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 Today, 18 September 2019, there is a meeting of the House of Representatives. In the period from 09.00 hrs. - 18.00 hrs. It was a meeting without a resolution. But the Council will debate the issue. The Prime Minister has not given full details of the proposal.

If you are interested, please follow and watch on Channel 3 Thai BTS which is currently broadcasting live.

 Many thanks to Google Translate and G Grammarly

 

[สดจากสภา ! ] อภิปรายปม "ถวายสัตย์ฯ" #ประชุมสภา | NationTV22 https://youtu.be/4-YtfTkmiBo

 

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

https://youtu.be/0fKyrdQ15gs

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Finding Classroom Space in the Bahamas

4 hours ago

Ayfon Minus, 8, collects donated food that was brought by helicopter from Freeport to the Hurricane Dorian destroyed village of High Rock, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, Tuesday, September 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
Ayfon Minus, 8, collects donated food that was brought by helicopter from Freeport to the Hurricane Dorian destroyed village of High Rock, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, Tuesday, September 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
 
Finding Classroom Space in the Bahamas
 

The powerful ocean storm that struck the Bahamas earlier this month killed more than 50 people and destroyed many homes, businesses and school buildings.

Now, Bahamian education officials are trying to find classroom space for students whose families have been displaced.

Hurricane Dorian was one of the most powerful storms in the country's recorded history. It made landfall on September 1 and remained on top of the northern Bahamas for almost 50 hours. It damaged or destroyed nearly every structure on the island of Great Abaco. The nearby Grand Bahama island was hit hard, too.

Bahamian officials say they hope fewer than 10,000 students would need to be placed into new schools. The plan is to move them to schools across the islands.

Officials recently set up what they describe as a “one-stop shop” for the displaced students. Last Thursday, those students gathered inside the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium in Nassau, the Bahamian capital.

The students – aged 4 to 19 – waited in line for clothing, school supplies, shots and vision and hearing tests. They also sought appointments to speak with volunteer mental health workers.

“These kids need their education, how are they going to get jobs or have any options?” said Chandra Alexis, an 18-year-old evacuee from Abaco, about 150 kilometers north of Nassau.

“We lost everything; without school there’s nothing,” she said. She was waiting in line to find out which schools her younger sister and another family member would attend this year.

The island of Abaco had 17 schools, most of them public. Grand Bahama had about 20 schools, said Belinda Wilson. She is president of Bahamas Union of Teachers. She said all of the union's members on the two islands were found safe.

A man and girl peer out from a bakery and cafeteria in Freeport, Bahamas, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019. Those who survived Hurricane Dorian are facing the prospect of starting their lives over but with little idea of how or where to even begin. (AP Photo/Ram
A man and girl peer out from a bakery and cafeteria in Freeport, Bahamas, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019. Those who survived Hurricane Dorian are facing the prospect of starting their lives over but with little idea of how or where to even begin. (AP Photo/Ram

Public schools on most islands opened on September 9, a week later than the planned opening. But on Abaco and Grand Bahama, schools remained closed. Engineers have had to check the safety of the school buildings.

Wilson and the teachers union say that no teacher or student “is going to enter any of those buildings until an engineer is able to say to that those schools are structurally sound."

Lorraine Armbrister is permanent secretary of the Bahamas’ Ministry of Education. She said the main goal right now is to get children back into school, “so that they’re not further disadvantaged or further traumatized.”

She said, “We want to normalize their lives as soon as possible.”

The government is registering evacuees living in temporary shelters in the capital. Soon it will work with those staying in Nassau hotels or with family and friends to get their children into schools.

People wait at the Leonard M. Thompson International Airport during an evacuation operation after Hurricane Dorian hit the Abaco Islands in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas, September 6, 2019. REUTERS/Marco Bello
People wait at the Leonard M. Thompson International Airport during an evacuation operation after Hurricane Dorian hit the Abaco Islands in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas, September 6, 2019. REUTERS/Marco Bello


Nassau is on New Providence island. Wilson said that island’s schools may not have enough room for all of the displaced children who were evacuated to the capital.

