Cashing In on Climate Change – The New York Times (Dec 03, 2016)

Cashing In on Climate Change – The New York Times (Dec 03, 2016)

To read this article, click here.

Courtesy: The New York Times.

Word List-1:

04dec16_wl1

04dec16_wl1bNote:

  1. Visit www.oxforddictionaries.com to know the words’ definition, more synonyms, pronunciation, example sentences, phrases, derivatives, origin and etc.
  2. Definitions (elementary level) & Synonyms provided for the words above are my personal work and not that of Oxford University Press. Tentative definitions/meanings are provided for the study purpose only and they may vary in different context. Use it with corresponding article published on  the source (website) via the link provided.
  3. This word list is for personal use only. Reproduction in any format and/or Commercial use of it is/are strictly prohibited.
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English in a Minute: Sink Your Teeth Into – VOA Learning English (Dec 03, 2016)

What do you want to sink your teeth into? This expression is not always about eating. Find out how to use this phrase in this week’s English in a Minute!

This video was originally published on the www.learningenglish.voanews.com  and reproduced here with permission.

Courtesy: Voice of America

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You’re Dreaming! – VOA Learning English (Dec 03, 2016)

wikipedia-commons

Dreams are the result of a busy sleeping brain. Dreams are also in many of our expression!

You’re Dreaming! (0:08:02)

Join us now for Words and Their Stories, a program from VOA Learning English.

On this show we talk about the origins and meanings of common expressions in American English. Every week we dream up topics you might find interesting. Well, we also do research. But today we have dreamt up a show on “dreams.”

Dreams are the visions we have when we are asleep. But the word “dream” fills the expressions we use when we are awake.

“The stuff dreams are made of” is a romantic expression. It describes a really wonderful experience.

For example, let’s say you really love flight and space travel. So, a friend invites you to see a launch of a space shuttle. She even invites you to meet the astronauts who are going to fly into space.

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Space Shuttle Discovery sits on the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center, 2005. (Image Credit: NASA/KSC)

After this experience you can say to her, “That was the stuff dreams are made of! It’s a dream come true!”

A dream come true is exactly that – a dream that has become reality.

Let’s make it even better.

Let’s say your friend can get you on the space shuttle. You can actually wear a space suit and sit in the flight commander’s seat! That would be beyond your wildest dreams. In other words, even you could not have dreamed up such a wonderful experience.

However, once you enter the space shuttle you feel ill. Your hands shake and you are unable to talk.

The astronauts try to help you. But you freak out, yelling, “Let me out of here! Let me out of here!” When you start throwing the flight manuals around the cockpit, the police come and remove you from the shuttle.

It’s a disaster. A nightmare.

nasa2-03dec16

The astronauts flew into space with you.

After the police take your statement and your fingerprints, your friend tries to calm you down. She tells that everything will be okay. But all you can say to her is, “I wish it was all just a bad dream.”

But it wasn’t.

You are barred from participating in any NASA-related field trips. And now you have a police record.

However, months later your childhood dream of space travel comes back strong. You decide to become a pilot. Your friend advises against it. She reminds you that you have a severe case of claustrophobia, a fear of being in small spaces.

She calls your goal of becoming a pilot a pipe dream. A pipe dream is a hope or wish that is impossible to achieve. This expression began in the late 19th century. Word experts say it refers to a dream experienced when smoking an opium pipe. Those dreams rarely come true.

But you insist it is possible for you to be the first person to fly around the world with your faithful pet cat — Galaxy. Your friend, however, says, “Dream on!” She could also say, “In your dreams!”

Both of these informal expressions are ways of saying that someone’s idea is a fantasy. Friends can use them in a funny way with each other. Otherwise, both expressions can sound a little mean.

Then your friend uses another informal expression. She tells you to wake up and smell the coffee! She adds that you are living in a dream world if you think you can become a world-famous pilot who flies with a cat. People who live in a dream world are unrealistic. They refuse to face facts.

Your friend’s remarks are hard for you to hear. But you know she is right. So, you decide to write a children’s book about someone who flies around the world with a beloved pet. As you are already a children’s book author, this is a dream that can definitely come true.

For the next few months, you happily daydream about the story you will write. To daydream is to let your creative mind, your imagination, take over. Luckily for you, you can daydream anywhere – not just in small spaces such as a cockpit.

It turns out you are better dreaming about air travel than doing it. Your book is a spectacular success. With the money you make from your book sales, you are finally able to buy your dream house. And it has a special room just for Galaxy, your cat.

Your proud friend invites you to speak at the school where she teaches. You tell her students to follow their dreams and to dream big. You also tell them that even broken dreams have value. You can always pick up the pieces and make a new one!

That night you call her on the phone to thank her for reminding you to never stop dreaming. She says that is what friends are for.

“Goodnight,” you say.

“Goodnight,” she says. “Sweet dreams.”

And that brings us to the end of Words and Their Stories.

I’m Anna Matteo teaching English for Voice of America. And you know, I wouldn’t dream of doing anything else.

Anna Matteo wrote this story for Learning English. Kelly Jean Kelly edited the story. The songs heard in this program are the Everly Brothers singing “All I Have to Do Is Dream” and Patsy Cline singing “Sweet Dreams.”

______________________________________________________________

Words and Their Stories

romanticadj. not realistic or practical : not based on what is real

freak outv. a wildly irrational reaction or spell of behavior

cockpitn. a space or compartment in a usually small vehicle (as a boat, airplane, or automobile) from which it is steered, piloted, or driven

escortv. to go with (someone or something) to give protection or guidance

claustrophobian. abnormal dread of being in closed or narrow spaces

opiumn. a bitter brownish addictive narcotic drug that consists of the dried latex obtained from immature seed capsules of the opium poppy

fantasyn. the free play of creative imagination

spectacularadj. causing wonder and admiration : very impressive

proudadj. having or displaying excessive self-esteem

This was originally published on the www.learningenglish.voanews.com and reproduced here with permission.

Courtesy: Voice of America

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Making of a legislative court – The Hindu (Dec 03, 2016)

Making of a legislative court – The Hindu (Dec 03, 2016)

The Supreme Court of India, on November 30, gave an order that the national anthem will have to be played before feature films at cinema halls all over the country, and that those present in these halls are obliged to stand up to show respect. For further reading, visit “The Hindu”.

This preview is provided here with permission.

Courtesy: The Hindu

Word List-2:

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03dec16_wl2b

03dec16_wl2cNote:

  1. Visit www.oxforddictionaries.com to know the words’ definition, more synonyms, pronunciation, example sentences, phrases, derivatives, origin and etc.
  2. Definitions (elementary level) & Synonyms provided for the words above are my personal work and not that of Oxford University Press. Tentative definitions/meanings are provided for study purpose only and they may vary in different context. Use it with the corresponding article published on the source (website) via the link provided. 
  3. This word list is for personal use only. Reproduction in any format and/or Commercial use of it is/are strictly prohibited.
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A dampening of economic activity? – The Hindu (Dec 03, 2016)

A dampening of economic activity? – The Hindu (Dec 03, 2016)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to abruptly withdraw legal tender status for Rs.1,000 and Rs.500 notes to save the country from…. For further reading, visit “The Hindu”.

This preview is provided here with permission.

Courtesy: The Hindu

Word List-1:

03dec16_wl1Note:

  1. Visit www.oxforddictionaries.com to know the words’ definition, more synonyms, pronunciation, example sentences, phrases, derivatives, origin and etc.
  2. Definitions (elementary level) & Synonyms provided for the words above are my personal work and not that of Oxford University Press. Tentative definitions/meanings are provided for study purpose only and they may vary in different context. Use it with the corresponding article published on the source (website) via the link provided. 
  3. This word list is for personal use only. Reproduction in any format and/or Commercial use of it is/are strictly prohibited.
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English @ the Movies: ‘It’s Crunch Time’ – VOA Learning English (Dec 02, 2016)

Today on English @ the Movies we talk about the saying “it’s crunch time.” The movie is “Hidden Figures”– a true story about African-American women who helped with the American space program. Want to know what “it’s crunch time” means? Watch and find out!

This was originally published on "VOA Learning English" and reproduced here with permission.

Courtesy: Voice of America

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New Starbucks CEO to Take Over in 2017 – VOA Learning English (Dec 02, 2016)

New Starbucks CEO to Take Over in 2017 (0:03:42)

This is What’s Trending Today.

The coffee company Starbucks said its chief executive officer, Howard Schultz, plans to leave his position in April of 2017. He will reportedly work on a new Starbucks brand.

Schultz, 63, is credited with greatly expanding the company and its brand worldwide. He began working with Starbucks in 1982 as the operations and marketing director. At the time, Starbucks had just four coffee shops. All were in Seattle, Washington.

Today, the company has 24,000 stores in 70 countries.

Starbucks opened its first store outside of the U.S. in 1996 in Tokyo, Japan. Since then, Starbucks stores have opened in China, Dubai, Thailand, Indonesia, South Korea, Mexico and many other places.

Schultz was the company’s CEO from 1987 until 2000. He became the CEO again in 2008. Kevin Johnson will replace him. Johnson is currently the company’s chief operating officer and once worked with Microsoft.

