UN: No bullfighting for kids: The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has called on Portugal to impose restrictions on children taking part in or watching bullfights. It is concerned about their impact on minors’ mental and physical health.
7 February 2014
In Portugal, there are bullfighting schools where children can learn techniques from any age – albeit not necessarily involving a live animal. The UN Committee wants a minimum age of 12.
It also expressed concern about minors attending bullfights as spectators, given the often very bloody violence involved, and would like the current minimum age of six to be raised.
Unlike in neighbouring Spain, in Portugal the bull is not killed in the ring, but is invariably badly mauled before being led away to be slaughtered out of sight.
Portugal’s government and political parties have not so far responded to the Committee’s recommendations.
Man survives 16 months at sea: It could be story from a Hollywood movie: a man alone at sea for more than a year, killing animals to stay alive. That’s what Jose Salvador Albarengo from Mexico says happened to him when he was trying to sail to El Salvador.
3 February 2014
Fish, birds, turtles – anything he could get hold of, he would kill with his bare hands. Jose told his rescuers he even drank turtle blood to stay alive during the 16 months he says he was adrift at sea. When his boat finally washed up at Ebon Atoll on Thursday, halfway between Hawaii and Australia, he was emaciated and barely able to walk. Ola Fjeldstad, a Norwegian anthropology student who’s doing research in the Marshall Islands, said Jose’s fiberglass boat bore the signs of the harrowing 7,500-mile detour:
Ola Fjeldstad, anthropology student:
We first found his boat, which was probably a 24-footer, engine broken, grown over with shells and other sea animals. And it had a live baby bird, a dead turtle, some turtle shells, fish leftovers and it was in pretty bad condition.
And there’s tragedy in this tale. There were two people on the boat when it set off from Mexico to El Salvador in September 2012, but Jose said his companion had died several months earlier. Little is known about the circumstances, as so far he’s had to draw pictures to communicate with people on the remote Pacific island because they can’t understand Spanish. Locals have been nursing the long-haired, bearded stranger back to health and Ola Fjeldstad says Jose’s doing much better:
Ola Fjeldstad, anthropology student:
He’s gained a lot of strength. He’s been eating a lot of food, fish, rice, fruit and drinking coffee. He’s in a lot better shape now. He’s able to walk around by himself. He’s cracking jokes!
There are good reasons to be cheerful; had he missed the Marshall Islands, it could have been another 1,000 or so miles before Jose would have had any hope of hitting land again.
Facebook allows gender choices: American users on the social network Facebook can now choose a variety of different terms to define their gender other than just male or female. The company said it wanted its users to feel comfortable being their true selves.
14 February 2014
Up until now, Facebook’s 1.2 billion or so users have had only two choices to define themselves: male or female, but now social networkers, initially just in the US, have a wider range of options.
The company said it worked with gay and transgender advocacy groups to select around 50 terms, including “transsexual“, “bi-gender” and “androgynous“. Users can also choose whether to be referred to as “he”, “she” or “they.”
One of Facebook’s software engineers who worked on the project is going through a male to female sex change. Brielle Harrison said while it won’t mean much to a lot of people, “for the few it does impact, it will mean the world”.
It reflects the growing influence of the transgender rights movement in the US, which is demanding similar civil rights to the gay community.
Facebook’s move has been welcomed by activists who said they “applaud Facebook for making it possible for people to be their authentic selves online.”
BBC Words in the News 14/02a 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: