This Week’s Top 12 Articles To Learn English Taken From The News (2017 – Week 32)


Top Articles to Learn English

This week, we have twelve interesting up to date articles, some with audio and video accounts, to suit all level students, taken from different news and general websites. You will be able to discuss these topics with our teachers.
Pick one, read it – write down new vocabulary, then let your teacher know before the lesson what article you want to talk about. Check out the different topics:
Current Affairs
Business & Economy
Science & Technology
Culture & Leisure
Health & Lifestyle

Current Affairs

‘Tourism is killing Venice, but it’s also the only key to survival’

From: The Local Italy.
Level: Low Intermediate and above
Includes: Article

“Venice has topped travelers’ bucket lists for centuries, but in recent years the city has struggled to cope with mass tourism, while tension has grown between visitors and locals.
By the 17th century, a trip to Venice had become a rite of passage for upper class northern Europeans, who flocked to the lagoon city as part of the Italian Grand Tour. Venice became a symbol for Italian romance.
Fast forward to the 21st century, and the city is groaning under the weight of tourism.Read more
Have you ever visited Venice? Or is it on your “bucket list” ? What made you visit or want to visit Venice?
Why do you think it provokes this feeling of romanticism about Venice?
If Tourism is killing Venice but also essential for its survival what do you think can be done to ensure a solution is found?

A rite of passage- idiom a ceremony or event marking an important stage in someone’s life
Artisans- noun a person in a skilled trade, especially one that involves making things by hand.
Bucket lists- noun informal a number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime.
Flocked- verb congregated or form together in a flock or large group
Groan under the weight – idiom to suffer under a burden of something.
Red flag – noun as a warning of danger or a problem.
Stumble- verb find or encounter by chance.
Takeaway food joints- noun a quick service restaurant that specializes in hamburgers, pizza, or fried chicken, that is taken home to eat.
Thrive- verb prosper; flourish.

‘She was one of the naughtiest parents’: Princes William and Harry remember their mother Princess Diana.

From: The Telegraph UK
Level: Low Intermediate and above
Includes: Video and Article

Millions remember her as the fairy tale Royal bride arriving at St Paul’s Cathedral for her marriage to Prince Charles, or in sadder times, revealing on television how “there were three of us in this marriage”.
But for her two sons Princess Diana will always be their mischievous mother, whose love of life and fun was infectious. The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry speak for the first time about Diana, Princess of Wales, as a mother.
Read more
It is nearly 20 years since her death, yet people still remember Princess Diana why do you think the world was so captivated by her?
The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry speak for the first time about Diana, Princess of Wales, as a mother how important is that for them and other people.
How important is the Royal family to Britain, historically and economically?
Bottled up their feelings- idiom to suppress emotions, and not express or reveal them:
Contributions- noun an article or other piece of writing submitted for publication in a collection
Emphasis- noun special importance, value, or prominence given to something.
Infectious- adjective likely to spread or influence others in a rapid manner.
Legacy- noun something handed down from one generation to the next
Mischievous- adjective causing or showing a fondness for causing trouble in a playful way.
Poignant- adjective arousing a powerful sense of sadness or regret
Protocol- noun he official procedure or system of rules governing affairs of state or diplomatic occasions.
Smothered- verb cover someone or something entirely with something.

Vote tampering claims jolt Venezuela on eve of new assembly

From: ABC News
Level: High Intermediate
Includes: Video and article

Revelations on Wednesday that turnout figures were apparently manipulated in a crucial vote for an all-powerful constituent assembly in Venezuela cast a deeper shadow over the controversial body shortly before it was to convene.
The official count of voters in Sunday’s election was off by at least 1 million, according to the head of the voting technology firm Smartmatic —
Read more
Is the USA right to apply sanctions on Venezuela?
Were you surprised about the wide spread bribery in Venezuela?
How important is Venezuela in the world political arena?
Crucial- adjective of great importance.
Discord- noun disagreement between people.
Discrepancy- noun a lack of similarity between two or more facts.
Manipulated- verb control or influence (a person or situation) cleverly, unfairly, or unscrupulously.
Override- noun USA a cancellation of a decision by force of authority or winning of votes.
Participate- verb take part in something
Roadblock- Noun USA informal any interference or stoppage or preventing something to happen
Roadblocks- noun a barrier or barricade on a road, especially one set up by the authorities to stop and examine traffic.
Tampered- verb interfere with something in order to cause damage
Turnout- noun the number of people attending or taking part in an event, especially the number of people voting in an election.
Widespread- adjective found or distributed over a large area or number of people.