“There are many other islands that could accommodate students,” said Wilson, whose union represents about 4,000 teachers on 24 islands.

She added that the process of moving teachers, students and parents to different islands will “take all of our imagination.”

The United Nations Children’s Fund is working with the Bahamian Education Ministry. It said student sign-ups would begin on other islands in the coming days.

The process is set to continue through the middle of October but may go longer if needed, Armbrister said. With every student needing health exams, education officials are able to process only about 200 to 300 students a day.

I’m Anne Ball.

This story was written by Reuters reporter Zachary Fagenson in Nassau. Anne Ball adapted this story for VOA Learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.

What do you think of this story? Write to us in the comments section below.

Quiz - Finding Classroom Space in the Bahamas

Quiz - Finding Classroom Space in the Bahamas

Start the Quiz to find out

Words in This Story

displaced – v. to force people or animals to leave the area where they live

disadvantaged – adj. lacking the things (such as money and education) that are considered necessary for an equal position in society

traumatized – v. to cause (someone) to become very upset in a way that often leads to serious emotional problems : to cause (someone) to suffer emotional trauma

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September 17, 2019

September 17, 2019
A look at the best news photos from around the world.

General Motors assembly workers demonstrate outside the General Motors Bowling Green factory during the United Auto Workers (UAW) national strike in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
1General Motors assembly workers demonstrate outside the General Motors Bowling Green factory during the United Auto Workers (UAW) national strike in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
A newborn baby is carried onto the Ocean Viking humanitarian rescue ship after a rescue operation about 100 kilometers from the coast of Libya in the Mediterranean Sea.
2A newborn baby is carried onto the Ocean Viking humanitarian rescue ship after a rescue operation about 100 kilometers from the coast of Libya in the Mediterranean Sea.
People demonstrate outside the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom against Prime Minister Boris Johnson's decision to prorogue parliament, in London.
3People demonstrate outside the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom against Prime Minister Boris Johnson's decision to prorogue parliament, in London.
A Mass Transit Railway (MTR) train is seen derailed on the East Rail line in Hong Kong, China.
4A Mass Transit Railway (MTR) train is seen derailed on the East Rail line in Hong Kong, China.

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 6 Minute English

INTERMEDIATE LEVEL

How creative should we be?

EPISODE 181025 / 25 OCT 2018

 

Introduction

The World Economic Forum forecasts that by 2020, creativity will be in the top three most important skills for future jobs. This is particularly relevant for younger people who will be entering the world of work soon. BBC Learning English's very creative scriptwriter Rob and Neil discuss what it takes to be creative - and they also teach you related vocabulary.

This week's question

Banksy created a well-known piece of artwork that has been in the news recently. Do you know what it is called? Is it…

a) Girl with Balloon

b) Girl with Red Balloon

c) Balloon Girl

Listen to the programme to find out the answer.

Vocabulary

a creative (noun)
a person whose job is to use a lot of imagination and come up with new ideas, such as someone who works in the media or advertising

legitimately
describes doing something fairly and reasonably

think outside the box
find new ways of doing things

redress the balance
to make things fairer and more equal

lifeblood
the most important thing to make something a success

disparate
very different and unrelated

headspace
when your mind is in a good state and you can think clearly

Transcript 

Note: This is not a word for word transcript

Neil
Hello. Welcome to 6 Minute English, I'm Neil. 

Rob
And hello, I'm Rob. 

Neil
Now Rob, how creative are you? 

Rob
Very creative, I think. Creativity is in my bones! Look at this wonderful script that I wrote and we're presenting right now. 

Neil
You are what we could call 'a creative' – a noun which means someone with a lot of imagination and ideas. In our job we have to create – or make – content that teaches English creatively. 

Rob
Creativity is becoming more important for everyone. The World Economic Forum forecasts that by 2020, creativity will be in the top three most important skills for future jobs. This is particularly relevant for younger people who will be entering the world of work soon – and that's what we'll be discussing today. But before we do, Neil, have you created a question for us to answer? 

