Monday, June 27, 2011

Weekly Bilingual News

Dear Friends:

Hello! Welcome to the Weekly Bilingual News, a new edition of the periodical communication of the Spanish-English Club with a brief analysis and comments about how the world was running in the last few days.

In this opportunity the main words of the week were: war, withdrawal, troops, bombs… President Obama announced the plan for the withdrawal of the troops from Afghanistan while the Congress debated about the authority of the President to participate in the NATO campaign against the Libyan regime.

Other key issues of the week were the release from the national oil reserves, the discussions about raising the ceiling of the federal budget, the Greek financial crisis, the sickness of the Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, the trial against the former strongman of Tunisia, the attacks along the border between North Sudan and South Sudan, the Syrian repression, and bombs in Afghanistan and Iraq.

On Tuesday June 21, former Utah governor Jon Huntsman launched officially his campaign for president for the Republican nomination of the 2012 presidential election. Mr. Huntsman resigned as American ambassador to China same weeks ago.

On Friday June 24, Apple widened its legal battle against Samsung Electronics Co. by filing a suit against the South Korean maker in its home market over the Galaxy smart-phone. Last April, the father of the Mac made its first legal demand against Samsung in the United States alleging that Korean company copied the "look and feel" of its iPhone and iPad products for smart-phones and tablet computers that Samsung released last year and this year. In the official presentation to the Californian Court, Apple said that the manufacturer of Galaxy infringed upon design patents and "trade dress" registrations of its products. (trade dress: legal term that generally refers to features of the visual appearance of a product or its packaging).

Wall Street continued showing the pessimism of the investors for the gloomy moments of Greece and a non-clear panorama of the American economy. The markets of New York closed with mixed results. For the week, Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 69.78 points, or 0.58% to 11934.58. Nasdaq Composite gained 36.41 points, or 1.39%, to 2652.89.


On Wednesday June 22 President Obama unveiled his plan for the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. 5000 troops will head home this summer and another 5000 will leave Afghan territory before the end of the year. We wrote the following comment in the Journal Community forum of Wall Street Journal: "Till now, we don't have an exact idea in what phase is the Afghan campaign in. Can we discuss a withdrawal plan? We only know how many soldiers are dying onthe battlefield according to the public information distributed by the press, but we don't know who will be the winner and what will be the last balance relative to the original goals for this war. We understand that for political reasons, the White House wants to announce the withdrawal now, but what will happen in one year and in two years?" (Group Topic: How quickly should U.S. troops be drawn down in Afghanistan? Domingo A. Trassens, June 23, 2011)

Two days later, Wall Street Journal posted an article originally titled: "Bomb Kills 60 in Afghanistan" (1) where the writer of the story informed about a new bombing attack in Afghan territory. Immediately we wrote: "Are the new 60 deaths a good symptom that all is working well in Afghanistan? Or maybe in this country, 60 people are not a relevant number? How we can measure the blood spilled in the territory controlled by the Talibans?"

Next, also Wall Street Journal published another story about the war in the region titled: "Taliban Use Husband, Wife Bombers" (2) where the author described the bombing procedures of the terrorist group using women and also men as couriers and transport of bombs against public places in Afghanistan and Pakistan. This was our comment: "Who can believe it is possible to sign an agreement of peace with fanatic criminals who sacrifice their own people as a tool to spread their terror?"

Last, in the moment we was beginning the writing the new Weekly Bilingual News, we received other story from Wall Street Journal titled: "Iran Woos U.S. Allies as Troops Withdraw". This was our new comment: "U.S. and its western allies have expended their money, their time and the blood of their soldiers in a frustrating effort to export "democratic packages" to countries that never have had interest to raise the flags of the western democratic movements. It is regrettable that during 10 years of fighting, we have never reread the history about the Crusades of the Middle Ages, when different military campaigns failed in their ambition to impose the rules of Christianity on nations ruled by Muslims and pagans."

In summary, we think the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have a lot of common points with the Crusades of the Middle Ages. The American and NATO troops are fighting in territories where religious factors are more powerful than the freed mind of the population and where the regimes never trust in the friendship of western countries.

After all the events of the last few days we see that Iran is playing in the background with good results. Last Saturday, the Afghan and Pakistani presidents visited in Tehran and discussed with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad how they can work together when the NATO troops leave Afghanistan.


 VENEZUELAN FUTURE: On June 25, Wall Street Journal posted a story titled: "Chavez Illness Sparks Succession Talk" where the author says Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is in Cuba for medical intervention. Several sources suggest he has prostate cancer.
Our Comment: "Venezuela has to turn the page of Chavez off and it has to open the country to a free election looking for a new government with new faces, new ideas, and patriotic principles. Venezuela is a great country that has beenruled for decades by corrupt governments and bad politicians."

NATIONAL OIL RESERVERS: On June 24, Journal Community of WSJ asked to its members the following question: "Should the IEA and U.S. release oil from reserves?"
Our Opinion: The decision to release oil from the national reserves is risky. The producers have to produce more oil per day.

YAHOO'S SICKNESS: On June 23, Wall Street Journal posted a story titled: "Yahoo, CEO Bartz Face Tough Shareholder Meeting" where the writer says Yahoo doesn't find a new formula of success.
Our Comment: "Yahoo has been sick since the mid-2000 when Google knocked its business. From that moment, nobody found the antidote for anti-Google. This is bad, but Yahoo has to learn to live with its sickness or dig its grave to die."

GREEK AUSTERITY: On June 22, Wall Street Journal posted a story titled: "Greek Vote Sets Stage for More Cuts" where the author says the Greek Parliament will support the austerity plan.
Our Comment: "We agree the vote of confidence is a victory for Papandreou in the Parliament, but this vote doesn't imply that all the Greeks accept the new measures. Some press interviews from Athens' streets show there are a "gap" between politicians and the population because the poor people have not voice in the decision of the rulers of the country."

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:

- Afghanistan, Afghan = Afganistán, afgano, afgana
- ambassador = embajador
- austerity = austeridad
- budget = presupuesto
- clinic = clínica
- courier = mensajero, mensajera
- Crusades = Cruzadas
- Cuba, Cuban = Cuba, cubano, cubana
- fanatic = fanático, fanática, fanáticos, fanáticas
- fight = combate, lucha, pelea
- gap = vacío, hueco
- grave = tumba
- Greece, Greek = Grecia, griego, griega
- Iraq, Iraqi = Irak, iraquí (m/f)
- Iran, Iranian = Irán, iraní (m/f)
- Middle Ages = Edad Media, Medioevo
- oil = petróleo
- Pakistan, Pakistani = Paquistán, paquistaní (m/f)
- parliament = parlamento (also: Congreso, and in Spain: Cortes)
- regrettable = lamentable
- reread = releer
- reserves = reservas
- rulers = gobernantes
- sacrifice = sacrificar
- shareholder = accionista (m/f)
- sickness = enfermedad, mal 
- sign = firmar
- spill, spilled = derramar, derramó
- spread = diseminar, extender
- South Korea, South Korean = Corea del Sur, surcoreano, surcoreana
- Sudan, Sudanese = Sudán, sudanés, sudanesa
- transport = transporte
- troops = tropas
- Tunisia = Túnez
- Venezuela, Venezuelan = Venezuela, venezolano, venezolana
- war, wars = guerra, guerras
- withdraw = retirarse, retirar
- withdrawal = retirada
- woo, woos = cortejar, corteja


The Crusades of the Middle Ages were military campaigns called by Catholic Church (popes and kings) against Islamic forces and pagans in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries. These expeditions to the Holy Land ended without the success. They didn’t spread the principles of Christianity in the regions dominated by other religious believes.


Thanks to Bob, Betty, Erika, Frank, Gaby, John, Mary, and Suzanne your messages about the previous Weekly Bilingual News.

End of the Crusades: Iran in the background. Who will be the winner?

Sources: Word History published by United States Armed Forces Institute, Apple online pressrom, Yahoo website, Wall Street Journal, PBS NewsHour, New York Times, The Washington Post, Think Tank of Comlab.

References: (1) "Deadly Suicide Blast at Afghanistan Clinic", Associated Press, Kabul, WSJ, June 25, 2011 / (2) "Taliban Use Husband, Wife Bombers", Associated Press, Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan, WSJ, June 26, 2011 / (3) "Iran Woos U.S. Allies as Troops Withdraw". Jay Solomon, WSJ, June 27, 2011.

No comments: