Sunday, June 12, 2011

Weekly Bilingual News

Dear Friends:

Hello! Welcome to a new edition of the Weekly Bilingual News! In this issue you will find a brief analysis about how the world was running during the last few days from the perspective of our comments posted in different blogs.

Last week began on Monday June 6 with the Worldwide Developers Conference of Apple where Steve Jobs, co-founder and CEO of the company, introduced the eighth major release of Mac OS X (Lion), iOS 5 (advanced mobile operating system for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch) and iCloud (first Apple's cloud computing services).

In Peru, Ollanta Humala defeated to Keiko Fujimori in a second round for the presidency of the nation. Ollanta Humala is a former army officer who led a rebellion like Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. Keiko Fujimori was the "first lady" of the Peruvian President, his father Alberto Fujimori.

Meanwhile, in New York, from Monday to Friday, the Wall Street markets continued its decline amid of  the negative reactions to the speech of the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke and the worries about the economic recovery of the country. Dow Jones Industrial Average closed on Friday under the mark of 12000. For the week, DJIA lost more than 1.5 percent adn Nasdaq Composite fell 3 percent.

In Washington, President Obama received the German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a meeting that smoothed differences over Libya action between the United States and Germany and opened the doors for new ways of cooperation across the Atlantic. The White House honored to Dr. Angela Merkel with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.

Hours later upon the return of Ms. Merkel to Europe, Wolfang Schäule, financial minister of Germany revealed his new financial plan to help Greece that try to reduce the risks of a collapse of the euro and European Union.


Next, in a quasi perfect sequence of crucial speeches, the U.S. Defense Secretary, Robert Gates criticized the members of NATO who didn't have ammunition and resources to participate together in the Libyan bombing.

About the problems of the North Atlantic Alliance we wrote the following comment: "Before his departure, the U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates made his best contribution to his nation by showing the current picture of NATO in a speech that will be memorable. By the way, after three months of campaign in Libya, the forces of the alliance remind us the battles of the Crusaders of Middle Ages to conquer Jerusalem. Is it possible to achieve military goals without coordination and the poverty of resources?" (PBS NewsHour, Analysis Air Date: June 10, 2011, "After Gates' Blunt Warning, What's Next for NATO?")

Originally NATO was created with the intention of protecting the countries of Western Europe against possible attacks of the Soviet Union and its partners. Today the military alliance includes 28 members: Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Rep, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States.

During the last decade, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization grew a lot in the number of members, but it has lost stature. The difficulties to implement the Libyan operation – Operation Unified Protector - show coordination and economic problems among the allies. Due to this new scenario, it is time the United States rethinks its commitment to the alliance.


PAKISTANI HUMILIATION: On June 10, Wall Street Journal posted a story titled: "Pakistani Army Pleads for Respect" by Matthew Rosenberg, Tom Wright and Zarid Hussain, where the authors comment the negative reactions of Pakistani army and population about the United States continue.
Our Comment: "Nobody gives billions of dollars as a gift. Of course, the American commando operation humiliated the Pakistani army. But why did Pakistan accepted the money if they didn't want to apprehend Osama bin Laden?"

THE FACES OF FACEBOOK: On June 9, Wall Street Journal posted a story titled: "Facebook Again in Spotlight on Privacy" by Geoffrey A. Fowler and Christopher Lawton that explains Facebook is using a face recognition technique to identify people in photos of its website.
Our Comment: "We think Facebook is an innovative company that is making important contributions for developing of social networks. But we also have concerns about the intrusive techniques Facebook uses frequently against the interests of its members. For example, we don't like that somebody wants to push us more than where we want to goin our social connections. By the way, usually, Facebook sends messages with statements like this: "a friend is waiting for you", but when we enter to the system we don't find a friend waiting for us. They want to push us to contact people who we don't know and we don't have any interest to know."

ECONOMIC RECOVERY: On June 8, Journal Community of WSJ asked to its members the following question: "Do you think the U.S. economic recovery will strengthen in the second half of 2011?"
Our Opinion: "We don't perceive symptoms of economic recovery for the second half of 2011. With more than 14 million people out of work, an unemployment rate of 9.1 percent, the high gasoline prices and a lot of people working for less than 7 dollars anhour it is not possible to make a trustworthy forecast. Ben Bernanke plays with all the math formulas of the Federal Reserve from before the 2008 crisis, but in three years he hasn't show sufficient efforts to rebuild the finances of the country. Additionally, politicians from both parties continue discussing if they should cut taxes or create higher stimulus packages without a rational plan. It is tough to recognize that nobody in Washington experiences the hunger of the people who wait near restaurants to eat the food that others didn't eat. Also it is offensive that our politicians don't think sensitively about Americans who fight abroad or in the country as volunteers, while there are lawmakers who have time for chatting pornography and more."

CHINESE MOMENTUM: On June 7, Wall Street Journal posted a story titled: "Chinese Companies Embark on Shopping Spree in Europe" by John W. Miller says Chinese are looking for top European food companies after acquisitions in other industrial sectors like Volvo and the IBM PC unit.
Our Comment: "Chinese know that for conquering the world they need the best brands, the best products, the best companies and the expertise in businesses from Americans and Europeans. With money they can make excellent acquisitions in the moment that U.S. and Europe are in crisis."

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:

- acquisition = adquisición
- ammunition = municiones
- brand, brands = marca, marcas
- chat, chatting = charlar, charlando
- China, Chinese = China, chino, china
- cloud computing = computación nube
- crucial = decisivo
- Crusader, Crusaders = Cruzado, Cruzados
- embark = embarcarse
- food = comida, alimentos
- Greece, Greek = Grecia, griego, griega
- Holy Land = Tierra Santa
- humilition = humillación
- Jerusalem = Jerusalén
- Libya, Libyan = Libia, libio, libia
- Middle Ages = Edad Media
- momentum = momento
- operating system = sistema operativo
- Pakistan, Pakistani = Paquistán, paquistaní (m/f)
- Peru, Peruvian = Perú, peruano, peruana
- pornography = pornografía
- quasi = cuasi
- remind = recordar
- Soviet Union = Unión Soviética
- speech, speeches = discurso, discursos
- stature = estatura


. Crusaders: Warriors of the Crusades, the military campaigns to take the control of Jerusalem and the Holy Land.
. Face recognition: technology to recognize human faces in photos and pictures.
. NATO: North Atlantic Treaty Organization
. Tripoli: In Arab, its name is Tarabulus al Gharb, also known as the Western Tripoli.


Thanks to Bev, Bob, Erika, Mary, Paul, and Stephanie your messages about the previous Weekly Bilingual News.

Sources: Apple Press website, NATO website, Wall Street Journal, PBS NewsHour, Barron's Online, New York Times, Think Tank of Comlab, others.

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