News of the week
- Harvey Weinstein sexual assault trial [spp-timestamp time="00:00:48″]
- New election planned in Bolivia to end crisis [spp-timestamp time="00:01:55″]
- Tensions continue to rise between the United States and Iran [spp-timestamp time="00:03:09″]
- World War II bombs found in Germany [spp-timestamp time="00:04:11″]
- Epidemic strikes oysters in France [spp-timestamp time="00:04:55″]
- Explanation of the week's vocabulary [spp-timestamp time=”00:05:38″]
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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 5-11, 2020
- Harvey Weinstein's trial for [tooltips keyword="sexual assault" content="sexual assault"] opens in New York.
- Political crisis in Bolivia. A new presidential election will be held on May 3.
- Iran classifies all U.S. forces as "terrorists". Tensions continue to rise after the death of General Soleimani.
- Evacuation in Dortmund, Germany, due to World War II bombs.
- Several production sites closed after the [tooltips keyword="epidemic" content="epidemic"] of gastroenteritis that strikes the [tooltips keyword="oysters" content="oysters"].
The Harvey Weinstein trial opened this week in New York. The film producer is accused by several dozen women of sexual assault. The trial was highly anticipated since the first revelations in the American press in October 2017. More than 80 women have [tooltips keyword="broken the silence" content="broken the silence"] to talk about [tooltips keyword="harassment" content="harassment"] or [tooltips keyword="abuse" content="abuses"] suffered. Among them, we find celebrities like Angelina Jolie, Uma Thurman, Lea Seydoux or Gwyneth Paltrow. On the dock of the accusers, we find only two women. We understand the difficulty of building a criminal case without witnesses or material evidence, sometimes years later. The trial should last 6 weeks. Harvey Weinstein is facing the [tooltips keyword="life sentence" content="lifetime sentence"] if he is found guilty of [tooltips keyword="charge" content="charge"] of [tooltips keyword="sexual predator" content="sexual predator"] behavior. The [tooltips keyword="conviction" content="conviction"] of the former Hollywood producer would be a major victory for the #MeToo movement.
The end of a political crisis for Bolivia? 6 months after the controversial presidential election, a date has [tooltips keyword="finally" content="finally, at last"] been announced for a new election. Bolivians will vote on May 3, 2020 for [tooltips keyword="designate" content="appoint, elect"] their president. The controversial victory of Evo Morales, for a fourth [tooltips keyword="mandate" content="mandate"] had triggered a violent revolt. More than 35 people died during the [tooltips keyword="demonstrations" content="demonstrations"] and [tooltips keyword="clashes" content="clashes"]. An audit conducted by the Organization of American States confirmed irregularities in the election. The election was therefore cancelled and former members of the Bolivian electoral body were arrested. Abandoned by the police and the army, the Bolivian head of state [tooltips keyword="resigned" content="resigned"] on November 10. The politician had been [tooltips keyword="at the head" content="head of"] the country for 14 years. Fleeing to Mexico and then to Argentina, he will not be able to run on May 3. A [tooltips keyword="arrest warrant" content="an arrest warrant"] has also been issued against him. Until new elections are held in May, the country will continue to be led by President [tooltips keyword="in temporary capacity" content="in temporary capacity"] Jeanine Añez, a right-wing senator.
Tensions between the United States and Iran continue to rise. This week, the Iranian parliament passed an emergency law to classify all U.S. forces as terrorists. Iran actually [tooltips keyword="extended" content="extend"] a law passed in April 2019, which [tooltips keyword="classified" content="classified"] as terrorist the U.S. military in certain areas of the world: the Horn of Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. This amendment is above all symbolic, to denounce the assassination of General Soleimani. As a reminder, this general of the Iranian regime was killed under orders from Donald Trump on January 3, 2020 in Iraq. The [tooltips keyword="funeral" content="funeral"] of the military officer took place this week, in Kerman, his hometown, in southern Iran. While a huge [tooltips keyword="crowd" content="crowd"] accompanied the [tooltips keyword="remains" content="the body"] of the [tooltips keyword="deceased" content="deceased"], more than 50 people are [tooltips keyword="deceased" content="dead"] in a [tooltips keyword="rush"] and 200 people were [tooltips keyword="injured" content="wounded"].
In Dortmund, Germany, unexploded bombs from World War II may have been found. The city council has identified four sites where they could be [tooltips keyword="to be buried" content="to be buried"] bombs [tooltips keyword="dropped" content="dropped"] by the Allies. As a precautionary measure, 13,000 people in downtown Dortmund must be evacuated this weekend. Irregularities during construction work have drawn the attention of the authorities. So [tooltips keyword="excavation" content="excavation"] will take place to prove whether or not explosives are involved. This is not the first time Germany has found bombs. In 2017, 65,000 people had to be evacuated in Frankfurt after a British bomb was found.
The [tooltips keyword="oyster farmers" content="oysters"] call for help. An epidemic of gastroenteritis is currently affecting oysters in Morbihan, Manche and Charente-Maritime. Several production sites had to be closed to try to stop the [tooltips keyword="propagation" content="spread"] of the virus. No reopening date is planned for the moment. Producers are waiting impatiently for the results of the tests. 300 oyster farmers demonstrated on Wednesday in Brittany. They are asking for a "Marshall Plan" to be put in place to [tooltips keyword="sanitize" content="sanitize"] the waters. According to producers, wastewater is the source of the virus in the [tooltips keyword="shells" content="shells"].
Vocabulary of the week
Enrich your French vocabulary, download our list of key words for the week of January 5-11, 2020.
📣The revelation: it is when a piece of information comes out in the open. We suddenly discover something, we become aware of it.
🤕An assault: is when a person is attacked.
🤙Harassment: a person is repeatedly attacked or solicited. Harassment can be moral, sexual, or by telephone.
✋Abuse: the word abuse, when we say, for example, that "women have been abused," means "rape." They have been sexually abused. The word "abused" can also mean that we have been deceived, that we have been played. For example: "He abused my trust to steal my phone".
🦅The predator: is someone or some animal that feeds on prey. In everyday language, this word is used to refer to someone who is threatening.
🔕Breaking the silence: finally speaking up, stop being silent.
🚔Life imprisonment: that's when you go to prison for life.
🎓A charge: this is the reason why someone is being accused.
🎓The conviction: is when someone has been found guilty. He or she is sentenced. The justice system forces him to undergo a punishment or pay a fine.
⏲Finally (adverb): this word is used when there has been a long wait and it is over. For example, "I've been hungry for two hours, finally we're going to eat!"
👉Designate (verb): to choose, determine, indicate.
- In politics, a mandate means a mission that is entrusted to us after being elected. The mandate has a predefined duration. For example, we can say: "The president has been re-elected for a new term".
- In the expression "A warrant for arrest", the word has another meaning. It is when a judge asks the police to search for someone. He files an arrest warrant.
⛰An irregularity: it's something that's not normal, something odd. It's not regular.
🙅Demit (verb): to leave one's position, to quit one's job.
👑 To be the head of or of: one can say to be the head of a company or to be the head of the country. It means to be the leader, to be in charge.
🆘To take refuge (verb): to leave for safety.
⏰By interim: to replace someone for a temporary period. You can also say, "I'm temping at a company," to say that you are replacing someone in their job for a short time.
👿Terrorist or terrorist (adjective): is a person or organization that uses violence and fear to make its political ideas heard or impose its authority.
Extend (verb): it means to extend in its length. Depending on the context extend can mean "to enlarge", "to enlarge" as in "to extend a law". We can use the word extend to mean "to hang out the laundry". In this case, it means, to put it to dry.
🗃Classify (verb): to classify someone means to put them in a category. We can also use the word "classify" when putting things away. For example, "I have filed all my books in alphabetical order".
☮️Symbolique (adjective): when we say that something has a symbolic value, it means that it does not change anything concretely. It is more the idea of what it represents.
⚰Funeral: this is a burial. When a person dies and is buried.
⚰The remains: the body of a person who is no longer alive, who has died.
⚰The deceased: this is the person who died.
👨👨👦👦 The crowd: it's a lot of people gathered, a lot of people together.
🚨The jostle: it is a movement of crowd, people agitate, push each other.
🤕To be injured: is when one has injuries, when one receives blows, shocks. We are in pain.
💣The bomb: it is a projectile that is loaded with explosives. Explosives is what will explode. Figuratively, the word bomb is used to refer to unexpected news. For example: "He dropped a real bomb. He announced that he was going to quit his job and go live at the end of the world." In slang, we can also use the word bomb to talk about a pretty girl.
🔨To bury/to be buried: to be buried/hidden in the ground.
🔨Excavation: is the action of searching the ground to find what is buried.
🤝Allies: these are the people who are on our side, with us. We are united by an alliance. This expression is often used to talk about France's side during the war.
🚓Authorities: this is the government, the people in charge, those with power.
🐚Oyster farmer: this is the person who produces oysters.
🐚The shell: it is an output of an animal from the sea that has a shell. Oysters are shells.
💉 The virus: it is a disease that is contagious, that spreads
🌬Propagation: this is the act of spreading.
🤢Gastroenteritis: this is an illness that lasts a few days and makes the stomach hurt a lot. It is characterized by nausea and vomiting.
🚿Sanitize: clean, make healthier. We speak of "sanitizing wastewater."