Climate change ‘spreads crop pests’: Global warming is helping pests and diseases that attack crops to spread around the world, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change. Researchers from the universities of Exeter and Oxford found crop pests are moving towards the poles as regions warm.
2 September 2013
The researchers looked at more than 600 crop pests from around the world.
These included fungi, such as wheat rust, which is devastating harvests in Africa and the Middle East; insects like the mountain pine beetle that’s destroying trees in the US; as well as bacteria, viruses and microscopic nematode worms.
They found that over the past 50 years, these destructive species have been on the move. On average, they’re spreading 3km every year, shifting north and south towards the poles.
The scientists say this correlates with warming temperatures, allowing the pests to take hold in areas that were once too cold for them to live in.
Currently, between 10% and 20% of the world’s crops are lost to pests – and the team warns that rising global temperatures could make the problem worse. The researchers say that improved surveillance of the problem is needed.
World War I wills: The last wishes, thoughts and concerns of more than 230,000 soldiers who died in World War I are to be made available online.
30 August 2013
The wills and letters that accompanied them give a picture of the lives and loves of the some of the millions of soldiers who served in the First World War.
They tell of the family and friends that the men at the front had left behind.
The following are extracts from those written by Privates Harry Lewis Lincoln and Joseph Witchburn:
Private Harry Lewis Lincoln:
My dearest Clara, I have been expecting a letter from you. I expect you thought I might not get it. But you can always write to the last address. It will always find me, dear Clara.
Private Joseph Witchburn:
If I get killed in active service there will be a medal for me somewhere, and I hope you will try to get it and keep it for the boy to wear when he grows up.
Historian Peter Simkins described his emotion on locating, through the archive, the will of his great-uncle Frank Hill, who went missing on the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey in 1918.
I was staggered that this, not only at the speed at which it was located and sent to me but also by the fact that here was something I thought I’d never see.
The British troops kept their wills tucked in their uniforms inside their pocket service books.
Once the men died the wills were collected by the military authorities.
Now, the first batch of some 230,000 of the surviving documents have been digitised and put online.
Among other wills that have been made available are those of a professional footballer and the grandfather of the musician Mick Fleetwood.
The wills, which belong to the British state, are being digitised in time for next year’s centenary of the start of World War I.
Manning given 35 years for leaks: SA military court in the US has sentenced Bradley Manning, the former intelligence analyst who leaked hundreds of thousands of documents to Wikileaks, to 35 years in prison. The judge at the court martial in Fort Meade also ruled he should be dishonourably discharged from the US army.
23 August 2013
Bradley Manning showed little emotion when his sentence was read out, as some of his supporters in the room burst into tears. The former intelligence analyst was convicted last month of 20 counts including espionage, computer fraud and theft, after leaking more than 700,000 classified government documents, military battle plans and diplomatic cables to the Wikileaks website.
Bradley Manning’s lawyer David Coombs said his client was a whistleblower who was exposing truths about US foreign policy, and called on President Obama to pardon him. He said Bradley Manning could be eligible for parole in as little as seven years.
The sentence will be a disappointment for military prosecutors acting on behalf of the US government, who argued the leaks threatened national security and pushed for a minimum sentence of 60 years to act as a deterrent to others.
World Athletics Championships: The World Athletics Championships have ended in Moscow with a third gold medal for Usain Bolt. The first of three big international sporting events hosted by Russia over the coming years was described by the head of world athletics as a “wonderful celebration”.
19 August 2013
Usain Bolt’s brief address appreciated by his audience inside the Luzhniki stadium, where the atmosphere significantly improved after a flat opening few days. People came in relatively large numbers.
There was vociferous support for Russian competitors. With more gold medals than any other nation there was plenty for the home fans to shout about. This is a country where athletics has not been a popular spectator sport. Maybe this event has helped change that.
This has also been a championship without a major drugs scandal. Doping controversies had marred the build-up.
There was one issue which stubbornly refused to go away. Some foreign athletes openly protested against Russia’s law banning the promotion of gay and lesbian relations.
The country’s sports minister said the whole topic had been blown out of proportion by the Western media. But with the Sochi Winter Olympics just six months away this contentious subject is set to linger.
BBC Words in the News 13/13 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: