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It’s the fifth of September. This week has seen the people of Columbia vote no to a peace deal with the FARC rebels, with a majority of just 0.24%. The London eye broke down this week, leaving tourists stranded for three hours inside. Employees in some Chinese companies are being threatened with being fired if they own an iPhone 7, in a bid to curb consumerism. And finally, a sheep farmer in Yorkshire has dyed his whole flock bright orange! Want to know why? Stay tuned!
After 52 years of armed conflict, the Columbian government and the FARC rebels successfully signed a peace deal, however in order for it to come into effect, it had to be approved, or given the ok, by the Columbian people. Before the vote, it seems likely that voting “yes” to the peace process would win, however in the end the people voted against ending the war. Before the vote, the president agreed that there would be no second chances if the result was “no”, but luckily, after the vote, both the president and the leader of the rebel group FARC agreed that they would continue working towards peace, and not break the ceasefire. President Santos promised that “he would not give up”, and the leader of the rebels declared that “peace is here to stay”. The vote was rejected because some people believed that it was too kind to the rebels: even those who have committed serious crimes would not go to normal prisons. The group would even be given ten seats in Parliament. It is hoped that these terms will help the rebels reintegrate with Columbian society, and prevent a division in the country. When the negotiations start again, it is likely that there will be representatives from the government, the rebels, and from the percentage of the population who voted no.
It should be understood that, although “no” won by a tiny margin, only 40% of the population voted, which is not much given how important the vote was.
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Last Saturday, more than 500 people were trapped on the London Eye for three-and-a-half hours after it stopped turning at twenty past seven in the evening. Merlin Entertainment, which is the company that owns the Eye, stated that it “was a technical problem”, and decided not to call emergency services because they didn’t think that the people were in any danger. Some of the people trapped in the wheel called the fire brigade, who brought aerial ladders, but in the end they didn’t use them. Inside each of the pods there is an emergency comfort pack, which includes water and blankets. Eventually, the wheel started working again and the people inside were all rescued and given their money back. The attraction opened for business again the following day.
A Chinese company in Hunnan province has banned its employees from buying the new iPhone Seven, in a protectionist move to try to reduce dependency on foreign products and encourage citizens to buy Chinese products instead. The memo, sent to all of their employees, requests that any employees who buy the phone immediately resign from the company! The memo goes on to remind employees that there are more important things that they should spend their money on, such as investing in the care of elderly relatives and their children’s education. Earlier this year, in June, intellectual property lawyers in Beijing tried to ban the sale of the iPhone 6, stating that it was too similar to a Chinese phone which already existed. Apple disagreed with the accusations and won the legal battle, and the iPhone six is now available to buy again.
Finally, a farmer in Yorkshire has come up with a creative way to prevent sheep rustling. “To rustle” is a verb which means “to steal”, and sheep rustling is a big problem in some rural parts of England. The farmer said that last year he lost 300 sheep, so this year to prevent it from happening again he has dyed his entire flock bright orange! The luminous sheep are very easy to see, and very unique. So unique, in fact, that tourists come to visit them and take photos! The dye only affects their wool, so when they are shorn they will be white again. The farmer hasn’t decided what colour they will be next year!
And onto the weather! Autumn has arrived, and temperatures are dropping. This week in London will be bright but cold, and cloudy on Friday. Temperatures will be around 12-14 degrees during the week, and will rise again at the weekend, with highs of 17 degrees predicted on Sunday.
Thanks for listening to News in Slow English, brought to you by Consulpes Academy. Head to consulpes.com/podcast to find the transcript to this episode, as well as interactive listening questions on our blog. That’s all for now, see you next week!
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