Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Slang Words for Money

English in 30 Seconds: Slang Words for Money In English slang, there are many words for money. (A video for people learning English from

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Vitamins: D and the Diet

Vitamins: D and the Diet

Studies in recent years have found that vitamin D may do more to keep people healthy than just build strong bones. But how much is enough, and how much is too much? Transcript of radio broadcast: 22 September 2009

Monday, September 28, 2009

English Words of Chinese Origin English Words of Chinese Origin

Some of the words we use in English come from Chinese. Simple English News is featuring videos from English in 30 Seconds ( You can find more videos at Simple English News, English in 30 Seconds website, or in30's YouTube channel.

ESL Discussions: China

  • Do you think that one day the world will be learning Chinese rather than English?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Korean Families Begin Brief Reunions after Half Century Separation

VOAVideo: Divided Korean Families: Brief, Emotional Reunions

VOANews: Korean Families Begin Brief Reunions after Half Century Separation By Kurt Achin Seoul 26 September 2009

North and South Korean families have begun the process of meeting with long lost relatives separated by the Korean divide. Most are in their 80s or older, and have not seen each other for more than 50 years.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Obama Plan in 4 Minutes

The Obama Plan in 4 Minutes
Learn the basic principles of President Obama's health insurance reform plan as presented to Congress on September 9, 2009.

Monday, September 21, 2009

High Price of Gold Changes Consumer Buying Trends

VOANews: High Price of Gold Changes Consumer Buying Trends

Over the last few years, the price of gold has been steadily increasing and this month, it has been hovering around the one thousand dollar mark for an ounce of gold. This is forcing consumers, who live in cultures that value pure gold, to change their buying habits.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

World’s oldest person dies aged 115

Breaking News English: World’s oldest person dies aged 115

Ms. Baines was born in Georgia in 1894. She grew up in the southern American state during the time of terrible racial discrimination against black people. She saw many changes in her life, including the civil rights movement that brought greater equality. She got married when she was very young and had a child when she was just fifteen . . .

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Patients Struggling to Pay Medical Bills

VOAVideo: Patients Struggling to Pay Medical Bills

About 65 percent of Americans have private health insurance that is supposed to pay for anything from routine doctor visits to serious illnesses. But even people with some of the best policies find out too late that insurers may refuse to pay for needed medical procedures. The family of two-year-old Aram William's struggle with so-called incomplete coverage led them to advocate for health care reform. VOA's Brian Wagner reports from Miami.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Alcohol Linked to One in 25 Deaths Worldwide

VOANews: Alcohol Linked to One in 25 Deaths Worldwide

Also on SCIENCE IN THE NEWS: A new discovery that chimps can get an AIDS-like condition. And better news about overfishing.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Happy Constitution and Citizenship Day!

The NCC: Creating the Constitution via TeacherTube

More games from the National Constitution Center:

Seize the Vote!
Test your knowledge of voting rights and gain the right to participate in the ultimate act of citizenship for your characters!

Interactive Constitution
The U.S. Constitution, including detailed explanations of the text is just a click away.

Citizenship Timeline
This online experience highlights some of the key dates and events that mark more than 200 years of U.S. constitutional history.

Lincoln’s Crossroads
What would you have done in Abraham Lincoln’s shoes?

Bill of Rights Game
Help restore the Bill of Rights!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Studies Show Swine Flu Vaccine Effective For Adults

VOAVideo: Studies Show Swine Flu Vaccine Effective For Adults

When testing of the new vaccine for H1N1 swine flu began, experts believed most adults would need two doses because it is a new virus. But two new studies show most adults are protected after just one dose. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the implications this has for the H1N1 pandemic.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Monday, September 14, 2009

New: VOA Special English Videos on YouTube!

NEW: VOA Special English news and information service is very popular with English learners and teachers worldwide. Reports are written in VOA Special English and are read one-third slower than regular English programs. VOA Special English now has videos on YouTube!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Japan's century club swells to more than 40,000

Japan's century club swells to more than 40,000
By MARI YAMAGUCHI Associated Press Writer

Sep 10th, 2009 TOKYO -- The number of Japanese centenarians has doubled in the past six years to a record high of more than 40,000, with women dominating the list of those whose lives have spanned more than a century, the government said Friday.

