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。Mon, 18 Mar 2019 01:47:44 UTC<![CDATA[Lebanese Artist Tests Opinions of Arab Women through Her Art]]>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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Lebanese artist Christina Atik has created a series of digital pictures to show expressions commonly used in Arab countries to criticize women. She hopes her creations will empower Arab women.

The project raises issues like female freedom, beauty and sexuality in societies traditionally led by men.

Atik, 27, said she thought of the project last year after her younger sister Maria was criticized by their mother.

'My sister has a big nose and my mother always made fun of her,' the artist said. The mother would say things like 'when are you going to do an operation for your nose?' and 'your nose is not nice for a girl.'

Atik told the Reuters news agency, "I decided to do a drawing for my sister to show her that her nose is beautiful and she doesn't have to listen to mum. And this worked. She did not do an operation for her nose."

The picture won praise from local art supporters and quickly turned into a series. The Reuters report said there are currently seven illustrations.

Other illustrations read: "It's not nice for a girl to have (body) hair," "It's not nice for a girl to like another girl" or "It's not nice for a girl to live alone". Each saying has its own picture, digitally created by Atik, along with a comment in Arabic.

"I think it's very important to sit and talk about such subjects. So maybe we can break them or stop them and have the courage to say 'no, I won't do my nose operation' or 'no, I want to leave the house' or else," Atik said.

Her pictures have been shared across the internet. They have received many shares and have increased Atik's followers on one social media website.

"I hadn't at all expected people to share them that much, and women have started to send me things they hear from their families and societies around them. Women from Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia... were touched by the illustrations I did, so that was something really nice," she said.

Atik believes the condition of women is slowly improving around the world.

"I think we have a long way to go in Lebanon and in the whole world (on women's rights) but I think we're getting there, little by little," she said.

Lebanon recently appointed the Arab world's first female interior minister. She is just one of four women in the country's government.

While some consider Lebanon a liberal country in the Middle East, it continues to permit marriages between children and adults and marital rape.

I'm Susan Shand.

The Reuters News Agency reported this story. Susan Shand adapted this story 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

digital - adj. using or involving computer technology

drawing – n. an image made by a series of lines

illustration – n. a picture or drawing in a book, magazine

courage – n. the ability to do something that is difficult or dangerous

interior – adj. concerned with the inside of a country or home

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http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/03/18/5704/http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/03/18/5704/VOA Special EnglishMon, 18 Mar 2019 00:33:00 UTC
<![CDATA[Emoji Options for Couples of Color]]>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:
http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/03/18/0281/

In 1967, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the banning of interracial marriage violated the Constitution.

The court decision against the state of Virginia helped lead American society to an acceptance of racially-mixed couples.

Now, mixed relationships have been recognized in emoji form. The non-profit group Unicode Consortium has approved 71 new emoji representing these unions. A technology activist group, Emojination, and the dating app Tinder had called for the action.

Until now, emoji of two or more people have been available only in yellow.

The Unicode Consortium is made up of Google, Microsoft, Apple, Huawei and other international tech companies. Jennifer 8. Lee is a cofounder of Emojination and is on the emoji subcommittee of Unicode.

"Unicode is taking user demand for more skin tones across emoji very seriously," said Lee. "Users around the world (are) demanding to see themselves…on the emoji keyboard."

Jenny Campbell is the chief marketing officer for Tinder. She thinks many technology companies will include the new emoji in their products.

Last year, Tinder carried out an online petition in support of the new characters. Fifty-thousand people signed on.

Cambell said, "...we wanted to get the interracial emoji couple on people's keyboards not only for equality, but also to spread acceptance for all couples no matter what their race."

Emoji of single people of color and of same-sex couples were added in the last several years.

I'm Susan Shand.

The Associated Press reported this story. Susan Shand adapted this story 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

emoji – n. a small digital image or icon used to express an idea, emotion,

tone – n. a shade of color

keyboard – n. the set of keys that are used for a computer or typewriter

petition – n. a written document that people sign to show that they want a person or organization to do or change something

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http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/03/18/0281/http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/03/18/0281/VOA Special EnglishMon, 18 Mar 2019 00:32:00 UTC
<![CDATA[Free Books Teach a Love of Reading]]>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/2019/03/18/5962/

Joshua Clark is happy as he sits down to read a book to his son, Mason. But Clark remembers not always being happy about reading.

'I remember my mom almost forcing me to read books doing those summer reports right before you got back to school, and it was tough.'

Reading became like work to him. He decided that when he had his own child, he would make sure reading was an enjoyable experience.

'When you can present things in a joyous way and not that it be a task, you're more willing to do it, and I wanted to provide that for my son.'

Today, Clark and his son live in Washington, D.C. The young father has been able to ready many great stories to 3-year-old Mason, thanks to a local program called Books from Birth.

The DC Books from Birth program features a wide variety of books, many in dual languages. (J.Taboh, VOA)
The DC Books from Birth program features a wide variety of books, many in dual languages. (J.Taboh, VOA)

A book in every home

Through Books from Birth, Clark and others who take part receive one high-quality book each month in the mail. The program is open to D.C. residents with a child under the age of five.

Books from Birth began three years ago. Clark joined the program before Mason was even born. Clark knew the program would help him feel closer to his son as well as help his son learn.

'I knew I could use this tool to not only bond with my son, but also give him skills that he would need in everyday daily life.'

Learning new words

The program sends each child age-appropriate books. So, early ones may teach simple shapes and sounds. The books become more complex as the child grows.

Clark says monthly books are helping Mason learn many new words.

Clark says, 'He will repeat a word and understand it and later on repeat it and use it in a way that was used with him.'

DC resident Jasmine Panchal, four, shows off her latest Books from Birth selection. (J.Taboh, VOA)
DC resident Jasmine Panchal, four, shows off her latest Books from Birth selection. (J.Taboh, VOA)

And that is the goal of the program, said Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser. She recently spoke at a news conference celebrating the program's third anniversary.

'We know from all of the research that children who are read to, sung to as well, at home, have a vocabulary that is vastly larger than children unfortunately who come to school without that type of preparation."

Bowser added that having a larger vocabulary means children may read sooner and learn more once they begin school.

Improving reading rates

D.C. Councilmember Charles Allen introduced the law that established the project.

He said, 'When I first got elected to the Council, I had a 2-year-old daughter -- she's 6 now -- but I saw that in her bedroom she had dozens and dozens if not a hundred books. That's not the reality for every home in D.C. And I wanted to do something quickly about early childhood education and early literacy."

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library oversees the selection, creation/customization, and fulfillment of over 1.4 million books each month.
Dolly Parton's Imagination Library oversees the selection, creation/customization, and fulfillment of over 1.4 million books each month.

More than just reading skills

Mason's mother, Margaret Parker, says she likes how Books from Birth can help her teach her son another language, too.

'Teaching him another language is something I've always had an interest in. And getting those English-Spanish books have been a great follow-up to songs that we sing, or words that I teach him, or things that he picks up at school.'

Parker says the books are carefully chosen to teach other important skills, as well. For example, one of the books Mason received was all about bugs, or insects.

'We were outside, kind of exploring, and one of his friends, I guess, wanted to step on one of the bugs and he said, ' Oh no, don't squish bugs' -- a part of one of the books that we read with him -- so I thought that was pretty cool to see him make that connection between the two.'

When the library comes to you

The D.C. Books from Birth program is a local partner of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. The singer-songwriter started the program in 1995 in her home state of Tennessee in honor of her father, who could not read or write.

The organization mails a book to a child's home once a month, from birth until the child turns 5. The organization has sent out more than 115 million books to children in Australia, Canada, Ireland, Britain and the United States.

Renowned singer/songwriter Dolly Parton's Imagination Library is a book gifting program that mails free, high-quality books to children from birth until they begin school, no matter their family's income.
Renowned singer/songwriter Dolly Parton's Imagination Library is a book gifting program that mails free, high-quality books to children from birth until they begin school, no matter their family's income.

The goal in America's capital is to have 100 percent participation – especially among poorer families, says D.C. Public Library chief Richard Reyes-Gavilan.

He said it is difficult for busy, working families to visit a library every week or month. But, with Books from Birth, "the library comes to them."

I'm Jill Robbins.

Julia Taboh reported on this story for VOA News. Jill Robbins adapted this story for Learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.

Words in This Story

task – n. a job for someone to do

bondv. to form a close relationship with someone — often + with

exposuren. the fact or condition of being affected by something or experiencing something

squish v. to press (something) into a flatter shape

vastadj. very great in size, amount, or extent

unfortunately adv. used to say that something bad or unlucky has happened

Did you read many books as a child? Do you read to children as an adult? We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section.

]]>
http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/03/18/5962/http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/03/18/5962/VOA Special EnglishMon, 18 Mar 2019 00:32:00 UTC
<![CDATA[Study: Warm Waters Caused Many Sea Creatures to Move Far North]]>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/2019/03/18/2235/

A study has found that warmer waters off North America's West Coast caused many kinds of sea life to move farther north than ever before.

The study was a project of scientists from the University of California, Davis. Their findings were reported in the online publication Scientific Reports.

The scientists examined waters off the coast of Northern California in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

The researchers say they identified a total of 67 species between 2014 and 2016, during what was described as a "marine heatwave." Marine heatwaves were defined in the study "as periods of extreme sea surface temperatures lasting for days to months." The 2014-2016 heatwave is thought to be the largest ever recorded.

The report says this weather event began in 2013 when a "warm-water blob" formed in the Gulf of Alaska. The warm water later moved southward toward California.

UC Davis Professor Eric Sanford looks at a tidepool full of giant green anemones, a common species to the area, on the Bodega Marine Reserve. (Jackie Sones/UC Davis)
UC Davis Professor Eric Sanford looks at a tidepool full of giant green anemones, a common species to the area, on the Bodega Marine Reserve. (Jackie Sones/UC Davis)

El Niño conditions

The warmer waters were partly a product of El Niño conditions during the same period, researchers noted. El Niño develops when winds off the coast of South America weaken. This enables warm water in the western Pacific to move eastward.

El Niño often causes ocean temperatures in the area to rise between 2 to 4 degrees Celsius, the study found.

The researchers reported that 37 of the 67 species they studied had never before been observed so far north as California. These creatures are native to an area hundreds of kilometers to the south, mainly around Baja California in Mexico.

Some species were discovered outside a marine laboratory belonging to the University of California, Davis. A few were even found north of California, off the state of Oregon. The northward travel of so many different sea creatures was considered "unprecedented" by the researchers.

Among the species identified in the study were a meat-eating sea slug that hunts other sea slugs, a sea snail "butterfly" and a purple-lined jellyfish. Another unexpected visitor was the pelagic red crab, which researchers said had only been found in areas off the coast of Mexico.

Scientists involved in the study believe the findings can provide valuable information for predicting future sea life reactions to warming oceans.

Similar findings along the U.S. East Coast

There is also evidence suggesting that warming waters in the Atlantic Ocean have caused some sea creatures to move northward.

A 2017 report in Yale University's online magazine Environment 360 explores this subject. The report notes that for many years, the ocean "has served as our best defense against climate change." This is because ocean waters have taken in nearly all of the atmosphere's extra heat. This has led to warmer oceans, with experts predicting continuing rising temperatures.

This photos shows the chocolate porcelain crab. (Jackie Sones/UC Davis)
This photos shows the chocolate porcelain crab. (Jackie Sones/UC Davis)

Warmer waters along the U.S. East Coast have affected the black sea bass. Researchers from Rutgers University reported the fish once was mainly found off the coast of North Carolina. But they discovered the species had traveled more than 700 kilometers northward, to waters off the coast of New Jersey, Environment 360 reported.

A 2018 Rutgers study estimated climate change will force hundreds of fish species and other creatures to seek out cooler waters in coming years. Using climate models, researchers predicted that some species along the U.S. and Canadian Pacific coasts will move as far as 1,400 kilometers north from their current habitats.

Such movement is expected to cause major difficulties for fisheries both in the U.S. and Canada, the study found.

I'm Bryan Lynn.

Bryan Lynn wrote this story for VOA Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

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

Quiz - Study: Warm Waters Caused Many Sea Creatures to Move Far North

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Words in This Story

online – adj. of or related to a computer or telecommunications system

species – n. a biological classification or grouping

marine adj. relating to the sea

blob n. something that does not have a regular shape

unprecedented adj. never happened before

habitat n. the place or kind of place where a plant or animal naturally or normally lives

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http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/03/18/2235/http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/03/18/2235/VOA Special EnglishMon, 18 Mar 2019 00:31:00 UTC
<![CDATA[Great-Grandmother Proves It Is Never Too Late to Learn]]>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/2019/03/18/7289/

Setsuko Takamizawa is set to prove that it is never too late to learn.

At the age of 91, the great-grandmother is learning English with the help of her family. She hopes to use the language at next year's Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Never too late to learn

Takamizawa was one of the more than 200,000 people who requested to volunteer for Tokyo's 2020 Games. English is not required for service, but it is a helpful skill for volunteers to have.

But Takamizawa had not been able to learn the language when she was young.

Takamizawa told Reuters that she was in high school when World War Two started. She said, "In my second year there, English was banned because it was the enemy language."

Takamizawa said that her grandchildren helped persuade her she was not too old to learn.

