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Fluency News #56

Podcasts 1min

Sejam bem-vindos e bem-vindas a mais um episódio da nossa série de podcasts, o Fluency News!

Hello, everybody!

Sejam bem-vindos e bem-vindas a mais um episódio da nossa série de podcasts, o Fluency News! Aqui, você vai poder treinar a sua escuta e ficar por dentro do que está acontecendo no mundo, sempre com algumas das 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, falaremos sobre a perda horrível de Colin Powell, falaremos sobre as novas leis do Texas, ouviremos sobre um desastre que ocorreu na Índia e conversaremos sobre o fenômeno da série Squid Game e suas consequências entre as crianças! Ah, não se esqueça de conferir o nosso Instagram: @fluencytvingles para ficar por dentro de todas as novidades aqui da Fluency Academy. 

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

Este episódio foi escrito por Alessandro Ladelfa.

Episode Transcript

Hello, squad! How are you guys doing? Welcome to another episode of Fluency News. I’m teacher Thali, and I’m super happy to have you here with me. This is the first time that I’m here sharing with you some news from all around the world and I hope you’ll all enjoy it! Together, we’ll see some of this week’s most relevant news, and, if necessary, have some explanations in Portuguese.

Don’t forget to head over fluencytv.com. There, you’ll find the transcript of this episode, links to all of our sources, and free lessons in all the languages Fluency Academy teaches. So, go to fluencytv.com to find 100% good and free content – such as videos, live streams, ebooks, other podcasts and so one. 

And by the way, if you’re listening to this episode through a streaming app such as Spotify or Apple podcasts, you’ll find a link on the description of this episode that will take you to our portal where you can get all of that good stuff for free! 

But, now, let’s get started with pretty bad news: 

Colin Powell: Former US secretary of state dies of Covid complications

Colin Powell, the former US secretary of state who played a very important role in attempting to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq, has died from complications from Covid-19 aged 84, it was announced on Monday, 18th.

Powell was a former top military officer who rose to become the first African-American secretary of state in 2001 under Republican George W Bush. He had been treated for Covid at Walter Reed national medical center in Bethesda, Maryland and he was fully vaccinated against coronavirus. Announcing his death, his family said they had lost a “remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American”.

Powell was America’s first Black secretary of state, serving in that role under George W Bush from 2001 to 2005. Born in New York City, he was raised in the Bronx and educated in public schools before he entered the army.

Powell stepped down as secretary of state in November 2004, following Bush’s re-election. He later insisted to reporters that he had tried to warn Bush of the consequences of invading Iraq, but had supported the president when the decision to proceed was taken.

In 2008, despite party rivalries, he endorsed Barack Obama for president. When Donald Trump launched his bid for the White House, Powell became one of his leading critics. He voted against Trump in both 2016 and 2020 and was scathing about leading Republicans who remained silent or actively embraced Trump’s lies. 

His excoriating criticism of Trump went on until months before he died – in January he said he was so disgusted by the insurrection of Trump supporters at the US Capitol that he no longer considered himself to be a Republican.

Na notícia, há o uso do phrasal verb step down na frase “Powell stepped down as secretary of state in November 2004”. Esse verbo frasal é utilizado quando estamos falando que alguém se demitiu de um cargo importante. Como vimos na notícia, Powell era um grande influenciador da política norte-americana, dessa forma step down foi utilizado para mensurar a sua importância no cargo de secretário de estado em 2004. Note a pronúncia dessa palavra stepped que está conjugada no passado e é pronunciada como /stepT/ e não /stepED/. 

Still talking about news from the USA, let’s move to Texas abortion law: Biden administration to request block on abortion ban

US President Joe Biden’s administration has said it will ask the Supreme Court to block a Texas law that imposes a near-total ban on abortion after six weeks of pregnancy.

The Texas law, one of the strictest in the country, bans abortions at around six weeks of pregnancy, a time when many women may not yet know they are pregnant. It makes no exceptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest.

Supreme Court precedents prohibit states from banning abortion before fetal viability, the point at which fetuses can sustain life outside the womb, or about 22 to 24 weeks into a pregnancy. That makes the Texas law unconstitutional under the controlling precedents.

The Texas law bars state officials from enforcing it and instead deputizes private individuals to sue anyone who performs the procedure or “aids and abets” it.

The patient may not be sued, but doctors, staff members at clinics, counselors, people who help pay for the procedure, and even an Uber driver taking a patient to an abortion clinic are all potential defendants. Plaintiffs, who do not need to live in Texas, have any connection to the abortion or show any injury from it, are entitled to $10,000 and their legal fees recovered if they win. Prevailing defendants are not entitled to legal fees.

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland has called the enforcement mechanism an “unprecedented” effort to bar women from their constitutionally protected right to have an abortion.

The law immediately stopped most abortions in Texas when it went into effect at the start of September. Demand at clinics in nearby states like Oklahoma has surged as women in Texas seeking abortions after six weeks of pregnancy have been forced to travel out of state.

