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Fluency News #15

Podcasts 1min

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 […]

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 conferência do G-20, os protestos que seguiram a morte de um homem negro em uma unidade do Carrefour em Porto Alegre, as novidades a respeito das vacinas contra o coronavírus, e a retirada de tropas americanas do Afeganistão e Iraque.

Nós temos uma nova 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!

Este episódio foi escrito por Lívia Pond.


What is up, everyone! Welcome back to Fluency News, the podcast series that helps you practice your listening and comprehension skills while staying up to date with current events.  I’m Scott Lowe, native English speaker and teacher at Fluency Academy. And it’s awesome you decided to join me today! 
Did you know we now have Fluency News in the four other languages Fluency Academy currently teaches? Yeah, you can check out fluencytv.com to hear those, and to check out over 700 lessons in five different languages. And, as always, all of that is free!

In today’s episode we’ll talk about the G-20 summit, the protests in Brazil following the death of a black man at a Carrefour store, the news around the COVID-19 vaccines, and ̣̣the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan and Iraq. We’ll give you snippets of explanations in Portuguese as we go, to make sure you understand everything you’re hearing. You can read the transcript of this episode and check our sources in the description, or by going to fluencytv.com.

Let’s get started! Our first story today comes from the G-20 summit, which ended with leaders promising fair access to the coronavirus vaccines.  Leaders of the world’s 20 biggest economies have said they would ensure an affordable and fair distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, drugs and tests around the world so that poorer countries were not left out, according to a final summit communique which, however, gave few specifics. As the coronavirus pandemic rages – having so far infected 58 million people globally and killing 1.3 million – the club of the world’s richest nations adopted a unified stance on the challenges ahead during the virtual gathering hosted by Saudi Arabia. In Sunday’s communique, the G20 countries said they supported a global project for vaccines, tests and therapeutics – called Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator – and its COVAX facility to distribute vaccines.

“We have mobilised resources to address the immediate financing needs in global health to support the research, development, manufacturing and distribution of safe and effective Covid-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines,” the statement said. “We will spare no effort to ensure their affordable and equitable access for all people.” But after a weekend of “digital diplomacy”, their closing communique lacked details on many of the issues dominating the meeting. “Some of these commitments were made earlier in the year, they are not new,” said James Bays, Al Jazeera’s diplomatic editor. “There were some very specific demands coming from the aid sector, from charities, from international aid groups and the UN itself,” he added.

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres had said another $28bn was needed to develop vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics, including $4.2bn before the end of this year, but the final communique made no mention of these sums.

Você já deve ter notado que em inglês, apóstrofo S tem mais de um significado, certo? Ele é usado de formas diferentes. Pode ser a contração do verbo BE na terceira pessoa, ou a contração do verbo HAVE, também na terceira pessoa. Além disso, também usamos o apóstrofo S para indicar posse, para dizer que algo pertence a alguém ou a alguma coisa. Ele também é usado para falar de tempo e da duração de algo. Repare nos exemplos que nós temos nessa notícia. Nas frases “the world’s richest nations”, e “in Sunday’s communique”, ele indica posse. 

Ok, let’s move right along! Our main story today revolves around the death of a black man at a Carrefour store in Porto Alegre, and the protests that followed.

Carrefour Brasil said on Friday it had terminated the contract of the security firm whose employees had beaten to death a Black man at one of its supermarkets in the southern Brazilian city of Porto Alegre. Amateur footage of the fatal beating and tributes to the Black victim were published on social media. He was identified in local media by his father as 40-year-old Joao Alberto Silveira Freitas.In a statement, Carrefour Brasil, the local unit of France’s Carrefour SA, said it deeply regretted what it called a brutal death and said it immediately took steps to ensure those responsible were legally punished.

The military police said in a statement it “reaffirms its commitment to defending fundamental rights, and its vehement rejection of all acts of violence, discrimination and racism.” The statement also said one of the security guards involved in the attack was an off-duty military policeman. As the clip of the beating went viral, around 1,000 protesters in Sao Paulo marched to a branch of the supermarket chain and stoned the glass storefront before storming the premises, trashing and burning goods, according to an AFP photographer on the scene. “Carrefour’s hands are dirty with black blood,” read one banner held up by demonstrators. Police in Porto Alegre used tear gas and flash bang grenades to disperse a protest that had formed in front of the supermarket where the death occurred, according to local television. Protests also broke out in the capital Brasilia, Belo Horizonte and Rio de Janeiro, where a crowd picketed a Carrefour supermarket to prevent customers from reaching the checkouts.

“Carrefour can close, it has killed our brother, it will not work!” chanted dozens of young people carrying banners and masks with the slogan “Black Lives Matter”. The video on social media shows 40-year-old welder Joao Alberto Silveira Freitas repeatedly being punched in the face and head by a security guard while he is being restrained by another at the supermarket. A woman stands beside them, filming with her mobile phone. The military police in Rio Grande do Sul state said the man had threatened a female worker at the supermarket, who called security. Silveira Freitas lost consciousness during the assault and died on the spot as medics tried to revive him. The killing sparked outrage on social networks and overshadowed Brazil’s Black Consciousness Day, a holiday in several states.
“From one November 20 to another, and every day, the racist structure of this country brings us brutality as a rule,” social activist Raull Santiago said on Twitter.
“It seems that we have no way out… not even on Black Consciousness Day,” Brazil international footballer Richarlison said. “In fact, what conscience? They killed a black man, beaten in front of the cameras. They beat him and filmed. Decency and shame have been lost to violence and hatred,” the Everton player said on Twitter.

In Brazil, around 55 percent of the population of 212 million identifies as black or mixed-race. Philosopher Djamila Ribeiro, one of the most influential voices in the fight against racism in Brazil, told AFP that “the naturalization and justification of the death of black people as a result of violence is present in political, legal, business and media discourses.” Supermarket chain Carrefour Brasil said in a securities filing on Tuesday that it deeply regretted the death of a Black man beaten by security guards last Thursday at one of its Brazil stores, in its first public notice to investors. Shares in Carrefour plummeted more than 5% on Monday, erasing 2.16 billion reais ($400 million) in market value. Carrefour said in the filing that it would donate all the profit that stores nationwide made on Nov. 20 to projects fighting racism, and 25 million reais ($4.6 million) to a fund promoting racial inclusion. ($1 = 5.4150 reais)

Na frase “decency and shame have been lost to violence and hatred”, temos uma estrutura interessante. É o Present Perfect Passive Tense. É a junção do tempo verbal Present Perfect com a voz passiva. O Present Perfect é usado para falar que ações que se iniciaram no passado, mas ainda não foram finalizadas, ou têm repercussão, impacto, até hoje. E a voz passiva é usada quando o que importa não é quem realizou uma ação, e sim a ação. Nós usamos o Present Perfect na voz passiva pelas mesmas razões que usamos na voz ativa – para falar de ações recentes, experiências e situações e ações em andamento. Na forma passiva, o present perfect é sempre formado por “has/have been” e o verbo no particípio do passado. E mais uma vez, aquela frase, “decency and shame have been lost to violence and hatred”. 

In quick news, AstraZeneca said on Monday its COVID-19 vaccine could be as much as 90% effective, giving the world’s fight against the global pandemic a new weapon, cheaper to make, easier to distribute and faster to scale-up than rivals. The British drugmaker said it will have as many as 200 million doses by the end of 2020, around four times as many as U.S. competitor Pfizer. Seven hundred million doses could be ready globally as soon as the end of the first quarter of 2021. “This means we have a vaccine for the world,” said Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford University vaccine group that developed the drug. As always, we have to wait to see what happens, but all these results, including the ones we covered in last week’s episodes, are extremely positive! 

In other quick news, the US announced the withdrawal of thousands of US troops from Afghanistan and Iraq by mid January. Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller said the withdrawal, which will leave approximately 2,500 troops in Afghanistan and roughly the same number in Iraq, “does not equate change” to US policies or objectives but provided no details about the plan and refused to answer questions. Currently there are approximately 4,500 US troops in Afghanistan and 3,000 troops in Iraq. Miller’s announcement Tuesday prompted mixed reactions from Capitol Hill as the top Democrat and Republican on the House Armed Services Committee issued dueling statements shortly after Miller left the podium. The panel’s chairman, Democratic Rep. Adam Smith of Washington state, said in a statement that he believes the troop reduction “is the right policy move,” breaking with the ranking Republican, Rep. Mac Thornberry of Texas, who slammed the decision as “a mistake.”

And let’s finish today’s episode with some good news, as always! Forest officials in India’s southern Tamil Nadu state said they used a crane to pull an elephant from a well after working for more than 12 hours to rescue the animal. The elephant, which strayed into a village bordering a forest in Tamil Nadu’s Dharmapuri district, fell into the well that was covered with bushes and did not have a fence or wall around it, Rajkumar, the district forest officer, said. Two other elephants have fallen into such wells in the past year in the area. Destruction of forests, rapid urbanisation and rising village populations have led animals to venture close to human settlements in India.

“It was a deep and narrow well,” said Rajkumar, who goes by one name. “We were informed by locals early on Thursday and were able to retrieve the elephant only late in the night.” Sorry guys, I’m not going to do an Indian accent. I’m just not going to do it. Forest officials first started by clearing the bushes around the well and then tried to pump water out. But the elephant attacked the pipes pumping out the water, according to Rajkumar.

“Eventually, we sedated the animal with the help of doctors and used a crane to lift it out of the well,” Rajkumar said. “It was found to be healthy and active when we monitored it for three hours after the rescue.” Well, I’m so glad they were able to rescue that elephant. Actually, fun fact, about me, elephants are my favorite animal. 

Alright, that’s it for today’s episode! Don’t forget to check out fluencytv.com for more free content, and go follow us on Instagram. We post tips and videos there. It’s @fluencytvingles. If you have any feedback or suggestions, you can send it to us there as well! Just slide in those DMs. Remember, there’s a new episode of Fluency News every week and we’ll be here waiting for you. Peace out. 


G-20 summit ends with support for COVID-19 vaccines for all https://apnews.com/article/united-arab-emirates-dubai-summits-coronavirus-pandemic-g-20-summit-5f0a929ef79c34a3d39d7c2381ae3672


Black man beaten to death by supermarket security guards https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2020/11/20/brazil-black-man-beaten-to-death-by-supermarket-security-guards

Violence erupts in Brazil after Black man beaten to death at Carrefour store https://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKKBN280261



US announces further drawdown of troops in Afghanistan and Iraq before Biden takes office https://edition.cnn.com/2020/11/17/politics/afghanistan-iraq-withdrawal-pentagon/index.html

AstraZeneca says COVID-19 “vaccine for the world” can be 90% effective https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-astrazeneca-idUKKBN2830HC




Elephant trapped in Indian well rescued in 12-hour crane operation https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/22/elephant-trapped-in-indian-well-rescued-in-12-hour-crane-operation

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