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At least 20 people died while crossing a bridge on their way to a Hindu pilgrimage near Varanasi, India - photo AP
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At least 24 were killed and 30 others have been injured in a stampede that erupted on a bridge near Varanasi, India on Saturday. People were crossing the bridge in order to attend a Hindu religious ceremony in the area.

Among those that died, 19 were women. 

Officials of the event said they were only expecting 3000 people to attend, but approximately 70,000 came to the event. As it became overcrowded, police began directing people away from the bridge. This sparked a rumor that the bridge was broken, causing thousands of people to run away for safety.

“We were not prepared for such a large crowd,” Raj Bahadur, a spokesman for the event, told The Associated Press.

Deadly stampedes occur frequently in India, where many people visit small areas at one time in order to attend religious festivals.


Vocabulary 
stampede - a sudden rush (running away) of a very large group of people / animals that are scared of something
to erupt - to suddenly "explode" / to suddenly happen
ceremony - a very special and very organized event
to spark - to suddenly cause something to happen
rumour - information that is quickly passed to people, but may not be true
spokesman - a man who talks for a group of people
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Hurricane Matthews predicted path along east Florida - photo by NOAA / BBC
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Listen to a REAL person...not a computer.
The Category Four Hurricane Matthew is approaching Florida and is predicted to be the fiercest storm to hit the USA in 12 years.

With winds of 125mph (205km/h), the storm is expected to arrive in southern Florida by early Friday.

The hurricane has already caused havoc in Bahamas, and in Haiti, where 108 have died. The storm has also killed four people in Dominican Republic. 


On Thursday, USA President Barack Obama declared a state of emergency for Florida, as two million people have already been evacuated.

 "There are no excuses, you need to leave," Florida Governor Rick Scott warned people who are still in the evacuation zones. The Florida Governor also said, "Everyone in our state must prepare now for a direct hit...if Matthew directly impacts Florida, the destruction could be catastrophic and you need to be prepared."


Vocabulary
to predict - to make a theory about the future
fierce - very powerful and destructive
havoc - great destruction and chaos (disorder)
catastrophic - totally destructive (causing a catastrophe)
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Civilians Giovanni Lo Porto, left, and Warren Weistein were killed by a US drone strike in Pakistan - photo by FACEBOOK (left) and AFP (right)
The USA has paid the family of Italian aid worker Giovanni Lo Porto, 37, $1.2 million after a USA drone strike in Pakistan killed him while he was held hostage by al-Qaeda. 

The family of Warren Weinstein, 73, a USA citizen, was also paid money by the USA. Weinstein, who had lived in Pakistan for seven years and worked as a development worker, was kidnapped in his Lahore, Pakistan home in 2011. 

USA president Barack Obama announced the incident last April and said that he regretted the killings. US officials have also stated that they did not believe any civilians were present in location of the attack, a border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

USA citizen Ahmed Farouq, described as an al-Qaeda leader, was also killed in the drone strike. 


Vocabulary
drone strike - a military attack by drones (human-less military aircraft)
aid worker - someone who helps poor people in another country as their job
to hold hostageto take (kidnap) as a prisoner
to kidnap - to forcibly take someone to another place and not let them leave




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An Emirates plane flying from Thiruvananthapuram, India crash landed at Dubai International Airport Wednesday - photo by Al Arabiya
An Emirates Boeing 777 plane carrying 300 people crash landed at Dubai International Airport today before exploding into flames. Everyone on board survived the crash as all 282 passengers and 18 flight crew were evacuated before the explosion.

One firefighter was killed while working to extinguish the fire and to save the people on board. 

The cause of the crash has not yet been confirmed, but some have said the dry heat and wind were a factor. The fire is believed to have started when one of the plane's engines on its right wing was ripped out when it hit the landing. It has also been reported that the pilots said they wanted to cancel the landing before the crash. 

The plane had left from Trivandrum International Airport in Thiruvananthapuram, India at 10:19 am and was expected to land in Dubai at 12:50 pm. 


Thirteen of the passengers have suffered minor injuries in the crash.



Vocabulary
landing - the act of a plane coming back to earth
to land - to park a plane on the ground after being in the air
to explode - to suddenly and violently expand 

explosion - a sudden violent outburst (for example, a bomb)
flames - strands of fire
flight crew - those people working on a plane

to evacuate - to send people away (to safety) very quickly after an accident, attack, etc.
to extinguish - to stop from burning

confirmed - to be 100% known because of evidence
factor - something that helps to cause / effect something
landing - the strip of land where a plane arrives back onto the ground
people on board - people on a plane, boat, etc.

minor - not very serious

 
 
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A hot air balloon caught fire and crashed killing 16 near Austin, Texas, USA - photo by BBC video
A hot air balloon flying over fields 30 miles south of Austin, Texas, USA has caught on fire and crashed into the ground killing all 16 people aboard. 

The accident happened around 07:40 local-time this morning.

Police say the balloon's basket which carried the passengers was on fire when emergency crew arrived at the scene.

The balloon is believed to have been operated by Heart of Texas Balloon Rides, a company in Austin, Texas that offers balloon rides within the area.


A cause for the accident has not yet been disclosed, yet witnesses say the balloon came down near power lines.


Vocabulary
aboard - those people on an aircraft (airplane) or train, bus, etc.
passengers - those riding on a vehicle 
emergency crew - paramedics, medics, ambulance, etc. - those people who give aid to those in accidents
the scene - the place where something happened

disclosed - known and told (to the public)
witness - someone who saw / heard an incident / event
power lines - public cables used to carry electricity
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The basket of the balloon caught fire - photo by BBC video
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Power lines near where a balloon in Austin, Texas crashed killing 16 people - photo by AP