Almanac – 13 August 2010 – Friday

Read the text first, then listen to the audio at the bottom of the page.

Good Morning!

It is the thirteenth of August 2010. It is Friday.

THE WEATHER (from Mt Tamborine)

It is fine. The sky is clear. It is very windy. Yesterday the wind picked up in the afternoon and there was very strong wind during the night.

In this context

“picked up”



Look at this scale:

It is windy
it is very windy
It is extremely windy.

Now I want you to tell me about the weather where you are. What is the weather like where you are? Answer this question. Say your answer aloud.
What is the weather like today?

Now write an answer. What is the weather like today in your area? (Post the answer below in the “comments”)


Here is a current news headline:

Russia deploys missiles in Abkhazia

In “news headline English” we use present simple tense instead of present perfect tense so

“Russia has deployed missiles in Abkhazia”


“Russia deploys missiles in Abkhazia”

Abkhazia is a breakaway province of Georgia. Russia recognized Abkhazian independence in 2008.

Look at these pairs of opposites:

The Russians deployed missiles in Abkhazia.
The Russians pulled missiles out of Abkhazia.

The Americans deployed troops in Iraq.
The Americans pulled troops out of Iraq.

Sometimes “deploy” is the opposite of “pull out” but not always.

Russia has deployed anti-aircraft missiles in Abkhazia.

There is a conflict between Georgia and Abkhazia. Georgia is aligned with the west. Abkhazia is aligned with Russia.

Can you see a parallel with the situation in Korea? Explain the situation using these phrases:

is aligned with
the United States
north Korea
south Korea
There is a conflict between A and B

Are you able to explain the situation? Try to do it now. Do it orally. Say your answer aloud:
What is the situation in Korea?
[audio:situation korea.mp3]

Look at another headline:

Iraqi general says army not ready for US pullout

The nouns from “pull out” and “deploy” are “pullout” and deployment”. We speak of:

the deployment of troops
the pullout of troops (the withdrawal of troops)

the deployment of missiles
the pullout of missiles (the withdrawal of missiles)

In “newspaper headline style”

“an Iraqi general”

becomes simply

Iraqi general


“the army is not ready”

becomes simply:

army not ready.

An Iraqi general has said the Iraqi army will not be ready for the US pullout until 2020.

Does this sound like propaganda to you? Do you think the Americans should pull out of Iraq immediately? Will the country break up if the Americans pull out? Will armed militia take over the government?

What do you think? Should the Americans pull out immediately? Answer the question orally:
Should the Americans pull out immediately?

After you have answered the question orally, write an answer in the “comments” section below.

Now let’s look at one more headline:

Toyota stops car exports to Iran

This means:

Toyota has stopped exports of cars to Iran.

There are several other ways you could say this:

Toyota has stopped exporting cars to Iran.
Toyota has halted exports of cars to Iran.
Toyota has suspended exports of cars to Iran indefinitely.

Newspaper headline style for each sentence would be:

Toyota stops exporting cars to Iran
Toyota halts exports of cars to Iran
Toyota suspends Iran car exports

Toyota has stopped sending vehicles to Iran in order to comply with UN sanctions against Iran. The UN says Iran is producing nuclear weapons. Iran says it is not.

“Vehicles” means “cars, trucks, etc”

“Comply with” means “fit in with”.

News and weather Summary

Now listen to a summary. If you do not understand everything you hear, go back and read the text again. Look up all the new words in the dictionary.

Download audio file (nw130810.mp3)