In this lesson we take a trip around Plymouth's historic Barbican and discover some interesting facts about its past. You can download a PDF with a transcript and glossary here, and see all the previous episodes on the LEWP YouTube channel.
CARTOON The cartoon by Bob from the Daily Telegraph comprises two panels. In the left-hand panel a man is sitting in front of the TV crying because the World Cup in Brazil has just finished ("It's over"). His wife, who seems unimpressed, hands him a tissue to dry his eyes. In the right-hand panel, the same man is staring excitedly at the screen because it's the first day of the Premier League ("It's started"). This time his wife, whose expression has not changed, is removing the box of tissues and handing him a can of beer.
COMMENTARY The title of the cartoon 'Ad Infinitum' is Latin for 'to infinity'. If something happens ad infinitum, it never finishes, or happens again and again. • You cannot stay here ad infinitum without paying rent. The cartoonist is making a humorous comment on fact that as soon as one football competition ends, another one begins, and so on until the end of time (or so it seems).
Police investigating an allegation of child abuse against Sir Cliff Richard defended their handling of the case on Friday as new potential witnesses came forward with information. South Yorkshire Police admitted it had “worked with” the BBC, which broadcast live helicopter footage of detectives arriving at the singer’s home on Thursday with a search warrant. MPs said the force had “questions to answer” over its decision to confirm a tip-off the BBC had received independently about the raid, which encouraged the broadcaster to send news crews to the flat in Berkshire. South Yorkshire Police released a statement suggesting its actions had been vindicated by the fact that “since the search took place a number of people have contacted police to provide information”, adding: “The media played a part in that, for which we are grateful.” Full story >>
VOCABULARY A raid is an action by police officers in which they suddenly enter a place in order to arrest people or search for something such as illegal drugs. • Dorset Police carried out a raid on a cannabis factory in the Boscombe area of the town – with two men being arrested.
BACKGROUND A student accused of funding terrorism in Syria walked free from court yesterday after she was cleared of trying to smuggle cash out of the UK in her knickers. University student Nawal Msaad, 27, was caught with £16,000 in euros stuffed in her underwear at Heathrow as she attempted to board a flight to Istanbul. Police believed she was due to hand the cash over to a jihadi. But after a month-long trial, a jury decided that Miss Msaad was tricked into being a mule by an old school friend. Miss Msaad was caught when the cash dropped down into her knickers as she walked through Heathrow. Read more >>
THE CARTOON The cartoon by Mac from the Daily Mail shows a woman who is going to board a plane for Istanbul at Heathrow airport. She is trailing banknotes behind her. A security officer tells his younger, more junior colleague, "I want you to be very brave, Hodgetts, and ask if you can have a tiny peek into her knickers."
COMMENTARY The joke is that, unlike the so-called jihottie in the news story, the woman in the cartoon is unattractive, and does not look as if she would take kindly to any request to search her underwear!
VOCABULARY 1. A peek is a quick look at something. • Emma had a quick peek inside the box. 2. Knickers are a piece of underwear for a woman's lower body (see image). The American word is panties.
Robin Williams faced ‘serious money troubles’ shortly before his death. He was forced to accept a string of second-rate but lucrative acting roles which insiders say made his battle with depression even tougher. The actor had admitted that he was on the verge of bankruptcy and was relying on the success of an upcoming TV series which was then ignominiously cancelled, affecting him deeply. Hollywood and the showbusiness world was stunned after the 63-year-old star of Mrs Doubtfire and Good Morning, Vietnam was found dead at his home in Tiburon, near San Francisco, on Monday. Full story >>
VOCABULARY Bankruptcy is a situation in which a person or business has officially admitted that they have no money and cannot pay what they owe. • The company that lifted Swedish automaker Saab out of bankruptcy is now facing financial difficulties of its own.
The United States is exploring options to evacuate thousands of Iraqi civilians trapped on a mountain in northern Iraq by Islamic militants after four nights of humanitarian relief airdrops, officials in Washington said. At least half of the 40,000 people besieged by jihadists on Mount Sinjar had escaped by Sunday night, aided by Kurdish rebels who crossed from Syria to rescue them. But proposals for a mission to save the remaining thousands of Yazidi people underscore the limits of the airdrops, ordered last week by Barack Obama. Full story >>
VOCABULARY Sanctuary [U] is official protection given to someone by a place that is safe for them. • A local mother of two is fighting deportation by seeking sanctuary at a south side church.
A single pint of beer could soon be enough to put you over the drink-drive limit and get you banned from the road under a tough clampdown proposed by MPs.They also want cigarette-style warning labels on every alcoholic drink and an “alcohol tsar” to oversee the plan. The measures, to be unveiled tomorrow, are needed to tackle a “national pandemic” of alcohol abuse, according to Tory MP Tracey Crouch, chairwoman of the All Party Parliamentary Group On Alcohol Misuse. Full story >>
VOCABULARY A pint /paɪnt/ is a unit for measuring liquid. In the UK a pint is equal to 0.57 litres and in the US it is equal to 0.48 litres. It's also an informal term for a pint of beer, as in the Express headline. • I go down to the pub for a pint most nights.
