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Fluency News #14

Podcasts 1min

Vem conferir mais um episódio sobre as notícias ao redor do mundo!

Hello, everyone!

Sejam bem-vindos e bem-vindas a mais um episódio da nossa nova série de podcasts, o Fluency News! Aqui, você vai treinar a sua escuta e ficar por dentro do que está acontecendo no mundo, sempre com as três principais notícias da semana, tudo em inglês! Ao longo do episódio, nós também adicionamos explicações em português das coisas que achamos que precisam de mais atenção, assim você não perde nenhum detalhe! 

No episódio desta semana, nós falamos sobre a situação política do Peru, o lançamento da NASA,  os resultados das possíveis vacinas para a COVID-19, e sobre o estudo de Oxford que sugere que jogar videogames faz bem para a saúde mental.

Nós temos uma página de dicas de inglês no Instagram, vá conferir! @fluencytvingles

Toda semana temos um novo episódio do Fluency News, não deixe de escutar! See you!


What is up, everyone! Welcome back to Fluency News, the podcast series that’s made for you to train your listening and comprehension skills! I’m Scott Lowe, one of your English teachers here at Fluency Academy. I’m an English native speaker, being born here in the U.S, but I spent enough time in Brazil to learn a thing or two. That means that after our main stories, you’ll hear some explanations in Portuguese, given by yours truly.

Eu juro que não é dublagem não, sou eu mesmo!

Today we’re trying out a new format, and we’d love your feedback. Instead of hearing four complete stories, you’ll hear two, and some quick highlights of the week, to make sure that you stay as informed as possible, while training your English skills. 

Before we get started, we have some amazing news! Our podcast series is now available in five, yes, five different languages. We’re releasing Fluency News in all the languages that Fluency Academy currently offers. Check it out! English, Spanish, French, Italian and German! And as always, all of that is free. The magic word, free. You can go to fluencytv.com to check it out.

Now let’s just jump into it! Peru’s interim president Merino resigned less than a week into his administration. Manuel Merino announced his resignation after a night of protests demanding his removal in which two died, and over a hundred people were wounded.The latest political shake-up comes as Peru battles the coronavirus pandemic and what is expected to be its worst economic contraction in a century. People poured into the streets to celebrate Merino’s departure on Sunday, waving flags, chanting and banging pots, although the news plunges Peru deeper into uncertainty and legal disarray as legislators now wrestle over who will take his place.

The Latin American nation’s political turmoil took a chaotic turn Sunday when the interim leader quit and Congress couldn’t decide on his replacement. That left Peru rudderless and in crisis less than a week after legislators ignited a storm of protest by removing President Martín Vizcarra, an anti-corruption crusader highly popular among Peruvians. Wait, let me try that pronunciation: presidente Martín Vizcarra. There we go. Nailed it. After several hours of closed-door negotiations, congressional leaders emerged in the early hours of Monday to announce that their session was recessing without any decision and would reconvene later in the day. That’s legislators for you, just always taking breaks. Taking a vacation every month, it seems like.

Congress is expected to hold a second vote in the evening after a first vote failed to garner majority support for left-wing legislator and human rights defender Rocio Silva-Santisteban to be designated interim president.The opposition-dominated Congress voted last Monday to remove Merino’s predecessor Martin Vizcarra as president, over bribery accusations which he denies. In a televised speech, Merino — I supposed if I pronounced all the other names correctly, I should pronounce his too, Merino. In a televised speech, Merino, the former head of Congress who had led the push to impeach Vizcarra, asked his cabinet to stay on to help in the transition.

“I want to let the whole country know that I’m resigning,” Merino said in Sunday’s address. He added the move was “irrevocable” and called for “peace and unity”. Merino’s resignation followed a groundswell of politicians urging him to step down, citing the violence against the country’s citizens. The current head of Congress, Luis Valdez said earlier on Sunday that all of the legislature’s political parties had agreed to ask for the “immediate” resignation.

“We should put above all else the lives of the Peruvian people,” said Valdez, who himself plans to resign. Valdez had said the legislature would begin an impeachment process if Merino did not willingly leave office. Since Merino’s rise to power, thousands in Peru had staged some of the largest protests in decades, accusing the legislature of staging a parliamentary coup. The unrest had been largely peaceful until Saturday night, with Peru’s Ombudsman warning on Twitter late on Saturday that security forces had begun “misusing force and throwing tear gas without justification” against young protesters who had gathered in the centre of the capital city of Lima.

Two young protesters were killed in clashes, the public ombudsman said, while state medical programme EsSalud confirmed in a statement that two men had died from gunshot wounds. And can I just be honest with you guys and say that this word, Ombudsman, is completely new to me? And I had to look it up just now, on Google, the pronunciation and what it means. So yeah, I’m learning English too, guys! Yeah, ombudsman. It’s like an official advocate of the public’s interest. They represent the people, ombudsman. Authorities identified the dead as Jack Pintado, 22, who was shot 11 times, including in the head, and Jordan Sotelo, 24, who was hit four times in the thorax near his heart.Peru’s National Human Rights coordinator said 112 people were injured, some by inhaling tear gas, with 41 missing. At least nine had gunshot wounds, health officials said. Vizcarra blamed the violence on repression by Merino’s “illegal and illegitimate government”.

“The country will not allow the deaths of these brave young men to go unpunished,” Vizcarra wrote on Twitter. He also warned Peruvians not to let legislators once again determine who Peru’s next leader would be. “Should those who took these unconstitutional measures be the ones who bring us a solution?” he asked reporters outside his home after Merino’s resignation on Sunday.Instead, he wanted Peru’s Constitutional Court to weigh in immediately on whether his own impeachment had been legal. Soon after, the court said it would move to Monday a hearing set for Wednesday to fast-track arguments in the case. “I am here to collaborate,” said Vizcarra, a politically unaffiliated centrist popular with Peruvians, who has yet to be found guilty of the corruption charges that led to his removal.

Congress kicked Vizcarra out using a clause dating back to the 19th century that allows the powerful legislature to remove a president for “permanent moral incapacity”. Legislators accused Vizcarra of taking more than $630,000 in bribes in exchange for two construction contracts while governor of a small province years ago. Prosecutors are investigating the allegations but Vizcarra has not been charged. A judge barred him from leaving the country for 18 months on Friday. Meanwhile, Peruvian writer and Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa condemned the violence in a video posted on Twitter.

“Two young people were absurdly, stupidly, unjustly sacrificed by the police,” he said. “This repression – which is against all of Peru – needs to stop.” The protests rocking Peru have been unlike any seen in recent years, fueled largely by young people typically apathetic to the country’s notoriously erratic politics. They come a year after a wave of anti-government demonstrations around Latin America demanding better conditions for the poor and working class. “We want the voice of the people to be heard,” protester Fernando Ramirez said as he banged a spoon against a pot at a protest.

Yeah, Fernando, you tell them!


Nessa história, uma das fontes perguntou “should those who took these unconstitutional measures be the ones who bring us a solution?” Essa pergunta usa o verbo modal “should”, que significa “deveria”. Verbos modais são modificadores. Eles são usados para mudar o sentido dos verbos e estruturas que vem logo depois dele.

Ele é seguido por um verbo no infinitivo, mas sem TO, e serve para qualquer sujeito. Ele é usado para falar de uma recomendação, com sentido de obrigação. Aqui, a pergunta é: as pessoas que usaram medidas inconstitucionais deveriam ser as pessoas que vão encontrar uma solução? The answer is probably no.

Alright! In quick highlights, SpaceX launched four astronauts into orbit for NASA on Sunday, and the crew is headed to the International Space Station.

Crew-1, as the flight is called, will be SpaceX’s first full-length mission for NASA. It’s also the company’s second time launching people and the longest-duration human space mission ever launched from US soil. The spaceship is set to orbit Earth for about 27 hours before docking to the International Space Station. After that, the astronauts are expected to stay aboard the floating laboratory for about half a year. Along with the astronauts, a stowaway: a Baby Yoda plush. Aw, so cute. The toy carries on a tradition in which spaceships carry plushies with them as “zero-gravity indicators.” Once the toys start to float around, observers know the ship has left the pull of Earth’s gravity.

How cool is that? Baby Yoda is in space, where he belongs! In other news, Moderna says its COVID-19 vaccine is 94.5 percent effective. A week after Pfizer and BioNTech reported promising trial results from their COVID-19 vaccine candidate, US biotech firm Moderna says preliminary trial data showed its vaccine candidate to be more than 94 percent effective. The news follows on from last week’s announcement from US drug giant Pfizer that phase three trial results for the COVID-19 vaccine it’s developing with Germany’s BioNTech showed it to be more than 90 percent effective. Seems like we’ve got some good news, right? Promising results! 

Speaking of good news, a study from the University of Oxford says video games are good for your well-being. Hey, I could have told you that! Following a breakthrough collaboration in which academics at the university worked with actual gameplay data for the first time, the study suggested that playing video games can be good for your mental health. The study, which focused on players of Nintendo’s springtime craze Animal Crossing, as well as EA’s shooter Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville, found that people who played more games tended to report greater “wellbeing”, casting further doubt on reports that video gaming can harm mental health. Thanks to the internet-connected nature of the games, the Oxford University team was able to link up psychological questionnaires with true records of time spent playing games. Previous studies had tended to focus on self-reported time playing, which is, the study found, only weakly correlated with reality.

“This is about bringing games into the fold of psychology research that’s not a dumpster fire,” said Andrew Przybylski, the lead researcher on the project. “This lets us explain and understand games as a leisure activity. Ok, two quick notes from your host. That last name Przybylski, I have no idea if that’s pronounced correctly,  it’s a very unique name. There’s like two Ys, there’s a Z in there… It’s awesome, I love it. Also, I gave him a British accent, because if you’re a researcher, at Oxford, you know, you’re probably a very classy, fancy guy, and you speak with a British accent. Ok, back to the story.

Przybylski said at the start of the project he was surprised by how little data gaming companies actually had about their players – but also by how little hard data had been used by previous studies into the potential harms or benefits of gaming. The study, he said, “shows that if you play four hours a day of Animal Crossing, you’re a much happier human being, but that’s only interesting because all of the other research before this is done so badly.” The researchers are keen to emphasise that the findings are not a carte blanche pass for games. “I’m very confident that if the research goes on, we will learn about the things that we think of as toxic in games,” Przybylski said, “and we will have evidence for those things as well.”

The research only studied two all-ages games, and other modes of play could potentially be less wholesome. Similarly, the attitude one takes to gaming could affect the mental impact it has. The paper contrasts “intrinsic” enjoyment – playing a game because it’s fun – with “extrinsic”, more concerning behaviours, such as feeling bullied into playing, either by other players or the game mechanics themselves.

The researchers hope the study will introduce a higher standard of evidence to discussions about the concept of video game addiction, or digital harms in general. “You have really respected, important bodies, like the World Health Organization and the NHS, allocating attention and resources to something that there’s literally no good data on. And it’s shocking to me, the reputational risk that everyone’s taking, given the stakes. For them to turn around and be like, ‘hey, this thing that 95% of teenagers do? Yeah, that’s addictive, no, we don’t have any data,’ that makes no sense,” Przybylski said. The professor has called on other games-makers to share similar data. “We need to study more games, and more players, over more time,” he said.

“It would be like letting psychologists study all the playgrounds in the world. We might build a theory of bullying or learn how people build new friendships. My hope is that this fosters curiosity and collaboration and open data.” Did you hear that, guys? According to science, what you should do, is get yourself comfortable and start playing some video games. Hey, if Przybylski said it, I believe it.


Você sabia que a palavra “one” não quer dizer apenas “um”, o número? Pois é, nesta notícia, temos um uso dessa palavra que é um pouco diferente. Olha só, na frase “Similarly, the attitude one takes to gaming could affect the mental impact it has”, a palavra one é usada com o sentido de “a pessoa” ou “um alguém”. Neste caso, ele é um pronome, quando pode ser substituído por nomes ou substantivos, e poderia ser substituído pela palavra “someone”, por exemplo. Por isso, temos também expressões como “no one”, que seria “ninguém” em português.

Alright! That’s it for today, guys! Let us know what you think of this format! Don’t forget to check out fluencytv.com for more free content, there’s that magic word again, free. Also, the transcript of this episode and all our sources. There’s a new episode every single week, and we’ll be waiting here for you. Peace out.


Highlights From SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Astronaut Launch for NASA https://www.nytimes.com/live/2020/11/15/science/spacex-nasa-launch?name=styln-nasa-spacex&region=TOP_BANNER&block=storyline_menu_recirc&action=click&pgtype=LegacyCollection&impression_id=7123b620-2807-11eb-8b64-f721684b93c5&variant=show


Peru’s interim president Merino resigns after deadly protest https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/11/15/peru-interim-president-manuel-merino-resigns-after-deadly-protest



Moderna says its COVID-19 vaccine is 94.5 percent effective https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/11/16/moderna-says-covid-19-vaccine-94-5-percent-effective

Britain expects to roll out Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine before Christmas https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-britain-vaccine-idUSKBN27W0Q8

Video games ‘good for well-being’ says University of Oxford study https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-54954622

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