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Hello, everyone!

Sejam bem-vindos e bem-vindas a mais um episódio da nossa nova série de podcasts, o Fluency News! Aqui, você vai treinar a sua escuta e ficar por dentro do que está acontecendo no mundo, sempre com as três principais notícias da semana, tudo em inglês! Ao longo do episódio, nós também adicionamos explicações em português das coisas que achamos que precisam de mais atenção, assim você não perde nenhum detalhe!

No episódio desta semana, nós falamos sobre os problemas que países da América Latina estão enfrentando em relação à COVID-19, a queda do PIB brasileiro e a decisão angolana que protege gays e bissexuais de discriminação. Além disso, falamos sobre os corais em Fiji que estão se recuperando após um ciclone em 2016.

Temos uma página de dicas de inglês no Instagram, vá conferir! @fluencytvingles

Toda semana temos um novo episódio do Fluency News, não deixe de escutar! See you!

Este episódio foi escrito por Lívia Pond.

Transcrição do episódio:

What is up, everyone! How are we all doing today? Welcome to another episode of Fluency News! I’m Scott Lowe and this is Fluency Academy’s news podcast, made for you to put your skills to the test!

Here with me, you’ll have the opportunity to practice your listening and comprehension skills, while staying connected to the world. If you want to focus on your speaking and pronunciations skills, I recommend you head over to fluencytv.com and check out Walk ‘n’ Talk Level Up, a podcast series made specifically for that.

Speaking of fluencytv.com, did you know that we currently have over a thousand free lessons there? Our content portal is a great tool for you to study and learn more, without spending a dime! So head over to fluencytv.com, or click the link in the description.

Alright, are you familiar with how we do things here? We’re going to cover some of this week’s biggest news stories, and you’ll hear me speak a little Portuguese to explain anything that might go over your head otherwise. Falando nisso, você sabe o que a expressão “go over someone’s head” significa? Ela na verdade tem dois significados, mas aqui ela significa que algo é muito difícil de entender.

So, let’s get started? First, let’s talk about how COVID has been causing unrest in Latin America. Authorities and politicians have been facing scrutiny as the pandemic rages on in Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina and other countries.

Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benitez announced that new people would be appointed to several ministries, following riots at a demonstration against the government’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis.

“I am sure that the men and women named will do their utmost to confront this moment of crisis that the country is enduring,” the president said.

In the capital Asuncion, security forces used rubber bullets, tear gas and used water cannons on protesters on Friday and Saturday (March 5th and 6th), with the protesters throwing back stones.

Paraguay reported more than 166,000 coronavirus cases and more than 3,290 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University – but its rollout of COVID-19 vaccines has been slow.

It is awaiting the arrival of four million doses from the COVAX scheme set up by the World Health Organization and one million doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine.

So far, Paraguay has received just 4,000 doses of vaccines from Russia, intended for intensive care personnel.

In Argentina, protests against stricter coronavirus lockdown measures were followed by a police crackdown.

In a provincial capital in the north of the country, police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at protesters, following a measure to close some businesses to stem a recent increase in cases.

The regional office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the resident coordinator for the UN in Argentina said they were concerned police had employed “indiscriminate violence that resulted in people being injured and detained”. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights said it was concerned about the use of police force against protesters and journalists.

Argentina has reported more than 2.14 million cases of COVID-19 and more than 52,800 coronavirus-related deaths.

People also recently protested in the capital, Buenos Aires, over a “VIP” vaccine scandal, after reports surfaced alleging people with government connections had received COVID-19 vaccination doses out of turn. The country’s former health minister resigned in light of the scandal.

Government officials in Peru and Ecuador have also been forced to resign in relation to the countries’ respective COVID-19 vaccination programmes.

In Chile, new infections are on the rise, despite moving fast on vaccine distribution, according to Al Jazeera’s Alessandro Rampietti.

“For a second day the country registered more than 5,000 new cases, the highest infection rate in nine months,” he said on Saturday, March 6.

“Two-thirds of the capital Santiago is under strict lockdown, as are a number of other regions.”

In Brazil, Rio de Janeiro announced new restrictions on bars, restaurants and beaches, as it seeks to contain a surging pandemic that is pushing Brazil’s hospitals to their breaking point.

The city of 6.7 million people is the latest to go back into a partial lockdown in Brazil, which has registered record COVID-19 death tolls and is having its deadliest week of the pandemic.

Far-right President Jair Bolsonaro continues to downplay the coronavirus, leaving cities and states to implement a patchwork of containment measures on their own.

Rio de Janeiro’s new one-week decree, which took effect on Friday, orders bars and restaurants to close at 5:00pm local time, shuts down all commercial activity on the city’s beaches and bans night clubs and parties.

The decree also forbids people from lingering in public spaces from 11:00pm to 5:00am local time, though traffic will not be restricted.

The measures come after Sao Paulo state – Brazil’s largest with 46 million people – declared a new “code red” lockdown on Wednesday, ordering non-essential businesses closed for two weeks starting Saturday, March 6th.

Curitiba followed the measures, declaring a “code orange”, and ordering a one-week lockdown, which ended Monday, March 8th.

Brazil has recorded an average of more than 1,300 COVID-19 deaths a day over the past week, the worst yet for the country of 212 million people.

Nearly 260,000 people have died of COVID-19 in Brazil, the second-highest death toll in the world, after the United States.