Schultz said that after he steps down, he will work to make a special Starbucks brand bigger. That brand is called Starbucks Reserve. It serves high-quality drinks. The coffee served in its cafes can be two times more expensive than regular Starbucks coffee.

There are still very few Starbucks Reserve stores. But, Starbucks reportedly plans to open many more of these cafes around the world in the near future.

People reacted to the news of Schultz’s departure on social media. Some Twitter users had not heard of Starbucks Reserve stores before.

One person wrote: “high-end coffee? Isn’t that what Starbucks is? If paying $3.16 for an iced medium coffee isn’t high-end, I don’t know what is.”

Another person wrote: “I’ll not purchase one $12 coffee in my lifetime.”

Others on social media wondered if Schultz was considering running for president in 2020. He supported Democrat Hillary Clinton in the recent U.S. elections.

And that’s What’s Trending Today.

I’m Dan Friedell.

Dan Friedell wrote this story for Learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.

What do you think of the Starbucks change? We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section or on our Facebook page.

________________________________________________________________

Words in This Story

brandn. a category of products that are all made by a particular company and all have a particular name

chain –n. a group of businesses (such as stores, restaurants, or hotels) that have the same name and basic appearance and sell the same products or services

high-end –adj. higher in price and of better quality than most others

credit –v. to give honor or recognition to (someone or something) for doing something or for making something happen

This article was originally published on the www.learningenglish.voanews.com  and reproduced here with permission.

Courtesy: Voice of America

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Report: Volunteer Who Dressed as Clown for Syrian Kids Killed – VOA Learning English (Dec 02, 2016)

clown

Anas al-Basha, who was known for dressing as a clown while helping children in war-torn Syria, was reportedly killed by an air strike in eastern Aleppo. (Facebook)

Report: Volunteer Who Dressed as Clown for Syrian Kids Killed (0:03:36)

A volunteer who helped entertain children in war-torn Syria reportedly has been killed.

The man, 24-year-old Anas al-Basha, was center director for the group Space for Hope. It supports hundreds of children who lost parents in Syria’s civil war.

The Associated Press reported Basha was killed in an air strike Tuesday in the northern city of Aleppo.

Syrian rebels control eastern Aleppo, where an estimated 250,000 civilians are trapped. An estimated 100,000 of them are believed to be children.

The rebels are fighting government forces, supported by Russia, that are trying to retake Aleppo.

United Nations officials have said intense bombing in eastern Aleppo had left every neighborhood there unsafe. They said the fighting has “devastated” civilian living conditions. Attacks have also killed and wounded aid workers.

clown1

Anas al-Basha, who was known for dressing as a clown while helping children in war-torn Syria, was reportedly killed by an air strike in eastern Aleppo. (Facebook)

The Space for Hope supports 12 schools and four centers providing psychological and financial aid to children. Anas al-Basha helped lead these efforts. He also was known for dressing as a clown to try to cheer up the children and make them laugh.

The Associated Press reported that Basha was killed in an air strike in the Mashhad neighborhood of eastern Aleppo. Many civilians, including Basha’s parents, had already fled the increasing attacks in the city.

Basha’s brother Mahmoud wrote about the loss on his Facebook page.

He said his brother remained in Aleppo to “help the civilians and give gifts for the children in the streets to bring hope for them.” He said Basha “lived to make children laugh and happy in the darkest, most dangerous place.”

A co-worker of Basha told the AP she will remember him as a friend who loved his work with children. “He would act out skits for the children to break the walls between them,” she said.

She noted that workers trying to help suffering children in Syria are currently “exhausted.” She said they are trying to stay strong so they can provide psychological support to young war victims.

Anas al-Basha’s wife remains trapped in Aleppo. The two got married just two months ago.

I’m Bryan Lynn.

Bryan Lynn wrote this story for VOA Learning English, based on a report from the Associated Press. 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

devastated adj. completely destroyed

psychological – adj. relating to the human mind and feelings

clown – n. someone who dresses in funny clothes and has a painted face and makes people laugh

seal – v. to close off to prevent people from entering or leaving

skit – n. a short, funny performance

This was originally published on www.learningenglish.voanews.com and reproduced here with permission.

Courtesy: Voice of America

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Austria Could Elect EU’s First Far-Right Leader – VOA Learning English (Dec 02, 2016)

Austria Could Elect EU’s First Far-Right Leader (0:06:57)

Austrian voters could elect the European Union’s first far-right leader in a presidential election on Sunday.

Norbert Hofer of the far-right Freedom Party is running against Alexander Van der Bellen. Van der Bellen is an independent candidate who led The Greens party earlier. Recent public opinion studies have shown the two candidates with about equal support.

