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
Thousands of penguin babies have starved to death in the eastern Antarctic recently . Observers found thousands of unhatched eggs and lifeless baby penguins on the coast. According to scientists , only two baby penguinssurvived during the 2017 breeding season. Adélie penguins live in colonies that consist of thousands of animals. It is the second time that a whole colony has been wiped out after no babies survived in 2015.
The World Wildlife Fund says that krill fishing in the area has led to the starving of penguin babies. Officials state that fishing in the area may permanentlyendanger the whole penguin population in the Antarctic.
Another reason for the declining number of Adélie penguins is possibly climate change. In regions where ice gets thicker, adult penguins must travel further away from the shore in order to find food. When they get back they find many of their babies already dead.
The WWF and other organisations now demand that the eastern Antarctic coastline be declared a Marine Protected Area in order to help endangered penguins. Commercial fishing should be banned around these areas .
Adélie penguins live along the Antarctic coast and usually breed from October to February. They lay eggs in nests made up of stones.
according to = as said by …
adult = grownup
ban = forbid
breed = two or more animals get together in order to have babies
commercial fishing = fishing in order to make money
consist of = made up of
declare = to officially say that something exists
declining = going down
demand = want to have
endanger = to put a person or an animal in danger
krill = small shellfish
lifeless = dead
Marine Protected Area = area in the ocean where fishing and mining is banned and where animals and plants are protected
permanently = exist for a long time in the future
observer = a person who watches something closely
official = person who is in a high position in an organisation
shore = coast; where land meets the sea
starve = to die because you do not have enough to eat
survive = to live on after a dangerous situation
unhatched = if a baby animal does not come out of an egg
wipe out = destroy completely, so that nothing is left
World Wildlife Fund = organisation that protects endangered animals and plants
Estonia is a small Baltic state with a population of 1.3 million. Despite its size it is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world and has been creating a digital society since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
In Estonia, citizens are allowed to do most things online. Every inhabitant has a uniqueID card that they use for a number of purposes.They can file tax returns, get medical prescriptions and manage their health records online. They can pay for a parking ticket via mobile phone and don’t have to go to a registration office when a child is born. Parents can check their children’s grades and communicate with teachers. For many years Estonians have been able to vote online.
In 2014 the small Baltic country started a new digital initiative. It allows non-citizens to become digital residents for 100 euros. The government wants to bring qualified people to the country because the working population is steadily decreasing. The country desperately needs new programmers, web developers and media experts. Up to now 20 000 people from other countries have applied for digital citizenship.
Many countries, among them Finland and Japan are trying to copy Estonia’s digital society. However, authoritiespoint out that the country’s smallness is an advantage. Such a system may not work very well in larger countries with millions of people.
advanced = very modern
advantage = here: something that helps you to be successful
apply = to make a request
authorities = the people who are in charge of a government organisation or department
Baltic = region in the northeastern part of Europe
citizen = person who lives in a country and has rights there
collapse = breakdown , end
create = make
decrease = go down
desperately = very much
despite = even though
file tax returns = here: to send information on how much you have earned to the local government; it then tells you how much tax you have to pay
government = the people who rule a country
health records = information about your health
however = but
ID card = small plastic card that has information about a person
inhabitant = a person who lives in a country
initiative = a new plan
point out = to show something that is important
population = the number of people living in a country
prescription = a piece of paper on which the doctor writes down what medicine a sick person should take
purpose = what something is needed for
qualified = with special skills and talents
registration office = place where you have report to when a baby is born or someone dies
resident = a person who officially lives in a country
society = people in general and the way they live and work together
size =how large the country is
smallness = not large in size
Soviet Union = largest Communist country that existed between 1922 and 1991
60 people have died so far due to an outbreak of plague in Madagascar. According to the World Health Organisation, Madagascar witnesses about 400 cases of plague every year. However, this year infections have started much earlier and are spreading from remoterural areas to cities as well.
Most cases were pneumonic plague, a dangerous and severe infection of the lung. It is highly infectious and can be transmitted through air by coughing and sneezing. It invades the lungs and can lead to death within 24 hours.
156 cases were attributed to bubonic plague, an infection that is transmitted by rats and spreads to humans through flea bites. It can be very painful and causesfever, headache, chest pain as well as swollen lymph nodes.
While both forms of plague can be treated it is important to detect the illness at an early stage and get medical help to people as soon as possible. The WHO has helped with millions of doses of antibiotics. The International Red Cross has set up treatment centresthroughout the island. In addition the government has been supplyingpeople with masks and has closed down schools.
Madagascar, with a population of 25 million, has witnessed outbreaks of plague since the 1980s, usually during the rainy season between November and March. Officials fear that this time the disease might not be contained and could spread to many regions of the country.
The most deadly plague in history occurred in Europe in the 14th century. About a third of the continent’s population when killed as sailors brought the infectious disease from Asia.
according to = as reported by
antibiotic = medicine that is used to kill bacteria and cure infections
attribute = to believe that something is caused by …
century = a hundred years
chest = front part of your body between your neck and stomach
contain = to stop something from spreading
detect = discover, notice
dose = an amount of medicine that you should take
due to = because of
flea = very small insect without wings that bites animals and people and eats their blood
in addition = also
infectious = disease that can be passed on from person to person, mostly by air
invade = here: attack
lymph node = small round swelling in your body with liquid that helps fight off infections
occur = happen
official = person in a high position in the government
outbreak = when something suddenly starts
remote = far away
rural = in the countryside
severe = very bad
spread = move from one place ot another
supply = give
swollen = larger than normal
throughout = all across
transmit = to pass on to another person
treat = cure an illness with medicine and other drugs
treatment centre = place where people can come to in order to get medicine
witness = experience ; see something happen
World Health Organisation (WHO) = international organisation which helps countries improve health care by giving people medicine and providing information about diseases
The first commercial flight landed on the British island of St. Helena a few days ago. It was the first passenger flight ever to land on the remote island, located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. St. Helena’s authorities hope that the new air service from Johannesburg, South Africa will help boost tourism on the island.
Up to now only a boat service every three weeks connected the island with the African continent. It took a ship about 6 days to travel from South Africa. The small island reliesheavily on British aid to survive. St. Helena’s tourism officials say that the new air link will bring 30,000 visitors to the island every year, compared to only 4,000 last year.
The airport cost almost £ 300 m and has been widely criticised as being the most useless airport in the world. Only smaller airplanes can fly to the island because strong winds to not allow large jet planes to take off and land.
Saint Helena is mostly known as the island to which French emperor Napoleon was banned and diedafter he had suffered a defeat at Waterloo. The British overseas territory is only 122 square kilometres large and lies 2000 km off the coast of Africa. It has a population of 4,200 .
Development on the island has been slow. It got its first mobile phone service in 2015 and the first luxury hotel on the island is opening soon. Wildlife and nature on and around the island is why tourists find there way to St. Helena. A Marine Protected Area was established there last year.
aid = financial help; money
air link = flights to and from a place
air service = company that arranges flights
authorities = the people who rule a place
ban = here: to bring someone to a faraway place so that he/she cannot escape
boost = improve; make better
coast = where land meets the sea
commercial = with passengers on board who pay for the flight
development = to increase business, trade and growth in a region
emperor = man who rules a group of countries
establish = create
heavily = very much; strongly
luxury hotel = very expensive hotel
Marine Protected Area = place in the ocean where animals and plants are protected
official = a person who is in a high position in an organisation
population = the number of people who live in an area
rely = depend on; need
remote = very far away
suffer a defeat = here: lose a battle in a war
survive = to continue to exist
useless = not needed
wildlife = animals and plants that grow under natural conditions
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
Scientists have discovered a gigantic hole that has reappeared in the Antarctic ice. It is about the size of the Netherlands and is located around the Weddell Sea.
In the 1970s climatologists found a similar hole at almost the same spot. At that time they didn’t have the observation equipment that they have now, so they couldn’t study the hole closely enough. After a few years it disappeared . Last year, the hole came up again.
Researchers cannot explain how the hole emerged. One theory is that warmer salt water from deep under the Antarctic ice sheet may have come up and mixed with cold water near the surface, thus , melting the ice sheet above. Normally a thick layer of ice covers Antarctica at the end of the southern winter. Scientists also claim that it may be connected to climate change and global warming.
Such a hole in the ice is called a polynya. Although not totally uncommon, it is strange that the hole in the Antarctic ice has appeared very far from its edge . Usually such holes are found in coastal regions.
Climatologists are not sure whether the hole will have an impact on the water temperature in the world’s oceans. If warmer water continues to surface to the top of the hole it may stay there for a longer period of time because it would then be difficult for ice layers to form.
Severe weather conditions during the Antarctic winter make it difficult to find holes in the ice . This is the second time in two years that such a hole has emerged , although last year’s was not that big.
although = while
claim = to say that something is true even if you cannot prove it
climatologist = person who studies the weather and how it changes the climate on earth
coastal = where land meets the sea
disappear = go away
discover = to find something that has not been there before
edge = the part of an object that is furthest from the centre
emerge = come out from somewhere
equipment = the tools or machines you need to do something
gigantic = huge; very big
global warming = the increase in the temperature of the atmosphere
ice sheet = area of thick ice that covers the North and South Poles
impact = influence, change
layer = material or substance between two other things
reappear = to come again, after it has gone away for some time
researcher = a person who studies a subject in order to find out more about it
scientist = a person who is trained in science and works in a lab
Researchers have found that 3 million dollars worth of gold lands in Switzerland’s sewage system every year. After taking a close look at Swiss waste-water treatment plants, they claim that over a hundred pounds of gold and 6,000 pounds of silver are washed away with waste. However, it would be too expensive to remove the gold from the wasted water.
Switzerland is a country that processes and refines gold on a large scale. About 70% of the world’s most precious metal passes through Switzerland in some way or other. Gold is used especially in the country’s watchmaking industry, which dominates the world market.
Other valuable metals pass through the country’ sewage system, but they do not pose an environmental threat.
Most of the refineries lie in the southern canton Ticino, only a short distance from the Italian border.
border = line between two countries
canton = province of Switzerland
claim = to say that something is true
dominate = to be number one
environmental threat = danger to the world around us
especially = above all
pose = cause a problem
precious = very valuable
on a large scale = here: large factories refine large amounts
refine = here: to make gold purer
remove = take something away
researcher = person who studies a subject in order to find out more about it
sewage system = a place where waste water from households is collected; the water is cleaned and returned into rivers or the sea
valuable = expensive
waste-water treatment plants = place where waste water from households is cleaned from unusable material
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
Che Guevara was a Marxistrevolutionary who was a close aide of Fidel Castro during the Cuban Revolution. He was killed in Bolivia 50 years ago.
Che was born into a middle class Argentinian family in 1928 and studied medicine in his youth. From the beginning he was influenced by left-wing ideas and strongly opposed the government of Argentine leader Juan Peron.
Instead of finishing his studies, the young rebel decided to travel around South America, where he witnessedwidespread poverty and oppression among the population. In the 1950s he travelled to Guatemala where he saw how the CIA helped overthrow a leftist government.
In Mexico, Che Guevara met Fidel Castro and his brother Raul. Together , they planned to overthrow the pro-western government in Cuba. After Castro took power in 1959 , Che Guevara held some top posts in his government and also became Castro’s military adviser. He strongly opposed the United States and its policies. Instead he tried to strengthenties with the Soviet Union and spread socialism to Central America.
The Marxist revolutionary was sent to developing countries in order to show them how Cuban socialism worked. In Congo, he trained rebels to fight against government soldiers. Che Guevara was finally captured in Bolivia where he was he was executedin 1967.
adviser = person who gives you advice because they know a lot about a topic
aide = person who helps a politician or leader
capture = to catch a person and keep them as a prisoner
developing country = poor country in Africa, Asia or America
execute = to kill someone as a from of being punished
influence = to affect or change the way someone behaves or thinks
instead = in something’s place
government = the people who rule a country
Marxist = person who supports the ideas of Karl Marx. He explained changes in history as a result of the struggle between social classes
oppose = to be against
oppression = when you treat a group of people in an unfair way and do not give them the same rights that others have
overthrow = remove a leader or a government
policy = the way a government plans to handle a topic or problem
poverty= the situation of being poor
revolutionary = person who joins or supports a revolution
socialism = system in which many industries are owned by the state and rich people pay more taxes than poorer ones
strengthen = make stronger
take power = here: become a leader or the head of a government