Japan will have 40,399 people aged 100 or older this month, surpassing the previous record of 36,276 last year, the Health and Welfare Ministry said in an annual report marking a Sept. 21 national holiday honoring the elderly. More than 86 percent are women . . .

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I want to speak directly to seniors . . .

On Wednesday, September 10, President Obama spoke on Healthcare Insurance Reform. Below is the section of the speech in which Obama talks about Senior Citizens, Medicare, and Medicade.
  • You can watch a video from VOAVideo that shows a summary from Obama's speech and some of the controversy surrounding Healthcare reform.
  • You can also watch the video from that shows Obama's entire speech. Obama addresses Senior Citizens at minute 31:05-35:05.
  • You can read the Full Text of Obama’s Health Care Speech to Congress. Comments to the Seniors begins on page 5.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: I want to speak directly to seniors for a moment, because Medicare is another issue that's been subjected to demagoguery and distortion during the course of this debate.

More than four decades ago, this nation stood up for the principle that after a lifetime of hard work, our seniors should not be left to struggle with a pile of medical bills in their later years. That's how Medicare was born. And it remains a sacred trust that must be passed down from one generation to the next. (Applause.) And that is why not a dollar of the Medicare trust fund will be used to pay for this plan. (Applause.)

The only thing this plan would eliminate is the hundreds of billions of dollars in waste and fraud, as well as unwarranted subsidies in Medicare that go to insurance companies -- subsidies that do everything to pad their profits but don't improve the care of seniors. And we will also create an independent commission of doctors and medical experts charged with identifying more waste in the years ahead. (Applause.)

Now, these steps will ensure that you -- America's seniors -- get the benefits you've been promised. They will ensure that Medicare is there for future generations. And we can use some of the savings to fill the gap in coverage that forces too many seniors to pay thousands of dollars a year out of their own pockets for prescription drugs. (Applause.) That's what this plan will do for you. So don't pay attention to those scary stories about how your benefits will be cut, especially since some of the same folks who are spreading these tall tales have fought against Medicare in the past and just this year supported a budget that would essentially have turned Medicare into a privatized voucher program. That will not happen on my watch. I will protect Medicare. (Applause.)

Now, because Medicare is such a big part of the health care system, making the program more efficient can help usher in changes in the way we deliver health care that can reduce costs for everybody. We have long known that some places -- like the Intermountain Healthcare in Utah or the Geisinger Health System in rural Pennsylvania -- offer high-quality care at costs below average. So the commission can help encourage the adoption of these common-sense best practices by doctors and medical professionals throughout the system -- everything from reducing hospital infection rates to encouraging better coordination between teams of doctors.

Reducing the waste and inefficiency in Medicare and Medicaid will pay for most of this plan. (Applause.) Now, much of the rest would be paid for with revenues from the very same drug and insurance companies that stand to benefit from tens of millions of new customers. And this reform will charge insurance companies a fee for their most expensive policies, which will encourage them to provide greater value for the money -- an idea which has the support of Democratic and Republican experts. And according to these same experts, this modest change could help hold down the cost of health care for all of us in the long run.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Health Concerns After 8 Years Since Terrorist Attack

VOAVideo: Health Concerns After 8 Years Since Terrorist Attack

It's eight years this week, since the 9-11 attacks on the United States. But there is still controversy over the pace at which the New York site is being rebuilt and whether a huge number of people are sick because of the attack. VOA's Martin Phillips spoke to people who worked and lived in the area that became known as Ground Zero.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

President Obama Speaks on Health Insurance Reform

This post has two videos.

