Under Trump, Foreign Aid Programs May Change – VOA Learning English (Jan 18, 2017)

With a new U.S. president coming Friday, changes in foreign policies and aid will likely follow. What those changes will be are not yet fully known.

But overseas aid will come under question from a president and a secretary of state known to follow the bottom line as businessmen. In business, the bottom line is a company’s profit, or loss.

Rex Tillerson is the Secretary of State nominee. In his confirmation hearing, U.S. Senators asked the former head of Exxon-Mobil how to prevent U.S. assistance from being stolen by corrupt foreign countries. He said:

“If we’re going to deliver aid into a country where we know this is a risk, what can we do in the execution of the delivery of that aid?”

It is likely that President-elect Donald Trump and his administration will be giving foreign aid to countries to improve property rights, the rule of law, and to fight corruption.

James Roberts is with the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C.

“Too much of the foreign aid given by the Western countries — U.S., OECD countries — has ended up only securing in power corrupt regimes.”

Republicans now control the White House and both houses of Congress. This means that some programs opposed by religious conservatives could face review, and maybe be cut, or completely ended.

Amanda Glassman is with the Center for Global Development in Washington, D.C.

“Certainly there are worries, especially in areas of family planning and reproductive health, especially in the areas of HIV-AIDS prevention and treatment.”

The United States is the biggest global donor. And John Kerry, the outgoing secretary of state, says the U.S. needs to do even more than the current spending of $34 billion for this year.

Kerry is calling for a new “Marshall Plan” like the one that helped rebuild Europe after World War Two. He wants the plan to make sure there is education for young people at risk of becoming followers of Muslim fundamentalists.

“There are about a billion and a half children in the world under the age of 15. Somewhere upwards of 400 million of them will not go to school, and that is a problem for all of us.”

Throughout American history, diplomacy, development and foreign aid have had strong support from both political parties. U.S. diplomats hope that the Trump administration will also see overseas assistance as important for America’s security and economic interests.

I’m Anne Ball.

Steve Herman wrote this story for VOA. Anne Ball adapted this story for Learning English. Hai Do was the editor. We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section and visit us on our Facebook page.

_______________________________________________________________

Words in This Story

rule of law – n. government by law

family planning – n. use of birth control to determine the number of children there will be in a family and when they will be born

reproductive health – n. related to the reproductive processes, function and reproduction system

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

Courtesy: Voice of America

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Some or any? Little words that cause big problems – Cambridge Dictionary About words blog (Jan 18, 2017)

Some or any? Little words that cause big problems – Cambridge Dictionary About words blog (Jan 18, 2017)

Some and any are extremely useful and frequent words in English, but they are also the source of many learner errors. This post looks at how to use them correctly. For further reading, visit About words, a blog from Cambridge Dictionary.

This preview is provided here with permission.

Blog post written by: Liz Walter

Courtesy: Cambridge University Press

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In the nick of time – The Hindu (Jan 18, 2017)

In the nick of time – The Hindu (Jan 18, 2017)

The Goods and Services Tax Council has made some breakthroughs on outstanding negotiables that were holding up the introduction of the indirect tax regime. For further reading, visit “The Hindu”.

This preview is provided here with permission.

Courtesy: The Hindu

Word List-2:

  1. in the nick of time (phrase) – just in time, at the critical moment, at the last moment.
  2. breakthrough (noun) – advance, development; progress.
  3. outstanding (adjective) – unfinished, incomplete, pending/ongoing.
  4. negotiable (noun) – open/subject to discussion, flexible, open to modification.
  5. hold something up (phrasal verb) – delay, block, obstruct.
  6. compromise (noun) – agreement, understanding, settlement.
  7. subsume (verb) – include, encompass, embrace.
  8. myriad (adjective) – innumerable, countless, infinite.
  9. give up on (phrasal verb) – to stop trying to do something; to stop having faith in something.
  10. administer (verb) – manage, direct, control.
  11. assessee (noun) – something/someone that is assessed.
  12. leeway (noun) – freedom of action, scope/ licence, elbow room.
  13. strike a deal (verb) – reach, achieve, agree to (something – an agreement).
  14. inevitable (adjective) – unavoidable, unpreventable; necessary.
  15. lay something to rest (phrase) – to end something.
  16. rollout (noun) – official launch/introduction.
  17. tinker (verb) – try to improve, play around with.
  18. stimulus (noun) – impetus, boost, incentive.
  19. flurry (noun) – a series of things happening suddenly at the same period; spate, cascade.
  20. opportune (adjective) – favourable, advantageous, right.
  21. gear up (phrasal verb) – get ready, prepare, arrange things.
  22. minutiae (noun) – details, niceties/finer points, particulars.
  23. finesse (noun) – tactfulness, delicacy, discretion.
  24. penal (adjective) – disciplinary, punitive, corrective.
  25. anti-profiteering (adjective) – relating to a clause which acts against a person who makes excessive profit illegally.
  26. envisage (verb) – foresee, predict, forecast.
  27. exponential (adjective) – (of an increase) to become rapid.
  28. scuttle (verb) – hurry, hasten, rush.
  29. inspector raj (noun) – excessive regulation/supervision by government.
  30. Tax terrorism (noun) – the aggressive attitude of the government to collect higher taxes (by retrospective amendments to the tax laws & other stringent measures) was termed as tax terrorism.
  31. worthwhile (adjective) – valuable, helpful, useful.
  32. fortnight (noun) – a period of two weeks.

18JAN17_WL2

Note:

  1. Click each one of the words above for their definition, more synonyms, pronunciation, example sentences, phrases, derivatives, origin and etc from http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/.
  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 wake-up call – The Hindu (Jan 18, 2017)

A wake-up call – The Hindu (Jan 18, 2017)

flurry of videos has emerged in the social media in recent days showing jawans of both the paramilitary forces and the Army complaining against a host of issues from diet to colonial-era practices. For further reading, visit “The Hindu”.

This preview is provided here with permission.

Courtesy: The Hindu

Word List-1:

  1. flurry (noun) – a series of things happening suddenly at the same period; spate, cascade.
  2. host of (noun) – lot, large number, great quantity/array.
  3. disciplinary (adjective) – concerning discipline.
  4. lentil (noun) – a high-protein, edible pulse. (edible (adjective) – safe to eat, consumable).
  5. the floodgates (noun) – a final gate (constraint) which controls sudden occurrence of similar activities.
  6. grievance (noun) – complaint, criticism, objection/protest.
  7. sahayak system / buddy system (noun) – pairing of two soldiers, has been established to ensure better synergy during operations and constant communication during peacetime for addressing each other’s grievances (Courtesy: Economic Times). (sahayak – batman, attendant, helper).
  8. court martial (noun) – court case, lawsuit, legal proceedings/actions.
  9. rations (noun) – food, provisions, nourishment/sustenance.
  10. chore (noun) – task, job, duty/work.
  11. discrimination (noun) – prejudice, bias, unfairness.
  12. grab (verb) – make an impression on, have an impact on, influence/affect.
  13. provision (noun) – supply, furnishing, equipping/providing.
  14. redress (noun) – compensation, reparation; remedy.
  15. rung (noun) – level, rank, position/grade.
  16. spell (verb) – mean, signal, signify.
  17. outright (adverb) – completely, entirely, totally.
  18. rampant (adjective) – uncontrolled, unrestrained, widespread.
  19. resort (to) (noun) – recourse (to), turning (to), the use of.
  20. air (verb) – express, make public, declare.
  21. compromise (verb) – undermine, weaken, damage.
  22. take away from (phrasal verb) – distract; diminish, reduce/lessen.
  23. malaise (noun) – unhappiness, uneasiness, depression.
  24. wake-up call (noun) – something which alerts a person to a problem and makes him/her to do some remedial action.

