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The informative easy to read introduction to world news

7th December 2017

British English edition
Issue Number 316
In this issue
Scuba-diving flies
Arctic Ocean fishing
Chopin’s cause of death
Light pollution study
Memory of the World
Africa – EU summit
Record-breaking rainbow
Submarine accident
Evolution witnessed
Pope Francis visit
Yeti myth proved false?
Text messaging 25 years on
Gulf Cooperation meeting
Vaquita rescue plan
Jerusalem with the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque in foreground. Inset: America’s president Donald J Trump
Women’s bones strength
Finland’s centenary
The Jewish faith, Islam and Christianity would move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Killer whale geoglyph
are all monotheistic religions. These are Jerusalem. This means that the USA now rediscovered
faiths that worship one God. Each origi- recognises Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Crowd-sourced frog count
nates in the Holy Land. This is an area Most world leaders, especially in Mus- Glossary Crossword and
in the eastern part of the Middle East. It lim countries, criticised Mr Trump. They Wordsearch Puzzle
includes Jerusalem, one of the world’s said that his decision would lead to vio-
oldest cities. Each monotheistic faith re- lence and the end of the Israeli – Palestin-
gards it as a holy city. ian peace process. Benjamin Netanyahu Learning
Jewish people have lived in the city is Israel’s prime minister. He welcomed English as a
of Jerusalem for almost three thousand Mr Trump’s statement. Nowadays, Jew-
years. Today, both Israelis and Palestin- ish people are citizens of many different
ians claim it as their capital. Most coun- countries. Some were glad to hear Mr language?
tries do not recognise their claims. An Trump’s plans. Others think it’s a bad idea.
embassy is a country’s diplomatic office Jewish history says that King David
in another nation. Usually, embassies are chose Jerusalem as the Kingdom of Is-
in capital cities. Most countries recog- rael’s capital around 1,000 BCE. Later,
nise Tel Aviv as Israel’s capital. This is his son, Solomon, built the First Temple Recommended
why their embassies are there. in the city. In 586 BCE, the Babylonians
Donald J Trump, America’s presi- captured Jerusalem and destroyed the reading
dent, made an important declaration on Temple. Many of the city’s Jewish inhab- for
6th December. It was broadcast on live itants were forced to move to Babylon.
television. Mr Trump said that the USA About 60 years later, they were allowed
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7th December 2017™ – British English edition page 2

to return. The Second Temple was Turkey). During the First World War known as the Six-Day War. Israel
built soon afterwards. (1914 – 1918), the British fought won easily. Israeli soldiers captured
For a time, the Ancient Greeks against the Ottoman Turks. They East Jerusalem. Some areas of terri-
occupied Jerusalem. The Romans captured Jerusalem in 1917. The city tory taken by the Israeli army were
arrived in 63 BCE. They occupied was under British control until 1948. given back. The Israeli government
the city and the surrounding lands During the Second World War decided to annex East Jerusalem.
for almost 400 years. Jesus lived (1939 – 1945), millions of Jews liv- Since 1967, there have been fre-
in Jerusalem during the Roman pe- ing in Europe died in the Holocaust. quent outbreaks of violence between
riod. Christians believe that he is the This is the name given to the murder the Israelis and Palestinians. Tradi-
Son of God. His death, or crucifix- of many millions of people by the tionally, the USA has supported the
ion, took place just outside the old Nazis during the war. Israelis. The Arab World backs the
city walls. About 300 years later, a Palestinians. In recent years, Israel
Christian church was erected on the has built a number of settlements (for

site of Jesus’s tomb. It’s called the City Bank Jewish people) on Palestinian land.
Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Tel This has angered most Arab coun-

Green Aviv West
After a Jewish revolt in the year line East Bank tries. The United Nations (UN) has
Jerusalem Jerusalem
70, the Romans destroyed the Sec- ruled that these settlements are illegal.
ond Temple. Only one of its outer Old City Several American presidents
walls remains. Known as the West- West Strip have tried to get Israeli and Palestin-
ern (or wailing) Wall, it is the Jewish Jerusalem
ian leaders to agree to a peace deal.

people’s most sacred site. A second All have failed. Most believe that a
anti-Roman revolt occurred about ‘two-state solution’ is the only way
60 years later. It also failed. After to end the conflict. This means di-
these revolts, many Jews were sold In 1948, the USA and the United viding the land between a new state
as slaves. Others were exiled, or Nations (UN) helped to create a new of Palestine and Israel. Yet there are
forced to move away. This was the state of Israel. It was set up in a re- problems. Marking out the borders
beginning of the Jewish diaspora: the gion called Palestine. Israel was to be would be very difficult. A decision
movement of Jews from their home- a Jewish homeland. Jews from other would have to be made about the Is-
lands to other parts of the world. countries, including many Holocaust raeli settlements. Palestinians insist
After the Romans, Jerusalem be- survivors, moved there. Yet, the that East Jerusalem would be the
came a part of the Byzantine Empire. formation of Israel meant that thou- capital of a new Palestinian state.
Then, in 638, the Arabs captured sands of Palestinians were moved Before he became the president,
the city. They built the Dome of the from their lands. Many went to live Mr Trump made several promises.
Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque on in refugee camps in nearby coun- If elected, he pledged to keep them.
the site of the Second Temple. After tries. Others decided to stay in Israel. One promise was to move the USA’s
Mecca and Medina (in present-day Arab countries were angry about embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Saudi Arabi) these buildings are the the new state of Israel. They sup- During his speech, Mr Trump de-
third most holy Muslim site. Mus- ported the Palestinians. Within a few clared that it was time for a change.
lims believe that the site of the Al- months, soldiers from Egypt, Jordan, He insisted that he supports a two-
Aqsa Mosque is where the Prophet Syria, and Iraq invaded. The Israelis state solution in Israel. The two
Muhammad went up to heaven. fought back. The following year, a opposing sides, he explained, must
A Christian army of soldiers from ceasefire was agreed. The ceasefire start speaking to each other. Mr
several European countries captured line (called the Green Line) was Trump hopes that other countries
Jerusalem in 1099. A Muslim force drawn where opposing soldiers faced will follow his lead. If they do, it
retook it 88 years later. Jerusalem each other. It divided Jerusalem. The might advance the peace process.
remained under Muslim control Israelis controlled the western part Most people think that the embassy
for the next 730 years. For much of and the Jordanians the eastern part. move is unlikely to help. Others ar-
this time, it was part of the Ottoman Jordan, Egypt, and Syria launched gue that ‘doing nothing’ will never
Empire (centred on modern-day another attack in 1967. This became solve the problem. ‡
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7th December 2017™ – British English edition page 3

WATERPROOF FLIES water’s surface. Larvae hatch from air bubble taking the fly back to the
them. The larvae stay on the lake- surface. Under water, the fly feeds
Mono Lake is in the America bed. There, they feed on very tiny on the algae. It breathes the oxygen
state of California. Its water is sa- pieces of algae. The larvae do not in the air bubble. Eventually, the fly
line, or salty. Several small rivers, come to the surface to breathe. They loosens its grip on the lakebed, rises
or creeks, flow into the shallow can get the oxygen they need from to the surface, and flies away. Dur-
lake. Yet Mono Lake has no outlet the algae. Eventually, the larvae ing this time no water has touched
to the sea. The salt makes the water develop into adult flies. When this the fly’s body or wings.
alkaline. Mono Lake is three times happens, they go up to the water’s
as salty as seawater. Fish cannot sur- surface and fly off. The adults live
vive in its waters. for only three to five days. During
The lake is home to a unique type this time, they lay their eggs. The
of fly. Its scientific name is Ephydra cycle then repeats.
hians. The insect is better known Mark Twain (1835 – 1910) is a
by its common name: the alkali fly. famous American writer, or author.
Millions of these insects live around (Twain was his pen name. The au-
the edge of Mono Lake. Some peo- thor’s real name was Samuel Lang-
ple describe them as ‘scuba-diving’ horne Clemens.) Twain visited
flies. The largest ones are about six Mono Lake. He mentions the al- Part of Mono Lake, in California
millimetres (0.2 inches) long. kali flies in one of his books called The researchers believe that the
Roughing It. It was published in alkali fly’s ‘waterproofing’ could be
1872. Twain was surprised to see copied. For example, raincoats or
the flies going into the water. He umbrellas made from a man-made
was even more amazed that the in- substance with similar properties
sects were dry when they came out. would remain dry.
Researchers from a university Mono Lake is an important place
in California have been studying for shorebirds and waterfowl. There,
alkali flies. The researchers used they feed on the abundant numbers
high-speed video cameras and pow- of alkali flies and brine shrimps.
erful microscopes. They also set up The small brine shrimps are one of
several experiments. All flies have the few creatures that can live in
hairs. However, the alkali fly is ex- the salty water. Each year, over two
tra hairy. The insects’ hairs and out- million birds visit Lake Mono. For
er body covering, or exoskeleton, some, it is a stopover on their migra-
have a ‘waxy’ coating. This makes tion routes. ‡
them ‘superhydrophobic’. A hydro-
phobic substance does not mix with
An Alkali fly under water inside its air bubble,
in Mono Lake (Caltech) water. It repels the liquid, or pushes
Water is a danger to most fly- water away.
ing insects. Alkali flies are differ- When the fly enters the water, Officials from nine countries and the
ent. Surprisingly, they dive into the its hairs and waxy coating create European Union (EU) met in Wash-
water, crawl around on the bottom, a bubble of air. At first, the insect ington DC, the USA’s capital city.
come back to the surface, and fly makes a small indent in the water’s On 30th November, they made a
off. The scuba diving flies can stay surface. As it pushes downward, pact, or formal agreement. The pact
under the water for up to 15 min- the sides of the ‘indent’ get higher. forbids any commercial fishing in
utes. Some go to a depth of six me- When the sides meet, the fly is en- the central Arctic Ocean. This agree-
tres (20 feet). cased in a teardrop-shaped bubble. ment will last for the next 16 years.
The flies have an unusual lifecy- The insect’s feet are claw-like. They Nowadays, the world is divided
cle. They lay their eggs under the hold it on the lakebed. This stops the into seven continents and five oceans.
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7th December 2017™ – British English edition page 4

In size order the oceans are: the Pa- The areas beyond the 200-nau- scientists expect the ice covering to
cific, Atlantic, Indian, Southern (or tical mile limits are called interna- shrink. This, they say, is due to an
Antarctic), and Arctic. As well as the tional waters. They are also known increase in temperatures in this part
smallest, the Arctic Ocean is also the as the ‘high seas’. These parts of the of the world. Recently, in summer
shallowest. It is surrounded by North seas and oceans do not belong to months, about 40% of the central
America, Greenland and northern any country. parts of the Arctic Ocean have
Europe and Russia. Parts of the Arctic Ocean be- been ice-free.
long to five countries. These ‘Arc- Scientists say that the 16-year no
tic nations’ are: Canada, Denmark, fishing agreement is necessary. The
Alaska Norway, Russia, and the USA. His- bans gives them time to study how
torically, Greenland is a part of Den- many fish there are. Some suspect
mark. Today, it is a self-governing that the Arctic Ocean has no large
territory. Yet the Danish government fish stocks. Yet, if the ice melts and
makes decisions on Greenland’s the waters became slightly warmer,

International RUSSIA
waters behalf about international matters. this may change. Fish, such as the
Pole These countries own all the resourc- Arctic (or polar) cod, might move
es within their Arctic EEZs. This northwards. Arctic cod have a type

Greenland OCEAN
includes any oil, gas or minerals, of natural anti-freeze in their blood.
which are under the sea floor, and This helps them to survive in very
fish. The central part of the Arctic cold waters.
Ocean is international waters. As well as the Arctic nations,
Large parts of the Arctic Ocean Iceland, Japan, South Korea, China,
are covered by sea ice throughout and the EU all agreed to the fishing
the year. In summer months, the ban. Officials from the EU represent
area of ice shrinks. In winter, most all the organisation’s 28 member
of the ocean freezes. The amount countries. ‡
of salt in an ocean, sea or lake is
described as its salinity. Of the five
oceans, the Arctic has the lowest CHOPIN’S DEATH
salinity. There are several reasons
for this. As it is a ‘cold’ part of the Frédéric Chopin is a well-known
world, there is less evaporation. Modern-day fishing trawler (John Nuttall) composer. Born in Poland, he spent
The melting ice and many rivers Some countries have large, long- much of his life in Paris, France’s
that flow into the ocean add extra range fishing fleets. Usually, these capital city. Chopin died when he
fresh water. boats, or trawlers, operate in inter- was only 39 years old. Before dy-
The United Nations (UN) de- national waters. They use enormous ing, he made an unusual plea. Due
cides which countries own parts of nets to catch large quantities of fish. to this request, scientists have now
the world’s seas and oceans. There The fish are kept in big refriger- been able to confirm the cause of the
is a UN set of laws, or rules. These ated compartments in the ship. The composer’s death.
state that countries own the sea and trawlers can stay at sea for long pe- Chopin was born in Poland, in
seabed within 200 nautical miles riods of time. Some people criticise 1810. His father and mother were
(370 kilometres or 230 miles) of these fishing fleets. They claim that musicians. Chopin’s father played
their coastlines. These 200-nauti- they deplete fish stocks. If too many the flute and violin. His mother was
cal mile boundaries often overlap. adults are caught, fish populations a pianist. Chopin was writing music
Where this happens, the divide may not recover. and poetry when he was six years
is drawn an equal distance from Currently, there is no commer- old. At 15, he played the piano for
each country. The areas within the cial fishing in the central Arctic the tsar (or king) of Russia. The tsar
boundaries are known as exclusive Ocean. For much of the year it is liked the music. As a reward, he
economic zones (EEZs). covered by ice. However, many gave Chopin a diamond ring.
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7th December 2017™ – British English edition page 5

Through his short life Chopin After his death, Chopin’s doc-
suffered from poor health. In 1849, tor said that the composer had died
he became very ill. Thinking that of tuberculoses (TB). This disease
he was about to die, the composer is caused by a bacterium. Usually, it
asked his sister to come to Paris. infects the lungs. The disease can be
She arrived with her husband and passed from one person to another by
daughter. Chopin had a fear of be- coughs and sneezes. Yet it is not as
ing buried alive. He worried that contagious as colds or flu (influen-
people might think him dead when za). Nowadays, it is possible to treat
he was still alive. Chopin asked his TB. Without proper treatment people
sister to arrange for his heart to be can die of the disease. Many peo-
cut out of his body after his death. ple have ‘latent’ TB. They have the
Then, he could not be buried alive. bacterium, but have not become ill.
His heart, Chopin requested, should People with latent TB cannot pass it
be returned to his homeland. to others. Those with weak immune
Chopin was buried in a cemetery systems or other ailments have a
in Paris. Thousands of people at- greater risk of becoming ill with TB.
tended his funeral. After Chopin’s Over the years, other people
Photograph of Frédéric Chopin taken shortly
heart was removed, it was placed in have suggested that Chopin died of
before he died in 1849 a glass jar. The jar was filled with several other diseases. One is cystic
Before his 20th birthday, Chopin cognac and sealed. Also known as fibrosis. This is an inherited dis-
had composed and performed his brandy, cognac, which is made from ease. A faulty gene causes it. Chil-
first concerto. He moved to Paris grapes, is a strong alcoholic drink. dren and people with this disease
when he was 21. Chopin would The alcohol ‘pickled’, or preserved, have problems with their breathing
never return to Poland. In Paris, he the heart. Chopin’s sister took the and digestion.
became friends with several other jar back to Poland. A few years For the first time, scientists were
composers. They included: Felix later, it was placed inside a pillar in allowed to examine the jar contain-
Mendelssohn (from Germany), a church in Warsaw, the country’s ing Chopin’s heart. They noticed
Hector Berlioz (from France) and capital city. that it was covered in a whitish
Franz Liszt (from Hungary).
Most of Chopin’s music was
composed for the piano. His works
were new. Nothing similar had
been written before. Chopin even
had to create his own piano exer-
cises. These helped him (and oth-
ers) to play his music. In Paris,
Chopin earned money by teaching
members of wealthy families how
to play the piano.
One of Chopin’s most famous
compositions is known as the ‘Min-
ute Waltz’. This is not a ‘minute’ as
in very small, or tiny. It is a minute
of time, or 60 seconds. Chopin’s
music publishers gave the piece of
music this nickname. It takes be-
tween one and a half minutes and The pillar in a church in Warsaw, in Poland, within which Chopin’s heart was placed (Left).
two minutes to play. Frédéric Chopin’s grave in Paris (Right).
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7th December 2017™ – British English edition page 6

substance. Small lesions, or areas

of damage, can be seen. The scien-
tists say that these are visual signs
of a disease called pericarditis.
It is the inflammation of the lin-
ing around the heart. People with
‘serious’ TB can develop pericardi-
tis. The scientists say that Chopin
suffered from ‘advanced’ TB, but
died from pericarditis. They did
not need to open the jar to come to
their conclusion. ‡
Composite night-time satellite picture of the world (NASA Earth Observatory)
buses all add to the night-time glare
LIGHT POLLUTION around towns and cities.
Many outdoor lights are badly
Researchers in Germany have re- designed. They can be too bright
cently released a new study. It shows and not shielded or targeted cor-
that the amount of artificial light is rectly. Most allow a large amount of
increasing. LED (light emitting di- light to ‘spill’ into the night sky. In
ode) lights are now more popular. many countries, more buildings and
Many people predicted that LEDs roads are being built. This increases
would lower worldwide energy the amount of light pollution. Example of light pollution effect (Todd Carlson)

usage. This does not seem to be Animals are often divided into people in North America cannot see
happening. The additional artificial vertebrates (with a backbone) and the line of stars. In small countries
light means that ‘the Earth’s night- invertebrates (without a backbone). with many buildings, such as Malta,
time continues to get brighter’. Around 30% of vertebrates and Kuwait and Singapore, no one can
Most people know about pollu- 60% of invertebrates are nocturnal, see the Milky Way.
tion in the air, on land and in riv- or more active at night. Skyglow The German researchers stud-
ers, seas and oceans. Not many are can affect these animals’ behaviour. ied satellite images of the Earth at
aware of light pollution. This is a It may disrupt sleeping patterns of night over four years. Their work
light ‘haze’ or ‘glare’ that can be those more active in the daytime shows that areas of artificial light
seen in the night sky. When travel- (including humans). Light pollution increased by 2.2% between 2012
ling towards a town or city at night, can also interfere with migration and 2016. The researchers also say
you can see this light haze in the sky routes and reproduction cycles. that places already lit became even
long before you arrive. Light pollu- Another effect of night-time haze brighter during this period. Much of
tion is also known as ‘skyglow’. is the inability to see the stars. The the increased artificial light is in the
Light pollution only began to be- Milky Way is one of the most nota- Middle East and Asia.
come widespread about 100 years ble features of the night sky. It ap- In recent years, some govern-
ago. For billions of years the only il- pears as a whitish trail that stretches ments have banned the use of old
lumination during the day and night from horizon to horizon. The white style light bulbs. (Their correct
came from the Sun, the Moon and the colour comes from thousands of name is incandescent bulbs.) People
stars. Skyglow is a result of modern- millions of stars. The Earth and our have been encouraged to replace
day life or civilisation. It comes from own Solar System are part of the the bulbs with LEDs. These use far
artificial, or electric, lights. These Milky Way galaxy. less electricity. A 20-watt LED pro-
can be inside and outside homes, of- Nowadays, because of light pol- duces the same amount of light as a
fices, factories, and shops. Airports, lution, roughly one-third of the 100-watt incandescent bulb. What’s
streetlights, advertising hoardings, world’s population is unable to see more, LEDs can last for 20 times as
sports venues, and cars, trucks and the Milky Way. Around 80% of long as the old light bulbs.
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7th December 2017™ – British English edition page 7

The researchers say that if old Newton spent much of his life at These instruments use mirrors to
bulbs were all replaced with LEDs, the university: first as a student and reflect light and produce an im-
light pollution would reduce. This then as a mathematics professor. The age. Newton created a new type
is not happening. People seem to be papers include personal accounts of mathematics. He called it ‘flux-
using LEDs to add even more light. and Newton’s copies of Principia ions’. Today, it is known as calcu-
This is probably because they are less Mathematica. These copies included lus. This form of mathematics is
expensive. Increased light pollution, annotations, or Newton’s own hand- used in most complex science and
the researchers say, in both area and written notes. engineering calculations.
brightness, is likely to get worse. ‡ Principia Mathematica (Math-
ematical Principles) was written in
Latin and published in 1687. Often
MEMORY OF THE WORLD called Principia, it is made up of
three books. This scholarly work
UNESCO is a part of the United Na- changed the history of science.
tions (UN). Its name stands for the Principia lists Newton’s laws of
United Nations Educational, Scien- motion as well as his law of grav-
tific and Cultural Organization. In ity. Newton was the first person to
1992, UNESCO set up the Memory work out what gravity was. He re-
of the World Programme. It is a reg- alised that this was the force that
ister of information that is an impor- kept planets circling the Sun and
tant part of the history of mankind. moons orbiting planets. Nowadays,
The information can be a single Newton is often said to be ‘the
page, such as a map, or thousands of founder of physics’.
documents in an archive. Handwrit-
ten manuscripts, sound recordings, Portrait of Sir Isaac Newton

films or videotapes, pictures, wood- Newton’s papers that will be part

blocks, music co mpositions, and of the Memory of the World regis-
computer-created documents are all ter include some of his notebooks.
part of the register. The purpose of the These list the amounts of money he
Memory of the World Programme is spent on certain items. Wine, shoe-
to make sure that this information is Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955) strings (or shoe laces) and a pair of
never lost or damaged. This might was a German-born scientist. He stockings are examples. In one ac-
occur due to neglect, fire, acts of war, moved to the USA in 1933. Einstein count, Newton noted that he had lost
or even deliberate destruction. is called ‘the father of modern phys- 15 shillings playing cards.
Countries are able to recommend, ics’. His famous general theory of The Memory of the World reg-
or nominate, items they believe relativity changed the way in which ister now consists of thousands of
should be part of the register. A group, scientists thought about gravity, historical ‘documents or items’.
or committee, of 14 people, then de- space, light, and time. It says that They range from Ludwig van Bee-
cides. The group meets every two mass can warp, or bend, space, time thoven’s original score for his Ninth
years to confirm what is to be added to and even light. (In later years, this Symphony to China’s oracle bone
the register. Normally, each country was shown to be true.) Einstein of- script. Beethoven (1770 – 1827)
can make no more than two submis- ten said that ‘Newton was the smart- was a German composer and pia-
sions during each two-year period. est person who ever lived’. nist. His Ninth Symphony is one of
Recently, the committee an- As well as the laws of motion and the world’s best-known orchestral
nounced a new addition to the Mem- gravity, Newton made many other works. The oracle bone script is the
ory of the World register. It’s a set important discoveries. He was in- earliest form of Chinese characters,
of papers that belonged to Sir Isaac terested in optics (the study of sight or text. The script was written on an-
Newton (1642 – 1727). Cambridge and behaviour of light). Newton imal bones and parts of turtle shells
University, in the UK, owns them. invented the reflective telescope. over 3,200 years ago. ‡
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7th December 2017™ – British English edition page 8

AU – EU SUMMIT total population of all AU countries

is roughly 1.23 billion. EU nations
The African Union (AU) and the are home to about half this figure, or
European Union (EU) set up a 510 million.
joint partnership over 15 years ago. Talks at AU - EU summits are
Nowadays, they hold a two-day usually about how the organisations
leaders summit, or meeting, every can work more closely together.
three years. The latest one was held This year, many discussions were
on 29th and 30th November. It took about migrants from African coun-
place in Abidjan, the capital of Ivory tries. These people try to move to
Coast (Côte d’Ivoire). European countries illegally.
Senior officials from the AU and In recent years, many African
EU go to these meetings. Leaders, or migrants have crossed the Medi-
senior government ministers, from terranean Sea to get to Europe. Ivory Coast’s president, Alassane Ouattara, and
Donald Tusk, the EU’s president
both organisations’ member coun- They come mainly from countries
tries are invited. Angela Merkel, in the northern part of the African overcrowded boats then set out
Germany’s chancellor, the president continent. Some, such as people to cross the Mediterranean Sea.
of France, Emmanuel Macron, and from Somalia, want to escape con- Most sail towards Italy. Some
Donald Tusk, the EU’s president all flicts in their countries. Yet most capsize, or sink. Many migrants
attended. Ivory Coast’s president, are what are known as economic have drowned. Few boats reach
Alassane Ouattara, welcomed each migrants. These people want to get Italy. Usually, Italian navy ships
guest as they arrived. to Europe to improve their lives. intercept them, or other boats
The AU has 55 member coun- This means finding a job and a pick them up. The migrants are
tries. It was established in 2001. The place to live. taken to specially built camps. As
AU’s headquarters building is in Ad- Nowadays, most African mi- they have entered Italy illegally,
dis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. grants make their way to Libya. the migrants have to stay in the
The EU began about 60 years ago. There, they pay a large sum of camps for many months. Eventu-
Over time, more and more European money to people traffickers. These ally, they may be allowed to look
countries joined. Its main offices are criminal gangs are also called for work in Italy or go to another
in Brussels, Belgium’s capital city. people smugglers. The migrants EU country.
The EU has 28 member nations. The pay for a space in a boat. The There was a civil war in Libya
several years ago. Today, the coun-
try is what’s known as a ‘failed
state’. Two ‘competing’ govern-
ments control different parts of the
country. Armed groups run other
areas. People smugglers in Libya
can operate without fear of arrest.
Tens of thousands of Africans are
now in the country. Most are young
men. Those without any money are
treated very harshly.
The AU and EU leaders dis-
cussed ways of stopping Africans
leaving their own countries. They
also talked about rescuing the Afri-
cans who are now trapped in Libya.
Most want to go to Europe because
Opening of the AU – EU summit in Abidjan there are not enough jobs where they
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7th December 2017™ – British English edition page 9

