News for the week of April 18-25, 2020:
- Most serious killing known to Canada [spp-timestamp time="00:00:51″]
- Progressive deconfinement around the world [spp-timestamp time="00:01:36″]
- Ramadan begins in France [spp-timestamp time="00:02:49″]
- Huge loss for florists and lily of the valley growers [spp-timestamp time="00:03:27″]
- Bulgaria, New Zealand and Austria: ministers and MPs donating their salaries to the fight against the epidemic [spp-timestamp time="00:04:07″]
- New York video conference weddings [spp-timestamp time="00:04:51″]
- Explanation of this week's vocabulary [spp-timestamp time="00:05:19″]
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Welcome to HelloFrench's press review, the podcast that immerses you in the news of the week, to help you improve your French.
On the front page for this week of April 18-25, 2020:
- At least 23 dead in a massacre in Canada.
- Progressive decontamination in some countries: an update on the situation.
- Ramadan has just started this Friday in France under exceptional circumstances.
- 70 % of May Day lily of the valley production could be lost this year.
- Bulgaria, New Zealand and Austria: ministers and MPs donate their salaries to the fight against the epidemic.
- The state of New York allows marriages by videoconference.
Shootings by a man and five houses burned last weekend in Canada leave at least 23 people dead. The assailant, a 51 year old dental technician, was dressed in a Royal Canadian Mounted Police uniform and was travelling in a fake police car. He first violently assaulted his girlfriend, who managed to escape. This was the worst killing in the country. The man was shot and killed by the police in a gas station, after a 13 hours run. If some of the victims were known by the killer, his motives remain unknown.
Containment measures have been successful. This is particularly the case in Germany, which is gradually beginning to deconfine its population. Last Monday, the government authorized the reopening of stores of less than 800 square meters. A great relief for the small German shopkeepers. About ten days ago, schools had also reopened their doors. However, the government remains on its guard and does not want to rush things. Businesses are also gradually reopening in Italy and the confinement should be lightened from early May. The same goes for Belgium, which will begin its decontamination from May 4. Belgians will be able to play sports again, shops will reopen on May 11 and schools on May 18. However, masks will be compulsory on public transport from the age of 12. Spain, France and the United States, for their part, are planning to gradually implement decontamination measures from May 11. However, these measures are not yet known.
The month of Ramadan begins in full confinement, this Friday April 24 in France. Muslims are beginning the fast in unprecedented conditions with mosques that have still not been able to reopen and family or friendly gatherings forbidden, with people not living under the same roof. The crisis of Covid-19 imposes a daily break of the fast less convivial and festive than usual. Emmanuel Macron does not plan to reopen places of worship before June. The French Muslim community is now the largest in Europe, with 6 million Muslims.
Huge loss for florists in France. Each year, the sale of lily of the valley for the 1st of May represents between 20 and 30 million turnover. Indeed 70 % of the production of lily of the valley could be lost, estimate producers. Florists will remain closed and the sale of lily of the valley on the sly will be prohibited. The only places to get it? Food stores that are still open, such as supermarkets, bakeries or butcher shops that want to sell it. Today in France, the horticultural sector is one of the most indirectly affected by the crisis of Covid-19 and the containment.
A great gesture of solidarity from the Austrian ministers. The members of the government have decided to donate one month of their salary to organizations fighting the epidemic. Each minister will donate his or her salary to the organization of their choice. In Austria, more than 10 % of the population are on short-time work and have to tighten their belts. In Bulgaria, ministers and members of parliament are doing the same: they have been paying their salaries to the health system since April 1 until the end of the lockdown, normally scheduled for May 13. In New Zealand, a similar decision has been taken: as a gesture of solidarity, members of the government are cutting their salaries by 20 % for the next six months.
Wedding ceremonies that we would not have imagined just a few months ago. Circumstances oblige, weddings can now take place by videoconference in the state of New-York. If the lovers can put the ring on their finger, they still can't gather their friends and family. In this state particularly affected by the crisis, the confinement is planned at least until May 15. But coronavirus or not, love always triumphs.
Vocabulary of the week
Enrich your French vocabulary, download our list of key words (explanation in French and translation in English) for the week of April 18 to 25, 2020.
|The objective||This is the goal to be achieved, the target to be reached.|
|Fighting against||To oppose something.|
|The epidemic||It is a disease that spreads, that spreads.|
|Poor (adjective)||Who is not rich, who does not have much money.|
|Vulnerable (adjective)||Who is quite fragile, who can easily be hurt by a situation or someone.|
|Disadvantaged (adjective)||Who is not rich, who does not have much money. Who doesn't have a lot of resources to live on.|
|All the blows are allowed||You can do anything, there is no justice anymore.|
|The mask||Something you put on your face to disguise yourself, to hide it or to protect yourself. You can put on a mask for the carnival or a mask to protect yourself from catching a disease.|
|The tarmac||The airport floor, the place where the planes land.|
|In cash||In cash, in cash money.|
|The practice||The fact of doing something, the way of doing something.|
|The obstacle course||Very complicated, very difficult procedures.|
|Limiting the risks||To avoid that something bad happens, something that could hurt people or prevent a success.|
|Theft||Take something from someone that doesn't belong to us.|
|Reopen (verb)||Open again. Something had been closed and finally is open again.|
|The respirator||A device in hospitals that helps people with breathing problems. This device allows the patient to breathe in an artificial way.|
|The industrialist||The owner of a factory, a brand that owns factories.|
|The visor||The front of a cap, the part that protects the eyes.|
|The caregiver||The person who cares for us, medical personnel. For example, a doctor or a nurse.|
|The cancellation||Something or some event is cancelled. For example, "My train was cancelled again this morning. I keep getting cancellations lately."|
|Postponement||An event is not cancelled but postponed, it will be organized at another time.|
|The knife||A slicing tool that is used to eat with a fork. It can also be used as a weapon to hurt people.|
|The refugee||Someone who had to leave his country because his life is in danger because of his ideas, his ethnicity .... He is therefore a refugee in another country.|
|To kill (verb)||To make someone die, to make him lose his life.|
|The investigators||Police working on an investigation, looking for the truth about an event.|
|The assailant||The person who attacks, the aggressor.|