Lesson Plans

Lesson Plan #2 - Sample News Summaries

Note: We recommend that you print this article and distribute it to your students.

News Summary #1
Mandela urges action not dissent on AIDS
CBC Newsworld - WebPosted Fri Jul 14th http://www.cbc.ca/newsworld

Nelson Mandela has defended the right of the current South African president to question whether HIV causes AIDS. Mandela made the closing speech at the 13thannual International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa. He called on the opposing parties to unite. The former president of South Africa says its time to "rise above our differences. . .and save our people."

Mandela's speech was much anticipated in light of comments by Thabo Mbeki, South Africa's president. Mbeki has called into doubt the link between HIV and AIDS. He has appointed people to an advisory panel who share his beliefs. And he has banned the use of AZT for pregnant women and rape victims at government health centres. AZT is an anti-AIDS drug.

Critics say the president is being reckless with peoples' lives. Scientists say Africa is experiencing an epidemic, that 28 million children could be orphaned by the disease at the end of 2010.

But Mandela countered that Mbeki is committed to fighting the disease. "He will, with me, be the first to concede that much more remains to be done. I do not doubt for one moment that he will proceed to tackle this task with the resolve and dedication he is known for," said Mandela in an emotional speech. Mandela says too much energy has been spent on this debate. "The challenge is to move from rhetoric to scale."

More than 25 million people in Africa are infected with AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome)

News Summary #2
Honda robot walks on two feet
CBC Newsworld - WebPosted Mon Jul 24th http://www.cbc.ca/newsworld

TOKYO - The proud parents of the Honda P3 robot showed off their little one's skills over the weekend at the Future Technology Fair in Tokyo. P3 is a 5-foot-tall, 287-pound robot that can walk on stairs and ramps.

The bipedal robot's eyes are cameras. It uses them to sense its location and positioning, adjusting its movement accordingly to keep itself from toppling over.

Honda engineers have been working on two-legged robots since 1986. They say their goal is to create a robot that can move on different terrains and around objects so people will eventually have robots to help with daily life in their homes.

Honda also hopes the robot will replace human labour, particularly dangerous jobs. But the P3 robot still moves much slower than most of us do. It has a maximum speed of 2 km/h. Honda engineers say it will be another 10 years before their robots can move like people.

Robots have been widely used in factories in Japan since the 1970s. In 1997, there were 710,000 industrial robots being used in Japan, nearly 60 per cent of the world's total.

News Summary #3
Proposed greenhouse tax unfair, farmers say
By Mike Howell, Vancouver Sun http://www.vancouversun.com/

Delta city council's proposed $23,000 tax on greenhouse expansions is an arbitrary attack on farmers who already pay a fair share of development costs, a spokesman for the B.C. Horticultural Coalition says.

Stephen Torrence, whose organization represents vegetable and flower greenhouses, nurseries and mushroom farms, said he finds it odd that Delta is the only municipality in B.C. considering such a tax.

"There are greenhouses in Richmond, there are greenhouses in Surrey and we don't have this dispute about intensive agriculture in any municipality in this province except in Delta," he said a few hours before farmers and councillors were to discuss the issue at a public meeting Monday night. Torrence said if Delta adopts the charge -- purely as a money-maker -- other municipalities could follow suit and ultimately stop greenhouse farming expansion in B.C.

But Delta Mayor Lois Jackson and some city councillors say it costs all taxpayers when greenhouses get larger. For example, Delta is spending up to $300,000 to upgrade 46A Street, a road that only serves one greenhouse and a farm. "So, you know," Jackson said, "we're looking at that and saying, 'Is this really fair?' "

The proposed fee already has preliminary approval from city council. Jackson wouldn't predict if or when city council would give it final approval or amend.

News Summary #4
Stop CD 'cyber shoplifting': music industry
CBC Newsworld WebPosted Thu Jul 13th http://www.cbc.ca/newsworld

The music industry is fighting back against Internet pirates. In a conference Thursday, artists, producers and distributors urged consumers to put a halt to CD "cyber shoplifting". The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), the industry's main watchdog, calls Internet pirates the largest new threat to the business. There are at least 25 million illegal files available and up to one billion downloaded annually, according to IFPI.

The law needed to govern music in cyberspace is not in place, says the group. Artists, such as The Corrs, are also voicing their concerns. "Most people would not dream of stealing a CD from their local record store. In the same way we don't think it is cool to go cyber shoplifting," says Jim Corr. He says over 18,000 illegal Corrs music files were found on the Internet in just an eight-hour period. "This is our music. We need to have proper control," says sister Sharon Corr.

The music industry is campaigning worldwide to get governments to approve tougher copyright laws. The IFPI says it's not happy with the European Union governments' position on a draft copyright directive. It's pushing the European Parliament to change the law in its favour. The IFPI states the music the next five to 10 years will be crucial to the industry.

News Summary #5
China Tightens Reins On Political Speech
New York Times http://www.nytimes.ca/learning

Political discussion in China these days may be looser than it has been for years, but last week there were reminders of just how narrow the limits remain. A few weeks after China signed an international covenant on political rights, a new research center exploring democracy and development, started by a 42-year-old former businessman, Peng Ming, was shut down.

Censors have halted distribution of a popular book of essays on political reform. And the police detained or warned dozens of dissidents who had planned a show of support for a colleague who lost his house, and whose wife was fired from her job, when he applied to form a new political party.


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