Austria held a presidential election in May. Van der Bellen won that election narrowly. But those results were overturned by Austria’s constitutional court because of problems with voting procedures.

Hofer has taken a strong anti-immigration position during his campaign. Earlier in the campaign, he said he might call a referendum on whether Austria should leave the European Union. Hofer also opposes Turkey’s efforts to join the EU and has spoken out against EU attempts to get too much control over individual states.

Van der Bellen criticized Hofer for his positions during a recent presidential debate. He said Austria’s possible withdrawal from the EU could result in a flood of “right-wing populism.”

Van der Bellen has called for continued close relations with Germany, Austria’s neighbor to the north and biggest trading partner.

Hofer has said he wants to strengthen relations with other central and eastern European nations, including Russia. He denounced German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a debate.

Hofer said Merkel had caused “serious damage” to Europe by supporting open policies for migrants. He said her actions had allowed hundreds of thousands of migrants to pass through Austria, “including terrorists.”

Experts say the presidential campaign in Austria has been heavily influenced by the election of Donald Trump in the United States. President-elect Trump has called for severe immigration enforcement and criticized Merkel’s policies on migrants. Political experts say Britain’s vote in June to leave the EU – often called Brexit – also drew attention to the immigration issue.

An opinion study by the U.S.-based Gallup organization asked 800 Austrians how Trump’s victory might affect the voting. About 53 percent said Trump’s win will be better for Hofer, while 9 percent said it will help Van der Bellen.

The office of president in Austria is largely ceremonial. But the president does hold the power to shape policies, appoint and dismiss government ministers and call parliamentary elections.

Some political observers say the outcome in Austria could mark the beginning of a wave of populist candidates across Europe.

In France, the leader of the far-right National Front, Marine Le Pen, says she believes the Trump and Brexit votes gave her campaign momentum. Le Pen is seen as a possible competitor in France’s presidential election next year.

On Sunday, right-leaning presidential candidate Francois Fillon won a primary election for France’s Republican Party. Fillon, a former prime minister, could face Le Pen in a runoff vote in the country’s two-round election system.

France’s Socialist President Francois Hollande has announced he will not run for re-election.

The leaders of right-wing movements in Germany, Italy and the Netherlands are also hoping to gain from Trump’s election.

Opinion studies show support for the Freedom Party of Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders. A general election will take place in March.

Wilders has repeatedly made statements against Islam. He was also tried for violating a hate speech law and is waiting for the court’s decision. A court charged him with inciting hatred after leading a chant at a meeting calling for the Netherlands to accept fewer Moroccan immigrants.

Wilders recently described a worldwide movement that, he says, agrees with his political message and the ideas of other far-right leaders. He says the movement is driven by voters. He says they are tired of “politically correct” ideas from traditional politicians and media companies.

“Brexit proved it. The American election proved it,” he said.

I’m Jill Robbins. And I’m Bryan Lynn.

Henry Ridgwell and Luis Ramirez reported on this story for VOA News. Bryan Lynn adapted the reports for VOA Learning English, with additional material from the Associated Press, Reuters, and Agence France-Presse. Mario Ritter 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

procedure n. the official or usual way of doing something

referendum – n. a direct vote in which people cast ballots to decide on a specific issue or policy

populism – n. related to policies that supposedly represent the opinions of ordinary people

momentumn. the strength or force allowing something to continue or grow stronger

chant n. the repeated saying of a word, phrase or slogan by a crowd of people

This was originally published on www.learningenglish.voanews.com and reproduced here with permission.

Courtesy: Voice of America

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Contours of a challenge – The Hindu (Dec 02, 2016)

Contours of a challenge – The Hindu (Dec 02, 2016)

Today the Supreme Court is slated to commence hearing arguments on a slew of petitions that call into question the correctness, and indeed the constitutional validity, of the Union government’s policy of demonetisationFor further reading, visit “The Hindu”.

This preview is provided here with permission.

Courtesy: The Hindu

Word List-2:

02dec16_wl2

02dec16_wl2b

Note:

  1. Visit www.oxforddictionaries.com to know the words’ definition, more synonyms, pronunciation, example sentences, phrases, derivatives, origin and etc.
  2. Definitions (elementary level) & Synonyms provided for the words above are my personal work and not that of Oxford University Press. Tentative definitions/meanings are provided for study purpose only and they may vary in different context. Use it with the corresponding article published on the source (website) via the link provided. 
  3. This word list is for personal use only. Reproduction in any format and/or Commercial use of it is/are strictly prohibited.
Posted in Lead Articles (The Hindu), The Hindu | Tagged , | Leave a comment