VOAVideo: Obama Addresses Nation on Health Care Debate
U.S. President Barack Obama went before Congress and the nation Wednesday night to urge action on his top domestic priority: health care reform. VOA's Paula Wolfson reports his nationally broadcast address followed a month a setbacks for the reform effort. President Obama: Address to Congress on Health Insurance Reform

The President delivers an address to a joint session of Congress, explaining just how he wants to bring peace of mind to Americans who have insurance, and affordable coverage to those who don't. September 9, 2009. (Public Domain)

Defibrillator Vest Worn by Thousands

VOAVideo: Defibrillator Vest Worn by Thousands

In the United states, an estimated 300,000 people die every year of sudden cardiac arrest although internationally, it's unclear how many are at risk. Many patients have a device called a defibrillator implanted that delivers a shock to restart the heart. Now, some doctors are prescribing the device in a vest worn outside the body. And the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute is testing the effectiveness of "The LifeVest." Thousands wear the device and the Pittsburgh-based manufacturer says it expects the number of patients using the technology to double this year. Steve Mort reports.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Students Get Encouragement from Obama

VOAVideo: Students Get Encouragement from Obama

When the White House revealed President Obama's plan to give a welcome-back speech to returning school children, along with lesson plans on how students could help the President, some Republicans were irate. They attacked the President for what they said was an attempt trying to indoctrinate children. But Tueday's speech at a high school near Washington, DC stayed clear of politics. VOA's Laurel Bowman has more.

Watch Obama's full speech: President Obama's Message for America's Students

Happy California Admissions Day

EL Sacramento One Minute Tour

California became the 31st state of the United States on September 9, 1850. In honor of California Admissions Day, here is a quick tour of California's state capital, Sacramento. Also see EL's excellent lessons on the State of California.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Mobile Device Could Detect Brain Injuries

VOANews: Mobile Device Could Detect Brain Injuries

If you sustain a head injury today, even a mild one, you only have one choice: a trip to the hospital to determine the severity of your injury. But now, the development of a new mobile brain scan device could change all that. The device, under development, scans brain waves and will be able to, its developers say, prevent death in many cases. VOA's Laurel Bowman has more.

Monday, September 7, 2009

ESLPod: English Cafe 49--Labor Day!

English Cafe 49 Download Podcast

Topics: Labor Day, charitable organizations in the U.S., safety vs. security, clutch vs. grip vs. grab

  • labor
  • to barbecue
  • muscular (dystrophy)
  • telethon (see The Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon)
  • to raise money
  • to pledge money
  • poster child
  • charity
  • tax exempt
  • raffle
  • rummage sale
  • safety
  • security
  • to clutch
  • to grip
  • to grab

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Goats for Rent

VOAVideo: Goats for Rent

With their four-chambered stomachs and insatiable desire to nibble on anything even resembling a plant, goats are gaining credibility as land clearers. As a result, the U.S. environmental movement has come up with a novel way to destroy large extensions of invasive weeds and grasses: Rent a Goat. So far, the results look like a win-win situation for all. Producer Zulima Palacio has the story. Mil Arcega narrates.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

ESL Podcast 509 – Going on a Cruise

ESL Podcast 509 – Going on a Cruise

Learn how to talk about taking a vacation trip on a cruise ship in this episode. Download Podcast

ESL Discussions: Oceans

What would you do if you owned a whole ocean?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Garbage Dump Philanthropist Helps Thousands in Philippines Escape Poverty

VOAVideo: Garbage Dump Philanthropist Helps Thousands in Philippines Escape Poverty

When Briton Jane Walker first saw children rummaging through trash heaps while on a trip to the Philippines in 1996, she decided to do something about it. Employing about 100 people, Walker helps improve the lives of thousands of children and their families who otherwise would be forced to eke out a living, picking through Manila's garbage dumps. Jennifer Glasse reports.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Japan's Next Leader, Promising Change, Gets Ready to Take Office

VOANews: Japan's Next Leader, Promising Change, Gets Ready to Take Office

On IN THE NEWS: Yukio Hatoyama is expected to become prime minister on September 16. But some see the historic election as more a rejection of the Liberal Democrats than an acceptance of his party.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

New Leadership Gets Ready After Japan Election

Japan's prime minister is clearing the way for a new party, and a new leader, to set the nation's political agenda. The center-left opposition party that swept a nationwide legislative vote is now planning how to use its commanding majority to reshape politics in Japan. VOA's Kurt Achin reports from Tokyo.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Cutting Calories: Monkeys That Eat Less Live Longer

VOANews: Cutting Calories: Monkeys That Eat Less Live Longer

Also on SCIENCE IN THE NEWS: How aspirin may help colon cancer patients. And the truth about Tyrannosaurus rex.