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VOA's Special English Programs

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 American Folklife Center: Preserving the Voices, Songs and Stories of Everyday People

The third part of a series of programs on keeping traditions alive. Transcript of radio broadcast:
27 November 2007


[External Link Removed for Guests]
 

[align=left]
VOICE ONE:

I’m Steve Ember.

VOICE TWO:

And I’m Barbara Klein with EXPLORATIONS in VOA Special English. We continue our series of reports about efforts to keep alive some traditional ways of doing things. Today we tell about preserving stories, experiences and beliefs of everyday people.

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

In the largest library in the world is a collection of voices. Voices of people telling the stories about important events in their lives. Singing songs they sang as children. Explaining the ceremonies and celebrations of their families and communities. This unusual collection is in the American Folklife Center, which is part of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

The Folklife Center was created to collect and preserve the traditional knowledge that is passed on to others by spoken word and custom. The folklife collections include the folklore, cultural activities, traditional arts and personal histories of everyday people from the end of the nineteenth century to the present.

Peggy Bulger is the director of the American Folklife Center. She says the songs people sing, the stories they tell, the things they make are an important part of history. So the Folklife Center contains a historical record of a people told in their own voices, not described by political leaders, professors or writers.

VOICE TWO:

In nineteen seventy-six, the United States Congress passed a law that created the American Folklife Center to preserve and present the history of American folklife. The materials in the Center are available to researchers at the Library of Congress and at the library’s Web site. It also provides recordings, live performances, exhibits and publications. And it trains people to do the collecting.

More than four million objects are now in the collections of the American Folklife Center. Most of them are in the biggest and oldest part of the Center, which is the Archive of Folk Culture. It was established at the Library of Congress almost eighty years ago and was known for years as the Archive of American Folk Song.

(MUSIC)

Sociologist Lewis Wade Jones, left, of Fisk University recording a group of singers at the Fort Valley State College Folk Festival

VOICE ONE:

In nineteen twenty-eight, the head of the Library of Congress decided that the library should collect American folk songs sung by people as they worked and played. Robert Gordon was chosen to lead this project. He had already decided his goal in life was to collect every American folk song. He traveled around the country, recording people in their homes or communities. The recordings were made on wax cylinders, a device that Thomas Edison invented in eighteen seventy-seven.

When John and Alan Lomax took over the job in nineteen thirty-two, they began collecting more than music and song. They recorded and documented personal histories. These included what people cooked, the crafts they made, and the jokes and stories passed on from generation to generation by word of mouth. This is the kind of information about everyday life that often disappears through the years.

VOICE TWO:

Peggy Bulger says experts in folklore, music, or culture travel around the country and the world to record folklife. They work either as private individuals or for the Library of Congress or other federal and state agencies. Many of them use equipment lent to them by the Library of Congress. In return, the collectors give their sound and video recordings, research notes, papers, and photographs to the library’s collection.

Through the years, the folklife collections have grown to include traditions and culture from every area of the United States. You can find almost anything in the collections, including Native American song and dance music, ancient English story songs and cowboy poetry. You can listen to the memories of ex-slaves, experiences of Italian-American wine makers and memories of boat makers in the state of Maine.

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

Peggy Bulger says the materials in the Archive of Folk Culture are from almost every place in the world. People who come from other countries to settle in the United States bring their folklore with them. So the folklore and traditions of the immigrants become part of the collections – including those from Sudan, Cambodia, Vietnam, Bosnia and Latin America. Miz Bulger says the collections document the culture of the world as it exists today in the United States.

VOICE TWO:

The Archive of Folk Culture continues to grow. Individuals who have made a career of collecting folklore material want their collections to go to the Library of Congress when they retire. They want the materials to be preserved and made available to researchers in the future. For example, Miz Bulger says that next year a folklorist who documented women’s traditions in Afghanistan in the nineteen sixties is giving his collection to the Folklife Center.

VOICE ONE:

Peggy Bulger is excited about helping native groups record and save their own traditions and folklore. Two members of the Masai tribe of Kenya will spend a week getting training at the Folklife Center. Miz Bulger says the Masai do not want outsiders coming in to document their sacred ceremonies and songs. The Masai want to learn how to record and film themselves so they can be sure their traditions survive for future generations. And they want to have control over the use of the recordings, keeping ceremonial traditions secret, but making other information available to outsiders.

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

Bob Patrick is head of the Veterans History Project. The idea for the project began when United States Representative Ron Kind of Wisconsin was at a family gathering. His father and his uncle started talking about their experiences in war. Representative Kind decided to make a video recording of them telling their stories to save for his children when they were older. He decided then that the memories of all men and women who served in wars are important to record and preserve.

In the year two thousand, Representative Kind introduced a bill in Congress to establish the Veterans History Project. The bill passed with no opposition and was signed into law. The main purpose of the project is to collect and preserve the remembrances of people who served in all wars.

Bob Patrick says the project now has more than fifty thousand individual stories, including recordings or videos of veterans telling their stories about war. The collections also include photographs, letters, and other personal materials. All the materials are kept in the American Folklife Center in the Library of Congress. Some of them are available through the Web site.

VOICE ONE:

Mister Patrick says many organizations and individuals volunteer to make the recordings. Retirement communities, veterans’ organizations, historical societies, libraries, and high school and college students are part of the project. The most important volunteers are family members and friends who talk to the veterans about their lives and record their memories. Mister Patrick says that today’s technology makes that easy to do. The Veterans History project Web site has suggestions to help people who do the recordings.

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

Most new recordings in the American Folklife Center are in digital form, especially those made for the Veterans History Project and StoryCorps. People being recorded now are asked to give permission for their information to be shared with others through the World Wide Web at [External Link Removed for Guests]. Peggy Bulger hopes that in the future more older materials will be available to researchers around the world.

Miz Bulger says efforts by the Library of Congress to record and preserve dances, songs and stories help support traditional cultures. These efforts help young people realize the knowledge of older people is valuable. Every year, she says, more people recognize that folklife is an important part of the historical record.

VOICE ONE:

Peggy Bulger says the recordings in the Archive of Folk Culture prove that voices are very powerful. Listening to someone talk about his or her life gives you so much more information, she says, than just reading about it. The growing collections of voices that are part of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress are a lasting record of social and cultural life. They are a record that is truly of, by and for the people.

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

This program was written by Marilyn Rice Christiano and produced by Dana Demange. I’m Barbara Klein.

VOICE ONE:

And I’m Steve Ember. You can find out more about the American Folklife Center at our web site, voaspecialenglish.com. Listen again next month to EXPLORATIONS in VOA Special English for another program about keeping traditions alive. 
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Unscientific Poll: Calculators Subtract From Thinking Skills

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 Unscientific Poll: Calculators Subtract From Thinking Skills

We asked for your opinions, and found more critics than supporters of using calculators in school. Transcript of radio broadcast:
28 November 2007



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[align=left]
This is the VOA Special English Education Report.
Recently we asked how you feel about calculators in school. We heard from about thirty people in twelve countries, including a large number of Chinese.

Turbo Zhang writes: "My brain is rusting. Why? Because I use calculators everywhere, on my mobile phone, on my computer, etc. New technology makes us use everything except our brain."

Joony Zhu says calculators can provide us with an answer, but we may not understand it completely. And a student at an architectural and engineering college in China, Zhao Jing-tao, calls using a calculator "a kind of laziness."

Critics of using calculators in school, at least until high school or university, outnumbered supporters two to one.

Khaled Hamza in Cairo says "calculators affect badly on the thinking ways of students." Jose Gudino from Mexico City says this is because "you don't need to make an effort to get a result."

Hemin, a math teacher in Kurdistan-Iraq, says good math skills help in life. So he believes in solving problems with a pencil until high school.

Randy Bin Lin, a Ph.D. candidate from China at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, writes: "You should work out problems with some kind of pain without computers. Then you may come to appreciate the power of these sophisticated machines."

Abbas from Iran, now living in Sweden, says it is good to use your brain because calculators are not always available. "Last week I met a university student who could not subtract six from forty and used a calculator," says Abbas.

But He Wenbo from China says calculators reduce careless mistakes. And Yang Linwei, an eleventh grader from China, says: "When I was young we couldn't use calculators. But when I entered high school we have to solve a lot of math problems. We have to use a calculator. It makes my homework easier."

From Burkina Faso, Compaore Tewende Michel writes: "I can say that the handheld calculator has been important in my studies and even in my life."

And Barnabas Nyaaba in Ghana advises that "as we enjoy the use of calculators, let's be careful so that it does not have any bad effects on us."

Finally, Thomas, a student in China, says he likes using electronic calculators in school. But he wanted to tell us about what he called a special calculator which he does not know how to use. He even sent us a picture of this special -- and, in fact, ancient -- calculator. In English we call it an abacus.

And that's the VOA Special English Education Report, written by Nancy Steinbach. I'm Steve Ember. 
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US History: British Defeat the French in a Struggle for North America

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 US History: British Defeat the French in a Struggle for North America

During the 18th century, powerful European nations fought each other all over the world. The battle in North America was called the French and Indian War. Transcript of radio broadcast:
28 November 2007


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[align=left]VOICE ONE:

This is THE MAKING OF A NATION in VOA Special English. I'm Steve Ember

VOICE TWO:

And I'm Barbara Klein. This week, we tell about the conflicts among the nations in Europe during the eighteenth century and how they affected North America.

VOICE ONE:

During the eighteenth century, Spain, France and Britain controlled land in North America. Spain controlled Florida. France was powerful in the northern and central areas. Britain controlled the east. All three nations knew they could not exist together peacefully in North America. The situation could only be settled by war.

The powerful European nations already were fighting each other for land and money all over the world. These small wars continued for more than one hundred years. They were called King William's War, Queen Anne's War, King George's War and the French and Indian War.

VOICE TWO:

The French and Indian War was fought to decide if Britain or France would be the strong power in North America. France and its colonists and Indian allies fought against Britain, its colonists and Indian allies.

The war began with conflicts about land. French explorers had been the first Europeans in the areas around the Great Lakes and the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. France had sent traders and trappers to these territories and had established trading centers there.

Britain claimed the same land. When the king gave land in North America to someone, the land was considered to extend from east coast to west coast, even though no one knew where the west coast was. The land along the east coast had become crowded, and settlers were moving west. White people were destroying the Indians' hunting areas. And Indians became worried that they would lose the use of their land.

