A poisonous fish which has a sting strong enough to kill a human is invading the Mediterranean, warned scientists. (Q1)The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (UICN) has raised concerns after the poisonous fish was spotted in the water around Turkey, Cyprus and the eastern Mediterranean. Native to the South Pacific and Indian Ocean, the potentially deadly fish has poisonous hooks and a painful sting capable of killing people. Although fatalities are rare, the stings can cause extreme pain and stop people breathing. The fish, often known as Devil Firefish, is a highly invasive species.And environmentalists fear its arrival could endanger other types of marine life. (Q2)After being spotted in the Mediterranean, a marine scientist says, “The fish is spreading, and that’s a cause for concern.”

  Q1: What is reported in the news?

  Q2: What is the environmentalists’ concern of the spread of Devil Firefish in the Mediterranean?


  【Q3】Almost half the centre of Paris will be accessible only by foot or bicycle this Sunday to mark World Car-Free Day. 【Q4】This is in response to rising air pollution that made Paris the most polluted city in the world for a brief time.Mayor Anne Hidalgo promoted the first World Car Free Day last year. Hidalgo also has supported a Paris Breathes Day. On the first Sunday of every month, Paris clears traffic from eight lanes of the main road. About 400 miles of streets will be closed to cars. It is expected to bring significant reduction in pollution levels. “Last year’s car-free day showed a 40% drop in pollution levels in some parts of the city, according to an independent air pollution monitor”, reports the Guardian, “and some levels dropped by 50% in the city centre.”

  Q3: What will happen on World Car Free Day in Paris?

  Q4: What motivated the mayor of Paris to promote the first World Car Free Day in her city?


  News report 3

  A Philippine fisherman was feeling down on his luck when[Q5] a housefire forced him to[Q6] clear out his possessions and change locations.Then, a good luck charm that he had kept under his bed changed his life.

  The unidentified man had fished out a giant pearl from the ocean when his anchor got stuck on the rock while sailing off a coastal island in the Philippines ten years ago.

  When [Q6] he was forced to sell it, the shocked tourist agent at Puerto Princesca told him[Q7] that the 77-pound giant pearl that he had kept hidden in his rundown wooden house was the biggest pearl in the world, which was valued at £76 million.

  The pearl of Allah, which is currently on display in a New York museum, only weighs 14 pounds. That is five times smaller than the pearl that the fisherman just handed in.

  The monstrous pearl, measured at 1 foot wide and 2.2 feet long, is going to be verified by local experts and international authorities before hopefully going on display to attract more tourists in the little town.

  Q5: What happened to the Philippine fisherman one day?

  Q6: What was the fisherman forced to do?

  Q7: What did the fisherman learn from the tourist agent?


  WOMAN: Mr. Smith, It’s a pleasure meeting you!

  Man: Nice to meet you, too. What can I do for you?

  WOMAN: Well, I’m here to show you what our firm can do for you.Astro Consultants has branches in over fifty countries, offering different business services. We’re a global company with 75 years of history. And our clients include some of the world’s largest companies【8】.

  MAN: Thank you, Mrs. Houston. I know Astro Consultants is a famous company. But you said you would show me what you could do for me. Well. What exactly can your firm do for my company?

  WOMAN: We advise businesses on all matters, from market analysis to legal issues. Anything a business like yours could meet. Our firm offers expert advice. Could I ask you, Mr. Smith, to tell me a little about your company and the challenges you face? That way, I could better respond as to how we can help you.

  Man: OK, sure.This is a family business started by my grandfather in 1950. We employ just over 100 people. We manufacture an export stone for buildings and other constructions. Our clients usually want a special kind of stone cut in a special design. And that’s what we do in our factory【9】. Our main challenge is that our national currency is rising, and we’re losing competitive advantages to stone produces in India【10】.

  WOMAN: I see. That’s very interesting.I will suggest that you let us first conduct a financial analysis of your company, together with the analysis of your competitors in India.【11】That way, we could offer the best advice on different ways forward for you.

  Question 8-11 are based on the conversation you have just heard.

  Q8: What do we learn about the woman’s company?

  Q9: What does the man say about his own company?

  Q10: What is the main problem with the man’s company?

  Q11: What does the woman suggest doing to help the man’s company?


  Woman: Wow, congratulations, Simon! The place looks absolutely amazing!

  Man: Really? You think so?

  W: Of course. I love it. It looks like you had a professional interior designer. But you didn’t, did you?

  M: No. I did it all by myself with a little help from my brother, Greg. He’s actually in the construction business, which was really helpful.

  W: Honestly, I’m impressed! I know I can probably repaint the walls in my house over a weekend or something, but not a full renovation. Where did you get your ideas? I wouldn’t know where to start.[12]

  M: Well, for a while now, I’ve been regularly buying home design magazines. Every now and then, I’d saved the pictures I liked. Believe it or not, I have a full notebook of magazine pages. [13] Since by overall style was quite minimal, I thought and hoped a whole renovation wouldn’t be too difficult. And sure enough, with Greg’s help, it was very achievable.

