Once again, the earth has gone dark. Every year since 2007, thousands of public buildings and landmarks around the globe are switched off for an hour to raise awareness for climate change. Earth Hour 2018 started in Samoa and spread to all continents.
Numerous sites, including Sydney’s Opera House, the Paris Eiffel Tower and Brandenburg Gate in Germany, went dark at exactly 8.30 pm local time. In addition, millions of private citizensjoined in the event and turned off lights in their homes. 187 countries took part in this years Earth Hour , organised by the WWF.
In the past the Earth Hour movement has achievedbreakthroughs in many environmental fields. In 2014 Ecuador’s governmentbanned the use of plastic bags on the Galapagos island. Solar-powered lights were installed in remote villages in India and 17 million trees were planted in Kazakhstan.
According to the WWF, Earth Hour 2018 will concentrate on the preservation of forests and oceans, as well as wildlife protection. The organisation says that it hopes to raise awareness of global warming especially in the USA, where President Trump has vowed to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement.
achieve = reach, get
according to = as said by …
agreement = document signed by two or more groups or countries
ban = forbid
breakthrough = here : to do something really important after trying for some time
citizen = person who lives in a country or city and has rights there
environment = nature and the world we live in
especially = above all
globe = world
government = the people who rule a country
in addition = also
including = also
join = take part in an event
landmark = something that is easy to recognise, like a famous building
movement = campaign ; a group of people who have the same ideas and want to work together to achieve things
numerous = many
preservation = to keep something in its original condition
public = place where everyone can go to
pull out = leave; not be a part of
raise awareness = to get people to see and understand a problem
remote = far away and hard to get to
solar-powered = operated by the sun
spread = move to
switch off = turn off
vow = promise
wildlife protection = to save and protect animals that live in the wild
Tennis superstar Roger Federer has won his 20th Grand Slam Title and his 6th Australian Open trophy. In a dramatic match, the Swissman beat Croatian Marin Cilic 6-2, 6-7, 6-3, 3-6 and 6-1. The match went on for over 3 hours with both players being exhausted at the end. It was one of the hottest tournaments ever played on the ATP tour. In some of the matches temperatures reached 40° C (104 ° F).
Federer is the first to win 20 Grand Slam titles. He has won three out of the last 5 Grand Slams. At 36 Federer became thesecondoldest man towin agrand slam title after KenRosewall who won the Australian Open in 1972. In addition, he has become the oldest player ever to climb to the top of the ATP rankings.
The sympathetic Swiss player had the majority of supporters on his side at Melbourne Park. Red and white flags dominated the arena. In a game that went back andforth, Federer’s experience was decisivein winning the final set.
After dominating men’s tennis for a decade, the Swissman’s intermediatedownfall started in 2013 when he lost in the second round at Wimbledon and failed to reach the quarter-finals in the following three Grand Slam events. After suffering from a series of back injuries between 2013 and 2016 Federer made an amazing comeback last year.
Tennis is a sport in which injuries take their toll during the latter part of an athlete’s career. Federer rivals Raphael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, both in their 30s, are also coping with injury problems.
ATP tour = worldwide series of tournaments for professional tennis players; they take place at the same time every year
back = back part of your body between the neck and legs
back and forth = here: both players took turns winning sets
beat = win against
comeback = here to win again after an unsuccessful time
cope with = deal with
decade = ten years
decisive = here: it is why he won
dominate = here: more than other flags
downfall = here: when you suddenly start losing matches
exhausted = very tired
experience = here: the skill and knowledge you have from winning many difficult matches
fail = did not
Grand Slam = the four most important tennis tournaments = Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open
in addition = also
injury = damage to a part of your body
intermediate = here: for a short time in between other phases
latter = last
majority = here: most of the people in the stadium
quarter-finals = the last eight players in a tournament
ranking = position on a list that shows how good you are compared to others
reach = get to
rival = person who you play against
suffer = to be in pain
supporter = person who cheers for you in an event
take their toll = to have a bad effect on something over a longer period of time
tournament = series of matches in which players play against each other until there is one winner
trophy = large object, like a cup or plate made out of silver or gold, that someone receives as a prize for winning a sports event
Baba Vanga, a mystic Bulgarian woman who died in 1996, has been known for predicting future events. She predicted the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the rise of Islamic terrorism and the Christmas tsunami of 2004. For 2018, there are two events that the blind woman said would become true.
China will overtake the USA as the world’s number one economic power and scientists will discover a new form of energy on our sister planet Venus. These two predictions may, in fact, just have a chance of becoming reality.
China’s economy has been growing steadily for many years. Today, China’s share of the world’s economy is at 15.6 % while the US still is the largest economic power at 16.7% . Many experts say that China will be overtaking the USA soon.
