One of the greatest mysteries of aviation history happened on March 8, 2014. Four years ago Malaysia Airlines MH370 went missing on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. The plane left its programmedflight path and headed south towards the Indian Ocean. During the last four years, several search teams have tried to locate the missing plane, but up to now, it hasn’t been found.
The Malaysian Boeing 777 with 239 passengers on board disappeared from ground stationradar screens but flew on for another six hours. Nobody knows what happened during this time. The last known location of MH370 was somewhere in the southern Indian Ocean near Australia. A few parts of the plane were washed up on Africa’s east coast and on islands in the Indian Ocean
Australia, China and Malaysia have taken part in hi-tech search operations that covered a total area of 120,000 square kilometres and cost $200 million. Now, another search is being conducted by an American firm.
Investigatorsspeculate on what may have happened on board MH370. Some experts state that there may have been some kind of mechanical failure while others consider a suddenloss of oxygen in the cabin and cockpit. Officials do not rule out the possibility of the pilot crashing the plane deliberately in unknown waters.
Aviation inspectors say that it is important to find out what happened to MH 370 in order to prevent such an accident from happening again.
aviation = the science of flying an airplane
conduct = carry out
consider = think about
cover = stretch = reach from one place to another
deliberately = on purpose; if you really want to do something
disappear = here: to be lost; not seen
firm = company
flight path = the course an airplane takes
ground station = here: building that watches and has contact with planes
head = to go in a certain direction
inspector = person who checks to see if something is done the way it should be
investigator = person who has the job of finding out what caused the accident
hi-tech = with the best and most modern technology
locate = to find out where something is
loss = to lose something
mechanical failure = an object or a machine on board the plane did not work the way it should have
official = person in a high position in an organisation
oxygen = element that is in the air and which we need to breathe
possibility = here: something may have happened
prevent = stop from happening again
programmed = here: the course it should have taken, according to flight computers
radar = machine that uses radio waves to find where something is and watch its movements
several = some
speculate = to guess about the possible causes or effects of something without knowing all the facts and details
sudden = something happening quickly
unknown = not known
wash up = when something drifts from the open sea to the coast
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
More than a hundred years after it had disappeared, Australia’s first submarine was finally discovered. The submarine, called AE-1 , went missing on September 14, 1914, with a crew of 35 on board. It was the first Allied submarine loss of the war.
After decades of searching, the missing Australian sub was found about 300 metresunderwater, off the coast of Papua New Guinea. It appears to be well-preserved and in one piece. Experts are now trying to examine the wreck and find out why the sub sank. They think it was probably an accident and not because of enemy fire.
The sub was on a mission to occupy German New Guinea, one of the German colonies in the Pacific.
In the past, there were 13 government – funded searches for the sub but, until now, none of them proved successful. When thesubmarinewasfound navyofficials held a commemorative service for the crew that the Australian navy had lost. Families were contacted and told that the oldest naval mystery in Australian history had finally been solved.
Allied = group of countries that fought together in the first and second World Wars
appear = seems to be
coast = where land meets the sea
colony = area that is under control by a government that is far away
commemorative service = event that shows you remember and respect something important that happened a long time ago
crew = all the people who worked on the sub
decade = ten years
disappear = here: to get lost
discover = here : find
enemy fire = attack by the enemy
examine = look at something closely in order to find out more about it
government – funded = paid for by the state
in one piece = not broken
loss = not having something anymore
mission = important job, done by the army, air force or navy
naval = about the navy
navy = part of a country’s military that fights at sea
occupy = to enter a place with an army and keep control of it
official = here: a person in a high position in an organisation
prove successful = if something you try to do really works the way you want it to
submarine = ship that can stay underwater for a longer period of time
The world’s largest battery has gone into operation in Australia. American technology giant Tesla built the 100-megawattlithium-ionbattery for South Australia’s state government.
The battery was connected to the power grid only 2 months after Tesla and the Southern Australian government signed a contract. Tesla boss Elon Musk said that he could deliver the battery and make it operational within one hundred days. Tesla made the deadline easily.
According to the company, the battery can provide electricity for over 30,000 homes for an hour in case of an electricity blackout. It is also intended to help supply more energy during peak times.
The battery packs, about the size of a football field, are connected to a nearby wind farm, 120 kilometres north of Adelaide. They went into operation at the beginning of the Australian summer, when more energy is needed for air conditioning.
While many regions in Australia still rely on fossil fuels as their main energy source, South Australia gets a lot of its energy from renewable sources, especiallysolar and wind power. However, backup energy is important for a region that has recentlyexperiencedsevere storms. The entire state witnessed a blackout in September 2016. 1.6 million people were left without electricity.
according to = as said by …
air conditioning = system that makes the air in a room cooler and drier
battery pack = several batteries connected to each other
blackout = when everything goes dark because there is no electricity
connect = link to
contract = official agreement between two parties
deadline = date or time by which you have to have something finished
deliver = to bring a product to a certain place
electricity = power that is carried in wires and cables and is used for heating, lighting and to make machines work
entire = whole
especially = above all
experience = see, witness
fossil fuels = energy that is produced by dead plants and animals over millions of years; for example coal, oil and gas
however = but
intend = here: designed to work as …
lithium-ion battery = very powerful battery that can be used over and over again; it is used in laptops, cellphones, iPods etc..
make it operational = make something work
megawatt = one million watts
power grid = network of electrical wires that connect power stations
provide = give, deliver
recently = a short time ago
rely = depend on; need
renewable = here: energy that replaces itself naturally and never ends
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
Authorities at Uluru National Park have announced that tourists will no longer be allowed to climb up to the top of Australia’s most famous landmark. The ban will take effect at the beginning of 2019. Officials say that Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, is not an entertainment park, like Disneyland.
About 250 000 people visit the large red monolith in central Australia every year. However, only about 16% want to climb the rock.
Although Australia’s government wants to keep the site open for hikers to climb, the decision was made out of respect to the native Australians who consider Uluru as a sacred place. In 1985 the government returned it back to the aboriginalpeople of the region. For a long time , local residents have asked visitors not to climb the rock out of respect.
National park authorities are worried that hiking to the top of 1,100 ft high rock will damage the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tour operators are now in search of other ways to show the monolith to its visitors, including camel rides around it.
Uluru National Park is open all year round, but climbing is only allowed on certain days because of strong winds and other weather conditions. Climbing the rock is not always safe. In the last 70 years , 35 people have died in climbing accidents.
Not all locals, however, are in favour of the ban. Some say that hiking should only be allowed with a guide and on special pathways.
Aboriginal people = people who have lived in Australia from the earliest times on
although = while
announce = to say officially
authorities = an official organisation that controls or is in charge of something
ban = order that stops something from being done
consider = think that…; look at something as …
damage = cause harm to something
entertainment park = area where you can go to in order to have fun, ride on roller coasters etc..
government = the people who rule a country
guide = person who shows you around a place
hiker = someone who walks long distances in the mountains
in favour of = to be for something
including = also
landmark = something that is easy to see , even from far away
local = a person who lives in the area
monolith = a large tall block of stone
native Australians = the people who have been in Australia before Europeans came
official = a person in an organisation who is in charge of something
pathway = track that is made for walking
resident = a person who lives in a place
sacred = holy , religious
take effect = put into effect, become a law
UNESCO World Heritage Site = place that has been selected by the United Nations because it is very valuable ; it should be protected by all countries
The last car , a General Motors Holden, has come off the production line in Adelaide, Australia. It ends a 90-year long era of car manufacturing in Australia. At its peak, the Adelaide factory built almost 800 cars a day .
GM Holden is a subsidiary of GM . The closure of Australia’s last car factory will not only leave almost a thousand workers without a job, but also endanger industries that produce parts for Australian-made cars.
Holden has been an Australian national symbol for many decades. The company, which started out as a family business in the mid 19th century, was bought by General Motors in 1931. In 1948 the FX Holden became the first car to be mass-produced in Australia. By 1960, every second car manufactured in Australia was a Holden. The company’s most popular car was the Commodore, which was introduced in 1978.
Since World War II a number of foreign auto manufacturers, including Toyota, Mitsubishi have opened and closed car production plants in Australia. Ford shut down its last plant a year ago.
There are many reasons behind the decline of Australia’s car industry. Through free trade agreements automobile makers no longer have benefits when producing in Australia. Other reasons are high wages and production costs as well as a small domestic market of 24 million.
As the Australian dollar became stronger the country’s exports became more expensive. Holden cars became less competitive , while imported foreign cars were cheaper . Since 2001 Australia’s government has been pouring in $ 5.5 billion into the car industry.
