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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Learn English from the News: A case of corruption

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sure my livestream is working okay we're

ready to go all right so I'm going to

explain this news case to you and I will

explain some of the words and phrases

that I read in the news article so this

case of corruption involved two people

who were allies of the state governor of

New Jersey so the word governor refers

to the leader of one of the states in

the United States all right that we use

the word governor for that

that's the politician who's the leader

of a state and allies this word allies

means people who support that politician

people who help him or her we usually

use the word Ally you'll see this when

talking about countries that have an

agreement to help support and protect

each other so if you have two countries

that are friends and they agree to help

support and protect each other

then those two countries are allies okay

so this was a corruption case involving

two people who were allies of the state

governor so they were supporting the

state governor and what happened is they

had a plot to create traffic jams let me

explain this expression traffic jams or

a traffic jam is a situation when the

traffic is stopped or very slow traffic

jams are not good nobody enjoys being

stuck in a traffic jam but these two

people wanted to create traffic jams in

on a bridge near New York City

so they made a plot a plot in this case

refers to a plan to do something bad or

illegal the word plot can be used

as a noun or a verb so in the article it

was used as a noun they said that the

two people had a plot to create traffic

jams but you can also use it as a verb

for example the criminals are plotting a

bank robbery so that means they're

planning to do something bad they are

working together to organize everything

and commit a crime so why were these

people plotting or planning to create

traffic jams when traffic jams are

things that nobody likes well here's the

answer the answer is they wanted to

create traffic jams in a city where the

mayor wouldn't endorse the governor let

me explain this word by word mayor

refers to the politician who is the

leader of a city okay a city or a town

the leader who is elected in elections

is called the mayor so the mayor of this

city did not want to endorse the

governor of the state now endorsed means

to publicly declare your support and

approval for someone or something so in

this case what was happening is the

state governor was up for re-election

that means it was time for elections to

happen and he had the opportunity to be

re-elected to be re-elected means to be

elected again so the governor of the

state was up for re-election but this

mayor wouldn't endorse him so the mayor

of the city did not want to support or

publicly give his approval to the

governor's re-election campaign okay and

so as a result to punish this mayor for

his refusal to give support or to

endorse the governor these two people

who were allies Friends of the governor

decided to create traffic

in the mayor's City to punish him to

make him suffer all right and as a

result of this scandal the governor's

campaign and his career didn't gain

traction so when this scandal was

discovered a lot of people didn't like

it because of course it was against the


and so the approval rating of the

governor went down approval rating means

the percent of a population who approves

of a certain politician you'll often

hear the news report about the approval

rating of a president for example but in

this case the approval rating of the

state governor went down and so the

result from that was that his career as

a politician didn't gain traction what

does that mean gain traction gain

traction means to gain momentum and

speed so if something gains traction it

means it moves forward faster and with

more power okay but in this case because

of the scandal the governor's career did

not gain traction so it did not move

forward with speed and power because of

this involvement in scandal and

corruption so the plot to create traffic

jams was successful what they did was

they closed some lanes on a bridge so

when we have a big road like a highway

the road is divided into different

sections and each of those sections is

called Elaine so a highway for example

might have three or four lanes where the

cars can go parallel to each other so

what these people did is they closed

some of the lanes and as a result that

paralyzed traffic on the bridge near

this city of the mayor who wouldn't

support the governor okay

paralyzed means it completely stopped


thing is paralyzed it means it doesn't

move at all we also use this word

paralyzed to describe it when a person

has an injury usually of their neck or

of their back and as a result of the

injury they can't move their legs or

their arms anymore we say that person is

paralyzed but in this case they're using

it to describe the movement of the

traffic in this case no movement of the

traffic the traffic was completely


so the lane closures closure is the noun

form of clothes so the event of closing

can be called a closure lane closures

paralyzed traffic they closed some lanes

and it caused the traffic to completely

stop it caused traffic jams big quantity

of cars that and trucks and buses that

were completely stopped and then the


remember the mayor is the leader of the

city he asked for help and these two

people ignored the pleas for help from

the mayor and I thought this word is

interesting plea what's a plea a plea is

a request and it's usually a request

that's done with a lot of emotion so the

mayor of this city that was suffering

from the bad traffic requested helped

with a lot of emotion please this is an

emergency it's really bad I need help to

get this traffic going and the two

allies of the state governor who were

involved in this case

they ignored the pleas for help meaning

they chose not to pay attention to to

the mayor they decided not to pay

attention on purpose the word plea is a

noun so the noun form is plea a plea for

help or pleas for help and then the verb

form is plead you can say the mayor

pleaded for help

and again plea and plead refer to asking

for something with a lot of emotion

sometimes desperation because you really

want it

need it okay so that is in brief the

summary of this corruption case what

happened in the end is that the two

people were convicted of the crime

convicted means they were found guilty

so the judge and the jury proved or

decided that there was enough proof for

these people to be officially declared

guilty of the crime of misusing their

power to create these traffic jams as

part of a political plot okay I know

these words are difficult this

vocabulary is a little bit challenging

but I hope this lesson has made it a

little clearer remember my goal with

these lessons in teaching you English

from the news is not only to help you

understand this news article better but

teach you words that you might see in

other places so you might see the word

paralyzed referring to someone who has

suffered an injury and now you know that

means they can't move or you might see

the word plea in another context and now

you know it means a request with a lot

of emotion okay to those of you who have

joined me for the live cast

let's see how many students seventy six

students all right thank you so much for

watching me today and I will see you in

the next live class bye for now

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