March 31, 2015 11:37 UTC

Conversion of forests to agricultural use create starkly different habitats for small mammals that carry zoonotic disease such as plague, resulting in increased risk of plague transmission. (Photo Credit: Douglas McCauley)

Audio Land-Use Changes May Increase Risk of Plague

Efforts to increase food production in Africa may be increasing the risk of plague infection. A new report looks at efforts to clear land for farming in natural, undeveloped areas of Tanzania. The report links the development of croplands to an increase in the number of rats carrying the plague. More


In the News

Iran - Nuclear

Audio Difference Remains in Iran's Nuclear Talks

How to dispose of Iran’s nuclear materials remains a barrier. Also, Arab-coalition airstrikes continue in Yemen; France's Socialist Party faces election losses; Nigerians vote for president; the U.S. and South Korea hold joint military exercises; and blogger killed in Bangladesh. More


Learning English Videos

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Scientists Look to Engineer Crops That Need Less Wateri
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03/30/2015
Plant scientists hope to use the coyote squash to develop tasty vegetables that need less water.
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Video Scientists Look to Engineer Crops That Need Less Water

Plant scientists hope to use the coyote squash to develop tasty vegetables that need less water.
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Video Worms Can Teach Us a Lot About Space Travel

Researchers at the University of Delaware are using worms to better understand the effects of space travel on humans.
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Video English in a Minute: Open Book

Does this phrase to do with reading? Probably not, so let's find out what it means.
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Video News Words: Objective

Objective can be used in several ways in a discussion. Hear how it is used in one of our news story and learn from our hosts how to use it in different ways. Let us know what you think in the comment section.
Video

Video China Increases Aid to South Pacific Area

A recent report says China is likely to become the third biggest donor to the South Pacific area after Australia and the United States.
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Video Using Body Language Can Help Your Public Speaking Skills

Body language includes posture, eye contact and gestures, how you move your hands and arms. Using body language can help you communicate better and improve understanding.
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Video TALK2US: Spring Break

Jonathan talks with callers about Spring Break, a period of time during a school year that many students in the US look forward to every Spring.
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Video Program Gives Low-Cost Glasses to Rwandans

A group based in Britain, Vision for a Nation, provides low-cost glasses to people in Rwanda. Several kinds of glasses are available. The World Bank helps keep the prices low.
Video

Video Britain Permits "Three-Person Babies"

The process called mitochondrial replacement therapy, or MRT, creates a human embryo using material from three people. Scientists say the treatment could help avoid genetic diseases, but it has also raised ethical and moral concerns.
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Video TALK2US: Spontaneous Idioms

Marsha and Anna decide to "go with the flow" when they teach the idioms we use when we don't plan ahead.
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Video Capturing CO2 Gas Is Not Easy

Most scientists agree that carbon-dioxide gas is partly to blame for climate change: rising global temperatures. But capturing the CO2 gas released by power stations is costly and difficult.
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Video English in a Minute: Nip it in the Bud

"To nip" means to cut. A bud is a young flower. So, what could this idiom mean? Find out!
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Video News Words: Assets

What are assets, and what does it mean if they are frozen? Our hosts will tell you how the word is used in news stories in this one-minute video.
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Video TALK2US: Animal Idioms

Caty and Ashley teach you how to use "cat's pajamas," "bee's knees," and other English idioms that refer to animals.

World

顾客在香港一家书店翻看与中国大陆有关的书籍。(2012年6月1日资料照)

Audio Book Publishers Warn of Censorship in Hong Kong

Publishers and authors are warning that censorship is increasing in Hong Kong. They say bookstores are returning books connected to authors who have been involved in the recent pro-democracy protests. Bookstores are under pressure to not carry books that may offend China's central government. More

Business & Economics

Fashion District New York City

Video 'Made in New York' Incentives for Fashion Designers

The Made in New York program provides help to factories that invest in technology and workforce development. To date, New York City has approved more than one million dollars to eligible factories. More

Health & Lifestyle

An employee plays the game Flappy Bird at a smartphone store in Hanoi, Feb. 10, 2014.

Audio Too Much Gaming is a Pain in the Neck

Smartphones and other electronic devices, or gadgets, are becoming more affordable. Children in India are using them more and more. Doctors say children who spend long hours playing video games are increasingly showing signs of physical deformities, meaning their bodies are not growing properly. More

Entertainment

Video Paraguayan Children Make Music with Trash

Last week, musicians from around the world gathered in Texas for the South by Southwest film and music festival. Perhaps the most unusual performers at the event were a group of teenagers from Paraguay. Their musical instruments were made of trash – objects that had been thrown away. More

America

U.S. Prison

Audio Prison Watchdog Group Watching US Jails

The United States has more than two million people in prison. That is almost a fourth of the world's prison population. One group in the American state of Illinois is working to improve conditions for prisoners in that state. The John Howard Association was just rewarded for their prison work. More

Science & Technology

Fragments of the Dead Sea scrolls before infrared imaging, right, and after, left, are seen.

Video Dead Sea Scrolls Still Have Lessons to Teach

A California museum is now showing the largest exhibit of the Dead Sea Scrolls ever seen outside of Israel. There are 20 Dead Sea Scrolls and many other royal and ritual objects on display in the exhibit. Modern science is revealing hidden texts and the exact age of the scrolls. More

Education

Audio  'Uglish' Gets Its Own Dictionary in Uganda

The official language in Uganda is English. But visitors to this African country soon recognize that the English spoken here is different from British or American English. Researcher Bernard Sabiiti published a small dictionary of Ugandan English also known as "Unglish.' More

History

Grand Review of the Armies,  May 23, 1865

Audio The Civil War Ends

Four years of bloody fighting had preserved the Union of states and freed four million slaves. But the cost of the war was great – in lives, in money and in infrastructure. Yet the country had to find a way to rebuild. More

The Day in Photos

 A jury member examines a Bengal cat at the World Cat Show in Athens, Greece.

A jury member examines a Bengal cat at the World Cat Show in Athens, Greece.

Word of the Day

Question image

Fun (noun)

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Talk2US

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TALK2US: American Slangi
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03/26/2015

SCHEDULE for TALK2US

Monday, March 30, 1700 UTC: Jonathan Evans hosts.

Wednesday, April 1, 1400 UTC: Dr. Jill Robbins hosts.

Thursday, April 2, 1700 UTC: Marsha James and Anna Mateo host.

Friday, April 3, 1700 UTC: Caty Weaver and Ashley Thompson host.

 

To participate, send a Skype contact request to VOALearningEnglish

 

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