Fluency News #36

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Hello, everyone!

Sejam bem-vindos e bem-vindas a mais um episódio da nossa nova 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 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! 

Nesta semana, nós temos um update sobre a situação da Índia com o coronavírus. Nós falamos sobre o conflito entre Gaza e Israel, o divórcio de Melinda e Bill Gates e a seca preocupante dos reservatórios de água no Brasil.

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, American born and raised, but I had my heart stolen by Brazil. Pode perguntar a qualquer um, a minha bebida favorita não é café, é tererê. Fluency News is Fluency Academy’s news podcast, a combination between newscast and English learning, so you can kill two birds with one stone. 

If you’re new here, welcome! Here you’ll get some of the most important stories of the week, with some explanations in Portuguese whenever necessary. Don’t forget to visit fluencytv.com to have access to the transcript of this episode, all of our sources and of course, over 1000 free lessons in five different languages! 

Now let’s get started and jump in!

We’re starting today’s episode with a quick update. India continues to suffer with the pandemic, showing record highs of cases and deaths. To make matters worse, only 66% of India’s healthcare workers have been fully vaccinated. According to the Indian Medical Association, 244 doctors have lost their lives due to Covid in the second wave. Of them, 50 deaths were recorded on Sunday, May 16. This week also showed a record of 4329 deaths in 24 hours.

Você sabe o que significa a expressão “to make matters worse”? Se traduzida literalmente, significa “para fazer os assuntos piores”. Ela equivale ao “para piorar a situação” do português. A maior parte das expressões não pode ser traduzida literalmente. É importante prestar atenção no contexto e usar um pouco de intuição para entender o que está sendo dito. Evite usar dicionários e tradutores, a não ser que seja impossível compreender sem a tradução. Isso faz com que o seu cérebro entenda o idioma de maneira mais natural. 

Now let’s take a look at the Israel/Gaza conflict. Two hundred Palestinians, including 59 children, have been killed during a week of attacks in Gaza, health officials in the territory have said. 

US president Joe Biden issued a statement expressing support for a ceasefire. “The president reiterated his firm support for Israel’s right to defend itself against indiscriminate rocket attacks,” the statement said. “He encouraged Israel to make every effort to ensure the protection of innocent civilians.”

Biden has been facing increasing pressure from his own party to take a tougher line towards Israel and press for an immediate ceasefire. There was outrage from some Democrats over a Washington Post report that the administration had approved the sale to Israel of $735m-worth of precision-guided bombs.

Early on Monday, May 17, warplanes launched more heavy airstrikes on Gaza City, rocking apartment blocks and sending fireballs into the air. Israel said it had “struck 110 targets” overnight, including in a densely populated neighborhood.

During the past week, Israeli attacks have destroyed a health clinic, hit the home of an aid worker, killed two doctors, destroyed high-rise residential towers, blown up a mattress factory and flattened the offices of international news organizations.

Israel claims its strikes are targeting militants. Hamas, the Islamist group that rules inside the strip, has stationed its fighters in and fired rockets from civilian areas. Ten people in Israel, including two children, have been killed by militants, who have launched more than 3,000 rockets during the past week.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi of Egypt, which has acted as a mediator between Israel and Hamas, said on Monday a ceasefire could be within reach. “Hope still exists that a collective action could end the conflict,” he told reporters.

However, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said military attacks would “take time”, and that Israel “wants to levy a heavy price” on Hamas.

Militants in Gaza also pressed on, launching rockets towards civilian areas in Israel. One hit a synagogue in the southern city of Ashkelon hours before evening services for the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, Israeli emergency services said. No injuries were reported.

Last week, Russia’s foreign ministry said Hamas was ready to begin discussions to halt its attacks, although no public progress has been made, and the group’s leaders have since vowed to continue.

Yoav Limor, a commentator for the Israel Hayom newspaper, wrote last week that Israel was “playing for time” until diplomatic pressure became overwhelming. He wrote: “Israel said no to all the mediation proposals to reach a ceasefire, but in practice, it wants to increase the operation’s achievements before the whistle sounds.”

Nessa história, nós temos algumas expressões e phrasal verbs interessantes. “Press on” é um phrasal verb que significa pressionar, ou aqui, continuar a colocar pressão. “Playing for time” é uma expressão que significa “jogando para ganhar tempo”, no sentido de “enrolar”, não fazer nada, na esperança de conseguir mais tempo para fazer o que quiser. “Levy” é uma palavra que pode ser um substantivo ou verbo, e aqui, na frase “levy a heavy price”, significa “cobrar”, “cobrar um preço alto”. 