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

The Indian tribes may have been able to resist the people moving west if they had been united. But their own conflicts kept the Indian groups apart. When Britain and France started fighting each other, some Indians helped the British. Others helped the French.

The French settlers lived mainly in what was called New France. Today it is part of Canada. Life there was different from life in the British colonies to the south. There was no religious freedom, for example. All settlers in French territories had to be French and belong to the Roman Catholic Church. So, many French people who belonged to Protestant churches settled in the British colonies.

France also did not like the fact that the British paid the Indians high prices for animal furs. France was more interested in the fur trade than in settling the land. The British hurt the French traders' business when they bought fur from the Indians.

VOICE TWO:

One of the French trading forts was built in the area where the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is today. The French called it Fort Duquesne. The British claimed it was in Virginia and that the land belonged to them. In seventeen fifty-four, the governor of Virginia sent a twenty-one-year-old colonist named George Washington to tell the French to get out. This was the same George Washington who would later become the first President of the United States.

The French refused to leave Fort Duquesne. So Washington and one hundred fifty men tried to force them out. They attacked a group of Frenchmen and killed ten of them. The French and Indian War had begun.

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

British troops under the command of General Edward Braddock joined George Washington at Fort Duquesne. The British general expected to fight the way battles were fought in Europe. There, troops lined up on open fields and fired their weapons as they marched toward each other.

The French and Indians did not fight this way. They hid in the woods. They wore clothes that made them difficult to see. They shot at the British from behind trees. The British had more troops than the other side. But the French and Indians won the battle of Fort Duquesne. General Braddock was killed.

VOICE TWO:

Most of the French and Indian War was fought along two lakes in an area of New York state near the border with Canada. One was Lake George. The other, Lake Champlain north of Lake George. It reaches almost all the way to the city of Montreal in Canada.

These lakes provided the best way to move troops and supplies during the French and Indian war. Few roads existed in North America at that time. The military force, which controlled the lakes and rivers, controlled much of North America.

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

The French had military bases in the cities of Quebec and Montreal. The British had military bases along New York's Hudson River. The area between them became the great battleground.

Fighting increased after the British defeated the French near Lake George in the last months of seventeen fifty-five. The French then built a new military base to control Lake Champlain and the surrounding area.

The French military base was at the southern end of Lake Champlain. They built a strong camp, the kind called a fort. They called it Fort Carillon.

The fort would control Lake Champlain and the area needed to reach the northern part of Lake George. The fort was designed to provide a strong defense against attack. The French built two big walls of logs, several meters apart. The area between the walls was filled with dirt. Later, a strong stone front was added. Troops inside the walls were well protected. The British built a similar fort at the southern end of Lake George. They called it Fort William Henry.

VOICE TWO:

France sent one of its best military commanders to take command of its troops in America. His name was the Marquis de Montcalm. General Montcalm attacked several British forts in seventeen fifty-seven. One of these was Fort William Henry on Lake George. The British commander was forced to surrender.

General Montcalm promised that the British troops would be treated fairly if they surrendered. But the Indian allies of the French did not honor the surrender agreement. They began to kill British soldiers and settlers. No one is sure how many people died. It could have been more than one thousand.

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

In seventeen fifty-eight, a strong British force attacked Fort Carillon on Lake Champlain. General Montcalm was the French commander. Fort Carillon was strong enough that the smaller French force was able to defeat the bigger British force. The British withdrew, but attacked again the next year. This time the British commander was General Jeffery Amherst.

Amherst was successful. The British defeated the French. They changed the name of Fort Carillon to Fort Ticonderoga. It became an important military center in the French and Indian War. Fort Ticonderoga would also become important later, during America's war for independence.

VOICE TWO:

The Battle for Quebec was the turning point in the war. Britain and France signed a treaty to end it in Paris in seventeen sixty-three. The British had won. They took control of the lands that had been claimed by France.

Britain now claimed all the land from the east coast of North America to the Mississippi River. Everything west of that river belonged to Spain. France gave all its western lands to Spain to keep the British out. Indians still controlled most of the western lands, except for some Spanish colonies in Texas and New Mexico.

VOICE ONE:

Today, you can still visit the two forts that were so important in the French and Indian War. Little of the original buildings have survived. However, both have been re-built using the original designs. The area surrounding both forts is very beautiful, including the two lakes, Lake George and Lake Champlain.

Many people spend their holidays in this area enjoying the outdoors. The area includes one of America's national historical parks, Saratoga. It also includes the Lake George Beach State Park. Few people who visit the area stop to remember the terrible fighting that took place there two-hundred fifty years ago.

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

This MAKING OF A NATION program was written by Nancy Steinbach and Paul Thompson. I'm Barbara Klein.

VOICE ONE:

And I'm Steve Ember. Read and listen to our programs at voaspecialenglish.com. Join us again at this time next week for another program about the history of the United States in Special English on the Voice of America.
 
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The Worldwide Spread of Oil

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The Worldwide Spread of Oil

Persian Gulf countries hold more than half of the world's petroleum reserves, but production has grown in other areas. Transcript of radio broadcast:
29 November 2007

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[align=left]
This is the VOA Special English Economics Report.

When we think of oil, the part of the world that comes to mind first may be the Middle East. But petroleum development takes place worldwide.

Nigeria, for example, is the largest oil producer in Africa and the eleventh largest producer in the world. Russia is the world's second largest exporter of oil and the top exporter of natural gas.

But the country that produces and exports more oil than any other is Saudi Arabia. The Saudis hold one-fourth of the world's proven oil reserves.

Last year, Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf countries produced about twenty-eight percent of the world's oil supply. The United States Energy Department says they also held fifty-five percent of known reserves.

The other Gulf producers are Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Iran has ten percent of the world's proven oil reserves. Iraq is also estimated to have a large supply of oil, and unexplored areas may hold much more.

In nineteen sixty Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela formed the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. Today OPEC has twelve members. The newest is Angola which joined this year.

High oil prices have brought new attention to OPEC. Its members produce about forty percent of the world's oil. But two of the world's top three oil exporters, Russia and Norway, are not OPEC members.

Its influence may have reached a high point during the oil crisis connected to the nineteen seventy-three Arab-Israeli war. Arab oil producers boycotted the United States, western Europe and Japan because of their support for Israel.

Since then, new discoveries and increased production in areas including countries of the former Soviet Union have provided more oil.

National oil companies are estimated to control about eighty percent of the world's oil supply. In recent years, rising oil prices have led more governments to act, either directly or indirectly, to take control of their oil industries.

President Hugo Chavez has moved to nationalize oil operations in Venezuela. And in Russia, a series of actions resulted in state-owned Rosneft gaining control of reserves held by Yukos. Yukos was Russia's largest private company, until the government said it owed billions of dollars in taxes and jailed its founder, Russia's richest man.

And that's the VOA Special English Economics Report, written by Mario Ritter. Our report last week on the history of oil can be found at voaspecialenglish.com. I'm Faith Lapidus.
-------------------------

Correction: OPEC has 13 members, not 12 as reported, based on information from its Web site. Ecuador, which left the group 15 years ago, rejoined in November.
 
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Smith, Say Hi to Garcia: Two Hispanic Names Now in Top 10 in US

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 Smith, Say Hi to Garcia: Two Hispanic Names Now in Top 10 in US

Also: Music from a new album by Deborah Harry. And a question from Burundi about the Apple iPod. Transcript of radio broadcast:
29 November 2007


[External Link Removed for Guests]

 
[align=left]
HOST:

Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC, in VOA Special English.

(MUSIC)

I'm Doug Johnson. On our show this week:

We listen to some music from Deborah Harry …

Answer a question about the iPod …

And tell about a recent report listing common names in America.

Census Study of Names

HOST:

The English poet and playwright William Shakespeare asked “What’s in a name?” The United States government has an answer. Faith Lapidus explains.

FAITH LAPIDUS:

The United States Census Bureau has released a report about family names. The information comes from the study of the American population in two thousand.

The report tells the most common last names of Americans and some information linked to them. It says people recognize others by their names, and that people can tell a lot about a person just from knowing his or her name.

Almost two hundred seventy million people provided information to the Census Bureau in two thousand. The researchers found six million different last names among them. One million or more people have one of seven names. The most common is Smith. More than two million people answer to that name.

The next most common names are Johnson, Williams, Brown, Jones, Miller and Davis. More than one million people are called each of those names. Two hundred sixty-eight other family names are also fairly common. Each of those names is shared by more than one hundred thousand people.

The study also found that for the first time, two Hispanic names are among the top ten most common names in the country. They are Garcia and Rodriguez. Each name is shared by more than eight hundred thousand people. The report says more than ninety percent of all people with those names are Hispanic.

One newspaper report says it is probably the first time that any non-English sounding name has been listed among the most common. The presence of those names on the list shows that an increasing number of Hispanic people are living in the United States. The number grew by fifty-eight percent in the nineteen nineties to almost thirteen percent of the population.

Other Hispanic names appearing in the top twenty-five most common names are Martinez, Hernandez, Lopez and Gonzalez.

iPods

HOST:

Our listener question this week comes from Burundi. Josephine Uwangabe wants to know about the small iPod device made by the Apple computer company. The iPod is the most popular device made for storing and playing digital music. Because of its size, iPod users can enjoy listening to music while on the go.

In two thousand, Apple realized that digital music players were not selling because they were not well designed. Apple decided to change this. The company worked to develop a device that would have a fast computer connection so songs could go from a computer to the player quickly. The device also had to work well with Apple’s music program called iTunes, which permits users to easily organize thousands of songs. It had to be very easy to use. And it had to be good looking.

An advertising writer on Apple's team came up with the name iPod. He was influenced by the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey.” He saw the music device as a small “pod” that attached to a main spaceship, or, in this case, a computer. Apple released the first iPod in October, two thousand one.

Since then, Apple has developed several versions of the device. Some iPods are small enough to fit in your hand, while others can play videos, store photographs or connect to the Internet. They come in different colors, prices, and memory storage sizes. In October, Apple announced that it had sold one hundred and twenty million iPods.

Experts say these revolutionary devices are having a big effect on the music industry. Apple has sold over one billion digital songs from its iTunes program. This represents important income for many record companies that have been experiencing reduced album sales. Museums and schools are using iPods to play educational programs for visitors and students.

iPods have changed the way people listen to music. It would be hard to walk down a busy street or college campus in America without seeing several people with iPods and earphone devices. Music lovers can now hold thousands of songs in the palm of their hand.

