News Mash-up: Political Trouble

Category: Top Stories


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. chant / tʃænt / (v.) – to say or shout a word or phrase many times

    The fans were chanting the team’s name.

  2. ally / ˈæl aɪ / (n.) – a country that agrees to help or support another country, especially during a war

    The US and the UK have been allies for a long time.

  3. repatriation / riˌpeɪ triˈeɪ ʃən / (n.) – the process of sending someone back to his/her country

    The repatriation of overseas workers was delayed because of the limited number of flights during the pandemic.

  4. brutal / ˈbrut l / (adj.) – extremely violent, cruel, or harsh

    My dog survived a brutal attack from a bear.

  5. repression / rɪˈprɛʃ ən / (n.) – the use of force to severely or cruelly control a person or a group of people

    Many people are concerned about the repression of women in Afghanistan.


Read the text below.

Cuba sees biggest protests in decades

Chanting “Freedom!” and calling for President Miguel Diaz-Canel to step down, thousands of Cubans joined street protests from Havana to Santiago on July 11 in the biggest anti-government demonstrations on the Communist-run island in decades.

The protests erupted amid Cuba’s worst economic crisis since the fall of the Soviet Union, its old ally, and a record surge in coronavirus infections, with people voicing anger over shortages of basic goods, curbs on civil liberties and the authorities’ handling of the pandemic. (Reuters)

Belarusian athlete granted visa by Poland

A Belarusian athlete who took refuge in the Polish Embassy in Tokyo on Aug. 2, a day after refusing team orders to board a flight home from the Olympic Games, has been granted a humanitarian visa by government in Warsaw.

Sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, 24, plans to leave for Poland in the coming days, a Polish deputy foreign minister said.

The European Union welcomed Poland’s decision and said the repatriation attempt was further evidence of “brutal repression” by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. (Reuters)

These articles were provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Protesters were voicing anger over shortages of basic goods, curbs on civil liberties, and the authorities’ handling of the pandemic. Do you think the Cuban president should step down because of the situation? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Thousands of Cubans joined street protests despite a record surge in coronavirus infections. Do you think it’s a good idea to join street protests during the pandemic? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Like Tsimanouskaya, many athletes have used the Olympics as a way to escape their home country or protest. How do you feel about this (ex. it’s a good way to bring attention to things, it’s not the right place)? Why? Discuss.
  • Do you think Poland’s decision to give Tsimanouskaya a humanitarian visa was the right thing to do? In your opinion, should Japan have offered her one as well? Why or why not? Discuss.