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Sawasdee ! How are you doing today ?

This page, Learning English with VOA NEWS,was absence one day and a half since yesterday. It becaused of

the TOT WiFY at Uthai thani that I live was failed. And unluckily the wire of WiFY for CPU I used had bitten by the

rat also. But now the technicians of TOT had solved it. Many thanks for them.

Would it be good if you'll come back to study again? Isn't you?

   Thanks a lot to Google Translate again.

 

FRANCE 24 Live – International Breaking News & Top stories - 24/7 stream

https://youtu.be/J78SdCzzumA


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E-Cigarette Sellers Offer Financial Aid to Students

June 12, 2018

FILE - A smoker exhales vapor from an e-cigarette at the Vapor Spot, in Sacramento, California, in this July 7, 2015, photo.
FILE - A smoker exhales vapor from an e-cigarette at the Vapor Spot, in Sacramento, California, in this July 7, 2015, photo.

Some manufacturers of electronic cigarettes are offering financial aid to students who write about the possible benefits of using their products.

The financial aid – worth $250 to $5,000 – can be used at colleges or universities in the United States. These scholarships are advertised on the internet by e-cigarette makers and e-cigarette review websites, the Associated Press reported.

Most of the scholarships are offered as part of a competition. Students are asked to write papers on how e-cigarettes can be safer than smoking traditional cigarettes. At least one company asks students to write about different kinds of e-cigarettes and suggest ones they like best. Some seek papers in support of medical marijuana.

Some companies have used the scholarships as a way to get their names listed on websites of schools like Harvard University and the University of California, Berkeley.

E-cigarettes have been growing in popularity in the United States since 2010. The devices are never lit. They instead use power from a battery. They produce a vapor caused by heating liquid. Users breathe the gas into their lungs.

The liquid usually contains nicotine, a chemical found in tobacco products and traditional cigarettes. Nicotine is known to be highly addictive. So users can develop a dependency on the drug. Most e-cigarettes also contain other chemicals for taste.

Many medical experts agree that using an e-cigarette – known as vaping - is safer than smoking a cigarette. Supporters have also suggested that e-cigarettes can help smokers of traditional cigarettes cut back or even stop smoking. But little is yet known about the long-term health effects of using e-cigarettes.

A woman adds flavor to a vaporizer while waiting for customers at the e-cigarette shop Henley Vaporium in New York, June 23, 2015. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
A woman adds flavor to a vaporizer while waiting for customers at the e-cigarette shop Henley Vaporium in New York, June 23, 2015. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Robert Pagano is owner of the review site Vapor Vanity. He told the AP his company was offering scholarships of up to $1,500 this year. He admitted the financial aid is partly used as a marketing tool. But he also said that many people in the industry are former smokers who want to help young people avoid tobacco.

“It’s a little bit of being genuine, a little bit of self-interest,” said Pagano, whose company does not sell e-cigarette products. He added that scholarships are one of the best ways of getting students to think about the issues they are asked to write about.

Most companies behind the writing contests did not react to requests from the AP for comment. But the American Vaping Association defended the scholarships. It said they provide a way for companies to publicize their name while also offering students financial help.

Gregory Conley is the head of the association. He compared the scholarships to similar programs that have long been offered by manufacturers of alcohol products, such as Anheuser-Busch. That company gives tens of thousands of dollars each year to minority students.

Some anti-tobacco groups said they did not know about the scholarships until asked about them by the AP. They are sharply critical of efforts to get students to write in favor of vaping.

In this Feb. 20, 2014 file photo, a customer exhales vapor from an e-cigarette at a store in New York. (AP Photo)
In this Feb. 20, 2014 file photo, a customer exhales vapor from an e-cigarette at a store in New York. (AP Photo)

​“They’re trying to use youth as their marketing surrogates,” said Gregg Haifley, who is with the American Cancer Society. He added that although some companies describe the programs as helpful to students, he believes it is all a marketing effort to get new users.

E-cigarette manufacturers often say their products are meant only for adults who are trying to stop smoking. Some of the writing contests state that they are not meant to promote vaping. But anti-tobacco groups say there is no other reason the companies would be reaching out to young people.

Robin Koval is president of the Truth Initiative, a nonprofit group opposed to the tobacco and vaping industries. She says most of the students getting involved are not smokers who are trying to stop. “What they’re saying and what they’re doing does not seem to agree here. But that’s not surprising,” Koval said.

The AP reports it is unclear how many scholarships have actually been awarded. Several websites promise to publicize winners of their contests, but none have appeared to do so. None of the 15 companies contacted by the AP would name the winners.

Harvard and California State University (CSU) at Long Beach removed e-cigarette-related scholarship listings after being asked about them by the AP. They explained that the listings should not have been posted.

“We’re not interested in being a platform for tobacco or vaping,” said spokesman Jeff Bliss, of CSU Long Beach.

I’m Bryan Lynn.

The Associated Press reported on this story. Bryan Lynn adapted the report for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments section, and visit our Facebook page.

_____________________________________________________________

Words in This Story

 

benefit – n. a good or helpful result

review – n. report in a publication that gives an opinion about a product

contest – n. a competition

battery – n. a device for providing electric current

vapor – n. substance in the form of a gas or that consists of very small drops or particles mixed with the air

genuine – n. real, sincere or honest

surrogate – n. a person that takes the place or performs the duties of someone else

promote – v. give support to or make people aware of something

platform – n. a way of telling the public about your opinions

Quiz - E-Cigarette Sellers Offer Financial Aid to Students

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China Ban on Foreign Waste Creates Crisis for Recycling Businesses

June 13, 2018

 A plastic bottle recycling center in Hefei Anhui in May 2014.
A plastic bottle recycling center in Hefei Anhui in May 2014.

Just under $6 billion worth of American waste was sent to China last year to be remade into new products. Those products were then sent to the United States and other markets.

Waste recycling businesses have profited from low shipping costs for empty containers returning to China after the ships had unloaded their goods on the U.S. West Coast.

Today, very little waste is being shipped to China. The reason: China’s decision to ban many forms of foreign trash, from mixed papers to unwanted cloth. The ban went into effect on January 1.

The result of the measure can be seen at a recycling center in Anaheim, California. Its grounds are filled with 2,400 bales of mixed paper that the owners had planned to send to China.

The recycling center belongs to Republic Services, a company based in Phoenix, Arizona.

The unwanted paper is a result of an unusual 12-day backlog, notes James Castro, who heads the factory. No one knows where all that paper will go.

China’s government has banned imports of mixed paper, as well as some plastics, metals and other forms of waste. In April, the ban was expanded to include more metals and chemical waste. Those restrictions will go into effect later this year.

A ban on additional kinds of waste, including that from wood products, is being targeted for the end of 2019.

Less polluted waste

China has also set lower contamination levels for the waste it does accept. Now it accepts only 0.5 percent contaminants, down for most materials from 1.5 percent.

That has slowed the sorting process, said Richard Coupland, a vice president at Republic.

Additionally, the ban has led to a large drop in prices for recyclable goods, such as mixed paper.

One year ago, bales of mixed paper, like those stored outside the Anaheim recycling center, would have been worth $100 a ton. Today, each ton is worth "less than $5” or less than zero in some markets, Coupland noted. He added that much of the industry's backlog may end up in landfills.

North of Anaheim, in the city of Azusa, another Waste Management center also is dealing with changing rules for its workers and their sorting machines. They use magnets and other equipment to organize the waste. Now those systems do not meet the new levels and must be changed.

Adam Minter wrote a book called "Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade." He explains the problems facing recycling companies.

"Recycling is about manufacturing and if somebody doesn't want to use those raw materials," then there is no reason for recycling programs.

He said that China's waste ban started as a desire to clean up the environment. But he added that nationalism and political control are also a part of the move.

'Shockwaves around the world'

Some environmentalists are happy about the waste ban.

Greenpeace East Asia plastic campaigner Liu Hua said it will send "shockwaves around the world.” He said it will force countries to examine their policies about waste, especially environmental contaminants like plastics.

Joshua Goldstein of the University of Southern California is an expert on China. He told VOA the ban may cause social problems there.

Goldstein has studied China’s 3 million to 5 million small recycling businesses. He says they make small amounts of money by sorting through trash and selling materials that can be reused.

"It also raised 3 to 5 million households out of poverty."

Goldstein said China will find it difficult to create businesses as profitable as the small recyclers.

Companies are also looking for new markets. More recyclable waste from the United States will now go to India, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand or Indonesia. However, industry experts say shipping costs are high and demand in those countries is limited.

Because prices have dropped, there is hope for increased use for waste such as mixed paper in the United States.

Cleaning up waste

Brent Bell, vice president of recycling operations for Waste Management, said his company is trying to clean up its waste to meet the new levels China and other countries are demanding.

Bell said his company is working to educate Americans about cleaner recycling, adding it’s “something we all missed as an industry."

"Whether we're shipping material to China, to India, or even to Louisiana, our customers all want to make sure the material is as clean as possible," he said.

Republic's Coupland said the waste and recycling industry needs to work with communities to find a new business model to replace one that no longer works. This could make the cost of waste collection higher.

And China may change its policy again, noted Joshua Goldstein.

Paper waste is hard to replace, he says. China may be forced to change its bans if its manufacturers need raw materials.

The economics of the recycling industry are changing, he added.

I’m Susan Shand.

 

VOA’S Mike O’Sullivan reported this story. Susan Shand adapted it for Learning English. George Grow edited this story.

Write to us in the Comments Section or on our Facebook page.

_______________________________________________________________

Words in This Story

 

recycle – v. to use waste to create new products

bale – n. a large amount of something that has been tied tightly together

backlog – n. a large amount of work that is waiting to get done

contamination – n. something that has been made dirty or impure by adding something harmful, like a chemical or poison

raw - adj. in its natural state

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NEWS AROUND

 

Raids in Bangkok yield 60,000 counterfeit travel mugs

Breaking News June 14, 2018 12:27

By The Nation

Some 60,000 plastic coffee cups, tumblers and mugs bearing brand name logos have been confiscated from wholesale manufacturers and warehouses for intellectual property law violation.

The counterfeit items, to be supplied to distributors in Bangkok’s Sampheng Market, were worth an estimated Bt10 million in retail sales, although they could even fetch Bt60 million, Department of Special Investigation chief Pol Colonel Paisit Wongmuang told a press conference on Thursday.

Following complaints filed by representatives of the damaged businesses, officers on Wednesday afternoon launched the raids. They searched 10 Bangkok locations of the wholesale manufacturers and warehouses to seize the counterfeit items.

Nine suspects were arrested on charges of possessing with the intent to sell and distribute counterfeit goods and violating others’ intellectual property rights, Paisit said.

The confiscated travel mugs carried the logos of Manchester United Football Club, Liverpool Football Club, Starbucks, Doraemon and Harley Davidson.

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Bt88m seized from ex-officials of destitute fund

national June 14, 2018 01:00

By The Nation

AMLO Investigators say corrupt civil servants got 30 per cent of the embezzled money in cash

THE ANTI-MONEY Laundering Office (AMLO) has seized 41 assets worth Bt88 million from three former senior officials at the Social Development and Human Security Ministry and nine alleged accomplices as part of the probe into the misappropriation of allowances and related irregularities at protection centres for the destitute.

AMLO acting secretary-general, Pol Maj-General Romsit Viriyasan, yesterday said the agency’s in-depth investigation had found that the former permanent secretary for Social Development and Human Security, Puttipat Lertchaowasit, and his former deputy Narong Kongkham, as well as the former inspector-general Theerapong Srisukhon were allegedly involved in corruption.

Meanwhile, AMLO legal affairs director Witthaya Neetitham met yesterday with the Royal Thai Police’s Counter-Corruption Division (CCD) chief, Pol Maj-General Kamol Rienracha, to discuss filing complaints against 12 senior officials, including Narong, Theerapong, Puttipat and Puttipat’s female close aide who is also an ex-official. 

Kamol later told reporters that the AMLO would officially file the complaint on June 19, as the CCD would first have to get the green light from the Central Investigation Bureau to take up this “complicated” case and set up an investigation team.

According to Romsit, corrupt officials forged documents to access the ministry’s budget allocated to various centres to distribute to entitled low-income earners. The probe found that a part of the ill-gotten money was sent back to the ministry’s executives who then had others launder them to purchase 41 assets, such as land, condominium units and luxury cars, he said.

Wittaya said the graft took place in fiscal year 2016-17. He said that 30 per cent [more than Bt80 million] of the embezzled money was delivered in cash to the executives, making it difficult to probe the case due to the lack of bank money transfer records. However, the AMLO had received good cooperation from former officials and those involved in the graft in providing useful information that implicated the senior officials and led to the asset seizure, he said.

The AMLO transaction committee on Tuesday resolved to temporarily seize the assets from Puttipat, Narong and Theerapong as well as nine alleged accomplices for 90 days pending investigation, Wittaya said. The accused had 30 days to provide explanations about the origins of the assets, he said.

Romsit warned that any state official involved in graft would face asset seizure while those taking ill-gotten money or assets would be liable to face charges of money-laundering, which is punishable with a maximum 10-years imprisonment for every asset transferred. 

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 FINISHED

June 14, 2018

 



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