Even though Australia’s car industry has come to an end , the GM Holden will still be available from other manufacturing plants around the world.
agreement = when people, companies or countries promise to do something
available = it can be bought
benefit = advantage, help you do or get something
century = a hundred years
competitive = to be more successful than others
closure = to be closed
decade = ten years
decline = when something becomes less important
domestic = home
foreign = from another country
endanger = to put something in danger
era = period of time
foreign = from another country
manufacture = produce, make
mass-produce = to make something in large numbers so that it can be sold cheaply
peak = when it was most successful
plant = factory
pour = here: give
production line = products move along a line of workers who make or check each part
subsidiary = company that is owned or controlled by a larger company
Easter Island , or Rapa Nui as the natives call themselves , belongs to the remotest places on earth. The Chilean island, famous for its carved statues, is located in the middle of the southern Pacific Ocean.
For decades, scientists have been wondering how the natives got to the island before the first Europeans came in 1722. Most experts think that the first settlers came to Easter Island at around 1200 A.D. , probably on small boats crisscrossing the Pacific Ocean.
Other anthropologists have been trying to find out if the natives have any connections to early South Americans, three thousand kilometres away. Latest research now claims that the Easter Islanders were, in fact, more isolated than previously thought.
Scientists have been examining the skeletons and bones of five people that go back hundreds of years. However, they have found no evidence that suggests they have might have ancestors in South America.
The first theory of South American ancestry came up when Thor Heyerdahl saw sweet potatoes when he arrived there in the 1950s. He also found people using fishing tools that South Americans also used. Scientists at that time thought the people of the Easter Islands may have sailed to South America and back again some time before the Europeans came.
ancestor = a member of your family who lived a long time ago
anthropologist = a person who studies people , their cultures and where they come from
carved = to cut an object with a knife
claim = to say that something is true even if you cannot prove it
Chilean = from Chile
crisscross = to travel many times back and forth without a certain pattern ; zigzag
decade = ten years
evidence = facts that clearly show that something is true or exists
examine = to look very closely at an object
however = but
isolated = here: to be alone and far away from others
located = can be found
native = a person who was born in a country or place
previously = earlier
remote = very far away from civilisation
research = the study of a subject in order to find out new facts
sail = the wind brings you somewhere on a boat
scientist = a person who is trained in science and works in a lab
settler = a person who goes to live in a place where not many people have lived before
sweet potato = a vegetable that looks like a red potato ,is yellow inside and tastes sweet
The 2011 tsunami , which led to the nuclear catastrophe at Fukushima, has swept thousands of sea creatures across the Pacific Ocean to the US coast. In the past 6 years scientists have found mussels, starfish, crabs and other marine animals washed up on the American Pacific coast. Marine biologists expect that there are even more species to arrive in the future.
The giant waves caused by the tsunami in Japan were almost 40 metres tall and washed objects into the open sea. In 2012, scientists found debris together with living creatures on them near the Alaskan coast as well as in Hawaii. They were sea animals that have never before been seen there.
Scientists are surprised that marine species have been able to survive over such a long period in such bad conditions. However, most species travelled on plastic or glass objects, things that do not decompose and stay the same for many years. On the other hand, animals that travelled on wooden objects did not make the long journey across the Pacific, because wood lasts only for a short time.
Because the debris moved slowly across the ocean the animals had time to get used to their new surroundings as they travelled the 4,000 mile journey across the Pacific.
With so much plastic and other garbage swimming in the world’s oceans, the danger of marine animals being washed up on foreign coasts has never been greater.
Experts are not sure what effect these new species may have on the local environment. Such invasive species may change the ecosystem of the area they arrive at. They might transport new diseases or kill off existing species . In any case, it will take a decade or more to see the results.
crab= sea animal with a hard shell , five legs on each side and two large claws
creature = animal; living thing
debris = garbage, waste
decade = ten years
decompose = to break down into many smaller parts
disease = illness
ecosystem = the animals and plants in a certain area and they way they live together
effect = result ; change caused by an event
foreign = another country
garbage = waste; things people throw away
however = but
invasive species = plant or animal that does not grow naturally in an area but has come there from somewhere else
journey = trip
local environment = the world around the place that you live in
marine species = animals and plants that live in the ocean
mussel = small sea animal with a soft body that can be eaten and a black shell that is split into two parts
nuclear catastrophe = here: an atomic power plant explodes and sends dangerous radioactive waves into the atmosphere
scientist = a person who is trained in science and works in a lab
starfish = flat sea animal that has five arms and looks like a star
surroundings = the place or natural area around a person or animal
survive = live on after a dangerous situation
sweep – swept = to push something away
tsunami = very large waves, most of the time cause by an earthquake in or near the sea.