Sunday, July 17, 2011

Weekly Bilingual News

Dear Friends:

Hello! Welcome to the Weekly Bilingual News! Again we are making a short tour across the world through a brief analysis of the major events of the last few days. We include a chapter of bilingual vocabulary linked with this issue.

The second half of the year began with a mix of bad news concerning financial, economic and political issues, plus bombing attacks, uprisings, repression, scandals, assassinations, and other deaths.

On Sunday 10, "Bulgaria", a Russian tourist boat with more than 180 people on board, sank on the Volga River in a fatal accident. Amid wind and rain, a strong storm knocked the vessel that disappeared in several minutes under water. The death toll was over 100 people. The boat was more than 50 years old. According to different sources its maximum capacity was 120 passengers. The authorities ordered a special investigation to know the causes of the accident.

On Monday July 11, in Damascus, Syria, the embassies of France and US were attacked by followers of the regime in apparent retaliation because the French and American ambassadors visiting an opposition city.

On July 12, in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Ahmed Wali Karzai, half-brother of Afghan President Karzai, was shot and killed in an unclear episode, by a longtime associate of his family at his home.

On July 13, again Mumbai, India was the target a terrorist attack. Three bombs exploded in its financial district killing at least 21 and wounding more than 100. About this incident we wrote the followed comment in a Wall Street's blog: "The three blasts show that till now India hasn't fixed its weakness in security while Mumbai continues to bean attractive place for terrorists."

On July 14, from Mountain View, California, Google posted the financial results of its second fiscal 2011 quarter ended June 30 with figures showed the Internet's company is recovering ground after some recent shakings. Its quarterly revenues were US$ 9,026 million, up 32.25% from the same period of a year ago. It also published a net income of US$ 2,505 million, up 36.14% year over year.

On July 15, in Istanbul, Turkey, a group of 30 countries recognized the Libyan Transitional National Council. The U.S. and other nations have formally recognized the main opposition group in Libya as the legitimate government. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Col. Gadhafi has forfeited his right to rule in the Transitional National Council.

From Tuesday to Friday, Italy gained room in the papers due to the austerity measures proposed by the Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and approved by the Parliament. This initiative came after rumors that the financial authorities of the European Union were afraid that Rome could convert into a second Athens. The Italian government made an important effort to restore calm to worried European leaders and markets.

Meanwhile, the phone-hacking scandal of the "News of the World" in the United Kingdom generated resignations of the top executives of News Corp and members of the British police, arrests and a suicide. The case continues opened and Rupert Murdoch, owner of the media group, could be damaged. Scotland Yard in UK and FBI in US are instituting research to know the extent of the phone-hacking procedures.

During all week, in Washington, the discussions between the White House and the leaders of Congress about the big deficit of the federal government continued without definitions.

The Wall Street markets closed the previous week in negative territory. On Friday July 15, Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 177.47 points for the week, or 1.40% to 12479.73, while Nasdaq Composite declined 70.01 points in the same period, or 2.45%, to 2789.80.

On Sunday July 17, the Japanese women soccer team defeated US in a dramatic end of penalty kicks winning the Women's World Cup in Frankfurt, Germany. It was the first title for Japan. The United States was looking for its third world cup. After an excellent match ended 2-2, it lost its chance to be again world champion in a series of the eleven meters shots.


The phone-hacking is not a new practice to find murders, follow terrorists and enemies, and uncover the truth in cases of crimes, security and defense issues. It is used by intelligence agencies, police forces and private detectives in different circumstances, sometimes violating ethical principles of the society or going against international agreements with friends, partners and others.

In the case of the "News of the World", the circumstances look worse than the phone-hacking  used by the police because the press is not the correct institution to try to enforce the law. Definitely, journalists have to research information always respecting ethical principles and the privacy of others.

In connection with the UK scandal where some involved journalists working for the Murdoch media empire, we wrote the following comments in an Internet blog of Wall Street Journal: "The News Corp's scandal opens a new question mark about what really is the role of journalists: 1) Describe the events in a reasonable way? 2) Compete with the police in the detective research of the events? 3) Or push the last bloody knife in the body of the victims?"


LIBYAN REBELS: The Journal Community of WSJ asked to its members: "Should the U.S. have granted legitimacy to the Libyan rebels?"
Our Answer: "Till now we only know the National Transitional Council is an enemy of the Libyan regime. But are they our friends? We have to be cautious!" (July 16, 2011) 

FACEBOOK IN THE SKY: The Journal Community of WSJ asked to its members: "Do you think Facebook is worth $100 billion?"
Our Answer: "Facebook is a fantasy of some investors and speculators who want to inflate the balloon without logical sense. Unfortunately, the environment that Facebook offers to link people and businesses does not have enough professional level  to guarantee important business transactions. Sometimes, its users receive suggestions for personal or business links that are not viable. In general, the connections are only for fun or to find friends. Facebook is not a hardware and/or software maker. How many other assets can we consider to achieve the worth of $100 billion?" (July 15, 2011).

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:

- assassination = asesinato
- assets = activos
- austerity = austeridad
- British = británico, británica
- boat = barco, buque
- causes = causas
- concerning = sobre, acerca de
- death toll = número de víctimas
- episode = episodio
- fatal = mortal
- forfeit = perder derecho a
- fun = diversión
- illegal = ilegal
- Italy, Italian, Italians = Italia, italiano, italiana, italianos, italianas
- net income = ingresos netos
- on board = a bordo
- phone-hacking = escuchas telefónicas ilegales, piratería telefónica
- revenues = ingresos
- river = río
- Russia, Russian, Russians = Rusia, ruso, rusa, rusos, rusas
- shakings = sacudidas
- sink, sank, sunk = hundir, hundió, hundido
- soccer = fútbol
- Turkey = Turquía
- vessel = barco


Thanks to Ann, Betsy, Bob, Erika, Joseph, Mary, Stephanie, and Suzanne your messages about the previous Weekly Bilingual News.

Sources: Google website, Facebook website, US Secretary of State website, Wall Street Journal, PBS NewsHour, New York Times, and The Washington Post.

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