News of the week
- Top Iranian regime general killed by US [spp-timestamp time="00:00:43″]
- Australia ravaged by terrible fires [spp-timestamp time="00:01:45″]
- Ex-Renaud-Nissan executive escapes Japan to avoid trial [spp-timestamp time="00:02:48″]
- Anti-abortion, anti-PMA ad campaign pulled from Paris metro [spp-timestamp time="00:04:05″]
- Explanation of the week's vocabulary [spp-timestamp time=”00:04:53″]
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Welcome to the press review of Hello French, the podcast that immerses you in the news of the week, to help you improve your French.
In the spotlight for this week of December 29, 2019 - January 4, 2020
- Tensions between the US and Iran. One of the Iranian regime's top generals killed by an American raid.
- Australia ravaged by terrible fires. An area equivalent to twice the size of Belgium has already gone up in smoke.
- Carlos Ghosn, ex-director of Renaud-Nissan, flees Japan and takes refuge in Lebanon to avoid his trial.
- In Paris, an anti-abortion and anti-PMA advertising campaign removed from the metro.
Tensions are at their highest between Iran and the United States. General Soleimani, one of the Iranian regime's top generals, was killed by a U.S. drone strike in Iraq on Friday. The order to [tooltips keyword="assassinate" content="murder"] the warlord was given by Donald Trump, alone, without consulting Congress. Very popular in Iran, the general was considered the symbol of Iranian foreign policy. The Islamic State guarantees a [tooltips keyword="revenge" content="revenge"] in [tooltips keyword="retaliation" content="retaliation"] of the American action. Bombs have already fallen on Saturday in Baghdad in the area of the U.S. embassy and a base housing American soldiers. These attacks did not cause any casualties. The Americans are divided. Pro-Trump supporters consider the president's decision courageous and necessary. On the other hand, the Democrats show strong opposition and demonstrations are organized in the streets. They fear an [tooltips keyword="escalation" content="escalation"] of violence between the two countries. On social networks, there is even talk of World War III.
Fires have been burning in Australia since September. 6 million hectares, an area twice the size of Belgium, have already been completely burned. Far from calming down, the situation could still last several months. The cause? Global warming that would lead to a longer and stronger fire season. At least 23 people have lost their lives and more than 480 million animals have died. An estimate that only takes into account [tooltips keyword="birds" content="birds"], reptiles and [tooltips keyword="mammals" content="mammals"]. The toll could be much higher if we add insects, [tooltips keyword="frogs" content="frogs"] or [tooltips keyword="bats" content="bat"]. One thing is sure, these fires will have very heavy consequences on the Australian ecosystem. Since Friday, January 4, hundreds of people, [tooltips keyword="trapped" content="trapped"] in a city in the south of the country, surrounded by flames, have begun to be evacuated by boat. More than 100,000 people in the southeast of the island have already been forced to leave their homes to escape the forest fires.
A [tooltips keyword="leak" content="escape"] worthy of a James Bond movie for former [tooltips keyword="CEO" content="CEO"] of the Renaud-Nissan Alliance, Carlos Ghosn. Suspected of [tooltips keyword="embezzlement" content="Embezzlement"] between 2011 and 2015, he was arrested in Japan in November 2018. After several months of detention, then a [tooltips keyword="house arrest" content="under house arrest"] in Tokyo, with a ban on seeing his wife or talking to his son, the businessman was awaiting his trial in the spring of 2020. After learning that his trial would be postponed and would not take place this year, he decided to put into practice a plan to organize his escape. Last Sunday, he fled to Lebanon, the country of origin of his family. In a statement, Carlos Ghosn explained that he had set up this operation to avoid a Japanese justice system that was not fair, according to him. The former boss would have boarded a private jet and would have passed through Turkey before reaching Beirut. Many areas remain unclear about how he organized his escape. Some [tooltips keyword="zones d'ombres" content="grey zones"] that leave room for many theories like this one: Carlos Ghosn would have organized a concert at home and would have hidden in a case of musical instrument to be taken to the airport. A theory denied by his entourage.
In Paris, an anti-[tooltips keyword="abortion" content="abortion"] and anti-[tooltips keyword="PMA" content="medically-assisted procreation"] advertising campaign in train and metro stations has caused controversy this week. While the parliament voted for a law [tooltips keyword="in favor" content="support"] medically-assisted procreation for all women and it will soon be debated in the Senate, the pro-life association "Alliance-Vita" decided to fight back. Among the slogans, we find "Society will progress on condition of respecting life" or "Society will progress on condition of respecting maternity". [Like many Internet users, the Mayor of Paris asked for the immediate withdrawal of this poster campaign from the stations and subways.
Vocabulary of the week
Enrich your French vocabulary, download our list of key words for the week of December 29, 2019 to January 4, 2020.
🎖The general, the generals (plural) He is the highest ranking person in the army.
⚰️Assassiner (verb) To murder someone means to kill him, to make him die.
✈️The drone It is a very small plane without pilot, which is piloted by remote control. It can be equipped with a camera, to film, or weapon.
👀Revenge It is the fact of taking revenge, of committing acts against someone who has done us wrong.
🙅Retaliation It's a retaliation, it's what you're going to do to get back at someone. Generally, violent actions.
👱The victim It is a person who suffers an accident, who will suffer a situation or the actions of someone.
📈Climbing (expression) as in "escalating violence": it means that a situation is getting worse, getting worse, getting stronger. In this context, it means that violence is escalating. The word "escalation" is more often used to refer to the sport of climbing.
🔥The fire It is a big fire that causes a lot of damage.
😱Ravager (verb) something or someone destroys, damages or devastates a place or a person.
🔥To leave in smoke (verb and expression) There is nothing left, everything has been destroyed by fire. This expression is also used figuratively to say that there is no hope left. For example, one might say, "I've lost my voice, my dream of becoming a singer is going up in smoke."
🐦Bird: is a type of animal that has feathers, wings and a beak. In general, birds fly.
🐨🐕🐒🦁Mammal: It is a type of animal that, like humans, suckles. They are, for example, koalas, kangaroos, cows, dogs...
🐍🦎Reptile: is a type of animal that is covered with scales. They are, for example, snakes, lizards, crocodiles...
🐝🐛Bug: it is a type of animal of small size, with six legs, which often has wings. They are, for example, flies, bees, ants...
🐸The frog :
🔐To be tricked, to trick someone (verb): It means that we have been tricked, we cannot get out of a situation or a place. We are caught in a trap, a pitfall and we are therefore in difficulty to get out.
🌾Ecosystem: it is an environment with all the species that live in it.
🏃Evacuate (verb): leave a place.
👨💼Le CEO: is the boss of a company, the leader, the head of a company.
🏃Take flight (verb + expression): to leave, to escape, to get away. Generally, we run away because we want to avoid someone or a situation.
💸Embezzlement: is when you steal money from your company, from the state if you work for it, or from someone who trusted you to manage their money.
⛓Detention: is when you are put in prison, the fact of being in prison.
🏠Being under house arrest: This means that one is obliged by the law to reside in a specific place. Generally, one's house, which thus becomes a kind of prison.
🌫Blurred areas, shadowy areas (expression): we use these expressions to say that everything is not clear, we do not have a perfect visibility on how the situation happened.
🤰🏽Abortion: is the act of terminating a pregnancy while pregnant. Abortion can be natural or induced. It is also called abortion: voluntary interruption of pregnancy.
💉PMA: medically assisted reproduction. These are medical techniques to help fertility, procreation.
👍Be in favor of of something or someone: it means that we are for, that we agree with an idea.
😳Being outraged: being shocked by a situation, being scandalized.