Deborah Harry

(MUSIC)

HOST:



That was Deborah Harry singing with her band Blondie. The post-punk/new wave group had many hits in the late nineteen seventies and eighties. Shirley Griffith has more about Deborah Harry's new album, "Necessary Evil."

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH:

Deborah Harry's has a new solo album after fourteen years of silence. Here is “Two Times Blue” from “Necessary Evil.” The song made it into the top ten of Billboard Magazine’s Hot Dance Club Plays in the United States.

(MUSIC)

“Necessary Evil” came out last month. Harry started a series of live shows to support the album this month. She began the tour at the Fillmore Theater, in her hometown of New York City. Critics have praised Deborah Harry for staying current in her musical style. “Necessary Evil” is not a re-visiting of Blondie. Harry says she still loves the music of Blondie and many former punk bands. But she says musicians have to keep moving forward. She says being stuck in the past equals death for an artist. Here Deborah Harry sings the romantic song “If I Had You.”

(MUSIC)

Deborah Harry wrote the songs on “Necessary Evil.” She told one reporter that the album is about love and relationships like most pop songs. Harry herself has been married three times. She said she is in love with love --- sometimes. We leave you with Deborah Harry singing “Naked Eye.”

(MUSIC)

HOST:

I'm Doug Johnson. I hope you enjoyed our program today. It was written by Dana Demange, Nancy Steinbach and Caty Weaver, who also was our producer. To read the text of this program and download audio, go to our Web site, voaspecialenglish.com.

Join us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC, VOA’s radio magazine in Special English.
 
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سلام.من نميتونم دانلود کنم!! ظاهرا سايت ف_ * ل*_ ت ر شده.چيکار کنم؟
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سلام.من نميتونم دانلود کنم!! ظاهرا سايت ف_ * ل*_ ت ر شده.چيکار کنم؟


...ادامه صحبت دوستمون.من با فیلتر شکن سایت رو باز کردم ولی فایل شروع به پخش کردن کرد و نمی شد دانلود کرد :
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پسوند فايلهاي Mp3 هستند و اگر پخش ميشه به مرورگر و پلاگين‌هاي نصب شده روي اون مربوطه، ميتونيد لينک رو در دانلود منيجر کپي کنيد تا دانلود باشه و يا از مرورگر ديگه‌اي استفاده کنيد
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Israel, Palestinians Will Try Again for Two-State Solution for Peace

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 Israel, Palestinians Will Try Again for Two-State Solution for Peace

The two sides promised at the Annapolis conference to seek an agreement by the end of 2008. A committee to guide renewed talks will hold its first meeting December 12. Transcript of radio broadcast:
30 November 2007

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[align=left]
This is IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English.

Tuesday's Middle East conference in Annapolis, Maryland, put Israelis and Palestinians back on the road map to peace. Now the question is, how far will they get?

The "road map" is the name for a plan that is supposed to lead to a permanent, two-state solution to the conflict. The Quartet of the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations launched the plan in two thousand three. The plan did not go far.

But this week Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert agreed to immediately restart negotiations. They promise to seek a peace treaty that furthers the goal of an independent Palestine.

The two sides have not held serious negotiations in seven years. A committee that will guide the talks will hold its first meeting December twelfth. The aim is to reach an agreement by the end of next year.

Many Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia and Syria, attended the international conference held by the United States. Iran was not invited.

President Bush said in Annapolis that the United States will be actively involved in the peace process. On Wednesday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice named retired general James Jones as her new special diplomat for Middle East security. He will work with Israelis and Palestinians.

But the Palestinians are split politically and physically. The Islamic Hamas movement seized control of Gaza in June. Mister Abbas' Fatah party holds power in the West Bank, which has a larger population.

The main issues between Israel and the Palestinians include final borders and the right of return for refugees. But the most divisive issue may be the future of Jerusalem.

Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of a Palestinian state. Prime Minister Olmert recently said he is ready to hand over some Arab neighborhoods in that part of the city. But he faces opposition from those who want to keep an undivided Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Israel captured East Jerusalem, including the Old City, in the nineteen sixty-seven Arab-Israeli war. About four hundred fifty thousand Israelis live in East Jerusalem and nearby settlements on the West Bank.

Israel was established in nineteen forty-eight under a United Nations plan to divide the area into Arab and Jewish states. Arab nations rejected the plan and invaded Israel a day after its independence.

Carnegie scholar Eric Davis is a political science professor at Rutgers University in New Jersey. He says the most important thing that must come out of Annapolis is a real plan where both sides begin to compromise.

He notes concerns that Mister Olmert and Mister Abbas do not hold enough political power to make compromises that would keep the talks moving. Without strong support, he says, the chance exists that their enemies could try to block the road to peace.

And that's IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English, written by Brianna Blake. I’m Steve Ember.
 
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Margaret Sanger, 1883-1966: She Led the Fight for Birth Control for Wo

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 Margaret Sanger, 1883-1966: She Led the Fight for Birth Control for Women

She became an important part of what has been called one of the most life-changing political movements of the 20th century. Transcript of radio broadcast:
01 December 2007

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[align=left]
VOICE ONE:

I’m Shirley Griffith.

VOICE TWO:

And I’m Sarah Long with the VOA Special English Program, People in America. Today, we tell about one of the leaders of the birth control movement, Margaret Sanger.

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

Many women today have the freedom to decide when they will have children, if they want them. Until about fifty years ago, women spent most of their adult lives having children, year after year. This changed because of efforts by activists like Margaret Sanger. She believed that a safe and sure method of preventing pregnancy was a necessary condition for women’s freedom. She also believed birth control was necessary for human progress.

Margaret Sanger was considered a rebel in the early nineteen hundreds.

VOICE TWO:

The woman who changed other women’s lives was born in eighteen eighty-three in the eastern state of New York. Her parents were Michael and Anne Higgins.

Margaret wrote several books about her life. She wrote that her father taught her to question everything. She said he taught her to be an independent thinker.

Margaret said that watching her mother suffer from having too many children made her feel strongly about birth control. Her mother died at forty-eight years of age after eighteen pregnancies. She was always tired and sick. Margaret had to care for her mother and her ten surviving brothers and sisters. This experience led her to become a nurse.

Margaret Higgins worked in the poor areas of New York City. Most people there had recently arrived in the United States from Europe. Margaret saw the suffering of hundreds of women who tried to end their pregnancies in illegal and harmful ways. She realized that this was not just a health problem. These women suffered because of their low position in society.

Margaret saw that not having control over one’s body led to problems that were passed on from mother to daughter and through the family for years. She said she became tired of cures that did not solve the real problem. Instead, she wanted to change the whole life of a mother.

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

In nineteen-oh-two, Margaret married William Sanger. They had three children. Margaret compared her own middle-class life to that of the poor people she worked among. This increased her desire to deal with economic and social issues. At this time, Margaret Sanger became involved in the liberal political culture of an area of New York City known as Greenwich Village. Sanger became a labor union organizer. She learned methods of protest and propaganda, which she used in her birth control activism.

Sanger traveled to Paris, France, in nineteen thirteen, to research European methods of birth control. She also met with members of Socialist political groups who influenced her birth control policies. She returned to the United States prepared to change women’s lives.

VOICE TWO:

At first, Margaret Sanger sought the support of leaders of the women’s movement, members of the Socialist party, and the medical profession. But she wrote that they told her to wait until women were permitted to vote. She decided to continue working alone.

One of Margaret Sanger’s first important political acts was to publish a monthly newspaper called The Woman Rebel. She designed it. She wrote for it. And she paid for it. The newspaper called for women to reject the traditional woman’s position. The first copy was published in March, nineteen fourteen. The Woman Rebel was an angry paper that discussed disputed and sometimes illegal subjects. These included labor problems, marriage, the sex business, and revolution.

Sanger had an immediate goal. She wanted to change laws that prevented birth control education and sending birth control devices through the mail.

VOICE ONE:

The Woman Rebel became well known in New York and elsewhere. Laws at that time banned the mailing of materials considered morally bad. This included any form of birth control information. The law was known as the Comstock Act. Officials ordered Sanger to stop sending out her newspaper.

Sanger instead wrote another birth control document called Family Limitation. The document included detailed descriptions of birth control methods. In August, nineteen fourteen, Margaret Sanger was charged with violating the Comstock Act.

Margaret faced a prison sentence of as many as forty-five years if found guilty. She fled to Europe to escape the trial. She asked friends to release thousands of copies of Family Limitation. The document quickly spread among women across the United States. It started a public debate about birth control. The charges against Sanger also increased public interest in her and in women’s issues.

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

Once again, Margaret Sanger used her time in Europe to research birth control methods. After about a year, she decided to return to the United States to face trial. She wanted to use the trial to speak out about the need for reproductive freedom for women.

While Sanger was preparing for her trial, her five-year-old daughter, Peggy, died of pneumonia. The death made Sanger feel very weak and guilty. However, the death greatly increased public support for Sanger and the issue of birth control. The many reports in the media caused the United States government to dismiss charges against her.

VOICE ONE:

Margaret Sanger continued to oppose the Comstock Act by opening the first birth control center in the United States. It opened in Brownsville, New York in nineteen sixteen. Sanger’s sister, Ethel Byrne, and a language expert helped her. One hundred women came to the birth control center on the first day. After about a week, police arrested the three women, but later released them. Sanger immediately re-opened the health center, and was arrested again. The women were tried the next year. Sanger was sentenced to thirty days in jail.

With some support from women’s groups, Sanger started a new magazine, the Birth Control Review. In nineteen twenty-one, she organized the first American birth control conference. The conference led to the creation of the American Birth Control League. It was established to provide education, legal reform and research for better birth control. The group opened a birth control center in the United States in nineteen twenty-three. Many centers that opened later across the country copied this one.

Sanger was president of the American Birth Control League until nineteen twenty-eight. In the nineteen thirties she helped win a judicial decision that permitted American doctors to give out information about birth control.

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

Historians say Margaret Sanger changed her methods of political action during and after the nineteen twenties. She stopped using direct opposition and illegal acts. She even sought support from her former opponents.

Later, Sanger joined supporters of eugenics. This is the study of human improvement by genetic control. Extremists among that group believe that disabled, weak or “undesirable” human beings should not be born. Historians say Sanger supported eugenicists only as a way to gain her birth control goals. She later said she was wrong in supporting eugenics. But she still is criticized for these statements.

