Watson’s World News no. 5/2011

Watson’s World News no. 5/2011

Terminator’s Marriage is Terminated

Arnold Schwarzenegger had it all. The former* Mr. Universe was a popular actor, who came to fame* in such action adventures as Terminator and Total Recall, then comedies such as Kindergarten Cop and Twins.
He was governor of California for 8 years.
He was married, for 25 years, to the beautiful Maria Shriver. They have 4 children together: Katherine, 21, Christina, 19, Patrick, 17, and Christopher, 13.
Now, Maria wants a divorce because she found out* that Arnold had an affair with their maid,* Mildred (Patti) Baene, and Baene has a 13 year old son who looks a lot like Arnold.  She worked for the Schwarzeneggers for approximately 20 years, and left the job this January.
Although Maria is independently wealthy* (she was a successful TV announcer* before she quit* when Arnold became governor, and she is the niece* of former president John Kennedy), she could get half of Arnold’s wealth in a divorce, which would be hundreds of millions of dollars.
Also, Arnold’s public image as a loveable family man is damaged.*  He had no plans to return to politics, but he does plan to continue making movies.  However, for the moment, all of his upcoming* film projects have been postponed* indefinitely.*

In the Family Picture, They Look Pretty Happy

Vocabulary:
former – bývalý
come to fame – proslavit se
find out – zjistit
maid – služebná
wealthy – bohatý
announcer – hlasatelka
quit – dát výpověď
niece – neteř
be damaged – být poškozen
upcoming – připravovaný
be postponed – být odložen
indefinitely – na neurčito
Question for discussion:
Are you still a fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger?

All Female Cult Worships* Putin

Some Russians love him and some Russians hate him, but Svetlana Frolova, who calls herself Mother Fotina, worships Vladimir Putin.
She is the leader of an all female sect whose members dress like nuns,* eat only turnips,* carrots, peas and buckwheat,* and believe that Putin is the reincarnation of St. Paul.
“According to the Bible, Paul the Apostle was a military commander* at first and an evil persecutor* of Christians before he started spreading* the Christian gospel,*” Frolova said.  “In his days in the KGB, Putin also did some rather unrighteous* things. But once he became president, he was imbued* with the Holy Spirit, and just like the apostle, he started wisely leading his flock.*
Followers are reportedly encouraged to sing upbeat patriotic Soviet songs at services, rather than hymns.
Vocabulary:
worship – uctívat
nun – jeptiška
turnip – řepa
buckwheat – pohanka
commander – velitel
persecutor –
pronásledovatel
spread – šířit
gospel – slovo boží
unrighteous –
nespravedlivý
be imbued – být prostoupen
flock – stádo
Question for discussion:  
What do you think about Vladimir Putin?

One Dog Per Owner!

Shanghai, China’s largest city, has a problem with dogs.  There are just too many of them.
So, in an effort* to reduce dog bites* and possible outbreaks* of rabies,* a new law went into effect May 1st: One dog per owner.  The law also reduces the fees* for licensing, to encourage people to comply.*  It also requires all dogs to be kept on a leash* while outside and bans* certain breeds* of dog which are considered aggressive.
Vocabulary:
effort – snaha
dog bite – kousnutí psem
outbreak – propuknutí
rabies – vzteklina
fee – poplatek
comply – být ve shodě (s předpisy)
leash – vodítko
ban – zakázat
breed – rasa
Question for discussion:  
Is this a good law?

World’s Tallest Building’s First Suicide

It was only a matter of time.*  If you build the world’s tallest building, eventually* someone is going to commit suicide* by jumping from it.  Athirama Kannan, 38, a construction foreman* from India last week became the first to kill himself at Burj Khalifa in Dubai which, at 160 stories, is by far the world’s tallest building.
He jumped from the 148th floor and landed* on a deck on the 124th floor.  He died instantly.
He left his shoes and a diary near where he jumped.  Apparently, he was distressed over* the death of his brother, which happened in December. Some colleagues, however, say that he had asked his boss for a holiday, and committed suicide after he was refused.*
“When he came into work, he was OK. He was fine at 7.40 am. At 8.30 he was emotionally distressed,” one of his colleagues said.
Vocabulary:
matter of time – otázka času
eventually – časem
commit suicide – spáchat sebevraždu
foreman – vedoucí
by far – zdaleka
land – přistát
be distressed over – být rozrušený kvůli
be refused – být odmítnut
Question for discussion:
Have you ever been to Dubai?

Exploding Watermelons

Farmers in China’s Jiangsu province were surprised recently when their watermelons began exploding.  Some farmers lost more than 50% of their crop.*
No one is sure about the cause,* but there are many theories.  Farmers in one village said they used seeds* imported from Japan, which recently had a nuclear disaster.*  However, they were only a few. Some blame* the unusually* hot and moist* weather.
The official government theory is that farmers used too much of a chemical which causes quick growth in fruit.  However,* some farmers who hadn’t used the chemical still had exploding watermelons.
Vocabulary:
crop – úroda
cause – příčina
seed – semeno
disaster – neštěstí
blame – vinit
unusually – neobvykle
moist – vlhký
however – nicméně
Question for discussion:
What could cause this?

Bristol Palin, Abstinence Advocate,* Gets Plastic Surgery

Bristol Palin became famous because her mother was the Republican candidate for vice president in 2008.  At the time, Bristol was 18 and pregnant.  Since then, she has become a spokesperson for Candies, an organization which encourages* young people not to have sex before marriage.  She travels around the U.S. making speeches,* and also appeared* on Dancing With the Stars.  Now, she has had plastic surgery.  She claims* it was for medical reasons.*
“It improved* the way I look, but this surgery was necessary for medical reasons, so my jaw* and teeth could properly realign.*  I don’t obsess over my face,” she said.  However, she added, “I’m absolutely thrilled* with the results.”
You can see in the pictures that she has a new, more prominent chin, thinner neck and face, and higher cheekbones.
It doesn’t seem  the publicity will hurt her public image.  She is about to release* her biography, entitled Not Afraid of Life, and later this year will star in her own reality TV show.
Vocabulary:
abstinence advocate – zastánce sexuální zdrženlivosti
encourage – vyzývat
speech – proslov
appear – objevit se
claim – tvrdit
for medical reasons –
ze zdravotních důvodů
improve – vylepšit
jaw – čelist
realign – srovnat
thrilled – nadšený
release – vydat
Question for discussion:
Is this hypocritical?