Broadcast: May 17, 2002
Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC — VOA’s radio magazine in Special English.
This is Doug Johnson. On our program today we:
Play some music by Jill Scott ...
Answer a question about changes in rules for foreigners visiting the United States ...
And report about a popular new movie.
The latest “Star Wars” movie has just opened in the United States. Movie experts are wondering if it will sell as many tickets as another action movie, “Spider-Man,” that opened two weeks ago. “Spider-Man” earned more money for an opening weekend than any other movie in history. Shep O’Neal has more.
Movie experts were surprised at the huge number of people who went to see “Spider-Man” after it opened. In its first three days, “Spider-Man” sold almost one-hundred-fifteen-million dollars worth of tickets. That was more than the ninety-million dollar record set six months ago by the movie “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”
Critics said there are several reasons for this. They said “Spider-Man” is not as long as other movies and was shown many times a day. They also said “Spider-Man” is a movie for people of all ages. Boys wanted to see it because they like action movies and enjoyed the comic books on which the movie is based. Girls liked the movie because it includes a love story. And adults wanted to see a movie they could enjoy with their children.
The young actor Toby Maguire stars as “Spider-Man.” He plays a quiet teen-aged boy named Peter Parker. Peter likes a girl in his school, Mary Jane Watson. One day, Peter is bitten by a genetically engineered spider in a laboratory. This changes his body. Peter Parker becomes “Spider-Man.” He becomes extremely strong and fast. And he has special powers.
For example, he can climb up walls and leap from one tall building to another. He uses these powers to help people and defeat evil. Peter hides this secret life from everyone, including his family and his friends. His main enemy is the Green Goblin. In normal life the Green Goblin is the father of Peter’s best friend, Harry.
Elika Naraghi (pronounced na-RA-gee; hard "g" like in gear) is twenty-two years old. She saw “Spider-Man” on its opening weekend near Washington, D.C. Elika says “Spider-Man” is fun and exciting. She also praised the actors and the special effects. Elika said she is looking forward to the second “Spider-Man” movie that is planned for two-thousand-four.
New INS Rules
Our VOA listener question this week comes from Vietnam. Hoang Van Quang asks about new United States government policies for visitors from foreign countries.
The United States Immigration and Naturalization Service has changed some of its policies for foreign visitors since the terrorist attacks in September. That is because some of the airplane hijackers had come to the United States as visitors and later became students.
At the time of the attacks, about six-hundred-thousand foreign students were taking classes at American colleges and universities. Government officials have admitted that they did not know where many of these foreign students were. The officials said they would make changes in the system.
Last month, the I-N-S announced new rules for travel permission documents for students, called visas. Foreigners will no longer be able to take college classes while in the United States on a business or visitor visa. The I-N-S will give student visas only to people who let the agency know their plans before entering the country.
The reason for this change is national security. It will give federal officials time to do a security investigation on each foreigner who wants to study in the United States.
Earlier this month, the Bush administration announced the creation of a new committee to investigate foreigners who want to study in American science and technology programs. Officials said the goal is to make sure foreign students do not get training that could be used against the United States. The new group will advise the I-N-S about people who want to study subjects that could give them information or skills that could possibly threaten the United States. These subjects include nuclear and missile technology, information security and aircraft technology.
There also are rule changes that affect other foreign visitors. These new rules reduce from six months to thirty days the amount of time most foreign visitors can stay in the United States. They limit most business travelers to six months. Visitors may extend their stays only if they can show unexpected or humanitarian reasons such as medical treatment or an important business meeting.
Officials say the changes reduce the chance that illegal immigrants will establish permanent ties in the United States and will remain in the country illegally.
Poet and singer Jill Scott says a school project changed her life. It led to her serious interest in writing and music. Mary Tillotson tells us more.
Jill Scott says when she was a teenager, one of her teachers gave the students a list of names. Each student was to choose someone from the list to write about. Jill chose poet Nikki Giovanni. She did not know who Nikki Giovanni was at the time. But when Jill began to read Mizz Giovanni’s poems, she felt as if the poet was talking to her. Jill says that is how she became interested in writing.
Jill Scott wrote poetry for seven years before she began singing. She took part in spoken-word events in her home city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She wrote the songs for her first album. It is called “Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Volume One.” She mixes words of poetry with sounds of rap, hip-hop, jazz and blues. Here Jill Scott sings “It’s Love.”
((Cut One – “It’s Love”))
Jill Scott says many of the songs on her album are about her life. She recently married her longtime friend Lyzel Williams. Jill has written many songs about Lyzel. She sings about him on the song “He Loves Me (Lyzel in E Flat)”.
((Cut Two - “He Loves Me (Lyzel in E Flat)”))
Jill Scott’s latest album is called “Experience: Jill Scott. ” It includes songs from live performances and studio recordings. We leave you with a song from this album. It is called “Gotta Get Up.”
((Cut Three – “Gotta Get Up”))
This is Doug Johnson. I hope you enjoyed our program today. And I hope you will join us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC — VOA’s radio magazine in Special English.
This AMERICAN MOSAIC program was written by Lawan Davis and Nancy Steinbach. Our studio engineer was Martin Hansberry. And our producer was Caty Weaver.