Tag: usa

Barack Obama says the US is at war

The US president has said the United States are at war with “people who have perverted Islam”. He was very precise that the US is not at war with Islam in general, only with those who “pervert” the religion. He said that the world must confront ideologies that radicalise people. He said that groups like the Islamic State and al-Qaeda are organised not by religious leaders, but by terrorists. It is these terrorists who must be defeated, not the religion of Islam. The United States have been carrying out air strikes on Islamic State since last year, but Obama believes that military actions will not be enough to defeat violent extremism; communities must do something too. In particular he believes that we must encourage the idea that Islam and Western values can live together peacefully. He said  “Muslim leaders need to do more to discredit the idea that our nations are determined to suppress Islam”. Story and Photo: BBC Vocabulary: to pervert (v), precise (adj), to confront (v), to carry out (phrasal verb), an air strike (n), to encourage (v), to discredit (v), determined (adj). Discussion Questions 1) What do you think it means to “pervert” a religion? Can you give an example? 2) Barack Obama says that communities also need to do something to help fight extremism. Do you agree? What could communities do? 3) The article talks...

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Three year old shoots both of his parents

Vocabulary: to shoot (v), buttock (n), motel (n), stable (adj), child negligence (n). A three year old shot both of his parents after finding a gun in his mum’s handbag. The toddler was apparently looking for an IPod when he found the gun. The boy shot his dad in the buttock and the bullet went straight through to hit his mother in the arm. The  family were in a motel room in Albuquerque, New Mexico when this happened. The little boy’s two-year-old sister was also in the motel room but was not hurt. Both his parents were sent to hospital. His dad has since been released but his mum, who is eight months pregnant, is still in hospital.  She is in a stable condition. It is possible that the police will charge the parents with child negligence....

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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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Drone plane carrying illegal drugs crashes

Vocabulary: drone (n), to crash (v), car park (n), border (n), GPS (n), gang (n), to hire (v). A drone plane carrying illegal drugs has crashed near the Mexican-US border. It was carrying 3kg of methamphetamine and was found in a supermarket car park. Photo: BBC Mexican police say that using drone planes to transfer drugs from Mexico into the United States is becoming more and more popular because there is a lot of security on the border between the two countries. Drone planes are used because you can give them GPS co-ordinates and the drone will fly to this location by itself. A pilot is not needed to direct the drone. Therefore, there is less chance of being caught by the police. The Mexican police believe that this drone plane crashed in the supermarket car park because the drugs that it was carrying were too heavy. They will investigate to see if they can find where the drone came from. The US Drug Enforcement Agency has said that many drug gangs in Mexico are hiring engineers to build drones to carry drugs into the USA. It estimates that drones carry drugs into the country 150 times a...

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Free climbers reach the top of this mountain for the first time

Vocabulary: free climbing (n), cliff (n), to achieve (v), harness (n), to suspend (v), flat (adj). Two free climbers have climbed to the top of El Capitan, a cliff in Yosemite National Park, USA. They are the first people in history to achieve this. It took them two weeks to climb the 914 metres to the top. Freeclimbers do not use equipment. However they used harnesses to stop themselves from falling and they slept in tents suspended from the cliff. The cliff is almost flat, so the free climbers had a lot of difficulty: they waited until night to climb as the rock was cooler, and they had to stop many times because the skin on their hands was damaged. Photo source:...

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