  W: Wasn’t it expensive? I have imagined a project like this could be.

  M: Actually, it was surprisingly affordable. I managed to sell a lot of my old furniture and put that extra money towards the new material. [14] Greg was also able to get some discount materials from a recent project he was working on as well.

  W: Great! If you don’t mind, I’d like to pick your brain a bit more. Johansson and I are thinking of renovating our sitting room, not the whole house, not yet anyway. And we’d love to get some inspiration from your experience. [15] Are you free to come over for a coffee early next week?

  Q12: What do we learn about the woman from the conversation?

  Q13: Where did the man get his ideas for the project?)

  Q14: What did the man say about the project he recently completed?

  Q15: Why does the woman invite the man to her house next week?


  Section C

  Passage 1

  Removing foreign objects from ears and noses costs England almost £3m a year, a study suggests.[Q16]Children were responsible for the vast majority of cases - 95% of objects removed from noses and 85% from ears. Every year, an average of 1,218 nose and 2,479 ear removals took place between 2010 and 2016.According to England's Hospital Episode Statistics, children aged one to four were the most likely to need help from doctors for a foreign object in their nose. Five to nine year olds come to the hospital with something in their ear the most. Jewelry items accounted for up to 40% of cases in both the ears and noses of children. [Q17]Paper and plastic toys were the items removed next most from noses. Cotton buds and pencils were also found in ears.

  According to the study, the occurrence of foreign objects in children is generally attributed to curiosity. Children have an impulse to explore their noses and ears. This results in the accidental entry of foreign objects. [Q18]Any ear, nose and throat surgeon has many weird stories about wonderful objects found in the noses and ears of children and adults. Batteries can pose a particular danger. In all cases, prevention is better than cure. This is why many toys contain warnings about small parts. Recognizing problems early and seeking medical attention is important.

  Q16: What does England spend an annual £3m on?

  Q17: What do we learn from England's Hospital Episode Statistics?

  Q18: What is generally believed to account for children putting things in their ears or noses?


  Section C

  Passage Two

  Good morning, I’d like to talk to you about my charity ReBicycle. But before that, let me introduce someone. This is Leila Rahimi. She was so scared when she first moved to New Zealand that she struggled to leave the house and would spend days working up the courage to walk to the supermarket for basic supplies. After a few months of being quite down and unhappy, she was invited to join a local bike club.At this time, ReBicycle got involved and gave Leila a second-hand bicycle.[Q19]In weeks, her depression had begun to ease as she cycled. The bicycle totally changed her life, giving her hope and a true feeling of freedom.

  To date, ReBicycle has donated more than 200 bikes to those in need, and is now expanding bike-riding lessons as demand soars.[Q20]With a bike, you can travel farther but for almost no cost. The three hours a day that used to spend on walking to and from English language lessons has been reduced to just one hour.Our bike-riding lessons are so successful that we are urgently looking for more volunteers. [Q21]Learning to ride a bike is almost always more difficult as an adult, and this can take days and weeks, rather than hours. So, if any of you have some free time during the weekend, please come join us at ReBicycle and make a difference in someone’s life.

  Q19: What did ReBicycle do to help Leila Rahimi?

  Q20: What is ReBicycle doing to help those in need?

  Q21: What do we learn from the passage about the ReBicycle?


  Passage 3

  Thanks to the International Space Station we know quite a bit about the effects of low gravity on the human body, but NASA scientists want to learn more. To that end, they have been studying how other species deal with low gravity, specifically focusing on mice(Q22). The results are both interesting and humorous.

  The scientists first send some mice in a specially designed cage to the International Space Station. The cage allowed them to study the behavior of the mice remotely from Earth via video. As you noticed in the video, the mice definitely seem uncomfortable at the beginning of the experiment. They move around clumsily, drifting within the small confines of the cage and do their best to figure out which way is up, but without success. (Q23) However, it’s not long before the mice begin to catch on. They adapt remarkably well to their new environment and even using the lack of gravity to their advantage as they push themselves around the cage.

  That’s when things really get wild.The 11th day of the experiment shows the mice are not just dealing with the gravity change but actually seem to be enjoying it. (Q24) Several of the mice are observed running around the cage walls.

  The scientists wanted to see whether the mice would continue doing the same kinds of activities they were observed doing on Earth.The study showed that the mice kept much of their routines intact, including cleaning themselves and eating when hungry. (Q25)

  Q22: What do Nasa scientists want to learn about?

  Q23: What does the passage say about the mice at the beginning of the experiment?

  Q24: What was observed about the mice on the 11th day of the experiment?

  Q25: What did the scientists find about the mice from the experiment?

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