The government of Thailand has announced that smoking on tourist beaches will not be allowed any more. Those who do not obey the new law must pay a fine of up to $3850 or risk going to prison for a year.
The ban will affect 20 tourist beaches. Authorities in Thailand have been coping with the problem of cigarette butts being thrown away and polluting the country’s wonderful beaches.
Tourism officials say, however, that there will be places further inland where tourists will be allowed to smoke.
The ban was proclaimed after authorities collected over 140,000 cigarette butts on a 2.5 km long stretch of beach on Phuket Island – 30% of all the total waste found near the coast.
Tourism makes up about 10% of the Thailand’s income. About 35 million people visit the country’s beaches every year.
affect = here: where the new law is put into effect
announce = to say in public
authorities = organisation or government department that has the power to make decisions
ban = law that forbids something
cigarette butt = part of a cigarette that remains when someone has finished smoking
cope = deal with
income = the money a country gets for services and products
inland = farther away from the beaches
obey = follow, respect
official = person who is in a high position
pollute = to make dirty
prison = building where you keep people as a punishment because they have done something wrong
proclaim = to say officially that something exists
According to a new report, diesel cars have caused thousands of premature deaths in Europe in the past few years. These deaths could have been avoided if countries had met anti-pollution standards. The recently published paper comes almost two years after the Volkswagen scandal, in which the German car maker was caught cheating on emission tests.
Europe is a continent with about a hundred million diesel-driven vehicles, almost twice as many as in all the other countries of the world combined. Years ago governments and car makers encouraged consumers to buy diesel cars because they were cheaper, used less fuel and produced less carbon dioxide. Many governments also offered tax reductions if people bought diesel cars. What has not been known until now is that diesel cars produce more nitrogen oxides, which may cause lung diseases.
Italy, Germany and France were the countries that recorded the most premature deaths from diesel-polluted vehicles. Especially diesel trucks that drive in denselypopulated areas contribute to the high level of pollution.
The Volkswagen scandal also shown that emission tests are not accurate and that in some cases diesel vehicles emit up to 4 times more substances than they do when tested in a lab.
Since the scandal broke , governments in Europe and elsewhere have been trying to get people to buy more petrol-driven cars. They have become more efficient than diesel vehicles and the difference in prices are not not as high any more.
according to = as said by …
accurate = detailed; exact
anti-pollution standards = laws that are made to keep pollution levels in a country low
avoid = stop ; not happen
carbon dioxide = gas that is produced when animal or people breathe out or when carbon is burned in the air
cheat = here: to trick people and not tell them the truth
combined = together
contribute = to help make something happen
densely populated = when many people live in a small area
efficient = if something works well
emission test = testing how much gas or dirty substances are sent into the air
emit = send into the atmosphere
encourage = to say that people should do something
especially = above all
fuel = liquid used to produce energy and make a car drive
government = the people who rule a country
nitrogen oxide = combination of nitrogen and oxygen
paper = report
petrol-driven = run with normal petrol, not diesel
premature = something that happens before the natural time
record = write down information
substance = material
tax reduction = to pay less tax than you normally would
vehicle = machine with an engine that is used to transport people or products
The world’s longest railway tunnel, the Gotthard Base Tunnel, was opened after many years of construction. Trains can travel at speeds of up to 250 km an hour through the 57 km long tunnel. It took 17 years to complete and cost $12 billion. The engineeringmilestone will bring southern Germany and northern Italy closer together.
The new Gotthard Base Tunnel is also the world’s deepest tunnel, located 2300 metres below Swiss mountain peaks. A total of 2600 workers involved in building the tunnel had to excavate more than 28 million tonnes of rock.
Gottardinoshuttle trains will be running between the two endpoints of the tunnel and make a stop at Sedrun, a mountain station in the middle. 65 passenger and 240 freight trains are expected to travel through the tunnel every day. The Gotthard Base Tunnel will reduce the time it takes trains to pass through the Alps. A journey from Zurich to Milan, for example, will be reduced by an hour.
The new tunnel is part of a larger European transportation project that includes two other tunnels in the Alps. Ultimately, the EU plans a high-speed rail connection between its two majorharbours, Rotterdam and Genoa.
During the course of history the Alps have been a natural barrier to travel. In the past traders and merchants had to use mountain passes to travel from north to south. The first Gotthard rail tunnel opened in 1882, but as time went on it could not handle the growing traffic.
In the 1990s, Swiss citizens approved of a government plan to build a new tunnel. How hard such a construction feat would be soon became obvious . In places where there was hard rock boring was extremely slow. Workers could only advance only about half a metre every day.
The new tunnel is expected to reduce road traffic crossing the Alps as more and more lorries and cargo companies will put their freight on Swiss trains.
advance = move forward
approve = to agree with something or to say yes to a plan
barrier = a mountain, lake or any other natural object that stops people from going somewhere
boring = to make a hole in the mountain by using a special machine
cargo = goods carried by a train, ship, lorry, plane etc..
citizen = a person who lives in a country and has rights there
course of history = as time went on
complete = finish
connection = joining or linking two places
construction = building
engineering = the building of roads, railways bridges etc..
excavate = remove earth
feat = something very difficult to do
freight = goods that are transported from one place to another
handle = deal with
harbour = place where ships load and load goods
high-speed = very fast
include = something as part of something else
involved = here: worked at the tunnel site
journey = trip
located = where something lies
lorry = truck ; large car that carries goods
major = very big and important
merchant = person who bought and sold things in the past
milestone = an important development in history
obvious = easy for everyone to see
peak = the top part of a mountain
reduce = lower
shuttle = train that travels regularly between two places
speed = how fast something is
Swiss = from Switzerland
ultimately = here: when the whole project is finished
London’s Heathrow Airport is celebrating its 70th anniversary. The airport opened commercial services in 1946. Today over 70 million people pass through Heathrow Airport every year. It services 180 destinations in 90 countries. Over 93% of all passengers are international travellers. In 2015, Heathrow was the world’s sixth largest airport.
Heathrow,originally named London airport, lies 14 miles (22 km) west of central London . Construction of a military airport began in 1944. By the time it was finished the war had ended and Heathrow was turned over to civil authorities. The first passenger plane flew to Buenos Aires. In its first year of operation, 60000 passengers travelled through Heathrow Airport.
As time went on Heathrow grew and grew. In the last 10 years the airport has invested billions of dollars in modernising facilities for travellers.
Last year Terminal 1 was closed to make way for a modernised Terminal 2, which was reopened in 2014. Currently, the airport has two runways but there are plans for the construction of a third runway for Europe’s busiest airport.
anniversary = day on which an important event happened years ago
celebrate = to show that a day in history is important by doing something special on it
civil authorities = organisation that belongs to the public, not the military
commercial service = here: people pay money for travelling to and from other places
construction = building something
currently = at the moment
destination = place to travel to
facility = place or building that you use for something special
invest = here: to spend money to make it better
operation = here: in use
originally = at first
reopen = open again after being closed for some time
runway = long flat piece of ground on which planes take off and land