Você sabe o que são compound adjectives? São os adjetivos compostos, aqueles que apresentam mais de um elemento, divididos por um hífen. Nessa história, nós temos alguns exemplos, como one-week, second-highest e non-essential. São palavras que variam em gênero masculino e feminino, e em número, sendo singular ou plural. Esses compound adjectives são fáceis de identificar, porque são características sempre divididas por um hífen. Outros adjetivos compostos comuns são “time-saving”, “all-knowing”, “self-aware” e “long-term”, por exemplo.

Our second story of the day is also surrounding Brazil, and it’s also not a good story. Brazil’s economy shrank 4.1 percent last year, the worst drop in GDP in decades.

GDP é a sigla para Gross Domestic Product, o equivalente ao Produto Interno Bruto, o PIB do Brasil.

“People expected us to fall 10 percent,” said President Jair Bolsonaro, who has played down the gravity of the pandemic and opposed lockdowns.

“What made the economy move, in part, was the emergency aid,” he told reporters, adding that his government has done everything possible to keep the economy running.

The emergency aid to more than 65 million Brazilians has reduced poverty in the country, but it was terminated on December 31st. Bolsonaro announced in February that a new round of emergency aid should start to be paid in March, for a period of up to 4 months.

The full-year 2020 drop was the worst since the current IBGE series began in 1996. The 2020 plunge was also the worst since a 4.35 percent fall in GDP recorded in 1990, according to central bank data going back to 1962, and the third-steepest in that series.

“We had a big fall [in activity] last year, but with the emergency aid, it was much smaller than originally predicted. It could have been much worse … but the public finances are now very fragile,” said Alexandre Almeida, economist at CM Capital in Sao Paulo.

“Much” é uma palavra pequena, que tem grandes significados. Ela pode significar “muito”, “grande”, “bastante”, “quase”, “algo fora do comum” e mais outras coisas. Nessa história, nós temos dois exemplos dessa palavra em uso. Está na frase “much smaller than” e na frase “could have been much worse”. Nesses dois exemplos, ela significa muito. No primeiro exemplo, a tradução seria “muito menor que”, e no segundo, “poderia ter sido muito pior”. Essa palavra pode ser usada como determinador, advérbio, artigo e pronome.

Now, how about we see some good news? First, let’s talk about Fiji’s corals bouncing back after a devastating cyclone.

Tropical Cyclone Winston struck Fiji on 20 February 2016, causing devastation on land and underwater. Winds of up to 280km/h claimed 44 lives, leaving more than 40,000 homes damaged or destroyed, and storm surges smashed reefs in their path. Winston caused US$1.4bn in damage, the most destructive cyclone ever in the Pacific.

But after four years, the coral reefs of the Fijian archipelago are vibrantly resurgent and teeming with fish and colour.

A recent dive expedition led by the Wildlife Conservation Society found the coral had recovered beyond scientists’ expectations.

“I was surprised at how quick the recovery had been, especially at the Namena reserve,” the director of the Wildlife Conservation Society Fiji, Sangeeta Mangubhai, told the Guardian.

“The fast recovery likely reflects these reefs have good natural recruitment and they are well managed. Coral reefs that were healthier [before a destructive event like a cyclone] are expected to recover a lot faster.”

Você sabe o que significa “storm surges”? “Storm” é “tempestade”, e “surge” pode ser traduzido para “onda”. Quando colocamos as duas palavras juntas, elas significam uma tempestade que causa turbulência no mar, fazendo o mar subir. E a palavra “teeming”, você conhece? Ela significa abundante, em abundância. Então os corais do arquipélago estão ressurgindo e têm peixes e cores em abundância. Essa é uma palavra legal, porque não temos um equivalente no português. “Teeming” na verdade é um verbo, e quando passamos para o português, só podemos traduzir para um adjetivo. A melhor tradução seria algo como “estar cheio de”. “Teeming”, em abundância ou estar cheio de.

We also have some good news coming from Angola! Earlier this month, the southern African country enacted a new penal code passed in 2019 and removed a provision outlawing “vices against nature” which was widely interpreted to criminalise same-sex relationships.

Going a step further, lawmakers gave gay and bisexual people legal protection against discrimination for their sexual orientation, making Angola one of only seven countries on the continent with some form of anti-discrimination provisions.

“I had the best reaction. I screamed. We are obtaining rights in our country, and accepting difference little by little,” Titica, one of Angola’s most famous musicians who is also a transgender woman, told the Telegraph.

Inciting hatred against people for their sexual orientation is now punishable by up to six years in prison.

Employers can also face up to two years in prison for discriminating against someone “because of race, colour, ethnicity, birthplace, sex, sexual orientation, physical or mental illness or disability, belief or religion, political or ideological convictions,” according to the new penal code obtained by the Telegraph.

How awesome is that? People should never be discriminated against for being who they are, or loving who they love.

And that is it for today’s episode! I hope you enjoyed learning about this week’s news, and putting your skills into practice. Remember to go over to fluencytv.com to see the full transcript of this episode, and all of our sources.

Sempre recebemos muitas mensagens de pessoas querendo estudar na Fluency Academy. Se você é uma delas e quer melhorar o seu nível de inglês, espanhol, francês, italiano, alemão ou japonês estudando com os nossos super professores, você pode se inscrever na nossa lista de espera.

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Se você conhece um amigo ou amiga que sonha em estudar com a gente, manda o link pra eles também! Spread the word, people!

And as always, there’s a new episode of Fluency News every week, and we’ll be here waiting for you. Peace out.


COVID surge stirs unrest in parts of Latin America

Brazil’s GDP drops 4.1 percent in 2020, beating gloomier outlooks

‘Now they must respect us’: a beacon of hope for Africa as Angola bans gay discrimination

Reef revival: Fiji’s corals bouncing back after ruinous cyclone


Scott Lowe


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