Tag: politics

Spanish Politician plays Candy Crush at work

A Spanish politician has been caught on camera playing Candy Crush on her tablet computer while the President was giving an important speech. Celia Villalobos is the Vice-President of the Congress of Deputies- an important job that is similar to that of Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons in the UK.   It is her job to control the debate. She is also a member of the conservative Partido Popular, the ruling party in Spain. This happened during President Rajoy’s annual “state of the nation” speech. The opposition party in Spain, the left-wing  PSOE says that she has set a “very bad example”. This is not the first time a politician has been caught playing Candy Crush during a meeting. In December 2014 the British politician Nigel Mills was caught playing the game during a meeting on Work and Pensions. Vocabulary: to be caught doing something (v), ruling party (n), opposition party (n), left-wing (adj), to set a good/bad example to someone (v), pensions (n). Photo credit: El periodico Discussion Questions 1) Have you ever been caught doing something you shouldn’t be doing?  What happened? 2) Do you play any computer/moible games? Which ones? Why? 3) What advantages and disadvantages are there to playing games on the computer or mobile phone? 4) PSOE say that Celia Villalobos has set a bad example. Do you agree? Do you think she...

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UK School Girls Going to Fight for the Islamic State

Three teenage girls from Britain have ran away from home. They got on a flight to Turkey and are believed to be travelling to Syria to fight for the Islamic State. The girls are British Muslims. Shamima Begum, Amira Abase, both 15, and Kadiza Sultana, 16, flew  to Turkey on Tuesday. They were studying for their GCSEs at a school in East London. Before the girls left, Shamima sent a message on Twitter to Aqsa Mahmood, a girl from Glasgow, Scotland, who left the UK in 2013 to marry an Islamic State fighter. It is not thought that the girls knew each other except on Twitter. Shamima’s twitter account is now being monitored by the police. Baroness Warsi, a British politician and lawyer, has said that the Government is fighting a “losing battle” against online radicalisation. She commented that “one of the things that Islamic State has been very successful at is using the internet for their own propaganda”. The girls’ families and school are asking for them to return home and to contact them to let them know that they are safe. Vocabulary: to run away from home (phrasal verb), to monitor (v), to let someone know something (phrasal verb), Baroness (n). Discussion Questions 1) What could the connection be between the three girls from London and Aqsa from Scotland? 2) What is online radicalisation? Do you agree that we are “fighting a...

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Argentine President insults the Chinese on Twitter

Christina Fernandez de Kirchner, the president of Argentina, has made fun of the Chinese on Twitter. In her tweet she laughs at how the Chinese struggle to pronounce the letter ‘r’. She said that the Chinese can’t pronounce words such as ‘rice’ and ‘petrolium’ correctly, instead saying ‘lice’ and ‘petlolium’. Ms Fernandez is visiting China in an attempt to try to make stronger relations and increase trade between the countries. Many people on Twitter have said that the tweet was offensive and that she should “know better”. There has been no official response from her Chinese hosts on the offensive tweet. Ms Fernandez has since apologised for the tweet.   Vocabulary: to make fun of (phrasal verb), petroleum (n), to know better (phrasal verb), trade (n), offensive...

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Greek election results: good or bad news for Europe?

Vocabulary: general election (n), coalition (n), right/left-wing (adj), debt (n), to write off (v), compromise (v+n). The general election held in Greece yesterday was won by Syriza. Syriza is an acronym which stands for “Radical Coalition of the Left”. The party was formed in 2004. Photo: BBC Syriza won the election and have joined the right-wing party Greek Independents to form a coalition government. This new coalition has a comfortable majority to rule the parliament. The Greek economy is in a very bad condition; there is high unemployment, a lot of poverty and billions of euros of debt. To see exactly how much debt, look here: http://www.nationaldebtclocks.org/debtclock/greece Syriza has said that it would like to write off half of this debt. This means that half of the debt will disappear and Greece will only need to pay half of the money it owes. Other countries in the Eurozone are worried about Syriza, the suggestion of writing off debt and the effect that it will have on the single currency. Syriza has said it would like to continue using the Euro, but not with the same austerity rules. Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, said that Greece must follow these rules. If a compromise cannot be found, Greece may leave the Euro. However, at the moment, no one is saying that they would like this to happen. A country has never left...

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Abraham Lincoln’s hair sold for $25,000

Vocabulary: auction (v+n), bidder (n), to shoot dead (v), surgeon (n), memorabilia (n). Some of Abraham Lincoln’s hair was sold at an auction this weekend. The winning bidder paid $25,000 for it. Lincoln was the President of the United States when he was shot dead in 1865 by John Wilkes Booth. The hair that was auctioned was removed from Lincoln’s head after he was shot by a surgeon called Joseph Barnes. The hair, and many other pieces of Lincoln memorabilia, belonged to a private collection in Texas. Other items in the collection were also sold. They included letters written by Lincoln and Booth. It is not known who bought Lincoln’s hair or why. Photo and story...

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