writing work now usually centers on examining a text, instead of presenting a new idea. Writing, she said, should be "the central thing you're learning. Not writing on a test, not writing to demonstrate you're learning what someone has taught you...."

Writing improves reading skill

Teaching reading together with writing improves both skills, says Rebecca Wallace-Segall, who heads a New York City writing center, Writopia Lab.

She said writing affects a person's ability to read. More than 90 percent of young people in the Writopia program do not trust their writing abilities when they start, Wallace-Segall said.

But she said they learn to enjoy the writing process and become more effective readers, too.

Eidman-Aadahl said employers today seek workers "all the time" who can write well. Digital tools increasingly mean that people are "interacting with the internet through writing," she said.

Young people are already writing all the time -- through text messages, emails and on social media.

Eidman-Aadahl said every young person today is a writer if they are connected to the internet. So, she added, "we have to help them do it in the best, most responsible, critical, prosocial way."

Working through problems by writing

Supporters of writing-centered teaching add that writing empowers young people.

"When students own their voices and tell their stories, they become not only stronger and more confident writers, but also stronger and more confident individuals," says Ali Haider. He is director of the Austin Bat Cave, a creative writing center in Austin, Texas.

Wallace-Segall said that writing also helps students work through difficulties they face in life. Writing lets them work through their problems "subconsciously," she said.

"They're not writing a story about a difficult father or directly about a bully in class, but they are creating a fictional scenario that might feel distant enough for them to go deep into it."

Teaching students to write well can have an effect on the larger world, notes Dara Dukes. She leads Deep Center, an organization in Savannah, Georgia that works with young writers to share their stories with policymakers, judges, politicians and police officers.

Dukes said, "...Those adults can see that the stories they're telling themselves about those young people are often wrong and doing a lot of harm in the world."

I'm Ashley Thompson.

The Associated Press reported this story. Ashley Thompson adapted it for VOA Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor.

Quiz: Is Teaching Writing As Important As Teaching Reading?

Start the Quiz to find out

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Words in This Story

focused adj. giving attention and effort to a specific task or goal

emphasisn. special importance or attention given to something

short-sighted adj. made or done without thinking about what will happen in the future

confident adj. having a feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something: having confidence

subconsciously adv. operating from the part of the mind that a person is not aware of

bully n. someone who frightens, hurts, or threatens smaller or weaker people

fictional scenario n. a story of the imagination

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<![CDATA[How Many Hours Should Trainee Doctors Work?]]>Jill Robbins如果想下载文章的MP3声音、PDF文稿、LRC同步字幕以及中文翻译等配套英语学习资料,请访问以下链接:
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The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) sets rules for most graduate-level training programs for doctors in the United States.

In 2003, the group shortened working hours for U.S. doctors-in-training, known as residents. It limited their work duties to 80 hours a week.

The move caused some members of the medical community to raise questions: Did the reduced hours give residents enough time to learn the art of medicine? And, would future patients suffer?

Now, a study has answers. It found no difference in hospital deaths, hospital readmissions or costs when comparing results from doctors trained before and after the hour limits. The findings appeared in the medical publication BMJ.

The debate about how much time hospital residents should work has a long history. The ACGME notes that as early as the 1970s, studies found that residents were more likely to make mistakes when they failed to get enough sleep.

In 1984, college freshman Libby Zion died a short time after being admitted to an emergency room at a New York hospital. A grand jury investigation found that the long work hours required of residents were partly to blame for her death. In some cases, residents worked as many as 36 hours straight.

"Some (people) still long for the old days of 100-hour work weeks, but most of the world has moved on and realized there are better ways to train residents," noted Karl Bilimoria. He is a doctor with the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. He was not involved in the study.

Bilimoria added that training could become more effective by reducing paperwork and attendance at academic conferences. He also likes the idea of adding more nurse practitioners to the medical workforce.

Earlier studies suggested the 2003 reforms did not harm residents' patients. The new study is the first to find similar results for doctors once they work in the real world, notes Doctor Mitesh Patel of the University of Pennsylvania. He was not involved with the study.

Isaiah Cochran worked 75 hours a week, including some 16-hour shifts, at Dayton Children's Hospital in Ohio during his last year of medical school.

"It's doable. It's not insane," said Cochran, who serves as president of the American Medical Student Association. His group supports keeping the 80-hour limit and other measures aimed at making sure residents get enough rest.

For the study, researchers looked at records from more than 400,000 hospitalizations of U.S. patients. Each of the patients was covered under Medicare, the national health insurance program.

Using billing information, the researchers identified a doctor who dealt with each patient the most. Then they compared cases from two six-year time periods: before and after 2006. That is the year when the first new doctors who were fully affected by the reforms finished their residencies.

The researchers found no difference in patient deaths, hospital readmissions or costs.

Patients depend on teams of health care workers, not just one doctor, and that may explain why doctor training time seemed to have no effect on care.

Teamwork and technology have changed hospital care so much that the effect of any one doctor is not great, said Anupam Jena of Harvard Medical School. Doctor Jena was the lead author of the published report on the study.

And more change is expected with artificial intelligence. With computers taking a larger role in diagnosis and treatment, Jena said, "it should be an open question whether 80 hours a week is the right number" for training. Maybe it could be less.

The results apply to doctors specializing in internal medicine, not surgeons. More research is needed on whether surgeons are getting enough experience during training, Jena said.

I'm Jill Robbins.

And I'm John Russell.

Carla K. Johnson reported on this story for the Associated Press. John Russell adapted her story for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

Words in This Story

graduate – adj. of or relating to a course of studies taken at a college or university after earning a bachelor's degree or other first degree

academic – adj. of or relating to schools and education

nurse practitioner – n. a trained nurse or medical aide who can treat some medical conditions without a doctor's direct supervision

shift – n. the scheduled period of time during which a person works

insaneadj. very foolish or unreasonable

artificial intelligence – n. the power of a machine to copy intelligent human behavior

internal medicineadj. the work of a doctor who treats diseases that do not require surgery

surgeon – n. a doctor who performs operations that involve cutting into someone's body in order to repair or remove damaged or diseased parts : a doctor who performs surgery

We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section.

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<![CDATA[Technical Issue Delays Indian Moon Mission]]>Bryan Lynn如果想下载文章的MP3声音、PDF文稿、LRC同步字幕以及中文翻译等配套英语学习资料,请访问以下链接:
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India has canceled the launch of a spacecraft shortly before it was supposed to leave Earth on a trip to the moon.

India's space agency said it delayed the launch of the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft early Monday after a "technical snag" was observed. It reported in a message on Twitter the decision was made one hour before the planned lift-off as a safety measure.

The agency's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle is to lift the Chandrayaan-2 into space.

Vivek Singh is the media director for the Indian Space Research Organization, or ISRO. He said experts were examining the technical issue. He added that a new launch date would be announced later.

Chandrayaan is the Sanskrit word for "moon vehicle." The Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft is designed to make a "soft," or controlled, landing on the moon's South Pole.

The spacecraft is carrying both a moon lander and robotic rover. ISRO expects the rover to operate on the moon's surface for 14 days. It will carry out experiments and search for signs of water.

A spectator holds an Indian flag after a mission of Indian Space Research Organization's Chandrayaan-2, with the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle on board was called back because of a technical snag in Sriharikota, India, July 15, 2019.
A spectator holds an Indian flag after a mission of Indian Space Research Organization's Chandrayaan-2, with the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle on board was called back because of a technical snag in Sriharikota, India, July 15, 2019.

K. Sivan is head of the ISRO. He said last week the Chandrayaan-2 mission was the nation's most complex space project yet. This is partly because of the difficulties of completing a soft landing on the lunar surface. The agency said that India has spent about $140 million on the Chandrayaan-2 mission.

If the spacecraft does successfully complete a soft landing, it would be only the fourth country to do so after the United States, Russia and China.

India deployed an unmanned spacecraft in an orbit around the moon in 2008. That mission helped confirm the presence of water on the lunar surface.

A soft landing on the Moon would be a major step for India's space program. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced plans to launch a crewed space mission by the year 2022. India says it also plans to put a space station in Earth's orbit and launch a robotic mission to Mars.

The Indian mission would be the third attempted moon landing this year. In January, China successful landed a spacecraft on the far side of the moon. In April, an Israeli spacecraft attempted to land on the moon, but crashed shortly before reaching its target.

I'm Bryan Lynn.

Bryan Lynn wrote this story for VOA Learning English, based on reports from the Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France-Presse and VOA News. George Grow was the editor.

We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments section, and visit our Facebook page.

----------------

Words in This Story

mission n. an important task, usually involving travel

snag n. problem or difficulty

rover – n. a space exploration vehicle designed to move across the surface of the moon or another distant object

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<![CDATA[Uber May Soon Expand to Senegal's Capital]]>Alice Bryant如果想下载文章的MP3声音、PDF文稿、LRC同步字幕以及中文翻译等配套英语学习资料,请访问以下链接:
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Transportation company Uber may soon be expanding its services to Senegal's capital.

Uber works much like a common taxi, except drivers and riders find each other through a smartphone app.

But Dakar is a city full of taxis and drivers who do not have smartphones. So Uber will have some difficulty being useful to its residents and making a profit.

Dakar, like most African capitals, has a lot of taxis. In most parts of the city, any time day or night, it is easy to find a ride. But the city is quickly growing. And Uber says it has seen an opportunity to move in.

Francesca Uriri is Uber's head of communications in West Africa. She told VOA that any progressive city that has a need for safe, dependable transportation "is where we want to be."

"We are part of a broader mobility movement in establishing smart cities of the future and will continue to explore what our options are in West Africa."

No fixed addresses

Among other issues Uber will face in Dakar is a lack of exact addresses. Taxi drivers know the city very well and usually find places based on landmarks. So a big question for some residents is how Uber taxis could work in a city that rarely uses map apps.

Sa Ngoné, a Dakar resident, has used Uber's services while traveling in the United States. He said Uber might work well in Dakar but will need a lot of investment.

"When you are coming to my house, I will not be able to tell you exactly where my house is located on the map...I will have to tell you a building or somewhere, a school somewhere I can pick you [up] from."

Unlike Ngoné, most Dakar residents do not know about Uber. But similar services, including Allo Taxi, already exist in the city. Allo Taxi is a service you call to set up rides.

Welcome addition

However, some say the services already in Dakar are not fully developed, and Uber's arrival would be a welcome addition.

"I think if this company came in, it would create competition and add something new to the landscape of transportation in Dakar. I think it could work really well," Dakar resident M. Dieye told VOA.

But for most taxi rides in Dakar, riders and drivers must negotiate prices before getting in. Both think they would be happier if the prices were fixed based on distance and time.

Modou N'Diaye is a taxi driver in Dakar. He told VOA that if Uber brings jobs, "that could help us out a lot."

No negotiating

Gora Séne has been driving a taxi since 1998. He said often price negotiations lead to him getting paid less than he should. And sometimes conflicts with riders end with him not being paid at all.

Séne says he thinks Uber could do well in Dakar if the company works with local drivers who know the city well.

But whether the drivers will be able to join Uber or compete with them is still an unknown.

Uber has expanded to 23 cities in Africa, including Abuja, Lagos and Accra in West Africa.

I'm Alice Bryant.

Esha Serai reported this story for VOA News. Alice Bryant adapted it for Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor.

Words in This Story

appn. a program on a mobile phone that performs a special function

residentn. someone who lives in a particular place

opportunityn. an amount of time or a situation in which something can be done

optionn. the opportunity or ability to choose something or to choose between two or more things

addressn. the words and numbers that are used to describe the location of a home or building

landmarkn. an object or structure on land that is easy to see and recognize

landscapen. a particular area of activity

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http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/16/4509/http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/16/4509/VOA Special EnglishMon, 15 Jul 2019 22:39:00 UTC
<![CDATA[Study Finds Possible Link between Sugary Drinks, Cancer]]>Anne Ball如果想下载文章的MP3声音、PDF文稿、LRC同步字幕以及中文翻译等配套英语学习资料,请访问以下链接:
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People who drink a lot of sugary drinks have a high risk of developing cancer, researchers announced last week. However, the evidence cannot yet establish a direct connection between the two.

The researchers said the findings of a large study in France suggest that limiting the amount of sugar-sweetened drinks may help reduce the number of cancer cases.

Drinking sugary drinks has become more common worldwide in the last several decades. Sugar drinks are linked to obesity – the condition of being extremely overweight -- which increases a person's cancer risk.

The study was published in the BMJ British medical journal. It looked at data from just over 100,000 French adults – 21 percent of them men and 79 percent women. The researchers noted how many sugary drinks each of them had, and followed them for up to nine years -- between 2009 and 2018. The researchers measured their risk for all types of cancer, and some individual ones such as breast, colon and prostate cancers.

The researchers adjusted for other possible cancer risks in each individual, including age, sex, educational level, family history, smoking and physical activity levels.

The scientists found that a 100 milliliters increase in sugary drinks was linked to an 18 percent increased risk of overall cancer and a 22 percent increased risk of breast cancer.

The researchers looked at those who drank fruity juices and those who drank other sweet drinks. Both groups, they found, showed a higher risk of cancer overall.

For prostate and colorectal cancers, no link was found. The researchers said this might have been because there was only a limited number of cases of these cancers in the study group.

Experts not directly involved in the work said it was a well-run study, but noted that its results could not establish cause and effect.

Amelia Lake is an expert in public health nutrition at Britain's Teesside University. She said that while this study does not provide a definite cause and effect between sugar and cancer, it does add to the importance of efforts to reduce sugar intake.

"The message from the totality of evidence on excess sugar consumption and various health outcomes is clear," she said. "Reducing the amount of sugar in our diet is extremely important."

The researchers themselves also noted that the results would need to be repeated in future large studies.

The World Health Organization recommends that people should limit how much sugar they have to less than 10 percent of their total energy intake.

Many countries, including Britain, Belgium, France, Hungary and Mexico, have introduced or are about to introduce taxes on sugar with the aim of improving people's health.

I'm Anne Ball.

Kate Kelland wrote this story for Reuters. Anne Ball adapted it for VOA Learning English.

Do you drink sugary drinks? Let us know what you think of this story. Write to us in the comments section below.

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Words in This Story

decade – n. a period of ten years

adjust – v. to make an amount or number more exact by considering other information — usually + for

cause and effect – phrase. A relationship between things where one is the result of the other

consume – v. to eat or drink something

various – adj. used to refer to several different or many different things

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http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/16/1905/http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/16/1905/VOA Special EnglishMon, 15 Jul 2019 22:38:00 UTC
<![CDATA[US Changes Rules for Migrants Seeking Asylum at Southern Border]]>Mario Ritter Jr如果想下载文章的MP3声音、PDF文稿、LRC同步字幕以及中文翻译等配套英语学习资料,请访问以下链接:
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The administration of American President Donald Trump is changing rules for migrants seeking asylum at the southern U.S. border.

The new rules say that migrants must seek asylum in the country they pass through to get to the southern U.S. border before they can seek asylum in the United States.

Asylum is political protection given by one country to a person who is from another country. Usually people who seek asylum fear they would face danger if they return to their own country.

The new rules offer "limited exceptions." These include if a person has been trafficked, if they passed through a country that has not signed major international migration treaties or if they have been denied asylum in the third country.

The rule is set to go into effect Tuesday.

Attorney General William Barr said in a statement that the United States is "a generous country but is being completely overwhelmed."

Barr said the rules are meant to decrease the number of economic migrants and those "who seek to exploit" the asylum system.

In publishing the new rules, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said it faces more requests than it can deal with. Of the 900,000 immigration cases waiting for trial, 436,000 include asylum applications, it said.

The Trump administration said the new rules are aimed at reducing the large difference in the number of those whose claims are approved for consideration and those who gain asylum.

In its announcement, the DHS said only about 4,021 people receive asylum each year.

Currently, the U.S. has what is known as a "safe third country" agreement only with Canada. Central American countries, including Mexico, are considering the issue.

Guatemalan officials were expected in Washington D.C., on Monday to discuss a safe third country agreement with the U.S. A "safe third country" agreement would mean that Salvadorans, Hondurans and people from elsewhere who cross into Guatemala would have to apply for asylum there instead of doing so at the U.S. border.

However, Guatemala canceled the meeting. A legal case brought against Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales seeks to bar him from entering into such an agreement with the United States. The country's constitutional court has not yet ruled on the issue.

The new asylum rules are likely to face legal action from activist groups in the United States.

Lee Gelernt is a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union, a rights group based in New York City. He has been involved in several cases opposing Trump administration actions related to immigration. He told the Associated Press that the new rules were unlawful and that they would hurt migrants' efforts to gain asylum.

The new rule comes as the issue of illegal immigration has increased tensions between the Trump administration and Congress.

On Friday, House members and witnesses in an Oversight Committee hearing had emotional exchanges discussing conditions at border holding centers. The centers are for people detained after crossing the border illegally. A recent government report and visits by lawmakers and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence have brought attention to conditions at the centers.

I'm Mario Ritter Jr.

Mario Ritter Jr. adapted an AP reports and other materials for this VOA Learning English story. Ashley Thompson was the editor.

Words in This Story

trafficked –adj. the illegal business of taking people from one place to another to be used as workers

generous –adj. freely giving and sharing things that are of value

overwhelmed –adj. to cause a person or group to have too many things to deal with

exploit –v. to use often in a way that is unfair to others

We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments section, and visit our Facebook page.

]]>
http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/16/3454/http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/16/3454/VOA Special EnglishMon, 15 Jul 2019 22:38:00 UTC
<![CDATA[Eating Well Can Help Patients Recover]]>Jill Robbins如果想下载文章的MP3声音、PDF文稿、LRC同步字幕以及中文翻译等配套英语学习资料,请访问以下链接:
http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/15/8144/

When people are getting over a sickness or injury, they may not think of eating the right kind of food during their recovery.

But good nutrition may be key to getting their health back.

When Monika McComb returned home from the hospital, she did not think about following a healthier diet to help her get better.

"You know, I could hardly even hardly walk with a cane."

McComb did not consider that her weakness might be because of poor nutrition -- until health care workers tested her.

The test was part of a study carried out by Advocate Health Care and Abbott. Researchers hoped to learn about how nutrition helps to reduce visits to the hospital.

An invisible problem

Suela Sulo is a health researcher with Abbot, a company that makes medical devices and drugs. She says doctors rarely think of malnutrition when working with patients who are in recovery.

'Malnutrition is invisible to the eye, and therefore it remains under diagnosed and under-treated."

McComb joined a home health care program, which provided her with a detailed nutrition plan.

The majority of Americans are able to get healthy food. But one in three patients in home health care is malnourished or has some nutritional shortage. This puts their health -- and recovery -- at risk.

Kate Riley is a chief nursing officer with Advocate Health Care.

'Nutrition is not the primary reason why patients usually come to home health; however, it is important for us to pay attention to the nutrition to promote their strength and get them recovered quicker."

Abbot paid for the study and worked with Advocate Health Care to find a way to reduce hospitalizations, cut medical costs and promote patients' health.

Faster recovery with nutritional drinks

In the study, patients using home health care received education about nutrition, along with nutritional drinks. Sulo said that after such care, they were nearly 20 percent less likely to go to the hospital in the 90 days that followed an injury or illness.

"Through identifying the patients with malnutrition risk, feeding them with the right nutritional drinks, you are increasing their chances of recovering faster, not going back to the hospital, or not going to the hospital in the first place."

One of the study's goals was to create a program that patients could follow on their own. This meant the patients needed to learn about nutrition. Gretchen VanDerBosch says anyone can become malnourished and not know it. She says educating patients about nutrition is very important.

"Their outcome is so much improved, they have more strength, they heal quicker, have less falls, they have less readmissions,"

The researchers say they hope other health care programs and hospitals can use the study to help their patients, as well.

As for Monika McComb, she says she feels stronger and has more energy than she had at the start of the program. She said her home health nurse and a focus on nutrition have improved her health.

I'm Jill Robbins.

Carol Pearson reported on this story for VOA News. Jill Robbins adapted it for Learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.

Words in This Story

illness - n. a sickness or disease

cane - n. a short stick that often has a curved handle and is used to help someone to walk

malnutrition – n. the unhealthy condition that results from not eating enough food or not eating enough healthy food

diagnose - v. to recognize (a disease, illness, etc.) by examining someone

promotev. to help (something) happen, develop, or increase

supplements n. something that is added to something else in order to make it complete, such as dietary or vitamin supplements

outcomen. something that happens as a result of an activity or process

focus - n. a subject that is being discussed or studied

Does your health care provider remind you to eat well? Have you noticed a connection between what you eat and how quickly you heal? Write to us in the Comments Section.

]]>
http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/15/8144/http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/15/8144/VOA Special EnglishMon, 15 Jul 2019 01:11:00 UTC
<![CDATA[After Green Group Buys Forest, Logging Remains]]>Alice Bryant如果想下载文章的MP3声音、PDF文稿、LRC同步字幕以及中文翻译等配套英语学习资料,请访问以下链接:
http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/15/7519/

One of the largest environmental groups in the United States recently purchased a part of the Appalachian forest.

The Nature Conservancy bought more than 40,000 hectares – an area covering parts of three states: Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia.

In their efforts to combat climate change, environmentalists see forests as one of Earth's best defenses. Forests capture carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas.

Yet the Nature Conservancy does not plan to close the land to logging.

Increasingly, conservation groups are supporting the idea of human activity and wildlife protection existing together. They are beginning to reject the idea that conservation and economic growth are opposites.

And larger conservation projects are now possible thanks to the western state of California. The state's rules on carbon are providing money for such projects.

My land, your land

The Nature Conservancy's recent purchase is a big one. It is of a size never before attempted in the central Appalachians, says Terry Cook. He is Tennessee state director for the environmental group.

These days in conservation, big projects are the goal. Scientists now know that protecting small, separate parts of nature are not as effective as working across large areas.

What happens in the mountains affects nearby valleys. Highland forests capture, clean and store water for ecosystems and communities below. Animals also need connecting areas of land to pass through, especially as climate change damages their old habitats.

In addition, more trees have the ability to absorb, or take in, more carbon dioxide.

But nearly everywhere on Earth, people are part of the countryside. Their needs cannot be ignored, notes Stuart Hale. He is the Nature Conservancy's Central Appalachian Forest Manager.

The logging industry supports more than 100,000 jobs in Tennessee and 60,000 others in Kentucky. Hale told VOA that includes the loggers and truck drivers carrying the logs, workers at timber factories, and even those working at small stores.

'It's a major part of the economy.'

That is why, when the Conservancy bought the land, the group did not turn it into a nature preserve, Cook added.

Spencer Meyer is the lead conservationist at the Highstead Foundation, an environmental group in the New England area. He said the Nature Conservancy's decision not to create a nature preserve was a good idea.

Meyer said such projects need strong support from local communities or they have a good chance of failing.

'Hungry people make lousy conservationists."

Money for carbon

Only part of the land will be logged. The Forest Stewardship Council, a non-profit group, will make sure the logging operations meet environmental and safety measures.

And cutting down trees is only one way the forest can make money. Thanks to California's climate change rules, forest owners can profit from their trees' carbon-absorbing powers.

California industries must pay for each ton of carbon dioxide they produce, or buy credits to decrease carbon in other areas.

A piece of forest this large is worth millions of tons in carbon credits.

Cook said that around $15 per ton on California's carbon market means tens of millions of dollars to buy land and keep it healthy for 100 years.

Part of the money for the purchase comes from investors who will earn money from selling timber and future carbon credits. Hale noted that both the timber and the credits earn higher profits when the forest is healthy.

The carbon credits, attention to community needs and size of the land purchase are not very unusual. But 'this is probably the first time we've seen all of those pieces come together' at this size, said Meyer.

He expects the project to show proof of what he found in his research: that protecting nature does not have to mean losing jobs.

'At least in New England, we're seeing a small but important signal that conservation leads to job growth.'

That's good news for those hoping that preserving forests can help fight climate change without harming the economy.

I'm Alice Bryant. And I'm Bryan Lynn.

Steven Baragona reported this story for VOA News. Alice Bryant adapted it for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

Words in This Story

greenhouse gasn. gases in the earth's atmosphere that trap heat

loggingn. an industry that cuts down trees for wood and paper

conservationn. the protection of animals, plants, and natural resources

ecosystemn. a biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment

habitatn. the place or type of place where a plant or animal naturally or normally lives or grows

managern. someone who is in charge of a business or department

timbern. trees that are grown in order to produce wood

preserven. an area where plants, animals, minerals, and other things, are protected

lousyadj. of poor quality

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http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/15/7519/http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/15/7519/VOA Special EnglishMon, 15 Jul 2019 01:09:00 UTC
<![CDATA[Sturgeon: America's Forgotten Fish Making a Comeback]]>Anne Ball如果想下载文章的MP3声音、PDF文稿、LRC同步字幕以及中文翻译等配套英语学习资料,请访问以下链接:
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Sturgeon once were America's disappearing dinosaurs. The fish look like prehistoric creatures, with armor plates covering their bodies. They have been around so long, they once swam with dinosaurs.

In modern times, they used to crowd the American rivers. But peoples' desire for expensive caviar -- fish eggs -- nearly made sturgeon disappear.

More than a century later, some of the huge bottom feeding fish are showing signs of a comeback in American waterways.

Increased numbers are appearing in the cold streams of Maine, the lakes of Michigan and Wisconsin and the dark brown waters of Florida's Suwannee River.

A researcher holds an endangered shortnose sturgeon caught in the Saco River in Biddeford, Maine. The fish was measured, tagged and released. Sturgeon were America's vanishing dinosaurs, armor-plated water beasts.
A researcher holds an endangered shortnose sturgeon caught in the Saco River in Biddeford, Maine. The fish was measured, tagged and released. Sturgeon were America's vanishing dinosaurs, armor-plated water beasts.

​Greg Garman is an ecologist at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. He studies Atlantic sturgeon living in Virginia's James River. He said there has been a major change in their luck -- for the better.

"We didn't think they were there, frankly. Now, they're almost every place we're looking."

Taken for their eggs

In the late 1800s, sturgeon fish were taken for their eggs. In the years that followed, America's nine different kinds of sturgeon were harmed by pollution, dams and overfishing. But the sharp drops in many populations were not fully known until the 1990s.

Scientists have been finding sturgeon in places where they were thought to be long gone. And they are seeing more of them in some rivers because of increasingly clean water, dam removals and fishing bans.

While such news offers hope for one of the world's most threatened fish, America's sturgeon population is still just very small compared to what it once was.

Across America, dams still keep some sturgeon populations low because they block ancient paths the fish took to spawn -- or lay their eggs. New threats include rising water temperatures from climate change as well as sharp propellers of ships.

Swam with dinosaurs

Sturgeon swam with the dinosaurs. Bony plates line their bodies. Their toothless mouths move about, taking in anything to eat.

Sturgeon live for a long time, sometimes even longer than humans.

Their meat fed Native Americans and early settlers of the U.S.

An endangered shortnose sturgeon is fitted with a microchip on the Saco River in Biddeford, Maine. The fish was measured, tagged and released by students at the U. of New England.
An endangered shortnose sturgeon is fitted with a microchip on the Saco River in Biddeford, Maine. The fish was measured, tagged and released by students at the U. of New England.

Then came caviar. The Russian food of salt-treated sturgeon eggs became popular in Europe. The American sturgeon population suffered greatly.

"People just massacred them, just like we massacred the buffalo," said writer Inga Saffron. She wrote the 2002 book, "Caviar."

"Not only did they kill the fish, they killed future generations of fish."

Sturgeon do not spawn often. Experts say it will take many years to measure their population's recovery.

Environmentalists say more efforts are needed to help sturgeon populations recover.

"They've survived relatively unchanged for 200 million years," said Jeff Miller, with the Center for Biological Diversity. The group is seeking federal safety measures for sturgeon in the Great Lakes, Mississippi River, and the rivers and streams that flow into them.

He added, "If they're going to survive us, they're going to need additional protection."

I'm Anne Ball.

Ben Finley, Patrick White and John Flesher wrote this story for the Associated Press. Anne Ball adapted it for VOA Learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.

Let us know what you think of this story. Write to us in the comments section below.

Words in This Story

armor plate – n. bony pieces along its back for protection

stream – n. a natural flow of water that is smaller than a river

ecologist – n. a scientist that deals with the relationship between groups of living things and their environments

frankly – adv. in an honest and direct way

propeller – n. a device with two or more blades that turn quickly and cause a ship or aircraft to move

massacre – n. the violent killing of many people or living beings

buffalo – n. a large member of the Bovidae family

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<![CDATA[Will Typewriters Become Popular Again?]]>Jonathan Evans如果想下载文章的MP3声音、PDF文稿、LRC同步字幕以及中文翻译等配套英语学习资料,请访问以下链接:
http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/15/4779/

For many people, the sounds of a typewriter are but memories from 30 or more years ago, or something now heard only in movies.

The United States has only a few typewriter repair shops operating today. Yet these stores are doing good business. A new generation is discovering the joy of the feel and sound of old typewriters. And an old generation is showing that it never fell out of love with the machines.

Eighty-year-old Paul Schweitzer is the owner of the Gramercy Typewriter Company in New York City. His father founded the company in 1932. Schweitzer now works at the business with his son, Jay Schweitzer and grandson, Jake.

He said, "What's surprising to me is that the younger generation is taking a liking to typewriters again."

Schweitzer says he receives old typewriters needing repair from around the country. Demand is so great that early this year, the family moved to new office space.

Other repair shops include Berkeley Typewriter and California Typewriter, both in Berkeley, California. They were also founded in the 1930s.

Two recent documentaries have helped make typewriters popular among young people. They are "The Typewriter (In The 21st Century)" and "California Typewriter."

Typewriters and American museums

The American Writers Museum, in Chicago, Illinois, has a popular area with seven manual typewriters and an electric typewriter that visitors can try out.

Carey Cranston is the president of the museum. It is now showing typewriters used by famous writers like Jack London, Ernest Hemingway and Maya Angelou. It even has one from singer John Lennon.

"Typing for the first time is exciting, especially for younger people," Cranston said.

With pencils or other writing instruments, "you can distract yourself by doodling, and of course on a computer it's easy to find distractions. But a typewriter was invented specifically for writing. There are no distractions. It's just you" and the piece of paper, he added.

Ellen Lupton is a senior curator in contemporary design at the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York. Her museum has many typewriters in its collection.

Lupton explained that working on a typewriter gives "a satisfying sound, a feeling of authentic authorship. No one can spy on you and there are no distractions."

She noted that the lasting influence of typewriters can be seen in the look of keyboards on smart phones and personal computers.

Lupton said, "We're still stuck with the … keyboard — even on phones — which was supposedly designed to prevent keys from sticking together when someone is typing quickly."

I'm Jonathan Evans.

Katherine Roth reported on this story for the Associated Press. John Russell adapted it for VOA Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

Words in This Story

museum – n. a building or space in which objects of historical, scientists or cultural interest are shown to the public

manual – adj. operated or controlled with the hands or by a person

distract - v. to cause (someone) to stop thinking about or paying attention to someone or something and to think about something else instead

doodle – v. to create an image of something without thinking about what you are doing

curatorn. a keeper of a museum collection

authentic - adj. real; not copied or false

keyboard – n. an area that controls keys on a typewriter or computer

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http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/15/4779/http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/15/4779/VOA Special EnglishMon, 15 Jul 2019 01:07:00 UTC
<![CDATA[How to Fight Climate Change? Plant a Trillion Trees]]>Anne Ball如果想下载文章的MP3声音、PDF文稿、LRC同步字幕以及中文翻译等配套英语学习资料,请访问以下链接:
http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/15/7591/

Scientists are asking: What is the best way to fight climate change?

A new study says: Plant many trees; one trillion trees, maybe more.

Swiss scientists say there is enough room for that many trees. In their report in the journal Science, they say even with existing cities and farmland, there is enough space for new trees to cover nine million square kilometers. That is about the size of the United States.

Trees take carbon dioxide out of the air, and in return, put oxygen back into the air.

The study estimated that over a long period of time, the trees could take in almost 750 billion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. That is about as much carbon as humans have put into the atmosphere in the past 25 years.

In this June, 3, 2017, file photo, the sun sets behind Georgia Power's coal-fired Plant Scherer, one of the nation's top carbon dioxide emitters, in Juliette, Ga. (AP Photo/Branden Camp, File)
In this June, 3, 2017, file photo, the sun sets behind Georgia Power's coal-fired Plant Scherer, one of the nation's top carbon dioxide emitters, in Juliette, Ga. (AP Photo/Branden Camp, File)

What is so bad about carbon dioxide? The gas traps heat, causing temperatures to rise.

Much of the gain from planting trees will come quickly because trees remove more carbon from the air when they are younger, the researchers said. The place that has the best possibility for removing the most carbon is the tropics— the area close to the equator.

This method would also have the lowest cost, says the study co-author Thomas Crowther.

"This is by far — by thousands of times — the cheapest climate change solution" and the most effective, he said. Crowther is a climate change ecologist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.

The six nations with the most room for new trees are Russia, the United States, Canada, Australia, Brazil and China.

Before his study, Crowther thought that there were other more effective ways to fight climate change besides cutting emissions. One example could be for people to change their diets by no longer eating meat. But, he said, tree planting is far more effective because trees remove so much carbon dioxide from the air.

File: The sky seen through evergreen trees on a trail in Wisconsin.
File: The sky seen through evergreen trees on a trail in Wisconsin.

Thomas Lovejoy works as a biologist at George Mason University. He was not part of the study. But, he called the report "a good news story" because planting trees would also help stop the loss of biodiversity.

Crowther said planting trees is not a substitute for reducing the world's dependence on oil, coal and natural gas. The carbon dioxide produced by burning these fuels is believed to cause the warming of the atmosphere.

"None of this works without emissions cuts," he said.

And it is not easy or realistic to think the world will suddenly start planting a lot of trees quickly, although many groups have started, Crowther said.

"It's certainly a monumental challenge, which is exactly the scale of the problem of climate change," he said.

The researchers used Google Earth to see what areas could support more trees, while leaving room for people and crops. Lead writer for the study, Jean-Francois Bastin, estimated there is space for at least 1 trillion more trees, but it could be 1.5 trillion.

That is in addition to the 3 trillion trees that now live on Earth -- a number Crowther found in earlier research.

I'm Anne Ball.

Seth Borenstein wrote this Associated Press story. Anne Ball adapted it for VOA Learning English.

Do you think planting many trees is a good idea? Let us know what you think of this story. Write to us in the comments section below.

Quiz - How to Fight Climate Change? Plant a Trillion Trees

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Words in This Story

tropic - n. the part of the world that is near the equator where the weather is very warm

cheapest – adj. not costing a lot of money

biodiversity – n. the existence of many different kinds of plants and animals in an environment

realistic – adj. able to see things as they really are and to deal with them in a practical way

monumental – adj. very great or extreme

challenge – n. a difficult task or problem : something that is hard to do

emission – n. the act of producing or sending out something (such as energy or gas) from a source

diet – n. food and drink regularly provided or consumed

scale – n. the size or level of something especially in comparison to something else

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<![CDATA[HEALTH & LIFESTYLE - Teen Vaping on the Rise in US, Canada]]>Jonathan Evans如果想下载文章的MP3声音、PDF文稿、LRC同步字幕以及中文翻译等配套英语学习资料,请访问以下链接:
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A new study says more American and Canadian teenagers are vaping than ever before. Vapes are electronic devices that heat liquid into a cloud of vapor that users inhale. Most users vape with a liquid that includes the drug nicotine, several other chemicals and flavoring.

The researchers examined data on smoking and vaping by young people in Canada, England and the U.S. They found that between 2017 and 2018, the number of 16- to 19-year-olds who reported vaping in the past 30 days rose by almost 50% in the U.S. The number almost doubled in Canada.

Britain saw little change in vaping numbers.

Researchers say the availability of vapes with more nicotine may be responsible for increased usage.

David Hammond, with the University of Waterloo in Canada, led the study. He said in an email that "2018 marked the point at which new vaping technology started to take over the market, led by JUUL."

JUUL vapes went on the market in 2015. The researchers noted that the company now commands more than half the vape market. JUUL became available in Britain in July 2018 and in Canada in September 2018.

Teen use of JUUL vapes increased in all three countries during the study period. The percentage of U.S. teens who reported using JUUL products regularly between 2017 and 2018 increased from 1% to 4.5%.

Hammond said many young people think vaping is not harmful and do not know the nicotine levels of vaping products. He added, "Parents and kids should know that these products are capable of producing addiction and may have long term health risks…."

In an emailed statement, JUUL said, "We don't want any non-nicotine users to use our products, especially youth." The company said it had taken aggressive action in the U.S. and Canada to fight underage use of its products.

Linda Bauld is the head of public health at the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. She says parents should talk to their children about the dangers of smoking and vaping.

She told Reuters in an email that "parents should explain that vaping products are for adult smokers trying to quit, not teenagers who have never smoked."

Bauld added, "Vaping is less harmful than smoking, that's why it is a good option for adult smokers. But that doesn't mean that it is risk free and it is better for teenagers to use nothing - no vaping, no smoking."

I'm Jonathan Evans.

Lisa Rapaport reported this story for the Reuters news service. Jonathan Evans adapted it for Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor.

Quiz - Teen Vaping on the Rise in U.S, Canada

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----------------

Words in This Story

addiction – n. a strong and harmful need to regularly have something such as a drug or do something such as gamble

flavoring – n. a substance that is added to a food or drink to give it a desired taste

option – n. something that can be chosen; a choice or possibility

regularly – adv. very often

vaping – v. to draw in and exhale the vapor from an e-cigarette or similar device for marijuana

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<![CDATA[Whale Watching Business Rising in Japan]]>Bryan Lynn如果想下载文章的MP3声音、PDF文稿、LRC同步字幕以及中文翻译等配套英语学习资料,请访问以下链接:
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Japan recently approved commercial whale hunting, ending a ban that lasted more than 30 years. But even when the ban was in place, whales generated big business in Japan because of the popularity of whale watching.

The number of whale watchers around Japan more than doubled between 1998 and 2015, official information shows. Data for more recent years is not yet available. One company in Okinawa had 18,000 watchers between January and March of this year.

One of the most popular places for whale watching is Rausu, a fishing village on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.

In Rausu, 33,451 people took part in boat tours last year for whale and bird watching. That is 2,000 more than in 2017 and more than 9,000 higher than in 2016. The visitors are good for the local economy.

A heavy shroud of morning mist fills a port in Rausu, Hokkaido, Japan, July 2, 2019. (Reuters)
A heavy shroud of morning mist fills a port in Rausu, Hokkaido, Japan, July 2, 2019. (Reuters)

Ikuyo Wakabayashi is head of tourism in the Rausu area. She told Reuters news agency the number of visitors keeps growing each year. "Of the tourist boat business, 65 percent is whale watching."

"You don't just see one type of whale here, you see lots of them," said Wakabayashi, who is a big fan of whales herself. She says whale watching is what led her to move to Rausu from her native city of Osaka.

Wakabayashi said she fell in love with the area after three trips to Rausu to see orcas. "I thought this was an incredible place," she said. "Winters are tough, but it's so beautiful."

Rausu is 160 kilometers north of the port city of Kushiro. That is where the first ships left from earlier this month to restart whale hunting. On the first day of the hunt, two minke whales were killed.

One whale-watching boat operator in Rausu, Masato Hasegawa, said his tours also search for minke whales. But the former fisherman said hunters do not go after some other kinds of whales his visitors recently saw, such as sperm whales and orcas.

Whale-watching boat captain Masato Hasegawa speaks with other boats in order to look for whales in the sea near Rausu, Hokkaido, Japan, July 1, 2019.(Reuters)
Whale-watching boat captain Masato Hasegawa speaks with other boats in order to look for whales in the sea near Rausu, Hokkaido, Japan, July 1, 2019.(Reuters)

Hasegawa said one of the best places in the area to see whales is protected from hunting. "They won't come into this area - it's a national park - or there'd be big trouble," he said.

But Hasegawa said if hunters take a lot of minke whales in the nearby Sea of Okhotsk, it would reduce sightings and hurt the business. Whale watching has become popular in other areas of Japan as well, including parts of the southern Okinawa islands.

Commercial whaling is a very small industry in Japan. It employs a few hundred people. Government data shows that whale makes up just 0.1 percent of meat eaten in the country.

Some experts say Japan's move might help some whales because it means that Japan will stop hunting whales in the Southern Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean and other sensitive areas.

Japan's Fisheries Agency has set a limit of 227 whale kills for this year. In the past, Japan caught as many as 1,200 whales a year in the name of scientific research.

I'm Bryan Lynn.

Reuters reported on this story. Bryan Lynn adapted the report for VOA Learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.

We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments section, and visit our Facebook page.

----------------

Words in This Story

commercial adj. related to or used in the buying and selling of goods and services

tour n. a visit to and around a place, area or country

incredible adj. very good, exciting or large

sighting n. the observance of something rare or unusual

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<![CDATA[Arizona Town Was Influential in Apollo Moon Missions]]>John Russell如果想下载文章的MP3声音、PDF文稿、LRC同步字幕以及中文翻译等配套英语学习资料,请访问以下链接:
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Northern Arizona, in the southwestern United States, has deep ties to the U.S. space agency NASA.

Every moon-walking astronaut in the Apollo program trained there. Even a crater on the moon was named in honor of the city of Flagstaff, Arizona.

Benjamin Carver is a public lands historian at Northern Arizona University. "It's really cool to think that this relatively small town in northern Arizona [Flagstaff] played such a big role in the Apollo missions," he said.

Gene Shoemaker often receives credit for Arizona's role in the moon missions. He once worked as a scientist for the U.S. Geological Survey. In 1963, he moved the agency's astrogeology office to Flagstaff.

​It was not long after the move that Shoemaker guided astronauts such as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on visits to Meteor Crater, near Flagstaff. He wanted to make sure that the Apollo program would include geology.

This 1968 photo provided by the U.S. Geological Survey Astrogeology Science Center shows craters being created in a volcanic cinder field east of Flagstaff, Ariz.
This 1968 photo provided by the U.S. Geological Survey Astrogeology Science Center shows craters being created in a volcanic cinder field east of Flagstaff, Ariz.

Lauren Edgar is a research geologist at the Astrogeology Science Center. She is working with NASA's 2017 class of astronaut candidates. The space agency plans to send them to Flagstaff later this year for field training.

"It will be pretty inspiring for them," said Edgar. "It's inspiring for us being involved in this."

Flagstaff is among many cities celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing on July 20,1969.

It is celebrating the anniversary with guided tours, demonstrations, talks and moon-related food and art.

In this June 27, 2019 photo, Gerald Schaber, a former geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey's Astrogeology Science Center, points to a hill on the moon that bears his name in a photograph hanging in his Flagstaff, Ariz., office.
In this June 27, 2019 photo, Gerald Schaber, a former geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey's Astrogeology Science Center, points to a hill on the moon that bears his name in a photograph hanging in his Flagstaff, Ariz., office.

Retired Flagstaff geologist Gerald Schaber plans to celebrate the big event by wearing a turquoise bolo tie. A bolo tie is a kind of string worn around the neck. It is common in the Western half of the United States.

The bolo tie distinguished Shoemaker's Arizona crew from others who worked on moon missions.

Schaber was at NASA's Mission Control in Texas in 1969, watching black-and-white images from Apollo 11 while bending over a map.

"I was just trying to do the best I could with the primitive tracking ability we had in those days," he said from his home in Flagstaff.

There, he has a picture of an area on the moon that Apollo 15 astronauts called "Schaber Hill."

Arizona has approved a nomination to list several of the training areas near Flagstaff on the National Register of Historic Places. Federal approval is still needed.

I'm John Russell.

Felicia Fonseca reported on this story for the Associated Press. John Russell adapted it for VOA Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

Words in This Story

crater – n. a large, rounded hole in the ground or on the surface of a planet or the moon

cool adj. excellent; used to show agreement

role – n. the duties of someone or something

mission – n. an important project or program

astrogeology – n. a kind of planetary science concerned with the geology of planets, moons and asteroids

inspiring – adj. causing people to want to do or create something

distinguish – v. to make (someone or something) different or special in some way

trackingadj. following the movement of someone or something

We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section.

]]>
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<![CDATA[WORDS AND THEIR STORIES - 'Butterfly Effect' and Chain Reactions]]>Anna Matteo如果想下载文章的MP3声音、PDF文稿、LRC同步字幕以及中文翻译等配套英语学习资料,请访问以下链接:
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Now, Words and Their Stories from VOA Learning English.

I am not going to lie to you: Not all bugs are created equal.

We like some insects and hate others.

For example, if you see a big cockroach run across the floor, you might run for the insecticide spray.

But if you see a brightly colored butterfly landing on a flower outside your window, you probably will not spray it with poison.

So today, we are not going to talk about cockroaches. Let's talk about butterflies instead!

Butterflies are beautiful both in their appearance and movements.

This Monarch butterfly flutters around a sunflower.
This Monarch butterfly flutters around a sunflower.

They flutter. This means they move their wings back and forth very quickly. The word "flutter" even goes very nicely with the word "butterfly." Butterflies flutter by.

Other things can flutter, like a sail on a boat that flutters in the wind. Flutter can also mean to move in an uneven, irregular way. When two people are in love, you can say their hearts are "all a flutter."

This fluttering movement led to the expression "to have butterflies in your stomach." This means you feel nervous. It feels like you have butterflies fluttering around inside you.

To have butteries in your stomach is a common expression, so much so that we often just say we have butterflies. For example, if I am nervous before speaking in public, I can say, "I'm so nervous! I have butterflies!"

Butterflies can also flutter from one place to another. They do not spend too much time on one flower or plant. Some people do this as well. They flutter about, not spending too much time in once place too long … like a butterfly.

That is where we get the term "social butterfly." We use it to describe a person with a lot of friends and a lot of social engagements, like parties and get-togethers.

These two butterfly expressions are fairly common and you can use them in any situation. But today, we will talk about another butterfly expression, one that is a little more … philosophical.

We call this the Butterfly Effect.

The butterfly effect is a theory. It claims that one small action can lead to major events. For example, a butterfly fluttering its wings can have a great effect -- like producing a storm -- in another part of the world.

But this expression is not just used by great thinkers, you know, philosophers. Every small decision you make can have a butterfly effect in your own life.

For example, let's say that one night you agree to meet friends at the movies. On they way, you stop to help a man with a broken bicycle. This makes you late and you miss the movie. But the man is thankful. He gives you his card and invites you to lunch.

As it turns out he is a book publisher who offers to look at a book you have just finished writing. Your stopping to help him led to events in your life happening very differently.

Now, you may hear other expressions that mean about the same thing. We also have the ripple effect. If you throw something into a body of still water, it cause ripples in the water, one leading to the next.

Young Iranian women set up a domino course.
Young Iranian women set up a domino course.

Then there is the domino effect. Dominoes is a game where you stack up domino tiles close to each other. You push one which falls into the next, which falls into the next, and so on and so on – until they are all down.

The snowball effect is when something small gets worse and worse over time. Imagine a ball of snow rolling down a hill getting bigger and bigger as it collects more snow.

We usually use "to snowball" only for bad things. We use the others for both good and bad events. And you can use all of these in either formal or informal situations.

One big difference is that we can say something dominoed, or snowballed or even rippled. Although that one is less common. However, we do not say something butterflied. For example, "The man could not have known that his not going into work would domino into a very interesting day."

These expressions are all chain reactions. They all mean that one thing leads to the next, to the next and so on.

And that is the end of this Words and Their Stories.

Until next time … I'm Anna Matteo.

And I'm Bryan Lynn.

All you gotta do is … Get in the middle of a chain reaction

You get a medal when you're lost in action

Anna Matteo wrote this story for VOA Learning English. George Grow was the editor. The song at the end is Diana Ross singing "Chain Reaction."

Words in This Story

flutter – v. to flap the wings rapidly butterflies fluttering among the flowers : to move with quick wavering or flapping motions a sail fluttering in the wind : to vibrate in irregular spasms his heart fluttered : to move about or behave in an agitated aimless manner She nervously fluttered around the office.

philosophical – adj. of or relating to the study of basic ideas about knowledge, right and wrong, reasoning, and the value of thing

ripple – n. the ruffling of the surface of water : a small wave a usually slight noticeable effect or reaction

]]>
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<![CDATA[Report Calls on International Community to Meet Education Goals]]>John Russell如果想下载文章的MP3声音、PDF文稿、LRC同步字幕以及中文翻译等配套英语学习资料,请访问以下链接:
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Children entering school now should finish secondary school by 2030. But if current trends continue one in six will not be in school in 2030 and only sixty percent will be finishing their secondary education.

Leaders are meeting from July 9 through July 18 at the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) – the United Nations' official platform for examining the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. They will be measuring progress on education for the first time since 2015.

Silvia Montoya is Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics and Manos Antoninis is Director of the Global Education Monitoring Report. They say the world does not seem close to meeting the Sustainable Development Goal for education ('SDG 4') – which aims for all girls and boys completing free, fair and high-quality primary and secondary education - by 2030. So, the two experts say, "business as usual for education must come to an end."

If the goal is not met the world will have failed a generation of children, they add.

A new report from their groups tells about progress toward each SDG 4 education target, from early childhood education to adult literacy. Montoya and Antoninis say that the world's countries need to make some changes to meet education goals.

Get children into school

Starting children's education with preschool is best, the report says. This helps older children attend school. In many countries, more children are in early childhood programs. But in poor countries, the number of children aged six -17 who are not in school has gone down. In 2030, 16.7 percent, or 225 million young people, will not be in school.

Out-of-school rate for children of primary school age, 2000–2017 and projections to 2030 Image: UIS database and projections
Out-of-school rate for children of primary school age, 2000–2017 and projections to 2030 Image: UIS database and projections

Help children complete secondary school

The experts say children also must be supported in completing secondary school. The goal of all children completing primary school was set for 2015, but it will not be met by 2030. The percentage of children completing secondary education in low-income countries is less than half of the world-wide rate.

Deal with earnings inequality

Differences in earnings lead to big differences in education. Four percent of children from the poorest families complete upper-secondary school in low-income countries. Just two percent of the poorest girls -- compared to 36 percent of those from the richest families -- complete upper-secondary school. The UNESCO officials say earnings inequality must be dealt with.

Push for reading and raise learning ability

Montoya and Anoninis note a strong connection between reading ability and learning rates. Around 20 percent of youth and 30 percent of adults will still be unable to read in low-income countries by 2030. Learning rates will not increase in middle-income countries if reading ability rates remain the same. In French-speaking African countries, rates will drop by almost one-third in 2030.

Youth and adult literacy rate, 2000–2016 and projections to 2030 Image: UIS database and projections
Youth and adult literacy rate, 2000–2016 and projections to 2030 Image: UIS database and projections

Increase spending

One in four countries does not meet two of the SDG 4 goals. One is to provide at least 4 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on education. The other is to use 15 percent of their total government spending on education. Financial support for education has not grown since 2010, the report says. Contract employees are replacing trained teachers in sub-Saharan Africa, hurting the quality of education. Countries need to find and train more teachers.

Percentage of trained teachers by region, 2000–2017 Image: UIS database
Percentage of trained teachers by region, 2000–2017 Image: UIS database

Collect and examine more information on education

More data is needed to supervise progress in education. Montoya and Antoninis say that "data are a necessity – not a luxury – for every country, which is why partners are making the call to #FundData."

#FundData Promotional Graphic, UNESCO Institute for Statistics
#FundData Promotional Graphic, UNESCO Institute for Statistics

The UNESCO report authors ask the international community meeting in New York this week to compare their plans for the next ten years with their earlier promises.

Montoya and Antoninis said they hope that the world leaders will "hear this warning" and act to meet the still possible development goal.

I'm John Russell. And I'm Jill Robbins.

Jill Robbins adapted this story for Learning English based on UNESCO report for the World Economic Forum. Caty Weaver was the editor.

Quiz - Report Calls on International Community to Meet Education Goals

Start the Quiz to find out

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Words in This Story

sustainableadj. able to be used without being completely used up or destroyed

equitableadj. just or fair : dealing fairly and equally with everyone

generation n. a group of people born and living during the same time

commit v. to say that (someone or something) will definitely do something

literacy – n. the ability to read and write

challengen. a difficult task or problem

]]>
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<![CDATA[Scholarship Program Bridges Generations, Builds Relationships]]>Caty Weaver如果想下载文章的MP3声音、PDF文稿、LRC同步字幕以及中文翻译等配套英语学习资料,请访问以下链接:
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Fredric Roi Marquez joined a program to serve food to people at a Washington, D.C. retirement community when he was 15 years old.

By doing so, the high school student hoped to earn a scholarship for college. But the program gave him more than he expected, including lessons that will serve him the rest of his life.

Marquez works at Greenspring Retirement Community, a center operated by the company Erickson Living. In his training to serve food to members, Marquez learned he needed to pay attention, be patient and move fast.

Roy and Lynn O'Connor moved to the Greenspring center 12 years ago. They like what young people bring to the community.

Roy said they come after school.

'And when you think about it, to go in and have your dinner being served at night by young people who are enthusiastic, very polite, very considerate, I think, of older people. It's just a great atmosphere."

For Marquez, the experience of having a job is new.

"Wow, I'm actually doing this, like, I'm working."

Treated like family members

Marquez also began building special relationships with the residents.

"I get to call so many residents I got close with 'grandma' and 'grandpa.'"

Roy said many students keep residents updated about their lives. They talk about school projects, exams and even family issues. The young people share their hopes and seek advice from the residents.

Lynn O'Connor said the students truly care about the people in the community.

She recalled a day when one of the young people spent a lot of extra time explaining the menu to one of the residents. "We're like grandparents to them," she said.

Greenspring is one of many senior living communities in America that are getting residents to socialize more with young people.

Experts say the experience is good for both generations.

About 4,500 students have taken part in the program at three Erickson Living Centers in the Washington, D.C. area.

Courtney Benhoff is a spokesperson for the company. She said the program started 20 years ago and offers students the chance to gain scholarships.

'Thirty-one students will receive scholarships this year. Each one will receive $10,000 in scholarship money over the course of four years of college."

Marquez is one of this year's winners.

Benhoff said residents help raise the money for the program.

"The residents love this scholarship program because it gives them the opportunity to support these young people that have made their lives more meaningful," she said.

The residents also choose the students who receive scholarships.

Sally Pritchett is a resident and member of the scholarship committee.

"Once they apply, they are good to go. I interview each of them. They're just great, great kids."

Pritchett added that the residents are happy to see the energetic young people. "You've gotten this grandparent-student relationship, which is wonderful," she said.

In return, the students learn valuable lessons in life.

Marquez credited the program with teaching him compassion. "I try to see how [it is] to be in their shoes," he said.

Marquez says he will use his scholarship to become a social worker.

I'm Caty Weaver.

Faiza Elmasry reported this story for VOA News. Mario Ritter Jr. adapted it for VOA Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor.

Words in This Story

scholarship –n. an amount of money that is given by a school, an organization, etc., to a student to help pay for the student's education

enthusiastic –adj. To show strong excitement about something

polite –adj. to show good manners and respect for others

residents –n. people living in a particular place

menu –n. a list of foods that can be ordered at a restaurant

senior –n. an older person, usually 55 years or more in age

compassion –n. the feeling of wanting to help someone who is sick, hungry or in trouble

opportunity –n. an amount of time or a situation in which something can be done

We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments section, and visit our Facebook page.

]]>
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<![CDATA[Study: Many Americans Do Not Plan to Retire]]>John Russell如果想下载文章的MP3声音、PDF文稿、LRC同步字幕以及中文翻译等配套英语学习资料,请访问以下链接:
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Almost one in four Americans say they do not plan to retire.

That is a finding of a survey released this week. The survey was a project of The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation provided money for the study.

Researchers questioned about 1,400 adults in the United States. Twenty-three percent of those questioned said they do not expect to stop working. Another 25% said they will continue working after they reach age 65.

Government records show that around 20% of people 65 and older were working or looking for a job in June.

For many Americans, money has a lot to do with the decision to keep working.

Anqi Chen is with the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College in Massachusetts.

"The average retirement age that we see in the data has gone up a little bit, but it hasn't gone up that much," Chen said. "So people have to live in retirement much longer, and they may not have enough assets to support themselves in retirement."

The survey also found that Americans have mixed ideas about how the aging U.S. workforce affects workers. Some 39% think people staying in the workforce longer is mostly good for American workers. But 29% of those questioned think it is bad. Around 30% say it makes no difference.

A somewhat higher share, 45%, said they think it has a good or positive effect on the U.S. economy.

Experts say sickness, workforce reductions and other issues often force older workers to leave their jobs sooner than they would like.

Larry Zarzecki once worked as a police officer in Maryland. He stopped working in his 40s after developing a tremor in his right hand. He also developed other mental and physical symptoms.

At age 47, tests showed he was suffering from Parkinson's disease. Now 57 and living in the city of Baltimore, Zarzecki says he has learned to make difficult choices "to help make ends meet."

"People like me, who are average, everyday working people, can have something catastrophic happen, and we lose everything because of medical bills," he added.

Zarzecki has since helped found a non-profit organization called Movement Disorder Education and Exercise. The group offers support and treatment programs to those with similar diseases. He has also contacted state and national lawmakers and asked them to control rising prescription drug prices.

Zarzecki receives pension money and health insurance through the state, but he spends more than $3,000 each year on medicines.

"I can't afford, nor will my insurance cover, the most modern medication there is for Parkinson's," he says.

I'm John Russell.

Andrew Soergel reported on this story for the Associated Press. John Russell adapted the story for VOA Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

Words in This Story

asset – n. something that is owned by a person, business or other organization — usually plural

bit – n. a small part of piece

asset – n. the money, property and/or other possessions of a person or organization

tremor – n. shaking, usually resulting from a physical weakness or disease

make ends meet – idiom to pay for the things that you need to live when you have little money

catastrophic – adj. involving a terrible disaster

bill – n. a written note or document

pension – n. an amount of money that a company or the government pays to a person who is old or sick and no longer works

insurance – n. a method of guaranteeing protection or safety

We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section.

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http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/13/2105/http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/13/2105/VOA Special EnglishSat, 13 Jul 2019 11:37:00 UTC
<![CDATA[ARTS & CULTURE - Show Tries to Recover Culture Lost During Conflict]]>Jonathan Evans如果想下载文章的MP3声音、PDF文稿、LRC同步字幕以及中文翻译等配套英语学习资料,请访问以下链接:
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The image of a lion, about the size of a large piece of bread, represents the latest step in the fight to save culture from conflict.

The lion is a reproduction of The Lion of Mosul, a 3,000-year-old statue from the Temple of Ishtar in what is now Iraq. The stone statue was one of many objects from the Mosul Museum destroyed by the Islamic State militant group after it seized the city in 2014.

The Lion of Mosul reproduction can be viewed online. It was modeled from pictures taken by Mosul Museum visitors. The lion was 3-D printed as part of Google's digital arts and culture project.

The reproduction is at London's Imperial War Museum. It is part of an exhibition that explores how war destroys the culture of societies and how people take steps to preserve it.

Chance Coughenour is a digital archaeologist at Google Arts and Culture. He said the exhibition shows how technology can be used to save culture and to tell the stories of societies in new and interesting ways.

Paris Agar is with the Imperial War Museum. She told the Associated Press that the destruction of culture is almost an accepted part of war. She said, "One of the main reasons for destroying culture is to send a message: We have victory over you. We have power over you. It's because culture means so much to us; if we didn't care it wouldn't be a tool."

Part of the 'Rebel Sounds' exhibition, which explores how people used music to resist and rebel against war and oppression, is displayed at the Imperial War Museum in London, Wednesday, July 3, 2019.
Part of the 'Rebel Sounds' exhibition, which explores how people used music to resist and rebel against war and oppression, is displayed at the Imperial War Museum in London, Wednesday, July 3, 2019.

Efforts to destroy and save culture

The most surprising parts of the exhibition are the records made by those who destroy or steal cultural objects. They include lists of artwork stolen by Nazi German soldiers during World War II. Other records include video of Taliban militants blowing up Afghanistan's 1,000-year-old Bamiyan Buddhas and video of the Islamic State destroying statues in the Mosul Museum

The exhibition covers more than 100 years, from the German army's destruction of the university and library of Leuven, Belgium during World War I to the bombing of the National and University Library in Sarajevo during the Bosnian war in 1992.

The exhibition also shows the work of the World War II Monuments Men, who saved artworks stolen by the Nazis. In addition, the show tells the story of Khaled al-Asaad, who devoted his life to studying Syria's ancient site of Palmyra. He was killed by the Islamic State in 2015.

Internationally supported projects to train craftspeople and scientists in Syria and Iraq may help those countries recreate what has been lost.

And international law is expanding to include cultural destruction. In 2016, Islamic extremist Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi was found guilty of destroying World Heritage cultural sites in Timbuktu, Mali. It was the first war-crimes conviction by the International Criminal Court for cultural destruction.

The show is one of three related exhibitions at the museum called Culture Under Attack. The second looks at how British museums moved their treasures from London to keep them safe during World War II. The third, Rebel Sounds, explores music as resistance in countries across Europe and Africa

The Culture Under Attack exhibition is free and will be shown until January 5.

I'm Jonathan Evans.

Jill Lawless reported this story for the Reuters news service. Jonathan Evans adapted it for Learning English. Mario Ritter Jr. was the editor.

----------------

Words in This Story

exhibition – n. an event at which objects such as works of art are put out in a public space for people to look at; a public show of something

devote – v. to decide that something will be used for a special purpose; to use time, money, energy, attention, etc. for something

conviction – n. the act of proving that a person is guilty of a crime in a court of law

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http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/13/5050/http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/13/5050/VOA Special EnglishSat, 13 Jul 2019 11:30:00 UTC
<![CDATA[ARTS & CULTURE - Federer, Williams Looking to Add Records at Wimbledon]]>Ashley Thompson如果想下载文章的MP3声音、PDF文稿、LRC同步字幕以及中文翻译等配套英语学习资料,请访问以下链接:
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Younger players may have to wait another year for a chance to win the world's oldest tennis championship, Wimbledon.

Switzerland's Roger Federer, who has won Wimbledon eight times, is looking to add to his own record as the winningest Grand Slam champion. He turns 38 years old next month.

On the women's side, American Serena Williams is looking to tie the women's record of Grand Slam championships. She turns 38 in September,

Serena Williams going for record

Williams will face 27-year-old Simona Halep of Romania in Saturday's women's final. Williams has won 23 Grand Slam championships, including seven at Wimbledon. At last year's final, Williams lost to Germany's Angelique Kerber. A win Saturday would be Williams's first Grand Slam title as a mother; she gave birth to her daughter two years ago. A win also would give her a record-tying 24 Grand Slam victories. Australia's Margaret Court holds the current record.

Halep has never won a Wimbledon championship. She won her first and only Grand Slam title at the French Open last year. And she has lost to Williams nine out of the 10 times they have played each other.

Williams, however, had this to say about Halep, 'Can't underestimate her. She's like a little powerhouse." Williams noted that Halep has finished as the year's top player two times. "She wants to prove that she can do it again,' Williams said.

United States' Serena Williams returns to Czech Republic's Barbora Strycova in a Women's semifinal singles match on day ten of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Thursday, July 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
United States' Serena Williams returns to Czech Republic's Barbora Strycova in a Women's semifinal singles match on day ten of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Thursday, July 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

Roger Federer looking to add records

To reach Sunday's men's final, Roger Federer had to beat Spain's Rafael Nadal on the same Wimbledon court where he lost the championship to Nadal in 2008. The five-set match, played 11 years ago, is considered one of the best tennis matches in history.

On Friday, Federer beat Nadal in four sets. After his victory, Federer said "Rafa played some unbelievable shots to stay in the match. I thought the match was played at a very high level. I enjoyed it. The crowd was amazing.'

He told the BBC, "I'm exhausted. It was tough at the end."

Waiting for Federer in the men's final is 32-year-old Novak Djokovic of Serbia. The two have faced each other 47 times. Djokovic, the top-ranked tennis player in the world, has won 25 of those times. Djokovic is also the defending champion at Wimbledon. He has won four Wimbledon titles in his career.

But Federer has more Grand Slam championships – 20 -- and Wimbledon victories – eight -- than anyone else in men's tennis. He is looking to extend his own record and to defeat a younger player once again.

I'm Ashley Thompson.

Hai Do wrote this story for Learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.

Words in This Story

title - n. e status or position of being the champion in a sport or other competition

match - n. a contest between two or more players or teams

amazing - adj. causing great surprise or wonder

exhausted - adj. having used all of someone's mental or physical energy

tough - adj. very difficult to do or deal with

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<![CDATA[AMERICAN STORIES - Mammon and the Archer]]>O. Henry如果想下载文章的MP3声音、PDF文稿、LRC同步字幕以及中文翻译等配套英语学习资料,请访问以下链接:
http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/13/1836/

We present the short story 'Mammon and the Archer' by O. Henry. The story was originally adapted and recorded by the U.S. Department of State.

Old Anthony Rockwall, who made millions of dollars by making and selling Rockwall's soap, stood at the window of his large Fifth Avenue house. He was looking out at his neighbor, G. Van Schuylight Suffolk-Jones. His neighbor is a proud member of a proud old New York family. He came out of his door and got into a cab. He looked once quickly, as usual, at Anthony Rockwall's house. The look showed that Suffolk-Jones was a very important man, while a rich soapmaker was nothing.

"I will have this house painted red, white, and blue next summer," said the Soap King to himself. "And we'll see how he likes that."

And then Anthony Rockwall turned around and shouted, "Mike!" in a loud voice. He never used a bell to call a servant.

"Tell my son," he said when the servant came, "to come to me before he leaves the house."

When young Rockwall entered the room, the old man put down the newspaper he had been reading. "Richard," said Anthony Rockwall, "what do you pay for the soap that you use?"

Richard had finished college six months before, and he had come home to live. He had not yet learned to understand his father. He was always being surprised.

He said, "Six dollars for twelve pieces."

"And your clothes?"

"About sixty dollars, usually."

"You are a gentleman," said his father. "I have heard of young men who pay twenty-four dollars for twelve pieces of soap, and more than a hundred for clothes. You have as much money to throw away as anyone else has. But what you do is reasonable. I myself use Rockwall Soap, because it is the best. When you pay more than ten cents for a piece of soap, you are paying for a sweet strong smell and a name.

"But fifty cents is good for a young man like you. You are a gentleman. People say that if a man is not a gentleman, his son can't be a gentleman; but perhaps his son's son will be a gentleman. But they are wrong. Money does it faster than that. Money has made you a gentleman. It has almost made me a gentleman. I have become very much like the two gentlemen who own the houses on each side of us. My manners are now almost as bad as theirs. But they still can't sleep at night because a soapmaker lives in this house."

"There are some things that money can't do," said the young man rather sadly.

"Don't say that," said old Anthony. "Money is successful every time. I don't know anything you can't buy with it. Tell me something that money can't buy. And I want you to tell me something more. Something is wrong with you. I've seen it for two weeks. Tell me. Let me help you. In twenty-four hours I could have eleven million dollars here in my hands. Are you sick?"

"Some people call it sickness."

"Oh!" said Anthony. "What's her name? Why don't you ask her to marry you? She would be glad to do it. You have money, you are good-looking, and you are a good boy. Your hands are clean. You have no Rockwall Soap on them."

"I haven't had a chance to ask her," said Richard.

"Make a chance," said Anthony. "Take her for a walk in the park. Or walk home with her from church."

"You don't know the life of a rich girl, father. Every hour and minute of her time is planned. I must have her, or the world is worth nothing to me. And I can't write to say I love her. I can't do that."

"Do you tell me," said the old man, "that with all my money you can't get an hour or two of a girl's time?"

"I've waited too long. She's going to Europe the day after tomorrow. She's going to be there two years. I'm allowed to see her alone tomorrow evening for a few minutes. She's coming to the city on a train. I'm going to meet her with a cab. Then we'll drive fast to the theater where she must meet her mother and some other people. Do you think she would listen to me then? No. Or in the theater? No. Or after the theater? No! No, father, this is one trouble that your money can't help. We can't buy one minute of time with money. If we could, rich people would live longer. There's no hope of talking with Miss Lantry before she sails."

"Richard, my boy," said old Anthony, "I'm glad you're not really sick. You say money won't buy time? Perhaps it won't buy all of time, but I've seen it buy some little pieces."

That evening his sister Ellen came to Anthony, to talk about the troubles that lovers have.

"He told me all about it," said brother Anthony. "I told him he could have all the money he wanted. Then he began to say that money was no use to him. He said money couldn't help."

"Oh, Anthony," said Ellen, "I wish you wouldn't think so much of money. Money is no help for love. Love is all powerful. If he had only spoken to her earlier! She could never say no to our Richard. But now I fear it is too late. All your gold cannot buy happiness for your son."

At eight the next evening Ellen took an old gold ring and gave it to Richard.

"Wear it tonight," she said. "Your mother gave it to me. She asked me to give it to you when you had found the girl you loved."

Young Rockwall took the ring and tried to put it on his little finger. It was too small. He put it inside his coat, in a place where he thought it would be safe. And then he called for his cab.

At the station he met Miss Lantry.

"We must not keep my mother and the others waiting," said she.

"To Wallack's Theater as fast as you can drive," said Richard to the cabby.

They rolled along Forty-second Street to Broadway and from there to Thirty-fourth Street.

Then young Richard quickly ordered the cabby to stop.

"I've dropped a ring," he said, getting out. "It was my mother's and I don't want to lose it. This will take only a minute. I saw where it fell."

In less than a minute he was again in the cab with the ring.

But within that minute, a wagon had stopped in front of the cab. The cabby tried to pass on the left, but a cab was there. He tried to pass on the right, but another cab was there. He could not go back. He was caught where he was and could not move in any direction.

These sudden stops of movement will happen in the city. Instead of moving along the street in their usual orderly way, all the wagons and cabs will suddenly be mixed together and stopped.

"Why don't you drive further?" said Miss Lantry. "We'll be late."

Richard stood up in the cab and looked around. He saw a stream of cabs and wagons and everything else on wheels rolling toward the corner where Broadway, Sixth Avenue and Thirty-fourth Street meet. They came from all directions. And more and more were rolling toward them. More and more were caught there. Drivers and cabbies shouted. Everyone on wheels in New York City seemed to be hurrying to this place.

"I'm very sorry," said Richard. He sat down again. "We can't move. They won't get this straight in an hour. If I hadn't dropped the ring, we—"

"Let me see the ring," said Miss Lantry. "Since we really can't hurry, I don't care. I didn't want to go to the theater. I don't like the theater."

At eleven that night someone stopped at the door of Anthony's room.

"Come in," shouted Anthony. He had been reading and he put down his book.

It was Ellen. "They are going to be married Anthony," she said. "She has promised to marry our Richard. On their way to the theater their cab was stopped in the street. It was two hours before it could move again.

"And oh, brother Anthony, don't ever talk about the power of money again. It was a little ring, a true love ring, that was the cause of our Richard finding his happiness. He dropped it in the street and had to get out and find it. And before they could continue, the cab was caught among the others. He told her of his love there in the cab. Money is nothing, Anthony. True love is everything."

"I'm glad the boy got what he wanted," said old Anthony. "I told him I didn't care how much money—"

"But, brother Anthony, what could your money do?"

"Sister," said Anthony Rockwall. "I'm reading a book with a good story in it. It's a wild adventure story, but I like it. And I want to find what happens next. I wish you would let me go on reading."

The story should end there. I wish it would. I'm sure you too wish it would end there. But we must go on to the truth.

The next day a person with red hands and a blue necktie, whose name was Kelly, came to Anthony Rockwall's house to see Anthony.

"That was good soap we made," said Anthony. "I gave you $5,000 yesterday."

"I paid out $300 more of my own money," said Kelly. "It cost more than I expected. I got the cabs, most of them, for $5, but anything with two horses was $10. I had to pay most to the cops—$50 I paid to two, and the others $20 and $25. But didn't it work beautifully, Mr. Rockwall? They were all on time. And it was two hours before anyone could move."

"Thirteen hundred—there you are, Kelly," said Anthony, giving him the money. A thousand for you, and the $300 of your own money that you had to spend. You like money, do you, Kelly?"

"I do," said Kelly.

Anthony stopped Kelly when he was at the door.

"Did you see," asked he, "anywhere on the street yesterday a little fat boy with no clothes on? Carrying arrows?"

Kelly looked surprised. "No. I didn't. But if he was like that, with no clothes, perhaps the cops caught him."

"I thought Cupid wouldn't be there," Anthony said, laughing. "Good-bye, Kelly."

Download activities to help you understand this story here.

Now it's your turn to use the words in this story. Do you think money can buy anything? What is more valuable than money? Let us know in the Comments Section or on our Facebook page.

Words in This Story

soap n. a substance that is used for washing something

avenuen. a wide street

cabn. a car that carries passengers to a place for an amount of money that is based on the distance traveled

theatern. a building where plays or shows are performed on a stage

cabby n. a person who drives a taxi

wagonn. a vehicle with four wheels that is used for carrying heavy loads or passengers and that is usually pulled by animals

cop(s) – n. a person whose job is to enforce laws, investigate crimes, and make arrests

Cupidn. the god of sexual love in ancient Rome

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http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/13/1836/http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/13/1836/VOA Special EnglishSat, 13 Jul 2019 00:06:00 UTC
<![CDATA[ASK A TEACHER - Advising Others to Take Your Advice]]>Jill Robbins如果想下载文章的MP3声音、PDF文稿、LRC同步字幕以及中文翻译等配套英语学习资料,请访问以下链接:
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This week, we answer a question from Ali in Iran. He writes,

Question:

"I want to know differences between the words 'advise' and 'advice'. Are they the same with different spellings?" – Ali, Iran

Answer:

Dear Ali,

The two words you asked about have somewhat different meanings. The VOA Learning English Word Book definies the verb advise as "to help with information, knowledge or ideas in making a decision."

The noun form of the word, "advice," is written with the letter c, which is said like /s/. But the verb "advise" is written with the letter s, which is pronounced like /z/. If you hold your hand to your throat, you will find that it vibrates, moving from side to side, when you say the /z/ sound.

Let us look at sentences with these words, starting with the verb advise.

It's the cabinet's job to advise the president.

Nutrition experts advise that we eat five servings of fruit and vegetables every day.

The professional traders advise against selling stock today.

First reading of the Emancipation Proclamation before the cabinet.
First reading of the Emancipation Proclamation before the cabinet.

Now, let's look at the noun advice. Remember "advice" is the information or opinion you get from a friend or an expert.

People often look on the internet for medical advice before visiting a doctor.

My brother gave me good advice: finish my homework and go to bed.

Those friends were giving him bad advice. They told him to leave school.

You may have seen other pairs of words in English that work the same way as "advise" and "advice." Some examples are the pairs devise and device, appease and peace, prophesy and prophecy (see definitions below this article). Two other words, license and practice, are written differently in British English, but they no longer have different spellings in American English.

So take my advice. Listen carefully to the sentence when you hear the word or look at the sentence around it when you read it. Then you will know if it is a verb or a noun, and you will know the meaning, too.

And that's Ask a Teacher!

I'm Jill Robbins.

Dr. Jill Robbins wrote this story for VOA Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

Words in This Story

vibrate – v. to move back and forth or from side to side with very short, quick movements

pairn. something made up of two very similar parts or pieces; twosome

Do you have a question for the teacher? We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section.

Verb

Noun

devise - to invent or plan (something that is difficult or complicated)

device - a piece of equipment made for a special purpose

appease - to make (someone) pleased or less angry by giving or saying something desired

peace - a quiet and calm state

practise – (British English spelling) To do or perform frequently or habitually; make a practice of; observe or follow usually

practice - the activity of doing something again and again in order to become better at it

license - to give official permission to (someone or something) to do or use something

license - an official document, card, etc., that gives you permission to do, use, or have something

prophesy [ prof-uh-sahy ] to foretell the future

prophecy [ prof-uh-see ] - a statement that something will happen in the future

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<![CDATA[EVERYDAY GRAMMAR - The More I Practice, the More I Remember]]>Alice Bryant如果想下载文章的MP3声音、PDF文稿、LRC同步字幕以及中文翻译等配套英语学习资料,请访问以下链接:
http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/12/9670/

Hello. Today we will start with a question for you: When you practice English more, do you remember more?

If your answer is yes, one way you can say this is:

The more I practice, the more I remember.

But suppose your answer is no. Maybe you have been practicing more but seem to be remembering less. You could say this:

The more I practice, the less I remember.

Both examples show a cause and an effect. They show that an increase or decrease of something causes an increase or decrease of something else.

In English, there are a few ways to express cause and effect relationships. One way is with a kind of comparison called a "correlative comparative." It is also called a "the/the comparative" and that is what we will call it today.

These comparatives have many structures. And, on our program today, we will explore a few. Keep in mind that you don't need to memorize any of them.

Short and simple

To begin: The shortest, simplest structure is made of just four words. Suppose, for instance, you are having a barbecue today. Your best friend is coming to the event. But he asks if he can also bring a friend of his. You say:

Sure! The more, the merrier.

"The more, the merrier" is a popular expression. It means an activity is more enjoyable with more people. It can also mean a greater amount of something is better.

If you were to say this expression as a complete sentence, it might sound like this:

The more (there are), the merrier (it is).

But the subjects and verbs were left out of both parts of the sentence because their meaning is already understood.

Next, suppose someone at the barbecue requests a glass of lemonade. You ask her how much ice she would like in her drink. And, she answers by saying:

A lot, please! The colder, the better.

She is saying that she enjoys the taste of very cold lemonade.

The structure the + comparative adjective + the better is a very common one in the/the comparatives. For instance:

How do you like your coffee?

The stronger, the better.

Which car should we rent?

The cheaper, the better.

If you ask some people whether you can bring a friend to their barbecue, they might reply, 'Sure! The more, the merrier.'
If you ask some people whether you can bring a friend to their barbecue, they might reply, 'Sure! The more, the merrier.'

Adding nouns

The next structure we'll explore adds nouns. Watch what happens when we do this for the example about the cold drink:

The colder the lemonade, the better the taste.

The speaker is expressing the same meaning as "the colder, the better," but with a little more detail.

Notice again that the verbs are missing. That is almost always the case when the understood verb is "be." (The full statement would be, "The colder the lemonade is, the better the taste is" but we do not say it this way.)

In addition, often the second noun is not necessary because it is understood. So the phrase usually ends with the words "the better," like this:

The colder the lemonade, the better.

Another example of this structure is a fairly common expression. Have a listen:

The bigger the risk, the greater the reward.

It means when people take a bigger risk, their reward will be greater.

Comparing actions

Now, let's look at a few longer structures that are made of two clauses.

The first one deals with actions. Suppose you are talking to someone but he or she is ignoring much of what you're saying. Listen to an example:

The more I talk, the less you listen.

Notice that both sides of the sentence are clauses: They each have their own subject and verb. In the first, the subject and verb are "I talk." In the second, the subject and verb are "you listen."

Here's another one: Imagine that a group of people traveled overseas together. They had a good time. But before the trip, their visas had arrived late. This made them more anxious as each day passed. You could express it this way:

The longer they waited, the more anxious they became.

Notice this sentence is also in the past tense. Past and present tenses are common in these comparatives.

Comparing things

With the/the comparative clauses, you can also talk about two things, so the structure changes a little. Let's take an example you can probably relate to:

The more time you spend with VOA Learning English, the more money you can save on English classes.

In this example, we are showing a relationship between time and money.

Here's another example:

The more games the U.S. women's soccer team won, the more attention they got on social media.

This example shows a relationship between game wins and social media attention.

Mixed structures

We have talked today about the/the structures that mirror each other. But not all such comparatives follow a mirroring structure. In fact, many do not. Here's one example:

The more music he performs, the better.

Here, the first clause "The more music he performs" uses the structure for comparing things, the second half uses the simplified "the better" from earlier in the program.

Well, that's our time for this week. Again, avoid trying to memorize the structures. Instead, listen for the/the comparatives in everyday speech. And, try using them to show a cause and an effect. The more you use them, the easier they will become.

I'm Alice Bryant.

Alice Bryant wrote this story for VOA Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

Here are just a few structure examples from today's program.

Examples

Structures

The cheaper, the better

the + comparative

(comma)

the + comparative

The bigger the risk, the greater the reward.

the + comparative + the + noun

(comma)

the + comparative + the + noun

The longer they waited,

the more anxious they became.

the + comparative + subject + verb

(comma)

the + comparative + subject + verb

--------------------------------

Words in This Story

practice – v. to do something again and again in order to become better at it

memorize – v. to learn something so well that you are able to remember it

barbecue – n. an outdoor meal or party at which food is cooked on a barbecue

phrase – n. a group of two or more words that express a single idea but does not form a complete sentence

clause – n. a part of a sentence with its own subject and verb

anxious – adj. afraid or nervous especially about what may happen

mirror – v. to be very similar to something

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<![CDATA[Ivanka Trump's Program for Women Reports Success]]>Susan Shand如果想下载文章的MP3声音、PDF文稿、LRC同步字幕以及中文翻译等配套英语学习资料,请访问以下链接:
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Ivanka Trump is supporting an initiative to give women more financial power around the developing world. The effort by the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump recently announced its first actions. For example, it is giving $27 million to projects in 22 countries.

The project also reported its first real success --- helping to change family law in Ivory Coast to make it fairer for women.

Trump took part in a group discussion organized by the U.S. Agency for International Development, USAID, on Wednesday. She said that the economic empowerment of women is "smart" for nations that want development assistance and "critically important" for a country's national security.

If you look at the countries that have high levels of gender discrimination, "80% of them have experienced armed conflict" in the last 20 years, said Trump, who is the daughter of the U.S. president.

Women's development initiative

The Women's Global Development and Prosperity Initiative, W-GDP, began in February with an investment of $50 million from USAID. Its goal is to help 50 million women in the developing world by 2025 through U.S. government activities, private-public partnerships, and a new fund that works to create those partnerships.

USAID Administrator Mark Green said that "investing in women builds countries that are resilient."

The projects include an effort in Rwanda to help women enter the country's energy industry, and a Latin American initiative that aims to give women the skills needed to work in the technology industry in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.

Ivanka Trump is an adviser to the president. She pointed to the government of Ivory Coast, which has recently updated the country's family laws to make them better for women. She said she pushed for those changes during her meeting with Vice President Daniel Kablan Duncan on her trip to Abidjan in April.

"We were really excited to…celebrate Cote d'Ivoire changing their marriage law," Trump said, using the official country name. The new law will permit women to buy property and to inherit property.

In 2018, the World Economic Forum ranked Ivory Coast 131 out of 144 in gender equality. The government has promised to improve conditions for women as part of the agreement for receiving U.S. government grants through the Millennium Challenge Corporation.

MCC is an independent foreign assistance agency that leads U.S. government efforts to fight poverty around the world. It was created by Congress in 2004.

US policy continuation

Trump describes the initiative as the "first whole-of-government effort to advance…women's economic empowerment." However, demanding greater economic power for women as part of U.S. foreign policy continues a policy from the administration of former president Barack Obama.

Jamille Bigio is with the Women and Foreign Policy program at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington D.C.

Bigio said that the MCC decides if it should invest in a country partly based on how women take part in the workforce. She said that foreign governments in the past have taken action as a part of requesting investment from the MCC. She pointed to the country of Lesotho, which stopped considering women as children under the law in 2006.

Daniel Runde is with the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He said the U.S. government has worked on women's economic development for a long time. But, he added, it is true that Ivanka Trump is working to bring many parts of the U.S. government together on this issue.

Programs that support women's issues

U.S. development programs, including W-GDP, push countries to change their laws to improve the lives of women and minorities.

Ivanka Trump appears to have taken on the cause of global women empowerment and to have supported it at several international events. These include the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative. It was launched at the Group of 20 Summit in 2017. She also has supported WomenConnect, a USAID program from 2018 that seeks to increase women's knowledge of digital technology.

Legal barriers to women in economic issues is expected to be discussed at the Group of 7 leaders meeting in Biarritz, France, next month.

I'm Susan Shand.

VOA's Patsy Widakuswara reported this story. Susan Shand adapted it for VOA Learning English. Mario Ritter Jr. was the editor.

Write to us in the Comments Section or on our Facebook page.

Words in this Story

initiative – n. a plan or program that is intended to solve a problem

gender – n. the state of being male or female

fund – n. an amount of money that is used for a special purpose

resilient – adj. able to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens

inherit – v. to receive (money, property, etc.) from someone when that person dies

grant – n. an amount of money that is given to someone by a government, a company, etc., to be used for a particular purpose

rank – v. to place (someone or something) in a particular position among a group of people or things that are being judged according to quality, ability, size, etc.​

advance – v. to move forward​

digital – adj. using or characterized by computer technology​

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http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/12/8312/http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/12/8312/VOA Special EnglishFri, 12 Jul 2019 11:09:00 UTC
<![CDATA[Japanese Spacecraft Lands on Asteroid, Gathers Subsurface Material]]>Mario Ritter Jr如果想下载文章的MP3声音、PDF文稿、LRC同步字幕以及中文翻译等配套英语学习资料,请访问以下链接:
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Japan's space agency says a Japanese spacecraft successfully landed on an asteroid Thursday and collected material from under its surface.

The Hyabusa2 spacecraft landed briefly inside a small crater on the asteroid Ryugu. The space agency reported that it rose safely from the surface after collecting dust and rock samples.

Space scientists hope that tests of the material will provide information about the formation of our solar system.

Officials with the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, known as JAXA, excitedly announced the results. They said data confirmed that the spacecraft had landed on Ryugu and returned to a position above the surface.

After the operation was completed, everyone in the command center stood up and cheered.

"It was a success, a big success," said Takashi Kubota, a project member. He added that the operation had been successful in all its planned activities.

A complex project

In April, Hyabusa2 fired a two kilogram object into the surface, creating a crater on the asteroid. On Thursday, the spacecraft returned to the same area, where it landed for only a few seconds. The goal was was to collect rock and dust samples from beneath the surface. The spacecraft shot a small object into the soil and used a tube to gather the material.

Getting to rocks and other material below the surface is important, scientists say, because it is unaffected by radiation from space and other influences.

JAXA said the samples have been safely placed in a container which will be moved to a capsule for safe storage.

The operation is the most important experiment yet by Hyabusa2. Its next project is to return safely to Earth with the soil samples.

Project manager Yuichi Tsuda said that an experiment like this has never been attempted before. "Nobody has collected and brought home underground materials from anywhere further than the moon," he added.

Remains of solar system formation

Asteroids are the rocky objects left over from when Earth and the rest of the solar system were forming.

The asteroid Ryugu is named after the undersea home of a dragon in a traditional Japanese story. It is only about 900 meters across. The asteroid has a rocky surface that scientists believe holds carbon-based substances.

Seiichiro Watanabe is a scientist with Japan's space agency. He noted that Hyabusa2 had now taken samples from two different areas on the asteroid. He said early pictures of the recent sample show that the material is of different colors and sizes.

Watanabe said being able to compare material from the surface and from underground was very important.

"I'm so excited about finding out about all these unknowns," he said.

The Hyabusa2 is the first spacecraft to collect samples from under the surface of an asteroid. The United States space agency NASA plans a similar mission to an asteroid called Bennu.

Hyabusa2 will continue to take pictures of Ryugu until it begins its 300 million kilometer trip back to Earth. It is expected to return home in late 2020.

I'm Mario Ritter Jr.

Mari Yamaguchi reported this story for The Associated Press. Mario Ritter Jr. adapted the report for VOA Learning English, with additional material from VOA. George Grow was the editor.

We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments section, and visit our Facebook page.​

Words in This Story

asteroid –n. space rocks that orbit the sun mostly between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter

crater –n. a round hole caused by an explosion or impact

capsule –n. part of a spacecraft that is separate from the rest of the ship

dragon –n. an imaginary animal that can breath fire and fly

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http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/12/8939/http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/12/8939/VOA Special EnglishFri, 12 Jul 2019 11:08:00 UTC
<![CDATA[Experts Warn of 'Dead Zone' in Chesapeake Bay]]>Susan Shand如果想下载文章的MP3声音、PDF文稿、LRC同步字幕以及中文翻译等配套英语学习资料,请访问以下链接:
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The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States.

To nature lovers, the bay is a national treasure. Its waters are perhaps best known for blue crabs and oysters.

For many years, the Chesapeake Bay area benefited from the Conowingo Dam on the Susquehanna River. When the dam opened nearly 100 years ago, it began controlling the power of water to create electricity for northern Maryland. It also trapped sediments before they reached the bay's waters.

While the old dam is still making electricity, it no longer helps the Chesapeake. It cannot. Behind its heavy walls lie 181 million metric tons of black muck – pollutants it has collected since the day the dam opened.

Now some people fear that the black muck may be a threat to the bay. Recent heavy rains have shown that muck runoff can move along the sides of the dam and pollute the water. The lack of agreement on the best way to stop the muck from polluting the Chesapeake, shows how fragile the area really is.

In 1983, the U.S. government launched a clean-up program that ended years of uncontrolled pollution. The cleanup has been considered a great success, with blue crabs and oyster populations expanding.

But experts say heavy rainfall is causing runoff pollutants from all over the area to reach the bay. They say this could lead to large dead zones in the waterway.

Operators of the Conowingo Dam want to extend its operating permit and keep the dam working for another 46 years. Many Maryland environmentalists say the black muck behind the dam is just one example of severe threats to the Bay. If a major storm enabled the black muck to flow freely into the bay, it would destroy the water's ecosystem.

"The situation behind the dam is a…time bomb," said Genevieve Croker. She is with the Clean Chesapeake Coalition, a group fighting to keep the bay clean.

Water flows through Conowingo Dam, a hydroelectric dam spanning the lower Susquehanna River near Conowingo, Md., on Thursday, May 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Ruark)
Water flows through Conowingo Dam, a hydroelectric dam spanning the lower Susquehanna River near Conowingo, Md., on Thursday, May 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Ruark)

Qian Zhang is a research scientist at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. He agrees that the runoff is a problem, but says the muck is not the greatest threat to the bay.

Nutrient pollution, the chemical runoff from farms, is a much bigger worry, he believes. Most of the nutrient pollution comes from farms in the state of Pennsylvania, just north of Maryland. It flows down the Susquehanna River to the bay.

William Ball is a scientist with the Chesapeake Research Consortium. He said the best way to stop pollutants from entering the bay is to "better manage upstream sources."

Deborah Klenotic is a spokeswoman for Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection. She says her state is working hard to meet its target for pollution reduction. The efforts, she said, "have never been stronger."

But this work may not be enough. Scientists are warning that there will be a 3 kilometer area of no oxygen in the Chesapeake Bay this year. That would make it one of the largest 'dead zones' in nearly 20 years.

I'm Susan Shand

The Associated Press reported this story. Susan Shand adapted the report for VOA Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

Write to us in the Comments Section or on our Facebook page.

Words in This Story

estuary – n. an area where a river flows into the sea

benefit – v. a good or helpful result or effect

sediment – n. material (such as stones and sand) that is carried into water by water,

muck – n. wet dirt or mud

fragile – adj. easily broken or damaged

zone – n. an area that is different from other areas in a particular way

ecosystem – n. everything that exists in a particular environment

manage – v. to have control of something

source – n. the beginning of a stream or river of water

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http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/11/6654/http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/11/6654/VOA Special EnglishThu, 11 Jul 2019 00:40:00 UTC
<![CDATA[US Report on Mass Attacks: Mental Health a Major Factor]]>Ashley Thompson如果想下载文章的MP3声音、PDF文稿、LRC同步字幕以及中文翻译等配套英语学习资料,请访问以下链接:
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Two-thirds of all mass public attacks in the United States last year were carried out by someone with mental health problems. In more than one-third of the attacks, the attacker killed himself at the site of the attack or shortly after leaving.

Those findings come a new report from the country's National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC). The NTAC is part of the United States Secret Service.

The researchers looked at 27 attacks in public spaces in which three or more people were injured or killed. The attacks took place in 18 states. Ninety-one people were killed in all. Another 107 people were wounded.

Such attacks included the February 2018 high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 people dead. The researchers also looked at the October 2018 shooting at the Tree of Life Jewish religious center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Eleven people died in that attack.

U.S. officials are searching for ways to decrease such violence.

"We don't have a magic wand," said NTAC Chief Lina Alathari. "There's not a single solution to everything."

What is behind an attack?

The report was able to identify some broad themes in the attacks. For example, 89 percent of the attacks involved firearms and 70 percent happened at a place of business, such as a bank or office building.

Twenty-five of the 27 attacks were carried out by males.

The youngest attacker was a 15-year-old high school student in Benton, Kentucky. He killed two classmates and injured 10 more. The oldest attacker was a 64-year-old man who walked into a restaurant in Hurtsboro, Alabama, where he reportedly shot and killed the owner and another person.

More than half of the incidents were connected to personal disputes at work or at home.

NTAC researchers blamed just two of the 27 attacks on ideology. The report says hatred of Jews was behind the deadly shooting at the Pittsburgh synagogue. And, it said a February 18 truck attack at a medical center in New Jersey was carried out because the attacker opposes the right of women to medically end their pregnancies.

Looking for warning signs

The NTAC and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are urging communities to look for any signs that someone is at risk of becoming violent. The agencies are trying to educate the public about possible warning signs and what actions observers can take.

NTAC's Alathari said, "We want to identify individuals early to deter them off that path."

The NTAC and DHS have been contacting state and local officials, as well as schools, businesses and mental health agencies to provide free training and advice. A large part of the goal is to make sure people feel at ease coming forward with information.

DHS acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan said people should trust their feelings. "Prevention of mass attacks is truly a community effort," he said.

Officials believe at least that part of the message is getting through. In more than 75 percent of the mass attacks in 2018, someone shared concerns about the attacker before the attack took place.

But, officials admit, this is not enough.

Alathari said, "If the community is sharing their concerns, then it's really incumbent on the person in authority to act on those concerns, whether it's law enforcement, a workplace manager, [or] a school administrator."

But many believe that U.S. policies still fall short of a solution. Critics argue that officials are too centered on mental health.

"With all these incidents, there's a common denominator of firearms and easy access to guns and ammunition," said Colin Clarke, an expert at The Soufan Center.

"We still can't predict human behavior," Clarke noted. "We can come up with all the great technologies in the world but if guns are still readily available this [more mass shootings] is going to be the result."

I'm Ashley Thompson.

Jeff Seldin reported this story for VOA News. Caty Weaver adapted it for Learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.

Words in This Story

factor - n. something that helps produce or influence a result

restaurant - n. a place where you can buy and eat a meal

magic wand - n. a stick that is used to make magic things happen​ (sometimes used figuratively)

ideology - n. the set of ideas and beliefs of a group or political party

synagogue - n. a building that is used for Jewish religious services

deter - v. to cause (someone) to decide not to do something

incumbent - adj. necessary as a duty for (someone)

common denominator - n. something (such as a feature or quality) that is shared by all the members of a group of people or things

authority - n. the power to give orders or make decisions

access - n. a way of getting near, at, or to something or someone

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http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/11/0890/http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/11/0890/VOA Special EnglishThu, 11 Jul 2019 00:39:00 UTC
<![CDATA[Spiders Turn Violent When Alone Too Long]]>Pete Musto如果想下载文章的MP3声音、PDF文稿、LRC同步字幕以及中文翻译等配套英语学习资料,请访问以下链接:
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Baby spiders enjoy the company of other spiders. But adult spiders often eat each other.

New research found that the adults seem to forget how to behave with each other after being alone too long. This causes the small, eight-legged creatures to become aggressive and even violent.

These findings could help researchers understand why some spider species like to stay together their whole lives but most would eat another spider if given the chance.

A report on the study appeared in the scientific publication PLOS Biology.

Many people are frightened of spiders; yet the creatures are an important part of many ecosystems.

Violette Chiara led the study. Chiara is a student at the University of Toulouse in France. She told VOA that spiders are often misunderstood.

'Spiders are not just aggressive, cannibalistic monsters,' Chiara said. 'There are spiders that are social at the beginning of their lives, and there are also some species that remain social during their whole lives.'

FILE - A spider sits in her web. Researchers from England think spiders might be sensing and using electrostatic fields to become airborne.
FILE - A spider sits in her web. Researchers from England think spiders might be sensing and using electrostatic fields to become airborne.

A friendly start to life

Baby spiders are known as spiderlings. They begin their lives together in groups with other spiderlings — sometimes as many as several hundred. But when spiders grow up, they usually live alone. Of the more than 40,000 known spider species, all but 30 live alone in adulthood.

It is not clear why so few spider species stay social their whole lives. Many researchers believe that spiders become more aggressive as they grow, which makes them avoid each other. Chiara decided to test which comes first: aggressive behavior or self-separation.

Chiara and members of her team studied labyrinth spiders, which are common in France. They observed that baby labyrinth spiders started to move away from each other five days after coming out of their eggs. The researchers first thought this pointed to a natural increase in aggression.

However, they found that even spiderlings raised alone started to move around more after five days. In other words, the spiders were not fleeing from other spiders because they were worried they would get eaten. They were just stretching their legs and becoming better at moving around as they grew.

If an increase in aggressive behavior does not happen naturally as the spiders age, something must cause it. To test this, the researchers raised some spiders alone and others in groups. They then brought together groups of two spiders that did not know each other to see if they reacted peacefully or violently.

Spiders that were raised in groups almost never tried to eat the other spider. But those raised alone went on the attack 40 percent of the time. The more time the spiders had spent alone, the more likely they were to try to eat other spiders. The researchers decided that being alone causes spiders to become aggressive and not the other way around.

Australia's deadliest spider, the male Funnel Web, in this undated filer is compared in size to a matchbox.
Australia's deadliest spider, the male Funnel Web, in this undated filer is compared in size to a matchbox.

Questioning beliefs

Scientist Jonathan Pruitt is an expert on evolution, but was not involved in the research. He said that the study was a good example of re-visiting what people had already believed to be true, "and questioning it and finding a very different story.'

The researchers hope to learn what happens to the "loner" spiders that makes them more likely to attack others.

'We know that they are more aggressive, but from a cognitive point of view, what is the change?' said Raphael Jeanson, who helped with the research.

One possibility is that when spiders spend too much time away from other spiders, they forget how to read social cues. In this case, the cues are chemicals in their 'skin' that help them recognize each other. The researchers hope to explore this possibility by studying a species that is closely related to labyrinth spiders, but lives in groups all their lives.

Leticia Aviles is a specialist in social spiders, but was not involved in the study. She agreed that the lack of socializing could lead spiders to become more aggressive.

I'm Pete Musto.

Kerry Hensley reported this story for VOANews.com. Pete Musto adapted the report for Learning English. George Grow was the editor. We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section or on our Facebook page.

Words in This Story

speciesn. a group of animals or plants that are similar and can produce young animals or plants

ecosystem(s) – n. everything that exists in a particular environment

cannibalisticadj. describing a creature that is willing to eat the flesh of others of its own species

monster(s) – n. a strange or horrible imaginary creature

evolutionn. a theory that the differences between modern plants and animals are because of changes that happened by a natural process over a very long time

cognitiveadj. of, relating to, or involving conscious mental activities, such as thinking, understanding, learning, and remembering

cue(s) – n. something that indicates the nature of what you are seeing or hearing

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<![CDATA[Report: Top Tech in 2019 Includes Bioplastics, Social Robots]]>Bryan Lynn如果想下载文章的MP3声音、PDF文稿、LRC同步字幕以及中文翻译等配套英语学习资料,请访问以下链接:
http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/11/4490/

The World Economic Forum, or WEF recently published its list of top emerging technologies for 2019.

Each year, the not-for-profit group's experts create a report listing the technologies they believe will become influential in the next five years. The technologies also are chosen because they could help society and economies and are expected to gain the attention of researchers and investors.

At the top of the list is a group of materials known as bioplastics. Bioplastics are made from natural substances that make them biodegradable. This makes bioplastics very different from most plastics in use today, which come from petroleum products.

The widespread use of petrochemical plastics across the world is flooding landfills and causing severe damage to the world's oceans. The WEF's report notes that the use of biodegradable plastics in the future could greatly reduce this environmental harm.

There has been progress in recent years in the development of new materials to replace petroleum-based plastics. One material being developed is cellulose, a very strong material found in plant cell walls. Another substance, lignin, can be used to add strength.

In this photo taken on Tuesday, April 23, 2019, plastic bottles and other garbage float in the river Drina near Visegrad, eastern Bosnia-Herzegovina. (AP Photo/Eldar Emric)
In this photo taken on Tuesday, April 23, 2019, plastic bottles and other garbage float in the river Drina near Visegrad, eastern Bosnia-Herzegovina. (AP Photo/Eldar Emric)

When used together, these two materials can produce bioplastics with similar strength and long-lasting qualities to petroleum-based plastics, the WEF experts reported. The report added that these substances could easily be found without having to use resources also needed to produce food.

The experts taking part in the report agreed that there is still a lot of work to be done before bioplastics can be widely used. For example, the process could cost a lot of money and require large amounts of land and water.

However, the experts agreed that in the future, such emerging methods and biodegradable materials could go a long way to help fuel what they call a "circular economy." A circular economy is an economic system that aims to limit waste while making the most of existing resources.

Next on the WEF's list are "social robots." The organization says these machines are designed to assist and engage with humans while attempting to make an emotional connection.

Such robots are powered by machine learning methods and artificial intelligence. They use cameras and sensors to recognize human faces and activities. This could include a person's speech, body movements and emotions.

In this image released on Monday, Aug. 6, 2018, Sophia, a humanoid robot developed by Hanson Robotics, will welcome visitors to the new.New Festival in Stuttgart taking place on October 8-10 at the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle. (Hanson Robotics Limited/COD
In this image released on Monday, Aug. 6, 2018, Sophia, a humanoid robot developed by Hanson Robotics, will welcome visitors to the new.New Festival in Stuttgart taking place on October 8-10 at the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle. (Hanson Robotics Limited/COD

Over time, these social robots are supposed to be able to develop their own form of social and emotional intelligence.

The robots are designed to learn about the subjects they assist to provide information, comfort and other forms of help. As they become more developed, these social machines could take over some of the responsibilities currently met by human workers.

The WEF reported that worldwide sales of robots designed to help people reached an estimated $5.6 billion in 2018. But the WEF predicts the market will expand to $19 billion by the end of 2025, with more than 65 million robots sold each year.

​Also making the WEF's 2019 list of emerging technologies – at number three - was a growing group of very small lenses. For many years it has not been possible to produce extremely tiny lenses. But the WEF report says engineers recently discovered methods to create smaller, lighter versions known as metalenses.

The experts believe these lenses could permit the shrinking of microscopes and other widely used laboratory tools. They could also be used to improve the performance of cameras, virtual reality equipment and industrial sensors.

You can see the full emerging technologies list at WEF's website.

I'm Bryan Lynn.

Bryan Lynn wrote this story for VOA Learning English, based on a report from the World Economic Forum. Mario Ritter Jr. was the editor.

We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments section, and visit our Facebook page.

Quiz - Top Tech in 2019 Includes Bioplastics and Social Robots

Start the Quiz to find out

Start Quiz

​----------------

Words in This Story

emerging adj. starting to exist or develop

biodegradable adj. capable of being slowly destroyed and broken down into very small parts by natural processes, bacteria, etc.

landfilln. ​a place where waste is buried in the ground

engage v. cause someone to become interested or involved in an activity

artificial intelligence n. the ability of a machine to use and analyze data in an attempt to reproduce human behavior

lens n. curved piece of glass used by cameras to capture pictures

virtual reality n. computer images and sounds that make you feel an imagined situation is real

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<![CDATA[Kenyan Football Team Aims for World Dwarf Games]]>Jonathan Evans如果想下载文章的MP3声音、PDF文稿、LRC同步字幕以及中文翻译等配套英语学习资料,请访问以下链接:
http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/11/7031/

Kenyans affected by dwarfism are using sports to bring attention to the condition.

A group called the Short Stature Society of Kenya formed the first dwarf football team in East Africa. Its players are smaller than other adults because of a genetic or medical condition.

The group aims to show the players' skills and fight unfounded claims about dwarfism.

Ruth Mueni is one of the founders of the team: the Lion Stars.

"It was a good idea to start it because it creates awareness about us, we need people to note about us, let us tell a story ourselves but not to let people tell a story about us."

The Short Stature Society of Kenya has about 600 members. However, dwarfism affects an estimated 3,000 Kenyans. The Lion Stars use sports to bring people with the condition together.

There are no other dwarf teams nearby. The team plays friendly games against younger, local football teams.

Joseph Ochieng is the coach for one of those teams, the MacMilan Football Club.

"I think if they can get a good coach, if they can be motivated they can do very well, if they continue training they can beat other teams outside [of the area]."

In the United States, the game of European football is known as soccer.

Lion Stars team captain Joseph Maina is happy with his team's progress.

"From the look of the games that they have played, I can say that from day to day, my guys have improved a lot. If we are to complete this journey and hit our target which is the World Dwarf games…they have to believe in themselves."

However, Ruth Mueni notes that the team does have problems to overcome.

"In terms of equipment like the soccer balls that we are using, it's not the normal balls; it is size four. We have one; we need more."

Kenya's Lion Stars hope to receive enough support to compete in the 2021 World Dwarf Games in Germany.

In addition to the soccer team, the Short Stature Society of Kenya also has a group of badminton players. They are expected to compete next month in a world championship event in Geneva, Switzerland.

I'm Jonathan Evans.

Sarah Kimani reported this story for VOANews.com. Jonathan Evans adapted her report for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

----------------

Words in This Story

awareness – n. knowing that something such as a situation, condition, or problem exists

coach – n. a person who teaches and trains an athlete or performer

guys – n. men

journey – n. trip

motivated – adj. eager to do work and to be successful

]]>
http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/11/7031/http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/11/7031/VOA Special EnglishThu, 11 Jul 2019 00:26:00 UTC
<![CDATA[UNESCO Announces New World Heritage Sites]]>Caty Weaver如果想下载文章的MP3声音、PDF文稿、LRC同步字幕以及中文翻译等配套英语学习资料,请访问以下链接:
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The United Nations Cultural Organization, or UNESCO, meets each year to choose the latest additions to its World Heritage list.

Over the past few days, the World Heritage Committee has made over 30 new choices during this year's meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan. The group chooses sites based on historical and cultural importance, as well as their beauty.

Today, we look at some of the recent additions:

Babylon (Iraq)

The archaeological site of Babylon, Iraq, Friday, July 5, 2019.
The archaeological site of Babylon, Iraq, Friday, July 5, 2019.

​The ancient city of Babylon is closely connected with one of the seven wonders of the ancient world - the Hanging Gardens. Now, the area is gaining World Heritage Site status, years after Iraq began campaigning for the site's inclusion. The city on the Euphrates River is about 85 kilometers south of Baghdad. It was once a main tourist site before Iraq suffered several wars. The 4,300-year-old Babylon is where dynasties have risen and fallen since the earliest days of settled human civilization. UNESCO says the site "offers a look into one of the most influential empires of the ancient world."

Paraty and Ilha Grande (Brazil)

Hats are displayed in a hat shop in Paraty, Brazil September 20, 2018. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes
Hats are displayed in a hat shop in Paraty, Brazil September 20, 2018. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes

​The historic coastal town of Paraty and the island Ilha Grande are already popular places for visitors to Brazil's Rio de Janeiro state. Now, they make up a newly named UNESCO site. Paraty was the final stop along the Gold Route, along which gold was shipped to Europe in the 1600s. Its port served as an entry point for tools and African slaves transported to work in the mines. The area is also home to a huge number of animals, some of which are threatened.

Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City (China)

People look at the foot of the ruins of an ancient city wall in Liangzhu, Zhejiang province November 29, 2007. REUTERS/China Daily
People look at the foot of the ruins of an ancient city wall in Liangzhu, Zhejiang province November 29, 2007. REUTERS/China Daily

​The ruins of Liangzhu represent an early state with a collective belief system based on rice growing, dating from 3300 to 2300 BCE. The site is made up of four areas along the Yangtze River Basin, on the southeastern coast of the country. The ruins, UNESCO says, are an "outstanding example of early urban civilization." They include a water conservation system and social divisions represented in different kinds of burials.

Jaipur City (India)

Tourists walk on a footway of the step well of Nahargarh fort in Jaipur, capital of India's desert state of Rajasthan January 23, 2012. REUTERS/Altaf Hussain
Tourists walk on a footway of the step well of Nahargarh fort in Jaipur, capital of India's desert state of Rajasthan January 23, 2012. REUTERS/Altaf Hussain

​The walled city of Jaipur, in India's Rajasthan state, is recognizable for its large public squares, palaces, markets and pink buildings. UNESCO says Jaipur's urban planning shows an "exchange of ideas from ancient Hindu as well as modern Mughal as well as Western cultures." It was founded in 1727 by a Hindu ruler who was a mathematician, astronomer and an experienced city planner. Jaipur was designed to be a business capital, and it has held onto its "local commercial, artisanal and cooperative traditions to this day," UNESCO writes.

Bagan (Myanmar)

People wait to see the sunset from the top of Shwesandaw Pagoda in the ancient city of Bagan February 13, 2015. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
People wait to see the sunset from the top of Shwesandaw Pagoda in the ancient city of Bagan February 13, 2015. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

​Myanmar's ancient city of Bagan includes more than 3,500 temples, monasteries and other structures built between the 11th and 13th centuries. The site sits on a bend of the Ayeyarwady River in the central plain of Myanmar. Its inclusion as a World Heritage site is likely to help the country's tourism industry. It was first nominated in 1995. Burma's then military rulers were accused of ignoring experts' advice on restoration and the nomination was rejected.

Writing-on-Stone (Canada)

Carvings are seen in rock structures called hoodoos in Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada.
Carvings are seen in rock structures called hoodoos in Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada.

​Canada's Writing-on-Stone monument, known also as Aisinai'pi, has a large number of protected rock paintings and rock carvings. Some of them are 2,000 years old. The markings were left by Blackfoot Native Americans, who live in parts of Western Canada and the far northern United States. The land that makes up Writing-on-Stone is filled with rock columns that have been formed by erosion into "spectacular shapes," UNESCO notes. The Blackfoot people consider the area to be holy.

Churches of the Pskov School of Architecture (Russia)

An audience arrives for a practice of the Bolshoi theatre's new staging of Rimsky-Korsakov open-air opera 'The Maid of Pskov' in Pskov's Kremlin, some 650 km (404 miles) northwest of Moscow, July 21, 2010. REUTERS/Denis Sinyakov
An audience arrives for a practice of the Bolshoi theatre's new staging of Rimsky-Korsakov open-air opera 'The Maid of Pskov' in Pskov's Kremlin, some 650 km (404 miles) northwest of Moscow, July 21, 2010. REUTERS/Denis Sinyakov

​A group of ancient structures in the city of Pskov make up Russia's newest UNESCO World Heritage Site. The structures, many of which are churches, all were designed by the Pskov School of Architecture. It was a leading school of building design in the country, especially in the 15th and 16th centuries. Some elements common to Pskov architecture date back to the 11th century. UNESCO writes that the school "informed the evolution of Russian architecture over five centuries."

The 20th-century architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright (United States)

This May 31, 2011, file photo, shows the interior of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, architect Frank Lloyd Wright and built from 1956-1959, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)
This May 31, 2011, file photo, shows the interior of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, architect Frank Lloyd Wright and built from 1956-1959, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

UNESCO also recognized the work of famed American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The group added eight of his buildings to the World Heritage List. They include the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City, Hollyhock House in Los Angeles, California and Unity Temple in Chicago, Illinois. The World Heritage Committee said in a statement that Wright's work "had a strong impact on the development of modern architecture in Europe." The Guggenheim is among Wright's most famous buildings, with its spiral path lined with works of art. It was completed in 1959, the same year Wright died.

I'm Caty Weaver.

And I'm Ashley Thompson.

Ashley Thompson adapted this report based on press materials from UNESCO and articles from the Associated Press and Reuters. Caty Weaver was the editor.

Is there a site in your country that you believe should be added to UNESCO's World Heritage Site list? Tell us about it in the comments section

Words in This Story

dynasty - n. a family of rulers who rule over a country for a long period of time

commercial - adj. related to or used in the buying and selling of goods and services

artisanal - adj. related to people who are skilled at making things by hand

basin - n. the area of land around a large river and the small rivers that flow into it

temple - n. a building for worship

monastery - n. a place where monks live and work together

carving - n. the act or skill of creating carved objects, designs, or figures

column - n. something that is tall and thin in shape

erosion - n. the gradual destruction of something by natural forces (such as water, wind, or ice) : the process by which something is eroded or worn away

tourism - n. the activity of traveling to a place for pleasure

church - n. a building that is used for Christian religious services

spectacular - adj. causing wonder and admiration

impact - n. a powerful or major influence or effect

spiral -adj. winding or circling around a central point and usually getting closer to or farther away from it

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http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/10/6259/http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/10/6259/VOA Special EnglishWed, 10 Jul 2019 01:40:00 UTC
<![CDATA[Italy Closes Large Migrant Camp]]>Susan Shand如果想下载文章的MP3声音、PDF文稿、LRC同步字幕以及中文翻译等配套英语学习资料,请访问以下链接:
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The CARA Mineo, on the island of Sicily, was officially closed Tuesday. It was once Europe's largest holding area for asylum seekers and foreign migrants.

At one time, more than 4,100 people lived at the center. That was five years ago.

In March of 2018, when Italy's current government came to power, the number was down to about 2,500 people. The remaining occupants were moved to a camp in Calabria.

Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini praised the move to close the CARA Mineo. He said police investigators had discovered the activity of what he called "mafias, not only Italian but also Nigerian" based there.

After visiting the now empty camp, Salvini said that the local population would no longer have to fear criminal acts by migrants.

The number of migrants trying to get to Italy has been rising, and Salvini is feeling a lot of pressure. The government plans to spend more on its fight against foreigners unlawfully traveling to the country by boat.

Recently, an Italian police patrol boat rescued 47 boat migrants and brought them to land. A ship operated by a pro-immigrant group found another 44 people in the central Mediterranean. The group said the migrants would be sent to Malta.

In Italy, the number of immigrant arrivals had fallen over the past few months. But since warm weather arrived in June, the number has been rising.

The Reuters news agency reports that people-smugglers are increasingly leaving boats filled with migrants in international waters.

In the past, migrants pushed simple rubber dinghies into the sea from Libya's coast. It was relatively easy for the Libyan coast guard to stop them before they entered international waters.

Now, the Italians must stop the smugglers. In addition to helping the Libyan coast guard financially, Italy will also give them 10 motorboats. It also plans to increase the number of sea and air patrols that will try to find the smugglers before they reach international waters.

Salvini has built much of his political credibility on a promise to limit the number of immigrants coming to Italy. He also wrote to the Interior Minister of Tunisia, asking him to do more to prevent migrants from leaving the country.

Over the past 18 months, the largest number of migrants entering Italy have come from Tunisia. Before that, they came from African countries south of the Sahara Desert.

Tunisians top migrant list

Since the start of 2019, over 3,100 migrants have reached Italy. The most come from Tunisia, followed by Pakistan, Ivory Coast, Algeria, Iraq and Bangladesh.

More than two thirds of these have been rescued in coastal waters by the Italian navy and coastguard or have reached land directly.

Rescue ships operated by aid groups have sent nearly 300 migrants to Italy this year. That followed Salvini's effort to close the nation's ports to non-governmental organizations.

Two boats have disobeyed the ban in the past two weeks and brought migrants to the Italian island of Lampedusa. The German Sea-Watch 3 and Italian sailboat Alex have both been seized by the Italian government. Their owners face fines of about 50,000 euros.

Donations to the aid group Sea-Watch increased after this latest incident. One government official said an angry Salvini now wants to raise the fine to one million euros.

It was not clear if his party's coalition partner, the 5-Star Movement, would accept such a rise. Salvini said recently that 5-Star ministers were not helping enough to stop the migrants. The Interior Minister also said he felt "alone."

"Salvini feels alone? Then let's send him a teddy bear," 5-Star leader Luigi Di Maio said on Monday.

I'm Susan Shand.

The Reuters News Agency reported this story. Susan Shand adapted the report for VOA Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

Write to us in the Comments Section or on our Facebook page.

Words in This Story

migrant – n. a person who goes from one place to another especially to find work

mafia – n. a secret criminal organization in Italy

patrol – n. a group of people, vehicles, etc., that go through an area to make sure that it is safe

smuggler – n. one who moves someone or something from one country into another illegally and secretly

dinghy – n. a small rubber boat

teddy bear – n. a soft toy bear

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http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/10/4617/http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/10/4617/VOA Special EnglishWed, 10 Jul 2019 01:37:00 UTC
<![CDATA[California to Develop Earthquake Early Warning System]]>Mario Ritter Jr如果想下载文章的MP3声音、PDF文稿、LRC同步字幕以及中文翻译等配套英语学习资料,请访问以下链接:
http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/10/2851/

Californian officials say they will spend more than $40 million on an earthquake early warning system.

The announcement comes after two powerful earthquakes shook parts of the state last week. On Thursday, a 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck an area in the Mojave Desert, but the effects could be felt as far away as Los Angeles. Then on Friday, a 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck near Ridgecrest, California, causing damage to houses and roads.

The proposed early warning system would let the public know of a possible quake. Officials say it also would automatically halt trains and open fire station doors moments before a major quake strikes.

California Governor Gavin Newsom made an announcement after Friday's quake. He said that the state has already put in place 70 percent of 1,115 sensors needed for a statewide system.

Ryan Arba is with the governor's Office of Emergency Services. He said, "I think the whole state's on notice right now about the opportunity that's in front of us."

Emergency officials have said they hope to have the statewide warning system in place by the middle of 2021.

The recent strong earthquakes were the first in 20 years in Southern California. They brought increased attention to the development of the state's early warning system.

Japan developed the world's most modern earthquake early warning system after the 1995 Kobe earthquake. It relies on more than 4,000 sensors and is based on the same laws of physics that California is using to build its system.

P-waves can provide early warning

As in Japan, the California system is designed to detect the fast-moving seismic P-waves that are produced by earthquakes. These waves can reach a sensor before the ground starts moving. The U.S. Geological Survey says that many animals are able to feel P-waves.

Communities farthest from the epicenter of a quake would receive the earliest warning.

Arba says, for example, that a quake on the San Andreas Fault near California's border with Mexico would give Los Angeles 60 seconds of warning before the ground began to shake there. However, communities very close to a quake's center would receive little or no warning.

Bottles of wine are strewn in the middle of an aisle in the Eastridge Market in Ridgecrest, California, July 6,2019, after Friday night's 7.1-magnitude earthquake, which jolted an area from Sacramento to Mexico.
Bottles of wine are strewn in the middle of an aisle in the Eastridge Market in Ridgecrest, California, July 6,2019, after Friday night's 7.1-magnitude earthquake, which jolted an area from Sacramento to Mexico.

Officials in Los Angeles County in January introduced a "ShakeAlertLA" mobile phone application. It can send an early warning to residents who have the app. The "ShakeAlertLA" app, however, was not activated for either of the recent quakes. The U.S. Geological Survey said this was because they were not strong enough.

Trains at risk during earthquakes

The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system in and around San Francisco has connected the early detection system to its rail service. The system is designed to automatically slow down trains, Arba said.

Southern California's Metrolink commuter rail system halted service after Friday's 7.1 earthquake in Ridgecrest. But, a spokesman said orders to stop the trains only went out by radio when shaking was felt by officials at the operations center in Pomona, east of Los Angeles.

The Metrolink board has voted to spend $4.9 million in public money to automate the halting of its trains when a quake is detected, the spokesman said.

University of California at Los Angeles engineering professor John Wallace said there are many possible uses for the early warning system.

"Once you provide the system, you'd be surprised how many ways people will find to use it," he said.

I'm Mario Ritter Jr.

Alex Dobuzinskis reported this story for Reuters. Mario Ritter Jr. adapted it for VOA Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor.

Words in This Story

automatically –adv. done without being directly controlled by a person

on notice –adj. to be warned or told about something

detect –v. to discover or notice the presence of something

opportunity –n. an amount of time or a situation in which something can be done; a chance

seismic –adj. related to earthquakes

epicenter –n. the place on the earth that is directly above where an earthquake starts

We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments section, and visit our Facebook page.

]]>
http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/10/2851/http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/10/2851/VOA Special EnglishWed, 10 Jul 2019 01:35:00 UTC
<![CDATA[Should Coffee Bars Be in Schools?]]>John Russell如果想下载文章的MP3声音、PDF文稿、LRC同步字幕以及中文翻译等配套英语学习资料,请访问以下链接:
http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/10/7993/

Americans are drinking less milk today than they did 40 years ago. In fact, Americans are drinking about 40 percent less than they did in 1975.

This decrease has led the United States dairy industry to explore new ways to get people to drink milk. One method it is testing: helping to set up coffee bars in U.S. high schools.

Schools prepare coffee drinks in different ways, but milk is always the main ingredient in lattes. Lattes are "really milk with some coffee, as far as proportion," notes Julie Ostrow of the Midwest Dairy Association.

That is why Midwest Dairy is providing financial help for a coffee bar at a fourth high school in the Fort Zumwalt, Missouri area during the upcoming school year. In exchange, the group will get data on how much milk is used for the lattes, as well as other information about food products with dairy.

Dairy groups have worked with high schools in many states. At a high school in North Dakota, for example, a $5,000 grant from a dairy group helped pay for an espresso machine. The device makes lattes with about .23 liters of milk each. The drinks used around 2,000 liters of milk this past school year.

In Florida, a dairy group said it paid for coffee carts in 21 high schools this past year. In the American Southwest, a dairy group gave grants to seven schools for coffee programs.

Not all high school coffee bars get money from dairy groups. Even then, the money may only cover a small amount of the costs. But school food operators say lattes give American teenagers another reason to stay on school grounds.

But not everyone thinks teens should drink coffee, or that they need milk.

The American Academy of Pediatrics disapproves of children consuming products with caffeine. The group notes possible harmful effects on developing bodies. Some studies have linked caffeine use to lack of sleep, headaches and agitation.

While dairy is a good way to get calcium and vitamin D, it is not the only way to get such nutrients, says Doctor Natalie Muth. She is a child care specialist and representative for the American Academy of Pediatrics.

As for lattes, Muth said there are ways to persuade students to get the nutrients of milk without promoting caffeine use.

"If they're going to be having that outside of school, that's one thing. But in schools, the idea is to promote good health and nutrition," she said.

For years, the U.S. dairy industry has been known for its "Got Milk" advertising campaign. Now, the industry is hoping its newer "Undeniably Dairy" ads will help fight off such products as almond milk, soy milk, or oat milk. These drinks are becoming more popular with Americans.

The dairy industry is also reacting to changing ideas about diet and nutrition.

With fat no longer seen as bad for human health, skim milk has suffered the sharpest decreases in demand in recent years. Skim milk is milk that has had all of the fat removed.

It is difficult for dairy producers to reduce production of skim milk because it is left over after making other products, such as butter, cheese and ice cream.

The dairy industry blames government rules that limit the fat in milk for teenagers drinking less milk. It argues that generations of students are growing up disliking milk because of the watery taste of skim.

I'm John Russell.

Candice Choi reported on this story for the Associated Press. John Russell adapted her story for VOA Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

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Words in This Story

dairy – adj. containing or made from milk

bar – n. a business where drinks are served

ingredient – n. an important part of something

proportion - n. the relationship that exists between the size, number, or amount of two things

grant – n. an amount of money given for a specific purpose

espresso - n. strong coffee that is made by forcing steam through finely ground roasted coffee beans

cart – n. a vehicle with two or four wheels

consume – v. to eat or drink

We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section.

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http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/10/7993/http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/07/10/7993/VOA Special EnglishWed, 10 Jul 2019 01:33:00 UTC