A notícia fala que as leis do Texas estão entre as mais rigorosas do país. O adjetivo rigoroso/rigorosa em inglês é strict, mas, na notícia, encontramos a palavra strictest que é o superlativo desse adjetivo: strictest = mais rigoroso (a). Existem duas regras para formamos o superlativo no inglês: se o adjetivo for uma palavra grande, como beautiful, usamos a formação the most para darmos essa ideia de superioridade, assim, the most beautiful = o mais bonito, a mais bonita; agora, se o adjetivo for curto, como é o caso de strict, usamos adicionamos -est no final da palavra para darmos a ideia de superioridade, assim strictEST = o mais rigoroso, a mais rigorosa. Ah, existem pouquíssimos adjetivos que não seguem essa regra, como bad que no superlativo fica worst (o pior, a pior) e good que fica best (o melhor, a melhor)

Now let’s talk about a terrible natural catastrophe that took place in India. 

India floods: at least 25 dead after heavy rains spark landslides in Kerala. 

At least 25 people have died in landslides and floods triggered by heavy rains in south-western India, officials said on Sunday, as rescuers scoured muddy debris for survivors and the military flew in emergency supplies.

Residents were cut off in parts of the coastal state of Kerala as the rains, which started to intensify from late on Friday, swelled rivers and flooded roads. Eleven bodies have been found so far in Idukki district and another 14 in Kottayam district, officials told Agence France-Presse, after the areas were hit by landslides and flash floods.

The army, navy and air force were assisting with flood relief and rescue operations. Officials could not say how many people were missing. “It was my livelihood. Everything is gone,” a deeply upset man told Kerala news channel Manorama TV in Koottickal town in Kottayam, which was hit by a landslide.

Another woman from the town added: “The hill broke off near us. There has been a lot of damage and loss. The house has gone. Children have gone”. The prime minister, Narendra Modi, tweeted his condolences and said authorities were working to help those who were affected by the deluge.

The India Meteorological Department said the heavy rains, caused by a low pressure area over the south-eastern Arabian Sea and Kerala, were expected to ease on Monday. 

Let’s hope things get better in India. And that families find ways to go on with their lives. 

A palavra easy é um adjetivo, ou seja, usamos ela para descrever uma situação que seja fácil. Agora, o verbo facilitar, aliviar ou amenizar em inglês é to ease (com o final E) como temos na notícia “the heavy rains were expected to ease on Monday” que significa “É esperado que as fortes chuvas amenizem na segunda-feira”. Então, quando estamos falando da característica de algo (como de um jogo, por exemplo) usamos easy, mas quando estamos queremos usar essa palavra como verbo para denotar uma ação, usamos ease

Switching the topic a little, tell me: have you already watched the super loved and most watched tv series Squid Game? There’s no way we can deny that this new Netflix release has been on people’s minds all around the world and over the internet: Indeed Squid Game can be found everywhere. But the English council urges parents not to allow children to watch it.

A council in the south of England has advised parents not to let their children watch the Netflix show Squid Game, after reports children as young as six are copying its violent challenges. The education safeguarding team from Central Bedfordshire council sent an email to parents and guardians in the district urging them to “be vigilant after hearing reports that children and young people are copying games and violence from hit new Netflix series Squid Game, which is rated 15”.

In the series, indebted contestants play games for cash, but are shot dead if they fail. Though many of the games featured on the series require specialised weapons and equipment, some of which are violent versions of playground games such as marbles and tug of war which are easy for children to recreate. 

Many children are not watching the show but are aware of it because of viral challenges on TikTok, where social media users post their own versions of the games. Some reports say children have been using physical violence in the playground to “punish” losers as a substitute for the player losing their life. 

This month a school in Belgium said children were beating up those who moved instead of shooting them, as in Squid Game. There have also been warnings about the honeycomb game, which requires players to cut out one of four shapes in a thin disc of honeycomb using a needle without breaking the shape. This has become popular on TikTok, prompting fears that children could burn themselves on caramelised sugar if they attempt to make the honeycomb themselves.

“We strongly advise that children should not watch Squid Game. The show is quite graphic with a lot of violent content.”

Schools have sent similar warnings to parents. Gareth Nichols, from Sir Francis Hill primary in Lincoln, said “a small group of students within school aged around six” were discussing the show and “re-enacting some scenes”. Nichols said the class teacher “immediately contacted parents to make them aware”, the BBC reported.

Nessa notícias, vimos que mesmo as crianças não assistindo à série, elas ficam cientes dos jogos pelas redes sociais. Ficar ciente de algo, em inglês, é to be aware of something, como há a passagem na notícia “Many children are not watching the show but are aware of it because of viral challenges on TikTok” que significa “muitas crianças não estão assistindo à série, mas ficam cientes dos seus acontecimentos por desafios no Tik Tok”. 

After this Squid Game story, we’re ending today’s episode. Don’t forget that you can find the links to our stories and the transcript of this episode either by visiting fluencytv.com or by clicking on the link that’s on the description of this episode. 

Ah, e se você quiser ter aulas com os melhores experts em fluência de idiomas do mundo, se inscreva na nossa lista de espera! Assim você vai ficar sabendo quando abrirem novas vagas nas turmas de inglês, espanhol, francês, italiano, alemão, japonês e mandarim. Pra não ficar de fora, toque o link na descrição desse episódio e faça a sua inscrição 100% gratuita.

Thanks for having me today, I hope you all enjoyed getting to know a little bit about what’s going on around the world with me. Don’t forget that there’s a new episode of Fluency News every week. Until next time!


Colin Powell: Former US secretary of state dies of Covid complications

Texas abortion law: Biden administration to request block on abortion ban

India floods: at least 25 dead after heavy rains spark landslides in Kerala

English council urges parents not to allow children to watch Squid Game

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