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A current events product that introduces learners to the world around them in a unique and engaging way.
Story Text | Faces and Places
American actor Lance Reddick died on March 17, 2023 at the age of 60. Reddick’s family reported that his death was due to “natural causes” without providing further information. Reddick was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1962. As a young person, Reddick studied music. He even graduated from the Eastman School of Music, one of the most prestigious music schools in the world. At Eastman, he graduated with a degree in classical music composition. But he later switched his focus to acting, and attended the Yale School of Drama. Reddick’s first major role was in the television series, “The Wire.” His complex and nuanced performance as police officer Cedric Daniels in this show is likely still his best-known work. But Reddick also appeared in other acclaimed TV shows, including “Lost” and “Fringe.” Reddick appeared in movies as well, including the 2014 action film “John Wick.” Since his death, many of his former co-stars have expressed their sadness at the loss of this great actor. Have you seen Reddick act? What did you think?
A new report claims that more than 43,000 people died in Somalia in 2022 as a result of an unprecedented drought. About half of those who died were children under five years old. This drought, which is the longest on record in Somalia’s history, has gone on for several years now. But this year was especially difficult for Somalis, as food prices skyrocketed around the globe, partly as a result of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. The drought and high food prices meant that many Somalis could neither grow nor buy any food, and thousands died from starvation and malnutrition. This crisis is not over, and today more than 6 million people in Somalia—more than one-third of the country’s population—are currently going hungry. Reports like this one show the scale of the ongoing famine in Somalia, one of the world’s most pressing humanitarian crises. What should other countries do to help Somalia?
French President Emmanuel Macron is currently facing one of the toughest challenges of his political life. It began in late 2022, when he first announced his intention to raise France’s retirement age from 62 to 64. This means that French workers would have to work for two more years before they could collect money from the government. This plan is unpopular, but Macron decided to go forward with it anyway. He believes that it will save France a lot of money. Protests started in late January, when more than 1 million people took to the streets to march against Macron’s plan. These protests grew even larger, and Macron saw that his plan would likely not be passed by France’s parliament. So he used article 49.3 of France’s constitution, which allows the president to pass laws without approval from parliament. This move made Macron even less popular, and on Tuesday, March 20, he narrowly avoided being ousted from office in a no-confidence vote. Do you think Macron’s political career is over?
Ecuador and Peru
At least 15 people have died after an earthquake struck Ecuador and Peru on Saturday, March 18. This earthquake registered at a strong 6.8 on the Richter scale, and the quake’s epicenter was located just 50 miles away from Ecuador’s second-largest city, Guayaquil. 14 of the known victims were from Ecuador, while only one was from Peru. In addition, at least 126 people were injured in this earthquake. This quake also caused a great amount of property damage, as many houses, roads, and power lines were toppled in the disaster. Many had to flee their homes as the tremors from the earthquake caused objects to fall off shelves and walls to cave in. Fishermen who were in the water when the quake struck reported that it made their boats start swaying “like a racehorse.” While rescuers are working to save as many as possible from the rubble, the full scale of the damage may be unknown for some time. Have you ever been in an earthquake?
**Not included in this demo is the text zoom option.**
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