18JAN17_WL1Note:

  1. Click each one of the words above for their definition, more synonyms, pronunciation, example sentences, phrases, derivatives, origin and etc from http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/.
  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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Yoga Exercises Added to US School Programs – VOA Learning English (Jan 17, 2017)

EDUCATION3_17JAN17

A student takes part in the Holistic Me After School Program in Baltimore, Maryland.

Along with subjects like reading and mathematics, school children at the Robert W. Coleman Elementary School are learning how to spend time in quiet thought.

The students are learning yoga exercises and meditation skills. The aim is to provide them with better tools to deal with the daily struggles they face.

The school, called Coleman for short, is in the American city of Baltimore, Maryland.

Principal Carlillian Thompson brought the program to Coleman in 2010. She sends some of her most troublesome students to the Mindful Moment Room instead of requiring them to stay after school in detention.

Nearly one fourth of Baltimore’s population lives below the poverty line. That information comes from the United States Census Bureau.

Many children at Coleman face conditions common to poverty.

Principal Thompson told broadcaster CNN that a few of her students are homeless, while others live in homes with no electricity. Some have little or no food to eat. Others are related to victims of gun violence.

The Mindful Moment Room is a place where Coleman students do deep breathing exercises and clear their minds. They come to learn how they can better react to situations, and how to calm themselves. They can also speak with Mindful Moment specialists about what caused their teachers to send them there.

EDUCATION1_17JAN17

Students take part in the Mindful Moment Program in Baltimore, Maryland.

Atman Smith is one of the founders of the Holistic Life Foundation (HLF), the organization that leads the program. He told VOA News a few years ago that meditation and yoga can help young people deal with life’s difficulties.

“It’s…like…a serious cycle in most inner cities where people don’t know how to resolve conflicts peacefully. That’s why there is so much violence and abuse and, in us teaching these kids meditation – giving them these tools to self-regulate – it’s going to change, I guess, the social construct and the way the inner city works and is thought of.”

HLF serves 4,500 students each week, and works with a total of 14 Baltimore schools.

A calming influence

Coleman is not the only American school adding meditation and yoga to its academic curriculum. Schools in other cities are also using these tools.

Last year, Visitacion Valley Middle School began offered meditation, NBC News reported. The school is in one of the poorest areas in the city of San Francisco. Some children there witnessed stressful events in their neighborhoods.

A large number of the students see people carrying guns on a daily basis, athletic director Barry Driscoll told NBC News. A few years ago, there were three to five fights at the school every week.

But then, the San Francisco School District partnered with a local organization called the Center for Wellness and Achievement in Education. The center brought a meditation program called Quiet Time to Visitacion Valley and three other schools.

Each day, during Quiet Time, the whole school has two 15-minute periods of Transcendental Meditation (TM). TM is a process for slowing down unwanted thoughts and reaching a state of calm awareness.

At first, O’Driscoll thought meditation was foolish. But, as he told NBC, over four years of having Quiet Time, suspensions at Visitacion Valley have fallen by 79 percent. Over that period, attendance has risen to 98 percent.

A nearby school that uses the program has also seen a big drop in suspensions — 75 percent, NBC noted. In addition, students are performing better academically.

EDUCATION2_17JAN17

Holistic Life Foundation co-founder Ali Smith (brother of Atman Smith) gives a “high five” to a student in the Holistic Me After School Program.

Does yoga really work?

Principal Thompson also believes that meditation is responsible for the drop in suspensions at her school. Over the past year, there were no suspensions at Coleman, compared to four suspensions during the 2013-14 school year, CNN reported. And, students are almost never sent to her office for bad behavior anymore, Thompson noted.

For the past half century, meditation and other stress-reduction activities have been studied as possible treatments for anxiety and depression.

A 2014 study links mindfulness meditation to reduced pain, depression, and anxiety. That study was published in one of the American Medical Association’s many publications, called JAMA Internal Medicine.

