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
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
Short Message Service (SMS), also called texting, is celebrating its 25th birthday. The first text message was sent in Great Britain shortly before Christmas in 1992 in Great Britain. It was British engineer Neil Papworth who sent the first message from a computer to a mobile phone on the Vodaphone network. At that time mobile phones could only receive messages, not send them.
In 1994, Nokia presented its first mobile phone that could actually send and receive messages. It was the first phone that could produce more than an audio signal. Shortly afterwards the first commercial SMS service started in Finland. Text messages were limited to 160 characters.
25 years later text messaging is widelypopular. 97% of all smartphone users send some type of text message regularly. About 25 billion are sent every day. Today there are more complex messaging services like WhatsApp, Facebook Messanger and iMessage.
Media experts regard texting as the first step towards today’s smartphones, which are basically pocket computers with countless apps.
Texting has changed the way we communicate. For the first time, you could send the same text to different contacts at the same time andit didn’tmatter if the recipient was reachable or not. A new language has also emerged with abbreviations and short sentences.
abbreviation = short form of a word or phrase
actually = really, in fact
basically = practically
celebrate = to show that an event is important
commercial = here: something that you can make money with
communicate = exchange information or get into contact with each other
complex = advanced; with many different parts
countless = very many
emerge = develop, appear
engineer = person who designs and builds machines and other objects
limit = only allow
network = here: system of telephone lines that are connected to each other
Over the next few decades, Europe’s Muslim population is expected to continue growing. A studyestimates that by 2050 the Muslim population could grow to 58 million, or 11 % of the total European population, compared to 5 % today.
The study conducted by Pew research, is based on census and immigrationdata from 30 countries. It created three scenarios. In the first scenario, Muslim immigration into Europe would come to a complete halt. Even then, the Muslim population would rise to 7.4 %. This is because Muslims, on average, are 13 years younger than Europeans and have a higher birth rate.
On the other side, a high migration scenario is based on the flow of refugees from 2015- 2016 and expects it to continue. If this happens, the total Muslim population in Europe will rise to 75 million, about 14% of the total population.
According to the Pew report, not all countries will be affected evenly by future Muslim immigration. Germany and Sweden will see the biggest increases because these two countries accepted most asylum seekers during the 2015-2016 refugee crisis.
At the moment, Germany (5 million) and France (5.7 Million) have the largest Muslim populations in Europe.
The recently published study is likely to cause more debate on immigration into Europe. It citesinstability in the Middle East and Northern Africa as well as the ongoing conflict in Syria as the main factors that drive people to European countries. In the last 6 years seeking asylum in conflict regions was the most important motive for Muslims coming to Europe. Only few came to Europe for employment or education.
according to = as reported by …
affect = here: changed by the situation
asylum seeker = person who leaves their country because they are in danger, mostly for political reasons, and asks another country to let them live there
birthrate = the number of births for every 1,000 people in a year
census = official counting of a country’s population
cite = mention
compared = to look at two things in a similar way
conduct = carry out
data = information
debate = discussion
decade = ten years
employment = job, work
factor = reason
flow = steady movement of people
estimate = to calculate how big something will be based on the information that you have
halt = stop
immigration = when you go to another country and plan to live there permanently
increase = to go up
instability = when the situation in a country is not stable because of war or other conflicts
is based on = use something as the starting point for your research
is expected to = will probably
motive = reason
ongoing conflict = here: conflict or war that is continuing
refugee = people who have to leave their home because of war or a natural disaster
rise = go up
scenario = situation that could possibly happen
study = piece of work that is done to find out more about a subject
Up to 800 million people worldwide could lose their jobs because of automation. About half of them will have to learn new skills to get another job. In the United States alone, up to a third of the workforce could become unemployed within the next few decades. These are the results of a recentpublication by McKinsey Global Institute.
Jobs that involvemanual or factory work are the ones that are most at risk. People who work in social fields, the environment or management are less likely to lose their jobs. In countries with ageing populations, more jobs will be needed in health care.
The report says that there is no reason to panic because new job fields will emerge which will more than compensate the loss of traditional jobs. In addition, economic activity and rising productivity will also provide for more jobs. However, workers will need to adapt to jobs more quickly than before and lifelong learning will be essential.
Artifical intelligence is already spreading quickly in some areas. Technological inventions, like self-driving cars, will become hugely popular within a decade. More jobs will be needed in the energy sector and people will find more work building modern infrastructure in cities.
However, governments around the globe will have to give support and spend money on programs to train workers for new tasks.
The report states that the situation today is similar to the beginning of the 20th century when agricultural societies became more and more industrialised. The invention of the automobile contributed to this change. In the 1980s the computer revolution eliminated some jobs but created many others.
adapt = change; get used to
ageing = getting older
agricultural = farming
artificial intelligence = the study of how to make computers do intelligent things that people can do, such as think and make decisions
automation = the use of computers and machines to do jobs that normally people do
century = a hundred years
compensate = replace
contribute = here: to play a major part
decade = ten years
economic activity = producing and consuming goods
eliminate = lose; do away with
emerge = come up, appear
environment = people and things that are around you in your life
essential = extremely important and necessary
government = the people who rule a country
health care = services that a country provides for its people
hugely = very much
in addition = also
infrastructure = the basic systems that a country or city needs, like railways, banks, schools etc..
invention = a useful machine that is created
involve = here: to be about
less likely = will probably not …
management = controlling and organising the work of a company
manual = with your hands and physical strength
productivity = the goods that are produced by workers in a certain time
provide = give, offer
publication = when information is printed for everyone to read
recent = a short time ago
similar = like
skill = the ability to do something well
task = job
traditional = here: jobs that have existed up to now
train = here: prepare people for a new job
workforce = all the people in a country who can work
Charles Manson, the hippie leader who shocked the world in the 1960s, died at the age of 83. Manson, who has had health problems recently, was serving a life-sentence in a Californian prison.
Charles Manson was the charismatic leader of a group known for murdering seven people in Los Angeles in 1969. Among them was Sharon Tate, a rising Hollywood star and wife of director Roman Polanski. Miss Tate was pregnant at the time she was stabbed to death 16 times. Although Manson was not at the scene of the crimes he ordered his followers to commit the murders.
Manson and his cult members roamed neighbourhoods looting stores and committing random murders. His racist views triggeredwidespread hate against Black Americans. The clan leader was a symbol of free-love and drug-driven California in the late 1960s.
In 1971, Manson and four of his followers were sentenced to death in the gas chamber. The sentences were reduced to life imprisonment when California’s Supreme Courtabolished the death penalty in 1972.
In his youth, Charles Manson dreamed of becoming a rock star but was unsuccessful in his attempts at getting a record contract. This turned into hate against everything that represented the establishment and corporate America. His followers believed in everything he said and committed crimes on his behalf.
abolish = ban, not allow
although = while
attempt = try
charismatic = having the natural talent to attract people and make them like and admire you
commit = carry out
corporate America = here: the big businesses and companies that have a lot of power and can also make political decisions
death penalty = when the state legally kills someone who has committed a crime
drug-driven = here: a time when taking drugs was very common
establishment = group of people who have a lot of power and influence and are often against changes or new ideas
hippie = someone in the 1960s who wore unusual clothes , had long hair and took drugs for pleasure
life imprisonment = being in prison for your whole life
life-sentence = to be in prison your whole life
loot = to steal things from shops that were destroyed
on his behalf = in his name; for him
pregnant = to expect a baby
racist = someone who believes that people of their own race are better than others; they treat them unfairly and sometimes violently
random = without a plan or pattern
reduce = to make something less
recently = a short time ago
record contract = to make music for a company
represent = to stand for something
rising = here: becoming more successful
roam = walk around without a clear direction or knowing what you want to do
sentence = a punishment that a judge gives you for committing a crime
serve = to spend time in prison
stab to death = to kill someone with a knife
Supreme Court = the highest court in the state
trigger = start
unsuccessful = when something does not work out the way you want it to
The remains of Australia’s oldest aboriginal man, who died about 42,000 years ago, has been returned to his originalburial ground in New South Wales. For years, he had been at a university in Canberra for study purposes.
The skeleton was discovered in 1974 in a dry salt lake in Mungo National Park about 800 km west of Sydney. The remains were taken to the University of Canberra to be studied. At the time, the Aborigines protested heavily against removing the remains from their original burial grounds.They have been fighting for decades to bring the skeleton, known as Mungo Man, back home.
Mungo Man was probably a hunter-gatherer, who died at the age of 50. Scientists think that the man probably suffered from arthritis. He was found lying on his back with his hands crossed in his lap. His limbs were stretched out and his body was covered with red ochre, which came from some 200 km away.
Aborigines celebrated the return of the remains in a traditional ceremony with green gum leaves burned over a small fire. In an officialstatement, the university apologized for the pain they have caused by not letting the ancient human rest in peace.
aboriginal = connected to someone who has lived in a place or country from the earliest times
Aborigines = someone who belongs to the race of people who have lived in Australia from the earliest times
apologize = to say you are sorry about something
arthritis = disease that causes bones and flexible parts of your body to become painful and swollen
burial ground = place where a person is laid to rest after they have died
cause = create
celebrate = to show that an event is important by doing something special
ceremony = important social or religious event
decade = ten years
discover = to find for the first time
gum leaves = leaves from a gum tree; they produce a strong smelling oil that is used in medicine
heavily = very much; strongly
hunter-gatherer = person who lived by hunting animals and looking for plants that could be eaten
lap = the upper part of your legs when you are sitting down
limbs = arms and legs
ochre = red-yellowish earth
official statement = here: the university announced something in public
original = here: for the first time
remains = the body or skeleton of someone who has died
remove = bring away from the original place
scientist = person who is trained in science and works in a lab
skeleton = structure of all the bones in the human body
study purposes = when something is looked at or examined closely by scientists and experts
A Swedish publicationreleasedrecently says that having a dog could not only make your life more worthwhile but actually save it. Apart from being great companions, especially for single individuals, dog ownership may lengthen your life. The survey studied Swedish individuals between 40 and 80 over a 12-year period.
The study found out that owning a dog reduces the risk of cardiovasculardiseases by almost a third. The risk of suffering a heart attack is 11% lower compared to singles without a dog. People who owned hunting dogs, like terriers and retrievers, benefited the most.
Dog owners are more active because they exercise with their dogs. Extensivephysical activityreduces the risk of heart diseases, strengthens the immune system and makes life less stressful. It also results in lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Dogs are increasingly used as a therapy after a severeillness. An American study shows that patients who have undergonesurgeryrecovered more quickly if they had contact with dogs.
On the other side dogs have a calming effect on people and are important company for those living alone. Loneliness and lack of social interaction is one of the biggest problems of older people. Petting a dog, for example, has proven to be helpful to those suffering from depression. In addition, dogs are especially helpful in helping and guidingdisabled and blind people.
