IN A NUTSHELL 32/2018

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SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN DIES AT 81

America mourns the death of senator John McCain who passed away on August 26, 2018. The Republican senator from Arizona was a remarkable politician who tried to become the US President two times. On the first occasion he failed to get his party’s nomination, the second time he lost the battle with Barrack Obama. When, on one occasion, a journalist asked McCain what he would like to be remembered for the veteran said ’serving my country’. Truly, this is what he did. The senator was a former war hero who spent over 5 years as a prisoner in Vietnam. Being a son of an admiral he had a chance to return to his homeland before other prisoners but did not agree to use such privilege. It was an aggressive form of brain cancer that managed to end the brave senator’s glorious life.

GOOD TIME TO BECOME A PILOT

Even though autopilots have been with us for a long time and AI develops fast it seems there still is room for people to work in aviation. According to an analysis prepared by Boeing and published by BBC hundreds of thousands of new jobs will emerge in Asia in the sector of air travel. The numbers mentioned are impressive: the region will need an estimated 240,000 new pilots and 317,000 extra crew members. Half of those people will find jobs in China. Such changes are caused by rapid economic growth and dynamic increase in travelling. Given the fact that there already are not enough people who can operate a plane there it might be a good idea to consider following such a career. Obviously, the need for workers will be accompanied by the need for planes — forecasts say some 40% of passenger aircrafts will be produced for Asia Pacific. 

ENGLAND WANTS TO BAN ELECTRIC SHOCK COLLARS FOR PETS

English government has announced that dog and cat owners will not be allowed to use electric shock collars anymore. Such devices were so far used by pet owners to help them control animals and train them. An electric shock collar can deliver anything between 100 and 6000 volts of energy and supporters of the ban say there is no need in the 21st century to use punitive techniques of this kind. Kennel Club held a poll in 2014 in which 74% of people said banning such devices was a good idea. Opponents draw the attention to the fact that even 6000 volts it is still a thousand times less than the power of electric fences used for cattle. They say a good solution would be to rethink product standards rather than ban the whole category of products.

UBER SWITCHES FROM CARS TO BIKES AND SCOOTERS

After taking over a vast percentage of services originally reserved for taxi corporations Uber now plans to reconsider its policy concerning centres of big cities. The company thinks it makes more sense in rush hours to use individual modes of transport such as bikes and scooters and has already introduced electric bikes called ’Jump’ in 8 American cities as well as started cooperating with Lime, a producer of electric scooters. It is expected that in the beginning Uber will lose some money as bike and scooter rides are not as profitable as car rides. However, the company hopes soon clients will make more shorter journeys which will make up for the missing dollars. Allegedly people who made driving with Uber their primary or partial source of income should also sleep well as they are predicted to make more longer journeys instead of short ones. 

FOR&AGAINST

It should be compulsory for all politicians to retire at the age of 67.

(What kind of politicians? What is case of health problems or death? What about experience? What about examples of older political or religious leaders like Trump or the Pope?)

In 20 years pilots will not be necessary as planes will be autonomous.

(What about safety of travelling without a pilot? What about the present state of technology? What about potential protests of trade unions? What about people’s attitude to flying without a pilot?)

Electric shock collars and electric fences for cattle should be banned.

(Are electric shock collars for dogs and cats equally bad as electric fences for cattle? What other solutions are available? What about the cost? What’s wrong if such devices are safe?)

Bikes and scooters are a better means of transport in centres of cities than cars.

(What about the aspect of pollution? Are bikes and scooters a solution for everyone? What about climate differences? What about bad weather conditions?)

VOCABULARY:

to mourn – opłakiwać, być w żałobie po
to pass away – umrzeć
to serve one’s country – służyć krajowi
homeland – ojczyzna
privilege – przywilej
there is room for sth – jest na coś miejsce
crew member – członek załogi
forecasts – prognozy
collar – obroża
punitive – karny
to draw sb’s attention to the fact – zwrócić czyjąś uwagę na fakt
electric fence – ogrodzenie pod napięciem
rush hours – godziny szczytu
scooter – hulajnoga

CHECK YOUR UNDERSTANDING

  1. Which country kept senator McCain in prison for over 5 years?
  2. How many times senator McCain was the president of the USA?
  3. How many pilots will the region of Asia Pacific need in 20 years?
  4. What law changes about electric collars for dogs were introduced in England?
  5. What would happen to a dog if it was hit with 6000 volts?
  6. How does Uber plan to earn more money in city centres?
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