live. Predictions show that Africa’s

population is likely to double within
the next 30 years. If the numbers of
jobs in African countries does not
increase, there will be many more
economic migrants.
Each of the AU – EU summits
has a theme. The central theme for
the Abidjan meeting was ‘Youth’.
Antonio Tajani is the president of
the EU’s parliament. He said that
the EU must do much more to help
younger people in African countries.
Some officials talked about a new The record-breaking rainbow in Taiwan (Chinese Cultural University)

EU plan for Africa. Several likened through the air for eight hours and 58 something as being ‘at the end of
it to the Marshall Plan. minutes. Before, the longest known the rainbow’. This means that it can
At the end of the Second World rainbow was seen in the north of the never be achieved, or is impossible
War, in 1945, Germany and many UK about 25 years ago. It was vis- to obtain.
other European countries were in ru- ible for about six hours. When the Sun is lower in the sky
ins. Much of their infrastructure had Rainbows appear when it is the rainbow is higher. If it is higher,
been destroyed. Between 1948 and sunny in one part of the sky and the rainbow is lower. When standing
1951, the USA provided large sums raining in another. They are created on the ground, a rainbow looks like
of money. This was used to rebuild by ‘white light’ shinning through a circular arch, or semi circle. If you
many European towns and cities. raindrops. The raindrops refract the could see it from an aircraft, or high
New businesses were given money light, or change its direction. The above, it would be a full circle.
and encouraged to expand. This light is then seen as a spectrum, or Light from the Moon can create a
initiative became known as the Mar- band of colours. White light is made rainbow. Called moonbows or lunar
shall Plan. It was named after George up of red, orange, yellow, green, rainbows, these events are unusual.
C Marshall. At that time, he was blue, indigo, and violet. These are The Moon rarely reflects enough of
a senior member of the American the colours of a rainbow. Therefore, the Sun’s light to create them. Our
government. Within a few years, the white light is the rainbow colours all eyes usually see moonbows as a
economies of countries included in mixed together. white ‘arch’. All the colours of the
the Marshall Plan had recovered. ‡ When sunlight is travelling in the rainbow are there, but they are very
same direction, we see it as white faint. Rainbows created by fog (or
light. If refracted in a raindrop, the col- fogbows) have similar faint colours.
RAINBOW RECORD ours separate. This is how rainbows In winter, weather conditions
are created. It takes many millions in the mountains near Taipei are
The Chinese Culture University is in of raindrops to produce a large rain- likely to produce rainbows. Mois-
Taiwan. Its campus is in the moun- bow. Sometimes, the light is refracted ture trapped in the air forms clouds.
tains, close to Taipei, the country’s twice in the same raindrops. When There is sunlight and only very light
capital city. Over 30,000 students this happens a double, or secondary, winds. A six-hour long rainbow was
study at the university. On 30th No- rainbow can be seen. The colours of a seen at the university the week be-
vember, many of them witnessed a secondary rainbow are in reverse or- fore the record-braking one.
record-breaking event: the longest der of the first, or primary, rainbow. Two of the university’s profes-
lasting rainbow. It is often said that there is a pot sors were on the look out for another
Normally, a rainbow appears and of gold buried at the end of a rain- long lasting rainbow. After it could
disappears within a short period. bow. Yet a rainbow can never be still be seen for four hours, they sent
They usually last for less than one touched. If you move the rainbow a message around the university.
hour. The one at the university arched also moves. People may describe Students were asked to take pictures
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7th December 2017™ – British English edition page 10

of the arch of colours with their submarine visited the port of Ush- called the CTBTO (Comprehensive
phones. These images have a date uaia. People who live in this port Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organiza-
and time stamp. By collecting the claim that it is the ‘most southerly tion). Based in Austria, the CTBTO
pictures, the professors will be able city in the world’. Members of the has 300 listening devices all around
to prove for how long the rainbow public could go inside the subma- the world. Some are under water.
was visible. One said that it ‘felt like rine while it was in Ushuaia. The The devices are designed to ‘hear’
a gift from the sky’. ‡ San Juan then set off for the naval nuclear explosions. International
base at Mar de Plata. The voyage law bans nuclear weapons tests.
was expected to take ten days. Nearly all countries have agreed
SUBMARINE ACCIDENT not to do this. The CTBTO helps to
make sure that they comply.
On 30th November, senior offic- The CTBTO worked out that
ers from Argentina’s navy made an the explosion was not far from
announcement. They declared that where the submarine last made
the rescue part of an operation to radio contact. By this time, other
find a missing submarine was over. countries had agreed to join the
This meant that there was no chance search. Ships and aircraft from
of finding any of the crew alive. nations such as the USA, Rus-
Called the San Juan, the missing sia, Brazil, Chile, and the UK all
San Juan submarine (Armada Argentina)
submarine had 44 on board. looked for the submarine. Some
In the 1980s, Argentina’s govern- On 15th November, the subma- deployed small, underwater ROVs
ment decided to equip its navy with rine’s captain spoke with the naval (remotely operated vehicles).
a flotilla of submarines. Then, Ger- base by radio. No further contact
many was one of the best builders of was made. Rules in Argentina’s Aires
diesel-electric submarines. An order navy say that submarines have to
for six submarines was placed with make radio contact twice each day. CHILE Mar del Plata
a German company. The first two Two days after the final radio mes-
would be built in Germany. The next sage, naval commanders announced ATLANTIC
four were to be assembled in Argenti- that the submarine was missing. OCEAN
na with the German company’s help. They began to organise a search. Location of

The San Juan and its sister ship, the Normally, if a submarine’s com- detected
explosion Last contact

Santa Cruz, were made in Germany. munications break down, it stays on

The San Juan was delivered in the surface. Bad weather made the Route
of the
1985. Due to financial problems, sea and air search difficult. There San Juan

building work on the next four sub- was a large expanse of sea to cover.
marines was halted. Items from the The ocean where the submarine last
never-completed submarines were made contact is over 5,000 metres On 27th November, navy of-
used as spare parts for the San Juan (16,400 feet) deep. If the San Juan ficials spoke with news reporters.
and the Santa Cruz. Both were de- was on the surface, it had enough They gave details of what the sub-
signed to carry 22 torpedoes. Be- supplies for 90 days. When sub- marine’s captain said when he last
tween 2007 and 2013 the San Juan merged (and not able to surface), the made contact. Water had leaked onto
was modernised. This was done to oxygen would run out after seven to some batteries. This had started a
extend the length of time that the ten days. fire. The crew put all the flames out.
submarine could be used. About one week after the subma- The submarine then continued on its
At the beginning of November, rine went missing, officials from the journey using another set of batter-
the San Juan took part in a naval Argentine navy made a surprising ies. This news angered relatives of
exercise. It was held near Tierra del announcement. They said that an un- the submarine’s crew. They said that
Fuego, at the southern tip of South derwater explosion had been record- the officials should have told them
America. After the exercise, the ed. It was detected by an organisation about the fire earlier. Many relatives
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7th December 2017™ – British English edition page 11

claim that the submarine was unsea- do this by watching, or observing, In 1981, the researchers noticed
worthy, or unsafe. them. Darwin studied giant tortoises a new bird on Daphne Major. They
Senior navy officers said that the that lived on the islands. They were caught it, took a blood sample, and
search for the wreck of the subma- slightly different. For example, then released the bird. The newcom-
rine would continue. Argentina’s the tortoises on some islands have er was a male cactus finch. These
president, Mauricio Macri, ordered dome-shaped, or rounded, shells. birds live on several Galápagos Is-
an investigation. This, he explained, Those on other islands have longer lands, but not Daphne Major. To get
would find out what had happened necks and legs. Darwin theorised to Daphne Major, the bird must have
to the San Juan. that, over time, these giant tortoises flown at least 100 kilometres (62
The disappearance of the San ‘developed’ longer legs and neck. miles). The researchers are not sure
Juan was the worst submarine ac- They could lift their heads higher how the bird reached Daphne Major.
cident for 17 years. Then, a Russian and eat different types of vegetation. After arriving, it could not return.
submarine called the Kursk sank in Vegetation where shorter-legged The researchers continued to
the Barents Sea. All 118 crew mem- tortoises live does not grow so high. watch the cactus finch. It mated
bers on board died. ‡ with one of the island’s three finch-
es. The female laid eggs and they
hatched. The chicks were hybrids,
QUICK EVOLUTION or a mix of the two finches. When
fully grown, they were larger than
Daphne Major is one of the Galápa- all the other finches. The research-
gos Islands. This group of islands, or ers nicknamed them ‘big birds’.
archipelago, is in the Pacific Ocean.
The Galápagos belong to Ecuador.
Researchers have been studying ‘Big bird’ finch on Daphne Major, one of the
birds on Daphne Major for 36 years. Galápagos Islands (Peter Grant)
Surprisingly, they have recorded the Darwin also noticed differences
development of a new species. It in Galápagos Island finches (small
is an example of ‘quick’ evolution. birds). (Later, these birds were
Normally, scientists describe evo- named Darwin’s finches.) Finches
lution as a process that takes many on different islands have different Daphne Major, one of the Galápagos Islands

thousands of years. The Daphne shaped beaks. These, Darwin sur- The researchers expected the
Major birds show that, sometimes, mised, had developed so the birds adult big birds to mate with the
it can happen much faster. could eat the different types of other finches. But there was a prob-
The Galápagos Islands have been seeds found on each island. Darwin lem. The big birds could not repli-
isolated from other landmasses for became famous for his book about cate the noise, or song, these finch-
a very long time. Over millions of evolution. Called On the Origin of es make. Therefore, they could not
years, some of the islands’ creatures Species, it was published in 1859. attract a mate. Instead, the big birds
have evolved differently from those Darwin’s visit to the Galápagos Is- mated with each other. The num-
found in other parts of the world. lands helped him to devise, or come ber of big birds on Daphne Major
This means that they are endemic up with, his evolution theory. gradually increased.
to, or only found on, the Galápagos Today, there are over 15 Darwin Today, there are about 30 big
Islands. The island group is part of finches. Scientists believe that their birds on the island. These birds are
the story about the scientific theory ancestors first arrived on the Galá- the sixth generation. What were
of evolution. pagos between one and two million hybrids are now a separate bird
Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882) years ago. They were the ‘common’ species. The researchers say that
visited the Galápagos Islands in the ancestors of all Darwin finches. the new species was created after
1830s. He was a naturalist from the Daphne Major was home to three two generations. Now, these unique
UK. Naturalists are people who study types of finch. This number has now ‘new’ birds are not found anywhere
plants and animals. They mainly increased to four. else in the world. ‡
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7th December 2017™ – British English edition page 12

PAPAL VISIT A group called the Arakan Ro- general. During these conversations,
hingya Salvation Army (ARSA) the pope did not speak about the
Pope Francis is the head, or leader, was set up four years ago. It re- Rohingya. However, he did say that
of the Roman Catholic Church. On cently carried out attacks on several the rights of all people and all eth-
27th November, he began a two-na- Myanmar outposts, or small army nic groups must be protected. Pope
tion visit to Myanmar (also known bases. The recent destruction of Francis visited Yangon (also known
as Burma) and Bangladesh. Pope Rohingya villages seems to be re- as Rangoon). This is the largest city
Francis became the Roman Catholic venge for the ARSA’s actions. The in Myanmar. He also travelled to
leader four years ago. This was his United Nations (UN) says that what Naypyidaw, the country’s new capi-
19th foreign trip, or papal visit. has happened in Rakhine State is a tal city. There, he met local church
About 53 million people live in humanitarian disaster. leaders and celebrated a public mass,
Myanmar. They follow several reli- or Catholic religious service.
gions. The majority, or nearly 90%, Pope Francis flew to Dhaka,
are Buddhists. The country is home Bangladesh’s capital city, on 30th
to over one million Muslims. Most November. Bangladesh is a Muslim
live in a part of the country called country. Its population is around
Rakhine State. They are known as 163 million. About 320,000 are
the Rohingya people. There are Roman Catholics. The pope met
about 600,000 Roman Catholics with Catholic priests and attended
in Myanmar. a public mass.
The Vatican is in Rome, Italy’s An elected prime minister leads
capital city. It is the headquarters of Bangladesh. Sheikh Hasina is the
the Roman Catholic Church. Vati- country’s current leader. She has
can officials arranged the papal visit said that Bangladesh would look
to Myanmar and Bangladesh several Pope Francis (Casa Rosada) after the Rohingya until they could
months ago. Around this time, many Military leaders governed My- return to Myanmar safely. The pope
Rohingya began crossing the border anmar for many years. They took and the prime minister discussed
into Bangladesh. They did this to control of the country in 1960. An the Rohingya problem. He also met
get away from persecution. Myan- election was held a few years ago. with several Rohingya refugees. ‡
mar soldiers and Buddhist people, A political party called the National
they said, were attacking their vil- League for Democracy (NLD) won. BHUTAN
lages. Most of their homes had been Aung San Suu Kyi is its leader. For
destroyed and thousands killed. many years, the military leaders INDIA
In Bangladesh, the Rohingya are banned the NLD. Ms Suu Kyi was CHINA
living in makeshift camps. Nearly kept under house arrest. Even though Dhaka
one million are now in the country. Ms Suu Kyi is Myanmar’s leader, or BANGLADESH
The camps are close to the country’s state counsellor, senior army com- MYANMAR
border with Myanmar. manders are still very powerful.
The Rohingya’s ancestors moved Catholic leaders in Myanmar Naypyidaw

from what’s now Bangladesh to warned Pope Francis not to use the
what’s now Myanmar about 200 word ‘Rohingya’. If he did, they ex-

State Yangon
years ago. Today, in Myanmar, the plained, it would be an official recog-
Rohingya are stateless. They are not nition that the Rohingya were a sepa-
allowed to become citizens. A simi- rate ethnic group. This would upset INDIAN OCEAN
lar exodus happened in the 1990s. Myanmar’s leaders and most of the
Then, some Rohingya were ac- people. Many people wondered if
cused of committing serious crimes. Pope Francis would use the name.
Crowds of Buddhists attacked their In Myanmar, the pope met with
villages and mosques. Ms Suu Kyi and the most senior army
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7th December 2017™ – British English edition page 13

YETI MYTH FALSE? Some mountain climbers from other

countries say that they have seen a
A researcher from an American yeti. In the 1950s, a British climber
university claims to have solved photographed some large footprints
the yeti question, or mystery. She is in the snow. After the footprint
an expert on bear genomics, or the photographs appeared in newspa-
study of bears’ genomes. A genome pers, the yeti became known as the
is the complete set of an organ- ‘Abominable Snowman’.
ism’s DNA. The researcher’s work Several rather ‘blurred’ yeti pho-
strongly suggests that yetis don’t tographs exist. Yet many people sus- Himalayan brown bear in Pakistan (Abdullah
Khan, Snow Leopard Foundation)
exist. They’re bears. pect that these images were faked.
Many people who live in Nepal, Most scientists have always insisted claimed that the DNA matched an
Bhutan and Tibet (a part of Chi- that the yeti is a myth. It would be old jawbone. It was found on Sval-
na) claim to have seen a yeti. The difficult, they argue, for any large bard. This group of islands are part
creatures, they say, live high in the animal to live high in the mountains. of Norway.
Himalayan Mountains. They are Here, there is little food. The jawbone is between 40,000
tall, ape-like, and walk on two legs. Some hairs, bones and body parts and 120,000 years old. It belonged
There have been yeti sightings in have been collected over the years. to a polar bear. Polar bears and
this part of the world for hundreds The best known is a ‘yeti scalp’. It is brown bears are closely related. The
of years. In more recent years, expe- kept in a remote monastery in Nepal. jawbone dates back to the time when
ditions have been organised to find Several years ago a British profes- polar bears and brown bears were
and capture a yeti. All failed. sor carried out DNA tests on some becoming separate species. The pro-
No dead yetis have ever been of these ‘yeti’ hairs. His results sur- fessor said that the two hairs came
found and none have been killed. prised many people. The professor from a polar brown bear hybrid. If