Britain could join America in launching military strikes against Islamist extremists in Iraq should the situation descend into genocide, government sources said. US forces began raids against fighters in northern Iraq on Friday after Barack Obama pledged to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe. Full story >>
VOCABULARY Genocide is the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular ethnic group or nation. • America will act to prevent acts of genocide against Iraqi citizens by Islamist fighters.
Nurseries are at risk of being taken over by religious extremists, the Education Secretary will warn as she announces that toddlers are to be taught “fundamental British values”. In her first major policy announcement, Nicky Morgan will say that local authorities will be obliged to use new powers to strip nurseries of their funding if they are found to “promote extremist views”. She will also say that toddlers should be taught “fundamental British values in an age-appropriate way” as part of a drive to protect children from religious radicals. Full story >>
VOCABULARY A nursery (or nursery school) is a school for children between the ages of three and five. • More than 12,000 babies and toddlers are on waiting lists for local authority nursery places.
Two British medical students have been stabbed to death in Borneo after getting into an argument in a bar. Neil Dalton and Aidan Brunger, both 22 and in their fourth year at Newcastle University, were on the Indonesian island on attachment to a hospital in the city of Kuching. Police said they were attacked and killed in the street by a gang of four local men. Full story >>
VOCABULARY A placement is a temporary job that is part of a course of study and that gives you experience of the work you hope to do at the end of the course. The American word is internship. • She's just finished a three-month placement with the BBC.
Scrabble fans are about to get a lot more choices when mix-and-matching those lettered blocks. 5,000 new words have been added to the official dictionary including "selfie," "bromance" and "buzzkill." It's been 10 years since the classic word game updated its vocabulary, and the new additions — including "hashtag," "dubstep" even "schmutz" — inject some 21st-century lingo into the 76-year-old game. So far, Merriam-Webster, the company that publishes "The Official Scrabble Player Dictionary," has only released 30 of the 5,000 new words it will add to its expansive 100,000-word archive. So we really only got a small sample. Full transcript >>
Alistair Darling has upset the odds after coming out on top in a snap poll carried out minutes after last night's landmark TV referendum debate with Alex Salmond.The surprise outcome - after Mr Salmond was made favourite to triumph in the prime-time encounter - came after the First Minister struggled to answer repeated questions about the possible currency of an independent Scotland. Both sides claimed victory as the audience of 350 people, drawn from equal numbers of Yes and No supporters, drifted away from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow at the end of the most dramatic night yet in the long independence campaign. However, Mr Darling's team appeared more upbeat given the pressure on Mr Salmond to give the trailing Yes campaign a boost as the battle enters its final six weeks. Full story >>
IDIOM When you "draw blood" you make your opponent bleed. Therefore, when you "draw first blood", you hurt your opponent before he hurts you. In which sport does one aim to do this? Boxing, of course! According to some scholars, the idiom "to draw first blood" comes from the world of boxing. The expression is also used metaphorically to mean, "to score a victory over someone". • In the debate, it was the visitors who drew first blood. (source: The Hindu)
BACKGROUND Hundreds have paid £2 a time to use a private toll road built by a businessman who was fed up of waiting for the council to re-open a bypass. Mike Watts was among thousands of motorists faced with a 14-mile detour after a section of the A431 in Kelston, Somerset was cordoned off following a landslip. He spent £150,000 building the 400-yard unofficial road, which opened on Friday, and has already seen around 500 vehicles pass through the toll each day. Full story >>
CARTOON The cartoon by Mac from the Daily Mail shows a man driving a bulldozer through a couple's garden after having smashed through the garden fence. He tells the surprised owners, who were relaxing with a book and a drink on sun loungers under a sunshade , "Don't worry. There's a bit of a hold-up on the motorway, so I'm building a toll road."
VOCABULARY A toll road is a road you have to pay to drive on. A toll is an amount of money that you pay to use a bridge or a road.
One hundred years ago today, many of the men who now lie buried here were returning, in haste, to their barracks, members of Sir John French's British Expeditionary Force, called up by telegram after Britain's declaration of war. On Monday evening, as the shadows lengthened over the wooded and undulating glades of St Symphorien cemetery, Britain honoured them: the first, the last, and all of her 750,000 soldiers who died in the Great War. But not only them: also their former foes – enemies in life, comrades in death – and that whole generation whose lives were blighted by a conflict that claimed, over four terrible years, some 17 million military and civilian lives. Full story >>
VOCABULARY A century is a period of one hundred years. • Wrekin Golf Club was established over a century ago in 1905.
A third deadly attack on a United Nations school sheltering people fleeing bombardment in Gaza was strongly condemned by both the UN and the US on Sunday, with UN chief, Ban Ki-moon, calling it a "moral outrage and a criminal act" and pleading for an end to "this madness". Full story >>
VOCABULARY A strike is a military attack, especially one in which planes drop bombs on an area. • Israeli planes have launched a strike inside Syria from Lebanese air space.