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As for the vanquished Mr Ryden, he still has an ace or two up 5) Yet an independent board of the SSE can keep the exchange his sleeve. As part of the merger agreement, the SSE gets to keep a trading under its control, cant it fairly independent board. If the board sniffs out any fishy trading in its parent's stock, it' must report it directly to Swedens financial regulator. 3. Give a summary of the text.

1. Vocabulary notes:

1) Omnipresent ( :

OMnipresent, OM ) 2) venerable , 3) startling , 4) Nordic 5) settlement . , 21 Why Thailand's Star is Rising American recovery stalls, the promising start to Southeast Asia's year will quickly lose steam.

Southeast Asia is back. After several years of watching investors By Frederik Balfour in Kuala Lumpur flee, Southeast Asian stock markets soared in the first quarter: Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, and Thailand all posted 1. Vocabulary notes:

double-digit percentage gains. The best-performing fund of the 500 off1) flee , , shore funds tracked by BusinessWeek was Fidelity Investments' Thai2) soar , land Fund, with a 29,26 % gain. Fidelity's Asean and South East Asia 3) transparency funds also finished in the top 10.

4) boon , , Keith Ferguson, Fidelity's chief investment officer for the Asia5) cutback , Pacific region, says Southeast Asia reforms are finally paying off with 6) margins , more efficient companies, stronger financial institutions, and greater 7) bring in , , corporate transparency. Growth prospects were already solid thanks to 8) shell out strong domestic demand, and the U.S. recovery will be a boon for ex9) streak , , ports.

10) poise (-), Why did Thailand top the rankings In the past few years, key 11) resilience , sectors such as banking and cement have seen consolidation and staff 12) tether , cutbacks, producing higher margins. And many companies have 13) stall (-), brought in foreign management expertise. At the same time, Thai consumers are shelling out for everything from designer jeans to new cars 2. Answer the following questions.

auto sales might grow 30 % this year and the residential-property 1) What is the main idea of the article And who is the main sector is finally showing signs of recovery. The result: In the first quarhero of it ter, foreigners were net buyers of $550 million worth of Thai stocks, 2) What do Southeast Asia reforms do finally result in after selling $348 million over 2000 and 2001.

3) What is the cause of Southeast Asian stock markets soaring Ferguson saw the Southeast Asia recovery coming late last year 4) What can you say about the purchasing power of Thai conand sent his analysts on a search for good companies. "We looked sumers where foreigners were underweight and where earnings looked attrac5) What point should investors beware of looking at mid-cap tive again, and we spent time and focused on it," he says. In Thailand, stocks Such as Delta Electronics Inc. he picked up property developer Land & Houses, Siam Cement, Siam City Cement, and bank stocks.

3. Give a summary of the text.

Can this winning streak continue With Thailand's banks and blue chips having already enjoyed a good run, Ferguson says smart investors should start looking at mid-cap stocks such as Delta Electronics Inc., poised to benefit from stronger export demand. Across Southeast Asia, Ferguson sees plenty of value: Indonesian stocks are trading as low as seven times 2002 earnings, Malaysia's 17, and Thailand's 14.

But a word of caution. Although the region's markets have shown resilience, its economies are still tethered to the U. S. If the 23 Deadly Traffic region. As much as 80 tonnes of heroin may have passed through the country. The value of heroin transiting has gone up by three to four times in 2002, reflecting an improvement in purity. In 2001 the quality of heroin was so poor that unhappy Russian buyers returned some to Afghanistan. Less opium, on the other hand, seems to have been exported since 2000; it is increasingly being processed into heroin inside Afghanistan before being shipped out. As traffickers handle increasingly valuable loads, they are hedging their bets by organising more, but smaller, shipments. Operations are also becoming more sophisticated, and traffickers better organised and better armed. But so are Tajikistans authorities, in spite of persistent suspicions of corruption and high-level involvement the drug trade. Border guards now have test kits, sophisticated communication equipment and four-wheel-drive cars, nowhere evident a few years ago. A drug-control agency reports Dushanbe directly to Tajikistans president. Last year the leadership of the Opium and heroin plague the region boarder guards was changed. And the fight against the growing drug plague is one of the few things on which Central Asian countries have Ictoria was 18 when she started injecting heroin. Now 22, she brought themselves to co-operate.

claims to have been clean for the past six months. She works as a volSince most local traffickers are paid in kind, the heroin trade unteer for RAN, an NGO based in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, leaves a trail of ad-dicts in the transit countries of Central Asia. Acwhich provides counselling and clean syringes to some of the city's cording to the UN, heroin addic-tion in Central Asia has been the fastgrowing number of drug-takers. With neighbouring Afghanistan once est-growing in the world since the late 1990s, and the region now has again a major grower of opium, and demand for heroin still strong on more than 300 000 opiate-takers, including children as young as ten.

the streets of Europe, Tajikistan and its neighbours are getting caught According to RAN, $5-8 will buy you a gram of heroin on the in the middle.

streets of Dushanbe today, and with purer heroin now available the Central Asia has become a major route for Afghan opium and number of overdoses has shot up. Although reliable statistics are hard heroin travelling to Europe. As Pakistan and Iran have cracked down to come by, Murtazokul Khidirov, RAN'S director, compares the on drug trafficking from Afghanistan, the flow has moved north. Acspread of HIV due to dirty needles to an uncontrollable forest fire. So cording to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the trade of the NGO supplies up to 3 000 clean syringes a day to 1 000 or so peoopium through Central Asia started to develop in the early 1990s, and ple in Dushanbe, a drop in the ever-deeper ocean of the citys estimated heroin first appeared in 1995. Today the UN estimates that about one 20 000 heroin junkies, each of whom would needs about five needles a kilo in four of heroin coming out of Afghanistan goes through Central day.

Asia. In 2002, drug-trafficking of Afghan opiates generated $2.2 billion Unfortunately, little help is available for those who want to esin Central Asia-equivalent to 7 % of the area's GDP.

cape drugs. Victoria went in and out of rehab three times. She was With 1 400 km (875 miles) of porous borders with Afghanistan, locked up and offered sleeping pills as the sole treatment, RAN can Tajikistan is affected far more than any other Central Asian country. In offer little more than counselling and moral support to those who want 1996, the country's authorities seized 6,5 kg of heroin. Last year, they to break their habit. Drug-takers are regarded as criminals, and even intercepted close to four tonnes, almost 80 % of the total seized in-the 25 RAN's volunteers-former or current addicts-are occasionally arrested Berlusconi Burlesque and beaten up by the police when they go out to distribute syringes.

Italy's pension reforms Rome 1. Vocabulary notes:

Not for nothing do they call the man a populist 1) syringe 2) crack down . , Under fire on pension reform, and sensing that this issue could make or break his government (it helped destroy his previous one in 3) trafficking , 1995), Silvio Berlusconi has announced that he will write to every 4) intercept , household in Italy explaining his plans. That may not be a bad idea. For 5) hedge ones bet , he faces more than the usual resistance of trade unions, who have called a four-hour general strike on October 24th. He faces more even 6) pay in kind than the habitual vacillation of his allies who, having agreed a modest 7) trail , compromise after tortuous negotiation, are now trying to water it down 8) rehab . rehabilitation again. His real problem is that he is up against public opinion.

Pensions absorb 14% of Italy's GDP, the highest share in any big 2. Answer the following questions.

European country. They thus siphon off cash that could be more pro1) What problem does the author of the article highlight ductively used elsewhere. Yet, in a poll for Messaggero, a Rome news2) Why has the major route of drug trafficking changed paper, only 25 % of those questioned would accept more than "minor 3) What numbers in the article prove the fact its hardly possible corrections".

to solve drug issue (at least in existing, traditional way) Behind that response lie some deep-seated cultural attitudes. The 4) Why has heroin addiction in Central Asia been the fastestthrust of the government's reform is to persuade Italians to retire at an growing in the world since the late 1990s age that would be considered normal in most other countries. From 5) In what why does NGO try to help heroin junkies 2008, a full state pension would kick in only at the age of 65 (for men) and 60 (for women), or after 40 years' worth of contributions. It would 3. Give a summary of the text.

still be possible to retire, as now, at 57, or with 35 years' worth of contributions. But that would mean accepting a lower pension.

The trouble is that Italians, particularly in the north, are now used to the idea that it is their right to stop working in middle age. That seems odd, given that advances in medicine now allow 65-year-olds to expect 15 years or more of retirement. It is odder still in a country where so many leaders and opinion formers are well past normal pensionable age. President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi is 82. One of his predecessors, Francesco Cossiga, is still active in politics at 75. Italy's most revered newspaperman, Enzo Biagi, is still scribbling perceptively at 83. Even Mr Berlusconi is, at 67, no spring chicken.

