Sunday, May 13, 2018

A Family-Orchestrated Suicide Bombing in Indonesia

If something is "orchestrated" by someone, it is planned and guided by someone. In this case, members of one particular family in Indonesia orchestrated three suicide bombings of churches in the city of Surabaya.

The article:

Vocabulary from the article:

a wave of blasts - a series of explosions. If the same thing happens in a series of events, you can say that a "wave" of this thing happened. Let's say that there have been a series of fires in a neighborhood, one after the other, for 5 or 6 days. The news will say: There has been a wave of fires in ____ neighborhood. A blast is an explosion.

to target something - to choose something

to claim a bombing - if there is a bombing committed by a group, often this group will contact the police or newspapers and "claim" the bombing, meaning they will admit that they did it

a network - a collection of affiliated members, a group of members

a bomb-laden car - a car loaded or filled with bombs

detonated - exploded

to foil an attack - to stop an attack, to prevent some harmful plan is to foil a plan

barbaric - not civilized

perpetrators - those who have committed crimes

terrorist cells - a terrorist cell is a small group of terrorists who work together

sustained - continuing

a de-radicalization program - this is an educational program to convince people that they do not have to be so "radical" in their attempt to change things that they think are wrong. Radical is not usually a negative term - sometimes a radical approach to a problem is necessary or a radical person can do a lot of good. Radical often means "extreme" - but according to the origin of the word, a radical is someone who wants to change things from the roots of a problem. He/she wants a real solution.

alternative incomes for released terrorists - so the government basically said to these released terrorists, "Listen, here's a nice job and some money...please choose a less violent life." Alternative means something different. So this is an income different from what a person might make from terrorism.

to invigorate something - to give something or someone new life. A person might say, "I just ran six kilometers this morning. I feel invigorated!"

loosely constituted jihadi networks - loosely constituted means not very strongly organized or put together; a jihadist is a person who claims to follow the Islamic religion and who wishes to fight and kill his religious enemies.

intolerance - not being able to accept others who are different or believe in different things.

tolerant - able to accept and live with differences

pluralistic - diverse, one place containing many different kinds of people

civilians - non-military people

to predate something - to come before something

al Qaeda linked - affiliated with al Qaeda, associated with al Qaeda (this is a terrorist group that began in Afghanistan and which was responsible for the attack against the World Trade Center in New York City)

Sunday, May 6, 2018

One way to prove climate change to Trump - a melting iceberg in his image

Donald Trump, the current president of the United States, does not believe that humanity has been harmfully affecting the Earth's climate (weather patterns).

In America, he is the type of person who is called a "climate denier". To deny something is to say that you don't believe something. 

In fact, Donald Trump has blamed the idea of global warming on China, saying that China wants the world to believe that businesses and factories are harming the earth so that United States businesses will stop producing so many goods around the world. (Virtually no intelligent people believe Trump's 'conspiracy theory' about China). 

A group in Finland is trying to raise (gather/collect) $500,000 to have an artist carve a giant image of Trump on an iceberg near the North Pole so that Trump, himself, can watch his image melt as a result of global warming.

A very creative and peaceful response to a climate denier!!!!!

Article about this situation:

Vocabulary from the article:

to carve something into something - to use a sharp object to cut into an object so as to form a new image from the original object

The Arctic - this is the very cold region to the north of Earth; the Antarctic is the area to the south. Antarctica is an actual continent. There are seven continents: Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America, Antarctica and Australia. The Arctic or the North Pole is not a continent, it is just a huge area of frozen water. 

a stunt - an action done to create publicity. Publicity means attention from television news shows, newspapers, the internet, social media etc. So a stunt is something that might be done to get everybody's attention.

to spearhead something - if you spearhead something, you are the leader - you are the first to do something, just as the tip of a spear enters a target first. A spear is a long, sharp weapon that can be thrown through the air.

the initiative - an initiative is a project or an endeavor, something someone or some group is going to do to reach some kind of goal.

they have dubbed the effort - they are calling the effort; to dub something as something is to give it a name or title

Trumpmore - there is a famous mountain in America called Mount Rushmore which has the faces of four US presidents carved into it.

to ponder - to think about, to wonder about

Mr. Trump has previously whether climate change exists - this is a mistake by the editor of this article. It should be: Mr. Trump has previously questioned whether climate change exists

non-competitive - he feels that the USA and other countries are competing with each other or fighting against each other to see who can make the most products. He feels the USA is currently winning and making more products than any other country. So he believes that other countries have created the idea of global warming to try to stop US owned factories from making as many things as they are making.

in the Oval Office - the name of the office where the US president spends most of his time. It is shaped like an oval - like an egg.

to sue someone - to take someone to court to stop them from doing something or to get money from them

greenhouse gas emissions guidelines - the EPA or Environmental Protection Agency is a government agency in the USA which sets up rules or guidelines trying to limit the amount of 'greenhouse gases' that can be sent into the air by factories. Greenhouse gases are gases that get stuck in the atmosphere (the air surrounding the Earth) and cause heat from sunlight to get trapped in the atmosphere. So the guy Trump appointed to run the EPA once tried to stop the EPA from setting up rules to save the atmosphere from greenhouse gases.

poised - to be poised to do something means to be ready to do something

offshore drilling - this means drilling for oil in the oceans off the coast of the United States. This is very dangerous as accidents can happen and pollute the water. Trump believes in offshore oil drilling.

to be off limits - if something is off limits, it is prohibited, someone should not go there or do anything there

to muse about something - to think or ponder about something

prominent - if something stands out from other things, it is prominent. So the presidents on Mount Rushmore were four of the most famous presidents of that time.

a rally - a gathering of supporters where they hear speeches and feel good about an issue or person

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at Bush is running for president of Iraq

So one of my students said, "Hey, look at what he did with just his shoes! Imagine what he'll be able to do with an entire government!"

The article:

Vocabulary from the article:

flung - fling, flung, flung (to throw)

to run for office - we use the verb 'to run' if someone is trying to win a political position through the electoral system

chucked - another term for to throw is to chuck something at someone. It is more of a slang term.

launched - another term for thrown.

to brain someone - to hit someone in the head (again, this is a type of slang term)

widows - women whose husbands have died

orphans - children lacking parents (children without parents)

to be tackled - to be attacked and taken down to the ground

nimbly - skillfully

Bush cracked at the time - another verb for to 'tell' a joke is to 'crack' a joke

a ceremonial official - not much power

sovereignty - independence

the provisions of the constitution - what the constitution says should be done

alas - unfortunately