"When I talked to my grandchildren about my wish, they said, 'it's not too late. We will teach you one word a day. It's going to be a good challenge for you'."

Natsuko is Takamizawa's granddaughter and main English teacher.

Natsuko sends a new English word to her grandmother's phone every day. They also often work together directly on phrases that Takamizawa will need for the Olympics.

"Welcome to Tokyo, this is the Olympic stadium, how can I help you?" Takamizawa answers when asked to say an English phrase she has learned.

Natsuko explains that she wanted to give her grandmother something to enjoy. "I can clearly see her English is getting better. It's my joy now."

Global Perspectives

The EF English Proficiency Index is a measure of the level of English spoken in a country. Japan ranks 49th among countries where English is not the first language.

This situation is slowly changing as younger generations welcome English. Japanese students often learn English at a much younger age than they did in the past.

However, Takamizawa believes real change will not happen unless Japanese people become more open to the rest of the world.

She says that people in Japan should act not only as Japanese citizens, but also as "global members" of the Earth.

With around 500 days to go until the Games begin, the whole Takamizawa family is ready to welcome the world to Tokyo.

When Japan last held the Summer Olympics in 1964, Takamizawa was too busy raising a family to go to any events.

Takamizawa said she never thought the Olympics would happen in Tokyo twice in her lifetime.

"It's good," she said, "to live long."

I'm John Russell.

Jack Tarrant reported on this story for Reuters. John Russell adapted it for VOA Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor.

Words in This Story

grandmother – n. the mother of your father or mother

great-grandmother -- n. the mother of one's grandmother or grandfather.

granddaughter -- n. a daughter of your son or daughter

phrase -- n. a group of two or more words that express a single idea but do not usually form a complete sentence; a brief expression that is commonly used

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

global -- adj. involving the entire world

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http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/03/18/7289/http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/03/18/7289/VOA Special EnglishMon, 18 Mar 2019 00:31:00 UTC
<![CDATA[Dozens Killed in New Zealand Mosque Attacks]]>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/2019/03/16/8603/

Dozens of people were killed Friday in mass shootings at two mosques in New Zealand. More than 40 others were injured.

One man was arrested and charged with murder in connection with the attacks, which happened in the city of Christchurch. Two other suspects were also being held.

Officials said that, as of Friday night, 49 people were confirmed dead. Health officials said at least 48 other people were being treated for gunshot wounds. Injuries ranged from minor to serious.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the shootings as a terrorist attack. She said Friday was one of her country's "darkest days." Ardern said the government raised the national security threat level from low to high, the second-highest level.

Ambulance staff take a man from outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday, March 15, 2019.
Ambulance staff take a man from outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday, March 15, 2019.

By late Friday, officials had not named the suspect who was charged or the others being held. Police said none had been on any terrorist watch list. Police also said they had found explosive devices in a vehicle.

A man who claimed responsibility for the shootings left a 74-page anti-immigrant manifesto. In it, he identified himself as a 28-year-old white Australian. He used the term "white genocide." The term is often used by racist groups to describe the effects of immigration and the growth of minority populations. The manifesto cited white genocide as a motivation for the attacks.

The man who claimed responsibility wrote that he came to New Zealand only to plan and train for the shootings. He said he acted alone and that no group ordered the attacks. He said he chose New Zealand to show that even the most distant parts of the world were not free of "mass immigration."

Ardern told a news conference that many people affected by the shootings may have been migrants or refugees. "They have chosen to make New Zealand their home, and it is their home," she said. "They are us."

In this image made from video, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gives a press conference from Wellington, after the shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday, March 15, 2019.
In this image made from video, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gives a press conference from Wellington, after the shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday, March 15, 2019.

Ardern said of the suspects, "These are people who I would describe as having extremist views that have absolutely no place in New Zealand.

The gunman reportedly broadcast live footage of one of the attacks. The video shows him shooting for more than two minutes inside a mosque, the Associated Press reported. The gunman is shown taking repeated shots at people gathered to attend religious services.

The video continues as the shooter walks out of the mosque and onto the street, where he fires at people there, the AP reported. Later, he is shown going back into the mosque, where at least 20 people are seen lying on the ground. After walking outside again and shooting more, he gets into a car and drives away.

I'm Bryan Lynn.

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

mosque – n. a building used for Muslim religious services

manifesto n. a written statement that describes the policies, goals, and opinions of a person or group

cite – v. say something as an example or evidence

motivation n. the need or reason for doing something

absolutely adv. completely

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http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/03/16/8603/http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/03/16/8603/VOA Special EnglishSat, 16 Mar 2019 23:38:00 UTC
<![CDATA[Report: Wealthy Millennials Partly Responsible for Rising Art Prices]]>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:
http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/03/17/3216/

Prices for works of art rose in the international art market in 2018. A report published recently links the rising art prices to the spending power of young people, namely millennials.

Millennials are defined as individuals born between 1981 and 1996. Many are just beginning to work in high-paying jobs, and they are investing some of their money in the art market.

The Swiss-based investment bank UBS and Clare McAndrew, an art economist, studied wealthy individuals. They report that millennials were very active last year in the art market, often using the internet to buy art works. They also found many millennials were willing to pay more for art than older individuals.

Millennial art buyers provided support for female artists, the report noted.

For a generation that might never own a car, their hunger for buying art is encouraging, said UBS Group Chief Marketing Officer Johan Jervøe.

He told the Reuters news agency he believed millennials' interest in art collecting may be a sign of the relative safety of art and collectibles as long-term assets.

Art Basel is one of the world's biggest art dealers. Every year art collectors from around the world attend its shows in Basel, Hong Kong and Miami Beach. The Art Basel and USB report said that sales in the art market grew 7 percent to $67.4 billion in 2018.

Millennials made up nearly half of the wealthy art buyers who spent $1 million or more on artwork over the past two years, the report found. Yet those millennials make up just a third of wealthy individuals worldwide.

The study looked at art markets in Britain, Germany, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong. It seemed to suggest that the future of art prices is secure at a time of political and economic concerns.

The Deloitte accounting service points out that millennials stand ready to gain wealth over the next few years. They are about to inherit a lot of money from aging parents. Their wealth could reach $24 trillion by 2020, Deloitte estimates.

The way millennials spend this money could really help the online market for art and the value of secondary works of art, Jervøe said. Last year, their spending helped raise the digital art market to $6 billion in sales.

Between 2016 and 2018, 93 percent of the millennials made purchases online. Over the three years, millennials spent almost $107,000, on average. Generation X – those between 38 and 52 years of age – spent nearly $500,000 but made fewer purchases.

I'm Susan Shand.

The Reuters news agency reported this story. Susan Shand adapted it 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

encourage – v. to make someone more determined, hopeful, or confident

asset – n. a thing one owns that has value

online adj. connected to or served through computers or a telecommunications system

accountingadj. involving a system for keeping business or financial records

inherit - v. to receive money or objects from a dead family member

]]>
http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/03/17/3216/http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/03/17/3216/VOA Special EnglishSat, 16 Mar 2019 23:12:00 UTC
<![CDATA[Kenya's Only Ice Hockey Team]]>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/2019/03/17/5392/

Kenya's first and only ice hockey team is helping to increase interest in the sport for a new generation of players.

The Kenya Ice Lions train at least three times a week at the Panari Sky Center in Nairobi. It is one of the few ice rinks in eastern and central Africa.

Tim Colby moved to Nairobi in 2010 to work for the Canadian embassy. Several months later, he found himself helping to train and lead Kenya's first-ever ice hockey team.

"Years ago, a few of the Kenyans really wanted to take it up…play a lot more seriously, attract more people and get into real hockey games. So we took it up with a few other Americans, Canadians, Slovaks, Swedes and others. We started helping out a bit, but soon it didn't take long for the Kenyans to take it all over themselves..."

The Ice Lions have never had another team to play. But in 2018, the Canadian restaurant company Tim Hortons flew 12 of the team members to Toronto to play their first real game. It was a friendly competition against a team of firefighters.

Eighteen-year-old Gideon Mutua was part of the team. He started out as a speed and roller skater in 2012. He says ice hockey has changed his life forever.

"My biggest dream is to play in the NHL, whereby you get paid just to play. And one day, I think my dream will be fulfilled," Mutua said.

Robert Opiyo is one of the first Ice Lions' team members. He says young players like Mutua are the future of Kenyan hockey.

He said, "Most of us we are quite senior, but the future really lies with the youth. This is where most of the time, the energy and effort are being invested in. For us, we are just taking in all of the pain, the hardships, the trials so that they can have it a lot…easier."

Tim Colby believes there is a future for ice hockey in Kenya.

"This used to be about 10, 12 Kenyans playing. Now we are up to around 30. At least half of them are young. And when I say young, I mean under 15, which is really good for the sport in the future..."

Alibaba from China and Canada's Tim Hortons have both given financial support and equipment to the Ice Lions. Support for the team has also come from Finland, Sweden and the Czech Republic.

There are plans to bring in teams from Tunisia, Egypt and South Africa for a tournament in July. The teams will play for a new prize, called the Africa Cup.

I'm Jonathan Evans.

Rael Ombuor reported this story for VOA News. Jonathan Evans adapted it for Learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.

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

Words in This Story

attract – v. to cause someone to choose to do or be involved in something

embassy – n. the building where an ambassador lives and works

rink – n. an often enclosed area that has a special surface of ice, smooth pavement, etc., and that is used for skating

tournament – n. a sports competition or series of contests that involves many players or teams and that usually continues for at least several days

]]>
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<![CDATA[NASA's New Rocket Delayed]]>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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NASA's large new rocket will not be ready for launch next year, the American space agency's top official said this week.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine told a Senate committee that he is thinking about using rockets made by private companies to keep the planned June 2020 launch date.

NASA's delayed rocket is called the Space Launch System, or SLS.

It's a 'critical piece of what NASA needs to build,' Bridenstine told the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.

Bridenstine added that NASA would need two private rockets to take over the SLS' job of launching the Orion capsule and an upper stage. Orion must dock with the upper stage in orbit around Earth before going to the Moon.

'This is 2019,' Senator Roger Wicker, the committee chairman, told Bridenstine. 'I'd sure like to keep us on schedule.'

The first test flight had first been planned for this year. 'I want to be clear: NASA has a history of not meeting launch dates, and I'm trying to change that,' Bridenstine said.

NASA seeks a sustainable moon program. In the past, Apollo lunar landings were direct trips from and back to Earth. The goal now is to have a base with astronauts near the moon.

Orion would not carry a crew and would not land on the moon. Instead, the Orion would get close to the Moon before traveling beyond it.

A NASA statement says Orion 'will travel 280,000 miles [450,000 kilometers] from Earth, thousands of miles beyond the Moon over the course of about a three-week mission.'

The statement adds, 'Orion will stay in space longer than any ship for astronauts has done, without docking to a space station, and return home faster and hotter than ever before.'

NASA is already using private companies to make International Space Station shipments. If private rockets were to be used for the 2020 mission, SLS would be put in operation for NASA's second exploration mission by 2023.

I'm John Russell.

Marcia Dunn reported on this story for AP News. John Russell adapted it for Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor.

Words in This Story

capsule – n. a small part of a spacecraft that is separate from the rest of the spacecraft and that is where people live and work

stage – n. a particular point or period in the growth or development of something

sustainable – adj. able to last or continue for a long time

schedule – n. a plan of things that will be done and the times when they will be done

dock – v. to join together (two spacecraft) while in space

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

]]>
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<![CDATA[WORDS AND THEIR STOTIES - Spring to Life!]]>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, the VOA Learning English program Words and Their Stories. This program explores the history and usage of common expressions in American English.

Today, we talk about a time when half the world is waking from the dark, cold winter months.

Spring!

We often describe spring as a time of rebirth, renewal and awakening. Many trees are blossoming and early flowers are pushing through the earth.

Things are coming to life!

When the weather turns warm, many people suffer from spring fever. Common "symptoms" of spring fever include not being able to focus on school or work, taking long walks, or falling in love.

So, are you actually sick when you have spring fever?

Originally, yes. Spring fever used to refer to an actual illness. When the weather turned warm, some people developed sore throats, headaches, or stuffy noses.

In Washington, D.C. with cherry blossoms in full bloom, this man asked his girlfriend to marry him. Was spring fever responsible? Who knows! (AP PHOTO)
In Washington, D.C. with cherry blossoms in full bloom, this man asked his girlfriend to marry him. Was spring fever responsible? Who knows! (AP PHOTO)

The definition of "spring fever" slowly changed in the early 1800s.

People came to use the term to mean a sudden increase of romantic feelings.

Elvis Presley describes this feeling in his song "Spring Fever."

"Spring fever, it comes to everyone. Spring fever, it's time for fun. There's no doubt now, love is in the air. Get up, get out, spring is everywhere"

FILE - A 1973 photo shows Elvis Presley in concert.
FILE - A 1973 photo shows Elvis Presley in concert.

These days, we use "spring fever" to describe a restless feeling after the long, cold days of winter.

But the word "spring" is not just a season. It is also a verb that means something happened or appeared quickly.

When you put "spring" and "life" together, you get spring to life. This expression means something suddenly becomes very active or perhaps seems more alive! You may spring to life after hearing that a distant friend will be visiting you. Or maybe your favorite soccer team finally sprang to life in the second half, played well and won the match.

But this is just the beginning. There are so many more 'spring' expressions that mean to happen suddenly.

As you can see, American English has so many phrases that use "spring" to mean 'something happens quickly.' The ones we have heard are just the ones that sprang to mind. In other words, they were the first ones I thought of, without spending much time thinking about it.

But perhaps those examples are confusing. Maybe I should have prepared you instead of just springing them on you. And, I did it again. If you spring something on other people, you have surprised them, usually not in a good way.

We end this Words and Their Stories back on the season spring.

Matthew Hayes, an employee of Taylors Bulbs, poses for a photograph as he inspects a crop of Spring Dawn daffodils on the company's farm near Holbeach in eastern England, on February 25, 2019.
Matthew Hayes, an employee of Taylors Bulbs, poses for a photograph as he inspects a crop of Spring Dawn daffodils on the company's farm near Holbeach in eastern England, on February 25, 2019.

Here is a short poem by Oliver Herford titled "I Heard a Bird Sing." It tells how a simple bird song brings a longing for spring during the month of December.

I Heard a Bird Sing

I heard a bird sing

In the dark of December

A magical thing

And sweet to remember.

"We are nearer to Spring

Than we were in September,"

I heard a bird sing

In the dark of December.

I'm Anna Matteo.

Anna Matteo wrote this story for VOA Learning English. Kelly Jean Kelly was the editor. (This story was first published on March 19, 2017.)

Words in This Story

rebirth n. a period of new life, growth, or activity

renewal n. the state of being made new, fresh, or strong again : the state of being renewed

symptom n. a change in the body or mind which indicates that a disease is present

imagine v. to think of or create (something that is not real) in your mind

annoy v. to disturb or irritate especially by repeated acts

coil n. a long thin piece of material (such as a wire, string, or piece of hair) that is wound into circles

bounce v. to move with a lot of energy and excitement

marathon n. a footrace run on an open course usually of 26 miles 385 yards (42.2 kilometers); broadly : a long-distance race

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<![CDATA[Students, Schools React to $25-Million College Admissions Scam]]>Dorothy Gundy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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United States government lawyers called it the biggest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the U.S. Justice Department.

On March 12, U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling announced that 50 people across the country had been charged in a $25-million plot to reportedly buy admission into top American colleges. Lelling said the plot was set up to guarantee admissions to top colleges for students, in his words, "not on their merits, but through fraud."

FBI Special Agent in Charge Boston Division Joseph Bonavolonta, left, and U.S. Attorney for District of Massachusetts Andrew Lelling, right, face reporters as they announce indictments at a news conference on March 12, 2019
FBI Special Agent in Charge Boston Division Joseph Bonavolonta, left, and U.S. Attorney for District of Massachusetts Andrew Lelling, right, face reporters as they announce indictments at a news conference on March 12, 2019

The colleges included top schools like Yale, Stanford and Georgetown. Others were Wake Forest, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of California at Los Angeles and many more.

Lelling said the colleges themselves were not directly involved in the plot, however.

The plot included cheating on college entrance exam, creating false athletic and school successes, and hiding payment as charitable donations to avoid paying taxes.

The U.S. attorney named William "Rick" Singer as the organizer of the plot. Singer reportedly did so using his business, Edge College & Career Network, and an organization called The Key Worldwide Foundation (KWF).

Singer agreed to cooperate with the investigation in September 2018. He admitted guilt to the charges on the day of Lelling's announcement.

The charging documents say Singer advised parents to seek more time for their children by claiming they had learning disabilities. Singer also paid test administrators to permit another person to help the students with answers or take the test for them. The parents charged in the plot reportedly paid Singer between $15,000 and $75,000 for such services. Their payments were listed as donations to KWF.

FILE - Actor Felicity Huffman leaves an initial hearing for defendants in a racketeering case involving the allegedly fraudulent admission of children to elite universities, at the U.S. federal courthouse in downtown Los Angeles, California.
FILE - Actor Felicity Huffman leaves an initial hearing for defendants in a racketeering case involving the allegedly fraudulent admission of children to elite universities, at the U.S. federal courthouse in downtown Los Angeles, California.

American actor Felicity Huffman was among the parents charged. Her daughter received extra time to take the SAT. Her test score increased by 400 points from her first time taking it because a test administrator working with Singer changed Huffman's daughter's answers for her.

Gordon Ernst, the head coach for tennis at Georgetown University, also was charged. Between 2012 and 2018, the U.S. attorney said Ernst received $2.7 million to name 12 students as recruits for the tennis team. The money sent from KWF was called a "consulting" fee.

In January 2018, Singer reportedly paid the head coach of Yale's women's soccer team $400,000 to accept a student who did not even play the sport competitively. That coach is Rudolph Meredith. The student's family reportedly then paid Singer $1.2 million for the service.

Actress Lori Loughlin, center, is seen with her daughters Isabella Rose Giannulli and Olivia Jade Giannulli in Los Angeles, Calif.
Actress Lori Loughlin, center, is seen with her daughters Isabella Rose Giannulli and Olivia Jade Giannulli in Los Angeles, Calif.

American actor Lori Loughlin and her husband, clothing designer Mossimo Giannulli, paid $500,000 to have their two daughters admitted to University of Southern California (USC) as recruits for the crew team. Yet neither of the two girls were even rowers.

Gordon Caplan, co-chairman of the well-known international law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher, reportedly paid Singer $75,000 to help raise his daughter's test scores. In a phone call, Singer told Caplan, "What we do is we help the wealthiest families in the U.S. get their kids into school…There is a front door which means you get in on your own. The back door is through institutional advancement, which is 10 times as much money. And I've created this side door in."

Nick Smith is a professor at the University of New Hampshire. He told the Associated Press, "I don't think anyone is shocked that children of the wealthy have an easier time getting into top schools."

But Smith added, "What is new here is that all of those considerable advantages apparently aren't enough for some, and they will go to any length to directly buy their way in."

Several students have filed a lawsuit against Yale, Georgetown, Stanford and other schools involved in the case. They said they and others had been denied a fair chance at admission.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday, said, "Each of the universities took the students' admission application fees while failing to take adequate steps to ensure that their admissions process was fair and free of fraud, bribery, cheating and dishonesty.'

Colleges quickly moved to dismiss or suspend any coaches and test administrators named in the charging documents.

Georgetown officials said Ernst left in December 2017 after the college found that he had violated admissions rules. The school said it was now looking at the tennis team to review its recruits.

USC officials said the college is looking at "current students and graduates that may be connected to the scheme alleged by the government."

And, Yale said the university was "the victim of a crime."

I'm Dorothy Gundy.

And I'm Pete Musto.

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

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

Quiz - Students, Schools React to $25-Million College Admissions Scam

Start the Quiz to find out

Start Quiz

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

Words in This Story

scam - n. a dishonest way to make money by deceiving people

merit - n. a good quality or feature that deserves to be praised

fraud - n. the crime of using dishonest methods to take something valuable from another person

athletic - adj. of or relating to sports, games, or exercises

recruit - n. a person who has recently joined a company, organization, etc.

rower - n. a person who rows a boat

advantage - n. something (such as a good position or condition) that helps to make someone or something better or more likely to succeed than others

adequate - adj. good enough : of a quality that is good or acceptable

scheme - n. a clever and often dishonest plan to do or get something

bribery - n. the act or crime of giving or accepting a bribe

]]>
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<![CDATA[Jailed Saudi Women Receive PEN Writing Award]]>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 literary and human rights organization ​PEN America is honoring three women's rights activists jailed in Saudi Arabia. The group announced recently that they have won the PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award.

The three are Nouf Abdulaziz, Loujain al-Hathloul, and Eman al-Nafjan. The Associated Press notes that their arrests last year have been condemned around the world.

Saudi Arabia says the activists were detained for working to "undermine the security" of the country. The detainees have openly opposed government policies that they believe restrict women's rights.

The PEN award comes at a time of intense international criticism of Saudi Arabia and its Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. In October 2018, Saudi activist and journalist Jamal Khashoggi went missing during a visit to the Saudi embassy in Istanbul. Investigators blame Saudi agents for his disappearance. They say Khashoggi was murdered.

Earlier this month, the United Nations Human Rights Council denounced Saudi Arabia's "continuing arrests and arbitrary detentions of human rights defenders."

PEN has long noted that the Freedom to Write Award has been a way of turning advocacy into action. The group says 37 of the past 43 winners have been freed, at least in part because of the attention raised by the prize.

PEN Center USA 26th Annual Literary Awards Festival
PEN Center USA 26th Annual Literary Awards Festival

"It helped me to survive while I was in prison," said Ahmed Naji, who won the award in 2016. He had been imprisoned in Egypt. The writer and journalist now lives in Washington, D.C.

PEN officials have not decided who will accept the Freedom to Write Award on behalf of the three Saudi women's rights activists. The PEN awards ceremony will take place in New York City on May 21.

I'm Caty Weaver.

Hillel Italie reported on this story for The Associated Press. John Russell adapted it for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

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

Words in This Story

literary - adj. of or relating to literature

undermine - v. to make (someone or something) weaker or less effective

journalist – n. a reporter; someone working in the news media

arbitrary - adj. done without concern for what is fair or right

advocacy – n. the act of supporting a proposal or cause

]]>
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<![CDATA[How Enslaved Africans Influenced American Diet]]>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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Do you like to drink Coca-Cola? You can thank enslaved Africans. They brought the kola nut – one of the main parts of Coca-Cola – to what is now the United States. West Africans chewed the nut for its caffeine.

Enslaved Africans also brought watermelon, okra, yams, black-eyed peas and some peppers. These foods are commonly eaten in the U.S. today. They show how Africans forced into slavery -- beginning in the 1500s -- influenced the American diet.

Okra
Okra

Frederick Opie wrote a book about some of the foods that connect Africa and America. The book is called 'Hog and Hominy: Soul Food from Africa to America.' Opie also teaches history at Babson College in Massachusetts.

He says, "If you know what people eat, you can find out where they're from.'

Opie explains that people who were bringing enslaved Africans to North America wanted to keep them alive and earn a profit. As a result, Africans on the slave ships were fed food they knew and liked. Those foods landed along with the people.

Opie explains that fruits and vegetables brought from Africa grew well in America. One reason is because enslaved Africans planted their own gardens to help feed themselves.

In time, the plants from Africa slowly moved from gardens of the enslaved to those of the wealthy and powerful. For example, the homes of U.S. presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson had gardens planted with seeds from Africa.

Those fruits and vegetables changed the way cooks made pies in America. In England, pies were made with meat. African-Americans took the English meat pie and made it with fruit or vegetables, such as sweet potatoes.

Enslaved cooks

Kelley Deetz is with Stratford Hall in the U.S. state of Virginia and the writer of a book about the influence of Virginia's enslaved cooks. It is called "Bound to the Fire."

Virginia's enslaved cooks included Hercules, a man who worked in the home of George Washington. Washington's family loved Hercules' cooking – Washington's step-grandson described Hercules as one of the best chefs in America. Washington praised Hercules' cooking so much the president was reportedly angered and surprised when Hercules escaped and sought his own freedom.

Hercules, George Washington's head cook in the 1780s, escaped while in Philadelphia with the president, and was later freed under the terms of Washington's will.
Hercules, George Washington's head cook in the 1780s, escaped while in Philadelphia with the president, and was later freed under the terms of Washington's will.

Yet for the most part, writer Kelley Deetz says the skilled black chef has been written out of American history. In fact, both their work and their skill shaped American food.

For example, enslaved cooks developed gumbo, jambalaya, pepper pot and a mix of green leafy vegetables and pork called Hoppin' John, says Deetz.

And, she adds, some ways of cooking that are well-known in the U.S. today were reported in West Africa before 1500. They include deep frying fish and barbecuing meats.

Deetz says these kinds of foods were critical to the creation of Southern, and in time American, food.

Soul food

Many of these foods with roots in African American culture came to be known as "soul food.' History professor and author Frederick Opie says the name was created during the Black Power movement of the mid-to-late 1960s. It was a way to identify food that showed the history of African Americans.

He adds that soul food is also "food that African Americans began to create a long time ago to eat with dignity as enslaved people in the diaspora."

I'm Jill Robbins.

Dora Mekouar reported on this story for VOA. Jill Robbins adapted it for Learning English, with additional information from George Washington's Mount Vernon. Kelly Jean Kelly was the editor.

Words in This Story

enslave v. to make (someone) a slave — usually used as (be) enslaved

indigenous – n. produced, living, or existing naturally in a particular region or environment

cravev. to have a very strong desire for (something)

okran. a tall plant whose pods are eaten as a vegetable and are used in soups and stews

black-eyed peasn. type of small, light bean that has a dark spot on it

barbecue v. to broil or roast (meat, fish, etc.) over hot coals or an open fire

cuisinen. a style of cooking

coin v. to create (a new word or phrase) that other people begin to use

diasporan. a group of people who live outside the area in which they had lived for a long time or in which their ancestors lived

What foods were brought to your country by people from other places? Did these foods change traditional cooking methods in your country? We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section.

]]>
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<![CDATA[The Words In and Into]]>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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Welcome back, everyone!

Last week, I answered a question from a reader about the prepositions on and onto. The other part of the question was about two more prepositions: in and into. So, today I will talk about them. Then, I will offer a tip on when to use all four words.