Gulf of
California TAIWAN


Galapagos COAST



This map shows countries to which news stories refer in this issue. Visit for more detailed world maps.
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7th December 2017™ – British English edition page 14

this was correct, the yeti was closely Gigi, in Indonesia, and the Mande first smartphones were sold. Then,
related to a polar bear. The professor Barung, in north east India. None many mobile phone networks de-
concluded that the mystery creature of these creatures have ever been cided to offer a certain number
was a type of yet-to-be discovered caught or killed. of text messages in their payment
bear. He said that the ‘new’ bear plans for mobile phones. Soon
might be able to walk on two legs. many people began using text mes-
The American researcher com- MESSAGING AT 25 sages instead of voice calls. Texting
pleted DNA tests on nine ‘yeti sam- is quick and easy. Messages can be
ples’, or specimens. They included The first ever text message was sent sent anytime of the day or night. If
the yeti scalp, a relic that looks on 3rd December 1992. Therefore, the receiver is at work or busy with
like a fossilised hand, and a tooth. 3rd December this year was the members of their family or friends,
Eight of the samples, the researcher ‘text’s’ 25th anniversary. Nowadays, a text is more convenient.
says, come from three different ‘texting’ has become one of the most
bear species. These are the Tibetan popular ways that many people com-
and Himalayan brown bear and the municate with each other.
Asian black bear. The fossilised An engineer in the UK sent the
hand belonged to a black bear. The first message. He used his computer
tooth came from a dog. to send it. The test message he typed
was sent to the mobile phone of
someone who worked for the same
company. Due to the time of year, the
message read ‘Merry Christmas’. Text messaging has become es-
Text messages are also known as pecially popular with younger peo-
SMS (short message service) mes- ple. One reason is that a text is now
sages. At first, text messages were much less expensive than a mobile
sent from one mobile phone to an- call. Some scholars believe that text
other. This was done over a mobile messaging is having an effect on
telephone network. Nowadays, a written languages. In English, many
growing number of these messages words are abbreviated in text mes-
‘Yeti scalp’ at Khumjung monastery, in Nepal
are sent via messaging apps. These sages. These are shorter and easier
(Nuno Nogueira) are transmitted over the internet. to type. In certain other languages,
All three types of bear live in ar- Some call them multimedia mes- people do not use accents when
eas where yetis have been sighted. sages (MMS). These messages can sending texts.
Unfortunately, each of these animals include videos, digital images and Governments, companies and
is now endangered. Their numbers sound recordings. other organisations are now using
have been falling. This is because of Workers at the Nokia Company text messaging more and more. In
habitat loss and hunting by humans. in Finland were the first to send a some countries such as Indonesia
The American researcher believes text message from one mobile phone and China warnings about earth-
that her tests are more accurate than to another. The first mobile net- quakes and floods are sent by text.
the British professor’s. work companies to offer customers Companies use texts as a form
Yetis may be a myth, but some an SMS service were also in Fin- of advertising. Texting is also a
people claim to have seen other land. These texting services started popular way of entering competi-
large, ape-like creatures. They have in 1993. Then, the Finnish mobile tions. In several countries, texting
been reported in several remote phone companies did not think that has become a way for people to
parts of the world. These creatures many people would use the new quickly organise street protests,
include: the Sasquatch, in Canada, messaging service. or demonstrations.
Bigfoot, in the USA, the Yeren, in It was not until several years The number of SMS messages
China, the Yowie, in Australia, the later that text messaging began to reached a peak around five years
Mapinquary, in Brazil, the Sajarang become popular. This was after the ago. Since then a greater number
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7th December 2017™ – British English edition page 15

of people have been using internet- Muslim countries. There are Sunni country. Most of its money comes
based messaging apps. WhatsApp, and Shia Muslims. The divide, or from its large supplies of liquefied
Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, and split, between Sunnis and Shias natural gas (LNG). This is sold to
WeChat (in China) are some of the happened over 1,400 years ago. All many other countries.
most popular. GCC rulers are Sunnis. The Al-Jazeera news and televi-
Recently, the WhatsApp Com- The GCC was established for sion company is based in Qatar. The
pany claimed that one billion peo- several reasons. Traditionally, the Qatari government owns it. In recent
ple use its app every day. About one Gulf States have always worked years, Qatar has become involved in
year ago, the figure was one billion closely together. They have a com- the politics of other nations. It has
each month. Now, every day, 55 mon rival: Iran. Iran is the largest also backed, or supported, opposi-
billion messages are sent via What- Shia Muslim power. Each year, the tion, or militant, groups in countries
sApp. Roughly 4.5 billion are imag- GCC arranges a two-day summit, or such as Syria and Egypt. Unlike the
es, or photographs. In comparison, meeting. The latest was held in Ku- other GCC countries, Qatar is happy
currently, around 18.7 billion SMS wait. It began on 5th December. to work with Iran.
are forwarded daily. This number Six months ago, there was a
is expected to decline as the use of serious disagreement among GCC KUWAIT IRAN
messaging apps increases. members. Saudi Arabia, the UAE
WeChat began in 2011. The Chi- and Bahrain cut all diplomatic re- BAHRAIN
nese company says that it has one lations, or ties, with Qatar. These UAE

billion users. They send 38 billion countries no long communicate ARABIA Gulf


messages each day. About six bil- with Qatar. They announced travel

lion are voice messages. Currently, and trade bans. Qatari diplomats OCEAN

nearly all WeChat users live in Chi- working in the three countries were
na. The company is now planning to ordered to leave. The land border Gulf Cooperation
offer its services in other countries. between Saudi Arabia and Qatar Council countries
Malaysia is expected to be the first. remains closed.
Once WeChat begins to operate out- The countries that broke off dip-
side China, it is likely to become the lomatic ties are angry with Qatar’s
‘most used’ messaging service. ‡ leaders for several reasons. They
dislike its support for some mili-
tant groups. The three countries are
GULF COOPERATION MEETING unhappy about Qatar’s relationship
with Iran. They also claim that Al-
The Gulf Cooperation Council Jazeera’s political broadcasts are
(GCC) was set up in 1981. Its six misleading or unfair. Qatari leaders
member countries are: Bahrain, say that all these criticisms are un-
Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Ara- reasonable. For the last six months,
Gulf Cooperation Council flag
bia, and the UAE (United Arab the emir of Kuwait has been trying
Emirates). This part of the world is Qatar is a small country with to solve the disagreement.
known as the Persian Gulf (or the a population of about 2.6 million. Some people predicted a rec-
‘Gulf’). The six countries are often Only around 313,000 are native onciliation at the latest GCC sum-
called the Gulf States. Qataris. Most live in Doha, Qa- mit. This did not happen. The day
A monarch, or head of a royal tar’s capital. Many people living in before the meeting began, Saudi
family, leads each GCC country. Qatar come from other countries. Arabia and the UAE made an an-
The rulers of Bahrain and Saudi Thousands are immigrant labour- nouncement. They said that they
Arabia are kings. Emirs lead Ku- ers from the Philippines and south had formed a new military and trad-
wait, the UAE and Qatar. The head Asia. They work on Qatar’s many ing partnership. This alliance, the
of Oman’s royal family is known building sites. Per capita, or per per- two countries explained, is separate
as the sultan. The Gulf States are son, Qatar is the world’s wealthiest from the GCC.
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7th December 2017™ – British English edition page 16

What’s more, the rulers of Saudi water. Then, they listen for the In China, they sell for thousands of
Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain did echoes produced by them. Vaquitas dollars. Some Chinese people think
not go to the summit. Instead, they can work out an image of their sur- that their health will improve if they
sent junior, or lower-ranking, offi- roundings from these echoes. eat the bladders. Now, totoabas are
cials. The emir of Qatar and sultan Many Mexicans who live also endangered.
of Oman both attended the meet- around the Gulf of California are Fishermen use gillnets to catch
ing. The emir of Kuwait, or the fishermen. Several years ago, the totoabas. These types of nets are il-
summit’s host, ended the meeting a nets some fishermen used began legal. They have large holes. A fish
day early. Some people now won- to cause problems. These nets can swim part way through the net.
der if the GCC will be disbanded. were made to catch shrimp. How- It then becomes trapped. The net
If so, this annual summit would be ever, many vaquita got caught up closes behind the fish’s gills so it
the last. ‡ in them. As they could not get to cannot go backwards. Unfortunate-
the surface to breathe, the vaquita ly, gillnets also ensnare, or catch,
drowned. The Mexican govern- vaquitas. The Mexican navy patrols
RESCUE PLAN STOPPED ment ordered the fishermen to the Gulf of California. It is a large
stop using these nets. It also paid area and catching the fishermen us-
The vaquita is the world’s most them money to find other jobs. ing unlawful nets is difficult.
endangered marine mammal. Wild- At that time, there were several The rescue team set up a sanc-
life experts believe that no more hundred vaquitas. tuary for the vaquitas. This was a
than 30 remain. Vaquitas are found fenced, or netted, off area. Team
only in one small part of the Gulf of members planned to catch most of
California. This body of water is in the remaining vaquitas. These were
north west Mexico. The Baja Cali- to be kept in the sanctuary. Hopeful-
fornia Peninsula separates it from ly, the porpoises would breed. Keep-
the Pacific Ocean. ing vaquitas captive in this way had
A rescue plan to save the vaqui- not been done before. The first one
ta was launched about one month to be put in the sanctuary quickly
ago. It was organised by a team of showed signs of stress. It was re-
60 scientists and divers. The cost leased. The next one died. After this,
was expected to be US$4 million a decision was made to cancel the
Vaquita (Greenpeace Mexico
(£3 million). Yet, recently, the plan rescue attempt.
was abandoned. Many fishermen decided to catch
The vaquita is a type of porpoise. totoaba instead of shrimp. These
Whales, dolphins and porpoises are fish are also found only in the Gulf
all marine mammals. As a group, of California. Totoaba can be two
they are known as cetaceans. Of the metres (six feet) in length. Nowa-
89 species in this group, the vaquita days, the fishermen can make a lot
is the smallest. In Spanish, vaquita of money from these fish. This is
means ‘little cow’. Fully grown, these because they are popular in China.
porpoises are about 1.4 metres (4.6 Most fish have an organ that is
feet) long. They are a grey colour with filled with gas. It’s called a swim
darker rings around the eyes. Dark bladder. This organ helps fish to Totoaba (Proceso)

patches on the creature’s mouth make control their buoyancy, or how Members of the team now fear
it look as if the vaquita is smiling. deep below the surface they are. In that the vaquita will die out. They
Vaquitas make high-pitched China, the totoaba’s swim bladder say that only the Mexican govern-
sounds. These are used for echo- is a delicacy. The rest of the fish ment can save them. To do this,
location and communicating with is used to make a type of soup. the government will have to en-
others. Echolocation is a type of so- This is also popular in China. The force the gillnet ban in the Gulf of
nar. The animals make noises under fishes’ bladders are very valuable. California. ‡
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7th December 2017™ – British English edition page 17

Scientists from Cambridge Univer-
sity, in the UK, have completed a hu-
man bone study. They analysed the
leg and arm bones of women who
lived between 7,300 and 2,000 years
ago. This had not been done before.
The scientists compared the ancient
bones to modern-day ones. The ‘mod-
ern’ bones belong to living female
athletes. The results were a surprise.
The prehistoric bones used in
the study had all been discovered in
central Europe. Around 7,300 years
ago the life of many people in this
part of the world began to change.
Before this time, most people in
what is now known as Europe were Skeletons of two women, with shell necklaces, who died about 6,500 years ago
hunter-gatherers. They moved from to study bones. Their shape and
place to place, hunting wild animals thickness can show what type of life
and collecting fruit, nuts and berries. a person led, or their lifestyle. They
The lifestyle change from hunter- are also a guide, or clue, to an in-
gatherers to farmers is often called dividual’s strength. The researchers
the Neolithic Revolution. made models of 89 shinbones and
This ‘revolution’ happened at dif- 78 upper arm bones. The shinbone,
ferent times in different parts of the called the tibia, is in the lower leg.
world. The first farmers are thought to The upper arm bone, also known as
have lived in the Middle East around the humerus, is between the shoul-
10,000 years ago. Within the next der and elbow. Women rowers at Cambridge University (A Dunn)
3,000 years, these ‘farming people’ Today, rowing is a competitive women probably did this for at least
spread to most of southern and central sport. Many universities in the UK five hours every day. The ancient
Europe. Once the farmers arrived, have rowing teams. Cambridge Uni- women’s leg bones were different.
they mixed with the hunter-gather- versity’s are some of the best. Wom- They were 12% weaker that the
ers. Over time, the hunter-gatherers en rowers are very fit. By pulling the rowers’ shinbones.
died out or were ‘taken in’ by farmers. oars back and forth, they develop The oldest women’s bones were
Prehistoric farming was hard very strong arms. The top university the strongest. Over the centuries,
work. Digging the soil, planting women rowers train twice a day. On their arm strength gradually re-
crops, harvesting, and grinding the average, they row 120 kilometres duced. The scientists say that this
grain was done by hand. Women did (75 miles) each week. was due to changing technology.
much of this work. Tools made from The scientists compared the uni- For example, by 3,000 years ago,
wood, stone and animal antlers were versity’s rowing team’s upper arm most farming groups in central Eu-
used for digging. Wheat or corn was bones with the ancient ones. The rope had stone querns. These were
ground into flour with heavy stones. comparison shows that the ancient used to grind grain. Querns are cir-
The flour was used to make bread. women’s arms were 16% stronger. cular stones that are easier to use.
While the men hunted, the women Compared to non-athletes, this fig- The scientists plan to continue
looked after the farm animals. ure is 30%. The scientists suspect their work. They want to undertake
Nowadays, scientists can use that the ancient women’s ‘strength’ a similar prehistoric man arm and
scans and laser imaging equipment was the result of grinding corn. The leg bone study. ‡
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7th December 2017™ – British English edition page 18

FINLAND’S 100TH BIRTHDAY European Union (EU) in 1995. Sev- recaptured the lands it lost. Finn-
eral years later, the country decidedish soldiers managed to defeat a far
In Finland, 6th December is an to replace its currency (the Finnish larger Russian army.
important date. It is the country’s markka) with the euro. As part of the countrywide cel-
independence day. This year’s 6th For six hundred years, the area ebrations, hundreds of events took
December was special. It marked that is now Finland was part of the place on 6th December. One of the
Finland’s centenary, or 100th an- Kingdom of Sweden. In 1808, a war first was the hoisting of 100 Finn-
niversary. Finland became an inde- between Sweden and Russia broke ish flags in a square in Helsinki. The
pendent state on 6th December 1917. out. Then, the tsar, or head of the government sent a ‘happy anniver-
Finland has land borders with Swe- royal family, led Russia. The war sary’ text message to every mobile
den, Norway, and Russia. Most of lasted for 18 months. Sweden lost. phone owner in the country. In the
the country is low-lying, or flat. The area that Russia captured was evening, many of the country’s
Finland has about 190,000 lakes named the Grand Duchy of Fin- larger buildings were lit up in blue
and nearly as many islands. It is land. It became part of the Russian and white. These are the colours of
sometimes called ‘the land of the Empire and was therefore ruled by the Finnish flag. More than 100,000
thousand lakes’. Finland is also the tsar. people gathered to watch the final
known as the ‘land of the midnight event: a huge firework display in the
Sun’. The northern part of Finland capital city.
is called Lapland. Here, during the The leaders of many countries
summer months, the Sun does not from all around the world sent birth-
drop below the horizon. Finland is day wishes to Finland. Many world
a large country with a small popula- famous landmarks were lit up in
tion. Today, it is home to 5.5 mil- blue and white. These included the
lion people. About one million live Colosseum, in Rome, Niagara Falls,
in the area around Helsinki, the on the American-Canadian border,
capital city. The First World War began in and the Christ the Redeemer statue,
1914. Before it ended four years in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. ‡
later, there was a revolution in
Russia. The Russian tsar and his
government were overthrown. GEOGLYPH REDISCOVERED
Vladimir Lenin (1870 – 1924) be-
came the country’s new communist Geoglyphs are large man-made
leader. On 6th December 1917, shapes on the ground. Usually, they
soon after the Russian revolution, are best seen from a distance, or
Finland declared its independence. high up in the sky. In the 1960s, a
This led to a three-month civil war. large geoglyph of a killer whale was
Building lit up with Finland’s flag The fighting was between the ‘Red discovered in a remote area of Peru.
The country’s official name is the Guards’ and the ‘White Guards’. German researchers found it. Yet the
Republic of Finland. The president The Red Guards wanted Finland location was poorly documented, or
is the nation’s leader, or head of to be a communist country. The recorded. Over time, the existence
state. This person is elected every White Guards opposed commu- and whereabouts of the geoglyph
six years. In Finland, the president nism. With German support, the were forgotten.
has few powers. The prime minister White Guards won. Killer whales are also known
leads the elected government. He or At the beginning of the Second as orcas. The name killer whale is
she makes most of the important de- World War (1939 – 1945), Russia misleading. Orcas are not whales.
cisions. Normally, the prime minis- invaded Finland. After losing large They are the largest members of the
ter is the leader of the political party areas of land, Finland agreed to a dolphin family. Adults can be as
with most seats in the country’s par- peace deal. When Nazi Germany long as eight metres (26 feet) and
liament. Finland joined the attacked Russia in 1941, Finland weigh six tonnes. Killer whales have
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7th December 2017™ – British English edition page 19

distinctive black and white bodies.

They can be found in all the world’s
oceans. Like other marine mammals,
orcas come to the surface to breathe.
Recently, a government worker in
Peru’s ministry of culture found an
old photograph. It was of the ‘lost’
killer whale geoglyph. He decided
to try to find it. The best way to
do this was to make use of Google
Earth. People can use this computer
programme to explore the surface of
the Earth. The government worker
used his computer to search desert
areas of Peru in his free time.
After four years, he was about
to give up. Then he noticed some
faint markings on the side of a hill.
Later, a visit to the area confirmed
that it was the missing geoglyph. Restored killer whale geoglyph in Peru (Johny Isla)

The killer whale is 70 metres (230 condor, for example, is 134 metres old. Unlike the Nazca Lines, it is on
feet) long. It is in a place called the (440 feet) long. As well as figures, the side of a hill. Therefore, it can
Palpa Valley. This part of Peru is there are many geometric shapes be seen from a distance. The killer
about 400 kilometres (250 miles) (triangles, spirals and rectangles) whale was made in the same way as
from Lima, the country’s capital and long, straight runway-like lines. the Nazca Lines. Some parts of the
city. The killer whale is not far from The Nazca Lines cover a desert area whale, such as the eyes, were made
the world’s most famous geoglyphs. of around 725 square kilometres from piles of stones. As it is on a hill-
Called the Nazca Lines, they are (280 square miles). In total, there side, the figure is more easily eroded.
also in a Peruvian desert. are about 700 geoglyphs. Wind and rain moves dirt and small
This desert area is covered in stones onto the outlines. Over time,
pebbles, or small stones. People they become fainter and fainter.
made the Nazca Lines by mov- A team of six men restored the
ing the pebbles. This exposed, or orca geoglyph. The outlines were all
uncovered, the different coloured cleared. The work, which took sev-
ground beneath. The outlines of eral months, means that the ancient
the figures show up as lighter ar- hill drawing is clearly visible once
eas. This desert is one of the dri- again. ‡
est places in the world. The lack of
Nazca Lines: aerial photograph of spider figure
rain probably helped to preserve the
A pilot discovered the Nazca geoglyphs. It is not possible to see FROG COUNT
Lines in 1939. Flying over a desert the shapes when walking across the
area in Peru, the pilot was amazed desert. The best view is from high The Australian Museum was es-
to see large figures on the ground. in the air. How the geoglyph mak- tablished in 1827, or 190 years
The looked like giant drawings. The ers saw them is a mystery. No one ago. The museum is in Sydney,
Nazca Lines include creatures such knows why the figures and shapes Australia’s largest city. Recently,
as a hummingbird, parrot, mon- were made. There are also disagree- museum officials asked Australians
key, shark, lizard, dog, spider, and ments about their age. for assistance. They want lots of
condor (a type of large bird). Some The killer whale geoglyph is people to help count (and locate)
of these figures are very big. The thought to be about 2,000 years the nation’s frogs. To do this, the
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7th December 2017™ – British English edition page 20

museum has created a special app. Three new species were recorded
It’s called FrogID. within the last 12 months. Aus-
There are around 4,800 known tralia is a large country. Much of
species of frogs in the world. They the country is sparsely populated. It
live on every continent except would be impossible for research-
Antarctica. Most frogs are found ers to undertake a frog count. Any-
in places with warmer tropical cli- one can download the new app. All
mates. Some live in water, others on age groups are able to take part.
land and several species are found in Getting large numbers of people
trees. Frogs are carnivores, or meat- involved in an activity is known as
eaters. They mainly feed on insects. crowd sourcing.
Some frogs also eat tiny fish and People taking part do not have
some small animals, such as spiders to count the frogs. Many frogs are
and earthworms. nocturnal. They are only active
after the Sun goes down. These
frogs are difficult to spot. There-
fore, counting the frogs would be
an impossible task.
Different frogs make different
sounds. These noises can be mating
or warning calls. Many frogs croak.
Others produce chirping, whistling One of Australia’s frog species (Australia Museum)
or barking sounds. Each sound is recordings were uploaded. Some
unique to a single species. No two may be calls from new frog species.
types of frog make exactly the same Over time, the FrogID app may
noise. The museum officials de- help in others ways. Recordings
scribe the frog sounds as their ‘au- will be made from the same areas.
dio DNA’. An increase in sounds would hint
The FrogID app has been de- at a growing frog population. A
signed to record frog noises. When decrease may show that numbers
they hear a frog, or frogs, users need are falling. This might mean that
FrogID app
to press a button. The app records this frog population is at risk. The
Many frog species lay their eggs the sounds for 20 seconds. Another wildlife workers could then find
in water. Large numbers of their button uploads the recording. The out what is causing the decline. If
eggs are called frogspawn. Tadpoles app also attaches the time, date, and, frogs are affected, other wildlife in
hatch from their eggs. These then importantly, the location. The loca- the same ecosystem may also be in
gradually change into frogs. Not all tion is taken from the phone’s GPS danger. ‡
frogs start life as tadpoles. Some are technology. The app contains some
born as frogs. These types of frogs frog calls. This can help with spe-
are known as ‘direct developers’. cies identification.
They usually live on mountains or Wildlife workers check each Editor: Rebecca Watson
in other places far away from water. sound recording upload. They log Newsademic is published
One unusual frog is found in Indo- the type of frog, approximate num- every other week, or fortnightly,
nesia. The female gives birth to live bers and where the frogs are. If the throughout the year.
tadpoles. So far, this is the only frog noise is unusual, or even an unknown For further details and
known to do this. frog sound, the workers may contact subscription prices visit
At least 240 frog species are the person who uploaded it. They
found in Australia. More yet-to- can then be asked for further details. © 2017 Newsademic
be discovered ones probably exist. Within the first two weeks, 6,000
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7th December 2017™ – British English edition page 21

ISSUE 316 INSTRUCTIONS: 1 Complete the crossword. The answers are

highlighted in orange in the news stories. There are 25

words highlighted and you need 20 of them to complete the
crossword. 2 Once you have solved the crossword go to
the word search on the next page F
1 2

3 4

5 6

7 8

9 10 11

12 13






19 20

1 Noun Ability to float in water or other liquid 2 Verb Made shorter, especially written words
3 Noun The power or will to get something started or to be 4 Noun Systems and services such as transport and power
the first to set something up supplies that enable a country or organisation to work
8 Adjective Describe something that exists in large effectively
amounts 5 Noun Something rare, special, or very tasty to eat
12 Adjective Easily spread from one to another 6 Noun A red, painful and often swollen area on or in part of
14 Noun The process of changing from a liquid to a vapour the body
16 Noun The act of becoming friendly again after fighting 7 Noun Rules that control or explain how something works
or arguing 9 Noun Plural Enclosed spaces normally used for storage
17 Noun A mass departure or withdrawal 10 Adjective Describes something that is easy to recognise
18 Noun A wide-open space or area of land, sky or a because it is different from other things
surface 11 Verb: Broken up, especially a group of people
19 Noun The qualities of a substance or material, or the 13 Noun A group or fleet of boats or small ships
ways in which something can be used 15 Noun Scattering of people who used to belong to one
20 Adjective Existing but not yet developed country or region
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7th December 2017™ – British English edition page 22

ISSUE 316 1 Find 19 of the 20 crossword answers in the word
search. Words can go vertically, horizontally, diagonally


and back to front. 2 After finding the 19 words write
down the 20th (or missing) word under the puzzle.

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