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You'll see a well-known politician leader below, that he is a cat lover, rather crazily, Mr.Abhisit Vajjajiiva. there is

smiling on his face while he looks down at a cat basket in his hands. And you can expect that the ex-primary Abhisit

live in his very happy home.

Thanks a lot to two assistance sources Google Translation and G Grammarly today as ever.

 

 

Close or Near?

3 hours ago

Ask a Teacher
Ask a Teacher
 
Close or Near?


Today we answer a question from Mehdi.

Question:

What is the difference between close and near?

Answer:

Dear Mehdi,

Thank you for writing. You ask a good question.

“Close” and “near” are commonly used as adjectives. When you are talking about physical distances, you can use either word. Like this:

The subway station is close.

The subway station is near.

Both these sentences are correct and mean the same thing.

But if you are talking about something that deals with abstract ideas or qualities, like relationships, you use “close” instead of “near.”

As in this example:

My friend and I live in different countries, but we are very close.

Here, I am saying that my friend and I are not in the same physical area, but we are emotionally connected. We are good friends.

However, if I say, “My neighbor and I live in the same apartment building, but we are not close,” I mean we occupy the same physical area, but we are not emotionally connected. My dog tried to bite his dog once, and he has never spoken to me again!

Thanks for writing, Mehdi. Reading comments from our listeners is the best part of the job – it makes us feel close to our audience.

For now, that’s Ask a Teacher!

I’m Anne Ball.

Anne Ball wrote this story for Learning English. Kelly Jean Kelly was the editor.

Do you have a question for the teacher? We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section.

________________________________________________________________

Words in This Story

 abstract – adj. relating to or involving general ideas or qualities rather than specific people, objects, or actions

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

November 14, 2019

November 14, 2019
A look at the best news photos from around the world.

Students are lead out of Saugus High School after reports of a shooting in Santa Clarita, California. (Credit: KTTV-TV)
1Students are lead out of Saugus High School after reports of a shooting in Santa Clarita, California. (Credit: KTTV-TV)
Supporters of former President Evo Morales march to the presidential palace in La Paz, Bolivia. Morales resigned and flew to Mexico under military pressure following massive nationwide protests over alleged fraud in an election last month in which he claimed to have won a fourth term in office.
2Supporters of former President Evo Morales march to the presidential palace in La Paz, Bolivia. Morales resigned and flew to Mexico under military pressure following massive nationwide protests over alleged fraud in an election last month in which he claimed to have won a fourth term in office.
People use a makeshift walkway over the flooded St. Mark's Square in Venice, Italy.
3People use a makeshift walkway over the flooded St. Mark's Square in Venice, Italy.
Omar, left, and his mother Lara, attend the Beirut funeral of their father and husband, Alaa Abu Fakher, who was killed by a Lebanese soldier during protests Tuesday night south of the capital.
4Omar, left, and his mother Lara, attend the Beirut funeral of their father and husband, Alaa Abu Fakher, who was killed by a Lebanese soldier during protests Tuesday night south of the capital.
A Palestinian youth stands in the hole of a destroyed house following overnight Israeli missile strikes, in Al-Qarara, east of Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip.
5A Palestinian youth stands in the hole of a destroyed house following overnight Israeli missile strikes, in Al-Qarara, east of Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip.
A policeman detains a demonstrator during a protest against Chile's government in Santiago, Chile, on November 13, 2019.
6A policeman detains a demonstrator during a protest against Chile's government in Santiago, Chile, on November 13, 2019.
A demonstrator uses a slingshot during ongoing anti-government protests in Baghdad, Iraq.
7A demonstrator uses a slingshot during ongoing anti-government protests in Baghdad, Iraq.
An Iraq fan poses before the World Cup 2022 Qualifier 2nd round Group C football match between Iraq and Iran at Amman International Stadium in Amman, Jordan.
8An Iraq fan poses before the World Cup 2022 Qualifier 2nd round Group C football match between Iraq and Iran at Amman International Stadium in Amman, Jordan.

Load more

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

 

6 Minute English

INTERMEDIATE LEVEL

Mental health in the workplace

EPISODE 191114 / 14 NOV 2019

Introduction

Huge numbers of people suffer from mental health issues in the workplace. Not only does it make life very difficult for sufferers, it also costs business a huge amount of money. Neil and Georgina talk about things people can do to make a difference.

This week's question

In what year was World Mental Health Day first held?

A: 1992
B: 2002
C: 2012

Listen to the programme to find out the answer.

Vocabulary

failing to address
not dealing with, not helping with

colossal
huge, very big

contributor
someone who has something positive to give

to normalise
to make normal

to suffer in silence
to have a problem but not discuss it or share it

to cling onto (something)
to hold on tight to something

Transcript 

Note: This is not a word-for-word transcript     

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

Georgina
And I'm Georgina.

Neil
Today we’re focussing on the topic of mental health at work.

Georgina
Yes, it’s an issue that can be difficult to see. If someone has an injury, like a broken leg or a serious medical issue, it’s obvious, and we can understand what’s happening. With mental health issues, though, there’s no physical sign and people who are experiencing difficulties maybe don’t get the same understanding as people who have medical problems.

Neil
It’s a topic that has been getting more publicity recently, particularly as members of the British royal family have been talking about it. Also, awareness is raised through events such as World Mental Health Day. And that is the topic of today’s quiz. World Mental Health Day is held every year on October 10th. It aims to raise awareness of mental health issues and their effects on people’s lives. In what year was it first held? Was it...

A: 1992
B: 2002
C: 2012

What do you think, Georgina?

Georgina
I don’t know – I think it will be older than 2012, but as old as 1992? I don’t know. I’m going to go with 2002

Neil
OK. I’ll have the answer later in the programme and we’ll see if you’re right. Mental health problems are very difficult personally for those who suffer from them, and they also have an impact on businesses. Paul Farmer is head of the mental health awareness charity Mind. He spoke on the BBC World Service Business Daily programme about this. How much does he says it costs businesses in the UK?

Paul Farmer, CEO Mind 
We know that the cost of failing to address mental health in business is colossal. In the UK, it costs between 33 and 42 billion pounds a year, about $50 billion dollars, and round about 300,000 people fall out of work every year as a result of poor mental health. So that’s a huge cost to workplaces and to individuals. Behind those numbers, though, are the lives of talented, able, contributors who often just slide away from the workplace because they don’t get the right help and support for their mental health.

Neil
What figures did Paul Farmer give there?

Georgina
He gave the figure of about between 33 and £42 billion – which is about $50 billion dollars.

Neil
That’s a lot of money!

Georgina
It is – in fact he called it colossal. This adjective means huge – really, really big. This is the cost to business he says of failing to address the mental health issue.

Neil
Failing to address means ignoring or not dealing with the problems. It leads to staff leaving work, and he says these people are contributors, they give something to the business in terms of their skill and experience.

Georgina
And because of mental health issues, which could be addressed but aren’t, those contributors are being lost to the business. So it costs companies more money to recruit and train new staff, and you can’t always replace the experience that is lost.

Neil
Let’s listen again.

Paul Farmer, CEO Mind
We know that the cost of failing to address mental health in business is colossal. In the UK, it costs between 33 and 42 billion pounds a year, about $50 billion dollars, and round about 300,000 people fall out of work every year as a result of poor mental health. So that’s a huge cost to workplaces and to individuals. Behind those numbers, though, are the lives of talented, able, contributors who often just slide away from the workplace because they don’t get the right help and support for their mental health.

Neil
In recent years it seems as if there has been more understanding of mental health issues, not just in the workplace but in society as a whole. Geoff McDonald is a campaigner for the organisation Minds at Work. He also spoke on the Business Daily programme about one way that things were getting a little better.

Geoff McDonald, Minds at Work 
I think what’s really changed is people telling their stories, and the more stories that we tell it kind of begins to normalise this. Every single story that we tell is like sending a lifeboat out into the ocean and the millions and millions of people who are suffering in silence, do you know what they do? They cling on to that lifeboat and they realise they’re not alone and they might just be normal.

Neil
So, because more people are talking about this issue, it begins to normalise it. This means it becomes ‘normal’. It’s not unusual, strange or hidden.

Georgina
There are people who suffer in silence – they keep to themselves and hide their problems from others, but because there is more publicity about this topic, they can begin to feel that they are not alone and they don’t have to suffer in silence.

Neil
People sharing their stories are like lifeboats for those who do suffer in silence. In this metaphor they can cling onto the lifeboats.

Right, we’re going to another look at today’s vocabulary, but first let’s have the answer to today’s quiz. When was the first World Mental Health Day? Was it...

A: 1992
B: 2002
C: 2012

Georgina, what did you say?

Georgina
I thought 2002.

Neil
It was actually earlier - 1992. Now, a review of our vocabulary.

Georgina
Failing to address is a phrase that means ignoring a problem or not trying to help with a problem.

Neil
Something colossal is very, very big.

Georgina
contributor is someone who has something to give, who is a positive benefit to, in this case, a business.

Neil
Then we have the verb to normalise, meaning to make something normal.

Georgina
Someone who suffers in silence, doesn’t talk about their problems and may hide them from others.

Neil
And finally, if you cling on to something, you hold on to it tightly, you don’t want to let it go. And that’s all from us from this programme. We look forward to your company again soon. In the meantime find us online, on social media and on the BBC Learning English app.

Georgina
Bye!

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

 

More power to the people: how Thailand fought HIV/Aids

Nov 16. 2019
Dr Jean-Louis Lamboray, co-founder of Constellation, a non-profit organisation focusing on community development, learned about the community-based approach to fight HIV and Aids in the villages of Phayao, a small rural province in northern Thailand.
Dr Jean-Louis Lamboray, co-founder of Constellation, a non-profit organisation focusing on community development, learned about the community-based approach to fight HIV and Aids in the villages of Phayao, a small rural province in northern Thailand.

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By Athaporn Limpanyalers,
Special to The Nation

751 Viewed

In 2005, the Thai government began providing free antiretroviral therapy to patients with HIV under the Universal Healthcare Coverage (UHC) scheme.

But that has not happened so far. The government has managed to sustain both the UHC and patients’ access to antiretroviral therapy -- especially after the Government Pharmaceutical Organization succeeded in developing its own antiretroviral drugs, bringing down the cost of medicine.

The story of Thailand’s success in combating Aids and HIV involves patients, communities and civil society groups who stood up to tackle the situation, without waiting for the government to start its own initiatives.

It was witnessed by Dr Jean-Louis Lamboray, co-founder of Constellation, a non-profit organisation focusing on community development, while he was running an Aids programme for UNAids and World Bank in Thailand from 1996 to 1998.

To his surprise, he learned about the community-based approach to fight HIV and Aids in the villages of Phayao, a small rural province in northern Thailand.

“A former World Health Organisation staff told me, ‘you have to go to Phayao. Something is happening there’,” Dr Lamboray recalled in an exclusive interview.

Phayao became the province with the highest rate of HIV and Aids reported cases in Thailand, since the first case of Aids was discovered in Thailand in 1984.

While the epidemic severely hit people in Phayao at first, its prevalence soon declined rapidly despite the lack of medical resources.

The Public Health Ministry’s data at the time, cited by Dr Lamboray in his report to UNAids, showed that HIV prevalence among pregnant women in Phayao decreased from 11 per cent to 4.9 per cent between 1992 and 1997.

Among military conscripts, HIV prevalence decreased from 20 per cent to around five to seven per cent in the same period. A survey found that around 66 per cent of male workers revealed consistent condom use when having sex with sex workers.

Hearing about the declining spread of the disease, Dr Lamboray spent two years regularly visiting Phayao to try to understand the situation on the ground.

“I found people discussing why young women and men died. Many of them sent their girls to school instead of letting them end up in the commercial sex business. They also publicly promoted the use of condoms,” he said.

“The conclusion was that when the local community discusses the problem publicly, it could lead to a change in the public. If you don’t discuss it, it won’t exist. Only what is discussed openly exists.”

The battle against Aids in Phayao was successful due to the decision-making and participation of the local community.

“People, not institutions, ultimately decided whether to adapt their sexual, economic and social behaviour to the advent of Aids. Governmental and nongovernmental organisations can only influence, either constraining or facilitating, people’s responses to HIV and Aids,” he wrote in a report for UNAids in 2000.

“Their single most important role is to strengthen the capacity of people to assess how Aids affects their lives, to act if needed, and to learn from their actions. Supporting communities in such a process represents a major challenge to institutions involved.”

The findings changed Dr Lamboray’s perspective on the healthcare system. Inspired by the local community in Phayao, he co-founded Constellation with the aim to stimulate local responses where people realise their strengths and find the right practices to fix their own problems collectively.

Four years after Dr Lamboray left the province, the UHC scheme was introduced in Thailand, initially without antiretroviral therapy included in the scheme’s benefits package.

That led to the rise of a people’s movement led by patients with HIV and Aids, civil society groups and medical experts to push the then-Thai Rak Thai government to include free antiretroviral drugs in the UHC benefits package.

It could be said that the availability of free Aids and HIV treatment under the scheme is the result of the people’s strength, their participation in fighting HIV and Aids, and their discussions of the situation openly and publicly.

During an exclusive interview, Dr Lamboray spoke about cases of Ebola outbreaks in the Democratic the Republic of Congo in the past decade; none of the outbreaks lasted more than three months and they caused no more than 300 deaths.

This is because the authorities “trust” the people and let them decide on the approach to deal with the epidemic, he said, instead of demanding local communities to follow “orders”.

“If you base on trust, there are changes,” he said. “Many factors of today’s diseases are related to people’s behaviours. If you want to make the health system effective, it depends on the people’s decision on how they want to deal with their health.

The shift of power from the healthcare system to the people is a mechanism to achieve a healthcare system.” 

The author is deputy secretary-general of the National Health Security Office

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

Public and private investments to prop up economic growth in 2020: central bank chief

Nov 15. 2019
Central bank governor Veerathai Santiprabhob/file photo, Credit : BOT
Central bank governor Veerathai Santiprabhob/file photo, Credit : BOT
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By The Nation

2,843 Viewed

The global trade war and the steep appreciation of the baht are key risk factors for the Thai economy next year, according to economists.

He, however, pointed to positive factors next year which would drive the economy. Public spending on infrastructure investment is expected to be on track after delay in spending this year. Private investment is expected to rise due to increase in foreign direct investment (FDI), which was a blessing from the trade war that had forced many investors to relocate their production sites from China to Thailand, according to Veerathai.

“So far, the trade war has had only a slight impact on the Thai economy because the country has ample buffer -- a high current account surplus and foreign exchange reserves,” he explained.

In the first nine months, Thailand ran a current account surplus of $26 billion while FDI rose to $8 billion, he said.

Investors see baht-denominated assets as safe haven, leading to capital inflows and appreciation of the baht, he said.

The central bank recently issued a series of measures to prevent the baht’s rapid rise.

Pipat Luengnaruemitchai, assistant managing director at Phatra Securities, said there were many risk factors next year. Uncertainty remained high due to the impact of the trade war, Pipat said on Thursday at a seminar entitled “Thai Economy 2020: Looking Ahead”, hosted by the Thammasat Economics Association. Thailand also will face a decline in the labour force as the country is now an ageing society.

Consumer spending next year will continue to come under pressure as people’s incomes are already impacted by slow economic growth and weakening investment, he said.

The baht is expected to rise further against other currencies after appreciating about 20 per cent in recent years.

“The continued appreciation of the baht will further erode severely Thailand’s competitiveness,” he said, adding, a stronger baht will make Thai products more expensive than those of its competitors.

Amornthep Chawla, senior executive vice president at CIMB Thai, predicted that economic growth next year would be between 2.5 to 3 per cent driven by tourism. The market believes that the trade war will drag on, probably for 10 years, as the United States does not want China to become the number one global superpower, he said. US elections next year could boost Thai exports to 2018 levels after an estimated contraction of 2 per cent this year.

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

FINISHED 

November 16, 2016

 



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