The news of the week of January 12 to 18, 2020
- Pension reform in France, demonstrations continue [spp-timestamp time=”00:00:46″]
- A referendum proposed in Russia to give more power to the parliament [spp-timestamp time=”00:01:38″]
- The the first French jihadist convicted has justbe released [spp-timestamp time=”00:02:19″]
- Woman appointed to top Vatican post for first time [spp-timestamp time="00:03:05″]
- The BMW in which the rapper Tupac has was murdered auctioning [spp-timestamp time=”00:03:55″]
- Explanation of the week's vocabulary [spp-timestamp time=”00:04:40″]
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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 January 12-18, 2020
- Pension reform in France: the [tooltips keyword="demonstrations" content="demonstrations"] continue
- In Russia, a referendum proposed by Putin could give a little more power to the parliament. An announcement that led to the resignation of the Prime Minister.
- The first convicted French jihadist has just [tooltips keyword="to be freed" content="to be freed"] after 5 years of [tooltips keyword="incarceration" content="imprisonment"].
- The [tooltips keyword="pope" content="pope"] Francis appoints for the first time a woman to a top Vatican post
- The BMW in which the rapper Tupac was [tooltips keyword="murdered" content="killed"] has just been [tooltips keyword="auction" content="auction"] for 1.5 million euros.
44th day of mobilization in France against the pension reform project. A few days ago, Edouard Philippe, the French Prime Minister, proposed a [tooltips keyword="compromise" content="agreement"]. He proposed to maintain a points-based pension system but to keep, under certain conditions, the retirement age at 62. According to the first version of the reform, the retirement age was to increase to 64 years. The [tooltips keyword="unions" content="union"] decided to reject the compromise and the demonstrations have resumed. This week, thousands of demonstrators marched in Paris to assert their [tooltips keyword="discontent" content="dissatisfaction"]. For them, no compromise is possible, they want the total abandonment of this reform. The unions are calling for massive strike actions in all professions and everywhere in France on January 22 and 23.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is proposing to hold a referendum on constitutional reforms. He announced this this week in his annual [tooltips keyword="speech" content="speech"] to members of parliament and politicians. While the regime would remain presidential, the reforms would aim to strengthen the powers of parliament. The choice of prime minister would now be made by parliament, whereas until now he or she has been appointed by the president himself. No date has yet been set. A few hours after the announcement, Prime Minister Medvedev announced the [tooltips keyword="resignation" content="resign"] of his government. He is now replaced by the head of the Russian tax authorities.
Flavien Moreau, the first French jihadist convicted on his return from Syria has just been released from the prison of Condé-sur-Sarthe. [He had been spotted by the anti-terrorist services after a first stay in Syria. He was arrested in January 2013 in France while planning to return to Syria. Now 33 years old, he had been sentenced in November 2014 to seven years in prison. His release comes with various obligations for a little less than a year. Those of finding a job, residing in a specific place, receiving care and above all, not leaving the territory. The former [tooltips keyword="detainee" content="inmate"] must also report every morning to the [tooltips keyword="gendarmerie" content="police station"] in his area.
This is a first in the history of the Vatican. A woman has just been appointed undersecretary of the Section for Relations with States, the equivalent of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A [tooltips keyword="position" content="job"] very important diplomatic position for the Catholic state. Francesca Giovanni has been working in state relations for 27 years. The new 66-year-old foreign minister is a specialist in international law and human rights. This is the first time a woman has held a senior position in the Secretariat of State. Francesca Giovanni believes that the Pope has made a groundbreaking decision. She explained that beyond her personal promotion, this decision represents a positive sign towards women. Today, only six women hold positions of responsibility in the Vatican.
A BMW already sold for 1.3 million euros in 2017 put back on sale. This is the car in which the rapper Tupac was murdered. This time, it is auctioned for the [tooltips keyword="modest sum" content="modest price"] of... 1.5 million euros, or $ 1.75 million. Fully restored, the car has 121,000 km on the clock. The famous American rapper was murdered during a [tooltips keyword="shooting" content="shooting"] in Las Vegas, as he was leaving a boxing match. It was September 13, 1996 and Tupac was barely 25 years old.
Vocabulary of the week
Enrich your French vocabulary, download our list of key words for the week of January 12-18, 2020.
🚨Demonstration: a gathering of people who want to express their opinion together, usually in the street.
👨👨👧👧La mobilization: people gather to show their opinion, their opinion. They mobilize for or against something.
🤝Compromise: is when we try to agree with someone who has a different idea than ours. We try to choose an option in the middle, which can then suit everyone.
👵The pension: it is the retirement, the period of life when you stopped your professional activity.
📣The union: an association that defends common rights and interests.
😡Discontent: this is a situation in which one is not happy.
👷♀️La profession: it is the trade. We also use "the profession" to talk about a group of people who do the same job.
📈Start again (expression): to start again or continue with more intensity.
📮The referendum: it is a vote where we ask the opinion of the population. We want to know if they are for or against a change.
💬The speech: we speak in front of people. We can make a political speech, a speech at a wedding, a birthday party, a meeting...
✋Resignation: is when you leave your position, your job.
💸The taxman: this is the tax department, the tax administration.
🆓To be released (verb): to come out of a situation where one is physically confined. We can also use this expression for situations of moral or social confinement.
🚓Incarceration: one is in prison, one is imprisoned.
🙏Converted (adj): one has been convinced by something. In the podcast, we use the term "convert" to refer to someone who didn't believe in a religion before and now believes in it. One can be converted to Islam, to the Catholic religion, to Judaism...
👿Radicalized (adj): when we say that someone has become radicalized, it means that he or she believes in his or her views more strongly than before. Here, when we talk about radicalized, we mean that someone, in the name of an ideology (religious or political), resorts to violence.
🚓The inmate: this is someone who is in prison.
🚓The gendarmerie: it's almost like the police except that in France, the gendarmerie depends on the army.
⛪️Le pope: the head of the Catholics. He is the head of the Vatican state.
🏳️La diplomacy/ diplomatic (adjective): relations with other countries.
🔫To be murdered: to be killed by someone.
💵Auction (verb): to sell in a system where people can indicate the maximum price at which they want to buy an item. The person who offers the highest amount gets it.
💰Pour la modique somme de: when we say that something has a modest value, it means that it is really cheap. The expression can be used ironically to precisely emphasize an inordinate price, too big.
⛏Restore/be restored: to restore to its original state, to repair. The verb restore is often used to refer to works of art, heritage, cultural property...
🏎X kilometers on the odometer: the number of kilometers a car has traveled.
🔫The shootout: an exchange of gunfire, where everyone shoots at each other.