RECOMMENDATION – NEWS IN LEVELS

news in levels3

Excellent website for elementary to intermediate students (about B1+/B2-), with news items in three different levels. Each item includes text and audio.

There is also a SKYPE section, where you can sign up to practise your English online with students from around the world. 

news in levels2

Click on image to go to website:news in levels

CAMDEN TOWN

C-1 Seina Sofía Opera House: One of Spain’s Biggest Architectural Boondoggles Just Keeps Getting Worse

READ ALL ABOUT IT – CLICK ON IMAGE TO READ

REINA SOFIA OPERA HOUSE

C1 – WACKY SPORTS – LIKE CHEESE ROLLING IN COOPER’S HILL

The Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake

CHEESE1

Most of you will have heard about this annual event held on the Spring Bank Holiday at Cooper’s Hill, near Gloucester in England. It is traditionally by and for the people who live in the local village of Brockworth, but now people from all over the world take part. The Guardian called it a “world-famous event”, and indeed, in 2013, a 27 year old American and a 39 year old Japanese each won one of the four races. The event takes its name from the hill on which it occurs.

Two possible origins have been proposed for the ceremony. The first says that it evolved from a requirement for maintaining grazing rights on the common.

The second proposal suggests pagan origins. It CHEESE2is thought that bundles of burning wood were rolled down the hill to represent the birth of the New Year after winter. Connected with this belief is the traditional scattering of buns, biscuits and sweets at the top of the hill by the Master of Ceremonies. This is said to be a fertility rite to encourage the fruits of harvest.

HERE IS THE 2013 EVENT:

MORE WACKY SPORTS HERE

C1 – READING AND SPEAKING – CLARE’S LAW

READ THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE. THINK OF ARGUMENTS AGAINST AND IN FAVOUR OF THIS LAW.

Clare’s Law to cover all of England and Wales after pilot scheme

clare's law

Clare Wood met her ex-partner on Facebook and was unaware of his criminal record

Clare’s Law, which enables people to check the police record of their partners, is to be expanded to cover all of England and Wales.

It has been piloted in Greater Manchester, Wiltshire, Nottinghamshire and Gwent since September 2012. The scheme is named after Clare Wood, who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend George Appleton at her Salford home in February 2009. She was unaware of his history of violence against women.

The law is expected to take effect across England and Wales in March. Clare Wood’s father, Michael Brown, has welcomed plans to roll out the scheme, officially known as the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, saying the scheme “could, quite possibly, have saved her life”.

‘Escape if necessary’

During the pilot of Clare’s Law there were 111 disclosures in the four police areas involved. Home Secretary Theresa May, has issued a written statement to the House of Commons. She says that there “are still too many cases where vulnerable people are let down”.

“Clare’s Law provides people with the information they need to escape an abusive situation before it ends in tragedy,” she said.

“The national scheme will ensure that more people can make informed decisions about their relationship and escape if necessary.

“This is an important step towards ensuring we do better by women like Clare Wood in the future.”

Ms May said 88 women were killed by their partners last year.

‘Right-to-Ask’

The disclosure of people’s history of domestic violence can be triggered in two ways:

  • Right-to-Ask: the law will allow people to apply to police forces in England and Wales for information on a partner’s history of domestic violence
  • Right-to-Know: police can proactively disclose information in prescribed circumstances

A panel of police, probation services and other agencies will check every request to ensure it is necessary before trained police officers and advisers would then provide support to victims.

Extremely dangerous

Refuge, a charity which helps victims of domestic violence, is opposed to the rollout of Clare’s Law. They are calling for the government to open a public inquiry into the response of police to domestic violence.

The charity’s chief executive, Sandra Horley, says: “Clare’s Law may help a few individuals – but domestic violence is a huge social issue with a massive death toll. We need to help the majority of victims – not the few. Let’s get our priorities right.”

She also says that leaving a violent partner can be extremely dangerous: “women are at greatest risk of homicide at the point of separation or after leaving a violent partner”.

But chief executive of the charity Victim Support Javed Khan welcomed the plans.

“Early identification to stop domestic violence is crucial,” he said.

He also said that it is important to give people the “support they need both before and after a disclosure has been made, so they can make an informed choice about what to do next”.

New Domestic Violence Protection Orders are also being rolled out across England and Wales from next March.

These can be issued by a police officer at superintendent rank where they have reasonable grounds to believe a victim is at risk of future violent behaviour. The case for the protection order would have to be heard in a magistrates’ court within 48 hours.

A Scottish government spokesperson said domestic abuse was taken very seriously and that: “We will follow the rollout of this pilot across England and Wales with interest, in particular the evaluation, and consider the role that this initiative can play in Scotland.”

Police Scotland said tackling domestic abuse was a high priority and that their officers “regularly liaise with colleagues across forces in England and Wales and exchange information readily and as requested”.

In Northern Ireland, the Department for Justice said there were no plans to introduce their own version of Clare’s Law. “Such proposals would require local consultation and development.”

GLOSSARY:

roll out (n. Rollout) – apply, establish, introduce

trigger (OR trigger off) – bring about, cause, generate

disclosure – exposure, divulgence, revealment

death toll – number of deaths

tackle – deal with

liaise (with) – talk to each other and inform each other what they are doing, allowing efficient cooperation 

NEWS – Philippines: Typhoon Haiyan

typhoon

CLICK IMAGE TO READ START OF STORY.

READ MORE HERE: THE GUARDIAN

Bangladesh Reveals Uphill Battle For Fair Trade Clothes

bangladesh_building_collapseRetailers are under pressure after a building collapse killed more than 1,100 garment workers in Bangladesh. But global demand for inexpensive clothing shows no sign of abating. The New York Times‘ Steven Greenhouse and Elizabeth Cline, author of Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion, unravel the prospects for improved safety in the garment industry. READ and LISTEN

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