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Words in the News
Wednesday 04 December 2002
Vocabulary from the news. Listen to and read the report then find explanations of difficult words below.

  Coastal view of oil spill
Tanker blacklist from Brussels
Summary: The European Commission has agreed to ban certain oil-carrying ships from its waters.
The News Listen  
  There are time bombs circulating off our coastlines. That, according to the European transport commissioner, is what ageing, non-seaworthy ships are when they're carrying noxious cargo and they venture close to shore.

The European Commission is often the place for dry, technocratic announcements, but the Spanish commissioner, Loyola de Palacio, was angry. If European Union member states had listened to the Commission after the last oil spill three years ago, she said, the Prestige disaster would not have happened.

And so the Commission has today published a list of sixty-six ships which it says should be banned from European waters. Further, it wants an end to tankers with a single hull carrying heavy fuel oil. The problem, as the Commission accepts, is that heavy fuel oil is cheap and low-grade and that means there's reluctance to transport it in more expensive ships. There's also the old difficulty of persuading all European Union countries to act in unison.

The Words Listen
  time bombs
things that will have a major effect on a situation at a later date, and cause a lot of damage

not fit for a sea voyage

harmful or poisonous

dull and uninteresting

overly technical


only one layer between the oil and the sea


  In unison
in complete agreement

  Read more about this story  

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