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You are going to read short texts. Choose the best answer
Employees in one of the most overworked countries in Asia are about to get a break after South Korea passed a bill to reduce the typical working week in an effort to improve quality of life and boost employment. South Korea’s national assembly overwhelmingly passed the law which cut the maximum weekly work hours to 52, down from 68. This decision was welcomed by trade unions. The law comes into force in July and will apply to large companies before being later rolled out to smaller businesses. The cut was a campaign promise made by president Moon Jae-in.
1. The decision to shorten the working week is the effect of …
a) a politician’s election campaign
b) the pressure from the trade unions
c) the problem with unemployment
An agreement creating the world’s largest marine protected area came into force. Covering 2m square kilometres in the Ross Sea off the coast of Antarctica, the agreement establishes a “no-take” zone that prevents minerals or animals from being removed from the area. New Zealand and the United States brokered the deal, which was supported by 25 member countries of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Life.
2. The special area in the Ross Sea was created …
a) to protect the Antarctic ecosystem
b) to reintroduce indigenous species
c) to make scientific research easier
Noisy attacks aren’t hard to find but could you catch the silent attacker lurking beneath the surface? Using artificial intelligence, experienced Darktrace professionals find the quiet cyber-threats inside your organization, no matter how they got in. From stealthy attackers and insider threats, to hacks of connected objects or industrial networks we detect it and fight back in real time. See our webpage to find out more.
3. Darktrace is …
a) a cyber security firm
b) a cyber research agency
c) a cyber think-tank
In the Central African Republic two candidates will compete for the presidency in the final elections round. Anicet-Georges Dologuélé won 23.8% of the vote in the first round, trailed by Faustin-Archange Touadéra, with 19.4% – the results still to be confirmed by the constitutional court. The turnout was a high 79%. Dologuélé, a former central banker, was known as Mr Clean after his attempts to clean up murky public finances during his time as prime minister from 1999 to 2001. Touadéra, is a former maths professor who headed the government under disgraced ousted president François Bozizé. He was considered an outsider among the 30 candidates running for the top job.
4. Both candidates in the Central African Republic’s elections …
a) occupied important governmental positions
b) were involved in political scandals in the past
c) claimed they had won more electoral votes
Flying is part of my profession. Thus I often have to go through the charade of the “security theatre” before boarding a flight. I have lost many nail clippers, because everyone knows how lethal those things are in the hands of a terrorist. Why then, I wonder, do they still serve dinner with steel knives and forks in business class? Do airline companies assume that terrorists can only afford a seat in economy class?
5. - 3 - 5. Flying is part of my profession. Thus I often have to go through the charade of the “secur
a) expresses concern over insufficient security checks
b) ridicules inconsistency in applying security rules
c) demands tightening security control before boarding
High tides, strong winds and huge waves brought havoc to Great Britain again. For the third year running, flooding has brought “Third World misery” to the Somerset Levels. And the blame must start with the Governmental Environment Agency (GEA). Driven by an “obsession with green causes”, it seems to prefer spending its budget creating wetlands for birds – it has laid out a whopping £31m on one new reserve – rather than on flood protection.
6. Commenting on the recent flooding, the writer …
a) puts the blame on GEA’s budget cuts
b) stresses poor protection of wetlands
c) points to the poor allocation of funds
Saudi women do not have to wear the loose-fitting abaya robe to shroud their bodies in public, a senior cleric stated, in the latest sign of a far-reaching liberalisation drive. “More than 90% of pious Muslim women in the Muslim world do not wear abayas,” said Sheikh Abdullah al-Mutlaq, a member of the council of senior scholars, the kingdom’s highest religious body. Saudi Arabia, which has the world’s tightest restrictions on women, requires them to wear abaya robes by law. The government has not said whether it will change the law, but this is the first such comment from a senior religious figure.
7. Sheikh Abdullah al-Mutlaq ...
a) criticised an attempt to make the dress code less restrictive
b) condemned Saudi women for breaking the Muslim dress code
c) supported the liberalisation of Saudi women’s dress code
The diesel pollution crisis should be solved by making motor firms recall and upgrade their cars. Germany and France have already required manufacturers like Volkswagen or Opel to recall and fix more than a million diesel vehicles that were producing high levels of pollution. However, the British are doing otherwise. Their plans are to make diesel drivers pay to enter cities and set up a taxpayer-funded scrappage. “The polluter should be paying, not the consumer or taxpayer,” commented Greg Archer from the NGO Transport and Environment. “If the producers were required to recall and upgrade those vehicles, that would make a sizeable difference to air pollution in cities.”
8. It can be deduced from the text that Greg Archer …
a) prefers the solution Germany and France used
b) opts for giving fines to diesel vehicle owners
c) rejects the idea of recalling the diesel vehicles
India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, expressed his personal outrage and criticised vigilantes who belong to the so-called cow-defence squads. His comments came after a series of their violent attacks on Muslims and low-caste Hindus for transporting cattle, disposing of cow carcasses and eating beef. Cows are revered by high-caste Hindus.
9. The Indian prime minister’s comments show that he ...
a) condemns Muslims for cruelty towards cows
b) disapproves of cow-defense squads’ activity
c) supports high-caste Hindus’ approach to cows
The ruler of Qatar, Sheikh Tamin bin Hamad Al Thani, visited the White House, where he was commended by Mr Trump for working to tackle terrorist financing. That was a stark contrast to last year, when the American president sided with Saudi Arabia and its neighbours after they cut ties with Qatar for allegedly supporting terrorism. Mr Trump noted the large American base in Qatar, and that it buys “a lot of military planes, missiles”.
10. According to the text, …
a) Saudi Arabia’s approach to terrorism was criticized by Trump
b) the attitude of the United States towards Qatar has changed
c) the sale of American equipment to the Middle East is growing
Mark Zuckerberg attended hearings in Congress to defend Facebook, after the revelation that information on 87m users had been obtained by a political-analytics firm linked to the Trump campaign. Mr Zuckerberg said he could accept regulation of the social network, provided it was under the “right framework”, which he suggested might be something akin to impending data protection rules in Europe. Mr Zuckerberg’s assured performance helped lift Facebook share price by 5.7% over his two days on the Hill.
11. From the text we learn that …
a) Zuckerberg’s firm supported the U.S. presidential campaign
b) Zuckerberg’s statement had a positive effect on his business
c) Zuckerberg’s proposal for data protection met with approval
Deutsche Bank (DB) ousted John Cryan as chief executive, three years into his 5-year contract. The German lender has suffered three consecutive annual losses and Paul Achleitner, the chairman, was said to be unhappy with the slow pace of the bank’s turnaround. Still, several investors complained about the manner of Mr Cryan’s defenestration, which could make for a turbulent annual shareholders’ meeting next month. The new CEO is Christian Sewing, who headed Deutsche’s retail bank.
12. The recent developments in DB were caused by …
a) an internal fight for the CEO position
b) its unsatisfactory financial results
c) disagreements among shareholders
The Turkish lira fell to another low against the dollar in part because of concerns about Turkey’s push for growth at any cost. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the president, unveiled an investment package this week and again called for interest rates to remain subdued. That spooked investors already worried that Mr Erdoğan’s pronouncements on monetary policy are hampering the central bank’s freedom to raise rates. Inflation remains stubbornly high at 10% and the current-account deficit has risen on an annual basis.
13. Investors are concerned about …
a) the growth of inflation caused by Erdoğan’s proposal
b) the plans of the central bank to raise interest rates
c) the pressure put on the central bank by the president
You are going to read a newspaper article. Choose the best answer
DUMP JACOB ZUMA
“AMANDLA” (“power” in Zulu and Xhosa), comes the cry from the podium. “Ngawethu” (“to us”), the crowd roars back. The old chants once heard in South Africa’s townships are again ringing out. But this time they are directed not at apartheid but against a reckless attempt by Jacob Zuma, a president who faces 783 charges of fraud and corruption, to tighten his grip on power and install an obedient successor.
The protests were sparked by a cabinet reshuffle last week. Mr Zuma fired Pravin Gordhan and Mcebisi Jonas, the finance minister and his deputy. Both are well-regarded by investors and economists. They are credited with keeping public debt under control and resisting the president’s plan to spend as much as 1trn rand ($73bn) building nuclear power plants that South Africa does not need and cannot afford. This is not the first time Mr Zuma has tried to take over the Treasury. Last time, in 2015, the markets forced him to backtrack. On this occasion he seems determined to see it through.
