The following talks about the disaster caused by the war, the impact of tourism, the outdoor sports in New Zealand, the unemployment problem, and the speech.
Article 1: The disaster brought about by war
A four-year-old girl is lying in the arms of a doctor. She has just become motherless. Her pink clothes are bloodied and her eyes stare at something only she can see. She has suffered from a bombing near her home in southern Iraq.
Every day we see images like this on our televisions.
We see young Iraqi children begging for food and water from American and British soldiers as they move through towns and cities towards the capital, Baghdad.
We see these children following grown-ups, carrying bags of belongings almost the same size as their small bodies as they flee their homes in Baghdad.
They represent just some of the young lives that have been turned upside down by the ongoing war. And they show the terrible price being paid by Iraqi children.
“Dad, why are the Americans striking us? Are we going to be killed?” asks the son of Abu Sinar, an Iraqi engineer. Abu finds it hard to explain this war to his eight-year-old son.
He tries to comfort him by saying: “The bombs are far away from us. The Americans are fighting the soldiers. We’re going to be all right.” Even though Abu knows this isn’t always the truth.
In southern parts of the country, like Iraq’s second largest city, Basra, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund is working to repair the damage caused by fighting.
The organization is working to provide clean water and restore electrical power, said Geoffrey Keele, a UNICEF spokesman.
But little else can be done. In Baghdad, parents give their children sleeping pills to try and let them escape the sound of exploding bombs. And all the schools are closed.
“All they can do is listen to and hear the war,” said Keele. “There is suffering in Baghdad. It is clear that the bombing is affecting the mental well-being of the children.”
Despite UNICEF’s efforts, dirty water is being blamed for cholera outbreaks in southern Iraq. Diarrhea is spreading among the children, sometimes leading to death.
Nearly 50 percent of Iraq’s population is under 15 years old. And 30 percent of them already suffered before the war from malnutrition, according to international aid organizations.
Now the situation is worse, but continual fighting makes it impossible to count the number who are hungry, sick, injured or even dead.
Article 2: The impact of tourism
Without proper planning, tourism can cause problems.
For example, too many tourists can crowd public places that are also enjoyed by the inhabitants of a country.
If tourists create too much traffic, the inhabitants become annoyed and unhappy.
They begin to dislike tourists and to treat them impolitely. They forget how much tourism can help the country and how tourism affects them.
Tourism should help a country keep the customs and beauty that attract tourists. Tourism should also advance the well-being (health and happiness) of local inhabitants.
Too much tourism can be a problem. If tourism grows too quickly, people must leave other jobs to work in the tourism industry.
This means that other parts of the country’s economy can suffer.
On the other hand, if there is not enough tourism, people can lose jobs. Businesses can also lose money.
It costs a great deal of money to build large hotels, airports, air terminals, first-class roads, and other support facilities needed by tourist attractions.
For example, a major international-class tourism hotel can cost as much as 50 thousand dollars per room to build.
If this room is not used most of the time, the owners of the hotel lose money.
Building a hotel is just a beginning. There must be many support facilities as well, including roads to get to the hotel, electricity, sewers to handle waste, and water.
All of these support facilities cost money. If they are not used because there are not enough tourists, jobs and money are lost.
Article 3: Outdoor sports in New Zealand
Clean, clear air and green landscapes make New Zealand a nature lover’s paradise.
But this calm and relaxing country has another side. New Zealand is also the extremely sports capital of the world.
Known as Kiwis, New Zealanders are famous for their relaxed lifestyle and their love of the outdoors.
But they have also developed a great selection of white-knuckle activities for those seeking a bit more excitement from life.
“Bungee” is a word that gets the heart beating.
It refers to the challenge and excitement of throwing yourself off a bridge or platform high above the ground with your legs tied to a big rubber band.
Bungee jumping originated in the South Pacific islands. There it was a coming of age ritual for young men.
Modern bungee jumps started in New Zealand in the late 1980s. It was introduced to the world by New Zealander, A.J. Hackett.
He performed a legendary jump was broadcast all over the world. As a result, bungee jumping took off in France, spread to other European countries, and has now gained popularity all over the world.
The world’s first commercial bungee site was opened in Queenstown, New Zealand, in 1988.
If bungee jumping challenges your fear of heights, white water rafting gives you a thrilling, natural roller coaster ride.
White water rafting is hugely popular in New Zealand. There are around 50 rivers used to provide this final challenge.
In nothing but an eight-seated rubber raft, you speed down a narrow, rocky river. Your on board guide steers the raft and tells you how to paddle.
Having enjoyed the thrill of rafting, remember to choose a fine day with clear blue skies for skydiving.
New Zealand’s dramatic natural scenery makes skydiving extra exciting. Generally, operators will give you the choice of height from 3,000, 4,000 or 5,000 meters.
Free falling lasts from 30 to 45 seconds during which time you will feel the power of the air tearing at your suit.
As the parachute opens the world suddenly becomes still and silent. That’s the time to relax and enjoy the view. The landing is soft but the excitement is hardcore .
Article 4: Unemployment
They are among the 250,000 people under the age of 25 who are out of work in the Netherlands, a group that explains the cause of 40 percent of the nation’s unemployed.
A storm of anger boils up at the government-sponsored youth center, event among those who are continuing their studies.
“We study for jobs that don’t exist,” Nicollets Steggerda, 23, said.
After thirty years of prosperity, unemployment among 10 member nations of the European Community has reached as much as 11 percent, affecting a total of 12.3 million people, and the number is climbing.
The bitter disappointment long expressed by British youths is spreading across the Continent.
The title of a rock song “No Future” can now be seen written on the brick walls of closed factories in Belgium and France.
Recent surveys have found that the increasing argument in the last few years over the deployment in Europe of North Atlantic Treaty Organization missiles and the possibility of nuclear war have clouded European youths’ confidence in the future.
One form of protest tends to put the responsibility for a country’s economic troubles on the large numbers of “guest workers” from Third World nations, people welcomed in Western Europe in the years of prosperity.
Young Europeans, brought up in an extended period of economic success and general stability, seem to be similar to Americans more than they do their own parents.
Material enjoyment has given them a sense of expectation, even the right, to a standard of living that they see around them.
“And so we pass the days at the discos, or meet people at the café, and sit and share,” said Isabella Cault. “There is usually not much conversation. You look for happiness. Sometimes you even find it.”
Article 5: Speech
It may help you to know that there is no such thing as a perfect speech. At some point in every speech, every speaker says something is not understood exactly as he has planned.
Fortunately, such moments are usually not obvious to the listeners. Why?
Because the listeners do not know what the speaker plans to say. They hear only what the speaker does say.
If you lose your place for a moment, wrongly change the order of a couple of sentences, or forget to pause at a certain point, no one will be any the wiser.
When such moments occur, don’t worry about them. Just continue as if nothing happened.
Even if you do make an obvious mistake during a speech, that doesn’t really matter.
If you have ever listened to Martin Luther King’s famous speech—“I Have a Dream”, you may notice that he stumbles over his words twice during the speech.
Most likely, however, you don’t remember. Why? Because you were fixing your attention on his message rather than on his way of speech-making.
People care a lot about making a mistake in a speech because they regard speech-making as a kind of performance rather than as an act of communication.
They feel the listeners are like judges in an ice-skating competition. But, in fact, the listeners are not looking for a perfect performance.
They are looking for a well-thought-out speech that expresses the speaker’s ideas clearly and directly.
Sometimes a mistake or two can actually increase a speaker’s attractiveness by making them more human.
As you work on your speech, don’t worry about being perfect.
Once you free your mind of this, you will find it much easier to give your speech freely.
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