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Hostage Situation in Mali, Adele’s Album and Katniss Returns

Mali troopers assist a hostage, centre, to leave the scene, from the Radisson Blu hotel to safety after gunmen attacked the hotel in Bamako, Mali, Friday, Nov. 20, 2015.

Mali troopers assist a hostage, centre, to leave the scene, from the Radisson Blu hotel to safety after gunmen attacked the hotel in Bamako, Mali, Friday, Nov. 20, 2015.

Deaths, Hostages in Mali

Terror groups killed 22 and held 170 hostages at a five-star hotel in the Mali capital of Bamako. Two groups linked to al-Qaida claimed responsibility for the attack.

The news swept through social media sites, with many posts of Malian flag and expressions of concern on Twitter and Facebook.

More than 200,000 people tweeted the hashtag #Mali.

Four gunmen reportedly carried out the attack.

Adele’s 25 Released

British singer Adele released the first single from her new album “25” a few weeks ago. When her song, “Hello,” was released October 22, more than 400-million people watched the video on YouTube.

Memes and mash-ups were quickly produced. About 150,000 people watched a fun 10-second video of a little boy responding “hi” to the opening line of the song.

The rest of Adele’s album came out Friday. The tech magazine Wired says it could be the fastest-selling record ever.

Estimates suggest “25” could sell 2.5-million copies in its first week. That would break a record held by the 1990s boy band -- NSYNC -- set in 2000.

Katniss Everdeen Returns

The name “Katniss” first started trending on Google back in the spring of 2012 when the first “Hunger Games” movie was released. At the time, Jennifer Lawrence was an up-and-coming actress. Her biggest roles were on a sitcom and an independent film that won “Best Picture” at the Sundance Film Festival.

The four-part movie series is based on the best-selling “Hunger Games” books. Once Lawrence earned the lead role, she became one of the world’s biggest movie stars.

“Katniss” is on the tip of everyone’s tongue this weekend as “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2” premieres Friday night.

Variety magazine already predicts a $110-million opening weekend.

The website “Rotten Tomatoes” compiles a film’s reviews into one rank and deems it as “fresh” or “not fresh.” It gave “Mockingjay” a 72 percent fresh ranking.

The comedian Whitney Avalon created a short video to celebrate the movie. She created a mashup that mixes Katniss and Hermione from “Harry Potter.”

They face off in a funny “rap battle” of "movie princesses." It came out three days ago and already 285,000 people have watched it on YouTube.

Variety predicts the movie will bring the fifth-largest opening weekend of the year in the United States.

Dan Friedell wrote this story for Learning English. ­­­­­­Kathleen Struck was the editor.

Are you excited about the new Hunger Games movie or Adele’s album? We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments section or on our Facebook page.


Words in This Story

deem – v. to think of something in a particular way

meme – n. an idea, style or behavior that spreads from person to person on the internet

mash-up – n. the mixing of musical styles, performances or other media to make a new idea

festival – n. an organized series of performances

premiere – n. the first time a film, play, television show, etc., is shown or performed

sitcom – n. a show that is on television regularly and that is about a group of characters who are involved in different funny situations

rap – n. a type of music that has words that are spoken with the rhythm instead of being sung

rank – v. to place (someone or something) in a particular position among a group of people or things that are being judged according to quality, ability, size, etc.