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DECEMBER 2015 - PART 4 - NEW SITES

 






25/12/2015


2015

Review 2015: The year in politics - VIDEO - 23 December 2015
"From the Conservative victory in the general election, to Jeremy Corbyn's appointment as Labour leader,
Adam Fleming looks back at the big political events of the year."

(BBC)

Review 2015: The year in film - VIDEO - 23 December 2015
(BBC)

Review 2015: Football in crisis - VIDEO - 23 December 2015
(BBC)

Review 2015: We remember - VIDEO - 23 December 2015
"Christopher Lee, Cilla Black and Denis Healey - just a few of those who left us this year,
and whose lives are celebrated in Review 2015: We remember."

(BBC)

Review 2015: The trending year - VIDEO - 23 December 2015
"What are the stories that have dominated social media this year?
Anne-Marie Tomchak takes a look at the issues that have been trending in Review 2015: The trending year."

(BBC)

Review 2015: The year in science - VIDEO - 25 December 2015
"Rebecca Morelle looks back on the year in science - from a British astronaut blasting off into space,
to efforts to halt global warming here on Earth."

(BBC)

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GUNS

NBA stars appear in anti-gun violence advertisement - 25 December 2015
"Stars from the US National Basketball Association (NBA) are speaking out against gun violence
in advertisements being aired from Christmas Day."

(BBC)

The NBA takes aim against gun violence - 24 December 2015
"On Christmas day, the NBA will release a new ad campaign targeting gun violence.
The ad will feature NBA players as well as victims of gun violence. Juliana Goldman reports."

(YouTube)

 

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SPORT

Hockey Fans Throw Teddy Bears at Players - Text + Audio + Video - 24 December 2015
"It is exciting enough to score a goal in a hockey game.
But it is another thing to trigger a cascade of 28,000 teddy bears from the stands onto the ice.
The toss is a tradition for Canadian minor league hockey teams like the Hitmen.
All the bears are collected and donated to charity."

(learningenglish.voanews.com)

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MUSIC

Adele US Concert Tickets Sell in Minutes - Text + Audio - 24 December 2015
"Do the math: Hundreds of thousands of Adele concert tickets sold out within a few minutes throughout North America for her 56-date tour.
Many fans went away without tickets if they could not afford the high prices charged by ticket resellers."

(learningenglish.voanews.com)

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MOM

Mom Illustrates Her Everyday Motherhood Problems
(boredpanda.com)

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CHRISTMAS

Meet people spending Christmas working with animals - VIDEO - 25 December 2015
"More than 900,000 people across the UK are having to work on Christmas Day - and that figure does not even include volunteers with charities.
BBC Breakfast heard from some of those workers, including London Zoo penguin keeper Vicky Fyson and Carole Margieson
from the Dogs Trust in Manchester."

(BBC)

The most extravagant children's Christmas gifts - PHOTOS
(telegraph.co.uk)

Regally decorated: Inside Windsor Castle at Christmas - Article + Photos
"A 24ft tree with 1,500 lights is the focal point of this year’s Regency-themed Christmas decorations at Windsor Castle.
We join staff decking the halls."

(telegraph.co.uk)

Video: How to Have a British Christmas -  24 December 2015
COMMENT + ALSO SEE + Related articles
(englishblog.com)

 

Video: The Ornament that Saved Christmas -  25 December 2015
+ COMMENTS + GAPFILL + Related articles
(jeffreyhill.typepad.com)

 

 

Cartoon: Christmas Cactus -  25 December 2015
COMMENT + LANGUAGE NOTES + Related articles
(englishblog.com)

 

Christmas Cartoon: #@!!@!#! British Weather -  24 December 2015
BACKGROUND + THE CARTOON + COMMENTS + Related articles
(englishblog.com)

 

Christmas Day online shoppers 'to break spending record' - 25 December 2015
"Shoppers are set to break a new record and spend more than £700m online on Christmas Day, experts have forecast."

