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Now read each article more carefully and answer the multiple choice questions. Use the ‘help’ boxes for difficult words.

Action Needed As Amazon Rainforest Disappears

The deforestation rate in the largest area of forest in the world, has increased by 40% in the past year, according to figures released yesterday by the government. 
Almost 10,000sq miles (24,000sq km) (an area the size of Albania) were lost. 
The figures do not include destruction by fires which have been intense this year in some places. 
Almost 80% of the timber is taken illegally, but clearing land for industrial soya farming is now taking over from timber extraction as the major reason for forest destruction in some regions. 
"It was a long, dry season, but the deforestation figures are at least 30 or 40% higher than historical trends," said David Cleary, director of the deforestation programme at the US Nature Conservancy. "If ways are not found to minimise the impact of soya farming, it is difficult to see these numbers going down," he added. 
The dramatic increase in soya farming is mainly because European consumers are not buying North American GM soya, and prefer conventionally grown soya. During the past three years, their share of the world soya market has risen from 24% to 34%, while the US share has declined from 57% to 43%. 
Rainforests cover less than 2% of the Earth's surface, but they are home to some 40 to 50% of all life forms - as many as 30 million species of plants, animals and insects. Up to 30% of the world's animal and plant species are found only in the Amazon, an area of 1.54 million sq miles (4.1 million sq km) - larger than western Europe. 
Scientists are warning that its rate of destruction presents serious threats, not just in respect of lost species but by reducing production of oxygen and unpredictable consequences for global weather. 

1. What does the word 'figures' mean?

2. The main reason for the forests becoming smaller is

3. At the moment, who sells more soya?

4. According to the article, what is surprising about the plants, animals and insects in the Amazon?

5. What does the word 'threats' mean?

Haz Click para comprobar tus respuestas  

fire = incendio
timber = madera, árboles
trend = tendencia
share = parte, cuota, porción
to rise = subir
to decline = bajar, declinar, disminuir 
cover = cubrir
warning = aviso

'Timber' se utiliza para la madera
preparada como material de construcción.
En general, el término común para referirnos
a la madera es 'wood'

German MPs Involved In Prostitution

The German president has ordered the investigation of allegations that the phones in the offices of 38 MPs were used to order Ukrainian girls for sex. 
Other papers reported that the names of 130 well-known personalities from business, culture and the media were also accused. 
One media personality has been involved in the scandal. Last month the police raided the home and offices of Mikhail Friedman, vice-president of Germany's main Jewish organisation and a well-known TV talk-show host, and reportedly found cocaine in his flat. 
They intercepted a telephone call by Mr Friedman, inviting three Ukrainian girls to his room in a Berlin hotel. He offered them cocaine, but they refused, according to Spiegel magazine. 
Mr Friedman, known as the "TV inquisitor", is famous for his aggressive questioning of politicians. His show has been taken off and he has left the country. 
"He's not available," a spokeswoman at his law office in Frankfurt said. "I can't say where he is or when he will be back." 
In Germany, hard drugs are illegal, but the personal use of cocaine is tolerated. Prostitution is legal: prostitutes have regular medical checkups and pay taxes, and the openness helps to combat pimps and sex traffickers. 
But many voters, particularly those who vote conservative, have a strong Christian morality, and they would not be happy to see politicians using sex services.

1. What does 'MP' refer to in the article?

2. Why is Mikhail Friedman in trouble with the police?

3. Why does the reporter think this is a serious scandal for German politicians?

Haz Click para comprobar tus respuestas  

to order = pedir
to accuse = acusar
scandal = escándalo
to raid = registrar
talk / show host = presentador de un programa de entrevistas 
check up = chequeo 
pimp = chulo, macarra

El acusado en una causa es 'the accused'.
Acusador es 'accuser' (como nombre) o 'accusing' (adjetivo).
Cuidado, el fiscal no es 'the accuser' sino 'the public prosecutor'.

Has Britain's Biggest Music Festival
Lost Its Innocence?

There have been a lot of bad years recently: first mud, then gatecrashing, a cancellation in 2001, and last year the event was fun but under populated. 
It seems to have lost its innocence with all the modern security these days. CCTV cameras, a £1m security fence, and an incredible number of police officers. 
So, how do the people feel who go every year?
"It used to be much more dangerous," said Giri Dharidas, 40, the organiser of the Hare Krishna tent, on his 14th annual trip. 
"There are fewer bad people around, more students and more professionals. We hand out free food and a place to sleep, and there are less people wanting both now because fewer poor people are coming. 
"In lots of ways it's safer - more innocent, certainly - but a lot of the old atmosphere has disappeared. It's difficult to balance." 
"The drongo element has been kept out," said Peter Attenborough, 54, known as Peter the Potter. 
Mr Attenborough attended the first festival in 1970 and has been to every one since. He regrets the popularity of commercial soya products - he used to make and sell his own - but apart from that, accepts that things had to change. 
"It was small back in 1970, and I would bake my own bread in a home-made oven," he said. "But it's good to keep moving." he added.
“This is wicked," said 19-year-old Charlie Wilkinson, a student at Bristol University. Dressed in glittery make-up and fairy wings, Ms Wilkinson's first pop memories are of the 1990’s boy band, Take That. "I'm going to carry on coming here until I'm 90," she said. 
But Mark, who is 50, complained: "I want some of the dirtiness to come back. I want the grotty little corners that made this place special. 
"People are walking about with smiles on their faces, but it's more like Los Vegas or Womad than Glastonbury." 
There is definitely an atmosphere of joy and happiness: a naked jogger runs across the Green Field and people clap and cheer; the corporate giant Unilever sells ice cream next to a different, smaller company specialising in drug -flavoured desserts; and the promise of a mystery guest (Kate Moss), singing Some Velvet Morning, on stage with Primal Scream. It’s no surprise that people were walking around yesterday with their mouths open. 
"It's nice, because you smile at people and they smile back," said Ms Wilkinson.
It'll be the same for me when REM and Radiohead come on," she said, with the youthful enthusiasm of Glastonbury's newest generation. "It'll be like going back in time. Right back to the 1990s." 

1. How does security at this festival compare with the past?

2. What does 'hand out' mean?

3. Who used to make their own food?

4. Which of the following is NOT a music band?

5. Which of the following sentences does NOT refer to a continued action (or habit) in the past.

Haz Click para comprobar tus respuestas  

mud = barro
to gatecrash = colarse (de gorra)
fence = cerca, valla
tent = tienda
to balance = equilibrar, contrapesar
his own = su propio
oven = horno
this is wicked! = ¡esto es alucinante, genial!
dirtiness = suciedad
grotty = sucio, asqueroso
joy = alegría
naked = desnudo
jogger = persona que hace footing
to clap and cheer = aplaudir y gritar con entusiasmo 
stage = escenario
youthful = juvenil

"Desnudo" tiene varias traducciones
en inglés: 'bare', 'naked' y 'nude'
'Bare' se utiliza para referirse a distintas partes del cuerpo (como piernas, brazos, etc).
'Naked' se refiere generalmente a todo el cuerpo. 
'Nude' indica un desnudo integral, generalmente en un contexto artístico o erótico.

Sharapova Wins With A Grunt

According to the new marketing campaign, the grunt is very important. That exhalation of air when the racket hits the ball is being promoted as the main attraction. Advertising posters in London invite fans to grunt and "get in touch with your feminine side". 
At only 16, the young Russian Maria Sharapova has already been named the queen of the grunt. She has a much louder grunt than other famous noisy players like Jimmy Connors, Monica Seles and Serena Williams.
"It's not a grunt it's a whistle," said one reporter. 
"No, no, no," said another. "It's more a sonic scream. You know, like Concorde." 
On court No2, Sharapova was matched against Ashley Harkleroad, the 17-year-old American, who herself has a wonderful collection of barks and squeaks. If you also include the shouts from Sharapova's over-excited father, this was surely one of the noisiest matches here since John McEnroe decided to ‘get serious’ and started shouting at the umpire. 
"Na-yah hah-eee," screamed Sharapova, hitting a serve at well over 100mph. "Grung nah," replied Harkleroad, stretching across court to reach it. "Nurg hur-weeee," squealed Sharapova, giving the extra loud push to send back an unstoppable forehand. "Buena, baby, buena, buena," shouted her father, on his feet as the ball sped past Harkleroad at the back of court. 
Harkleroad tried hard to keep up with her, but Sharapova was the queen of the ‘wah-hurg’ and the ‘nee-hah’. Afterwards, though, Harkleroad claimed she wasn't distracted by the noise. 
"I try not to make a noise," said Sharapova, in her perfect, Florida-accented English. "But my mouth doesn't control the way I play. It's just a mouth." 
The question, though, is whether the grunt is a marketing tool, encouraged by those behind the posters promoting the women's game. 
"I've been doing it all my life since I was four when I first picked up a tennis racket," said Sharapova. "Nobody taught me!" 

1. What is a 'grunt'?

2. Which of the following words are NOT usually connected with the game of tennis?

3. What does the writer say about Sharapova’s Dad?

4. What did Sharapova do when she was four years old?

Haz Click para comprobar tus respuestas  

according to = según
fans = hinchas, seguidores
to get in touch with = ponerse en contacto con
whistle (n) = silbido, pitido
scream/shout = grito
bark = ladrido
squeak = chillido
umpire = árbitro
to hit = golpear
forehand = directo, derechazo
to stretch = estirar(se)
to reach = llegar a, alargar, extender
tool = herramienta

En deportes como fútbol, baloncesto, boxeo, etc. el 'árbitro' se denomina 'referee'. En ténis, béisbol, etc. se llama 'umpire'

Ejercicios de Reading en inglés Con la lectura de textos en inglés podrás adquirir vocabulario y soltura con el idioma, pero además, si incluyes ejercicios de comprensión sobre los textos podrás también ejercitar tus conocimientos.
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