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Favourite places in the golden state

Spotlight - 2 hours 15 min ago

Claudine Weber-Hof shares her thoughts on California, the Golden State.

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Pack your bags!

Spotlight - 2 hours 17 min ago

Everyone agrees that travelling is fun. Packing, however, isn't, but it's part of the experience. Find out whether you know some important words to talk about packing by doing this week's grammar exercise.


Wordsmith.org Today's Word - 3 hours 7 min ago
Behaving in an ingratiating or servile manner.

Spotlight 8/2014 Premium downloads

Spotlight - 5 hours 15 min ago

For our Premium users: three complete sections from the August magazine.

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The English We Speak

BBC Learning English - 6 hours 28 min ago
Wow! Ouch! Yippee! The useful little sounds which mean a lot. The English We Speak: 29 July 2014

Cartoon: Reaching Agreement ...

The English Blog - 8 hours 15 min ago

Gaza cartoon

The Israeli military says it has carried out three airstrikes on Gaza, ending a brief lull in fighting at the start of a major Muslim holiday. Fighter jets reportedly hit two missile launchers and a rocket factory, in what a defence spokesman said was a response to earlier Hamas rockets fired into Israel. It came as the UN Security Council called for "an immediate and unconditional humanitarian ceasefire" in Gaza following an emergency session in New York. The council adopted a presidential statement - one step below a legally-binding resolution - urging Israel and Hamas "to accept and fully implement the humanitarian ceasefire". Read more >>

The first panel of the cartoon by Peter Brookes from The Times shows UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calling for an 'unconditional ceasefire'. The title of the cartoon is, of course, ironic, as is Moon's comment 'Well, it's a start ...' The only thing the Israelis and Hamas agree on is their rejection of the ceasefire and the continuation of the fighting.

The three dots as used in the title and in the cartoon itself are called an ellipsis. Ellipses have various uses including the omission of text, but here they are used to draw attention to the irony the cartoonist is using.

Related articles UN demands 'durable' ceasefire to end the bloodbath in Gaza UN Security Council calls for immediate Gaza ceasefire Fighting resumes in Gaza after lull; toll mounts to 1,046 Israel-Gaza conflict: International pressure for ceasefire builds as lull in fighting broken Rockets rip Gaza hospital, park; Israel blames Hamas

Newsy Video: Apple Acquires 'Pandora of Books' Service BookLamp

The English Blog - 8 hours 51 min ago

When you think of Apple, books probably aren't one of the things that come to mind. Looks like the company might want to change that. Apple has acquired BookLamp, an analytics and recommendation engine most are calling "the Pandora of books." BookLamp offers up recommendations based on books you've read. Full transcript >>

Related articlesApple acquires BookLamp book recommendation startupApple acquires book recommendation startup BookLampApple Secretly Acquired "Pandora For Books" Startup BookLamp To Battle AmazonApple Reportedly Acquired 'Pandora for Books' Startup BookLamp In AprilReuters Video: Apple close to buying Beats

Words in the News: Crooked

The English Blog - 9 hours 2 min ago


Bank of England governor Mark Carney has said Lloyds staff involved in an astonishing scam to defraud taxpayers could be guilty of ‘criminal conduct’. Lloyds was yesterday discovered to have ripped off the Treasury at the height of the financial crisis by lying about its creditworthiness. This allowed the state-backed bank to gain access to tens of billions from a Government ‘lifeline’ scheme at favourable rates – but left taxpayers out of pocket. Full story >>

Someone who is crooked is dishonest and likely to do illegal things, especially in order to get money. • Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has blamed the Ukrainian crisis on crooked politicians who disrupted the nation's unity.

Related articles 'Unlawful bankers' and new diesel charges - the papers Mark Carney warns of 'further action' against Lloyds Lloyds Bank hit with a £218million fine for ripping off taxpayers who saved it from collapse UPDATE 2-Lloyds Bank fined $370 million for rigging Libor interest rates Lloyds repo men default on the moral payments

From Birds to Bears, Animals Face Danger Around the World

VOA Special English - 14 hours 11 min ago
From VOA Learning English, this is Science in the News.  I’m Anna Matteo. And I’m Christopher Cruise. Today on the program, we tell about hundreds of newly-identified plants and animals in Southeast Asia. We also report on the killing of a famous elephant in Kenya, and a new study that finds elephants can hear differences in human language. Finally, we report on efforts to protect North American polar bears.  WWF: Newly-Discovered Animals Need Protection The...

UN: Downing of Malaysian Airliner Maybe 'War Crime'

VOA Special English - 14 hours 21 min ago
A United Nations official says the shooting down of a Malaysian airplane over eastern Ukraine may be judged a war crime. Navi Pillay is the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.  On Monday, she called for an independent investigation to establish the events that led to the incident.     Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down with a surface-to-air missile earlier this month.  The plane crashed in territory controlled by pro-Russian...

austerity measure

Spotlight - 16 hours 28 min ago

"As the recession deepened, the government announced new austerity measures."

Spotlight 8/2014

Spotlight - 28 July 2014 - 5:35pm

San Diego and more

Author Linwood Barclay


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Spotlight plus 8/2014

Spotlight - 28 July 2014 - 5:22pm

In August in our workbook, Spotlight plus: word order, parties, the second conditional and more. Practice makes perfect! Practise with plus!

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Green Light 8/2014

Spotlight - 28 July 2014 - 5:13pm

Green Light is our booklet in easy English to help you refresh the basics. It's free inside every issue of Spotlight magazine. In August: hot and cold drinks, reflexive pronouns, the Book of Kells.

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Spotlight Audio 8/2014

Spotlight - 28 July 2014 - 4:57pm

California, a birthday party, crime fiction and more.

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What they didn't know

Spotlight - 28 July 2014 - 4:48pm

Colin Beaven: "Chances of returning from the war were poor."

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Soften it

Spotlight - 28 July 2014 - 3:07pm

Students practise giving polite negative responses. This activity is from our free newsletter for teachers.

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Outside the car

Spotlight - 28 July 2014 - 2:10pm

In her 100th edition of the vocabulary pages, Anna Hochsieder focuses on words to talk about cars — in both British English and North American English.

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Crossword competition

Spotlight - 28 July 2014 - 1:01pm


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