First, here is the question again, from last week:

Question:

I would like to know when I should use in, into, on or onto. Thanks.

Answer:

Thank you again for the question!

As you may know, a preposition is a word that is used to show direction, position or time.

Like many English prepositions, in and into have more than one meaning. But to compare their uses, we need to focus on two things: position and direction.

The first thing to know is that in is about position and into is about direction.

In

We use the word in to show the position of something within or inside a larger place or area. In suggests the person or thing is at rest. So, we use verbs that suggest being at rest.

Listen to a few examples:

I am sitting in a coffee house writing a story.

The iguana is hiding in the tree.

Oh no! I left my metro card in the house.

Iguanas are natural swimmers. Maybe this one will jump into the water?
Iguanas are natural swimmers. Maybe this one will jump into the water?

Into

The word into suggests movement toward something. We use it when a person or thing moves from an area outside to the inside.

Here are a few examples:

I walked into the coffee house and ordered a latte.

The iguana jumped into the water and swam away.

Oh no! My phone just fell into the sink.

You will probably hear English speakers using the word in when they really mean into. For example, someone might say:

Oh no! My phone just fell in the sink.

Into is more correct. But, in speech, in is a lot more common with some motion-related verbs, such as fall and put.

On, In, Onto, Into

And now for the tip:

Use the words on and in for position or location. The person or thing is usually at rest, so the verb usually does not suggest movement.

Use onto and into for direction. The person or thing is moving toward something. So, the verbs will suggest movement.

And that's Ask a Teacher.

I'm Alice Bryant.

Do you have a question for Ask a Teacher? Write to us in the comments area and tell us your name and country. You can also tell us something about yourself.

Words in This Story

tipn. a piece of advice or useful information

focus v. to direct your attention or effort at something specific

iguanan. a large lizard that lives in the tropical regions of North, Central and South America

sinkn. a wide bowl that has a faucet for water and a drain at the bottom

locationn. a place or position

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<![CDATA[Hollywood Stars, Executives Charged in College Admission Plot]]>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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American government lawyers on Tuesday charged 49 people in a $25-million plot to reportedly buy admission to top colleges. The schools involved include Yale, Stanford and Georgetown University.

Those charged include Hollywood actors Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, test administrators, business leaders and college coaches.

Federal lawyers in Boston accused William Singer of organizing the reported plot. Singer owns the college counseling business Edge College & Career Network, as well as an organization called The Key Worldwide Foundation.

The lawyers said Singer offered people up to $75,000 to take college entrance exams for students.They also accused him of paying college coaches to accept students as sports players even if they had never played the sport. In some cases, the lawyers said, Singer worked with parents to create false academic and athletic successes for the students, including putting student's faces on the images of real athletes in action.

U.S. Attorney for District of Massachusetts Andrew Lelling announces indictments in a sweeping college admissions bribery scandal, during a news conference, Tuesday, March 12, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
U.S. Attorney for District of Massachusetts Andrew Lelling announces indictments in a sweeping college admissions bribery scandal, during a news conference, Tuesday, March 12, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

U.S. attorney Andrew Lelling said the plot was set up to guarantee admissions to top colleges for students, in his words, "not on their merits, but through fraud."

Lelling said Singer used Key Worldwide Foundation as a front for parents to pay for the services. He said parents paid between $100,000 to $6.5 million for the services. Some of the parents reportedly claimed the payment as charitable donations to lower their taxes.

Lelling said Singer then used the money to bribe college coaches and test administrators.

Lelling said Yale University's women's soccer coach took $400,000 to accept a student who did not even play soccer at a competitive level. That student's family reportedly paid Singer $1.2 million for the service.

Lelling called the plot the biggest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the U.S. Justice Department.

The accused parents reportedly sought to help their children get admitted to schools including University of California - Los Angeles, University of Southern California, and University of Texas.

However, Lelling said the colleges were not involved in the plot.

Singer admitted guilt to the charges.

William 'Rick' Singer founder of the Edge College & Career Network, departs federal court in Boston on Tuesday, March 12, 2019, after he pleaded guilty to charges in a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
William 'Rick' Singer founder of the Edge College & Career Network, departs federal court in Boston on Tuesday, March 12, 2019, after he pleaded guilty to charges in a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Lelling also charged 33 parents with involvement in the plot. They included actors Felicity Huffman, known for her role in the television show Desperate Housewives, and Lori Loughlin, who appeared in another long-running show called Full House.

Among wealthy business leaders charged were Manuel Henriquez, the chief of Hercules Capital; Gamal Abdelaziz, president of Wynn Resorts Development; Gordon Caplan, head of the well-known international law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher; and Gregory Abbott, founder and chairman of International Dispensing Company.

During a phone call with one wealthy parent, Singer reportedly said of his business: "What we do is help the wealthiest families in the U.S. get their kids into school..."

I'm Caty Weaver.

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

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

Quiz - Hollywood Stars, Executives Charged in College Admission Plot

Start the Quiz to find out

Start Quiz

Words in This Story

coach - n. a person who trains an athlete or sports team

athletic - adj. relating to sports

merit - n. the quality of being good, value or worth

fraud - n. the crime of using dishonest methods to take something valuable away from another person

charitable - adj. designed to help poor people

bribe - n. something (such as money) that is given in order to get someone to do something

scam - n. a dishonest way to make money by deceiving people

]]>
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<![CDATA[Vienna Is the Most Livable City, Again]]>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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The Austrian capital, Vienna, is known for its museums, palaces and ease of living. The city of 2 million people was recently identified as having the world's highest quality of life for the tenth year in a row. That opinion comes from Mercer, a consulting agency that does a yearly Quality of Living Ranking.

Measuring quality of life is not a simple job. In a statement, Mercer said the agency looks at many factors. For example, researchers measure how easily people can use public transport, such as buses and trains. They ask whether drivers can move well on the roads. They ask if houses and apartments are available at a good price, and whether children can go to international schools. They think about whether people in the city can enjoy music, theater, restaurants and sports. And, they look for a healthy political and social climate.

Dancers of the Wiener Staatsballett (state ballet) perform during a dress rehearsal for the traditional Opera Ball in Vienna, Austria February 27, 2019.
Dancers of the Wiener Staatsballett (state ballet) perform during a dress rehearsal for the traditional Opera Ball in Vienna, Austria February 27, 2019.

In total, the agency considered 39 factors in 10 areas to name Vienna the winner. Vienna has also been ranked number one on other quality of life measurements, such as the Economist's Global Liveability Index.

Also ran

Other top cities on Mercer's list included Zurich, Auckland, Munich and Vancouver.

People on boats enjoy a hot summer day on Lake Zurich in Zurich, Switzerland
People on boats enjoy a hot summer day on Lake Zurich in Zurich, Switzerland

The 10 cities at the bottom of Mercer's list did not change from the previous year. Baghdad ranked last, followed by Bangui in the Central African Republic and Sanaa, Yemen's capital.

American cities did not do very well on quality of life rankings this year.

'All US cities covered in the analysis fell in the rankings this year, with Washington DC (53) the biggest faller,' noted Mercer's statement.

I'm John Russell.

Francois Murphy reported on this story for Reuters. John Russell adapted it for Learning English. Kelly Jean Kelly was the editor.

Words in This Story

ranking – n. a list of people or things that are ordered according to their quality, ability, size, etc.

factor – n. something that helps produce or influence a result : one of the things that cause something to happen

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

]]>
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<![CDATA[US Senate Rejects Trump's Emergency Order, Veto Expected]]>UNSV.COM英语学习频道如果想下载文章的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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Twelve Republican senators on Thursday joined Democrats to vote against American President Donald Trump's declaration of a national emergency.

The vote for the resolution to end the border emergency passed in the U.S. House of Representatives last month.

The 59-41 Senate vote, however, is short of the two-thirds majority that will be needed to overturn Trump's veto.

Minutes after the Senate vote, Trump wrote on Twitter, "VETO!"

The 1976 National Emergencies Act gives presidents special powers to declare an emergency during a crisis. Congress can end a state of emergency with a joint resolution. If the president vetoes the resolution, Congress would need two-thirds of lawmakers to vote to end the declaration.

Thursday's vote marked the first time that Congress has rejected a presidential emergency under the act.

The vote was also one of the few times that the Republican-controlled Senate has voted against Trump's position. But it is the second time this week; on Wednesday, the Senate voted to end U.S. support of the Saudi-led coalition's war in Yemen.

Trump declared a national emergency last month to get the money needed to build a wall along the nation's border with Mexico. Trump had demanded $5.7 billion to build the wall. But Congress, which is powered with making spending decisions, only provided $1.4 billion for barriers.

Senate Votes to Block Trump's Border Wall National Emergency
Senate Votes to Block Trump's Border Wall National Emergency

Republican Senators Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Rand Paul of Kentucky had already announced their opposition to Trump's emergency declaration. On Thursday, Senators Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Mitt Romney of Utah joined them.

Senator Alexander said Trump's action was "inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution that I took an oath to support." He added that Congress has the power to control spending.

Senator Romney was the Republican Party's 2012 presidential nominee. He said in a statement that Trump's declaration is "an invitation to further expansion and abuse by future presidents."

Democrats have long said there is no emergency at the border. They say Trump issued his declaration only to secure his campaign promise to "Build the Wall."

After the president's veto, the strongest chance of blocking Trump's emergency order is likely to be through legal action taken by Democratic state attorneys general, environmental groups and others.

Hai Do wrote this story for Learning English with additional reports from the Associated Press. Ashley Thompson was the editor.

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

Words in This Story

inconsistent - adj. not in agreement with something

oath - n. a formal and serious promise to do something

]]>
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<![CDATA[Ethiopian Airlines Flight Recorders Sent to France for Examination]]>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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The flight recorders from an Ethiopian Airlines plane that crashed Sunday have arrived in France to be studied.

The aircraft, a Boeing 737 Max 8, went down six minutes after leaving Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. All 157 people on the plane were killed. The crash has led more than 40 countries to ground 737 Max 8 planes or refuse to let the aircraft fly into their airspace.

Another 737 Max 8 crashed similarly in Indonesia last October. The Lion Air plane went down 13 minutes after takeoff from Jakarta, killing 189 people.

Some countries began grounding Boeing's 737 Max 8 hours after the Ethiopian Airlines crash. The United States Federal Aviation Administration, FAA, did so Wednesday. Officials said they had discovered new satellite information and evidence showing that movements of the Ethiopian Airlines plane were very similar to the Lion Air aircraft that crashed.

Ethiopian relatives of crash victims mourn and grieve at the scene where the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed shortly after takeoff on Sunday killing all 157 on board, near Bishoftu, south-east of Addis Ababa, in Ethiopia Thursday, March 14, 20
Ethiopian relatives of crash victims mourn and grieve at the scene where the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed shortly after takeoff on Sunday killing all 157 on board, near Bishoftu, south-east of Addis Ababa, in Ethiopia Thursday, March 14, 20

Officials at Lion Air have said sensors on the 737 Max 8 had been producing false information on flights that took place before the crash. The sensor issue caused the plane to go into a downward position, the officials said.

Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam said its pilots had received special training on how to deal with the sensor problem. "After the Lion Air crash, questions were raised, so Boeing sent further instructions that it said pilots should know," he said.

Boeing said it supported the FAA's decision to ground 737 Max 8 planes, even though it continues to have what it called "full confidence" in the safety of the model.

Ethiopia is leading the investigation of Sunday's crash. But France's air accident investigation group, the BEA, will examine the plane's flight information recorders, or black boxes. The BEA has a lot of experience with international air crashes, and is often sought in Airbus plane crashes because Airbus is based in France.

Two men carry suitcases containing the flight recorders from the Ethiopian jet, into the French air accident investigation authority, Thursday, March 14, 2019 Le Bourget, north of Paris. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Two men carry suitcases containing the flight recorders from the Ethiopian jet, into the French air accident investigation authority, Thursday, March 14, 2019 Le Bourget, north of Paris. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

A BEA spokesman told Reuters he did not know what condition the black boxes were in. "First we will try to read the data," he said. He added that the examination could take several days.

The victims in Sunday's crash came from 35 counties.

On Thursday, about 200 angry family members walked out of a briefing by officials from Ethiopian Airlines. They said the airline was not providing enough information. Officials said a call center had been operating 18 hours a day to serve the families' needs.

Some family members who lost loved ones decided to go to the crash site themselves.

I'm Bryan Lynn.

Bryan Lynn wrote this story for VOA Learning English, based on reports from the Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse. Caty Weaver 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

instruction n. direction or order

confidence n. feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something

data n. information or facts

]]>
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<![CDATA[Malaysia Continues Case Against Vietnamese Woman in Kim Killing]]>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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Malaysia's attorney-general ordered the continuation of the murder case against a Vietnamese woman accused of killing the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Government lawyers announced the decision in court Thursday.

Prosecutor Iskandar Ahmad did not explain the decision to continue the trial of Doan Thi Huong. She is now the only person on trial for the murder, following the decision earlier this week to drop charges against an Indonesian woman, Siti Aisyah.

Huong's lawyer and Vietnam's ambassador to Malaysia both criticized the decision. They had hoped the charges would also be dropped for Huong.