VOICE ONE:

Even though Margaret Sanger changed her methods, she continued her efforts for birth control. In nineteen forty-two, she helped form the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. It became a major national health organization after World War Two.

Margaret Sanger moved into areas of international activism. Her efforts led to the creation of the International Planned Parenthood Federation. It was formed in nineteen fifty-two after an international conference in Bombay, India. Sanger was one of its first presidents.

The organization was aimed at increasing the acceptance of family planning around the world. Almost every country in the world is now a member of the international group.

VOICE TWO:

Margaret Sanger lived to see the end of the Comstock Act and the invention of birth control medicine. She died in nineteen sixty-six in Tucson, Arizona. She was an important part of what has been called one of the most life-changing political movements of the Twentieth Century.

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

This Special English program was written by Doreen Baingana and produced by Caty Weaver. I’m Shirley Griffith.

VOICE TWO:

And I’m Sarah Long. Join us again next week for another PEOPLE IN AMERICA program on the Voice of America.
 
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Group Works to Build Peace Through Medicine

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 Group Works to Build Peace Through Medicine

Physicians for Peace sends teams of volunteers to developing countries to provide medical training and care. Transcript of radio broadcast:
02 December 2007

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[align=left]
This is the VOA Special English Development Report.

How do you define diplomacy? For the group Physicians for Peace, diplomacy is all about bringing medical education and care to places where they are needed most.

This nonprofit organization brings together medical volunteers from different cultures and opposing sides of conflicts. Its message is "building peace and international friendships through medicine."

Physicians for Peace is based in the American state of Virginia. Doctor Charles Horton, a plastic surgeon known for his humanitarian work, established the group in the nineteen eighties.

More then five hundred teams of doctors, dentists, nurses and others have gone to nearly sixty countries. Some programs have lasted for years. For example, Physicians for Peace has had a program to treat burn victims in Nicaragua since nineteen ninety-two. Other developing nations use this program as an example for their own burn care programs.

In Africa, the group is active in Liberia, Senegal, Mali and Malawi. And, in January, Physicians for Peace will launch a class in pediatrics and general surgery in Eritrea.

Thirteen medical students will learn about treating children and performing operations. In the future they will train others. The project involves a partnership with George Washington University Medical Center in Washington and the Eritrean Health Ministry.

In the Philippines, Physicians for Peace is helping to provide eye care to people who have never had their eyes examined before. The group is also helping to fit replacement arms and legs for people who have had limbs removed.

The group is also helping rebuild a pediatric hospital in Sri Lanka that was destroyed by the Indian Ocean tsunami in two thousand five. And two times a year, it sends medical volunteers to the West Bank.

Charity Navigator, a service that rates nonprofit organizations, gives Physicians for Peace its top rating. Health care providers from the United States donate their time and pay their own travel costs. The group had a budget last year of thirty-five million dollars. Most of that was the value of donated medical supplies.

Ron Sconyers, a retired Air Force brigadier general, is the chief executive officer of Physicians for Peace. He tells us that the group goes only where it is invited. He says it receives more requests for assistance than it can meet, but works hard not to turn anyone down.

And that's the VOA Special English Development Report, written by Jill Moss. I’m Steve Ember.
 
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How a Chemist Gets a Reaction From a Class of English Learners

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 How a Chemist Gets a Reaction From a Class of English Learners

David Bennett taught science at a boys' school. Now he helps adults improve their American English. Also, advice about learning the language. Transcript of radio broadcast:
02 December 2007

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[align=left]
VOICE ONE:

Welcome to THIS IS AMERICA in VOA Special English. I'm Steve Ember.

VOICE TWO:

And I'm Shirley Griffith. This week on our program, we talk about learning English.

(SOUND)

VOICE ONE:

We are listening to a class of English language learners. For this exercise they have to repeat a series of words beginning with the letter T. Some laugh as they struggle with the words. They are trying to say "The tip of the tongue to the teeth."

TEACHER AND STUDENTS: "The tip of the tongue to the teeth. The tip of the tongue to the teeth."
TEACHER: "OK."
STUDENTS: "The tip of the tongue to the teeth."
TEACHER: "Uh-huh, it's also a bit of a tongue twister."

VOICE TWO:

The teacher, David Bennett, speaks slowly and clearly. He has a doctorate in chemistry. He retired from teaching science at a private boys school in Washington, D.C. Now he teaches this English class two times each week at a church in nearby Bethesda, Maryland.

Not all of the exercises are tongue twisters -- a mouthful like "she sells seashells by the seashore."

DAVID BENNETT: "Wake."
STUDENTS: "Wake. Wake."

Here, David Bennett leads the class in pronouncing words that begin with W.

DAVID BENNETT: "So I can wake in the morning, or I wake up. Wake. Wall."
STUDENTS: "Wall."
DAVID BENNETT: "Wall, yes. What’s the next one?"
STUDENTS: "Walk."
DAVID BENNETT: "Walk, yes walk."
ONE STUDENT: "Walk."
DAVID BENNETT: "Walk. There’s no L sound in it at all. It’s just walk. OK."
ONE STUDENT: "Warm."
ALL: " Warm"
DAVID BENNETT: "The room’s warm. Warm. Warm. A duck has feet that are, that have, a web. Or a spider makes a web."