As for students, there is some scientific evidence that yoga and meditation can help people, but more is needed.

But a 2012 study on yoga found that it improved middle-school students’ ability to deal with anger and stress. The Journal of Behavioral Science reported the findings.

However, education expert Patricia Jennings told the New York Times that these practices don’t “address poverty, and it may not work for everybody.” Jennings is a professor in the school of education at the University of Virginia.

Some parents are not happy about schools offering yoga programs. They think yoga has a religious meaning because of its roots in Hinduism and Buddhism.

For example, US News and World Report magazine reported on a Georgia school that received protests from parents. The school has made changes: it still offers breathing and stretching exercises, but has removed the Hindi term “Namaste,” for example. The school principal also wrote an apology to parents.

In a special report for CNN, yoga trainer Dana Santas explained that some parents don’t realize American-style yoga is non-religious. She said it is an exercise focused on a person’s mental and physical health, not spirituality.

As Principal Thompson told VOA, for a group of fifth-grade boys at Coleman, meditation has made a huge difference.

“But I could see, over time, that they learned how to, instead of using their fists, to resolve different situations, that they started with the breathing techniques. They began to talk about their problems, instead of reacting like they used to.”

Former students from programs offered by the Holistic Life Foundation are now 50 percent of the organization’s workers, Newsweek reported.

I’m Phil Dierking.

And I’m Alice Bryant.

Alice Bryant adapted this story from a VOA news report by Selah Hennessy and reports by other news sources.

Do you know about schools that use meditation and yoga? What kind of effects have you seen from it? We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section.

_______________________________________________________________

Words in This Story

meditation – n. the act or process of spending time in quiet thought; the act or process of meditating

yoga – n. a system of exercises for mental and physical health

poverty line – n. an income level below which one is considered to be living in poverty

regulate – n. to set or adjust the amount, degree, or rate of something

curriculum – n. the courses that are taught by a school or college

stressful – adj. making you feel worried or anxious; full of or causing stress

cynical – adj. distrustful; believing that people are generally selfish and dishonest

address – v. to give attention to something; to deal with a matter, issue or problem

academicadj. of or related to a school, especially a school of higher education

awareness – n. in meditation, awareness is a process of actively paying attention to one’s mental, physical and emotional experiences

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

Courtesy: Voice of America

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Search Ends for Malaysia Flight 370, But Mystery Remains – VOA Learning English (Jan 17, 2017)

The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has officially ended, nearly three years after the plane mysteriously disappeared.

Transport ministers from Malaysia, Australia and China announced Tuesday the search had officially been suspended.

The Boeing 777 plane disappeared March 8, 2014 while carrying 239 people from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Beijing, China. The plane lost voice contact with officials on the ground less than an hour after takeoff and did not send any emergency messages.

More than half the plane’s passengers were Chinese.

In a statement, the ministers said that even with the best technology and search techniques available, the aircraft had not been found. The underwater search had been focused on a 120,000 square kilometer area in the southern Indian Ocean.

Investigators became hopeful in July 2015, when a piece of the plane’s wing was found in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar. The Associated Press reported that since then, more than 20 objects – either confirmed or believed to be from the plane – have washed up on beaches throughout the Indian Ocean.

“The decision to suspend the underwater search has not been taken lightly nor without sadness,” the statement said.

The ministers thanked all nations that provided equipment, expertise and assistance. More than $150 million was spent on the search efforts by Malaysia, Australia and China. The ministers said they “remain hopeful” that new information may be found in the future to help locate the missing wreckage.

As the search for MH370 ended, new technology has been launched to help prevent planes from ever going missing.

New technology to track airplanes

On Saturday, a group of satellites were successfully deployed with technology that experts say will be able to track airplanes over the entire earth.

A Falcon 9 rocket from American aerospace company SpaceX carried 10 satellites into orbit for telecommunications company Iridium. The launch from California marked a successful return to rocket launches for SpaceX after an explosion on its launch pad last September.

Iridium’s partner Aireon will use the satellites to track aircraft, instead of current methods using ground radar and other monitoring tools.

“This successful first launch brings us one step closer to changing the way the world flies by enabling the ability to track aircraft anywhere on the planet,” Aireon CEO Don Thoma said.

WORLD_MALAYSIA_17JAN17

Aireon engineers, led by Chief Technology Officer Vincent Capezzuto, far right, discuss the Aireon flight-tracking system aboard the SpaceX rocket, Jan. 11, 2017. (C. Presutti/VOA)

Currently, about 70 percent of the world’s airspace lacks real-time surveillance because of rough terrain, deserts or oceans. The new satellite technology is expected to also make airplanes trackable in those so-called black zones.

Aireon has said its global satellite-based system will be deployed by 2018 to track and monitor aircraft around the world in real-time.

I’m Bryan Lynn.

Bryan Lynn wrote this story for VOA Learning English, with additional material from reports from VOA’s Carolyn Presutti and the Associated Press. Hai Do was the editor.

We want to hear from you. Do you think it was the right decision to end the search for the missing Malaysian airliner? Write to us in the Comments section, and visit our Facebook page.

________________________________________________________________

Words in This Story

wingn. one of usually two long, flat parts of an airplane that extend from the sides, making it possible to fly

enable – v. to make something able to do or accomplish

terrainn. a particular kind of land

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

Courtesy: Voice of America

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Police Arrest Suspect in New Year’s Eve Attack in Turkey – VOA Learning English (Jan 17, 2017)

Turkish security forces say they have arrested the main suspect in the attack on a nightclub in Istanbul on December 31.

The attack killed 39 people and injured several others.

The Hurriyet Daily News said Abdulkadir Masharipov was detained Monday in Istanbul’s Esenyurt area. He is said to be an Uzbek national.

Turkish television and other news agencies said police seized the suspect in a raid on a house. Five others in the house also were detained. They included one person from Iraq and women from Egypt, Senegal and Somalia.

Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister congratulated police in a Twitter post Tuesday. He also said that Turkey’s “war with terror and the powers behind it will continue to the end.”

The hunt for Masharipov had been going on for days once police identified him as the main suspect.

Istanbul’s governor said the arrest was part of a well-organized operation. The search for the suspect involved more than 2,000 police officers.

More than 40 other foreign nationals were detained as police searched for suspects. The Islamic State terror group claimed responsibility for the attack.

The New Year’s Eve attack was the third in Turkey in the past two years linked to militants from Central Asia who admitted links to the Islamic State group.

Islamic State jihadists from Central Asia were said to have carried out two earlier attacks, including one on Istanbul’s Ataturk airport in June. That attacked killed 44 people and wounded more than 230 others. The Turkish government said the three suicide bombers responsible for that attack were from Russia, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.

A suicide bomber from Russia’s republic of Dagestan was identified after she exploded a bomb outside an Istanbul police station in January 2015. Eighteen police officers were killed in that blast.

Intelligence agencies have described Turkey as a crossing point for hundreds of Central Asian extremists. They have been moving into Syria and Iraq to join the Islamic State group in its aim to establish a caliphate in Syria and parts of northern Iraq.

I’m John Russell.

Lou Lorscheider and Chris Hannas wrote this story for VOA News. Alice Bryant adapted it for Learning English. Mario Ritter was the editor.

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

_______________________________________________________________

Words in This Story

nightclubn. a place that is open at night, has music, dancing, or a show, and usually serves alcoholic drinks and food

jihadistn. a person who fights to defend or spread Muslim beliefs

caliphaten. the rule or reign of a caliph or chief Muslim ruler

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

Courtesy: Voice of America

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Theresa May Says Britain Will Leave the Single Market – VOA Learning English (Jan 17, 2017)

British Prime Minister Theresa May says Britain will leave the European Union’s single market.

May spoke to government employees and diplomats at Lancaster House in London on Tuesday. She had been under pressure to provide a plan following Britain’s vote last June to leave the European Union.

