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Spotlight - 2 hours 47 min ago
"She's got a government job. Pretty cushy, if you ask me!"

VOA English Newscast: 2000 UTC October 5, 2015

VOA Special English - 5 October 2015 - 11:42pm
  NATO demands an explanation for Russian air incursions. Turkey has reported multiple incursions by Russian fighter jets into its airspace over two days. Turkish planes escorted the Russian jets from territory along the Syrian border after the breaches on October 3 and 4. A Russian official is blaming poor weather conditions for the incident. Here is Secretary-General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg. “Russia’s actions are not contributing to the security and the stability of...

Twelve Countries Reach Trans-Pacific Partnership Deal

VOA Special English - 5 October 2015 - 10:05pm
  The United States, Japan and 10 other countries reached agreement on a huge trade deal Monday. The deal will lower trading barriers and set commercial rules for 40 percent of the world economy.   The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement was reached in the U.S. city of Atlanta, Georgia, after seven years of negotiations. For the deal to take effect, it must be approved by national legislatures in all 12 countries. In addition to the U.S. and Japan, the countries...

Ireland, Japan, China Scientists Share Nobel Prize for Medicine

VOA Special English - 5 October 2015 - 10:03pm
The first of the 2015 Nobel Prizes has been announced. Sweden’s Nobel Prize committee says the Nobel Prize for medicine will go to scientists from Ireland, Japan and China. William Campbell from Ireland and Satoshi Omura from Japan share the prize for their discovery of the drug avermectin. The Nobel committee praised their work on what it calls a “novel therapy.” The treatment fights infections caused by roundworm parasites. The prize for medicine is also going to Chinese...

Western Nations Criticize Russia’s Air Campaign in Syria

VOA Special English - 5 October 2015 - 10:02pm
Western countries are strongly criticizing Russia for the type of bombs it is reportedly using to strike Syria. Russia began the airstrikes September 30. Western countries disputed Russia’s targets. Russia said it was bombing Islamic State militant positions. The United States and other nations said the targets were Syrian rebels and civilians who oppose President Bashar al-Assad. The Russian Defense Ministry released video recordings of Russian warplanes. Western military...

US Promises to Investigate Afghan Hospital Attack

VOA Special English - 5 October 2015 - 10:02pm
The United States military is promising to investigate whether it targeted a hospital in northern Afghanistan. The medical aid group Doctors Without Borders says at least 22 people died in airstrikes on the hospital. The group, also known as MSF, operates the medical center in the city of Kunduz. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter has called the attack Saturday a tragic loss of life. He promised a full and open investigation of the incident. Secretary Carter admitted...

New Zealand Creating Huge Marine Reserve

VOA Special English - 5 October 2015 - 10:00pm
  New Zealand says it will create one of the world's largest marine reserves to protect wildlife in the South Pacific. The Kermedec Sanctuary will cover 620 thousand square kilometers of largely clean ocean. That is the size of France. Its waters lie between New Zealand and Tonga. It is home to one of the world's longest string of volcanoes and the second-deepest ocean trench. The reserve is home to a group of endangered wildlife, including dolphins, turtles and...

Lower Nicotine Cigarettes May Reduce Addiction

VOA Special English - 5 October 2015 - 10:00pm
  Nicotine is highly addictive. It is also the main reason quitting smoking is so difficult. Now, a new study suggests that selling only cigarettes with very low nicotine levels may actually help people stop smoking.   In some countries, more than 50 percent of all men smoke cigarettes or use another tobacco product. Experts say nearly half of them will die of cancer. That adds up to about 20 billion deaths worldwide so far this century. A national study...

Beach Mat Charges Mobile Phone

VOA Special English - 5 October 2015 - 10:00pm
  Some people do not like being separated from their telephone, even while enjoying a restful holiday at the beach. So, a university student from Lebanon developed a most unusual beach mat. The device both provides power to cell phones and keeps drinks cool.  Twenty-three-year-old Antoine Sayah designed the water-resistant mat he calls Beachill. It has a 5-watt solar panel. The device can be used to recharge electronic devices. The mat also has refrigeration equipment...


Wordsmith.org Today's Word - 5 October 2015 - 5:42pm
1. A large seabird known for catching fish by diving from a height. 2. A greedy person.

1,144 - Being Assertive and Meek

English As A Second Language Podcast - 5 October 2015 - 9:00am

Learn how to get what you want, when you want it, in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:49
Explanations: 3:34
Fast dialog: 16:55

Victor: We need to take the bull by the horns. In the meeting today, we’re going to give it to them straight, no more hemming and hawing.

Maura: You’re right. We need to tell them what we really think and be done with it.

Victor: Definitely. We’ve been conciliatory long enough. Today, we need to be insistent without being too pushy.

Maura: Being unassuming and deferential has its place, but not if we seem meek. We need to be assertive without being too in-your-face.

Victor: You’re absolutely right. One of us has to speak up.

Maura: Yes, one of us has to be bold. They’ll have to take us seriously this time.

Victor: Okay, ready?

Maura: Sure, I have your back.

Victor: Huh? I thought you were going to do the talking.

Maura: Uh, I thought you were.

Victor: Maybe we should wait for the next meeting to take them on.

Maura: I totally agree. It’ll give us a little time to work up to it.

Victor: Exactly!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse

amphigory: Dictionary.com Word of the Day

Dictionary.com Word of the Day - 5 October 2015 - 9:00am
amphigory: a meaningless or nonsensical piece of writing.

Crossword: Rugby

The English Blog - 5 October 2015 - 7:27am

I'm not a great fan of rugby (we were forced to play it at school!), so I wasn't too upset when England were knocked out of the Rugby World Cup in the group stages. At least they didn't lose to France! Anyway, for all you fans of the oval ball, here's a crossword based on vocabulary connected with rugby. If the embedded version above doesn't work, try this one instead. Alternatively, you can download this PDF version

Related articles Rugby behind only football in World Cup attendance figures Rugby World Cup columnists on the tournament's underdog Crossword puzzles galore now at Wall Street Journal | Mobile Site World Ad of the Day: Introducing Windows 10 Animated English - The Weekend


OALD Word Of The Day - 5 October 2015 - 3:00am
hedonism: the belief that pleasure is the most important...


Spotlight - 5 October 2015 - 12:14am
"Obesity is a big problem in the US and in Britain, too."

US Military Shapes What Americans Eat

VOA Special English - 4 October 2015 - 10:03pm
Much of the food Americans buy at the store has a secret military history. People in the United States eat more processed foods than those in other countries. Now, an American writer says many foods like energy bars and frozen dinners can be linked to a U.S. military laboratory somewhere. Anastacia Marx de Salcedo writes about food. She wrote the book “Combat-Ready Kitchen.” She says the U.S. military’s interest in food science expanded during World War II. At that time,...

How Competitive Is Your Country?

VOA Special English - 4 October 2015 - 10:01pm
The Swiss-based World Economic Forum released its latest Global Competitiveness Report this week. The report rated Switzerland as the world’s most competitive country for the seventh year. Next on the list were Singapore and the United States. Others among the top 10 were Germany, Netherlands, Japan, Hong Kong, Finland, Sweden, and Britain. The report said countries need to accept the reforms needed to improve productivity. They also need to support entrepreneurs. If not, the...

UN Could Ban Luxury Goods to North Korea

VOA Special English - 4 October 2015 - 10:00pm
A South Korean official says the United Nations may consider new actions against North Korea if the country fires a long-range missile. He said the possible actions include expanding a ban on the export of luxury goods and strategic materials to North Korea. North Korea has recently made threats that suggest a possible rocket launch and nuclear test. North Korea said it could launch a long-range rocket to mark the 70th anniversary of the creation of the ruling Workers Party on...

Older Athletes, Lower Fitness Age

VOA Special English - 4 October 2015 - 10:00pm
  Is there a way to turn back the clock on your age? A new study says yes. Exercise can make you younger.  At least it can lower your fitness age — that is the measure of how well your body works. A study of athletes in the National Senior Games found that their fitness age was more than 20 years younger than their chronological age. The games took place in the Midwestern state of Minnesota. Tony Diamond participated in the games.  Every morning he goes to a local...

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Wordsmith.org Today's Word - 4 October 2015 - 4:27pm
A Compendium of Feedback on the Words featured in A.Word.A.Day


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