The new finance minister is a Zuma protégé. Malusi Gigaba plans “radical economic transformation” and to take back the Treasury from “orthodox economists and international investors”. In a country where, even by the narrowest definition, 27% of the workforce are jobless that might have seemed attractive. Yet it has fooled hardly anyone. In a stunning move, the ruling party’s two main allies, the South African Communist Party and the Congress of South African Trade Unions, have called on Mr Zuma to resign. Both suspect him of wanting to loosen the controls that have kept the Treasury honest, even as corruption has increased elsewhere in the government.
Without Mr Gordhan’s supervision, they fear that it will be easier for the Treasury officials to hand contracts to “friends”. An anti-corruption expert found that this is exactly what happened at the state-owned commuter-rail company when its chairman was one Sfiso Buthelezi—who is the new deputy finance minister. Mr Gigaba’s record hardly inspires confidence either. As the minister for state enterprises, he told the electricity monopoly to buy coal only from black-owned firms; a process so mismanaged that it contributed to power cuts which knocked 1-2 percentage points off the national growth rate.
Another shock is looming. Standard & Poor’s has downgraded the government’s credit rating to junk for the first time since 2000. If another big credit-rating agency follows suit, its bonds may be removed from the main international indices. Investors such as pension funds that track these or are not allowed to own junk would be obliged to sell. Interest rates would rise rapidly (they are already higher than those of Russian debt). The rand – the currency of South Africa – would fall still further. South Africa’s economic recovery would freeze, depressing growth from its forecast level of about 1% this year and 2% in 2018.
Mr Zuma is promoting loyalists to strengthen his grip on the ruling African National Congress (ANC), ahead of a party conference at the end of the year. Among other things, he wants it to pick a successor who will protect him from prosecution. His favoured candidate is his ex-wife, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. The opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) would love to face her. They think another Zuma as a leader would cost the ANC millions of votes in national elections in 2019, accelerating its decline after the ANC lost three big cities last year.
So ANC MPs should pay attention. They will soon have to vote in parliament on a motion of no confidence in Mr Zuma called by the opposition. They have rejected similar motions before, in the name of party unity, and could do so again. But they should ask themselves: is Mr Zuma really the best torchbearer for the party of liberation? By ignoring court orders, he undermines the constitutional democracy for which ANC members once fought and died. His patronage machine, by deterring investment, impoverishes all South Africans, except the well-connected. He is not just leading the country into an economic ditch, but also his party to electoral defeat. The ANC should do the rainbow nation a favour and get rid of Mr Zuma.
14. The crowd in South Africa protested against ...
a) the attempt to prosecute Mr Zuma for corruption
b) President Zuma’s attempt to secure more power
c) corruption and fraud in Mr Zuma’s government
d) President Zuma’s return to the apartheid policy
15. The ministers removed from the government ...
a) failed to keep public debt under control
b) lacked proper experience and competence
c) were unsuccessful in attracting investors
d) objected to funding nuclear power plants
16. The ruling party’s allies fear Mr Zuma’s move will ...
a) lead to the fall of the government
b) slow down international investment
c) increase the unemployment rate
d) result in corrupting the Treasury
17. Mr Gigaba has bad reputation for ...
a) lobbying against the electricity monopoly
b) awarding contracts to party supporters
c) bringing a commuter-rail company to ruin
d) mismanaging the coal buying process
18. If Standard & Poor’s credit rating is followed by another agency, in South Africa ...
a) interest rates would become lower
b) pension schemes would collapse
c) the currency value would go down
d) the economy would recover fast
19. The opposition think they might win the next elections if ...
a) they manage to win voters in main big cities
b) they promise to prosecute President Zuma
c) they succeed in cementing the opposition parties
d) they compete with Zuma’s favoured successor
20. According to the author, the ANC should ...
a) support the opposition’s motion
b) fight to preserve the party’s unity
c) concentrate more on the economy
d) back up Mr Zuma’s party leadership