Neil
Yes, and it's about the very creative artist Banksy. He created a well-known piece of artwork that has been in the news recently, but do you know what it is called? Is it…

a)    Girl with Balloon

b)    Girl with Red Balloon

c)    Balloon Girl 

Rob
I can see the picture in my head – so I think it's c) Balloon girl. 

Neil
OK, and we'll find out the answer later. But now back to our discussion about creativity. Experts say that students need to focus more on creativity to help them get a job. That's perhaps surprising in the UK, when some of our creative industries – that's businesses that make music, art and TV for example – are world famous. We are creative people, Rob! 

Rob
Of course, but there's not such a focus on being creative in education now and that might have an effect in the future. It's something Bernadette Duffy, an early years consultant, has been discussing on BBC Radio 4's Bringing up Britain programme. What does she say we have been focusing too much on in schools? 

Bernadette Duffy, early years consultant
We focus on the things that are legitimately important but we teach them in a way that makes them easier to measure. I think we need to redress the balance that puts the focus purely on gaining the skills and far far more on actually using them in a creative way because that's what's going to make a difference for the future. 

Neil
So Bernadette feels we teach skills in a way that can be easily measured and tested. She says we teach these skills legitimately – which here means fairly and reasonably. But she feels we don't teach a creative approach to learning skills. 

Rob
So we mean things like problem solving. I guess, even tasks like data inputting and preparing spreadsheets can be approached creatively. In any job, it's sometimes good to 'think outside the box' or find new ways of doing things. 

Neil
Bernadette thinks we should move away from just learning skills and start using these skills creatively – she used the expression 'redress the balance' which means 'change things to make them fairer and more equal'.   

Rob
Well, here at the BBC we have to creative. In fact one of our values states that 'creativity is the lifeblood of our organisation'. Lifeblood here means 'the most important thing to make something a success'.   

Neil
Rob, I can see creativity is in your blood – but on an everyday level how can we all improve our creativity – be more like you?! 

Rob
Well, Neil, I'm no expert but Innovation Manager, Nick Skillicorn is. He's also been speaking to the BBC and explaining what we can do to help ourselves. What does he suggest? 

Nick Skillicorn, Innovation Manager
On a daily basis, everyone should take fifteen minutes of what I call unfocused time – time that they're not looking at any screen, time that they can essentially get back into their own head, slow down a bit, and start forming these new connections between disparate ideas that result in divergent new original ideas.

Neil
So we need free time to collect all our different thoughts in our head – what Nick calls disparate ideas to create new and amazing ideas. 

Rob
Disparate ideas are very different ideas, all unrelated. And we need what we might call headspace – that's when your mind is in a good state and you can think clearly. For me, I have headspace when I'm lying in the bath or out riding my bike – there are no interruptions.  

Neil
Well, you certainly don't get your ideas sitting at a desk, focusing on one task – we all need some downtime to get creative. But children going into school now will grow up to do a job that doesn't yet exist. And faced with the challenges of AI, automation, green issues and an ageing population, creativity and imagination will be vital. 

Rob
Right, well, let's get back to talking about the creativity of Banksy now. 

Neil
Ah yes, because earlier I asked you which one of his well-known pieces of artwork has been in the news recently? Is it…

a)    Girl with Balloon

b)    Girl with Red Balloon

c)    Balloon Girl 

Rob
And I said c) Balloon Girl. I know it was a girl and a balloon.

Neil
Not quite right, Rob. The artwork is titled 'Girl with Balloon.' This was recently auctioned in London but amazingly shredded in its frame as someone's winning bid was accepted! 

Rob
Wow, that's a very creative way to destroy a picture! I will do the same with this script soon but not before we have recapped some of today's vocabulary. Starting with 'a creative' - that's a person whose job is to use a lot of imagination and come up with new ideas, such as someone who works in the media or advertising. 

Neil
Then we mentioned legitimately – which describes doing something fairly and reasonably. 

Rob
Next we heard the expression 'redress the balance'. This means to make things fairer and more equal. 

Neil
We also talked aboutcreativity being the lifeblood of the BBC. Lifeblood here means the most important thing to make something a success. And I know creativity is running through your veins, Rob! 

Rob
Thanks, Neil. We also heard the word disparate, meaning very different and unrelated. And we talked about headspace, which is when your mind is in a good state and you can think clearly. 

Neil
Before we head off to find some headspace, don't forget to visit our website at bbclearningenglish.com for more great learning English content. That’s all we have time for now. Do join us again though. Goodbye. 

Rob
Bye bye!

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

Transport Ministry hopes appeal against Hopewell case will tip the scale

Sep 18. 2019
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By The Nation

1,206 Viewed

The Transport Ministry has called on the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) to file an appeal on the Hopewell case before Friday (September 20), with the hope of repeating the Expressway Authority of Thailand (EXAT)’s victory in a similar case 18 years ago.

Pisak Jitwiriyawasin, deputy permanent secretary of Transport Ministry and chair of the Hopewell case committee, said his panel has been working with the OAG to gather additional evidence and is planning to file an appeal with the Central Administrative Court by September 20.

“The OAG will handle the appeal process based on the evidence we have gathered,” he said. “However, it’s still too early to assume we will win this case. It all depends on judicial discretion.”

A source said the ministry expects OAG to file the appeal by Wednesday (September 18), because September 19 will mark 180 days from the date the court set for the payment of compensation, when a 7.5 per cent interest rate will begin being added on to the total amount to be paid.

Pisak also said his committee had used the Burapha Withi Expressway case as a reference for the Hopewell case.

“Back in 2001, EXAT was sued for Bt8 billion in damages by a foreign partner over the construction of Burapha Withi Expressway,” he said.

However, EXAT refused to pay and decided to investigate the qualifications of the arbitration committee, leading to the discovery of officials’ negligence and corruption, which resulted in the court dismissing the previous ruling of getting EXAT to pay for damages.

Pisak said his committee was referring to the EXAT case because there’s something suspicious about the Hopewell case.

“Something’s not quite right with the contract, which is only eight pages long even though it was a huge project,” he said. “If we can show the court that there were signs of officials’ negligence or corruption, then it could easily tip the scale in our favour.”

Govt spokesperson insists flood victims not being ignored 

Sep 16. 2019
Prayut Chan-o-cha
Prayut Chan-o-cha
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By The Nation

941 Viewed

Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha attaches great importance to the operations designed to alleviate the grievances of flood victims and the government has procedures to compensate them, the government spokeswoman said on Monday.
 

Government spokeswoman Naruemol Pinyosinwat was apparently responding to growing criticism on the social networks that the Prayut government was ignoring the plight of flood victims in northeastern provinces.

The criticism came after Prayut visited Nakhon Si Thammarat and Surat Thani late last week instead of going to Ubon Ratchathani and other northeastern provinces hit by floods.

Naruemol said Prayut was giving priority to helping flood victims and had instructed government agencies concerned to provide assistance in accordance with established procedures, starting from emergency measures to evacuate flood victims from their homes to delivery of food and drinking water to flooded areas.

She said that once the water had receded, the government would speed up the surveys of affected areas to carry out rehabilitation work and also provide remedial measures to the victims.

These include paying compensation of Bt50,000 to the families of each victim killed by the floods and Bt200,000 for homes completely ruined by the water..Those with partially damaged houses will receive between Bt15,000 and Bt17,000 compensation, depending on the magnitude of damage, she added.

Moreover, other government agencies, especially the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives, will provide help to those affected people.

“Flood victims can rest assured that the government will not abandon them,” the spokeswoman said, adding that the management of the donated items would be transparent, with a committee in each province charged with distributing donated funds and goods to the victims.

 
 ........................................................
 
FINISHED
 
September 18, 2019
 
 


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