In other news, Melinda and Bill Gates’, co-founder of Microsoft and one of the world’s richest men, divorce has been sparking rumors and reports since its announcement. In a statement released on May 3, the couple announced the end of their 27-year marriage. 

Reports have said Melinda grew concerned about her husband’s connection to late pedophile investor Jeffrey Epstein. Melinda had reportedly warned her tech-mogul husband that she was uncomfortable with Epstein after they met him in 2013 — the same year the Microsoft guru also allegedly flew on Epstein’s private jet from New Jersey to Palm Beach, Fla., according to flight records.

Divorce experts say there’s a clue in Melinda Gates’ divorce filing that she’s angling to change her three children’s inheritance — Bill Gates has repeatedly said he’s leaving them a mere $10 million apiece, while his fortune amounts to $130 billion dollars.

Melinda said in her divorce filing that a separation agreement was in place, and sources say that if the parameters of the couple’s inheritance are not detailed in the pact, either party could change the amount their kids inherit. Inheritance is not usually addressed in such separation agreements.

Other reasons for the divorce might include the reports that Bill Gates has pursued women after being married, and had an affair with a Microsoft employee.

The New York Times also detailed two instances in which the billionaire tech mogul clumsily asked out women who worked for him at Microsoft and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Melinda reportedly hired divorce attorneys back in 2019.

Você sabe qual é a diferença entre “attorney” e “lawyer”? Em português, “lawyer” pode ser traduzido para “advogado”, ou “aquele que é habilitado para exercer advocacia”. “Attorney”, além de ser “aquele que é habilitado para exercer advocacia”, é também “aquele que pode agir em lugar de outrem”, ou um representante legal ou procurador. 

Now let’s bring the story a little closer to home! Brazil, the world’s biggest exporter of coffee, sugar and orange juice, just had a rainy season that brought hardly any rain.

Soils are parched, and river levels are low in the Center-South region, a powerhouse of agricultural output. The drought is so severe that farmers are worried they’ll run out of the water reserves that help keep crops alive over the next several months, the country’s dry season.

Mauricio Pinheiro, 59, started irrigating his arabica-coffee crops in March, two months earlier than normal, after his 53-hectare (131-acre) plantation got less than half of the rain it needed. He’s using so much water for the plants that there isn’t enough left for his home. In order to keep the showers and faucets running, he’s had to search for another well.

“My irrigation reservoir is drying up now -- that usually happens in August,” said Pinheiro, who lives in Pedregulho in the Alta Mogiana region, in Sao Paulo state. “I’m really concerned about running out of water in the coming months.”

While a dry spell is typical for this time of year in Brazil, it’s expected to last longer than usual, adding to concerns. Regular rains will return to the region between October and November, instead of September, said Celso Oliveira, a meteorologist at Somar Meteorologia.

About 30% of Brazil’s orange crop and 15% of arabica coffee fields are irrigated.

“The levels of rivers and lakes has been very concerning,” said Regis Ricco, director at Minas Gerais-based RR Consultoria Rural.

How about we end today’s episode with some good news? Samoa got its first woman prime minister with Fiame Naomi Mata’afa. The Pacific island’s Supreme court validated her April election win on Monday, May 17, after it overruled an attempt by the head of state Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II to void the election results.

Fiame has been politically active since the mid 1980s, serving as Polynesia’s first female deputy prime minister. She will succeed Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, the second longest-serving prime minister in the world, who has been leading the country since 1998.

“She was already very much a role model for women in Samoa, but now she’s broken through yet another glass ceiling,” said Kerryn Baker, Pacific affairs expert at the Australian National University.

Alright, that’s where we’re going to end today’s episode! We hope you’re having a fantastic day and week, and before we go, let me just remind you of a couple of things. 

Infelizmente todas as vagas da Fluency Academy estão lotadas, mas se você quiser ter aulas de inglês, espanhol, francês, italiano, alemão, japonês ou mandarim com a melhor tecnologia disponível no Brasil, não arrisque ficar de fora da próxima turma! Faça a sua inscrição 100% gratuita na nossa lista de espera apertando o link na descrição desse episódio (leva uns 15 segundinhos).

As you know, there’s a new episode of Fluency News every week, and I’ll be waiting for you to join us, to get informed and put your skills to the test. Until next time. Peace. 


Scott Lowe
Hey guys! Eu sou o Scott, seu professor nativo de inglês da Fluency Academy!
Nome do autor
Hey guys! Eu sou a Becca, teacher de inglês na Fluency Academy!
Nome do autor
Hey guys! Eu sou a Becca, teacher de inglês na Fluency Academy!
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