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You are going to read short texts. Choose the best answer
November brought good and bad news for US workers. The unemployment rate dropped, but wages remained the same. However, even during the present crisis you can change this. If you’re one of the survivors, your employer doesn’t want to lose you. Still, just demanding a raise probably won’t work. Peter Bregman, a management consultant, recommends something counterintuitive – do less. If you’re assigned 15 tasks, talk to your boss about taking on only five. Then, show your manager the benefits you’ve provided and explain why you deserve more money.
1. The expert claims that to get a pay rise, the best option for an employee is …
a) to accept fewer tasks to work on
b) to avoid working overtime on tasks
c) to spend less time on individual tasks
Greens applauded the decision by Asia Pulp & Paper to stop tree felling in Indonesia’s natural forest and to rely on local plantations for its supply. APP, based in Singapore and one of the world’s largest paper companies, faced pressure from environmental groups to stop the practice through a campaign targeted at consumers that asked, “Does your toilet paper cause rainforest destruction?”
2. In their latest move, APP has …
a) satisfied the demands made by environmental groups
b) ignored environmentalists’ pressure to limit tree cutting
c) decided to launch their own environmental campaign
The chairwoman of the Senate intelligence committee, Dianne Feinstein, has accused the CIA of a catalogue of cover-ups and intimidation aimed at investigators probing its role in an “unAmerican and brutal” programme of post-9/11 detention and interrogation. In a bombshell statement to the US Senate, Feinstein, normally an administration loyalist, accused the CIA of potentially violating the US constitution and of criminal activity in its attempts to obstruct her investigations into the agency’s use of torture. She described the crisis as a "defining moment" for political oversight of the US intelligence service.
3. Senator Feinstein's actions were ...
a) uncharacteristic for her
b) considered unjustified
c) against the constitution
Decriminalising evasion of the TV licence fee could cost the BBC up to £200m a year and lead to the axing of several channels, its strategy chief has warned. The BBC director, James Purnell, said it would be a "huge risk" to push through such legislation. Purnell was speaking after it emerged last week that a cross-party group of MPs is pushing for a change in the law to make non-payment a civil rather than a criminal offence, with culture secretary Maria Miller indicating she is prepared to consider the idea and implement it swiftly.
4. The possible decriminalisation of failure to pay for a TV licence …
a) is supported by the BBC
b) has been questioned by the BBC
c) has been questioned by the BBC
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates doesn't seem to agree with the hero tag bestowed on National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Answering the question as to whether he viewed Snowden as a hero, or a traitor, Gates said, "I think he broke the law, so I certainly wouldn't characterize him as a hero. If he wanted to raise the issues and stay in the country and engage in civil disobedience or something of that kind, then it would fit more the model of hero.”
5. In a recent interview Bill Gates ...
a) supported the use of the word “hero”
b) was in opposition to Snowden's actions
c) agreed with Steve Wozniak's description
Tasmania should be declared an immigration detention centre, with asylum seekers allowed to live within the community. Human rights barrister Julian Burnside said the whole state could fulfil the definition of a detention centre if its ports were carefully monitored. Burnside said it would be more humane than other asylum-seeker policies. “If politicians are obsessed with the idea of keeping asylum seekers in detention then by declaring the island a place of detention, that could be legally satisfied,” he said. “Have guards at each port and allow the asylum seekers to live in the community; they would still be in detention.”
6. In Julian Burnside’s opinion, declaring Tasmania a place of detention is …
a) legitimate but inhumane
b) a violation of the law
c) a sensible compromise
R&B singer Chris Brown has been arrested for not obeying a court order connected with his 2009 attack on singer Rihanna. Chris Brown was arrested on Friday and will be held without bail; this is the latest legal entanglement for the R&B singer who has struggled to put his 2009 attack on Rihanna behind him. The warrant was issued by the judge overseeing Brown’s case after he was informed that the singer had been discharged from rehab “for failure to comply with rules and regulations of the program.”
