News in Slow English 1

Hello, and a very warm welcome to you all. I’m Edward Stanford-Clark and you’re listening to News In Slow English, brought to you by Consulpes Academy. This week has seen the start of the Olympics, with the USA currently in the lead and Britain in ninth place. Yesterday, crowds gathered on fifth avenue, Manhattan, as a man attempted to climb the outside of the Trump tower before being arrested on the 21st floor. Australia and Google have both had problems with maps recently: Australia has discovered that their entire country is moving North fast enough to confuse satellites, while Google has been criticised for not including Palestine in the Maps application, a decision which has caused many Palestinians to express their anger on social media. And Brexit has not gone away yet! England has seen a big increase in racist hate crimes, while Scotland has promised to spend £100m creating jobs to protect their economy following the economic damage caused by the referendum. But will it be enough? Stay tuned…

It’s the 11th of August, or day 6 of the Olympics. Great Britain is currently in Ninth position, which is one place higher than yesterday. Britain has 12 medals so far: Three gold medals in canoeing, diving and swimming, three silvers in swimming, two bronzes in shooting and bronze in cycling, diving, gymnastics and judo. Team GB won 65 medals in the last Olympics in London, and have been given a target of 48 this year in Rio according to the BBC. So far have won more medals in the first six days than they did in the same time period in London. The United States is currently in first place with 29 medals, followed by China with 21 and Japan with 17.

However, the success of the athletes has been tainted by a number of recent problems with the games, the most recent involving claims that a kayaker hit a sofa in the Guanabara Bay, causing him to fall out of his boat. This has now been proven false, however on Tuesday the water in the diving pool turned bright green, followed by the water polo pool on Wednesday. The reason why the water changed colour is not known: some experts suggest a change in alkalinity, a lack of chemicals, or a bloom of algae. Officials have promised athletes that the water is safe.
Yesterday in New York a man was arrested after climbing up the outside of the Trump tower, the headquarters of the Trump organisation and residence of republican candidate Donald Trump. Police broke a number of windows to talk to the man, before finally pulling him inside on the 21st floor. Police do not suspect the man had any bad intentions, although his motives are not known at the moment. Many people suspect it was a publicity stunt to attract attention. Donald Trump was not in the building.

In recent news, Australia has announced plans to correct its latitude and longitude coordinates, because the entire country is moving North by 7cm a year, due to the movement of the Earth’s plates. This means that maps are different from satellite data by around 1.5m, which is a big problem for farmers who use robot tractors controlled by GPS. To fix the problem, on the 1st January 2017, coordinates will be changed by 1.8m, which means they will be exactly correct in 2020.

Meanwhile, Britain is seeing some social effects of the Brexit vote. The number of racist hate crimes has increased a lot this year compared with last year. In the second half of June, following the decision to leave the E.U., crimes rose by 37%, and 40% in July. Officials say it is sadly normal for hate crimes to increase following a major negative news event, as was also seen following the murder of Lee Rigby in May 2013 which provoked a 200% rise in aggression towards members of the Muslim community in Britain. Police in Scotland claim that there has been no increase in crime rates there since the referendum on the 23rd of June this year.
Scotland has pledged £100m to help reduce the negative effects of the Brexit vote. The plan is to use the money to speed up current projects and create more jobs. The Scottish economy was damaged by the oil price crash early last year, and is now weaker due to uncertainty following the Brexit vote. Investing in new jobs will help, and will give Scotland good publicity which may help boost investor confidence, however experts fear that £100m is not enough money to make a big difference.

Finally, in Technology, Google has caused controversy after people noticed that Palestine is not labelled on Google Maps. Google has said that Palestine was never labelled, despite being recognised by 136 members of the United Nations. Many people are expressing their anger on Twitter, with the hashtag #PalestineIsHere. Google says that it tries to present the world in a neutral way and ignore geographical and political arguments over territory, for example: users in Russia see a solid boundary line around Russia and Crimea, while outside Russia, Crimea is surrounded by dashed lines, indicating it as occupied territory.
And on to the weather! It is currently cloudy in London, however Friday will be sunny and the weekend will be sunny with some cloud. Monday and Tuesday will also be sunny and hot, with temperatures of 24-28’C. Wednesday and Thursday will be cooler and rainy.

That’s all for this week, thanks for listening. Be sure to check out our blog at Consulpes.com/blog, for listening questions about this podcast and free English grammar classes.
See you next time, goodbye.