Business, Economy & Law

4 nonverbal cues you can use to always get what you want

From: CNBC.Com
Level: Intermediate and above
Includes: Video and Article

People tend to look before they listen, and how you say something is often more important than what you’re saying. So, how can you effectively communicate without words?
Read more
How important are the signs of non-verbal communication for you when you meet new people or when negotiating with someone? Why are they important?
Is there a particular sign you look for?
How important it is that someone smiles when giving a presentation, holding a meeting or interview?
Clusters- noun a group of similar things closely together
Congruence- noun agreement or harmony; compatibility.
Convey- verb communicate a message or information.
Effectively- adverb in such a manner as to achieve a desired result.
Fidgeting- verb make small movements, especially of the hands and feet, through nervousness or impatience
Hard-wired- adjective informal genetically determined or compelled.
Negotiation- adjective not involving or using words or speech.
Subtle- adjective as delicate or precise as to be difficult to analyze or describe.
Validate- verb demonstrate or support the truth or value of something

The stock market has about 12 mini flash crashes a day — and we can’t prevent them.

Level: Intermediate and above
Includes: Article and Video

Blink. About 300 milliseconds just passed, the same time required for a lightning bolt to travel 100,000 feet, a satellite to fly 2 miles or a stock price to swing from $10 to $0.0001 and back.
Wait, what?
Indeed, that actually happened to the shares of the software company Qualys QLYS, -1.23% a few years ago. Similar mini flash crashes involving substantial, instantaneous price moves take place about 12 times a day.
Read more
According to this article it may be impossible to completely stop mini flash crashes, what can be learned by them?
How can the finance markets stabilize globally?
Are you optimistic or pessimistic about your countries financial stability in the global market and why?
Aggregate- adjective formed or calculated by the combination of many separate units or items; total.
Bull and a Bear market – If a person is optimistic and believes that stocks will go up it is a Bull market when the economy is bad, recession is looming and stock prices are falling it is a Bear market.
Consequential- adjective important; significant.
Fat-finger error- phrase a keyboard input error in the financial markets so an order to buy or sell is placed bigger than intended, for the wrong stock or contract, at the wrong price,
Going haywire – phrase to break down or cease to function properly
Instantaneous- adjective occurring or done in an instant or instantly.
Ponder- verb think about something carefully, especially before making a decision
Stampede- verb cause people or animals to rush wildly in a mass panic
Too many cooks spoil the broth- idiom if too many people are involved in a task, it will not be done well.

Facebook’s Sandberg calls for new policies to boost women’s pay

Level: Intermediate
Includes: Article

Facebook Inc. Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg called on governments and companies to do more to close the gender pay gap on Sunday and said both girls and boys should be encouraged to become leaders from an early age.
“We need to start paying women well and we need the public policy and the corporate policy to get there,” she told the BBC.-
Read more
Do you agree that there should be laws and public or corporate policy to ensure equal pay for men and women?
Why do you think that women undervalued the contribution they could make in business?
How can we encourage more women to be leaders from an early age?
Corporate policy- noun a formal statement of the values and procedures by which a company will operate.
Influential- adjective having great influence on someone or something.
Long-running- adjective continuing for a long time.
Outnumbered- verb be more than.
Top-ranking – adjective having the highest rank: most important, powerful, or successful

Science & Technology

Genetic engineering creates an unnaturally blue flower

Level: Intermediate
Includes: Article

Blue flowers are rare in nature, and for good reason: the color is usually the result of mutations and quirks of acidity levels rather than an actual blue pigment. That makes genetically engineering a blue flower tricky, since you can’t just make a straightforward tweak and expect a garden full of unnatural hues. Read more
Is there really a need for genetically engineered flowers or is this just an experiment?
What according to this article are the advantages and disadvantages of blue flowers?
What are your feelings about genetic engineering?
Genetically engineering- noun the deliberate change of the structures of an organism by controlling its inherited material.
Havoc- noun widespread destruction.
Hues- noun a colour or shade of a colour
Pollinating- noun the transfer of pollen to a stigma, ovule, flower, or plant to allow fertilization
Tricky – adjective of a task or situation requiring care and skill because difficult or awkward.
Tweaked- verb informal improve an appliance or system by making fine adjustments to it.

Roombas Have Been Doing More Than Cleaning. They’ve Been Learning

Level: Low Intermediate and above
Includes: Video and transcript

It turns out Roomba robots have been doing more than just cleaning floors. They’ve also been learning.
In an interview with Reuters, the CEO of Roomba’s maker, iRobot, said the autonomous vacuums have mapped the layouts of the homes they’re in since the 980 models came out in 2015.
Read more
Do you have or have you thought of purchasing a robotic vacuum cleaner? What are the advantages of having one?
How did you feel to learn that the Roomba had been collecting data about the homes they clean that is then sold on?
Autonomous- adjective acting independently or having the freedom to do so
Devices- noun a thing made or adapted for a particular purpose, especially a piece of mechanical or electronic equipment.
Dumber- adjective USA informal stupid, unintelligent, ignorant, dense, brainless, mindless, foolish.
Mapped- verb make a map of some place
Roomba- noun he name of a robotic vacuum produced by iRobot Corporation of Burlington.

Culture & Leisure

Paris wants its beautiful rooftops to have Unesco World Heritage status.

From: Lonely
Level: Intermediate
Includes: Article

The iconic rooftops of Paris have been added to a list of intangible cultural heritage complied by the Ministry of Culture in France – and now the roofers have their sights set on the lofty heights of their trade gaining recognition by Unesco.Read more
Do you know what areas have been given world heritage status in your country?
What do you think are the benefits for a city or a tourist site too have world heritage status?
Do you know of somewhere you would like to see added to this list? Where is it and why should it be added?)
Craftsmanship – noun the quality of design and work shown in something made by hand; artistry. Very skilled.
Emblematic- adjective serving as a symbol of a particular quality or concept; symbolic
Iconic- adjective relating to or of the nature of an likeness of something or somebody very special or recognisable.
Inherent- adjective existing in something as a permanent, essential, or characteristic attribute.
Intangible- adjective unable to be touched or grasped; not having physical presence.
Lofty – adjective British originally “exalted,” or spiritually high, but soon came to mean physically high or very tall as well.

The land of Haile Selassie is finally recognizing its Rastafarian community

From: Quartz Africa
Level: Intermediate and above
Includes: (article/audio/etc.)

Ethiopia’s government has announced it will issue identity cards to members of the Rastafarian community, a religious group that has long been seen as stateless in the horn of Africa nation. The foreign ministry said that the ID cards will grant Rastafarians residency and most legal rights in the country, but will still not make them citizens, AFP reports.
Read more
Why according to this article is this an important move for the Rastafarian community?
Why do you think some Rastafarians got themselves a bad reputation some years back?
How important is religious freedom in society today?
Adherents- noun someone who supports a particular party, person, or set of ideas.
Bequeathed- verb pass something on or leave something to someone else.
Dreadlocks- noun a hairstyle in which the hair is washed but not combed and twisted while wet into tight braids or ringlets hanging down on all sides
Migrated- verb move from one area or country to settle in another, especially in search of work.
Proponent- noun a person who advocates a theory, proposal, or project.
Rastafarian- – adjective a religious movement of Jamaican origin that believes that black people are the chosen people, & Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia was the Messiah, also that black people will eventually return to their Africa.
Reside- verb have one’s permanent home in a particular place.

Health & Lifestyle

Does Sugar Make You Sad? New Study Finds a Link

Level: Intermediate and above
Includes: Article

“The thought of a cupcake, skillfully frosted with fluffy vanilla icing, may put a smile on your face, but research suggests that, in the long term, a sweet tooth may turn that smile into a frown – but not for the reasons you think.
In a new study, published in Scientific Reports, my colleagues and I found a link between a diet high in sugar and common mental disorders.”
Read more
Do you watch your sugar intake level? How do you do this?
After reading this article are you convinced the link between high sugar intake and depression?
Consume- verb eat, drink, or ingest (food or drink).
Disorder – noun medical a disruption of normal physical or mental functions; a disease or abnormal condition.
Frown- noun a facial expression or look characterized by a creasing of one’s eye brows.
Opt for- verb make a choice from a range of possibilities.
Recurrent- adjective occurring often or repeatedly
Socioeconomic- adjective relating to the interaction of social and economic issues.
Subsequent- adjective coming after something in time; following.

Are Friends Better Than Family for Your Health?

From: Voice of America
Level: Low Intermediate and above
Includes: Article & Audio account

“You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family.” That line comes from American writer Harper Lee’s book “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
Now compare her words to another famous expression: “Blood is thicker than water.” This means that family will always be with you while other people — with no blood connection — may come and go.
Having strong ties to family and friends has long been identified as an important part of being happy and healthy. People need people.
Read more
How important are your friends to you?
Do you have friends that are closer to you than family or not?
Do you agree that “Blood is thicker than water?” Can you give an example?
A world of difference- phrase: to cause a change: to be important in some way
Chronic- medical adjective continuing or occurring again and again for a long time
Spouse – noun someone who is married: a husband or wife
Survey – noun an activity in which many people are asked a question or a series of questions in order to gather information about what most people do or think about something
Test of time -phrase: to continue to be important, respected, etc., for a long period of time
Well-being – noun the state of being happy, healthy, or prosperous
That is all for this week, we hope you have enjoyed the articles selected for you. Please let us know what type articles you particularly liked or if you would like another type of articles included in our weekly list. Share your thoughts and comments on our Facebook page or tell your teacher.
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