Sunday, April 17, 2011

Weekly Bilingual News

Dear Friends:

Hello! Welcome to the third online communication of the Spanish English Club in April. The new Weekly Bilingual News will show how the world was running during the last few days.

From the perspective of our comments posted in blogs in important online publications, you will have different images than normally you catch from the TV or the newspapers.

Always, we include a chapter of bilingual Vocabulary to help you in your conversation in Spanish and English. 

AIR-CONTROLLERS SLEEPING - Wall Street Journal article: "New Rest Rules for Tower" written by Andy Pasztor (April 17, 2011). During the last few days, press sources commented on recent air-traffic incidents due to the air-controllers who fell asleep in their workplaces. Now, FAA is ordering nine-hour breaks between shifts for air-controllers to fight workplace fatigue.
Our Comment: It is positive that the FAA tries to find a solution to the controllers' problem, but the problem is not only a schedule problem. They need special physical and psychological training and very good payment.

TECHNOLOGICAL EXODUS - Wall Street Journal article: "Samsung May Sell Hard-Drive Unit" written by Jung AH-Lee (April 17, 2011). During the first decades of evolution of the technology industry, one of most important segments was the hard-disk manufacturing. Some years ago, when IBM decided to sell its hard-disk-drive unit to Hitachi, a lot of analysts were surprised. Next the Japanese Fujitsu also sold its factories of hard-disk drives. Recently, Hitachi said: "Bye-bye to the disk unit."
Our Comment: The exodus continues. Some weeks ago, Hitachi informed their decision to sell its hard-disk-drive unit. Now, Samsung is following the same path. Who will be next?

AUSTERITY PLAN - Wall Street Journal article: "Greece Outlines Five-Year Austerity Plan" (April 15, 2011). After the terrible economic debacle of the last year, Greek government has decided to cut expenditures, selling utility companies that it owns.
Our Comment: The initiative to privatize government's companies is a positive step to fix the Greek economy.

NATO WARPLANES - Wall Street Journal article: "NATO Commander Calls for More Warplanes" (April 14, 2011). The air strikes by the allies against the Libyan positions continued during last week without clear results till now. Now, the commander of NATO troops at an international meeting in Berlin, Germany asked for new military airplanes to help rebels to defeat the Gadhafi's regime.
Our Comment: NATO Commander asks for more airplanes. It is okay, but for how many days or months NATO will need more warplanes? Will the Libyan operation have an end in a short time? Till now nothing is clear despite the money that western countries are expending for bombing Col. Gadhafi's bunkers.

IRAN BEHIND THE SCENE - Wall Street Journal article: "U.S. Says Iran Helps Crackdown in Syria" (April 14, 2011). After weeks of protests in the streets of different cities of Syria, some press sources commented U.S. complains because the Iran's government is helping the president of Syria against protesters across this Arab country.
Our Comment: It is nothing new that Iran's regime always is behind the scene manipulating political issues of the Middle East.

PERSONAL COMPUTERS - Wall Street Journal article: "Demand for PCs Falters" (April 14, 2011). In the first quarter of 2011 the worldwide demand of PCs declined again according to the analysts of the technology market.
Our Comment: Today digital tablets and smart-phones are giving flexible alternatives to the PC users who really don't need strong data processing functions. We think this is one of the factors that are pushing the demand of the PCs down.

The main indexes of Wall Street closed the week in the negative territory. Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 38.22 points or 0.35% to 12341.83. Nasdaq Composite fell 15.77 points or 0.57% in the same period, to end at 2764.65.

In summary, during the last week, in the United States, the 2011 federal budget continued at the top of the news. Now the subject is increasing the debt ceiling of the federal budget.

Other important topic was the American intervention in the Libyan's air attack of the Col. Gadhafi positions. Again President Obama talked in public about the U.S. policy toward Libya and the rest of the Middle East.

Republicans and Democrats began the new campaigns for the 2012 election. Mitt Romney announced his intention to run for president. It is the second time that the former Massachusetts' governor will try to get the seat in the White House as a new Republican president.

On the international side, new incidents across the Arab world (Syria, Yemen, Egypt, Lybia, Bahrain...), the growing problem of the African refugees, and the radiation of the Japanese nuclear accident were also important topics of the news.

During the last weekend a lot of people across the world traveled for their Easter week vacation. In different countries of Europe the children will not go to the school during the next few days. Meanwhile, train stations and airports are full of travelers.

Best regards,


Domingo A. Trassens
Spanish-English Club
Electronic mail:

Questions - Preguntas:

1) From your point of view, what was the worst news for the week?
1) Desde vuestro punto de vista, ¿cuál fue la peor noticia de la semana?

2) And what was the best news from the week?
2) ¿Y cuál fue la mejor noticia de la semana?

Vocabulary - Vocabulario:

 - Arab = árabe
- austerity = austeridad
- bunker = refugio
- control tower = torre de control
- Greece, Greek = Grecia, griego, griega
- hard-disk = disco duro
- Iran, Iranian = Irán, iraní (m/f)
- Libya, Libyan = Libia, libio, libia
- refugee = refugiado 
- Syria, Syrian = Siria, sirio, siria
- warplane, warplanes = avión de guerra, aviones de guerra


hanks to Anne, Bob, Erika, Joseph, Stephanie, and Suzanne for your messages about the previous Weekly Bilingual News.
Easter's decoration in European train station 

No comments: