Jan 4 – 10 Weekly News

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The taxi driver offers free rides for singing karaoke

A taxi driver is offering free rides for songs. Mr Tu, 57, is a big fan of karaoke. He loves listening to people sing. He is famous for his taxi's colourful, flashing disco lights and the pink neon star on its dashboard. People can choose a "karaoke" option on a taxi app in the capital Taipei. When Mr Tu's arrives, he will give you a microphone and an iPad for you to select the song you want to sing. He says people are braver to sing at night.

Mr Tu loves his job. He said: "No one is as lucky as me rushing to go to work and not make any money." He has been a taxi driver for 27 years. He has given free rides for songs for eight years and has filmed over 10,000 videos. Some of Mr Tu's videos have been viewed over two million times. He said if people do not sing, they get no free ride. He is now a celebrity and has been on TV in 10 countries. His dream is for singer Ed Sheeran to be his passenger.

https://breakingnewsenglish.com/2101/210108-karaoke-1.html

 

A man crosses rough sea on a jet ski for love

A man broke lockdown rules to be with his girlfriend. He was in lockdown in Scotland. She was 43 kilometres away on a small island in the Irish Sea. He bought a jet ski for $10,800 and rode it across the sea. He didn't know this was so dangerous. The sea was very rough. He thought it would take 45 minutes to get to the island, but it took over four hours. For most of that time, he thought he was lost. He said: "I didn't have a clue where I was going."

The police arrested the man. He got four weeks in prison for breaking lockdown. He said his adventure was worth it. He risked his life to see his girlfriend. It was the first time he used jet ski. He said: "It was terrible. It wasn't fun. I followed the GPS, but after half an hour a massive wave wiped it away. I was so scared." He added: "I broke the law, but I did it for love. It could be called a crime of passion." His girlfriend loves him and wants to marry him.

https://breakingnewsenglish.com/2101/210106-jet-ski-love-1.html

 

2021 to be huge for space exploration

Astronomers predict 2021 will be great for space exploration. More organisations are investing in technology to explore space. Entrepreneurs are setting their sights on space tourism and on going to Mars. Science fiction is now becoming space fact. Many advances in technology no longer surprise us. These include things like mining for asteroids, colonising Mars, or taking weekend breaks to the Moon.

This year will start with a NASA project to help us understand the universe. A probe will study the collision of small particles in space to find out how planets formed. A NASA rover will also land on Mars to test for signs of microbial life. NASA said: "Returning samples of Mars to Earth has been a goal of planetary scientists since the early days of the space age." In October, a telescope will look at the first galaxies that formed in the universe.

https://breakingnewsenglish.com/2101/210104-space-exploration-4.html

 

Online learning and lessons to continue in 2021

The year 2020 has been difficult for hundreds of thousands of teachers. They have had to deliver lessons using online platforms. Millions of students have had lessons on websites like Zoom. This has caused a major transformation in education. The quality of education differs according to Internet speeds, the levels of teacher preparedness and teachers' competence in using technology. Many students had no lessons because they had no computer.

Malaysia has started a new programme to help underprivileged children. Eligible students will get a device so they can have online lessons. Malaysia wants to help students and schools in need and find the best methods to expand the programme. There are plans to improve educational TV shows for students with no Internet access. Malaysia will also employ sign language interpreters to help the hard of hearing. It wants to focus on students' needs.

https://breakingnewsenglish.com/2101/210102-online-learning-4.html

 

Where Is Alibaba Founder Jack Ma?

China’s best-known businessman, Jack Ma, has not appeared in public for two months. His break from public view has fueled questions on social media about his current whereabouts. Other Chinese businessmen like Tencent founder Ma Huateng are known for avoiding reporters and public appearances. But Jack Ma is different, often appearing on television and staying active on social media. In a speech on October 24, Ma said China’s state-regulated financial system was outdated and needed to be reformed.

Chinese media reported him saying, “The race tomorrow will be a race of innovation, not regulatory capabilities.” Since then, Ma has not been seen in public and has avoided comments on social media. In late December, Chinese media reported regulators had started an antitrust investigation into Alibaba. Shaun Rein is a founder of China Market Research Group in Shanghai. He noted that people who know Ma said the billionaire is not in legal trouble. “They spanked him. He’s learned (a) lesson, and that’s why he’s been quiet for the past two months.”

https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/where-is-alibaba-founder-jack-ma-/5725685.html

 

Iran Denies Holding Crew of Seized South Korean Ship as Hostages

Iran has denied it is using crew members aboard a seized South Korean oil tanker as hostages. Armed troops from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard seized the ship Monday near the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf. The tanker was carrying 20 crew members. The seizure appears to be an attempt to pressure South Korea to release around $7 billion frozen money under American economic sanctions. South Korea, like other countries, is required to limit Iran’s access to its financial system. Critics of Iran have long accused the country of hijacking ships and seizing foreign prisoners as a method of strengthening their position in negotiations.

South Korea called in Iran’s ambassador to demand that the ship be released. Officials said a team was being sent to Iran to discuss the situation. Iran said its forces stopped the ship for violating environmental rules by polluting waters in the Persian Gulf. However, an official with DM Shipping Company, the ship’s owner, denied the tanker was polluting the waters. South Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister, Choi Jong-Kun, is expected to visit Iran on Sunday.

https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/iran-denies-holding-crew-of-seized-south-korean-ship-as-hostages/5725762.html

 

Trump Supporters Storm Capitol, Halt Vote Count for Biden

Supporters of American President Donald Trump attacked and occupied the Capitol Building in Washington D.C., Wednesday, stopping members of Congress from counting electoral votes. The event is the final step in confirming the winner of the presidential election held November 3. President-elect Joe Biden defeated Trump in the voting. The violence on Capitol Hill forced Congress to suspend its meeting and move lawmakers and others to safety. Just hours earlier, Trump had spoken to supporters gathered near the White House. He told the group that the election had been stolen.

The mob pushed down metal barriers at the bottom of the steps to the Capitol Building entrances. The rioters pushed past police officers, even as they fired tear gas. Others broke windows and climbed up the sides of the building. The attackers marched through the famous Rotunda area and the Senate chamber. One woman was shot and reportedly died later at a nearby hospital. After the attack, Trump wrote on Twitter, “I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence!”

https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/trump-supporters-storm-capitol-halt-vote-count-for-biden/5727634.html

 

Vietnam Sentences Journalist to 15 Years

A Vietnamese court sentenced journalist Pham Chi Dung to 15 years in prison on Wednesday. He had been found guilty of making and spreading “propaganda against the state.” Dung, who has written for the Voice of America Vietnamese-language website, is the president and founder of the Independent Journalist Association of Vietnam. The organization was established in 2014 to support independent media in the one-party communist country.

The Vietnamese online news site, VNExpress, reported that court documents said Dung and others set up the organization to "fight and change the current political institutions of Vietnam." Government officials questioned Dung, a former member of the ruling Communist Party, several times for activities connected with the organization before his arrest in 2019. Dung was sentenced Tuesday along with two other writers, Nguyen Tuong Thuy and Le Huu Minh Tuan. The two were given 11 years in prison. The lawyer on Dung and Tuan’s defense team said, “They demonstrated their rights of freedom of press and advocate for democracy and human rights…”

https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/vietnam-sentences-journalist-to-15-years/5727221.html

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