7. The singer Chris Brown has recently been arrested for ...
a) breaking the conditions of his release
b) failing to go to a drug rehabilitation clinic
c) attacking the celebrity star Rihanna
A new study offers strong evidence that environmental toxins play a role in autism. The report looked at birth defects associated with parental exposure to pollution and found a 1% increase in the defects corresponded to a 283% increase in autism. Researchers studied insurance claims from around 100 million people in the U.S. “Autism appears to be strongly connected with the health of adult males across the country. Previously we believed the mother’s health was an important factor,” study author Andrey Rzhetsky said in a statement.
8. A child’s chance of developing autism is affected by …
a) the physical health of the father
b) the place where a child grows up
c) the diet a pregnant mother has
In a controversial decision, the Supreme Court of Maldives cancelled the first round of an election, just before a run-off. The next vote was expected to reinstate former president Mohamed Nasheed, who was ousted in 2012 by what looked like a coup. International observers had described the first round voting as free and fair.
9. Due to the decision of the Supreme Court of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed …
a) was given the chance to become re-elected
b) was stopped from becoming the president
c) was forced to leave his current office
Greece brought criminal charges against Andreas Georgiou, the head of Elstat, the independent statistical agency, and two officials who were responsible for assessing the country’s debit pile. The charges come after an investigation into allegations made by a statistics professor, who was said to be sacked from the agency for doubting the assessment. Mr Georgiou’s team inflated the size of the 2009 deficit, he claimed. The figure was taken into account when working out Greece’s bail-out package.
10. The text says that the professor’s dismissal was the result of …
a) his attempt to falsify the deficit data
b) his questioning the official deficit data
c) his wrong estimation of the deficit data
The battle for leadership contest goes far beyond personalities. It is a struggle for the very soul of conservatism, with London’s mayor, Boris Johnson, attempting to show that it can be a joyful, optimistic and a life-enhancing creed. As the champion of Merry England, Johnson, 49, has shown in two successive mayoral elections his ability to win votes from the Labour Party. David Cameron, although a good economic manager, has never managed to do that. Cameron has many gifts, but making ordinary people feel he is on their side is not one of them.
11. The article claims that London’s mayor is trying to …
a) change the image of the Conservative Party
b) support David Cameron in his leadership
c) improve the government’s running of the economy
Pakistan’s liberals have achieved success after a private TV station fired a popular show host who sparked outrage by running around a park, trying to identify couples who were unmarried – a taboo in this conservative Muslim country. Pakistani liberals criticised host Maya Khan’s behavior, comparing it to moral policing practised by the Taliban. They started a petition asking Samaa TV to dismiss her and end the irresponsible programming. The company did it, using Khan’s refusal to issue an apology as a pretext. It marked an unusual victory for Pakistan’s liberal minority.
12. The step taken by Samaa TV …
a) demonstrated the station’s support for conservatism
b) satisfied the expectations of the Pakistani liberals
c) proved Pakistan’s media’s increasing independenc
Barack Obama appointed Susan Rice as his national security adviser, after Tom Donilon stepped down. Ms Rice, America’s ambassador to the UN, is the president’s close confidante and was his first choice to succeed Hilary Clinton as secretary of state, but Republican senators vowed to block her nomination. The job of security adviser, however, is under the exclusive purview of the president and needs no Senate approval.
13. As the text suggests, the appointment of the new security adviser was …
a) prevented by the American senators
b) the president’s independent decision
c) supported by Republican politicians
You are going to read a newspaper article. Choose the best answer
The Isles of Contention
The news of a welcome, if temporary, diplomatic breakthrough between the international community and Iran over its nuclear-development efforts overshadowed a far more worrying announcement from China. Beijing declared an “air-defense identification zone” over a swath of the East China Sea that is home to islands administered by Japan. It could spin out of control far more quickly than the spinning Iranian centrifuges that much of the world believes Tehran has been using to develop nuclear weapons. The eight barren isles are called the Senkaku Islands in Japan and the Diaoyu Islands in China. Between 1945 -72 the U.S. ruled the islands, and to this day the U.S. military controls two of them – Kuba and Taisho. The status-of-forces agreement between Tokyo and Washington says that “the facilities and areas used by the United States armed forces shall be returned to Japan whenever they are no longer needed for purposes of this agreement.” Yet the pair of islands remains under U.S. control 35 years after the U.S. last conducted bombing runs there.
