Aug 30, 2011

VOA Special English News 41

Officials say severe flooding has affected parts of the northeastern United States. The floods come one day after Hurricane Irene moved through the area. Flooding has reached record levels in the states of Vermont and New York. Vermont has its worst flooding in 100 years. Many homes and businesses in the eastern United States are still without electricity because of Irene. The storm has been blamed for more than 30 death in ten states. One company estimates all the damage will cost about 7 billion dollars.


Aug 28, 2011

VOA Special English News 40

Hurricane Irene continues to bring heavy rains and strong winds to the east coast of the United States. Officials say at least four people have been killed by the storm. The hurricane first struck land in the state of North Carolina Saturday. Winds of almost 140 kilometers per hour flooded streets and brought down trees. Almost 1,000,000 homes and businesses are without electric power. The storm has weakened but weather experts say it is expected to pass through many large cities including New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington. It is moving north-northeast at 24 kilometers per hour. Earlier Saturday, President Obama visited the center where high level emergency officials are meeting. He warns that situation would be dangerous for 72 hours.


Aug 25, 2011

VOA Special English News 39

The Internet company Google has agreed to pay one of the largest fines in American history. The 500 million dollar fine is punishment for permitting online Canadian drug sellers to place advertisements on Google's websites. The fine is about equal to the income earned by Google and pharmacies between 2003 and 2009. Justice department officials say the advertisement resulted in the illegal importation of medical drugs into the United States. It says some drugs were sold without proper doctor's permits. Other drugs did not meet the United States' requirement of manufacturing and storage.


Aug 23, 2011

VOA Special English News 38

A new museum in the western state of Wyoming recalls life during World War 2 for thousands of ethnic Japanese held in camps. The museum is in the former Heart Mountain Relocation camp. President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered almost 120,000 people held in camps soon after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Most of these people were ethnic Japanese-American citizens. Before World War 2 ended, United State court ruled that the camps were illegal. It was not until 1988 that then President Ronald Reagan apologized for the camps. He said the camps were a result of racial distrust and heightened feelings during war times.


Aug 20, 2011

VOA Special English News 37

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez says he plans for the government to take control of the nation's gold mining industry. The president spoke on state television Wednesday. He said he will soon release an order to nationalize operations currently controlled by private and foreign companies. Gold mining will be the latest industry to be put under state control by President Chavez. Venezuela has about 18 billion dollars in gold reserves. About 11 billion dollars worth is held outside the country. Last year, Mr. Chavez permitted private gold miners to export as much as half of the gold they mined. But he now says Venezuela cannot continue permitting its golds to be, in his words, "taken away" .

Aug 16, 2011

VOA Special English News 36

Nepalese prime minister Jhalanath Khanal has resigned after only three months in office. Mr. Khanal of the Unified Marxist Leninist party presented his resignation to the country's president Sunday. He is expected to speak to parliament on Monday. Parliament elected Jahlanath Khanal in February after seventeen elections that did not result in a winner. He said he would step down by August 13 unless there was major progress made on the peace process and political reforms. Maoists lawmakers control most of the seats in parliament, but not enough to govern alone. Lawmakers disagreed about the new constitution and about the future of thousands of the former Mao's fighters living in camps.


Aug 14, 2011

Tobata-gion-oo-yamagasa 2011

July 23, I took a part in my former boss's home party. The purpose of the party was to see the Tobata-gion-oo-yamagasa(戸畑祇園大山笠) from his room having a BBQ. This time, I took a short movie, so you can feel the atmosphere of the eventl. We could not see the most exciting scene of it two years ago because of a bad weather.

Aug 12, 2011

VOA Special English News 35

North Korea has denied shelling near South Korea's border. The state-run Korea Central News agency reported Wednesday that North denied firing in waters near South Korean island of Yeonpyeong. Earlier, South Korea media said North and South Korea exchanged artillery fire near their joint border in the Yellow Sea. Report say a defense ministry official stated that all shells fell into the sea and there were no reports of injuries or damage. Last November, North Korean artillery attack on Yoenoyeong island killed four South Koreans. North Korea said it is building a large object in its southern Hwanghae Province. It said the explosions were a part of building work.


Aug 9, 2011

VOA Special English News 34

Share prices dropped sharply on world markets Monday. On the first day, investors could react to the lowered United State credit rating. The Standard & Poor's rating agency lowered the credit rating Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down about five and half percent Monday. The S&P 500 closed almost 7% lowered. Prices on European markets were down between 3 and 5 percent. Earlier Monday, Asian markets closed between 2 and 4 % lowered.The world markets also were reacting to Europe's debt crisis. Investors sold shares to put their money in more secure investments, such as gold and the United States Treasury bonds. Speaking at the White House, President Obama called for commonsense and compromise. He said the problem was a refusal to put what is the best for the country ahead a political party.


Aug 6, 2011

VOA Special English News 33

Italy says it will have enough money to balance its budget by 2013. That is a year earlier than planned. Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi spoke to reporters Friday night. He said the government would also seek to win approval for amendment to constitution. The amendment would require the government to balance its budget every year. The announcement came at the end of a week in which interest rate on Italy debt jumped. This increased investor concerns that Italy could be forced to ask for the international help to deal with its rising debt ?retros.

イタリアのベルルスコーニ首相は、金曜日の夜、イタリアは、計画よりも1年早く、2013年までに予算のバランスを保つための十分な資産があるとリポータたちに語った。首相は、政府はまた、憲法改正の承認を求めるだろう、その改正は政府に毎年度予算の収支均衡を求めるだろう と言った。首相の会見は、イタリアの利率が上がった週の末に行われた。利率の上昇は、イタリアが債務問題に対応するため、国際的な援助を求めることになるかも知れないという投資家の不安をかきたてた。

*I am sorry that I could not find out the last word of this news. Please tell me the correct word.

Aug 4, 2011

VOA Special English News 32

Shell Oil has accepted responsibility for two oil spills in Nigeria in 2008. The spills destroyed jobs of nearly seventy thousand people. Lawyers representing the Bodo community of Nigeria's Gokana land area took action against Shell in the British court. They say the company may pay out hundreds of millions dollars for the spills. The lawyers say Bodo depend on fishing for food and jobs. They say the oil took away their ability to make money. It could cost more than one hundred million dollars to clean the oil and repair the environment.


Aug 2, 2011

VOA Special English News 31

North Korean officials say China and its Red Cross Society have offered to send emergency aid to North Korea. The country is suffered severe flooding of heavy rains in recent weeks. North Korean official media say the aid would provide great hope to people in their recovery efforts. More than 50 people have been killed, injured and disappeared in the flood and resulting of land slide. North Korean officials also say almost 3,000 houses were destroyed.


Aug 1, 2011


In this season, the regional qualifiers of the National High School Baseball Championship have been held throughout Japan. Generally, people in Japan call it Koukou Yakyu (高校野球).

Last Wednesday, the final game in Fukuoka was held. Tochiku high school (東筑高校)baseball team lost to Kyushu-Kokusai-Daigaku-Fuzoku high school(九州国際大学附属高校).

Now, my son goes to Tochiku, so he took part in cheering his school team as a member of brass band.

I am also a graduate of Tochiku. When I was a first-year student, the baseball team went to the National High School Baseball Championship held at Koushien Stadium (甲子園球場) in Hyougo prefecture. Of course, I went to Koushien to cheer the team.

My son could not have same experience, but the final game would leave as his good memory in his mind.