News Mash-up: Political Leaders

Category : Top Stories

Unlocking Word Meanings

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

  1. cap (something) / kæp / (v.) – to end something, such as a series of events, with an important or exciting event

    We capped our island tour with a nighttime barbecue on the beach.

  2. keep under wraps / kip ˈʌn dər ræps / (idiom) – to make something a secret

    The results of the investigation were kept under wraps because they could put a lot of politicians in trouble.

  3. engagement / ɛnˈgeɪdʒ mənt / (n.) – an agreement to get married

    The couple announced their engagement and said they planned to get married next summer.

  4. disparate / ˈdɪs pər ɪt / (adj.) – completely different in quality, type, characteristics, etc.

    My students come from disparate cultures, but they all respect one another.

  5. outright / ˈaʊtˌraɪt / (adj.) – complete and total

    Many people are calling for an outright ban on guns.


Read the text below.

UK PM Johnson marries in low-key ceremony

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson married his fiancee Carrie Symonds at Westminster Cathedral on May 29, capping a week of political drama with a wedding kept so under wraps that his office did not confirm it until the following day.

Johnson, 56, and Symonds, 33, have been living together in Downing Street since Johnson became prime minister in 2019. They announced their engagement in February of last year and their son was born in April the same year.

The last British prime minister to marry in office was Lord Liverpool in 1822.  (Reuters, AP)

Netanyahu’s rivals try to seal pact to unseat him

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rivals on May 31 sought to finalize a unity coalition that would unseat the veteran Israeli leader.

Centrist opposition chief Yair Lapid secured support May 30 from ultranationalist Naftali Bennett for a “change” government of ideologically disparate rivals.

If they hammer out a deal, the pair will split the premiership, with Bennett serving the first two years and Lapid the following two. No political party has ever won an outright majority in Israel’s parliament, forcing smaller factions to form a coalition.  (Reuters, AP)

These articles were provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Johnson and Symonds’ wedding was kept under wraps. Why do you think the prime minister decided to keep the location and date of his wedding such a secret? Do you agree with his decision? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Do you think the public has the right to know about political leaders’ private lives (ex. family, health)? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Bennett and Lapid are planning to split the premiership, with Bennett serving the first two years and Lapid the following two. Do you think that’s a good idea? Could that ever happen in your country? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Netanyahu was the prime minister of Israel for more than 10 years. What do you think are the pros and cons of having the same leader for a long time? How long are leaders usually in power in your country? Discuss.
Category : Top Stories