While the U.S. has declared it takes no position on what Secretary of State John Kerry has called the “ultimate sovereignty” of the islands, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said shortly after China’s announcement that it represented a “destabilizing attempt to alter the status quo in the region.” He made clear that the U.S. would go to war alongside Japan to preserve Tokyo’s ambiguous control of the islands, as he did last month in the Japanese capital. “Since they are under Japan’s administrative control,” Hagel said “they fall under United States treaty obligations to Japan.”
China has said that its military forces will take “defensive emergency measures” if aircraft enter the zone without reporting their flight plans or identifying themselves to China. While Beijing didn’t detail the measures it might take, it proved its point by dispatching fighter jets into the zone, the Defense Ministry said. Japan sent a pair of F-15 fighters airborne in response the same day; the Chinese planes avoided confrontation by heading home a short time later, according to officials in Tokyo.
But with both sides sending warplanes and warships to the islands in an increasingly hostile game of maritime cat and mouse, a mistake, deliberate or otherwise, could set off a shooting war in short order, Pentagon officials fear. General Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle, chief of the U.S. Air Force in the Pacific, recently warned that China’s “increasingly aggressive approach” toward the islands runs “the risk of creating the potential for miscalculation.”
The dispute is part of the ebb and flow of regional power in a tense corner of the world, where China, Japan and Taiwan all lay claim to the islands. While uninhabited, the islands’ surrounding waters are rich in fish, natural gas and oil. Tensions have been on the rise in recent years over conflicting claims to the islands, and spiked last year after Japan bought three of the islands from a Japanese family. Beijing claims Japan stole the islands from China in 1895, while Japan says they were unclaimed by any nation when it took them over. Nationalists in each country are insisting they belong to their side.
“Given the historical animosity between China and Japan and the strong nationalist sentiment on both sides regarding the sovereignty of the islands, the Senkaku Islands dispute is especially intense,” said a report issued by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Commission. “Tensions continued to simmer throughout 2013 as both sides enhanced their naval presence and increased the number of maritime law enforcement patrols in the disputed waters to assert their claims.”
“The Senkaku dispute is a part of a power struggle between the existing superpower – the United States – and the rising revolutionary power – China,” said the study by the East-West Center. “As a militant Japan did in the past, dictatorial China is now challenging the existing global order which was created and is protected by the United States. China is beginning to test if the United States has the capacity to maintain the current global order through testing U.S. resolve in regional disputes, including in the Senkaku Islands.” The islands’ 1,700 acres of desolation now loom as the firing pin in the U.S. military’s pivot to Asia.
14. The serious issue which escaped public attention is China’s move …
a) implying their control over the islands
b) accusing the U.S. of misusing the islands
c) questioning the U.S. rights to the islands
d) violating the status-of-forces agreement
15. The U.S. Defense Secretary announced that the U.S. would …
a) refrain from getting involved
b) assist Japan purely politically
c) start military action on its own
d) oppose the aggressor with Japan
16. China has sent its planes to …
a) chase the Japanese aircraft away
b) collect data about Japanese planes
c) show the seriousness of their threat
d) provoke a confrontation with Japan
17. In the opinion of Gen. Herbert ‘Hawk’ Carlisle, …
a) the islands have become a dangerous war zone
b) Japan’s warlike reaction is being provoked
c) the tensions over the islands are exaggerated
d) China’s hostile attitude and actions pose a risk
18. A year ago the dispute over the islands intensified because of …
a) the purchase of land by the authorities
b) the involvement of another country
c) the place becoming a rich fishing area
d) the discovery of natural resources
19. According to the U.S.-China Economic and Security Commission, 2013 saw an increase in …
a) nationalist sentiment among the Japanese
b) the number of Chinese and Japanese ships in the area
c) the capacity of the Chinese military
d) Chinese hostility towards nationalistic Japan
20. In the view of the East-West Center’s study, the dispute is in fact …
a) a declaration that China has become a leader in the Pacific
b) a clash between dictatorial China and democratic Japan
c) an attempt to revive Japan as a militant power in the Pacific
d) a test to see if the U.S. remains the unrivalled global power