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Latest News and Announcements

Hurricane Irma Slams into Caribbean
18-September 2017

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A record-breaking hurricane is causing death and destruction as it passes through the Caribbean and heads towards the U.S. state of Florida. On Thursday, Hurricane Irma caused major devastation across the Caribbean islands of Barbuda, St. Martin, Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands. The Prime Minister of Barbuda, Gaston Browne, said about 95 per cent of the buildings on the island had suffered some damage. He said: "It's absolute devastation. The island is literally under water….Barbuda is barely habitable." A government official for St Martin said: "There is massive destruction. We'll concentrate our first efforts so that in the next hours people can get access to food and drinking water."

Hurricane Irma is a category 5 storm – the strongest on the 1-5 scale of hurricanes. It is the second strongest hurricane ever to be recorded and the strongest ever recorded east of the Caribbean Sea. Irma has kept a wind speed close to 300kph for more than 24 hours. This is the longest period ever recorded. Meteorologists said Hurricane Irma was over 1,200km wide. It is likely to become a Category 4 hurricane when it makes landfall in Florida on Saturday morning. Florida officials have already ordered a mandatory evacuation of Florida Keys - the southern part of the state of Florida. Residents there are bracing themselves for winds of up to 300kph and massive and damaging storm surges.

 



16 Million Children in Need in South Asia floods
13-September 2017

They need our help.



The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has warned that an estimated 16 million children are "in urgent need of life-saving support" following the torrential monsoon rains and catastrophic flooding that have hit Bangladesh, India and Nepal. Up to a third of Bangladesh is currently under water. A total of 45 million people have been badly affected in the rains, which started several weeks ago. UNICEF said: "Millions of children have seen their lives swept away by these devastating floods. Children have lost their homes, schools and even friends and loved ones." It added: "There is a danger the worst could still be to come as rains continue and flood waters move south."



 



UNICEF said it is putting all its efforts into helping those who need it most. It said: "[We are] on the ground working in close coordination with respective governments and humanitarian partners in the South Asian countries to scale up [our] responses and respond to the immediate needs of affected children and their families." It added: "Massive damage to school infrastructure and supplies means hundreds of thousands of children may miss weeks or months of school. Getting children back into school is absolutely critical in establishing a sense of stability for children during times of crisis and provides a sense of normality when everything else is being turned upside down."



Floyd Mayweather Wins the Richest Fight in Boxing History
05-September 2017

The money in boxing.



Floyd Mayweather has won what was billed as the fight of the century, and the richest fight in boxing history. Mayweather took home a staggering $100 million for defeating Conor McGregor in 10 rounds in Las Vegas on Saturday. Thousands of spectators paid tens of thousands of dollars for ringside seats. Millions more around the world tuned in on pay-per-view streaming sites. Boxing purists derided the fight as a circus event and a mismatch. It pitched Mayweather, one of the greatest fighters in boxing history, who had never been defeated or even knocked down, against McGregor - a mixed martial arts fighter in his first ever professional boxing match. But the hype surrounding it made it a huge spectacle.



Mayweather, 40, entered the ring as the heavy favourite, even though he had retired two years ago. His boxing record was 49 wins (including 26 knockouts) and no defeats. McGregor, 29, is the reigning Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight world champion. Mayweather's victory came early in the 10th round. The referee dived in to save McGregor from any more punishment from Mayweather's flurries of punches. Victory means Mayweather has 50 wins and no defeats, to edge ahead of the legendary Rocky Marciano, who retired with a 49-0 record. McGregor gave a gutsy and spirited performance, but in the end, Mayweather's vast experience and superior technique came through.



 



COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:



1. What was the fight billed as?



2. How much money did Mayweather take home after winning the fight?



3. What did the purist called this event?



4. How many times had Mayweather been knocked over in a fight?



5. What did the article say surrounded this boxing match?



 



 DEBATE:



1.  What are the good things about boxing?



2. What do you think of this fight?



3. Which is better – boxing or mixed martial arts?



4. Should a boxer get $100 million for a single fight?



5. Why was the fight hyped so much?



Google will Check to See if You are Depressed
04-September 2017

Google will help people identify the level of depression



The search engine Google will soon start a service that lets people check their mental health online. People searching for "depression" on Google's search page will get a link to a questionnaire along with their search result. The questionnaire will check to see if you could be suffering from depression. There are nine questions on the self-assessment. Google has partnered with America's National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) on the project. A NAMI spokesperson said Google users can take the private questionnaire to help them find out how depressed they are. He said this could help people decide if they need to see a doctor. The questionnaire will initially only be available for Internet users in the USA.



Google's blog said the questionnaire could help people get treatment for depression more quickly. It said: "Statistics show that those who have symptoms of depression experience an average of a six- to eight-year delay in getting treatment after the onset of symptoms. We believe that awareness of depression can help empower and educate you, enabling quicker access to treatment." However, Dr Aaron Balick, an expert on how websites can help people, said Google's questionnaire was the same as reading any online information about depression. He told the BBC: "A better approach would be…offering [people] resources and a direct line - perhaps a chat box - to local psychological services."



 



COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:




  1. When will Google's new mental health service start?

  2. What can the people check when they answer the questionnaire?

  3. Where will the service only be available at first?



 



DEBATE:




  1. What do you know about depression? What can we do to beat depression?

  2. Do you know some ways to beat depression? Give at least two

  3. If your friend is suffering from depression how you would help him/her?

  4. Why do you think people get depressed? (think about the people in your country)

  5. Why do think that the treatment for depression would take so long?



'The world is a mess': Albright rallies world democracies
25-April 2017

MANILA - Former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on Wednesday urged democracies to stand together



MANILA - Former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on Wednesday urged democracies to stand together, saying "the world is a mess" due to ultra-nationalism, terrorism and uneven growth. Albright, who helped blaze the trail for women in government, said the world was in "desperate need" of leaders who can inspire a "common sense of purpose" even after elections. "The simple summary of my speech is: The world is a mess," Albright told an audience of businessmen, diplomats and government officials at the ANC Leadership Forum. "We will do best if democratic nations stand together," she said. Albright said she thought the world was moving towards greater cooperation when she left public office. "It seems we were too optimistic," she said. As Washington's top envoy, Albright pushed for the inclusion of former Soviet republics in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. She was also the first secretary of state to visit North Korea. "As during the Cold War, we will do best if nations work together, combining our strength," he said. GLOBAL THREATS Albright rued the humanitarian cost of the battle against Islamic State jihadists in the Middle East. "We have to prepare for what comes next," she said. Albright said nationalism could be "dangerous," adding, "People are feel left out, that they have to argue against the elite." A growing wave of nationalism is creeping around the world, as shown by Britain's decision to leave the European Union and US President Donald Trump's election victory against one of Albright's successors, Hillary Clinton. Albright said she was "very troubled" with Trump's "America First" policy, describing it as "counterproductive in so many ways, limits the aspects how we can help solve a different number of problems." Trump's decision to abandon the Paris climate deal provides an opportunity for China to exert its influence, she said. The former US envoy said the gap between urban and rural areas had widened as she urged governments to craft long-term economic policies. "Macroeconomic growth does not always translate to national unity," she said. She also expressed concern over China's actions in disputed waters and tensions in the Korean Peninsula following Pyongyang's missile tests.



Plan ahead: Palace releases list of 2018 holidays
17-April 2017

Plan ahead: Palace releases list of 2018 holidays



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