Second jewel theft at Cannes: A necklace reportedly worth $2.5m was stolen during the Cannes film festival, in the second such theft to hit this year’s event.
24 May 2013
Lightning never strikes twice, they say. But apparently jewel thieves do, especially, it seems, at famous French film festivals.
Thieves outwitted 80 bodyguards, local police and hotel security to make off with the $2.5m necklace, owned by the Swiss jewellery company De Grisogono. The lavish piece had been displayed in a fashion parade at a glamorous party attended by film stars and celebrities at an exclusive hotel in Cap d’Antibes.
At the end of the evening a check was made of the jewellery and the necklace had disappeared. French police are investigating whether the jewellery was stolen, lost or misplaced. Last week thieves ripped a safe out of a hotel wall in Cannes, stealing 1.5m dollars’ worth of jewellery owned by the Swiss company Chopard.
Welcome home, gnomes: This year will be the first time in its 100-year history that the Chelsea Flower Show is allowing gnomes to be shown. But why this year? And why was there a ban in the first place?
20 May 2013
People either love them or hate them – garden gnomes, those little figurines of men with their pointy, red hats and white beards, with a pipe or a fishing rod, that are used to decorate gardens in some countries. Some people have called the ban on them at the prestigious Chelsea flower show ‘snobbery‘ – or worse still, gnomo-phobia. The organisers, the Royal Horticultural Society, defend themselves by saying the ban on what they describe as “brightly-coloured, mythical creatures” is in force so as not to distract from the flowers on show. But this year the ban is being lifted. So do people support the move?
(People giving their opinions:)
I don’t mind garden gnomes. I think they bring a bit of colour. They bring a bit of amusement. And, you know, there’s a place for them in the right type of garden.
I think they’re very nice and I’m from Denmark and I think there’s a tradition in Denmark. We always have them in our gardens.
I’m all for equality and equal opportunity for everybody including gnomes.
The moratorium is to allow in a group of more than 100 celebrity gnomes, or rather, gnomes decorated by celebrities such as Sir Elton John and Dolly Parton. They will be auctioned to raise money for a charity that helps children get involved in gardening.
Barbie house protest: Protesters have disrupted the opening a life-size Barbie house in Berlin. The exhibition, which consists of a copy of the popular doll’s toy house, has angered some women, who think that Barbie leads to less respect for women.
17 May 2013
It wasn’t the opening which the organisers planned. Feminist protesters said the Barbie doll turned women into objects. A semi-naked member of the Femen protest group, had “Life in plastic is not fantastic” written on her bare chest. She set fire to a Barbie doll.
In what the organisers call the Barbie Dreamhouse Experience, a hundred gallons of pink paint were used to decorate the exhibition. The colour provoked a protest from a group called Pink Stinks whose members said there was too much emphasis on becoming more beautiful and on being pretty, and that put an awful lot of pressure on girls.
The other Barbie Dreamhouse, in America, has not been the target of protest. The Berlin version continues until August and then tours Europe. There will be more opportunity for protest – and also for visits by Barbie’s countless fans.
Pope creates new saints: At a ceremony in Rome, Pope Francis has created the first saints of his reign. They include 800 Italians who were beheaded for refusing to convert to Islam after their city was captured by Turks six centuries ago.
13 May 2013
It’s taken more than six centuries for the Catholic Church to officially recognise the heroism of hundreds of citizens of Otranto, a small town in the south of Italy who were executed by an invading Turkish army when they refused to convert to Islam.
But there was no hint of any anti-Islamic sentiment in the homily that Pope Francis delivered before tens of thousands of worshippers gathered in St Peters Square. Martyrs, he said, inspire Christians who are still suffering violence in many parts of the world, to respond to evil with good. He refrained from naming any single country, although the Catholic Church is deeply concerned about attacks on Christian communities in the Middle East and in East and West Africa.
Later this month an Italian priest murdered by the Sicilian mafia twenty years ago will be beatified – the last step before he too is declared a saint. Pope Francis, following the example of his immediate predecessors, is continuing the process of honouring a new generation of modern as well as historic martyrs. He wants to remind the world that thousands of Christians are still being persecuted for their faith and sometimes being killed in circumstances related to their religion.
The secret to a longer life: Scientists believe they have found an area within the brain that controls the ageing process. In a series of experiments on mice, they found that changes to this region could shorten or lengthen the animal’s lifespan. The study is published in the journal Nature.
3 May 2013
The hypothalamus is a small structure located deep within the brain. It plays a critical role in controlling growth, reproduction and metabolism – but now it could hold the key to ageing too.
A team of scientists in the US looked at this region of the brain in mice. They found that blocking a chemical in this area increased the animals’ lifespan. Healthy mice typically live for between 600 to 1000 days.
But the rodents in the study were living about a fifth longer without suffering problems that are common in old age, such as muscle loss or memory problems. Conversely, when the scientists boosted the substance in the hypothalamus, the animal’s lifespan was shortened.
The researchers now want to fully understand the biological mechanism behind this process. They say the work could provide new insights into age-related diseases – and in the future even raise the prospect of drugs that could increase our lifespan.
BBC Words in the News 13/06 Transcript Video
More BBC Words in the News
- BBC News Report July 2015 with transcript video
- BBC News Report Jun 2015 with transcript video
- BBC News Report May 2015 with transcript video
- BBC News Report Apr 2015 with transcript video
- BBC News Report Mar 2015 with transcript video
- BBC News Report Feb 2015 with transcript video
- BBC News Report Jan 2015 with transcript video
- BBC News Report Dec 2014 with transcript video
- BBC News Report Nov 2014 with transcript video
- BBC News Report Oct 2014 with transcript video
More from the BBC
- L1: BBC Drama – Frankenstein with transcript videos
- L2: BBC 6 minute English with transcript videos
- L1: BBC The English We Speak with transcript videos
- L1: BBC Drama – The Race with transcript videos
- L1: BBC Short and Easy Dramas with transcript videos
- L3: BBC Words in the News with transcript videos
- L1: BBC English at Work with transcript videos
- L1: BBC How to … with transcript videos
- L1: BBC 6 Minute Vocabulary with transcript videos
- L3: BBC The Reading Group
- L1: extr@ English with subtitles
- L3: The Business of English Video Series
- L2: Study English – IELTS Preparation
- L4: Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!
- L1: Living English Video Series
- L4: Freakonomics Radio Podcast
- L2: The Secret Garden AudioBook
- L0: EFU English Elementary Level
- L2: VOA American Stories
- L1: Listen to English – ESL British Podcasts
Source: BBC Learning EnglishMore Series for You: