Lessons in the "2016" Category

Summer in Europe

Today let’s talk about summer. For some, it’s the best time of year. For schoolchildren, summer is the time of long school holidays. It’s also when many families go on their summer holidays.

Summer in the Northern Hemisphere in Europe is the season after spring and before autumn. The summer solstice on June 21 is the traditional date of summer starting. June 21 has the longest day and the shortest night. Druids like to meet at Stonehenge in Southwest England on this day.

Summer is traditionally June, July and August. It is when the weather in Europe is normally at its best. It is hot and sunny.

British Astronaut returns to Earth

Recently, British astronaut Tim Peake returned to earth from the International Space Station (ISS). His journey back to earth was with two other spacemen on board a Soyuz space capsule that travelled through the atmosphere, with temperatures outside reaching more than 1,600°C (2,912°F).

Peake travelled home with fellow astronaut Col Tim Kopra from NASA, and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko. The three completed their deorbit to enter the Earth’s atmosphere at around 10am on Saturday June 18. The Soyuz space capsule landed by parachute on its side in a remote spot in the vast scrubland steppe of Kazakhstan 15 minutes later.

Orlando shootings

Today, let’s talk about the terrible shootings that took place recently at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. More than 50 innocent people were killed with 53 others wounded.

The terrorist attack was carried out by Omar Mateen. Most of the victims were men in their 20s and 30s. The 29-year-old gunman was killed after taking hostages at the Pulse club. The attack is the worst mass shooting in recent US history.

Omar Mateen was an American who declared allegiance to the Islamic State. He was the son of an immigrant from Afghanistan.

Food scandal in Eastern Europe – lower quality than West Europe

Recently a friend suggested I write an English lesson about inferior food being sold in Central and Eastern Europe. In other words products of lower quality, or the same product - but the contents having lower quality inside the package.

How can this be possible? Believe me it is! I live in Slovakia and I hear this story time and time again from my students and friends.

Many Slovaks like to go to Austria to go shopping. Why? Because food is cheaper, and of better quality.

Anyone shopping in Slovak supermarkets is likely to be sold inferior quality goods, like cheese, washing powder, coffee, milk chocolate, and Coca Cola. In Austria those same products are of a much higher quality.

Illegal immigrants quietly slip into UK highlights coastline shambles

Recently the UK woke up to news reports that Britain is defenceless to stop a new wave of illegal immigrants entering the UK. They are doing so by quietly slipping in to small harbours that are dotted along the British coastline.

Lax UK border controls are allowing this to happen. Why? Because the government and previous governments have cut back on the armed forces and border controls resulting in the UK only having three Border Force vessels to patrol the whole of the English Channel. It is unbelievable but true!

What this really means is Britain is poorly defended. Any group of migrants can now buy themselves a rubber motor boat in France or Belgium, climb in it, and head for any small port along the English coastline. No one will stop them, and if they do, they will be rescued and taken into the UK anyway.

Euro 2016

Today, we are going to talk about Euro 2016. The football tournament will kick off at the Stade de France on June 10 when France play Albania.

England will face Russia, Slovakia and Wales in Group B. The Republic of Ireland will meet Italy, Sweden and Belgium in Group E, which is also known as the ‘Group of Death’.

Hosts France have got a favourable draw against Romania, Switzerland and Albania in Group A, while European Champions Spain will face the Czech Republic, Croatia and Turkey in Group D.

Countdown to Brexit vote

The referendum vote in the UK on whether the UK should leave or remain in the European Union is edging closer. The outcome is still too close to call, as it is still 50/50 as to what the result will be.

Many people in the UK are currently watching on YouTube BREXIT - The Movie’. I did. I wasn’t going to, but I am glad I watched all of it, as it’s an eye opener. The movie, whilst one sided, does show that in politics nothing changes - there is arrogance, people control, and power.

The EU in Europe is currently running its ‘empire’. It functions just like empires did 100 years ago – the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the British Empire. The latter had administrators sent out to places like India and Australia to run the ship. These days it is the likes of the Irish and Swedes working in Luxembourg and Brussels who keep the EU’s cogs working. It is no different.

Should cafes in the UK have toilets in them?

Today, let’s talk about whether cafes in the UK should have toilets in them. Well, should they?

I discovered that this is actually a wonderful topic to debate. Yes, really! After all, we all need to spend a penny.

I was intrigued to read about a recent court case in Hull, England. The court debated whether a bakery with a cafe in should provide toilets or not. The bakery in question is predominantly a takeaway, but does provide some seats for customers. Therefore it argued it should not need to provide a toilet.

The outcome could flush many cafes and takeaways down the pan, as a legal ruling now says that coffee shops and fast food outlets with fewer than 10 seats must now provide toilets for their customers.

The Most Corrupt Countries

British Prime Minister David Cameron was recently caught on camera at Buckingham Palace in London telling The Queen that the leaders of some “fantastically corrupt countries” were coming to Britain for an anti-corruption conference.

Among the world leaders attending the conference at Lancaster House in London were the leaders of Nigeria and Afghanistan. When a reporter asked the Nigerian President if his country was corrupt he replied, “Yes”.

Representatives from the governments of Panama and the British Virgin Islands ironically weren’t invited to the conference. This is odd considering the recent publication of ‘The Panama Papers’ that highlighted the tax affairs of wealthy individuals from around the world who shelter their money in these countries.

Will Donald Trump or Hilary Clinton be the next American president?

Will Donald Trump or Hilary Clinton be the next American president? It’s an interesting question that’s got a lot of Americans talking!

It looks like billionaire Trump will be the Republican Party nominee after the other contenders dropped out. Critics once said ‘it could never happen’ (Trump being elected) but so far he has proved them all wrong.

If Clinton is chosen she will have a hard fight between herself and Trump. She wants to break down barriers, yet she is establishment that many Americans currently dislike.