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  Words in the News
  The National Coach of England's football team, Glenn Hoddle, lost his job amid controversy because of remarks he made about reincarnation and disabled people. We heard from Richard Kramer of MENCAP, the charity for people with learning disabilities and from Tony Haviland Nye, Director of the British Buddhist Association.
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Glenn Hoddle

4th February 1999
Football and Buddhism

NEWS 1   Glenn Hoddle is a public figure. He holds a very privileged position and that carries with it responsibilities and really his comments are so insulting there was no choice but for him to be sacked tonight. (Richard Kramer)

a public figure: someone who is well known to people. Another expression for this is 'to be in the public eye'

a very privileged position: someone who is privileged has an advantage or opportunity that most other people do not have

carries with it responsibilities: duties that you have because of your job or position. Notice also the verb phrase 'carries with it' : the position carries with it - involves - certain responsibilties

insulting: if something is insulting it is also offensive

to be sacked: to be dismissed from your job because of something you have done wrong

NEWS 2  

The Prime Minister seems to have put the clock back, really to the seventeenth century. And he seems to me really to be trying to extend the blasphemy laws whereby there is no free speech in Christianity. Christians have opposed the idea of Karma and rebirth, they really won't have it. (Tony Haviland Nye)


put the clock back: an idiomatic phrase which means to return to a previous time

the seventeenth century: a period of religious unrest in Europe

blasphemy: saying or doing something that shows disrespect for God. So 'blasphemy laws' are the religious laws which punish people who blaspheme. Notice also the verb used here 'to extend'. This means to expand the laws beyond religion into non-religious life

karma: in the Buddhist religion 'karma' is the belief that your actions in one life affect all your other lives after that one

rebirth: to be born again in another body

won't have it: a colloquial expression meaning they won't tolerate it

    Read about the background in BBC News Online

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