Ireland exits bailout programme: Ireland was one of the countries most hit by the Eurozone’s financial crisis. Europe and the International Monetary Fund stepped in with loans to the Irish government worth totalling 67.5bn euros. Now, three years on, the bailout is formally over and Ireland will have to meet its borrowing needs in the financial markets.
16 December 2013
It is being called Ireland’s exit from the bailout. If all goes to plan Ireland will receive no more financial assistance. It does not mean that the money has been repaid – that will take until 2042.
Ireland will still need to borrow – and all the signs are that it will be able to do so in the financial markets at an affordable cost. The country’s economy has shown signs of stabilisation. It has grown, though erratically, and unemployment is down from its highs. But living standards have been hit – the economy is still 9% smaller than it was six years ago.
This is an important stage in the Eurozone’s financial repair effort. Ireland is the first country to be bailed out to get to this stage. Portugal is due to do it next year, though there are concerns that it might need more financial help.
Greece and Cyprus are further away from getting back on their feet financially. It certainly helps that the recession in the Eurozone has ended – that the economy of the region as a whole has started to grow again. But it is still feeble growth.
Europe needs stronger performance to generate the tax revenue that could really help struggling governments get control of their borrowing needs.
Weather ‘behind ozone hole’: Scientists have been puzzled by the hole in the ozone layer, which forms each year over Antarctica, but has been changing in size from year to year. Now Nasa researchers say the changes are mostly due to the weather – not the ozone-destroying chemicals in the atmosphere. The findings were presented at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in San Francisco.
13 December 2013
Ozone-damaging substances – such as CFCs – began to be phased out 20 years ago. Since then, the hole in ozone layer stopped getting bigger. However there haven’t yet been signs of a full recovery – and damaging UV rays from the sun are still streaming through.
Now scientists from Nasa believe that the weather also plays a key role. Satellite images show that fluctuating air temperatures and winds change the amount of ozone that sits above Antarctica. This means the size of the ozone hole changes year on year.
The team thinks the weather will continue to be the dominant driver in the process until 2030. But after that, as the long-lasting chemicals in the atmosphere finally start to clear, the layer could recover by 2070.
Putin closes Russian news agency: Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has closed down the country’s state-owned news agency RIA Novosti. He announced it will be replaced by a news agency called Russia Today, led by one of the Kremlin’s strongest supporters.
9 December 2013
During Vladimir Putin’s time as Russia’s leader, RIA Novosti has tried hard to produce balanced coverage for Russian and international audiences. Although state-owned, it has reflected the views of the opposition, and covered difficult topics for the Kremlin.
Now, without warning, and with a stroke of President Putin’s pen, it has been abolished. It’s not clear yet what it was that sealed the agency’s fate.
The decree abolishing RIA Novosti also gets rid of the state-owned Voice of Russia radio station. It creates a new news agency under the “Rossia Segodnya” or “Russia Today” brand. Until now Russia Today has broadcast Kremlin-friendly news in several languages on TV and its website.
The new Russia Today International News Agency will be headed by Dmitry Kiselev, a journalist who has been an ardent supporter of Vladimir Putin and who recently said that gay people should be banned from giving blood. He said their hearts should be burned rather than used in transplants.
BBC Words in the News 13/23 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: