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link@: LEARNING ENGLISH VIA NEWS: Thursday, April 9, 2020

 

 Well, everybody. You are good luck with the virus spreading presently. But somewhere in the world, numerous

people died. In USA., Italy, Africa, and some countries faced the crisis. As the truth, the powerful country unable

to manage the situation to calm down. 

Presently, Thailand is receiving the cheer up words as well as a model in this case.

Many thanks to G Grammarly helps in my writing this article.

 

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

24/7 stream https://youtu.be/is6Mv1U2hvw

 

 

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

 

CoursesFeaturesGrammarVocabularyPronunciationNewsBusinessFor TeachersFor ChildrenQuizzesOur App

6 Minute English

INTERMEDIATE LEVEL

Could you give up booze for a month?

EPISODE 200116 / 10 JAN 2020

Introduction

Do you enjoy having a glass of wine, gin or a beer with friends? Would you be able to give it up for a whole month? That's what Dry January is all about - a campaign to encourage people to resist the temptation of booze and enjoy some health benefits. Sam and Rob discuss the challenge of cutting down on alcohol and teach you related vocabulary.

This week's question

According to historians, which people were thought to be the first group to make New Year's resolutions? Was it the…

a)     Romans

b)     Native Americans 

c)      Babylonians

Listen to the programme to find out the answer.

Vocabulary

resolution
a promise to yourself to stop or start doing something 

peer pressure
influence a group of similar people have on you to behave like them 

ingrained
an attitude or idea that's been done in a certain way for a long time and is difficult to change 

merchandise
goods we buy and sell 

hangover
sick, tired and sometimes anxious feeling you get after drinking too much alcohol 

permeating
spreading through something and influencing every part of it

Transcript 

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

Sam
Hello. This is 6 Minute English from BBC Learning English. I'm Sam… 

Rob
And I'm Rob. 

Sam
So we're well into 2020 now – how are your New Year's resolutions going, Rob? 

Rob
Ah resolutions – you mean promises people make to themselves to stop or start doing something – I promised to start running, and to stop eating biscuits and to give up alcohol for a month. But I failed on all of them! 

Sam
Oh dear... 

Rob
Yes, I lasted a few days and then I started to crumble. 

Sam
Yeah. Well, you're not alone. Many people try to kick bad habits and get healthy when a new year begins. Their intentions – their plans to do something – are good. 

Rob
Yes, giving up drinking is particularly good to do, if only for the health benefits. 

Sam
Well, we'll be talking more about that as soon as I've set up today's question. According to historians, which people were thought to be the first group to make New Year's resolutions? Was it the…
a) Romans
b) Native Americans
c) Babylonians 

Rob
I haven't got a clue, so I'm going to guess a) the Romans. 

Sam
OK, Rob, I'll let you know if that was a good guess at the end of the programme. Now let's talk more about giving things up for New Year and, specifically, giving up alcohol. 

Rob
It's a time often called 'Dry January' – dry refers to not drinking alcohol, it's not about the weather! And the beginning of the year seems like a good time to start doing something to improve your health. 

Sam
But it's easy to give in to temptation – isn't it, Rob? 

Rob
Oh yes.  And it's tough to give up drinking in the first place, as Millie Gooch, founder of The Sober Girl Society knows. She spoke to BBC Radio 4's You and Yours programme and explained why it was hard to quit in the first place… 

Millie Gooch, founder of The Sober Girl Society
I think it's the peer pressure and, you know, it's so expected of us, it's so ingrained in us. Alcohol is everywhere and it's not just alcohol itself, it's alcohol merchandise, so, you know, you've got Christmas jumpers that have been say 'Prosecco-ho-ho-ho' and you can't buy a birthday card without saying 'let the fun be-gin'. It's just absolutely everywhere, it's so hard to avoid. 

Sam
So that's Millie, who's right when she says that, in the UK at least, we sometimes drink because we give in to peer pressure. That's the influence a group of similar people have on you to behave like them. 

Rob
We want to be part of the group so we copy what they do – and we are expected to do so because, as Millie said, drinking alcohol is ingrained in us – well in some cultures anyway. 

Sam
And when an attitude is ingrained it means it's been that way for a long time - it's difficult to change.  And although it may be harmful, we see jokes about drinking through things like merchandise – a word for goods we buy and sell. 

Rob
And Millie goes on to say we can buy jumpers that joke about the Italian sparkling wine called Prosecco – which say 'Prosecco-ho-ho-ho!' And birthday cards have the message 'let the fun be-gin' – a play on the word 'begin'. 

Sam
With all this social pressure, it's hard not to give in – and that's even worse when you're trying to fulfil your resolution not to drink. 

Rob
For Millie, enough was enough when drinking started to have a negative effect and she had to do something about it.  Let's hear from her again… 

Millie Gooch, founder of The Sober Girl Society
I started realising that alcohol was really affecting my mental health, so I was getting that really bad hangover anxiety – that like, hangover fear and dread – and I kind of noticed that was permeating everyday life. I was a binge drinker rather than like an everyday drinker… So I just decided that it wasn't suiting my life any more and I wanted to give it up. 

Rob
So Millie there described the negative effects of a hangover – that's the sick and tired feeling you get after drinking too much alcohol.  She also said she felt anxiety. And this feeling was permeating her everyday life.  When something permeates it spreads through something and influences every part of it.

Sam
So, drinking was affecting her everyday life, and it didn't help that she was a binge drinker. When you binge you do something occasionally but to extreme. 

Rob
Well, Millie managed to quit drinking and hasn't touched a drop since. There are many benefits to remaining sober – that means not being drunk. And one of them is hearing the answer to today's question! 

Sam
Earlier I asked you: According to historians, which people were thought to be the first group to make New Year's resolutions? Was it the…
a) Romans
b) Native Americans
c) Babylonians 
And Rob, what did you say? 

Rob
I had a wild guess and said it was the Romans. 

Sam
Sorry, Rob, you are wrong. Many historians think it was the Babylonians who made the first ever New Year's resolutions, about 4,000 years ago.  According to the history.com website, at New Year – which they celebrated in mid-March - Babylonians made promises to the gods to pay their debts and return any objects they had borrowed. 

Rob
I wonder if they managed to keep their resolutions for longer than I did… Anyway, let's keep one of our regular promises - to recap the vocabulary we've discussed today. Starting with resolution

Sam
…which in the context of a New Year's resolution, is a promise to yourself to stop or start doing something. 

Rob
Peer pressure is the influence a group of similar people have on you to behave like them. 

Sam
Ingrained describes an attitude or idea that has been done in a certain way for a long time and is difficult to change. And merchandise is a word for goods we buy and sell. 

Rob

We also mentioned a hangover – that's the sick, tired and sometimes anxious feeling you get after drinking too much alcohol. And permeating describes spreading through something and influencing every part of it. Like the vocabulary in this programme, Sam! 

Sam
Thanks, Rob - and that's all for now. 

Rob
Bye bye!

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

 

Friday, April 10, 2020

Confirmed new COVID-19 cases in Thailand one of the lowest in weeks

Apr 09. 2020
Facebook Twitter

By The Nation

 

The cases can be divided into four groups.

The first group of 22 had had close contacts with others previously confirmed as infected (mostly in Bangkok, 11)

The second group comprised 21 people of whom five had just returned from overseas (three Thais and two foreigners), eight were working in crowded areas or close to foreigners, four went to crowded areas, and four are medical staff.

The third group of six are being investigated on the source of the infection.

The last group of five had returned from Indonesia and are now under state quarantine in Pattani province.

Meanwhile, 52 people have fully recovered and returned home.

A 74-year-old French man died on April 7 in Chonburi province. He did not have any chronic disease but developed flu-like symptoms and diarrhoea. He was later found to be infected with Covid-19. He started to have difficulty breathing and needed a respirator on April 7. He died later that day.

An 82-year-old Thai man in Samut Prakan province who bad difficulty breathing died on Wednesday.

As of April 9, the total number of confirmed cases in the country stood at 2,423-- 1,451 are under treatment, 940 have recovered and been discharged, and there have been 32 deaths.

Globally, there are more than 1.48 million confirmed cases and around 88,000 deaths.

America is in a depression. The challenge now is to make it short-lived.

Apr 10. 2020
More than ten percent of the U.S. labor force submitted unemployment insurance claims between March 15 and April 4.
 
 
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By The Washington Post · Heather Long, Andrew Van Dam · NATIONAL, BUSINESS, HEALTH, PERSONAL-FINANCE

More than 17 million Americans have filed for unemployment in the past four weeks, a rapid and unprecedented deterioration in the U.S. economy that the nation has decided is necessary to combat the deadly coronavirus by keeping as many people as possible at home.

The nation has not experienced this magnitude of layoffs and economic contraction since the Great Depression, many experts say, and recovery is unlikely to be swift. President Donald Trump and Congress are racing to pass more relief money, but they failed to strike a deal Thursday on the details. Meanwhile, the $2 trillion package Congress enacted last month is barely starting to get out as states and federal agencies that have been gutted for years struggle to process millions of aid applications from small businesses and the newly jobless.

Last week, 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits, the Labor Department said Thursday, a staggering number that would have been unthinkable a few months ago. It's just shy of the record set the week of March 28, when 6.9 people filed for aid. The week of March 21 had 3.3 million claims.

"We have never seen anything like this," said Princeton University economy Alan Blinder. "This looks likely to be deep enough to qualify as a depression."

The economy is widely expected to shrink by roughly 30 percent in the second quarter, which runs from April through June. While such losses are deep and "astounding," they are unlikely to be long-lasting, Blinder said. There's hope that a vaccine or other preventive measure will be found relatively soon, which should prevent this downturn from turning into another Great Depression, which lasted over a decade.

"We are moving with alarming speed from 50-year lows in unemployment to what will likely be very high, although temporary, levels," Powell said in a speech Thursday at the Brookings Institution. "When the virus does run its course, and it's safe to go back to work and safe for businesses to open, then we would expect there to be a fairly quick rebound."

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said it's possible businesses might be able to reopen in May. Powell was more cautious, noting that most experts think the second half of the year is more likely.

The Fed chief called for a national discussion about what it will take to reopen the economy. Some have suggested masks and six-feet social distancing remain in place until widespread testing or a vaccine is available. Powell urged caution about moving too quickly to reopen and triggering another spike in coronavirus cases and deaths.

"We all want to avoid a false start where we partially reopen and that results in a spike in coronavirus cases," Powell said.

Stocks continued to rally Thursday with the Dow Jones industrial average gaining 286 points despite the dire jobs situation. Investors applauded the Fed's latest aid. Research notes from many Wall Street banks said that parts of the economy, while frightening, appear to be bottoming out. J.P. Morgan noted that hotel reservations, flights, and subway ridership, are down substantially, but they aren't falling further.

"In just-released data through April 4, U.S. hotel revenue per available room tracked by Smith Travel were down about 80 percent over a year ago, with occupancy down 70 percent and average rates down 40 percent. All of these readings were similar to last week's, suggesting a bottom has been reached," J.P. Morgan wrote to clients.

The Fed's sweeping new loan programs unveiled Thursday will provide $2 trillion in additional loans to small, medium and large companies as well as cash-strapped states and cities. These latest Fed actions are in addition to slashing interest rates to zero in March and buying numerous government bonds in an effort to keep borrowing as cheap as possible for American families and businesses.

Still, the gravity of one in 10 Americans suddenly being out of work is hitting families and communities across the country. Several cities have experienced modern-day bread lines with lines of cars stretching over a mile long, as people wait to visit food banks and restaurants handing out free meals.

Government relief has been slow to reach people losing their jobs as states have been overwhelmed with claims. The Washington Post spoke with more than a dozen workers across the country who lost their jobs and filed a claim in March. The majority have not received money yet. To get by, they have dipped into savings, begged online for aid, and waited in line for hours at food banks.

"How are people supposed to live a whole month without income?" said Tammy Devitoe, a single mom living paycheck to paycheck as a waitress in New York. "I've had to resort to begging online to complete strangers just so I can have enough money to eat and pay my bills."

Devitoe lost her job March 11 , when the diner she worked at closed, because of coronavirus fears. She applied the next day for unemployment help, but New York's online form said she needed to call to complete the process. "That's when the horror began," she said.

Out of desperation, she started a GoFundMe page to ask strangers for aid. She was heartened that over a hundred people donated, but others berated her for not saving or seeking a job at a grocery store during the pandemic.

Consumer spending is the backbone of the economy, and all indications are that it has plunged sharply as so many Americans lose their jobs or take pay cuts. The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index showed the largest drop ever on Thursday, driven largely by people citing their fears about losing their jobs.

"Consumers need to be prepared for a longer and deeper recession, rather than the now-discredited message that pent-up demand will spark a quick, robust, and sustained economic recovery," said Richard Curtin, the survey director.

Economists say the millions of workers likely to file for unemployment in April will strain America's safety net programs that help the poor. They are urging companies to furlough workers instead of doing a full layoff. A furlough usually allows workers to keep their health insurance and return quickly when business resumes. A study by Health Management Associations warned that more than 12 million Americans could lose employer-based health insurance for themselves and family members as layoffs mount.

Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri proposed Thursday that the U.S. government should follow Denmark's lead and pay people's salaries during the national emergency, a move that has kept layoffs low for the Danes.

"Beginning immediately, the federal government should cover 80 percent of wages for workers at any U.S. business, up to the national median wage, until this emergency is over," Hawley said. "The goal must be to get unemployment down - now."

The idea has been popular with progressive Democrats and shows how the economic calamity is causing lawmakers to cross party lines in ways that have not been seen in years in Washington

Congress tried to encourage businesses to keep workers on, by saying small business loans will be forgiven if companies rehire workers and the bulk of the loan goes toward workers' paychecks. But as problems have mounted with accessing the loans, many businesses have forged ahead with layoffs.

Ben Bernanke, the former Fed chair during the Great Recession and one of the leading scholars of the 1930s depression era, said what is happening now is like a hurricane slamming the whole planet at once. It's deeply painful, but the United States - and the world - can avoid years of pain if governments take swift action.

"Unemployment is going to be high," Bernanke said, but "the duration of this downturn is likely to be shorter than the 12 years of the Great Depression."

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

FINISHED

Friday, April 10, 2020

 


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