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Cartoon: Halloween Apple Pay

The English Blog - 3 hours 30 min ago

Halloween cartoon

This cartoon by Nate Beeler, editorial cartoonist for The Columbus Dispatch, is part of a Cagle Post collection on Halloween 2014. A group of children are trick or treating. This is a customary practice for children on Halloween in many countries. Children in costumes travel from house to house in order to ask for treats such as candy (or, in some cultures, money) with the phrase "Trick or treat!". The "trick" is a (usually idle) threat to perform mischief on the homeowners or their property if no treat is given to them. In this cartoon, the homeowner wants to use Apple's new mobile payment system Apple Pay to give the children some money. However, the boy dressed as Dracula informs him, "No, we don't accept Apple Pay" (suggesting the man's question was "Do you accept Apple Pay?").

The big orange objects are pumpkins, another Halloween tradition.

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Newsy Video: Breakfast Debate—To Eat Or Not To Eat?

The English Blog - 3 hours 53 min ago

A study released over the summer says eating breakfast will help you lose weight, but another released just this week says skipping the meal will help you trim down. So which one is true? Let's break down these conflicting studies. A team at Monash University in Australia found skipping the meal actually helped people lose weight. Researchers asked 32 liver-disease patients to begin skipping breakfast and watched them for 12 weeks. In the end they found all participants lost weight and reported better liver health. Full transcript >>

Related articlesIs breakfast good for you or not?Skip breakfast and lose weightIt's the most important meal of the day if you want to lose weight: skipping breakfast could help you shed the kilosSkipping breakfast provides effective weight loss

Words in the News: GP

The English Blog - 3 hours 59 min ago


The cash-strapped NHS is paying GPs £100,000 a year for working only weekends, The Mail on Sunday can reveal. Doctors are earning ‘jaw-dropping’ pay packets for shifts that can involve simply answering the phone at the NHS’s non-emergency 111 helpline for a couple of days a week. Recruitment agencies are offering the cushy jobs to doctors to work in some of the most attractive parts of Britain, including Cornwall, Herefordshire and rural Kent. Full story >>

GP is an abbreviation for General Practitioner: a doctor who deals with general medical problems and treats the families in a particular area. • Intolerably long waiting times to see a GP have become a national disgrace that could endanger people's health.

Related articles David Cameron promises doctors' surgeries will be open seven days a week by 2020 GP out of hours contract in Cornwall to be put out to tender again Margaret McCartney: The private sector providers letting down the NHS National Doctor’s Day: What keeps physicians up at night?


OALD Word Of The Day - 8 hours 4 min ago
gizmo: a general word for a small piece of equipment...


Spotlight - 10 hours 49 min ago
"What exactly caused the cataclysm that killed the dinosaurs?"

US Group Rejects Claims It Incited Hong Kong Protests

VOA Special English - 25 October 2014 - 9:01pm
  Chinese media have accused a non-governmental organization in the United States of inciting the “Occupy” street protests in Hong Kong. But the group -- the National Endowment for Democracy -- is rejecting the accusations. The National Endowment for Democracy says it takes part in normal cooperation with civic groups in Hong Kong. But it says it has nothing to hide.  Chinese state media and pro-China news media in Hong Kong have published a series of reports critical of...

You Don't Have to Be a Rocket Scientist to Read This

VOA Special English - 25 October 2014 - 9:00pm
  Hello. I'm Phil Murray with Words and Their Stories, a program in Special English. "You do not need to be a rocket scientist." Americans hear these words often. People say them in schools, offices and factories. Broadcasters on radio and television use them. This is how you might hear the words used. Workers in an office are afraid to try to use their new computer system. Their employer tells them not to be foolish: "You do not need to be a...

Control of US Senate Depends on North Carolina

VOA Special English - 25 October 2014 - 9:00pm
U.S. congressional elections are less than two weeks away. A small number of races will decide if the Democratic party keeps control of the U.S. Senate or if Republicans will have a majority. Republicans control the House of Representatives now. Political experts do not expect that will change next year. If Republicans also take control of the Senate, experts say President Obama will have a very difficult time reaching his goals in his last two years in office. One of the closest...

Legality of Vietnamese Blogger’s Release Questioned

VOA Special English - 25 October 2014 - 9:00pm
  This week, the Vietnamese government released one of the country’s best known political bloggers from prison. The government then sent the man, Nguyen Van Hai, to the United States. His release has been widely welcomed. But the legality of the move has raised questions. A crowd of supporters welcomed Nguyen Van Hai as he arrived Wednesday at Los Angeles International Airport in California. Vietnamese officials approved his early release from prison. Hai was sentenced to 12...

Gold Mining in Ghana Can Be Dangerous

VOA Special English - 25 October 2014 - 8:29pm
  The rivers in Ghana’s Ashanti area have a sickly brown color. The land has gashes, holes cut by excavators. The air is filled with the sound of mining equipment. Small mining operations are a common sight in central Ghana. Here, mine workers dig deep into the earth in search of bullion. But not everyone returns alive. Earlier this year, six miners were killed when an earthen wall collapsed in Kyekyewere, a village in the Ashanti Region. Local officials say a collapse...

cygnet: Dictionary.com Word of the Day

Dictionary.com Word of the Day - 25 October 2014 - 9:00am
cygnet: a young swan.

Cartoon: Homegrown Terrorism

The English Blog - 25 October 2014 - 7:44am


This cartoon by Chappatte from the International New York Times shows two stalls in an open-air market. The one on the left is selling homegrown organic produce. The one on the right, which also has a 'Homegrown' banner is manned by a Jihadist recruiter (note the posters and the pile of sheets with a pen and a 'Sign Up' sign).

The cartoonist plays on two meanings of the word homegrown. Homegrown can be used to describe things grown in someone's garden rather than on a large farm. However, homegrown can also mean 'belonging to one's own particular locality or country', and in recent times, the expression homegrown terrorist has come to mean a citizen or resident of a Western country who plots attacks within the country’s borders — a phenomenon sometimes referred to as homegrown terrorism. Although it's not made explicit, the cartoon was probably inspired by the incident in Ottowa on Wednesday when a lone gunman attacked the Parliament and killed an unarmed Canadian soldier. It later transpired that the gunman was a recent convert to Islam whom Canada's security services had identified as a threat, placing a hold on his passport that would keep him from traveling abroad to join conflicts in Syria and Iraq.

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Newsy Video: David Cameron Has No Intention Of Paying $2.7B Bill To E.U.

The English Blog - 25 October 2014 - 7:04am

If you've ever gotten a utility or phone bill that was way more than you'd expected, well, David Cameron probably has you beat. The United Kingdom's prime minister found out Friday his country might have to pay the European Union a whopping $2.7 billion by Dec. 1. His reaction was pretty much what you'd expect.

DAVID CAMERON VIA BBC: "It is not acceptable; it is an appalling way to behave. I'm not paying that bill on 1 December. If people think I am, they got another thing coming. It is not going to happen." Full transcript >>

Related articlesU.K. Edges Toward Departure from European Union

Words in the News: In the Dark

The English Blog - 25 October 2014 - 6:59am

In the dark

David Cameron admitted that he had been left in the dark by George Osborne for two days as he complained that he had been hijacked by Brussels over an unexpected demand to pay £1.7bn (€2.1bn) to the EU. The prime minister said he would refuse to comply with the sudden bill, which he first learned about on Thursday, but questions were raised about Whitehall’s competence once it emerged that the chancellor had known since Tuesday. Labour said ministers should have expected the higher bill months ago. Full story >>

If someone is in the dark, they don't know very much about something, because other people are keeping it secret from them. • We are still very much in the dark about how the money was lost. • You've kept us totally in the dark about what happened that night.

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OALD Word Of The Day - 25 October 2014 - 3:00am
impetuous: acting or done quickly...


Spotlight - 25 October 2014 - 12:14am
"That mistake is pretty inconspicuous. Nobody will notice it."

Wealth, Poverty Are Issues in Hong Kong Protests

VOA Special English - 24 October 2014 - 9:00pm
  The pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong are mainly about the right to vote without interference from China’s central government. That we know. But there are at least two other less talked-about issues. One is concern about the rising cost of living in Hong Kong. Another is the widening gap between the city’s rich and poor people -- or as some might say – the “haves and the have-nots.”   Many of the protesters believe political change is needed to deal with these issues....

US Supreme Court Allows Texas Voter ID Law

VOA Special English - 24 October 2014 - 9:00pm
  The United States Supreme Court says the southwestern state of Texas can keep in place a new voting law. The law says voters must show identification documents before they are permitted to mark ballots. A lower court had ruled that the law could keep minorities from voting. The court released the ruling early Saturday. It was not signed by any of the nine justices. No reason was given for the ruling. The Supreme Court usually tells why it ruled. But in some cases it releases...

In US, Fear of Ebola Spreads Faster than Virus

VOA Special English - 24 October 2014 - 7:33pm
  For Americans, Ebola started out as a disease in a far-away continent. But then a Liberian man, Thomas Eric Duncan, died from Ebola at a hospital in Dallas, Texas. And two nurses caring for him became infected with the virus. This showed Americans that Ebola had come to the United States. One of the nurses was moved from Dallas to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Anthony Fauci is a top official with the NIH. “We fully intend to have this...

Who Will Be Brazil's Next President?

VOA Special English - 24 October 2014 - 3:30pm
Brazilians will choose a president Sunday. Two candidates will be on the ballot -- Dilma Rousseff and Senator Aecio Neves. President Rousseff won the most votes in the first round of voting earlier this month. But she did not win a majority of votes, so a runoff election is required. Ms. Rousseff received almost 42 percent of the 112 million votes on October 5th. She received a majority of votes in 15 of Brazil’s 27 states. Mr. Neves received nearly 34 percent of the votes. He won...


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