On the other side, NASA is not planning to send a space probe to Venus but will send a spacecraft to the sun in 2018. The mission was scheduled for 2015 but postponed because of technical problems. The probe will fly by Venus and scientists do not rule out new discoveries of the planet that may be made.
Baba Vanga, whom many followers call the Nostradamus of the Balkans, made predictions up to the year 5079, when, according to her, the world and the universe will come to an end. In 2028 the world will suffer a global hunger crisis and in 3005 a war on Mars will change the trajectory of the planet.
Referring to her predictions of 9/11 and Brexit, Baba Vanga said that two birds of steel would attack America and Europe would cease to exist in its known form by the end of 2016.
according to = as said by …
Balkans = countries in the southeast part of Europe
cease to exist = here: not exist anymore
discover = to find something for the first time
economy = system by which a country buys and sells goods and manages its money
follower = person who believes in what someone else teaches or says
global = worldwide
mission = trip by a spacecraft to the sun, moon or another planet in order to get information
mystic = person who tries to get to know facts by praying, and talking with God
overtake = here: to be better than ..
postpone = to change the date of an event to a later one
predict – prediction = to say that something will happen in the future
probe = spaceship without people in it that is sent into space to collect information
referring to = to mention or talk about something
rise = here: when someone becomes very powerful
rule out = to decide that something is not possible
scheduled = planned
scientist = a person who works in a lab and is trained in science
share = part
spacecraft = object that can travel in space
steadily = slowly and regularly
suffer = to be in a bad situation
trajectory = path that a planet takes around the sun
tsunami = very large wave that can flood large areas when it hits the coast
universe = all space, including all the stars and planets
A human embryo that was frozen 24 years ago has now become a baby girl. Emma Wren Gibson was born in Knoxville, Tennessee from an embryo frozen in 1992. The mother, Tina Gibson, at 25, is only a year older than the embryo. It is the longest known frozen embryo that has successfully become a baby.
The Gibsons are unable to have children of their own and, in the past, have taken care of several other children.
Couples who use IVF to have a baby usually end up with more embryos than they need. They can decide to store them for later use, dispose of them or donate them for scientific research. Many parents who have leftover embryos give them to special centres where they can be used for others.
Doctors claim them frozen embryos can develop just as well as fresh ones. The dangerous part, however, is the thawing process.Only about 75% of all frozen embryos survive it. Health experts think that there may be up to a million frozen embryos in the United States.
For those who can’t have babies, using a frozen embryo from a donation centre is similar to adoption, only that the baby grows inside the adoptive mother.
adoptive = to become parent of a child that isn’t your own
claim = to say that something is true
develop = grow
dispose of = get rid of; destroy
donate = give something to an organisation in order to help
donation centre = here: a place where couples can give embryos they don’t need for others to use
embryo = a human being that has not yet been born but just started to develop
however = but
IVF = in vitro fertilisation = process in which a human egg gets together with male sperm outside a woman’s body; it is also called a test-tube baby
leftover = here: embryos that you do not need any more
scientific research = when scientists try to find out more about a disease or medical problem
similar = like
store = to put things away and keep them somewhere until they are needed
successfully = having the effect that you wanted
survive= live on after a dangerous situation
take care of = to care for someone or look after them
thawing process = here: to take an embryo out of a freezer and wait until its body temperature becomes normal
California’s Department of Health has published new guidelines on how to handle cell phones. It warns that radiationemitted from cell phones can be harmful but does not say that cell phones are dangerous.
.Health authorities in California suggest a few measures cell phone users should take. When sleeping, you should keep your phone at least an arm’s length away from your body. You should also avoid keeping your cell phone in your pocket. They also recommend only using cell phones when reception is strong.
Some doctors agree that carrying cell phones close to your body could increase the risk of getting brain tumours , cancer and becoming infertile. It may also lead to headaches, hearing problems and a lossof memory. On the other side, there are many health experts who say that the risks cell phone usage present are not proven
Cell phones emitradiation in the form of low-energy radio waves when they receive and send signals from cell towers. The frequencies that cell phones use could be linked to various illnesses.
The new cell phone guidelines have existed since 2009 but not been published. Recently, a Berkeley professor won a lawsuit against the Department of Health to release the guidelines to the public and push for more action.
authorities = government organisation that can make decisions
avoid = stop; not do something
brain tumour = illness in your brain in which cells increase in an uncontrolled way
cancer = serious disease in which cells in one part of your body start to grow in a way that is not normal
cell tower = high object that sends out and receives cell phone signals
Department of Health = authorities that are responsible for health programs and health information that is given to the public
emit = release, send out
guidelines = instructions on how people should do something or deal with something
handle = use
increase = go up
infertile = if you are not able to have babies
lawsuit = a problem that is settled by a judge in court
loss of memory = when you start forgetting things
public = the people in general
publish = to release official information to all people
radiation = form of energy that is sent out as waves that you cannot see
receive = pick up, get
recently = a short time ago
reception = the quality of the signal you get for your cell phone
NASA has discovered the eighth planet of a star system, similar to our solar system. The star, Kepler-90 is over 2,500 light years away and larger and hotter than our sun. It is the first star known to have as many planets as our solar system.
The Kepler-90 star system is much more compact than our solar system. The outermost planet orbits the star at about the same distance as the earth orbits the sun. its inner planets are small and rocky while the outer ones are larger and made up of gas
The newly discovered planet, Kepler -90i, is the third celestial object in the star system. It is probably rocky and similar to our earth, but because of its closeness to its home star has an averagesurface temperature of about 400° C. It moves around the star once every 14.4 days.
The discovery was made based ondataprovided by the Kepler space telescope. Launched in March 2009, the telescope has constantly been scanning certain sections of the universe in search of new stars and planetary systems. Up to now, over 2,000 new worlds have been discovered.
To help analyse the data NASA has been relying on artificial intelligence software supplied by Google. This software examines weak signals of light when objects pass in front of a star. The new way of examining data is expected to reveal even more new planets in the future.
artificial intelligence = when computers do intelligent things that only people can do, such as think and make their own decisions
average = normal, usual
based on = use
celestial = about the sky
closeness = being close to something
compact = here: the planets are closer together and near to the star
constantly = always
data = information
discover = to find something for the first time
distance = the amount of space between two objects
examine = look at something closely
launch = to send an object into space
light year = the distance light travels in one year = 9,460,000,000,000 km
orbit = to go around
outermost = the farthest away from something
planetary system = star with planets moving around it
provide = give
rely = depend on; need
reveal = to show something that was not known before
rocky = covered with or made of rocks; here: a hard surface
scan = when a machine looks at things carefully but quickly
similar = like
solar system = our sun and the eight planets that move around it
surface temperature = temperature you get when you stand on the planet
For the first time, scientists have recorded a humming sound that the earth has probably been producing for a long time. Scientists have been aware of the hum for decades, but for the first time, a team of experts have actually been able to record it
57 seismometers were placed over millions of square kilometres of the Indian Ocean. Ultralow radio frequencies were recorded on the ocean’s floor
For some time, geologists have pointed out that the earth is not silent but vibrates almost everywhere. However, it is a sound with a frequency thousands of times lower than what the human ear can hear.
Scientists don’t know what causes the earth’s hum but could learn more by getting a clearer audio signal. There are a few theories about where the sound may come from. Some say that it’s the echo of waves crashing onto the coast, while others think that it may be the atmospherein motion. Geologists, however, agree that the sound does not come from earthquakes because it is continuous.
In 1998 Japanese scientists proved that the earth’s hum was real, but nobody has been able to record it until now. Geologists hope that by analysing the recording they can get more information on the interior structure of the earth.
agree = to have the same opinion
analyse = look at very closely in order to get more facts
atmosphere = the mixture of gases that surrounds a planet
audio signal = sound
aware = to know that something exists
cause = the reason for something
continuous = when something goes on all the time
crash = to hit something very hard
decade = ten years
earthquake = a sudden shaking of the earth’s surface that causes a lot of damage
geologist = person who studies rocks and how they make up the surface of the earth
humming = a steady low sound
in motion = moving
interior structure = what something consists of, or what it is made up of inside
place = put, install
point out = to say how important something is
radio frequency = waves that are produced when you send out a radio signal
record = information about something that is written down or stored on a computer
seismometer = machine that measures how the ground moves
vibrate = to shake quickly and steadily in very small movements
Boxing Day, the 26th of December, has become a traditional day of sports in the UK, with many events taking place all across the country.
The day got its name from a time when many upper-class families gave boxes of gifts to poor people who had to work at Christmas while everybody else was celebrating. Boxing Day is celebrated in many Commonwealth countries.
The first important sports event on Boxing Day took place back in 1860 when two of the oldest football clubs in England played against each other. Today the Englisch Premier Leagueschedules a full round of matches on this Christmas holiday. In many cases, teams that are geographically close to each other play on Boxing Day so that fans do not have that far to travel.
While most European football leagues take a winter break, sometimes for several weeks, English football continues between Christmas and New Year.
The holiday schedule is welcomed by many football fans, but there are criticshowever who say that the Christmas season is a time when everybody should be at home with their families. Some managerspoint out that the season is very long and major teams need a break for players to recover from injuries.
Football is not the only popular sport that is played on Boxing Day. Horse racing and rugby have also seen regular sports events on the second day of Christmas. Traditional fox hunting is opposed by more and more Britons. In addition, Boxing Day has become one of the strongest betting days of the year.
betting = when people risk money on the results of games or future events
break = pause; a time during which you have no games
celebrate = to have fun or do something special
Commonwealth = group of about 50 countries that were once a part of the British Empire
critics = people who think that certain things are not good
everybody else = all the other people
gift = present
however = but
in addition = also
injury = when a part of your body gets hurt
major = important
manager = someone who is in charge of and coaches a football team
oppose = to be against
point out = to say something that is important for you
Premier League = the 20 best football teams of England an Wales which play against each other
recover = to get better
schedule = to plan something for a certain time
traditional = something that has existed for a long time
UK = United Kingdom
welcome = to be glad that something happens
winter break = time during which teams do not play because it is too cold or there is too much snow on the ground
The International Olympic Committee has banned Russia from taking part in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Russian officials are not allowed to take part in the opening ceremony and the Russian flag will not be raised.
Russian athletes, however, will be able to take part as individuals under a neutral flag if the IOC has determined that they have been clean athletes in the past.
The decision comes after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed that Russia was guilty of systematic doping during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. In a case of state-sponsored doping, officials tampered with urine samples to hide athletes’ drug abuse. More than 20 Russian athletes, among them some medal winners, have been disqualified from the final Sochi results.
The whole investigation into the doping claim started when Grigory Rodchenko, director of Russia’s anti-doping lab in Sochi 2014, defected to the United States. He stated that the country ran an official doping programme and switched samples during the Games. Doping was especiallywidespread in sports like biathlon and cross-country skiing. A report by the World’s anti-doping organization (WADA) stated that between 2012 and 2015 a thousand Russian athletes in 30 sports benefited from the programme.
Although many countries welcomed the IOC’s decision, it was sharply criticized in Russia. Some officials urged the country not to allow any of its athletes to take part in Pyeongchang Olympics. Russia would have ranked first in the Sochi medal table, but lost 13 medals because of the scandal, 4 of them in gold.
although = while
athlete = someone who takes part in a sports competition
ban = an order that does not allow a country to take part
benefit = something that helps you get better
biathlon = event in which athletes ski across fields and then shoot a rifle
claim = to say that something is true even if you have not proved it
clean athlete = an athlete who has not taken any illegal drugs
confirm = to say that something is true by giving proof
cross-country skiing = a race in which you ski-across fields
decision = order
defect = to leave your home country to go somewhere else, mostly because you have something to be afraid of
determine = find out the facts
disqualify = to take athletes out of the official results
doping = the practice of using drugs to improve performance in sport
drug abuse = here: taking drugs illegally
especially = above all
guilty = to do something that is not allowed
however = but
individual = here: a single person, not part of a country’s team
investigation = here: when organizations try to find out the truth about something
medal table = list that shows the number of medals that each country has won
official = person in a high position in an organisation
opening ceremony = the first event at the start of the Olympic Games
raise = put up
rank = the position in a table
sharply = very strongly
state-sponsored = the government knew about doping
switch = replace, exchange
tamper = to change something without permission
urge = to strongly suggest that you do something
urine samples = yellow liquid waste that comes out of your body; by examining urine experts can see if there are any illegal substances that an athlete has taken
Facebook has announced that it will release a new version of its popular app Messenger for children aged between 6 and 12. They do not need their own Facebook account to access the app, called Messenger Kids.
With Messenger Kids, parents will be able to control what their children see and who they are allowed to communicate with. There are no ads in the children’s version and Facebook has promised not to use a child’s information for other purposes. In addition, children’s names will not be integrated into Facebook’s search tool. At the moment, the app will only be available in the United States.
Facebook aims at getting children to become used to its product even if they are under the age required to get a normal account. As the company is losing younger customers to rivals Instagram and Snapchat, the company is trying to get young users to connect to their product before competitors do.
Messenger Kids will offer text and video chat as well as stickers and drawing tools. Special detection filtersprevent children from sharing sexual content or violence online.
According to Facebook, over 90% of all 8 to 12-year-olds have smartphones or tablets. Many use their parents’ Facebook account.The new app is intended to give children a feeling of having their own account, while parents are still incontrol.Messenger Kids will not automatically be converted into a normal Facebook account when children reach 13.
access = use
according to = as said by …
account =a service that allows you to do or see things on the Internet
ad = picture, words or a short film which is intended to make people buy a product
aim = wants, plan to
available = here: use
announce = to say officially in public
communicate = talk, chat with or write to
competitor = rival
content = comments, pictures video etc..
convert = change into, automatically become
customer = person who buys something
detection filter = here: a tool that is used to stop bad things from getting seen by children
in addition = also
intend = plan to
prevent = stop
promise = to say that you will do something
purpose = here: other things
release = here: you can download and use it
required = needed
rival = a company that sells the same things as you do
share = exchange, swap
sticker = here: a frame with a picture or words; you can collect them