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READING PRACTICE SECTION




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  2. Act out a teacher-class session giving them a few tips on reading techniques.
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  4. B. Practice the following conversation with a partner using the substitutions in the box.
  5. B. Predict the answers to the questions before reading
  6. C. Practice introducing yourself, friends and groupmates. Remember to smile (and use handshakes where appropriate).
  7. Chapter II. ARTICULATION AND BREATHING PRACTICE
  8. Consult the TEXTS FOR SUPPLEMENTARY READING and complete the information about ecology as a science (Texts 20, 21). Be ready to discuss the information you have read.
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The 15 enemies of the Internet

The 15 “enemies” are the countries that crack down hardest on the Internet, censoring independent news sites and opposition publications, monitoring the Web to stifle dissident voices, and harassing, intimidating and sometimes imprisoning Internet users and bloggers who deviate from the regime’s official line.

(in alphabetical order)

Belarus
The regime uses its monopoly of the communications system to block access to opposition websites when it chooses, especially at election time. President Alexander Lukashenko dislikes criticism, as shown by the harassment in August 2005 of youngsters who were posting satirical cartoons online.

Burma

This country is among the very worst enemies of Internet freedom and in many ways its policies are worse than China’s. The price of computers and a home Internet connection is prohibitive so Internet cafés are the target of the military regime’s scrutiny. As in neighbouring Vietnam and China, access to opposition sites is systematically blocked, in this case with technology supplied by the US firm Fortinet. Burma’s censorship is special - Web-based e-mail, such as Yahoo

or Hotmail, cannot be used and all Internet café computers record every five minutes
the screen being consulted, to spy on what customers are doing.

China
China was one the first repressive countries to grasp the importance of the Internet and of controlling it. It is also one of the few countries that has managed to “sanitise” the Internet by blocking access to all criticism of the regime while at the same time expanding it (China has more than 130 million users). The secret of this success is a clever mix of filter technology, repression and diplomacy. Along with effective spying and censorship technology, the regime is also very good at intimidating users and forcing them to censor their own material. China is the world’s biggest prison for cyber-dissidents, with 62 in prison for what they posted online.

Cuba

President Fidel Castro’s regime has long been good at tapping phones and these days is just as skilled when it comes to the Internet. The Chinese model of expanding the Internet while keeping control of it is too costly, so the regime has simply put the Internet out of reach for virtually the entire population.

Being online in Cuba is a rare privilege and requires special permission for the ruling Communist Party. When a user does manage to get connected, often illegally, it is only to a highly-censored version of the Internet.



Iran
The information ministry boasts that it currently blocks access to hundreds of thousands of websites, especially those dealing in any way with sex but also those providing any kind of independent news. A score of bloggers were thrown in prison.

Libya
With nearly a million people online (about a sixth of the population), Libya could be a model of Internet expansion in the Arab world. But it has no independent media, so the Internet is controlled, with access blocked to dissident exile sites by filters installed by the regime, which is also now targeting cyber-dissidents, with the arrest of former bookseller Abdel Razak al-Mansouri, who posted satirical articles on a London-based website. He was sentence to 18 months in prison for supposed “illegal possession of a gun.”



The Maldives

The archipelago is a paradise for tourists but a nightmare for cyber-dissidents. The regime cracks down harshly on freedom of expression. Several opposition websites are filtered and one of four people arrested in 2002 is still in prison for

helping to produce an e-mailed newsletter.

A British company, Cable & Wireless, controls Internet access in the country.

Nepal
King Gyanendra’s first reflex when he seized power in February 2005 was to cut off Internet access to the outside world. It has since been restored, but the regime continues to control it and most online opposition publications have been blocked inside the country. Bloggers discussing politics or human rights do so under constant pressure from the authorities.

North Korea
The country is the most closed-off in the world and the government, which has total control of the media, refused until recently to be connected to the Internet. Only a few thousand privileged people have access to it and then only to a heavily-censored version, including about 30 sites praising the regime.


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