IN A NUTSHELL 4/2019

IN A NUTSHELL 4/2019

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MAYOR OF GDAŃSK MURDERED

On Sunday December 13, 2018 the whole Poland gathered funds for the Grand Orchestra of Christmas Charity for the 27th time. The atmosphere of joy and celebration connected with helping kids and the elderly was broken by a barbarian attack that took place in Gdańsk. A 27-year-old man wearing a press pass entered the stage during the fireworks display which traditionally marks the final of the event and attacked the mayor of Gdańsk, Paweł Adamowicz, with a knife. He stabbed him three times, unfortunately causing severe wounds. Mr Adamowicz was resuscitated in front of the stage and later transported to a hospital where he got the help of the best doctors. He had been operated for five hours and as of Monday morning doctors still described his state as very serious. The knife damaged heart and other internal organs and the mayor had to get over 40 doses of blood. To a horror of his family and a shock to the whole country he died later the same day. After the attack the man walked on stage for several dozen seconds before he was neutralized and arrested. He turned out to be a criminal who had done his time in prison for attacks on banks. 

THE MOST EXPENSIVE DIVORCE IN THE WORLD  

First things first: Mackenzie Bezos did not marry money. When she and Jeff first met he was not a billionaire, there even was no Amazon. The company was established and grew when they were husband and wife. This argument becomes key now that they are about to divorce because that’s the reason why their split may become by far the most expensive one in history. The couple lives in Washington and according to this state’s law all assets gathered during the marriage must be split equally. Perhaps luckily for Mackenzie her husband happens to be the richest man in the world whose net worth is estimated to be $137 billion. If she gets the half of it she will instantaneously become the richest woman in the world. The divorce worries investors who wonder if it will have an impact on Amazon itself. Jeff owns some 16% of shares and he will either have to sell some of them or transfer them to his wife which will make her an important player who may want to influence the company’s policy. However, CNN claims Jeff’s power does not come from having majority of shares but from ”strong leadership record” and this will not change with him having 8% of shares rather than twice as many.

USA: LONGEST GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN IN HISTORY

As of Tuesday, January 15 what is called a ”government shutdown” has already lasted for 24 days, which is an all-time record. A government shutdown refers to a situation when the Congress in the USA does not pass the budget bill for the new year and has very serious consequences. In such an event all people employed by the government stop getting their wages and either stay at home on mandatory leaves or come to work without remuneration, hoping to get the money when the problem resolves. This applies to some 800,000 Americans, among other workers of all federal agencies, airports, national parks or NASA. At the same time politicians whom the decision depends on keep on getting their checks on time. The reason why the 2019 budget was not passed is that Trump wants to keep the promise he made during the election and build a wall on the border with Mexico. He already resigned from the wall being an impressive, tall, concrete barrier and considers only a steel fence, but this would still mean spending some $5.7 billion. Democrats oppose the idea of a wall in its very nature but in trying to find a compromise they offer no more than $1.5 billion. On day 24 of the conflict any solution seems distant.

LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER POSITION(S) OPEN

East Brother Light Station, a historic lighthouse built in 1874, is located in the San Francisco Bay, California. It is likely world’s only B&B in an operating lighthouse on an island. A nonprofit group East Brother Lighthouse Inc. that runs the lighthouse on behalf of the US Coast Guard is now looking for two persons interested in managing it on a day-to-day basis. The salary is $130,000 annually split between two people. You should be able to serve high quality food, do small (if not all) maintenance jobs and bring guests from the mainland and back on a ferry. Having an outgoing personality is also a must. Easy money? Not quite. Applicants need a US Coast Guard commercial boat operator’s license and Tom Butt, the local Mayor of Richmond, CA, says that it is extremely difficult to obtain one. This isn’t the only catch. The two applicants should get along pretty well, too (certainly not the Bezos – at least not right now – perhaps couples in early stages of a relationship). They also need the right to work in the USA. The job starts in mid-April and a two-week training is provided. The good news: the current government shutdown does not seem to threaten job security of the successful applicants, despite US Coast Guard being a government agency.

FOR&AGAINST

The attack on mayor Adamowicz could have been prevented if the security had worked well.

(Can attack of this kind be prevented? What was the danger of Adamowicz being attacked on a charity event like this? What kind of people are usually employed by security agencies?)

In case of a divorce the couple’s wealth should not be divided half by half.

(Should partners get a proportionate amount to what they earn? How to prove how much each person worked for what they have together? Could you sat that Mackenzie Bezos earned as much money as her husband?)

Government shutdown should mean only politicians not getting money.

(Why is it that there is money for the wages of politicians? Why do the federal workers not receive their money? Could not paying the politicians lead to a quicker decision?)

Visa requirements often prevent best people to apply for available positions worldwide.

(Why do countries issue visas and work permits? Wouldn’t it help their economy if best people had easy access to jobs they are willing to do?)

VOCABULARY:

the elderly – starsi 

fireworks display – pokaz fajerwerków

to stab sb – ugodzić kogoś nożem

internal organs – organy wewnętrzne

to divorce – rozwieść się

to pass a budget bill – uchwalić ustawę budżetową

instantaneously – natychmiast

shares – udziały, akcje

B&B [Bed and Breakfast] – pensjonat

on behalf of – w imieniu

maintenance – utrzymanie, konserwacja

ferry – prom

outgoing personality – przyjazna osobowość

catch – haczyk

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