Stormy weather

Tornado hits Indonesia

Makassar — A tornado hit central Indonesia. It happened on February 24. The storm killed three villagers. At least 49 others were injured. — AP


Cold fire

Research station burns

Sao Paulo — A fire at Brazil's research station in Antarctica on February 25 killed two navy personnel and forced the evacuation by helicopter of 44 people. The blaze broke out in the morning in the machine room that houses the energy generators of the Comandante Ferraz station. Two navy officials at the base died and a third was injured.

Colourful kids
Filipino youths in flower costumes prepare at the Coracol Festival in Manila, the Philippines on February 26. The festival includes a nature and wildfire-themed parade to promote environmental preservation and wildfire protection. — EPA

The navy said 44 people at the station were transferred to Chile's Eduardo Frei station. Efforts to put out the fire were halted because of bad weather. Firefighters were evacuated to the Chilean base and will return once the weather improves again. — AP


Unwanted guest

Students protest against speaker

London — Hundreds of students at Britain's Cambridge University have signed a petition against an invitation to disgraced former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn to give a speech at the university.

Strauss-Kahn, who quit as IMF head in May amid allegations that he sexually assaulted a New York hotel maid, was scheduled to speak at Cambridge University on March 9.

"To choose to give this man an opportunity to speak trivialises the experiences of women who bravely come forward and report rape and sexual assault," student union official Ruth Graham said. — AFP


Fin fine

Illegal fishing found

Majuro — The Marshall Islands has fined a Japanese-operated fishing vessel $125,000 (3.8 million baht) for violating a ban on shark fishing, officials said, in the first levy of its kind in the territory's waters.

Enforcement officer Marcella Tarkwon said a search of the ship Satsuma uncovered 27,000 kilogrammes of shark carcasses and 680 kilogrammes of shark fins.

Mass monk meeting
About 2,600 Buddhist monks on February 25 gather to worship Shwedagon pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar in order to mark 2,600 years since the pagoda was found. — EPA

The Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority said the fine was the first since the introduction of a ban on trading shark fins across its waters last year. — AFP


Brain gain

More Americans educated

Washington — For the first time, more than 30 percent of Americans over the age of 25 have at least a Bachelor's degree, according to the Census Bureau. About 61 million Americans over 25 had Bachelor's, master's, professional or doctoral degrees as of March 2011.

People with a Bachelor's degree had lower rates of joblessness than those with less education in every month from January 2008 to December 2010, according to the findings. — Reuters


City struck

Quake shakes Taiwan

Taipei — A 5.9-magnitude earthquake shocked locals in Kaohsiung city of Taiwan on February 24. The quake struck 57 kilometres east of the city of 3 million people at 10:34 am, according to the US Geological Survey.

Television footage showed residents of Kaohsiung running into the streets, fearing their buildings might collapse. Services on a high-speed railway linking Kaohsiung with Taiwan's capital of Taipei were halted temporarily after the quake. — AFP


Exercises

1. Who is Dominique Strauss-Kahn?
a. A Cambridge University student.
b. An official of the Cambridge University student union.
c. A former IMF chief.

2. Who reported the information about education levels in the US?

3. Lingxiaoyan Li is a Cambodian student. True of false?

tornado (n): a violent storm with very strong winds which move in a circle
generator (n): a machine for producing electricity
petition (n): written document signed by a large number of people that asks somebody in a position of authority to do or change something
disgraced (v): to lose the respect of people, usually so that you lose a position of power
trivialise (v): to make something seem less important, serious, difficult, etc. than it really is
student union (n): an association of students at a particular university or college, concerned with students' rights, activities, etc.
levy (n): an extra amount of money that has to be paid, especially as a tax to the government
joblessness (n): the state of not having a job