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Thursday, 27 June 2019
Words in the News February 2010 ( right click & "save target as"Download MP3 ) 1-30 of 178 next page last page Januaryprevious month February following monthMarch

Definitions from Cambridge Dictionary Online are available by clicking the respective words in red colour.
(The phonetic symbols may not be displayed properly in Microsoft IE6 or earlier versions.)
  1. scrap /skræp/ (verb)
    US President Obama has scrapped the American project designed to take astronauts back to the Moon in his $3.8 trillion budget plan for 2011.

  2. publicize /ˈpʌblɪsaɪz/ (verb)
    A Chinese activist, Feng Zhenghu, agrees to end his highly-publicized protest stay at Narita airport after Chinese officials visit him.

  3. castigate /ˈkæstɪgeɪt/ (verb)
    The official media in China again castigates the US for its plans to sell $6.4 billion worth of weapons to Taiwan.

  4. reprimand /ˈreprɪmɑːnd/ (verb)
    Israel reveals it has reprimanded two officers over an artillery attack in Gaza in which white phosphorus was used.

  5. underpin /ˌʌndəˈpɪn/ (verb)
    Russia's economy contracted 7.9% in 2009 as the oil exports that previously underpinned the country's economic growth have been hit by a sharp drop in energy prices.

  6. whistle-blower /ˈwɪslˌbləʊə(r)/ (noun)
    Chancellor Angela Merkel says Germany will pay a whistle-blower millions for a list of people said to have hidden funds in Switzerland.

  7. sanction /ˈsæŋkʃn/ (verb)
    China has threatened to sanction firms involved in a US-approved weapons deal with Taiwan, possibly hitting US aerospace giant Boeing very badly.

  8. depressed /dɪˈprest/ (adjective)
    Oil giant BP says its annual profit fell 45% in 2009 due to lower oil and gas prices and depressed refining profit margins.

  9. oversee /ˌəʊvəˈsiː/ (verb)
    US Defence Secretary Robert Gates sacks the marine general who oversees a $40 billion strike fighter project following missed performance targets.

  10. grant /grɑːnt/ (verb)
    Brazil grants an environmental licence for the construction of a controversial hydro-electric dam, the world’s third largest, in the Amazon rainforest.

  11. sodomy /ˈsɒdəmi/ (noun)
    The Malaysian opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, has appeared in court to face charges of sodomy which he denounced as a political conspiracy.

  12. estate /ɪˈsteɪt/ (noun)
    A court in Hong Kong rejects a feng shui master's claim to the multibillion dollar estate of Asia's richest woman, Nina Wang.

  13. go ahead (with) (phrasal verb)
    The US White House says that President Obama intends to go ahead with plans to meet the Dalai Lama despite warnings from China not to.

  14. involuntary /ɪnˈvɒləntri/ (adjective)
    US media reports say that Michael Jackson's doctor is expected to be charged with involuntary manslaughter of the pop singer.

  15. austerity /ɔːˈsterɪti/ (noun)
    Greece's prime minister announces tough austerity measures aimed at cutting his country's soaring public debt.

  16. compel /kəmˈpel/ (verb)
    The French government has rejected a man's citizenship application on the grounds that he compelled his wife to wear the all-covering veil.

  17. fabricate /ˈfæbrɪkeɪt/ (verb)
    Australian police say that an Indian man who told police he was set on fire fabricated the story to claim insurance, amid tensions over alleged racism.

  18. revaluation /ˌriːvæljuˈeɪʃn/ (noun)
    A top North Korean finance official is reportedly sacked over the country's chaotic currency revaluation.

  19. vehemently /ˈviːəməntli/ (adverb)
    After repeated delays, Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim goes on his sodomy trial and he vehemently denies the claim.

  20. stringently /ˈstrɪndʒənt/ (adverb)
    The European Commission supports Greek plans to cut its soaring budget deficit, but says progress must be stringently monitored.

  21. strip of (phrasal verb)
    John Terry is stripped of the England captaincy and is replaced by his fellow defender Rio Ferdinand following allegations about his private life.

  22. beset /bɪˈset/ (verb)
    Toyota is beset with safety concerns about its vehicles, including a new issue of faulty brakes on its Prius hybrid car.

  23. vegetative /ˈvedʒɪtetɪv/ (adjective)
    Scientists in the UK and Belgium have reported the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in reaching into the mind of brain-damaged patients diagnosed as vegetative.

  24. stance /stɑːns/ (noun)
    US President Obama says he will take a much tougher stance on US-China trade but he warns against protectionist measures towards China.

  25. discontent /ˌdɪskənˈtent/ (noun)
    North Korea reportedly relaxes restrictions on free market trading after a currency revaluation sparked public discontent.

  26. freeze /friːz/ (noun)
    Tax officials in Greece hold a two-day strike to protest against government austerity measures which include a public sector salary freeze and a higher retirement age.

  27. acclimatize /əˈklaɪmətaɪz/ (verb)
    Two pandas born in the US have arrived in China and need to acclimatize to a new life of bamboo, steamed bread and language.

  28. shield /ʃiːld/ (noun)
    The president of Romania says that the country upon parliamentary approval will host missile interceptors as part of a new US defence shield.

  29. dupe /djuːp/ (verb)
    Legal action has begun against Bank of America and its former bosses, accusing them of duping investors and taxpayers during the takeover of Merrill Lynch.

  30. abduction /æbˈdʌkʃn/ (noun)
    Ten Americans are charged with child abduction after allegedly trying to smuggle 33 youngsters out of Haiti.


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News information is based on online BBC News, news reports by local broadcasting organizations in Hong Kong (namely ATV, RTHK and TVB)
and a local Chinese newspaper Mingpao.
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