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The description below may lead you to know the appearance and movements of the butterfly. Let's go!


Now, Words and Their Stories from VOA Learning English.

I am not going to lie to you: Not all bugs are created equal.

We like some insects and hate others.

For example, if you see a big cockroach run across the floor, you might run for the insecticide spray.

But if you see a brightly colored butterfly landing on a flower outside your window, you probably will not spray it with poison.

So today, we are not going to talk about cockroaches. Let’s talk about butterflies instead!

Butterflies are beautiful both in their appearance and movements.

 

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

https://youtu.be/IBlUM-0NZZU

....................................................

Report Calls on International Community to Meet Education Goals

July 13, 2019

Based on current trends, just 79% of children will complete primary school in low-income countries by 2030. (UNESCO)
Based on current trends, just 79% of children will complete primary school in low-income countries by 2030. (UNESCO)
 

Children entering school now should finish secondary school by 2030. But if current trends continue one in six will not be in school in 2030 and only sixty percent will be finishing their secondary education.

Leaders are meeting from July 9 through July 18 at the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) – the United Nations' official platform for examining the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. They will be measuring progress on education for the first time since 2015.

Silvia Montoya is Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics and Manos Antoninis is Director of the Global Education Monitoring Report. They say the world does not seem close to meeting the Sustainable Development Goal for education ("SDG 4")– which aims for all girls and boys completing free, fair and high-quality primary and secondary education - by 2030. So, the two experts say, “business as usual for education must come to an end.”

If the goal is not met the world will have failed a generation of children, they add.

A new report from their groups tells about progress toward each SDG 4 education target, from early childhood education to adult literacy. Montoya and Antoninis say that the world’s countries need to make some changes to meet education goals.

Get children into school

Starting children’s education with preschool is best, the report says. This helps older children attend school. In many countries, more children are in early childhood programs. But in poor countries, the number of children aged six -17 who are not in school has gone down. In 2030, 16.7 percent, or 225 million young people, will not be in school.

Out-of-school rate for children of primary school age, 2000–2017 and projections to 2030 Image: UIS database and projections
Out-of-school rate for children of primary school age, 2000–2017 and projections to 2030 Image: UIS database and projections

Help children complete secondary school

The experts say children also must be supported in completing secondary school. The goal of all children completing primary school was set for 2015, but it will not be met by 2030. The percentage of children completing secondary education in low-income countries is less than half of the world-wide rate.

Deal with earnings inequality

Differences in earnings lead to big differences in education. Four percent of children from the poorest families complete upper-secondary school in low-income countries. Just two percent of the poorest girls -- compared to 36 percent of those from the richest families -- complete upper-secondary school. The UNESCO officials say earnings inequality must be dealt with.

Push for reading and raise learning ability

Montoya and Anoninis note a strong connection between reading ability and learning rates. Around 20 percent of youth and 30 percent of adults will still be unable to read in low-income countries by 2030. Learning rates will not increase in middle-income countries if reading ability rates remain the same. In French-speaking African countries, rates will drop by almost one-third in 2030.

Youth and adult literacy rate, 2000–2016 and projections to 2030 Image: UIS database and projections
Youth and adult literacy rate, 2000–2016 and projections to 2030 Image: UIS database and projections

Increase spending

One in four countries does not meet two of the SDG 4 goals. One is to provide at least 4 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on education. The other is to use 15 percent of their total government spending on education. Financial support for education has not grown since 2010, the report says. Contract employees are replacing trained teachers in sub-Saharan Africa, hurting the quality of education. Countries need to find and train more teachers.

Percentage of trained teachers by region, 2000–2017 Image: UIS database
Percentage of trained teachers by region, 2000–2017 Image: UIS database

Collect and examine more information on education

More data is needed to supervise progress in education. Montoya and Antoninis say that “data are a necessity – not a luxury – for every country, which is why partners are making the call to #FundData.”

#FundData Promotional Graphic, UNESCO Institute for Statistics
#FundData Promotional Graphic, UNESCO Institute for Statistics

The UNESCO report authors ask the international community meeting in New York this week to compare their plans for the next ten years with their earlier promises.

Montoya and Antoninis said they hope that the world leaders will “hear this warning” and act to meet the still possible development goal.

I’m John Russell. And I’m Jill Robbins.

Jill Robbins adapted this story for Learning English based on UNESCO report for the World Economic Forum. Caty Weaver was the editor.

Quiz - Report Calls on International Community to Meet Education Goals

Quiz - Report Calls on International Community to Meet Education Goals

Start the Quiz to find out

_______________________________________________________________

Words in This Story

sustainable – adj. able to be used without being completely used up or destroyed

equitable – adj. just or fair : dealing fairly and equally with everyone

generation – n. a group of people born and living during the same time

commit – v. to say that (someone or something) will definitely do something

literacy – n. the ability to read and write

challenge – n. a difficult task or problem

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'Butterfly Effect' and Chain Reactions

July 13, 2019

A Monarch butterfly rests on a flower, September 2018, in the U.S. state of Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
A Monarch butterfly rests on a flower, September 2018, in the U.S. state of Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Now, Words and Their Stories from VOA Learning English.

I am not going to lie to you: Not all bugs are created equal.

We like some insects and hate others.

For example, if you see a big cockroach run across the floor, you might run for the insecticide spray.

But if you see a brightly colored butterfly landing on a flower outside your window, you probably will not spray it with poison.

So today, we are not going to talk about cockroaches. Let’s talk about butterflies instead!

Butterflies are beautiful both in their appearance and movements.

This Monarch butterfly flutters around a sunflower.
This Monarch butterfly flutters around a sunflower.

They flutter. This means they move their wings back and forth very quickly. The word “flutter” even goes very nicely with the word “butterfly.” Butterflies flutter by.

Other things can flutter, like a sail on a boat that flutters in the wind. Flutter can also mean to move in an uneven, irregular way. When two people are in love, you can say their hearts are “all a flutter.”

This fluttering movement led to the expression “to have butterflies in your stomach.” This means you feel nervous. It feels like you have butterflies fluttering around inside you.

To have butteries in your stomach is a common expression, so much so that we often just say we have butterflies. For example, if I am nervous before speaking in public, I can say, “I’m so nervous! I have butterflies!”

Butterflies can also flutter from one place to another. They do not spend too much time on one flower or plant. Some people do this as well. They flutter about, not spending too much time in once place too long … like a butterfly.

That is where we get the term “social butterfly.” We use it to describe a person with a lot of friends and a lot of social engagements, like parties and get-togethers.

These two butterfly expressions are fairly common and you can use them in any situation. But today, we will talk about another butterfly expression, one that is a little more … philosophical.

We call this the Butterfly Effect.

The butterfly effect is a theory. It claims that one small action can lead to major events. For example, a butterfly fluttering its wings can have a great effect -- like producing a storm -- in another part of the world.

But this expression is not just used by great thinkers, you know, philosophers. Every small decision you make can have a butterfly effect in your own life.

For example, let’s say that one night you agree to meet friends at the movies. On they way, you stop to help a man with a broken bicycle. This makes you late and you miss the movie. But the man is thankful. He gives you his card and invites you to lunch.

As it turns out he is a book publisher who offers to look at a book you have just finished writing. Your stopping to help him led to events in your life happening very differently.

Now, you may hear other expressions that mean about the same thing. We also have the ripple effect. If you throw something into a body of still water, it cause ripples in the water, one leading to the next.

Young Iranian women set up a domino course.
Young Iranian women set up a domino course.

Then there is the domino effect. Dominoes is a game where you stack up domino tiles close to each other. You push one which falls into the next, which falls into the next, and so on and so on – until they are all down.

The snowball effect is when something small gets worse and worse over time. Imagine a ball of snow rolling down a hill getting bigger and bigger as it collects more snow.

We usually use “to snowball” only for bad things. We use the others for both good and bad events. And you can use all of these in either formal or informal situations.

One big difference is that we can say something dominoed, or snowballed or even rippled. Although that one is less common. However, we do not say something butterflied. For example, “The man could not have known that his not going into work would domino into a very interesting day.”

These expressions are all chain reactions. They all mean that one thing leads to the next, to the next and so on.

And that is the end of this Words and Their Stories.

Until next time … I’m Anna Matteo.

And I’m Bryan Lynn.

All you gotta do is …
Get in the middle of a chain reaction
You get a medal when you're lost in action

Anna Matteo wrote this story for VOA Learning English. George Grow was the editor. The song at the end is Diana Ross singing “Chain Reaction.”

_____________________________________________________________

Words in This Story

flutter – v. to flap the wings rapidly butterflies fluttering among the flowers : to move with quick wavering or flapping motions a sail fluttering in the wind : to vibrate in irregular spasms his heart fluttered : to move about or behave in an agitated aimless manner She nervously fluttered around the office.

philosophical – adj. of or relating to the study of basic ideas about knowledge, right and wrong, reasoning, and the value of thing

ripple – n. the ruffling of the surface of water : a small wave a usually slight noticeable effect or reaction

.................................................

6 Minute English

INTERMEDIATE LEVEL

The decluttering trend

EPISODE 190411 / 11 APR 2019

 

Introduction

Do you have too much stuff? If so, you're not alone. These days people tend to buy and keep more things than they used to. But what do we do with it all once we've had enough of it? Recently, people have been trying to find ways to reduce the amount of stuff that they own. Rob and Neil find out all about the latest decluttering trend, how to do it and why in this 6 Minute English programme!

This week's question

The vacuum cleaner is a machine we use to clean our houses. When were the first mechanical floor cleaners, which later became vacuum cleaners, invented? Was it:

a) the 1860s?

b) the 1890s? Or

c) the 1920s?

Listen to the programme to find out the answer.

Vocabulary

floordrobe
collection of clothes untidily kept on the floor rather than in a wardrobe.

clutter
untidiness caused by having too many things – to declutter is the process of getting rid of things

to tackle (a problem)
to deal with a problem and try to fix it

sentimental
with an emotional and/or nostalgic connection

shift
change

make do and mend
an expression that means to use what you’ve got and fix something if it breaks rather than buying new things

Transcript 

Note: This is not a word for word transcript

Rob
Hello. This is 6 Minute English. I'm Rob.

Neil
And I'm Neil.

Rob
Now, Neil, are you a tidy person?

Neil
Me? Oh dear no! You should see my floordrobe!

Rob
Your floordrobe?

Neil
Yes. Tidy people keep their clothes in a wardrobe. I just dump a lot of my clothes on the floor, so – a floordrobe.

Rob
Ah yes, well it sounds as if you could use a bit of declutteringClutter is the word for general mess and untidiness when you have too many things, too much stuff. These days the idea of decluttering is very popular.

Neil
Oh, I love a good declutter - trouble is, I hate throwing things away.

Rob
Well, we might have some advice for you in today’s programme. But first, a question. It’s about cleaning up. The vacuum cleaner is a machine we use to clean our houses. When were the first mechanical floor cleaners, which later became vacuum cleaners, invented? Was it:

A) the 1860s?

B) the 1890s? Or

C) the 1920s?

Neil
Well, you know what? I have no idea! So, I’ll say the 1890s.

Rob
OK, well, I’ll have the answer later in the programme. The decluttering techniques of Marie Kondo are very popular these days. A UK decluttering expert, Lesley Spellman, appeared on the BBC radio programme You and Yours to discuss the topic. She was asked to describe the basics of the Marie Kondo method. What’s the first thing she recommends people start with?

Lesley Spellman
She basically says you have to do things in a certain order. You have to start with your clothes. Then you move on to your books. Then you move on to paperwork. Then you go on to something called 'komono', which is kind of everything else: kitchens, bathrooms, garages, lofts etc. And then finally you tackle sentimental things.

Rob
She says that you have to start with your clothes before moving on through different categories of clutter.

Neil
The verb she uses for dealing with these things is to tackleTo tackle something means 'to deal with it, to sort it out'.

Rob
And the last things she says you need to tackle are sentimental things. These are things that you have an emotional connection to, such as old letters and photographs. I have to say those are the things I find most difficult to get rid of! I’m very sentimental like that.

Neil
I think you just have to be ruthless, Rob! Either that or buy a bigger house. Right, let’s listen to Lesley Spellman again.

Lesley Spellman
She basically says you have to do things in a certain order. You have to start with your clothes. Then you move on to your books. Then you move on to paperwork. Then you go on to something called 'komono', which is kind of everything else: kitchens, bathrooms, garages, lofts etc. And then finally you tackle sentimental things.

Rob
So why is it that decluttering is such big business these days, and there are many people and companies offering advice and services? Here’s Lesley Spellman again with her thoughts on this.

Lesley Spellman
I think there's been a big shift really. So my generation, my parents, you know, definitely came from that 'make do and mend' era post war in the sort of 20th century. And then all of a sudden people started to get a little bit more money. Things became more affordable. You can buy five tops for five pounds each and people have done that. And that's allowed the consumerism to kind of go crazy in the 21st century.

Rob
So what does she put our need for decluttering down to?

Neil
Well, first she says that there has been a shift in our behaviour. This is a way of saying that there has been a change in the way we behave. We used to make do and mendmuch more. This phrase means that we made full use of what we had and if something broke, we tried to fix it.

Rob
And these days, we seem to have more money and many goods have got cheaper, and we just like buying stuff – or as she says, consumerism has gone crazy. Let’s listen to her again.

Lesley Spellman
I think there's been a big shift really. So my generation, my parents, you know, definitely came from that 'make do and mend' era post war in the sort of 20th century. And then all of a sudden people started to get a little bit more money. Things became more affordable. You can buy five tops for five pounds each and people have done that. And that's allowed the consumerism to kind of go crazy in the 21st century.

Rob
Time to tidy up today’s vocabulary, but first, let’s have the answer to the question. Earlier I asked you: When were the first mechanical floor cleaners invented? Was it in:

A) the 1860s?

B) the 1890s? Or

C) the 1920s?

And Neil, you said?

Neil
I guessed at the 1890s.

Rob
Sadly not! The correct answer is the 1860s. So, well done anyone who got that right. Now on with today’s vocabulary . The first word we had was floordrobe.

Neil
Yes, this is a word to describe a pile of clothes that someone keeps on the floor rather than in a wardrobe.

Rob
Well I don’t have a floordrobe, but I do have a chairdrobe – I guess you can work out what that means! Anyway, it seems we both have too much clutter, which is the untidiness caused by having too many things.

Neil
And this leads us to the popular pastime of decluttering, which is throwing away things to make our homes neat and tidy.

Rob
Clutter, in my life, is an issue I haven’t tackled yet. I haven’t tried to fix it or sort it out.

Neil
One area that the experts say you need to tackle is sentimental things. These are things which you have an emotional connection to – maybe old letters and photographs for example.

Rob
We then looked at the word shift, which was a way of saying 'change'. There has been a shift or a change in the way we think about things.

Neil
Yes, rather than an attitude of make do and mend, which means an attitude of 'being content with what you’ve got and fixing things if they break', we have become part of a consumerist culture where we like to buy more and more stuff.

Rob
But we still find it hard to throw things away!

Neil
Yes, indeed, we do. Well it’s time for us to collect our scripts and declutter the studio. We look forward to your company next time and until then you can find us in all the usual places online and on social media, just look for BBC Learning English. Bye for now.

Rob
Bye-bye! 

..........................................

 

Thailand urged to take heed of WTO rulings on cigarette imports

Jul 13. 2019
World Trade Organisation headquarters in Geneva
World Trade Organisation headquarters in Geneva
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By The Nation

899 Viewed

The Philippines’ Department of Trade and Industry is calling on Thailand to implement customs valuation reforms after a World Trade Organisation (WTO) dispute panel on Friday ruled that the Kingdom was violating its law on customs valuation.

The dispute, raised by tobacco company Philip Morris Philippines in 2008, is related to the export of cigarettes to Thailand. 

Philip Morris Thailand has also called on the government to immediately withdraw lawsuits against the company and its employees after the latest ruling of the Geneva-based WTO. 

The Thai government is suing the tobacco firm for evading taxes worth Bt60 billion by allegedly declaring that a pack of cigarettes is sold for Bt7, when in reality a pack of cigarettes is sold for Bt145.

Philippines’ Trade and Industry secretary Ramon Lopez said on Friday that the dispute has been going on for over 10 years now, and that since Thailand has lost all three panel and appellate rulings, and it was about time it accepted the rulings and implemented the customs valuation reforms that the rulings call for. 

“Thailand is a strong supporter of the WTO multilateral trading system, and currently chairs the WTO General Council as well as Asean for 2019,” Lopez was quoted as saying in the Philippines' Department of Trade and Industry website. 

“Accepting the panel report in this dispute would be a clear demonstration of Thailand’s responsibility and leadership in the WTO and in Asean.”

In 2008, Philip Morris Philippines filed a complaint saying its exports were being hampered by Thai fiscal and customs measures, such as customs valuation, excise tax, health tax, value-added tax, retail licensing requirements and import guarantees imposed on cigarette importers.

According to the Philippines’ Department of Trade and Industry website, Thailand has now lost three WTO panel proceedings:

In the original proceedings, a WTO panel and the Appellate Body ruled in 2010 that the Thai customs valuation measures violated the WTO’s Customs Valuation Agreement (CVA) and other WTO rules.

Following this ruling, Thailand brought new, WTO-inconsistent customs valuation measures against Philippine cigarettes and filed criminal charges against Philip Morris Thailand for under-declaration.

 

The Philippines successfully brought a first set of WTO compliance proceedings; in November 2018, the WTO compliance panel found that the new customs valuation measures and the first criminal charges violate the CVA.

While these proceedings were ongoing, Thailand issued a second set of criminal charges, forcing the Philippines to initiate second WTO compliance proceedings. This latest WTO panel ruled on Friday that these second charges also violate the CVA.

In response to the latest ruling, Gerald Margolis, branch manager of Philip Morris Thailand, said WTO’s compliance ruling confirmed yet again that Thailand’s prosecution of the tobacco firm its employees for alleged under-declaration of customs values was inconsistent with Thailand’s WTO obligations.

Gerald Margolis

“This is the second time that Thailand has been requested to comply with the global trade organisation’s ruling. We trust that the government will promptly honour its obligation to withdraw the criminal prosecution,” said Margolis in a statement obtained by The Nation on Saturday.

In May, there was a report saying that then-foreign minister Don Pramudwinai had written a confidential letter to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha raising concerns about the dispute at the WTO and asking the premier to suspend the lawsuit in the hope of settling the matter out of court.

......................................................

FINISHED 

July 14, 2019

 



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