News for the week of February 2-7, 2020:
- App causes fiasco in U.S. Democratic primary. [spp-timestamp time=”00:00:41″]
- EU enlargement: the Balkan question. [spp-timestamp time=”00:01:49″]
- Coronavirus in China: building a hospital in 10 days. [spp-timestamp time=”00:03:22″]
- Attack in Israel. [spp-timestamp time=”00:04:34″]
- Explanation of the week's vocabulary [spp-timestamp time=”00:05:20″]
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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.
In the spotlight for this week of February 2 - February 8, 2020:
- Democratic primaries for the presidential elections in the United States. A poorly designed application created the fiasco.
- Albania and Macedonia soon in the European Union? At least that is the wish of the European Commission.
- Hospital built in 10 days in Wuhan welcomes its first coronavirus patients
- In Israel, a car drives into a crowd and injures 14 people
Democratic primaries in the United States. It's a fiasco in Iowa. The cause? A mobile application. This application was designed to make the results of the 1,700 polling stations more easily accessible. Polling station officials were supposed to transmit the results through this application. However, the malfunctions have been accumulating. Difficulty downloading the application, difficulty registering, error messages when sending the results... This application, developed in just two months, ended up causing total chaos in this election. A few days after the vote, the complete results have not yet arrived. The Democratic Party still does not know who is the winner of this primary in Iowa, Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders. These primaries will determine the Democratic candidate who will face Donald Trump on November 3. However, these problems will not impact the voting data. The application that was to be used for the Nevada primary will not be used after all.
The European Commission in Brussels wants to expand the European Union to the Balkans. After a veto by France, the Netherlands and Denmark, talks to integrate Albania and northern Macedonia were halted in October. Emmanuel Macron, president of France, was particularly against this accession. He recalled the arrival of Romania and Bulgaria in 2007, which he said was too hasty for countries still prone to corruption and crime. For other countries, such as Italy, it is a historical mistake. Indeed, the Balkan countries could, in case of definitive refusal, turn to China or Russia. After the departure of Great Britain, Ursula von der Leyen, the German president of the Commission, considers it essential to integrate new countries. She therefore presented various proposals last Wednesday to reassure reluctant countries and to start negotiations. The Commission is proposing to change the procedure for the accession of new countries to the EU by giving more power to the member states. For example, it would give member countries the possibility of interrupting an accession procedure or forcing a candidate country to start negotiations from scratch if they do not respect certain commitments. Other Balkan countries are also candidates: Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Bosnia.
Only 10 days, that's how long it took China to build a hospital. This Monday, this hospital welcomed its first patients. A construction site of an impressive efficiency. The Chinese media filmed almost night and day the workers at work, the cranes and the shovels. The establishment can accommodate 1,000 patients. Construction of a second hospital, with a capacity of 1,300, is currently underway. With the scale of the coronavirus, China is still facing a shortage of hospital beds. To increase the capacity, the Chinese government wants to transform hotels and schools into temporary hospitals. The country also lacks medical equipment and protective masks to prevent the disease from spreading further. As of February 7, the death toll has reached 636 people and the number of sick people is 31,161.
14 people injured in the center of Jerusalem after a car plowed into a crowd Wednesday. The majority of those injured in the attack are Israeli soldiers. An attack that took place a few days after the announcement by the United States of a plan to reorganize the territories in the Middle East. A plan which the Israelis are in favor of and which is totally rejected by the Palestinian territories. Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist party, has therefore welcomed the car attack against Israeli soldiers. It considers it as a response to Donald Trump's plan.
Vocabulary of the week
Enrich your French vocabulary, download our list of key words for the week of February 2-8, 2020.
■ The mobile app: software for the phone such as Instagram, Tinder or Blablacar.
■ Fiasco: a complete failure, when nothing goes as planned.
■ Malfunction: bugs, errors that occur, or a situation that does not go as planned.
■ To accumulate (verb): qhat happens several times, happens again. For example, "First I lost my phone, then my wallet and my keys: the troubles keep piling up."
■ Chaos: when nothing goes right, it's a bit like the end of the world, the most total disorder.
■ The winner: one who has won, who has won a victory
■ To confront (verb): to face a situation, something, or someone with great courage.
■ To enlarge (verb): to grow larger, to become bigger.
■ Veto: to be against something, to say no, to be very strongly opposed.
■ To stop (verb): to stop, prevent someone, something, or a situation from going further, from continuing.
■ Particularly: very strong
■ Precipitate: to do something quickly, in a hurry, too fast.
■ Turn to: change position to go to someone else, another idea or in another direction. For example, "I was thinking about buying an apartment, but I'm going to go for a house instead."
■ Final refusal: a "no" where there will be no turning back.
■ The refractory: someone who is basically against an idea or decision, resists and refuses to accept something.
■ Negotiation: when people who don't have the same opinion talk to try to make a decision together and thus agree. Negotiation is also referred to in the more economic setting. For example, at the market, you can try to negotiate prices.
■ Commitment: thehen you say you're going to do something, you promise you're going to do something.
■ The candidate/being a candidate: someone who applies for a position, a job or even a job. For example, I am applying for the position of communications officer.
■ Hospital, hospitals (plural): the place where the sick are treated, where one receives care where one can have surgery.
■ To construct: to create a building. One can build, build a house, for example.
■ Efficiency: thea performance. When someone is said to act efficiently, she has acted without wasting time and has achieved the expected result quickly.
■ The crane: a machine on a construction site, a machine that moves very heavy objects.
■ The excavator: a machine on a construction site, a machine that allows you to dig, as with a shovel but more efficiently.
■ In preparation: that is being done/prepared/developed at this time
■ The scope: thehe significant size of something. For example, one might say, "Due to the amount of damage caused by the hurricane, the entire city had to be rebuilt."
■ The shortage: qhen something is missing. For example, "There's a sugar shortage, there's no sugar left."
■ Capacity: the maximum number of people who can enter, come into a place.
■ The school: thehe place where one goes to learn, where one is taught as a group. For example, we might say, "Children go to school Monday through Friday."
■ Temporary (adjective): it's just for a while, it's not going to last forever.
■ Mask: a mask is 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, so you don't catch a disease.
■ To spread (verb): se spread, spread, spread. For example, "The disease is spreading, it is spreading, it is affecting more people."
■The crowd: many people gathered/who are in the same place
■ The injured/being injured: is when one has injuries, when one gets hits, shocks. One is in pain.
■ Attack: is the action of attacking, coming at someone physically or with words.
■ Soldier: is a person who works for the army of a country, defending a country.
■ Reject: to refuse, to say no to something.