VOICE ONE:

In class on this autumn day are seven women from six countries: Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, France, Japan and Slovakia. Some are in the United States because of their husband's work. Others are here to work in child care as au pairs.

The women have already studied beginning English. They are taking the class because they want to learn more American English. They want to be able to understand common expressions like "beating around the bush." That means to avoid answering a question or saying something directly.

David Bennett points out that another expression -- "beating the drum" -- has two meanings. It could simply mean playing the musical instrument, a drum. Or it could mean leading a campaign, like beating the drum for political change.

VOICE TWO:

Learning a language can be a chance to learn about a culture as well. Recently the students read a story from the Internet about the history of the American holiday of Thanksgiving.

Pencils and pens flew over copies of the story as the students marked words they did not understand, so they could ask the meaning.

As each student read a part of the story to the class, the teacher would repeat any word they did not say correctly. Then the speaker would repeat the word after him.

VOICE ONE:

The teacher also asked the women about festivals or holidays in their own countries. A young au pair from Bolivia talked about a fish festival at Lake Titicaca. As she talked her words started to come with greater ease.

Another woman described a grape festival in Slovakia. Others talked about wine and film festivals. Their teacher listened carefully and repeated words that were hard for them to say.

VOICE TWO:

Yet even words that might be easy to say can still lead to misunderstandings, at least in spoken English. David Bennett talks about the word "week." Spelled W-E-E-K it means a period of time. There are seven days in a week. But "weak," spelled W-E-A-K, has a very different meaning. It means the opposite of strong.

VOICE ONE:

The students in the class practice what they learn among themselves. The program centers not just on writing, but also speaking and understanding English.

There are different ways to teach a language. These days, English teachers are taught that the best method is the communicative approach. The goal is for students to be able to communicate in their new language. This means teaching the language used in real-life situations -- like getting a job or completing medical forms or speaking to a child's teacher.

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

Language schools can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. But some programs, like the one in Bethesda, cost only the price of the workbooks. Many religious groups organize classes like this. Classes are also offered through public schools and community colleges.

English lessons are in strong demand in the United States, and people may have to wait for an opening.

VOICE ONE:

English learners and teachers can find many free resources on the Internet, including at sites like manythings.org and eslcafe.org. Two other resources that might also be of interest to teachers are TESOL and TESL-L.

TESL-L is an international discussion list for teachers of English as a second or foreign language. They represent all levels of experience and training. There is no cost to subscribe to this independent online list. The easiest way to find it is to do an Internet search for T-E-S-L-dash-L.

T-E-S-O-L is TESOL, short for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages. About fourteen thousand members belong to this organization. TESOL is also connected with other education groups throughout the world. For more information, the Web site is tesol.org.

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

Kelly Lopez is an American citizen who was born in Honduras. Spanish was her first language. Her advice for English learners is to think in English instead of just translating. She also suggests trying to find people who were born in the United States and practice with them.

VOICE ONE:

Maria Neves of Recife, Brazil, was in the United States several years ago to attend a dance program in New York. She keeps English fresh in her mind by writing letters to American friends. She also suggests that language learners record their voice, then listen and try to correct mistakes. And, she says, "Never miss an American movie."

Reading English subtitles or closed captioning can also be helpful when watching DVDs or television shows.

Movies, TV shows and songs have helped millions of people learn languages. But there are other useful resources that adult learners might not think of -- like children's books and comic books.

VOICE TWO:

Adults can do a good job of learning languages, but children are just naturally better while their brains are still forming. Nine-year-old Ukyeon Kim from South Korea is a good example. He attends the fourth grade at a public school in Fairfax County, Virginia.

The family has decided to return to South Korea. But people who know Ukyeon say he learned English very fast. He thinks his mother had something to do with that. She read books to him in English before the family came to the United States.

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

SooJee Han is in the United States through a cooperative program at the Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars. She is from Seoul where she studied international relations at the Graduate School of International Studies.

She learned to read and write English in school in South Korea. But mostly she learned the grammar and structure of the language. More recently, she discovered Special English programs, like this one. She says they have helped her improve her English skills.

(SOUND)

SOOJEE HAN: "A good thing is, several years ago, I was lucky to find VOA English on the Internet. And I was so glad they have Special English. The broadcasters read news with slow speech so I can follow their accurate pronunciations."

VOICE TWO:

SooJee Han likes to download MP3 files from voaspecialenglish.com and listen to them on her iPod while walking or riding the train. In fact, she even asked for, and received, an internship in the Special English office.

Special English does not teach English the way a foreign language program would. But many people find it highly useful as a way to improve their American English.

Transcripts of programs -- including this one -- can be downloaded along with MP3 files at voaspecialenglish.com. And there are links to other resources for people who want to learn the world's most widely taught foreign language.

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

Our program was written by Jerilyn Watson and produced by Caty Weaver. I’m Steve Ember.

VOICE TWO:

And I’m Shirley Griffith. Listen again next week for THIS IS AMERICA in VOA Special English.

--------------------------------
Correction: Nine-year-old Ukyeon Cho was misidentified in this story as Ukyeon Kim.
 
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