Ambassador Le Quy Quynh said he was 'very disappointed' with the decision. He said Vietnam's justice minister had written to Malaysia's chief attorney asking for Huong's release. He added that Vietnam would continue to ask for her release.

Huong's lawyer, Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, told the court that the decision was 'perverse.' He said government lawyers were being unfair to Huong, because her case was similar to Aisyah's situation.

Teh said, 'Very obviously, there is discrimination."

Both Huong and Aisyah were accused of putting a poisonous nerve agent on Kim Jong Nam's face at the Kuala Lumpur airport on February 13, 2017.

Both women have said they thought they were taking part in a prank for a television show. They were the only people arrested for the crime, after four North Korean suspects fled the country the same morning Kim was killed.

Both women were charged separately, but the charge against them is the same -- that they worked with the four North Korean suspects to murder Kim.

Last August, a High Court judge found there was enough evidence to show that Aisyah, Huong and the four North Koreans had worked together on a plan to kill Kim.

Lawyers for both women argued that they were pawns in a political assassination with clear links to the North Korean Embassy in Kuala Lumpur. They also said that government lawyers failed to prove that the women had aimed to kill Kim. Under Malaysian law, intent to kill is critical to a murder charge.

Huong's lawyer had sought a delay for the trial Thursday. Teh said Huong was unwell and needed medical treatment. He said Huong only slept one hour each night since Aisyah's release. He added she was not in a position to answer questions from both sides.

When the judge asked Huong if she was unwell, Huong said she was suffering from tension and stress.

'I have no idea what is going on,' Huong said in the courtroom Thursday.

The judge agreed to delay the trial until April 1, but warned there should not be any more delays after that. The defense part of the trial was to have started Monday.

Huong cried as she spoke to Vietnamese Embassy officials after Thursday's court hearing ended.

In Huong's village in Vietnam, her family was extremely sad and disappointed.

'I had hoped for good news today, but…there is none…I had hoped my daughter would be freed like the Indonesian woman,' said her father, Doan Van Thanh.

Huong could face a death sentence if she is found guilty of the charges.

Another lawyer for Huong urged Malaysia's attorney-general to explain why he dropped the case against Aisyah but not Huong.

During the prosecution part of the trial, expert witnesses said that poisoning caused Kim's death. The nerve agent was found on his face, in his eyes and on his clothes. It was also found on the women's clothes.

Experts have said the case against Aisyah appeared weaker since there was no video evidence of her with Kim at the airport. There was security camera video of Huong with Kim.

Prosecutors have said the women were trained killers who knew they were holding poison. They said the women held their hands away from their bodies and went to separate restrooms to wash their hands afterwards.

The defense part of the trial is expected to discuss the role of the four North Koreans, who fled the country and are believed to now be home in Pyongyang.

I'm Susan Shand.

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

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

Words in This Story

prosecutor – n. a lawyer who represents the side in a court case that accuses a person of a crime and who tries to prove that the person is guilty

perverse – adj. wrong or different in a way that others feel is strange or offensive

prank – n. a trick that is done to someone usually as a joke

pawn – n. a person or group that does not have much power and that is controlled by a more powerful person or group

stress – n. something that causes strong feelings of worry or anxiety

disappointed - adj. feeling sad, unhappy, or displeased because something was not as good as expected or because something you hoped for or expected did not happen

]]>
http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/03/15/4737/http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/03/15/4737/VOA Special EnglishThu, 14 Mar 2019 23:24:00 UTC
<![CDATA[Other, The Other and Another]]>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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It's springtime in Washington, D.C. and I'm so excited! There are a lot of places to enjoy nature, like the National Arboretum and Rock Creek Park.

Some spring days here are rainy. But other days are full of sunshine. The other day, it was sunny and beautiful. So, I walked to Rock Creek Park. And what did I see!? A blue heron. I took a picture but the bird was too far. So I ran closer and took another. Perfect.

You just heard me use the words other, the other and another.

As an English learner, you have probably used these words many times but may still be unsure if you are using them correctly.

In today's program, we will help clear up any uncertainty you may have.

Other, the other and another are used to talk about a person or thing that is additional or different. They can act as determiners or pronouns.

Blue herons are one of the most commonly seen animals in Rock Creek Park. They are tall with long legs and can reach a height of about 1.5 meters.
Blue herons are one of the most commonly seen animals in Rock Creek Park. They are tall with long legs and can reach a height of about 1.5 meters.

Determiners and pronouns

That's important for today's program.

Determiners are words placed before nouns to show which person or thing is being referred to. For example, in "other days," the word other is the determiner and days is the noun.

English has more determiners. The words a, an, the, our, your, both and any are just a few examples.

Pronouns are words that are used instead of nouns or noun phrases. For instance, I said, "So I ran closer and took another." There, the word another acts as a pronoun and replaces the noun picture.

Now, let's explore each word.

Other

We'll begin with other.

The word other is indefinite. The simpler way to say that is it describes nouns in a non-specific way.

Other can mean "additional" or "different kinds of."

Noncount and plural nouns

As a determiner, other can be used with noncount nouns and plural nouns. You may remember an earlier Everyday Grammar program on noncount nouns.

Here's other with the noncount noun luggage:

Do you have other luggage to check?

And here it is with the plural noun plans:

Other plans offer unlimited monthly data.

One and ones

It is also very common to use the determiner other with the pronouns one and ones. When we do this, we must put an additional determiner before other.

Here it is with the pronoun one:

That picture's a little drab. I like that other one better.

And here it is with ones:

These are not the right keys. Could you look for the other ones?

Did you notice that none of the examples uses the plural form others? When it is a determiner, other never takes plural form.

As a pronoun

Other can also act as a pronoun. For this use, the plural form, others, is more common, as in this example:

This shirt has a hole in it. Do you have others?

The Other

Now, let's talk about the other.

A minute or two ago, you heard an example that used this phrase.

The other is definite; it refers to specific people or things.

Singular nouns

As a determiner, the other can be used with singular and plural nouns.

With singular nouns, it can mean the second of two choices, as in this example:

That green is a little drab. I like the other color better.

It can also mean the opposite direction or side, as in this:

My apartment is on the other side of D.C.

Plural nouns

With a plural noun, the other refers to the remaining people or things, as in this:

Where are the other keys? These are not working.

As a pronoun

The phrase the other can also act as a pronoun – singular or plural. Listen to two examples:

This hat looks better than the other.

Keep this copy of the script. I'll take the others.

With a plural noun, the phrase 'the other' refers to the remaining people or things, as in, 'Where are the other keys?'
With a plural noun, the phrase 'the other' refers to the remaining people or things, as in, 'Where are the other keys?'

Another

Now, let's talk about another.

The word another is made from two words: an and other. The word an tells us that another is indefinite. It doesn't refer to specific person or thing.

Another can mean "one more" or "different from the first or other one."

Singular nouns

It is always singular and we use it with singular nouns.

Listen to two examples:

I'll take another cup of coffee, please.

Is there another gas station near here?

With 'one'

As a determiner, another is also commonly used with the singular pronoun one. Listen to a short exchange:

Would you like a second cup of coffee?

Sure, I'll have another one.

As a pronoun

We can also use another as a pronoun.

You'll recognize the next exchange:

Would you like a second cup of coffee?

Sure, I'll have another.

Well, that was a lot of information! Visit our website for a few tips plus a practice exercise.

I'm Alice Bryant.

Alice Bryant wrote this story for Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor.

determiner

pronoun

singular

another key (is)

another (is)

plural

other keys (are)

others (are)

singular

the other key (is)

the other (is)

plural

the other keys (are)

the others (are)

As a determiner, other does not take the plural form (no -s at end):

other keys (right)

others keys (wrong)

the others keys (wrong)

A determiner is needed before other when it is used with a singular noun:

the other day (right)

other day (wrong)

When the noun is indefinite (unspecific), use another.

another picture (right)

other picture (wrong)

The an in another means "one." Another is always singular. Use it only with singular nouns:

another bicycle (right)

another bicycles (wrong)

Practice

Now, you try it! Choose one of these answers for each sentence: another, other, the other, others, the others. Write your answers in the comments section. Note: One of the sentences has two possible answers.

1. Some people like to go home after work. ______ like to meet up with their friends.

2. Sorry, there are no empty seats on this side of the room. There may be seats on _____ side.

3. I love this city. There is no _____ place like it!

4. That dress is not formal enough for the wedding. Do you have ______?

5. Your computer is so old. Maybe you should buy ______.

6. You met one of my sisters. But I have _____ one who lives in Boston.

7. These boxes are for dishes. _____ are for cups and glasses.

8. Are there any _____ questions?

Words in This Story

uncertaintyn. the quality or state of being doubtful

referv. to have a direct connection or relationship to something

phrasen. a group of two or more words that express an idea but do not form a complete sentence

pluraladj. relating to a form of a word that refers to more than one person or thing

drabadj. not bright or colorful

noticen. to become aware of something by seeing or hearing it

singularadj. relating to a form of a word that refers to one person or thing

scriptn. the written form of a video, television show, play or something else

tipn. a piece of advice or useful information

practicev. to do something again and again in order to become better at it

]]>
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<![CDATA[Australian Catholics Leave the Church As Sexual Abuse Cases Increase]]>UNSV.COM英语学习频道如果想下载文章的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/2019/03/14/3678/

Australian Cardinal George Pell was sentenced Wednesday to six years in prison.

Pell is a former treasurer at the Vatican. He was found guilty of molesting two boys who belonged to a cathedral choir in the 1990s.

The judge said the crime showed "staggering arrogance" – in other words, a strong sense of power and a shocking lack of feeling for others.

Pell and his lawyers say he is innocent and are asking for another trial. ​

Australian Catholics lose their faith

But some Roman Catholics in Australia are not waiting until another ruling to form an opinion. The sentencing of Pell marks the end of their religious faith.

Jonathan Barrett, a reporter for the Reuters news agency, visited an historically Catholic area in the Australian state of Victoria.

The city of Ballarat is home to about 100,000 people. Many settlers from Ireland went to Australia in the 1800s to search for gold. They brought their Catholic faith with them.

For generations, children there were baptized as members of the Catholic Church, attended Catholic schools, and raised their own families to be Catholic.

But Census records from 2016 showed the number of people in Ballarat who say they do not belong to any religion rose sharply. Today, fewer than one in four people who live there say they are Catholic.

And even some who said they are Catholic rarely attend church services, Reuters learned. But they still thought of themselves as Catholic – until last month, when Australia's top Catholic official was publicly identified as a sex offender.

"That'll do me – I'm out," said one man while he passed the local church. He did not give his name.

Another Ballarat resident, Allen Stephens, spoke more about the issue. He said Pell's case showed the Catholic Church is broken.

Stephens, who is 76 years old, was baptized Catholic but is no longer an active member. He says the abuse has been part of what has made him and others lose interest in being Catholic.

Catholic Cardinal George Pell is seen leaving the County Court in Melbourne, Australia, February 26. 2019. Picture taken February 26, 2019. AAP Image/David Crosling/via REUTERS
Catholic Cardinal George Pell is seen leaving the County Court in Melbourne, Australia, February 26. 2019. Picture taken February 26, 2019. AAP Image/David Crosling/via REUTERS

Catholics across Australia are losing their faith

Loss of faith in the Catholic Church is not limited to Ballarat. Catholics across Australia are losing their faith.

Census records show that, in the early 1990s, more than 27 percent of the Australian population said they were Catholic. Now, about 22 percent say they are Catholic.

A Catholic group called the Pastoral Research Office adds that, over the years, fewer people have been going to church services. Young people especially have stopped going.

However, the U.S.-based Pew Research Center notes that Christianity is increasing in strength in some areas, including parts of Africa and South America.

A Catholic clergyman in Ballarat suggests that Catholicism is changing. Father Justin Driscoll is an office administrator with Saint Patrick's Cathedral. He said strong, centralized religion used to be very powerful in Western countries. Now, he says, church-goers have more of a voice.

Driscoll says he is trying to follow Pope Francis in this way. The pope has said that high-ranking religious officials should offer generous and humble service – and not act as elites who exercise power.

Kelly Jean Kelly adapted this story for Learning English. Her story was based on reports from Reuters and the Associated Press. George Grow was the editor.

Words in This Story

molest v. to harm (someone) through sexual contact​

choir n. a group of singers especially in a church​

faith - n. strong religious feelings or beliefs​

baptize - v. to officially make someone a member of a specified Christian church through the ceremony of baptism​

resident n. someone who lives in a particular place

generous - adj. freely giving or sharing money and other valuable things​

humble - adj. not proud : not thinking of yourself as better than other people​

]]>
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<![CDATA[New Champion in Sled Dog Race]]>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 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race has a new champion. Peter Kaiser won the 1,600-kilometer race early Wednesday. He is from the U.S. state of Alaska.

Kaiser is the first person of Yup'ik descent to win an Iditarod race, notes a statement on the race's website. Yup'ik refers to a group of native people.

Kaiser's team crossed the finish line in Nome, Alaska, with a time of 9 days, 12 hours, 39 minutes and 6 seconds, said a statement on the Iditarod website. Kaiser won the race by about 40 minutes and beat the defending champion, Norwegian Joar Leifseth Ulsom.

Kaiser has competed in the race several times before. He has won other famous dogsled races, including the Kuskokwim 300.

Pete Kaiser of of Bethel, Alaska poses after winning the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race after crossing the finish line in Nome, Alaska, U.S. March 13, 2019. REUTERS/Diana Haecker/Nome Nugget
Pete Kaiser of of Bethel, Alaska poses after winning the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race after crossing the finish line in Nome, Alaska, U.S. March 13, 2019. REUTERS/Diana Haecker/Nome Nugget

What is the Iditarod?

The Iditarod is the self-proclaimed 'Last Great Race on Earth.'

Competitors, called mushers, ride sleds dragged by teams of dogs. The sled teams go over difficult ground and combat freezing temperatures and strong winds.

Mushers have different plans for the race. Some lead their teams at night, while others prefer to lead their teams in the day.

Mushers have unique training routines for their dogs and feed them special diets.

The race's official website notes that the Iditarod is 'a tribute to Alaska's history and the role the sled dog played.'

A notable race

This year's race was notable not only for Kaiser's victory, but also for the shocking loss of Nicolas Petit. Petit is a native of France living in Alaska. He had a five-hour lead -- until his dog team stopped running between two checkpoints.

Nicolas Petit checks his dogs before the ceremonial start of the 47th Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Anchorage, Alaska, March 2, 2019.
Nicolas Petit checks his dogs before the ceremonial start of the 47th Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Anchorage, Alaska, March 2, 2019.

Petit said one dog was bullying another dog during a rest break. "I yelled at Joe and everybody heard Daddy yelling, which doesn't happen,' Petit told reporters from the Anchorage Daily News. After that, the entire team would not run. Petit had to drop out of the race.

This year's race came during a difficult two-year period for the Iditarod. Dog drugging scandals, the loss of national sponsors, and protests by animal rights activists have hurt the race's image.

I'm Jonathan Evans.

Mark Theissen reported on this story for AP News. John Russell adapted it for Learning English, with the use of additional sources. Kelly Jean Kelly was the editor.

Words in This Story

descent – n. the people in your family who lived before you were born : your ancestors

competitor – n. someone who is trying to win or do better than all others especially in business or sports : someone who is competing

sled – n. a small vehicle that has a flat bottom or long, narrow strips of metal or wood on the bottom and that is used for moving over snow or ice

bully – v. to frighten, hurt, or threaten (a smaller or weaker person) : to act like a bully toward (someone)

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

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http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/03/14/4845/http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/03/14/4845/VOA Special EnglishThu, 14 Mar 2019 01:37:00 UTC
<![CDATA[Google's Lookout App Helps Blind People Experience the World]]>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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Google has launched a new app designed to help blind people explore their surroundings.

The free app, called Lookout, is currently available to users in the United States who own a Google Pixel device. The company says it hopes to bring Lookout to more devices and additional countries soon.

The app was first announced at Google's I/O developer conference in May 2018. Since then, the company says it has been testing and working to improve the quality of its results.

The app uses technology similar to Google Lens. That product uses machine learning to recognize text and objects through a device's camera. Users can then receive information about or take actions related to the text and recognized objects.

Lookout builds on this same technology, but aims to provide assistance to people who are blind or have low vision.

The app uses a device's camera to recognize text and objects and then provide voice descriptions about what it sees.

Lookout is not designed to describe everything, but instead seeks to search out things that people would most likely care about. The app can learn to judge what things are most important to a person over time.

Google says the app operates best when the user wears a device around the neck or inside a pocket, with the camera lens pointed outward.

Lookout has three main settings for people to use.

The Explore setting is designed to provide assistance for people carrying out daily activities or for identifying things in new places. A Shopping setting can capture products and help users identify their money. The Quick Read setting can help users go through their mail, read signs or identify other printed materials.

Users can control parts of the app through a fingerprint sensor. For example, the sensor can be used to change operating settings or go through recent results captured by the camera. The app has three different detail levels that can be activated to provide more or less information about objects.

Google says the goal of the app is to provide more independence to the nearly 253 million people in the world who are blind or have severe vision difficulties.

There are other apps and devices designed to assist these people, too.

Microsoft's free Seeing AI app works similarly to Google Lookout. Microsoft calls its system – launched for iPhone users in 2017 - a "talking camera for the blind." Seeing AI can recognize text, objects and people and speaks results to users.

Microsoft says the system can provide audio sounds that relate to current light levels around the user. A recently released version also reportedly lets users put their fingers over a photo of something to get a sense of how the object feels. The app produces small vibrations and sounds to help this process.

An example of a video call is shown in the Be My Eyes app that connects blind people with sighted volunteers through live calls. (Be My Eyes)
An example of a video call is shown in the Be My Eyes app that connects blind people with sighted volunteers through live calls. (Be My Eyes)

Another free app, called Be My Eyes, connects blind or low-sight individuals with sighted volunteers through live video calls.

I'm Bryan Lynn.

Bryan Lynn wrote this story 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.

Quiz - Google's Lookout App Helps Blind People Experience the World

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Words in This Story

app n. program for a smartphone or other device that performs a special function

text n. ​written words

vision n. ​the ability to see

pocket n. small bag fixed onto a piece of clothing to hold things

lens n. curved piece of glass used by cameras to capture pictures

shopping n. ​the activity of buying goods in a store

vibration n. the act of shaking with small, quick movements

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<![CDATA[US Grounds All Boeing 737 Max Planes]]>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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American President Donald Trump on Wednesday said the United States would ground all Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 planes "effective immediately."

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (or FAA) said in a statement that it "made the decision as a result of the data gathering process and new evidence collected at the site and analyzed today."

The agency added, "This evidence, together with newly refined satellite data available to FAA this morning, led to this decision."

The emergency order came after two crashes involving Boeing 737 Max 8 jets in recent months. The latest happened on Sunday, when Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed in clear weather six minutes after takeoff from Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa. All 157 people on board died.

Last October, Indonesia's Lion Air Flight 610 crashed into the ocean 13 minutes after taking off from the Indonesian capital, Jakarta. All 189 people on board died.

By Wednesday, nearly 40 countries had already barred Boeing 737 Max planes from flying in their airspace. The FAA had faced criticism for permitting the jets to continue flying in the United States.

Trump said that "new information" had been found during the ongoing investigation into Sunday's accident. He said the decision to ground the aircraft "didn't have to be made, but we thought it was the right decision."

Trump added that the decision was made with the help of U.S. air carriers, aircraft manufacturer Boeing and Canadian aviation officials. Canada announced it was grounding the Boeing 737 Max planes earlier in the day.

In a statement, the U.S.-based Boeing Company said it "continues to have full confidence in the safety of the 737 Max." The company said it decided to recommend to the FAA the temporary suspension of operations of all Boeing 737 Max planes "out of an abundance of caution."

The FAA says there are 74 such planes registered in the U.S. and 387 around the world.

The U.S.- based Southwest Airlines operates 34 Boeing 737 Max planes. The airline said as a result of the order, it has removed those planes from service.

I'm Ashley Thompson.

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

Words in This Story

analyze - v. to study (something) closely and carefully : to learn the nature and relationship of the parts of (something) by a close and careful examination

aircraft - n. a machine (such as an airplane or a helicopter) that flies through the air

refined - adj. improved to be more precise or exact

confidence - n. a feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something

abundance - n. a large amount of something

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<![CDATA[Artistic Pig Brings Home the Bacon]]>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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This is What's Trending Today.

Many people know of Pablo Picasso, the Spanish artist who created some of the 20th century's most famous paintings. But few, until recently, have heard of "Pigcasso."

Pigcasso is the name given to an artistic pig that was rescued from a slaughterhouse in 2016. The pig currently lives – and creates art – at an animal sanctuary in South Africa's Western Cape region.

Joanne Lefson runs the sanctuary. She says pigs are very smart animals that like to keep their minds active. 'When I brought Pigcasso here to the barn, I thought 'how do I keep her entertained?'' she said.

Pigcasso, a rescued pig, stands in front of the canvas she painted at the Farm Sanctuary in Franschhoek, outside Cape Town, South Africa February 21, 2019.
Pigcasso, a rescued pig, stands in front of the canvas she painted at the Farm Sanctuary in Franschhoek, outside Cape Town, South Africa February 21, 2019.

Lefson gave Pigcasso some balls, paintbrushes and other objects to play with. 'She basically ate or destroyed everything except these paintbrushes… she loved them so much,' Lefson said.

Soon the pig was using those paintbrushes to create art.

Her paintings can sell for almost $4,000. The money from her sales go to animal welfare.

Pigcasso has even had one of her artworks turned into a watch face by Swatch, a Swiss watchmaking company. The limited edition 'Flying Pig by Ms. Pigcasso' has green, blue and pink colors and sells for $120.

'FLYING PIG BY MS. PIGCASSO has us squealing with joy!' notes a statement on the company's Twitter page.

Lefson says Pigcasso is 'definitely an abstract expressionist.' The term refers to the artistic movement that sought to communicate emotions using abstract images.

'You can't exactly define what she's painting,' Lefson added, 'but I can tell you that her style slightly changes depending on her mood like any great artist.'

And that's What's Trending Today.

I'm John Russell.

Alexandra Hudson reported on this story for Reuters. John Russell adapted it for VOA Learning English. Kelly Jean Kelly was the editor.

Words in This Story

slaughterhouse – n. a building where animals are killed for their meat

sanctuary – n. a place where someone or something is protected or given shelter

paintbrush – n. a brush used for putting paint on a surface

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http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/03/14/3888/http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/03/14/3888/VOA Special EnglishWed, 13 Mar 2019 21:57:00 UTC
<![CDATA[School Shooting in Brazil Leaves 10 Dead, Over 20 Injured]]>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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At least 10 people are dead after two young men attacked a public school in southern Brazil on Wednesday. More than 20 other people were reported injured.

The attackers targeted the Professor Raul Brasil state school in Suzano, near the city of Sao Paulo.

Reports say the shooting started at around 9:30 in the morning. One witness told the Globo Group that the gunmen acted during a break between classes, when many students were eating.

Globo said there was no information immediately available about the shooters' connection to the school or a reason for the attack.

Official records show that the school has 358 students in grades 6 through 9 and 693 students in grades 10 through 12.

By midday Wednesday, officials confirmed 10 people were killed. Sao Paulo Governor Joao Doria said the dead included six students and two teachers. The gunmen took their own lives, officials said.

Inside the school, police officials found a handgun and bottles that appeared to be Molotov cocktails, known as bottle bombs. Globo reported that a witness said he saw one of the attackers with a gun and the other with a knife.

Brazil, the biggest nation in Latin America, has the largest number of homicide deaths in the world each year. But school shootings are rare.

The attack comes after Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro announced that the country's gun ownership controls would be eased.

I'm Jonathan Evans.

Jonathan Evans adapted this story for Learning English from Associated Press and Globo news reports. George Grow was the editor.

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

Words in This Story

homicide – n. the act of killing another person

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<![CDATA[German Man Inflates Jeans to Survive Three Hours in Sea]]>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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This is What's Trending Today.

Arne Murke is crediting his blue jeans with saving his life.

The 30-year-old German man was thrown off a sailboat in rough seas near New Zealand.

Murke says he turned his jeans into a life jacket that kept him afloat for over three hours. He was later rescued by a coast guard crew.

The German was sailing with his brother in Tolaga Bay, on the east coast of New Zealand's north island. They reportedly had agreed to take the boat, the yacht Wahoo, to Brazil.

The trip was uneventful until the yacht's boom turned suddenly, hitting Arne Murke and knocking him in the water.

'Luckily, I knew the trick with the jeans,' he told The New Zealand Herald newspaper. 'Without the jeans I wouldn't be here today. They were really the thing that saved me.'

Murke added that he took the yacht delivery job in order to raise money for his 10-month old daughter. She lives with his girlfriend in the Philippines.

'While I was in the water I was just thinking, I can't leave my daughter behind without a father. That was the biggest motivation,' he said.

Murke said he tied knots at the end of the legs and pulled them over water to get air inside. He then forced his jeans under water to trap air and create a life jacket.

A rescue helicopter found the German about 3 and a half hours after he fell from the boat. Images of Murke floating in the water while being rescued have been appearing on the internet.

Chris Henshaw is the Senior Search and Rescue Coordinator for Rescue Coordination Center New Zealand. He said in a statement that the yacht had communications devices, including radio and emergency beacons, which helped alert rescuers. Without these devices, Henshaw noted, 'it may have turned out differently.'

And that's What's Trending Today. I'm John Russell.

Praveen Menon reported on this story for Reuters. John Russell adapted it for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

Words in This Story

yachtsman – n. a man who owns or sails a yacht

jeans – n. pants made of a strong cloth (called denim)

yacht – n. a large boat that is used for racing or pleasure

knot – n. a part that forms when you tie a piece of rope, string, fabric, etc., to itself or to something else

boomn. a long pole connected to the bottom of a sailboat's sail

life jacketn. an inflatable device for keeping a person afloat in water

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

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<![CDATA[British Parliament Votes Down Brexit Deal 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:
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Britain's parliament has rejected for a second time Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal to leave the European Union.

British lawmakers voted 391 to 242 against May's plan Tuesday, 17 days before Britain is to withdraw from the political and economic alliance.

The vote meant Britain will have to choose: leaving the EU without a deal; delaying the March 29 departure date; or having a new Brexit vote.

May told lawmakers before the vote, "If this vote is not passed tonight, if this deal is not passed, then Brexit could be lost."

On Wednesday, lawmakers will vote on whether Britain should leave the world's biggest trading group without a deal. Business leaders warn that such an exit would cause severe disorder in markets and supply chains. Others say it could cause shortages of food and medicines.

Supporters of Brexit argue the withdrawal would permit Britain to succeed and negotiate new trade deals across the world.

However, parliament is expected to reject a "no-deal" Brexit as well. If so, lawmakers Thursday will then vote on whether to request a delay of the withdrawal to permit further talks.

After two and a half years of Brexit negotiation, both May and the EU have already ruled out any other changes to the deal.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Monday, "There will be no third chance. There will be no further interpretations of the interpretations, no further assurances of the reassurances if the 'meaningful vote' tomorrow fails."

In 2016, 52 percent of Britons voted to leave the E.U. Forty-eight percent voted to remain in the group. The result has divided Britain over concerns about immigration and economic globalization.

Opponents fear that Brexit will leave Britain economically weaker and with reduced security capabilities. Supporters say it would let Britain control immigration and seize global opportunities.

I'm Jonathan Evans.

Hai Do adapted this story for Learning English based on reports from the Associated Press and Reuters news agencies. Caty Weaver was the editor.

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

Words in This Story

exit - n. the act of going out or away​; a departure

interpretation - n. the way something is explained or understood​

assurance - n. confidence of mind or manner: easy freedom from self-doubt or uncertainty​

globalization - n. something made or done to involve or affect the entire world​

opportunity - n. a good chance for advancement or progress​

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<![CDATA[British-led Research Team Makes Historic Broadcast from Indian Ocean]]>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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A British-led research team has sent its first live, television quality video transmission from a two-person submersible vehicle.

Team members entered two submersibles, which slowly went down into waters off the coast of the Seychelles on Tuesday. The aim of the project is to document changes taking place in the Indian Ocean.

Heavy seasonal storms and strong underwater currents continued to present problems at greater depths during the study.

The AP used optical video techniques to transmit the pictures through the waves by using the blue part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Before now, real-time video transmissions from the world's deep oceans were livestreams. This means they were sent from unmanned subsea vehicles that were operated on land. The video was sent through fixed fiber-optic wiring.

The new transmission uses the latest wireless technology. The signal came from 60 meters down.

Indian Ocean Mission Makes Historic Broadcast please wait Embed share Embed share The code has been copied to your clipboard.

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The Associated Press is the only news agency working with British scientists from the Nekton research team on its deep-sea project. The researchers hope to open up the secrets of the Indian Ocean, one of the world's least explored areas.

The team of scientists is gathering information to help policy-makers to create environmental protection measures.

Oliver Steeds is the director of the study. He said the experience of battling the waves shows the need to expand scientific knowledge of the waters off the Seychelles.

"The problem is, when it comes to this place, when it came to the currents, the most recent current records are from 1882,' he said.

The study is expected to last seven weeks, until April 19.

I'm Susan Shand.

The Associated Press reported this story. Susan Shand adapted this story 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

transmission – n. to send video or audio to another place

submersibleadj. an object covered with water, such as a submarine

optical – adj. involving the use of devices that get information for a computer by identifying patterns of light

spectrum – n. the group of colors that a ray of light can be separated into, such as the colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet

livestreamed – v. to play in real time over the internet

fiber-optic – adj. the use of thin threads of glass or plastic to carry large amounts of information in the form of light signals

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<![CDATA[As Web Turns 30, Creator Calls for Big Changes to Make it Better]]>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/2019/03/13/7100/

The man credited with inventing the World Wide Web 30 years ago is calling for major changes to make it better for humanity.

Tim Berners-Lee spoke about the current state of the Web during a 30th anniversary event Tuesday in Geneva, Switzerland. He wrote the first proposal on creating a new system for organizing information. He sent that proposal to a supervisor on March 12, 1989.

The anniversary event was held at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. This is the research center where Berners-Lee was working as a computer engineer when he developed his ideas for the World Wide Web.

His proposal sought to create a way for computers across the world to communicate with each other.

The British computer scientist, now 63, had the idea for the hypertext transfer protocol - the "http" in front of each website address. The "http" system enabled the sending and receiving of written information and small images through a software program that became the first web browser. This browser prepared the way for internet availability for large numbers of people through home computers.

The CERN anniversary event celebrated how the creation of the World Wide Web launched a technological revolution that improved life in many ways. It forever changed the way people get information, share ideas, buy goods and do work.

But Berners-Lee told the event that many people – including himself – believe the web has fallen short in many areas and created new, serious problems.

In an open letter published Tuesday, Berners-Lee noted that 30 years after its invention, the web is used by half the world's population.

Berners-Lee said the web had clearly created great opportunities for humanity to progress and made life easier for millions of people. It also has given groups traditionally not heard a new voice in society. However, he added that the web had also provided new ways for "scammers" to carry out crimes and "given a voice to those who spread hatred."

"Against the backdrop of news stories about how the web is misused, it's understandable that many people feel afraid and unsure if the web is really a force for good," he wrote.

Berners-Lee told reporters that some political events in recent years also led many people to distrust the web. "They are all stepping back … realizing that this web thing that they thought was cool is actually not necessarily serving humanity very well," he said.

English computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee, 3rd left on the podium, best known as the inventor of the World Wide Web, attends an event at the CERN in Meyrin near Geneva, Switzerland, March 12, 2019. (Fabrice Coffrini/Pool, Keystone via AP)
English computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee, 3rd left on the podium, best known as the inventor of the World Wide Web, attends an event at the CERN in Meyrin near Geneva, Switzerland, March 12, 2019. (Fabrice Coffrini/Pool, Keystone via AP)

Berners-Lee created a group called the World Wide Web Foundation. It seeks help from governments, companies and citizens to become more involved in shaping the web to do more good for humanity. His actual plan is called the "Contract for the Web."

Under this contract, governments are called on to take steps to make sure all citizens can connect to the internet and that individual privacy is respected. Businesses are asked to keep internet prices low so many people can use the web. In addition, companies should respect privacy and develop technologies that aim to put people - and the "public good" - first.

The plan also calls on citizens to create materials for the web and cooperate with others to make sure there is rich, quality information for everyone. In addition, citizens should seek to "build strong communities that respect civil discourse and human dignity."

The path to make the internet better is the responsibility of everyone who uses it, Berners-Lee said. Making big changes will not be easy, but will be very well worth it in the end, he added.

"If we give up on building a better web now, then the web will not have failed us. We will have failed the web," he said.

I'm Bryan Lynn.

Bryan Lynn wrote this story for VOA Learning English. His story was based on reports from the Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France-Presse and online sources. 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

address – n. directions to an person, object or organization

software n. programs used to make computers perform different operations

browser n. computer program that permits the user to see pages on the internet

opportunity – n. a good possibility or chance for progress

scammer n. someone who makes money by using illegal methods or tricking people

contract n. legal document that makes an agreement between parties official

discourse n. spoken or written discussion

dignity n. the quality of being worthy of honor or respect​

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http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/03/13/7100/http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/03/13/7100/VOA Special EnglishWed, 13 Mar 2019 00:41:00 UTC
<![CDATA[Some Countries Ground Boeing 737 Max 8 after Deadly Ethiopia Crash]]>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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Airlines in Ethiopia, China and Indonesia grounded Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft on Monday after one of the planes crashed in Ethiopia, killing 157 people.

Ethiopia Airlines said Monday the flight recorders from the plane had been found. The Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed six minutes after takeoff on Sunday from Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. The plane was headed to Nairobi, Kenya when it crashed into a field in clear weather.

Investigators are hoping the recorders, also called black boxes, will provide information about what might have caused the crash. Red Cross workers picked through the wreckage, spread over a wide area, in search of human remains. Ethiopian authorities are leading the investigation, with help from teams from the United States, Kenya and other nations.

Second deadly crash

The Sunday crash was very similar to one last year involving a Boeing 737 Max 8 belonging to Indonesia's Lion Air. That crash killed 189 people when the Lion Air plane went down shortly after takeoff from Indonesia's capital Jakarta. Indonesian investigators have not yet identified a cause for the Lion Air crash.

Framed photographs of seven crew members are displayed at a memorial service held by an association of Ethiopian airline pilots, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Monday, March 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Samuel Habtab)
Framed photographs of seven crew members are displayed at a memorial service held by an association of Ethiopian airline pilots, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Monday, March 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Samuel Habtab)

The head of Ethiopia Airlines said there were no known problems with its aircraft before Sunday's flight. It had received the plane in November and records showed it had flown just 1,200 hours.

The latest crash was likely to renew questions about the 737 Max 8. It is the newest version of Boeing's popular passenger aircraft, first introduced in 1967.

Ethiopia Airlines said it had decided to ground its remaining four 737 Max 8 planes as "an extra safety precaution." The company had been using five of the planes and expected to receive 25 more from Boeing.

China's Civil Aviation Administration said it had ordered Chinese-based airlines to ground all 737 Max 8 aircraft. Officials said the action was ordered to fit a policy of "zero tolerance for security risks." China Southern Airlines is one of Boeing's biggest buyers of 737 Max 8 aircraft.

Airplane parts lie on the ground at the scene of an Ethiopian Airlines flight crash near Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, south of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Monday, March 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)
Airplane parts lie on the ground at the scene of an Ethiopian Airlines flight crash near Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, south of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Monday, March 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

In Indonesia, officials ordered the country's 737 Max 8 planes grounded to carry out inspections.

Boeing said it did not plan to issue any new guidance to plane operators following the crash. The company said it was sending a technical team to the crash site to assist investigators.

In a statement, Boeing said it was "deeply saddened to learn of the passing of the passengers and crew" on the Ethiopian Airlines plane. The company always puts safety first, the statement said. It added that Boeing was "taking every measure" to fully understand all information about the crash.

People from 35 countries died in the Ethiopia Airlines crash. Kenya lost 32 people, more than any other country. The United Nations estimated that at least 21 people connected to the organization were killed in the crash. They were thought to be traveling to a major U.N. environmental meeting set to start Monday in Nairobi.

I'm Bryan Lynn.

Bryan Lynn wrote this story for VOA Learning English, based on reports from the Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse. Hai Do 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

precaution n. something done in an effort to prevent bad things from happening in the future

tolerance n. the ability to accept something

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<![CDATA[Measles Progress At Risk Worldwide]]>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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From VOA Learning English, this is the Health & Lifestyle report.

Measles can spread easily from person to person, but it is a fully preventable disease.

The World Health Organization notes that a safe, effective vaccine has protected billions of children against measles over the past 50 years.

However, all that progress is now at risk.

Katherine O'Brien is the director of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals at the WHO. She says that progress is at risk because of a failure to vaccinate children in all parts of the world.

'Measles as a virus is one of the most contagious infections that there is. For every case of measles that occurs in a setting where people are not immune, nine to 10 additional cases will occur simply because of exposure to that case.'

Measles is a virus. It lives in the nose and throat mucus of an infected person. "It can spread to others through coughing and sneezing," reports the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Measles is spread through droplets in the air. The virus can live for up to two hours on surfaces where the infected person coughed or sneezed. If other people touch the surface or breathe the same air, they can get sick.

Signs of the disease

Signs of measles include:

  • high body temperature
  • coughing
  • runny nose
  • red, watery eyes
  • small, white areas on the inside of the mouth
  • a discoloration of the skin (It begins on face and spreads downward.)

A skin rash is the clearest sign that a person has the disease. However, the person can be contagious for up to four days before the rash appears. So, the infected person may not know they are sick and then pass the virus to others.

How many cases worldwide?

The WHO says 229,000 cases of measles were reported last year worldwide. But WHO officials are not sure of the exact number. They say the number of reported cases represents less than 10 percent of actual cases.

So, the disease is infecting millions of other people. And millions are not getting vaccinated. In 2017, the WHO reported that more than 19.9 million people were not protected against the measles.

Katrina Kertsinger is a WHO medical officer in the Expanded Program on Immunization. She says there have been measles outbreaks in all parts of Africa, including the island of Madagascar.

The WHO reports that in poor countries, many children do not get vaccinated because they do not live near health clinics. In wealthier countries, the measles vaccine is widely available. But some parents sometimes choose not to have their children vaccinated because of claims that the vaccine is dangerous.

Jocelyn Smith cares for her 11-month-old son, Mason at their home in Camas, Wash., Jan. 30, 2019. Smith has been afraid to take Mason out of the house during a measles outbreak in southwest Washington because he is too young to receive the measles vaccine
Jocelyn Smith cares for her 11-month-old son, Mason at their home in Camas, Wash., Jan. 30, 2019. Smith has been afraid to take Mason out of the house during a measles outbreak in southwest Washington because he is too young to receive the measles vaccine

Anti-vaxxer movement in the U.S.

In the United States, health officials are urging parents to get their children vaccinated for measles. Some parents object to vaccines for moral, religious, personal or philosophical reasons.

U.S. health experts announced 19 years ago that the disease was no longer a threat to the public. Yet 18 states give parents the right not to vaccinate their children.

One such state is Washington in the Pacific Northwest. A recent outbreak of measles there has health officials working hard to contain it. On February 5, there were 50 cases of measles reported in Washington.

Signs posted at a clinic in Vancouver, Washington warns patients and visitors of a measles outbreak. A measles outbreak near Portland, Ore., has revived a bitter debate over personal belief exemptions to childhood vaccinations, 2019. (File Photo)
Signs posted at a clinic in Vancouver, Washington warns patients and visitors of a measles outbreak. A measles outbreak near Portland, Ore., has revived a bitter debate over personal belief exemptions to childhood vaccinations, 2019. (File Photo)

In the U.S., rural areas often have higher numbers of unvaccinated children. But there are also large numbers in some big cities, such as Houston, Austin and Seattle.

Measles makes people very sick, and it is especially dangerous for young children. It can lead to other health problems such as pneumonia or encephalitis. Encephalitis is a swelling, or enlargement, of the brain. It can be deadly or lead to permanent disability.

Doctors, including the U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, are urging parents to get their children vaccinated.

'As the United States Surgeon General, I want everyone to know that the best protection against measles is getting vaccinated.'

And that's the Health & Lifestyle report. I'm Anna Matteo.

For VOA News, Carol Pearson reported from Washington, DC and Lisa Schelin reported from Geneva. Anna Matteo adapted their reports for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

Measles Progress At Risk Worldwide

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Words in This Story

contagiousadj. having a sickness that can be passed to someone else by touching

immune adj. not capable of being affected by a disease

exposure n. the fact or condition of being subject to some effect or influence

mucus n. a thick liquid that is produced in some parts of the body (such as the nose and throat)

cough v. to force air through your throat with a short, loud noise often because you are sick

sneeze v. to suddenly force air out through your nose and mouth with a usually loud noise because your body is reacting to dust, a sickness, etc.

rash n. a group of red spots on the skin that is caused by an illness or a reaction to something

outbreak n. a sudden start or increase of fighting or disease

anti-vaxxer - a person who opposes vaccinations or laws that mandate vaccination

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http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/03/12/5317/http://www.unsv.com/voanews/specialenglish/scripts/2019/03/12/5317/VOA Special EnglishTue, 12 Mar 2019 01:44:00 UTC
<![CDATA[What Should We Make for Dinner?]]>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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Most of us might only begin to think about dinner in the late afternoon: What should I make today?

But Jelena Petrovic begins to think about her big meal early each morning.

After morning tea, she and her husband, Milan, begin their plans for a traditional Serbian dish. The cooking method they use probably comes from Jelena's mother or grandmother. Each recipe uses local foods found in Serbian markets.

Milan goes to the market to get the food they need. And the 69-year-old Jelena makes plans for how she will explain the cooking process to her 150,000 followers on YouTube.

Once she is ready, Jelena films her cooking show from a small kitchen table. Milan holds the camera. Online, she is known as "Granny Jela." And her popular YouTube channel is called "Bakina Kuhinja" – or "Granny's Kitchen" in the Serbian language.

Jelena has many years of experience cooking at home. Ten years ago, she started an online forum, where she shared recipes and cooking suggestions for meat, soup, bread, sweet treats and more.

Her number of followers grew over time. She decided to start a blog and began also making videos she filmed with her mobile phone.

Today, her videos on YouTube have over 50 million views. Last year, "Granny's Kitchen" was named one of the Top 50 YouTube channels in Serbia.

"All you need is love, the will and desire to do something," Jelena told Associated Press reporters. "Anything can be done only if you really want to do it."

Before she became a social media star, Jelena first had to teach herself how to use a computer. "I didn't even know how to use a computer mouse at first," she said. "But I Googled a lot and read hundreds of tutorials."

Now her YouTube channel takes up much of her day. She works from her small kitchen and home office. Colorful plants and flowers fill the room. A bright cloth covers the table where she works. She says she gets tired from working long hours each day.

But, she said, "my viewers wait for a new recipe every morning. If I am late, they ask if I am well and what is happening."

Often, her viewers write that the recipes bring back happy memories of their childhood.

"My recipes are all local, traditional home-food recipes," Jelena said. "I make things my mother or grandmother used to make."

But, who eats all the tasty food?

"Oh, I give some of it to the neighbors and friends, but I pack the sweets for my grandchildren," Jelena says with a smile.

I'm Jill Robbins.

Jovana Gec reported on this story for the Associated Press. Jill Robbins adapted it for Learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.

Words in This Story

afternoon – n. the part of the day between noon and evening

dish – n. food that is prepared in a particular way

recipe – n. a set of instructions for making food

desire – n. the feeling of wanting something

tutorial – n. a book, or computer program that teaches someone how to do something by explaining each stage of a process

Who do you ask for traditional recipes? We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section.

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<![CDATA[US Concerns about Chinese Tech Slow Some Silicon Valley Deals]]>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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The United States and China are seeking to be the world's leader in artificial intelligence, or AI, and other fast-developing technologies.

But this high-tech competition has been affected by U.S. concerns about some Chinese investments in American businesses.

For years, cooperation has grown between China and California's Silicon Valley, home to many of the world's top technology companies. But the current U.S. administration has increased scrutiny of Chinese investments in Silicon Valley. This has caused some U.S. startups to turn down Chinese investments.

Michael Wessel heads the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. The U.S. government organization investigates whether U.S.-China economic and trade relations are affecting U.S. national security.

Wessel recently told a Congressional hearing that China is currently very active in many areas of technology innovation. "China wants to be a global innovation leader and is doing all that it can legally and illegally to achieve its goals," he said.

The U.S. has accused China of carrying out cyberattacks on U.S. businesses in an effort to steal company secrets. U.S. officials have also raised concerns about rules that require American companies to turn over their technology to Chinese partners.

The issues have also complicated ongoing trade talks between the U.S. and China.

Accusations against Huawei

One major company facing U.S. accusations is Chinese technology company Huawei. The company's chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, faces fraud charges in the United States. Meng is being held in Canada after being arrested in December, and U.S. officials are seeking to bring her back to the U.S. to face the charges.

FILE - Huawei Technologies Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou as she exits the court registry following the bail hearing at British Columbia Superior Courts in Vancouver, British Columbia on Dec. 11, 2018.
FILE - Huawei Technologies Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou as she exits the court registry following the bail hearing at British Columbia Superior Courts in Vancouver, British Columbia on Dec. 11, 2018.

U.S. government lawyers have said Huawei violated U.S. restrictions against sales to Iran. In addition, they accuse the company of stealing trade secrets from technology company T-Mobile.

Huawei is currently working on building 5G systems – the next generation in wireless technology - in countries around the world. The 5G development has caused tensions between the U.S. and China. U.S. officials have long suspected the Chinese government could use Huawei network equipment to help carry out spying activities. Huawei has rejected such accusations.

U.S. restrictions

The U.S. government has urged American companies not to use Chinese technology in its communications systems because of security concerns. It has also pressed other countries to ban Huawei from building 5G networks.

Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group, speaks as he unveils the 5G modem Balong 5000 chipset in Beijing, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group, speaks as he unveils the 5G modem Balong 5000 chipset in Beijing, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

U.S. officials want to put restrictions on several kinds of technology – including AI and robotics - because it sees them as possible threats to national security.

But many in the tech industry say such restrictions could end up harming U.S. businesses. Tim Draper operates a major investment company in Silicon Valley. He told VOA he was one of the first U.S. investors in Chinese technology company Baidu.

"I think we should be open and sharing," Draper said. "Both countries benefit so much by having a very open communication lane. I believe we have a problem that we are putting up barriers where they don't benefit us."

It remains unclear how long the current investment environment will last in Silicon Valley. But for now, it seems many investors and startup companies have accepted a cooling off period for Chinese-related investments.

I'm Bryan Lynn.

Michelle Quinn reported this story for VOA News. Bryan Lynn adapted her story for Learning English. Hai Do was the editor.

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

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Words in This Story

artificial intelligence n. the ability of a machine to use and analyze data in an attempt to reproduce human behavior

scrutiny n. careful examination of something

innovation n. a new idea or method that is being tried for the first time, or the use of such ideas or methods

achieve v. to succeed in doing something good

complicate v. make something more difficult

benefit v. something that helps you or gives an advantage

lane n. a route regularly used by vehicles, boats, etc.

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<![CDATA[Artifacts Discovered in Mayan Cave ‘Untouched' for 1,000 years]]>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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Archaeologists have discovered about 200 Mayan artifacts in Mexico that appear to have been untouched for 1,000 years.

The artifacts were found inside a cave in ruins of the ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza on Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula. Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History announced the discovery during a press conference in Mexico City.

The lead researcher on the project is Mexican archaeologist Guillermo de Anda. He called the cave a "scientific treasure." He said the artifacts appear to date back to around A.D. 1000. 'What we found there was incredible, and completely untouched,' he added.

Pre-columbian artifacts sit in a cave at the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019. (Karla Ortega/Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History via AP)
Pre-columbian artifacts sit in a cave at the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019. (Karla Ortega/Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History via AP)

The findings included bone pieces and burnt offering materials. In addition, incense burners, vases, plates and other objects were discovered. Some items included the likeness of Tlaloc, the rain god of central Mexico. The Mayans also had their own rain god, called Chaac. But experts believe the Mayans may have imported Tlaloc from other pre-Hispanic cultures.

The cave where the objects were found is part of a cave system known as Balamku or "Jaguar God." The cave is about three kilometers east of the main pyramid of Kukulkan, which sits at the center of Chichen Itza. The stone city is described by the United Nations as "one of the greatest Mayan centers of the Yucatán Peninsula."

The cave sits about 24 meters underground, with areas connected by passages. De Anda said some of the passages were so narrow that researchers had to crawl in or pull themselves through.

Pre-columbian artifacts sit in a cave at the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019. (Karla Ortega/Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History via AP)
Pre-columbian artifacts sit in a cave at the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019. (Karla Ortega/Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History via AP)

He added that his team had so far explored about 460 meters of the cave, and is unsure how far it stretches. The team plans to continue exploring the cave. Artifacts found will not be removed, but studied inside, he said.

The team accidentally found the artifacts while exploring Chichen Itza in an effort to learn more about its underground water system. A series of sinkhole lakes, known as cenotes, can be seen on parts of the surface. But the archaeologists are exploring other water sites below pyramids, temples and other buildings.

Water was always central to the city. Its name in Maya means "at the mouth of the well of the Water Wizards."

Pre-columbian artifacts sit in a cave at the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019. (Karla Ortega/Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History via AP)
Pre-columbian artifacts sit in a cave at the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019. (Karla Ortega/Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History via AP)

The cave had been discovered by local people 50 years ago, but was not fully explored, de Anda said. He hopes the new discovery will help scientists better understand the history, lives and beliefs of people who lived in Chichen Itza. He said archaeologists believe there may be another undiscovered cave hidden under the pyramid of Kukulkan that could be connected to the latest find.

"Let's hope this leads us there," de Anda said. "That is part of the reason why we are entering these sites, to find a connection to the cenote under the (Kukulkan)."

I'm Bryan Lynn.

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

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

Quiz - Artifacts Discovered in Mayan Cave 'Untouched' for 1,000 years

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Words in This Story

artifact n. a simple object made by people in the past

cave n. a large hole that was formed by natural processes in the side of a cliff or hill or under the ground

incredible adj. very good or exciting

incense n. a substance that burns with a strong, sweet smell, often used in religious ceremonies

crawl v. to move on your hands and knees

sinkhole n. a hole in the ground, especially in an area of limestone rock, that has been formed naturally

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<![CDATA[Bread Now Too Costly for Many Zimbabweans]]>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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Bread has now joined the list of goods in short supply in Zimbabwe. The lack of bread has caused its price to increase. Now, citizens are forced to look for replacements to this simple food source.

Bread now costs $2 or higher, about twice as costly as the usual price. Many people are getting used to having their tea -- a favorite morning drink of Zimbabweans -- without bread.

Gibson Nhema now sells goods such as sweet potatoes and corn in place of bread.

He told VOA, 'If we can get bread once a week that will be it. But we no longer miss it because it is now expensive. If the government would push the price of bread and flour down that would go well with our way of living. We have no cash. If it remains expensive, I will not able to buy dinner if I buy bread.'

Food sellers like Nhema are doing well. But these are very hard times for those who mostly sell bread, like Alwyn Mutero.

Mutero said, 'There used to be lots of bread, but these days, people no longer buy like they used to do, because prices are going high. We used to sell this bread for about a $1, now it costs about $2.50. So people cannot afford it.'

Mangaliso Ndlovu is Zimbabwe's Minister of Industry and Commerce. Recently, he said he found a company that could make bread using local ingredients to help ease the shortage and control the price.

But farmers say they do not have a way to produce wheat that is cost effective. They are calling on President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government to help.

Ben Gilpin is with the Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union. He says that, among other things, farmers must have a fair price to cover their production costs. He adds that farmers must have the knowledge and tools to help the farming industry grow.

Government and industry officials continue their search for an answer to the shortage. Meanwhile, Zimbabweans like Gibson Nhema keep thinking of other foods to take the place of something as simple as their daily bread.

I'm Jonathan Evans.

Columbus Mavhunga reported this story for VOA News. Jonathan Evans adapted it for Learning English. Kelly Jean Kelly was the editor.

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Words in This Story

afford – v. to be able to pay for something

expensive – adj. costing a lot of money

ingredients – n. the things that are used to make a food or product

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