(BBC)

When Christmas is a way of life - 25 December 2015
"Editor’s Note (25th December 2015): BBC Capital brings back this story to show you that in some towns, it's Christmas every day."

(BBC)

Christmas marked around the world - PHOTOS - 25 December 2015
(BBC)

Queen’s Christmas message 2015: Light shines in the darkness - 25 December 2015
(theaustralian.com.au)

QUEEN'S CHRISTMAS MESSAGE 2015 (In full)
"The Christmas message 2015 to the Commonwealth by Queen Elizabeth II from London"

(YouTube)
+ FULL TEXT
(theguardian.com)

 

25 Holiday Film facts - mental_floss List Show Ep. 342
(YouTube)

 

 

Tracking Santa with Technology - Text + Audio + Video - 25 December 2015
"Technology can bring magic to the Christmas season and some fun too!
Internet users can find out if they are naughty or nice, follow Santa's journey, and play fun Christmas games."

(learningenglish.voanews.com)

Guns top Christmas wish lists and the industry seems to be booming - 24 December 2015
"Shop owners across the US have reported a marked increase in interest over the holiday season,
and gun background checks hit a new record on Black Friday."

(theguardian.com)

Cartoon
(telegraph.co.uk)

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TORNADOES

Deadly tornadoes sweep through US - VIDEO - 24 December 2015
(BBC)

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VOCABULARY

The word of the month: COP
(thewordofthemonth.com)

(Permalink)


COLOSSUS OF RHODES

Colossus of Rhodes, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, to return - 23 December 2015
"Architects plan to build new statue five times the size of the original, over 2,000 years after it was destroyed by an earthquake."

+ AT A GLANCE: Seven wonders of the ancient world
(telegraph.co.uk)

(Permalink)


TERRORISM

Archbishop gives warning over IS threat to Christianity - Article + Photos + Videos - 25 December 2015
"Christianity faces "elimination" in the Middle East, the region where it began,
the Archbishop of Canterbury has warned in his Christmas Day sermon."

(BBC)

Belgium Syria: How a Belgian teenager was lured to jihad - Article + Photos + Video - 24 December 2015
(BBC)

(Permalink)


NEW YEAR

Why we kiss under the mistletoe - 24 December 2015
"In a series on the festive folklore of three iconic winter plants, Trevor Dines reveals
why we hang mistletoe from ceilings and door frames in order to kiss under it during the festive period."

(BBC)

(Permalink)


FAMILY FILMS

From Mary Poppins to Star Wars: the 10 greatest family films - with PHOTOS - 22 December 2015
(BBC)

(Permalink)


MIGRANTS / REFUGEES

 

At least 19 drown as migrant boat sinks in Aegean Sea - 24 December 2015
"Rescuers save 21 survivors after wooden boat capsizes two miles off Bademli coast heading for Greek island of Lesbos"

(theguardian.com)

German migrant crisis: Arson suspected in refugee home fires - Article + Photo + Video - 24 December 2015
"Twelve people were hurt, including seven teenagers, when fires broke out at two neighbouring refugee hostels
in the south German region of Bavaria."

(BBC)

 

Rescued Senegalese migrant wins €400,000 in Spain’s Christmas lottery - Article + Video - 24 December 2015
"An unemployed Senegalese man scooped a share in El Gordo - the annual lottery which handed out more than €2bn this year"

(theguardian.com)

The girl who fled Syria in a wheelchair - VIDEO - 24 December 2015
(BBC)

This migrant crisis is different from all others - 24 December 2015
"As winter has approached, the apparently ceaseless flow of migrants heading for Western Europe has eased off."

(BBC)

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23/12/2015


2015

The 100 best footballers in the world 2015 – interactive
Barney Ronay: Messi regains No1 position
How our judges voted: the complete statistics
Datablog: the numbers crunched
Video: the ten best footballers in the world
Read the full list of judges and top 100 rules

(theguardian.com)

 


CHRISTMAS

Santa's terrifying little helpers: The military robots transformed into sleigh-pulling reindeer
after being developed to carry heavy equipment on the battlefield

- Article + Photos + Video -  23 December 2015
- 'Robot reindeer' lead Santa's sleigh in Boston Dynamics Christmas video
-
The black four-legged machines are decorated with antlers and tinsel
-
Company set up in 1992 and provides US Army with technology
(dailymail.co.uk)



Animated English Christmas Special
"Good news! My Animated English collection* is the Christmas Number One on iTunes U!
So to celebrate this momentous achievement, here's a special animated video I made featuring some Christmas cracker jokes."

VIDEO + CHRISTMAS CRACKERS + ALSO SEE + Related articles
(englishblog.com)
Congratulations to Jeffrey Hill!

 

 

Cartoon: Last Minute Stocking Fillers
BACKGROUND + THE CARTOON + EXPLANATION + Related articles
(englishblog.com)

 

The Great Toy Robbery
"A cartoon starring the world's most-wanted good guy, Santa Claus.
As in all Westerns, good wins over evil, but not before robbers and robbed have romped through some odd situations."

(YouTube)

 

 

Artist Illustrates Unusual and Romantic Holiday Traditions from Around the World - 20 drawings
(mymodernmet.com)




8 Legendary Monsters of Christmas

(mentalfloss.com)

Somalia bans Christmas celebrations - 23 December 2015
"Somalia's government has banned the celebration of Christmas, warning that such Christian festivities could threaten the nation's Muslim faith."
(BBC)

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YEAR 2015

CELEBRATIONS and EVENTS SCIENCE
CINEMA TEACHING
DEATHS TELEVISION
FEARS VIDEOS
GAMES VIOLENCE
MUSIC WORD OF THE YEAR
NOBEL PRIZES WORKS OF FICTION
PICTURES  

(Permalink)


SPACE

100 weird objects sent into space - 15 December 2015
(telegraph.co.uk)

(Permalink)


SPORTS

FIFA Bans Blatter, European Soccer Chief - Text + Audio - 22 December 2015
"Sepp Blatter, the former head of FIFA, and Michel Platini, of UEFA, are banned for eight years.
The ruling came because of a $2 million payment from FIFA to Platini in 2011.
The two men called it salary for advising the president."

(learningenglish.voanews.com)

The Lexus Hoverboard: It's here
(YouTube)

 

 

The Lexus Hoverboard: The Story
"The wait is over. As our legendary Takumi craftsmen say “the difficult takes time; the impossible just takes a little longer”.
The Lexus Hoverboard represents true innovation and imagination, together pushing the boundaries of technology even further."

(YouTube)

 

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REFUGEES

Refugees in Hong Kong Face Slim Odds for Asylum - Text + Audio - 23 December 2015
"More than 10,000 people seeking asylum make Hong Kong their home. The odds of being granted asylum is slim.
Today’s Hong Kong refugees are mostly from India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Africa. They live in poverty on animal farms and slums."

(learningenglish.voanews.com)

Burundi Refugees Asked to Fight Their Own People - Text + Audio - 21 December 2015
"While thousands flee from war-torn Burundi, refugees – some only children – are being recruited to fight against their homeland.
A report from Refugees International, a humanitarian organization that helps refugees, confirmed
that armed groups in Rwanda are recruiting Burundians in refugee camps."

(learningenglish.voanews.com)

Syrian Journey: Choose your own escape route - Article + Photos + Videos - 1 April 2015
"The Syrian conflict has torn the country apart, leaving thousands dead and driving millions to flee their homes.
Many seek refuge in neighbouring countries but others pay traffickers to take them to Europe - risking death, capture and deportation."

(BBC)



Migration across the Mediterranean: A poem - VIDEO - 21 April 2015
"Nour is a Syrian who fled the conflict in his country. He spent 11 days at a sea crossing from Egypt to Italy.
This is the poem he wrote about his experience, told to BBC Arabic."

(BBC)

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22/12/2015


CHRISTMAS

Video: Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Christmas
+ COMMENTARY + Related articles
(englishblog.com)

The Man on the Moon - a lesson
"This EFL lesson plan is designed around a short film commissioned by the British department store John Lewis,
directed by Some Such and the theme of Christmas. Students watch a short film, predict a story
and talk about ways of showing people they are loved."

Time: 60 minutes
(film-english.com)

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HOVERBOARDS

Consumers asked to throw away hoverboards (December 19, 2015) - a lesson plan with AUDIO
"Three of the UK's biggest retailers, including online giant Amazon, are advising customers to dispose of hoverboards amid safety concerns."

(breakingnewsenglish.com)

(Permalink)


DICKENSIAN

Dickensian - An ambitious re-working of the world of Dickens for BBC One
"Where The Old Curiosity Shop sits next to The Three Cripples Inn, and Fagin’s Den is hidden down a murky alley off a busy Victorian street.
This Christmas, BBC One transports you to 19th century London, to a world where some of Charles Dickens’ most iconic characters co-exist, including Scrooge, Inspector Bucket and a young Miss Havisham...
The full Media Pack, including interviews with cast and crew, facts about the production, a map of the set and episode synopses,
can be downloaded here." (pdf)

(BBC)
Thanks to Isabelle Boresy (Ac. Amiens)

(Permalink)


US ELECTIONS - 2016

Republican Lindsey Graham quits 2016 race - 21December 2015
"His departure leaves 12 main Republicans left in the contest, six weeks before the battle for each party's nomination begins in Iowa."

(BBC)

(Permalink)


THE ISLAMIC STATE

UN Security Council Votes to Restrict IS Funding - Text + Audio - 19 December 2015
"Finance ministers of the 15-nation group approve new measures Thursday to limit the flow of money to the militant group."

(learningenglish.voanews.com)

Turkey Strengthens Border with Syria - Text + Audio - 19 December 2015
"But some experts say they are not sure if the country will make strong moves against the Islamic State terrorist group, which controls some areas of Syria next to Turkey. Observers say some of its Western allies are not sure if Turkey is part of the problem or part of the solution."

(learningenglish.voanews.com)

How 70,000 Muslim Clerics Are Standing Up To Terrorism Article + Video - 11 December 2015
"Religious leaders are emphasizing that they don't consider terrorists to be true Muslims."

(huffingtonpost.com)

(Permalink)


HUMAN RIGHTS

Three Women Get US Human Rights Award - Text + Audio - 19 December 2015
"Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Irshad Manji and Rebiya Kadeer received the Lantos Human Rights Prize Thursday in Washington,
on International Human Rights Day. It is the first year three women of Muslim backgrounds have received the award."

(learningenglish.voanews.com)

(Permalink)


IMMIGRATION

Mexican Immigration to US Lowest in 40 Years - Text + Audio - 19 December 2015
"Mexican immigration into the United States has slowed.
First, the U.S. economy has been slow to recover after the recession that began around 2009.
Second, the U.S. is more strictly enforcing immigration laws at the border between the two countries."

(learningenglish.voanews.com)

(Permalink)


ROUTE 66

Route 66 California: The End of the Trail - Text + Audio + Video - 19 December 2015
"The western end of Route 66 is Santa Monica and the Pacific Ocean. California's Route 66 passes through the Mojave Desert,
bypassed towns, and the urban sprawl of Los Angeles on its way to Hollywood, Beverly Hills and, finally, the Santa Monica Pier."

(learningenglish.voanews.com)

(Permalink)


REFUGEES / MIGRANTS

Illegal migrant makes good as plumber in Nigeria - Article + Photos + Video - 21 December 2015
"Nearly 15 years ago, successful Nigerian businessman Anselm Okoukoni was one of the desperate African migrants
prepared to do anything to get to Europe."

(BBC)

Refugees Describe Boko Haram Terror - Text + Audio - 20 December 2015
"Refugee camps in Cameroon continue to see a steady stream of displayed civilian from both Nigeria and Cameroon
as fighting against Boko Haram intensifies. They tell of terror group Boko Haram burning, looting, raping and murdering."

(learningenglish.voanews.com)

Susan Sarandon Is Welcoming Refugees To Greece - Article + Photos - 18 December 2015
"I have come to hear their stories and learn."

(huffingtonpost.com)

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20/12/2015


CHRISTMAS

Christmas Dishes From Around the World - Anglophenia Ep 44
(YouTube)
Thanks to Larry Ferlazzo.


30 great Christmas quotes
(telegraph.co.uk)

7 celebrities share their favourite Christmas rituals
(theguardian.com)

(Permalink 1) (Permalink 2)


THE ISLAMIC STATE

Islamic State Looks for Oil, Recruits in Africa - Text + Audio - 18 December 2015
"The United States says it is concerned about the Islamic State group attracting recruits and acquiring resources in North Africa. Oil refineries and transport trucks are targets, and oil prices are down by about half since 2014. One U.S. official says IS is “looking at the oil assets in Libya"."

(learningenglish.voanews.com)

Why Taliban special forces are fighting Islamic State - Article + Photos - 18 December 2015
"The Afghan Taliban say they have unleashed "special forces" in an increasingly bloody battle with fighters from the rival, so-called Islamic State (IS) group. The Taliban's dominance and monopoly on insurgency in a region home to numerous local and foreign militant groups is being challenged by IS, which has been gaining some support. Who's winning the war of the militants?"

(BBC)

(Permalink)


WASHINGTON D.C.

Take a Holiday Walk Through Washington - Text + Audio + Video - 18 December 2015
"From the U.S. Botanic Garden, to Union Station to the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. lights up colorfully over the winter holidays.
We take you on a walking tour of the magical seasonal sights."

(learningenglish.voanews.com)

Holiday Displays in Washington, DC - VIDEO - 18 December 2015
"Can’t get to Washington, D.C. for the holidays? Luckily, we did the walking for you. Let’s head out on this holiday tour."

(learningenglish.voanews.com)

(Permalink)


STORY

'A Piece of Red Calico,' by Frank Stockton - Text + Audio + Video
"Everyone who has tried to shop for someone else knows it is harder than shopping for oneself.
In this story by 19th century writer Frank Stockton, one man finds that it might be impossible to get exactly what his wife wants.
Read this to learn more about his department store adventures."

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2015

Trending Today: #2015in5words - Article - 18 December 2015
"The American comedy program @midnight asked people on its Thursday evening show to describe 2015 in five words.
By Friday morning, the hashtag #2015in5words was trending in the U.S. on Twitter and Facebook.
How would you describe your year in 5 words?"

(learningenglish.voanews.com)

(Permalink)


REFUGEES

Migrant crisis: EU border security becomes new mantra - 19 December 2015
(BBC)

'Open the borders' rally in Athens in Greece - VIDEO - 19 December 2015
"The United Nations has called for a massive resettlement of Syrian and other refugees within Europe.
Several thousand people marched through the centre of Athens in Greece, calling for Europe to open its borders.
The march was joined by some of the migrants stranded in the Greek capital by the decision made by some Balkan countries
to close the borders to them."

(BBC)

Calais refugee violence putting lorry drivers at risk, says victim - Article + Photos + Video - 18 December 2015
"Man whose windscreen was smashed by rocks says drivers will start carrying tools for defence unless authorities act."

(theguardian.com)

Denmark plan to seize migrants' assets draws protests - 18 December 2015
"A Danish government proposal to seize assets of asylum-seekers to make them pay for their keep
has drawn sharp criticism in international media."

(BBC)

Migrant crisis: EU needs 'massive' resettlement programme - 18 December 2015
(BBC)

Migrants: Un chiffre record de 250 millions de personnes dans le monde en 2015 - 18 December 2015
"Les pays de destination privilégiés sont les Etats-Unis, l'Arabie Saoudite et l'Allemagne. La France arrive en 7e position..."

(20minutes.fr)

(Permalink)


CLIMATE CHANGE

Climate talks chef Marc Veyrat fined for razing forest - 18 December 2015
"A French chef hired to work at the Paris climate change talks has been fined
for razing 7,000 sq metres (75,000 sq feet) of protected forest near his restaurant."

(BBC)

(Permalink)


POLLUTION

China smog: Beijing issues second ever pollution red alert - 18 December 2015
"Beijing has issued a second pollution red alert, little more than a week afterthe first ever such warning."
(BBC)

Floating Rubbish Bin That Cleans Oceans - 17 December 2015
"This floating rubbish bin can collect plastic bottles, paper, oil, fuel, and detergent floating in the ocean."

(boredpanda.com)

 

(Permalink)


ART

The National Gallery - with PHOTOS
(plus.google.com)

(Permalink)


DRIVING

Self-driving cars 'must have driver', regulators insist - Article + Video - 16 December 2015
"Regulators in California have published draft proposals designed to pave the way for the public to start using self-driving cars on the roads."

(BBC)

Driving game meets interactive fiction
"Set in the politically charged Italy of 1978, the chatty and colourful Wheels of Aurelia arrives as the year's smartest driving sim."

(BBC)
"Wheels of Aurelia is a narrative road trip game set in the roaring Italian 70s.
Half racing game, half interactive fiction, the game tells the story of Lella, a restless woman driving on the roads of the western coast of Italy,
the famous Via Aurelia."

(YouTube)

 

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AD

Coca Cola Life - Ser Padres HD
(YouTube)

 

(Permalink)


RESCUE

Facebook fans save runaway Swedish pig - 19 December 2015
"A pig that escaped from a Swedish abattoir to avoid ending up on a Christmas dinner plate won a stay on execution from its owner
after an outpouring of solidarity on social media.
Determined to save its skin, the 110-kilogramme sow took to its trotters on Monday in Mjallby, a village in Sweden’s southern farming heartland..."

(tribune.com.pk)

(Permalink)


SPACE

Self-deployable habitat for extreme environments - S.H.E.E. - October 2015
(shee.eu)
"Un prototype baptisé SHEE, pour «habitat autodéployable pour environnements extrêmes»,
a été conçu en Europe pour conquérir la planète rouge..." (Mars)

(20minutes.fr)

(Permalink)


POLITICAL RISKS

Political risks: Punches, eggs and assassination attempts - Article + Photos + Video - 17 December 2015
(BBC)

(Permalink)


DRUGS

Fatal drug overdoses hit record high in US, government figures show - 19 December 2015
"In 2014 more people died in America from drug overdoses than from car accidents,
with heroin and opioids responsible for the majority of deaths."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
(theguardian.com)

(Permalink)


EU SUMMIIT

EU summit: Two key things on the agenda at the summit - VIDEO - 18 December 2015
"EU leaders are meeting in Brussels and unsurprisingly there is a lot on the agenda.
British Prime Minister David Cameron is pushing for a reform of the union. Security is also a major issue.
And another key talking point is the migrant crisis.
Over a million migrants and refugees have arrived in Europe in the past 12 months in the largest movement the continent has seen
since the end of World War II.
The BBC's Chris Morris has been looking at all of the issues being discussed."

(BBC)

(Permalink)


SECRET CODES

The secret codes you're not meant to know - 17 December 2015
'All over the world, there are hidden messages in city streets, hospitals, and on public transport. Why do they exist?"

(BBC)


"Known as “hoboglyphs”, these nondescript graffiti tags highlight safe areas,
water sources and information about police between the homeless."

(Permalink)