Yet less than three in ten of their compatriots over the age of holds a (legal) job. Even allowing for employment in Italy's extensive 27 black economy, that figure is exceptionally low. As a first step towards Desperate Measures raising it, Mr Berlusconi's reforms propose that, from January 1st, anyBeijing body of pensionable age who chooses to stay at work will get a bonus Protests against forced relocation are getting worse worth 32,7 % of their salary, representing the cash they would otherwise have taken for their pensions.

Attempting suicide by burning one-self in public is a particularly Yet when asked by Il Messaggero, only 28 % said they would powerful form of protest in China, to which even the most desperate take the money rather than opt for the deckchair. Italians may not be rarely resort. Yet in the past seven weeks, at least three people have tried lazy; but they certainly have what economists call a high leisure preferto kill themselves in this way. Their grievances have been the same:

ence. And that may be harder for Mr Berlusconi to tackle than even the forced relocation from their homes to make way for commercial develnoisiest protests.

opments. The extent of public anger over the brutality and unfairness involved in China's urban makeover is starting to alarm the leadership.

1. Vocabulary notes: This weekend, the Central Committee of China's Communist 1) burlesque , Party begins a meeting to set policy guidelines for the leaders who took 2) be under fire office late last year and early this. The new party chief, Hu Jintao, presents himself as a man attuned to the sufferings of those pushed aside 3) vacillation , by China's breakneck development. Addressing the complaints of those 4) tortuous , whose shabby old homes are being demolished is hard.

5) water down , The number of protests triggered by urban redevelopment has 6) siphon off risen fast in recent years. According to the official China Economic 7) deep-seated , Times, 8 516 petitions were delivered to the central government in 8) thrust , , 2001 complaining about forced relocation. The figure increased to 9) revere , 13 513 last year and already stood at 11 641 for the first eight months 10) scribble , of this year. Frenzied investment in construction-up 33 % between 11) no spring chicken January and August compared with the same period a year ago-is fuel12) deckchair / ling the greed of developers and of officials who take bribes in return 13) tackle , , for development rights.

The protests have become more potent recently. On August 2. Make up a plan of the text in English.

22nd, a man set fire to himself in the eastern city of Nanjing after his house was destroyed to make way for a new business district. On Sep3. Give a summary of the text.

tember 15th,a man did the same in Tiananmen Square, and another tried on September 25th in eastern Beijing.

China Daily, an official newspaper, noted that according to the law, the government cannot take away residents' land-use rights except for public-welfare projects. In practice, local officials often sell landuse rights without consulting the occupants of buildings on the land.

Developers, with official connivance, sometimes intimidate occupants into accepting meagre compensation. The residents may get newer housing, but often far from their work.

29 Whether the government is likely to offer much more than sym- What to Do about Slums pathy is doubtful, given the massive development plans that Beijing, Slums are growing fast. The solution must begin with property rights.

Shanghai and other cities have in mind. Beijing will hold the Olympic Games in 2008 which will involve a lot of work for the demolition In Pakistan they are katchi abadis, in Cuba focos insalubres, in teams. Shanghai has been relocating people at a rate of 80 000 a year India bustees and in Brazil favelas. Whatever the local name for slums, since 2000 and plans to move another 400 000 by 2007 (the city wants there are a lot of them and they are growing fast. A new report, The a new look for the 2010 World Fair).

Challenge of Slums by UN-Habitat, the United Nations agency reIn September, 152 lawyers in Shanghai formed a group to give sponsible for "human settlements", says that in 2001 just under a billegal aid to those being moved out. But other, unnamed lawyers have lion people were living in slums-about a third of the world's city dwellbeen quoted as saying that without laws clarifying the rights of the upers. In the last decade, urban populations in less developed regions inrooted, talk of protecting their interests is "idle". They might also have creased by a third. On present trends, says the UN report, 2 billion peomentioned one Shanghai lawyer, Zheng Enchong, who argued on beple could be living in slums by 2030.

half of the displaced. He was arrested in June on what human-rights In Africa, many parts of the Middle East, Latin America and groups say are bogus charges.

Asia, migrants are leaving farm land which is unable to support them, and arriving in cities which are unprepared to deal with them. This has 1. Vocabulary notes:

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