apart from = besides; in addition to
benefit = to have advantages
blood pressure = the force with which blood travels through your body
calming = relaxed and quiet
cardiovascular disease = illness connected with the heart and blood moving through your body
cholesterol = chemical substance in your blood; too much of it may cause heart disease
company = when you are with someone else and not alone
compare =to look at two things and show how much the same or different they are
companion = friend
depression = the feeling of sadness that makes you think there is no hope for the future
disabled = someone who cannot use parts of their body properly
especially = above all
exercise = physical activity that makes you stronger and keeps you healthy
extensive = a lot ; much
guide = lead to a place
heart attack = when your heart suddenly stops beating
heart disease = illness related to your heart
illness = disease
immune system = system by which your body protects itself against diseases
in addition = also
increasingly = more and more
lack = not enough of …
lengthen = make longer
loneliness = being alone
ownership = having or possessing something
patient = someone who receives medical treatment in a hospital or at a doctor’s
pet = to touch or move your hand softly over an animal
publication = when you make something known to the public
recently = a short time ago
recover = to get better after you have been ill for some time
reduce = lower
release = to publish
severe = bad
social interaction = when two or more people do things together
strengthen = to make stronger
survey = a set of questions you ask a larger number of people about a certain topic
therapy = treatment or an illness after a long period of time
worthwhile = if something is important or useful; you can profit from something
The social networking service Twitter has increased the number of characters that can be used for a single tweet to 280. The new limit will apply to English and other languages that use a Roman alphabet. Languages, such as Chinese, Japanese or Korean, are not affected by the change because users can say more with fewer characters.
Twitter says that the change has been made to give people more opportunity to say what they think and express their opinions without making texts shorter or using bad grammar. More space makes it easier to put your thoughts in writing.
Twitter decided to implement the change after a month of intensive testing .Those who tested the new character limit said it was good because they were able to express themselves in a better way.
In the first few days after the new rule took effect, many people used up the full 280 character limit. A spokesperson said that, after a few days, everything had become normal again. Only five percent of all tweets exceeded the old 140 character limit, probably because most users were used to it.
Twitter’s 140-character limit goes back to the days when the company was founded in 2006. Back then, the limit for sending SMS text messages was 140 characters and Twitter based the new service on that limit. Texting today is considered out of date and not used that much anymore.
affect = here: to do something that produces a change
apply = affect; to be used for
character = letter, number or sign used in an alphabet
considered = thought to be …
exceed = to be more than …
express = tell or show what you think or feel
found – founded = here: to start a new company
implement = here: to make changes
increase = to go up
intensive = here: a lot of
limit = here: the number of characters you are allowed to use
opinion = what you think about something
opportunity = chance
out of date = not useful, because something more modern has taken its place
Roman alphabet = alphabet used in English and other European languages
spokesperson = someone who speaks for a company and makes announcements in public
take effect = to start to produce results after something has changed
Sidewalk Labs, a Google company, has announced plans to build a futuristic city in Toronto, Canada. The new urban area, called Sidewalk Toronto, aims at turning the waterfront of Lake Ontario into a playground for city developmentand a testing site for new technologies.
The project wants to make cities cheaper, healthier and even more exciting to live in . The new city will offer its residents ultra-fast WiFi connections, lanes for self-driving cars and sustainableenergy sources. Thousands of sensors will report pollution and noise levels, as well as monitor traffic and levels of carbon monoxide.
Planners of Sidewalk Toronto want to find new solutions for overpopulation, waste management , traffic , pollution and other urban problems. Several companies have said that they will make their services available to the new city.
Planners estimate that the project will cost around 1 billion dollars. However, it will also offer tens of thousands of people a place to live, work and have fun. Eventually, similar projects may spread to other parts of the world, helping to build smarter and greener cities.
Google has also announced that it plans to move its Canadian headquarters to Sidewalk Toronto.
aim = wants to , plans to
announce = to officially say something in public
available = here: something that people can use
carbon monoxide = poisonous gas that produces carbon when it is burned
development = to become bigger, more modern and advanced
estimate = think about how much something will cost
eventually = as time goes on, slowly
futuristic = something that looks unusual and very modern
headquarters = the main building or offices used by a large company
however = but
lane = one of two or many areas on the road that keeps cars apart
monitor = watch, observe
overpopulation = too many people live on a small area of land
resident = here: a person who lives in a city
services = work or help that a company gives you
similar = almost the same
solution = way of dealing with a problem
spread = move to another place
sustainable = something that can be used without causing danger to the environment or nature
urban = about a city
waste management = way of getting rid of unwanted materials and dirty water
waterfront = part of a city or town that is next to the sea or lake
WiFi connection = connecting computers and other machines to the Internet by using radio signals