May also said Britain will break with the European Court of Justice. She said the U.K. must regain control of its laws and borders, and will seek a new trade agreement with the E.U.

May said that the final plan would be presented to parliament for a vote.

Good news for the pound

The speech appeared to lend support to the British pound, which has fallen around 19 percent against the U.S. dollar since the vote. Shortly after May described her vision of free trade and strong economic ties, the pound rose in value.

Leaving the single market

The E.U. single market makes it easy for EU nations to trade with one another. It permits free movement of goods, workers, and services around the E.U. without tariffs. Some non-E.U. countries, such as Norway, have made agreements with the E.U. that permit them to be part of the single market if they meet conditions.

The possibility of losing access to the single market has worried many people in Britain’s large financial services industry.

In her speech, May said she wants to create a new relationship with the E.U. based on free trade.

“This agreement should allow for the freest possible trade in goods and services between Britain and the E.U.’s member states. It should give British companies the maximum freedom to trade with and operate within European markets, and let European businesses do the same in Britain,” May said.

The E.U. has created separate customs union agreements with countries that vary in their rules and what goods are covered.

New immigration rules

May also spoke about immigration: “The message from the public before and during the referendum campaign was clear: Brexit must mean control of the number of people who come to Britain from Europe. And that is what we will deliver.”

The exact model for such control has not yet been confirmed. The British government has said that all possibilities are being considered.

However, May tried to calm fears that the Brexit will mean a more inward-looking Britain. She said she wants the country to be “stronger, fairer, more united and more outward-looking than ever before.”

I’m Phil Dierking

This story was originally written for VOAnews.com by. Phil Dierking adapted this story for Learning English using other media. Caty Weaver was the editor.

Do you think Brexit will help or hurt the United Kingdom’s economy? We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section or on our Facebook page.

______________________________________________________________

Words in This Story

access – n. a way of getting near, at, or to something or someone

Brexit – n. a term for the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union.

tariff– n. a tax on goods coming into or leaving a country.

vision – n. something that you imagine.

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

Courtesy: Voice of America

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China’s President Supports Free Trade at World Economic Meeting – VOA Learning English (Jan 17, 2017)

Chinese President Xi Jinping urged world leaders to reject protectionism at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

His speech in support of free trade came during the first day of the yearly meeting of political, business leaders, activists and artists.

The Chinese leader also spoke days before the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States. Trump, a Republican, won the presidency after campaigning against free trade agreements that, he said, have cost Americans jobs. Trump has threatened to increase tariffs on Chinese goods unless China changes policies that he has called unfair.

Trump also has promised to withdraw the United States form the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal negotiated by the Obama administration.

Speaking in Davos, the Chinese leader warned against trade disputes. Without saying Trump’s name, Xi said no country would win a trade war.

Pursuing protectionism is like locking oneself in a dark room,” Xi told the World Economic Forum. “While wind and rain may be kept outside, so are light and air.”

Xi’s visit to the annual World Economic Forum is the first by a Chinese president. It takes place as Xi tries to position his country as a world leader as other countries increasingly look inward.

Last year, China created the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Establishing the bank was part of China’s effort to increase its influence in world finance. China’s money, the yuan, also joined the dollar, pound, euro and the yen as one of the world’s major exchange currencies.

Adviser: Trump Supports ‘Free, Fair Trade’

An adviser to the President-elect is attending the World Economic Forum in Davos. Anthony Scaramucci is giving up his U.S. financial business to work with the new Trump administration.

He told the Associated Press that Trump supports foreign trade, but “free, fair trade.”

Others have said Trump may be more interested in making trade deals with individual countries, or bilateral deals.

President Xi’s speech in support of free trade came as his cabinet in Beijing Tuesday reduced limits on foreign investment in Chinese banks and its financial industry.

However, no further details were offered.

In his speech, Xi said the world’s economy needs better governance to find ways to reduce the growing divide between rich and poor. “This is the biggest challenge in the world today,” he said.

Xi called for a “new growth model” that deals directly with climate change, aging populations and increased automation. Automation can reduce costs and speed production of products, but it also reduces factory jobs.

Senior Chinese government figures joined Xi in traveling to Davos. In past years, the Chinese government sent lower-level officials.

Asia is Big Topic

A large number of meetings at the World Economic Forum deal with Asia this year, including one called, “Asia Takes the Lead.”

Klaus Schwab is the founder of the World Economic Forum and its chairman. He said the world is increasingly looking to China for leadership. Schwab helped start the Forum in 1971. It has become one of the world’s largest gatherings of government and business leaders to discuss major international issues.

Former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt reacted to Xi’s speech on social media: “There is a vacuum when it comes to global economic leadership, and Xi Jinping is clearly aiming to fill it. With some success,” Bildt wrote on Twitter.

I’m Bruce Alpert.

Bruce Alpert adapted this story for Learning English based on reports by the Associated Press and Reuters. Mario Ritter was the editor.

We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section and share your views on our Facebook Page.

_______________________________________________________

Words in This Story

tariffn. a tax on goods coming into or leaving a country

pursuev. to move ahead with a policy or course of action

lockv. to become fixed in one position

challengen. a difficult task or problem

automationn. to run or operate something such as a factory by using machines, computers or robots instead of people to do the work

volatilityadv. likely to change in a very sudden or extreme way

vacuumn. an empty space

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

Courtesy: Voice of America

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‘Serious job losses are taking place’ – The Hindu (Jan 17, 2017)

‘Serious job losses are taking place’ – The Hindu (Jan 17, 2017)

More than two months after the demonetisation, Nobel Laureate and economist Amartya Sen says that any proper “economic reasoning could not have sensibly led to such a ham-handed policy.”  For further reading, visit “The Hindu”.

This preview is provided here with permission.

Courtesy: The Hindu

Word List-2:

  1. prevail (verb) – be present, be prevalent, be widespread.
  2. loyalty (noun) – faithfulness/trustworthiness; dependability, reliability.
  3. ham-handed (adjective) – ham-fisted, inefficient, unskilful/awkward.
  4. facilitate (verb) – make easy; assist, help.
  5. presumption (noun) – assumption, supposition, thought/expectation.
  6. institutionalisation (noun) – the act of establishing something as a standard.
  7. promissory note (adjective) – a legal document in which one party (issuer) promises in writing to pay a fixed sum of money to the other (payee) on demand.
  8. perplexing (adjective) – confusing, puzzling, baffling/bewildering.
  9. foresee (verb) – anticipate, predict, forecast.
  10. overwhelming (adjective) – very large, huge; very strong.
  11. rhetoric (noun) – bombast, loftiness, hyperbole/extravagant language.
  12. trumpeted (adjective) – announced, declared, proclaimed.
  13. get rid of (phrase) – abolish/eliminate, wipe out; remove.
  14. leap into (verb) – rush, hurry, hasten ( to do something suddenly).
  15. draconian (adjective) – severe, harsh/tough, stringent.
  16. ill-suited (adjective) – inappropriate, unsuitable.
  17. chaos (noun) – confusion, disruption, uproar.
  18. inept (adjective) – incompetent, unskilful; awkward.
  19. persistent (adjective) – continuous, never-ending, unrelenting.
  20. nobility (noun) – virtue, goodness, honesty/integrity.
  21. hold up (phrasal verb) – remain strong.
  22. distorted (adjective) – misrepresented, falsified, manipulated.
  23. propaganda (noun) – information, promotion, publicity.
  24. notorious (adjective) – infamous, ill-famed, well known (for something bad).
  25. famine (noun) –  food shortages; poverty, drought/paucity.

17JAN17_WL2Note:

  1. Click each one of the words above for their definition, more synonyms, pronunciation, example sentences, phrases, derivatives, origin and etc from http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/.
  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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