News Report One
New York State plans to shut off the thundering waters of Niagara Falls—again. At least, the American side of the falls. This “once in a lifetime” event actually may take place twice in some folks’ lives. (1) The New York State parks system wants to turn off the falls on the American side sometime in the next two to three years to replace two 115-year-old stone bridges that allow pedestrians, park vehicles and utilities access to Goat Island.
The American side of the falls were shut off in 1969 to study the buildup of rock at the base of the falls. When that happened, people came from all over the world to see the falls turned off.
People are curious by nature. They want to see what’s underneath. In fact, those who first came to have a look did see something. (2) They found millions of coins on the bottom.
Questions 1 and 2 are based on the news report you have just heard.
1.Why does New York State want to turn off Niagara Falls?
2.What did people find when Niagara Falls were shut off in 1969?
News Report Two
The Tunisian government said Monday that 45 people have been killed after gunmen attacked a town near the border with Libya.
(3) The Interior and Defense ministries said that the Tunisian government has closed its two border crossings with Libya because of the attack.
The Tunisian military has sent reinforcements and helicopters to the area, and authorities have been hunting several attackers who were still at large.
The violence came amid increasing international concern about Islamic State extremists in Libya. Officials of the Tunisian government are especially worried after dozens of tourists were killed in the attacks in Tunisia last year.
(4) Defense Minister Farhat Horchani said last week that German and American security experts were expected to come to help Tunisia devise a new electronic video supervision system on its border with Libya.
Tunisia was targeted last year by three attacks that left 70 people dead and were claimed by Islamic State.
Questions 3 and 4 are based on the news report you have just heard.
3.What did the Tunisian government do after the gunmen’s attack?
4.What were German and American security experts expected to do in Tunisia?
News Report Three
(5) Three university students in Santiago, Chile, have developed a plant-powered device to charge their mobile phones.
(6) The three engineering students got the idea for the device while sitting in their school’s courtyard. (7-1) Their invention is a small biological circuit they call E-Kaia. It captures the energy which plants produce during photosynthesis—a process of converting sunlight into energy.
(7-2) A plant uses only a small part of the energy produced by that process. The rest goes into the soil. E-Kaia collects that energy. The device plugs into the ground and then into a mobile phone.
The E-Kaia solved two problems for the engineering students. They needed an idea for a class project. They also needed an outlet to plug in their phones.
One of the student inventors, Camila Rupcich, says the device changes the energy released from the plant into low-level power to charge phones.
The E-Kaia is able to fully recharge a mobile phone in less than two hours.
Questions 5 to 7 are based on the news report you have just heard.
5.What did the three university students invent?
6.When did they get the idea for the invention?
7.What does the speaker say about the invention?
M:Good morning. What can I do for you?
W:Good morning. Could I talk to Jeffry Harding please?
W:Hello, Jeff. It’s Helen. (8) I got your message on the answering machine. What’s the problem？
M:Oh, Helen. Well, it’s the Grimsby plant again, I’m afraid. (9) The robots on Line 3 have gone wrong. And the line is at a standstill.
W:Can’t you replace them with the stand-ins？
M:I’m afraid not. The stand-ins are already in use on Line 6. And the ones from Line 6 are being serviced.
W:When did this happen, Jeff?
M:Well, they’ve been making a low continuous sound for a day or two. But they finally went dead at 2:30 this afternoon.
W:I see. What did you do? Have you tried the whole plant?
M:Not yet, Helen. (10) I thought I’d better get your OK first.
W:OK. Get on the phone to Tom, and try to get their stand-ins over tonight. We have to be back at full capacity tomorrow morning. Is it a major job to repair our robots?
M:About a week. That’s what the maintenance engineer says.
W:Right. Well, if you can get the ones from Tom, please ask Tom to inform Sheffield that he may need their stand-ins in case of emergency during the next week.
M:OK. Thank you very much, Helen.
W:You are most welcome.
M:(11)Sorry to spoil your day off.
W:It doesn’t matter.
Questions 8 to 11 are based on the conversation you have just heard.
8.What did the man do before the telephone conversation?
9.What does the man say about Line 3 in the Grimsby plant?
10.What is the man’s purpose in calling the woman?
11.Where is the woman at the time of the conversation?
W:This is Kerry Burke from New York Daily News. I’m speaking to Delroy Simmonds, an unemployed Brooklyn man who missed a job interview Tuesday for the best of reasons: (12-1) He was saving the life of a 9-month-old boy who was blown into the path of an oncoming subway train by a high wind.
M:(12-2) Everybody is making me out to be some sort of superhero. I’m just an ordinary person, and a father of two. Anybody in that situation would have done what I did.
W:You were going to an interview when the incident occurred, right?
M:Yes, (13) I was on my way to apply for a maintenance position. I’ve been looking for a job for a year and more. I’m looking for something to support my family.
W:Tell us what happened at the station.
M:(14) There was a strong wind. It had to be 30 to 40 miles an hour. There was a woman with four kids. One was in a pushchair. The wind blew the baby onto the tracks.
W:(15) Witnesses said people were looking on in horror as the child’s mother, identified by sources as Maria Zamara, stood frozen in shock. In the distance, people could see the train rounding a bend, headed into the station. I guess you were not aware of any of these, right?
M:No. I just jumped down and grabbed the baby. The train was coming around the corner as I lifted the baby from the tracks. I really wasn’t thinking.
W:What an amazing story. Thank you very much.
Questions 12 to 15 are based on the conversation you have just heard.
12.What did Kerry Burke from New York Daily News say about the man?
13.What do we learn about the man from the conversation?
14.What caused the incident?
15.How did the mother react when the incident occurred?
There’s one sound that gets a big reaction from kids on a hot day, the sound of an ice-cream truck.
Maria McCartney has been in the mobile ice-cream business since 2005.
(16) “When I was a little girl, I saw an ice-cream truck and knew I wanted to have one someday,” McCartney said.
During the hot days of summer, Maria and her daughter drive an ice-cream truck through neighborhoods and parks in Billings.
(17) It’s not about making money for this former elementary school teacher. Rather, she wants to preserve the tradition of the neighborhood ice-cream truck.
“Truly my favorite part is to see the kids jumping up and down and they just get so excited. It’s great to build a memory for them too. There are not a lot of these ice-cream trucks around any more. The parents come out barefoot and screaming, ready to buy ice-cream; they remember when they were kids and they saw a truck,” she said.
While the treats may be ice cold, Maria has a warm heart for little faces. (18-1) Her truck features a donation bucket for kids who don’t have money for ice-cream.
(18-2) “When there are three kids and only two of them have money, I always make sure the third one gets something because I can’t drive away and have that third one not have something,” she said.
Questions 16 to 18 are based on the passage you have just heard.
16.What does the speaker say about Maria McCartney?
17.Why does Maria go into the mobile ice-cream business?
18.Why does Maria put a donation bucket in her truck？
We know we have to pay for what we get. If we buy food, we have to pay for it. If a doctor treats us, we know there will be a bill to pay. These are private bills. (19-1) But there are also public bills to be paid. They are paid by the government. In turn we get the needed services. We pay for these services through taxes.
(19-2) What would happen if everyone stopped paying taxes? The water supply would stop; the streets might not be cleaned; schools would be closed. We would not want to live in such a city. The chief duty of every government is to protect persons and property. (20) More than three-fourths of government expenses are used for this purpose. The next largest amount of public money goes to teach and train our citizens. Billions of dollars each year are spent on schools and libraries. Also, a large amount of public funds is spent on roads.
(19-3) Most of the needed funds is raised by taxes. The law orders us to pay taxes. We have no choice in the matter.
(21) Years ago the government made money by selling public lands. But most of the best public lands have now been sold. There are still some public lands that contain oil, coal and other natural resources. They could be sold, but we want to save them for future years. (19-4) So, we all must pay our share for the services that make our lives comfortable.
Questions 19 to 21 are based on the passage you have just heard.
19.What does the speaker mainly talk about?
20.What is most of the government money used for?
21.How did the government raise money to pay public bills in the past?
(25-1) Did you know that, besides larger places like France and Germany, Europe is home to several extremely tiny countries? One of these countries contains less than a square mile of land. Another is surrounded on all sides by Italy. Yet each is an independent land, with its own government, trade, and customs.
(25-2) One of the best known of these small countries is Monaco. (22) It is situated on the Mediterranean Sea and surrounded by France on three sides. (23) Monaco became familiar to Americans when its ruler, Prince Rainier, married the American actress Grace Kelly. Rainier’s family has ruled Monaco almost continuously since 1297. The land has been independent for over three hundred years.
(25-3) Andorra, with an area of some 200 square miles, is considerably larger than Monaco. This country is located in the Pyrenees Mountains, with France on one side and Spain on the other. Potatoes and tobacco are grown in Andorra’s steep mountain valleys. (24) One of the products it exports is clothing. Andorra is also known for its excellent skiing locations.
(25-4) Within the Alps in Central Europe is Liechtenstein, a tiny country of about 30,000 people who speak mostly German. Liechtenstein uses the same money as its neighbor Switzerland, but it has been an independent country since the 1860s. Taxes are low, so many businesses have their headquarters here. The country makes and exports a lot of machinery.
(25-5) Other small, independent states in Europe are San Marino and Luxembourg. Each of these has unique qualities as well.
Questions 22 to 25 are based on the passage you have just heard.
22.What does the speaker say about Monaco?
23.Why did Monaco become familiar to Americans according to the speaker?
24.What is one of the products Andorra exports?
25.What does the speaker mainly talk about?