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Fluency News #22

Podcasts 1min

Descubra as principais notícias da semana e pratique seu inglês com o Fluency News!

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 de hoje, trazemos os desdobramentos do caso dos mineiros na China, falamos sobre a atualização que fez o Whatsapp perder milhões de usuários, damos uma olhada no que está acontecendo aqui no Brasil com a COVID-19 e falamos sobre boas notícias a respeito da energia renovável.

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!

Este episódio foi escrito por Lívia Pond.

Transcrição do episódio:

What is up, everyone! Welcome back to Fluency News! I’m Scott Lowe, one of your English teachers here at Fluency Academy. It’s great to have you here with me! This podcast is the perfect way for you to put in practice your listening and comprehension skills, while staying an informed citizen of the world.

Don’t forget to check out fluencytv.com for the sources of all our stories, the transcript of this episode and over a THOUSAND lessons in five different languages. And all of that is free! 100% free. Make sure to go to fluencytv.com!

Ok, we start this episode with an update from one of our last week’s stories. Eleven miners who were trapped in a gold mine for more than two weeks in eastern China have been rescued, Chinese state media reported.

Authorities have been racing to dig out 22 people trapped underground in the city of Qixia, Shandong Province, since an explosion blocked their exit on January 10.

The first miner was rescued on Sunday morning at about 11:13 a.m. local time, and was in “extremely weak condition,” according to state-run news wire Xinhua. State broadcaster CCTV said he was sent to hospital.

The next 10 were lifted from a deeper section of the mine. At least one of them was injured, according to CCTV, but it is not clear how seriously.

Sadly, Chinese rescuers have also found the bodies of nine workers killed in explosions at a gold mine, raising the death toll to 10, officials said Monday. One of the miners is still missing, and authorities said they will not rest until the worker is found.

“Extremely” e “sadly” são duas palavras com o sufixo “ly”. Esse sufixo é adicionado quando queremos descrever a maneira como algo está sendo ou foi feito. Nesses casos, “extreme”, que significa “extremo”, vira “extremamente”, ao adicionarmos o LY. O mesmo acontece com “sad”, que significa triste, ou infeliz, virando “infelizmente”. É possível criar palavras como essas adicionando LY a qualquer adjetivo. Você pode até tentar fazer aí, depois que terminar de escutar este episódio!

In some quick news, messaging app WhatsApp lost millions of users after a “terms” update. A poorly explained update to its terms of service has pushed WhatsApp users to adopt alternative services such as Signal and Telegram in their millions.

The exodus was so large that WhatsApp has been forced to delay the implementation of the new terms, which had been slated for 8 February, and run a damage limitation campaign to explain to users the changes they were making.

Viral posts – ironically, widely spread on WhatsApp – claimed that the privacy policy gave the service the right to read users’ messages and hand the information over to its parent company Facebook, WhatsApp announced a delay in the implementation of the new terms of service.

“We want to be clear that the policy update does not affect the privacy of your messages with friends or family in any way,” WhatsApp said in an update posted to its site, which it is paying to advertise on Google under searches for “WhatsApp privacy policy”. The company says it will delay the implementation of its new policy until 15 May.

Em basicamente todas as notícias, é possível encontrar pelo menos um apóstrofo. Ele pode ser usado de três formas diferentes. Pode ser a contração de IS ou HAS, em frases, e pode ser o indicador de posse. Usamos ‘S para indicar que algo pertence a alguém ou a algo. Pode ser que você também já tenha visto uma palavra terminada em S seguida por um apóstrofo e nada mais. Nesses casos, o apóstrofo ainda indica posse, e não é necessário adicionar outro S, para não ficar repetitivo. É o que temos aqui, na versão escrita. Na frase “right to read users’ messages”, a palavra users, usuários, é terminada com o apóstrofo, para indicar que as mensagens pertencem aos usuários.

In other quick news, Larry King, famous interviewer and host, died on Saturday in Los Angeles. He was 87 years old.

Ora Media, which Mr. King co-founded in 2012, confirmed the death in a statement posted on Mr. King’s own Twitter account and said he had died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

The statement did not specify a cause of death, but Mr. King had recently been treated for Covid-19. In 2019, he was hospitalized for chest pains and said he had also suffered a stroke.

You can find the New York Times’ obituary for him with our sources, in the description of this episode.

Our main story today is actually a selection of stories surrounding COVID-19 in Brazil.

The Brazilian state of Amazonas has received more emergency supplies of oxygen after authorities appealed for help to treat COVID-19 patients amid a devastating surge of infections and hospitalisations.

Brazil’s air force said on Saturday that a second flight had landed in Manaus, the state capital, with eight tanks of liquid oxygen, following an earlier emergency delivery of five tanks, and the navy said in a statement that it is sending 40 respirators.

The army also said it had evacuated 12 patients from hospitals in Manaus to the northern city of Sao Luis overnight.

Brazilian Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello said earlier this week that the hospital system in Manaus was collapsing due to COVID-19, as facilities were short-staffed and quickly running out of oxygen.

Brazil has recorded more than 8.3 million cases of COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University, the third-highest tally in the world. It has also reported more than 216,000 deaths since the pandemic began – second only behind the United States.

Venezuela also said on Saturday that it has sent the first batch of oxygen supplies to Amazonas, which should arrive in Manaus on Sunday.

The Venezuelan government “will supply oxygen for the duration of the emergency situation in the state of Amazonas”, Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said.

A new variant of COVID-19 discovered in Brazil also raised alarm this week. The Brazilian variant shares some characteristics with those found in Britain and South Africa, which are believed by scientists to be more transmissible.

The World Health Organization’s health emergencies director, Mike Ryan, warned on Friday that “the situation in Amazonas and particularly in Manaus has deteriorated significantly over the last couple of weeks”.

Ryan said other regions of Brazil, as well as across Central and South America, are also struggling to respond to the second wave of the pandemic. Still, he said, hospitalisations have risen steadily in Amazonas state since mid-December and were particularly worrying.

“Clearly if this continues we’re going to see a wave that is greater than what was a catastrophic wave in April and May in Amazonas and particularly in Manaus, which is a tragedy in itself,” Ryan told reporters.

“The ICU occupancy right now in Manaus is 100 percent over the full last two weeks. This is a health system under extreme pressure.”

He said in addition to oxygen shortages, medical staff are lacking gloves and basic personal protective equipment (PPE).

With hospitals overrun and supplies of oxygen running out, Brazilian epidemiologist Jesem Orellana said COVID-19 patients’ hospital beds in Manaus, the capital of the country’s Amazonas region, turned into “asphyxiation chambers”.

“Manaus is lost,” said Orellana, who described the city as an open-air laboratory “where all types of negligence and inhumanity are possible” and in which people are dying at home with no medical support.

He warned that the collapse of the local healthcare system, propelled in part by the discovery of a potentially more contagious variant of COVID-19 in the region, could happen in other parts of Brazil, too.

“It is not only possible that it will happen, it is already happening,” Orellana, who works at Fiocruz Amazonia, a public health research centre in Manaus, told Al Jazeera.

“There are people in the state of Para who have died from a lack of oxygen. When you start getting low on oxygen supplies, you start having problems with increased demand for hospital beds and that could have a domino effect.”

The federal government’s lack of a cohesive plan to rein in the pandemic or people’s behaviour has riled medical professionals.

Right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro has minimised the gravity of the virus, refused to receive the vaccine, and criticised lockdown and social-distancing orders issued by local government officials.

On January 15, Bolsonaro said the government had done what it could in Manaus. “The problem is terrible there. Now, we have done our part,” he said. But the attorney-general’s office has said the ministry of health was allegedly warned nearly a week before oxygen stock reached critical levels in the city, but failed to inform federal authorities.

Orellana said while oxygen supplies have drawn international headlines, the real problem has been “a failure of government management and logistics”.

He called on international agencies such as the World Health Organization to act as observers in Manaus, “because it is no longer possible to trust the different levels of management leading the pandemic”.

Brazil began rolling out two million ready-to-use AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines made in India, the state-funded Fiocruz Institute said on Saturday, as protesters rallied in several cities against President Jair Bolsonaro’s handling of the pandemic.

The institute said it started to distribute the vaccines after another distribution programme, which involved a deal between Brazil’s government and AstraZeneca, was stalled because of a delay in an active ingredient shipped from China.

Brazil expected to produce up to 100 million doses of its vaccine locally as part of that agreement.

Following a considerable diplomatic effort that included Bolsonaro sending a letter to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, AstraZeneca agreed to supply Brazil with the two million ready-to-use doses.

The AstraZeneca roll-out comes after Brazil also began distributing the Sinovac Biotech Ltd vaccine last weekend, which was developed in partnership with Sao Paulo’s Butantan Institute. That distribution had also been plagued by delays in shipping.

The Sinovac vaccine has shown a disappointing efficacy of just over 50 percent in Brazilian trials. Despite the government’s increasing reliance on the Chinese vaccine, Bolsonaro had previously decried it as useless.

The AstraZeneca vaccine, which was developed with Oxford University, has a 70.4 percent efficacy, according to preliminary trials.

Na frase “Clearly if this continues we’re going to see a wave that is greater than what was a catastrophic wave in April and May in Amazonas and particularly in Manaus, which is a tragedy in itself,” nós temos a palavra itself. Itself é um pronome reflexivo, que não tem uma tradução perfeita para o português. A palavra é geralmente traduzida para “si mesma” ou “si mesmo”, ou “próprio/própria”. Se fossemos traduzir, a frase poderia ficar “Claramente, se isso continuar, nós vamos ver uma onda ainda mais catastrófica do que tivemos em abril e maio no Amazonas e em Manaus, o que por si só, já é uma tragédia”.

As with any of the pandemic news, we’re just going to have to wait and see what happens next. What are your thoughts on all of this? You can send any feedback you have to our instagram page, @fluencytvingles. We love to hear from you. And our final story of today, is, as is tradition, a positive story!

Renewables overtook fossil fuels as the European Union’s main source of electricity for the first time in 2020 as new projects came online and coal-power shrank, a report showed on Monday.

Renewable sources such as wind and solar generated 38% percent of the 27-member state bloc’s electricity in 2020, with fossil fuels such as coal and gas contributing 37%

Many European countries are phasing out polluting coal-plants in order to meet emission reduction targets, but low electricity prices amid the pandemic lockdowns also made some coal plants unprofitable to run compared with cheaper renewable generation.

“Renewables will keep rising, because we keep installing more and more. The jury’s out as to whether fossil fuels will rebound but if they do rebound it’s not expected to be by a lot,” Dave Jones, Ember’s senior electricity analyst said.

And that’s it for today, folks. There’s a new episode of Fluency News every week, and we’ll be here waiting for you. If you want to learn more, or study full time with me and other awesome teachers at Fluency Academy, make sure to go to fluencytv.com and follow the links there to know when a new class is starting. Join our waiting list to be the first to know when we have openings! Until next time! Peace out.


11 of 22 Chinese miners trapped in gold mine rescued

WhatsApp loses millions of users after terms update

Larry King, Breezy Interviewer of the Famous and Infamous, Dies at 87

Manaus COVID-19 crisis could strike across Brazil, doctors warn

Brazil begins roll-out of 2 million COVID vaccines amid protests

Brazilian city of Manaus suspends vaccination drive for 24 hours

‘A complete massacre, a horror film’: inside Brazil’s Covid disaster

History made: Renewable energy surpassed fossil fuels for European electricity in 2020

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