05 March 2010

Vocabulary In the News : 03 March 2010 – The Garden Island (Lihu’e, Hawaii)


The main headline tells the story of fire that started in a work shed partially attached to a home. The fire spread and scorched the home. If something is scorched by fire, it isn’t completely destroyed; it is burned enough to change the color and damage the surface. Full story >>

In another article, the state of Hawaii isn’t satisfied with a federal law that was designed to protect the state’s endangered species stating that the penalties aren’t serious enough. Hawaii’s state senate passed a bill that would make the intentional killing of a Hawaiian monk seal a felony with a penalty of 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000. Under federal law, it is only a misdemeanor with a one-year prison term and a fine of up to $2,500. Under English common law on which the American legal system is based, a felony is a serious crime such as a murder or robbery, a misdemeanor is simply a less serious crime. Full story >>

Members of the Democratic Party on the Hawaiian island of Kaua’i caucused to choose delegates that would represent them in state and county conventions in April. “To caucus” is a political term simply meaning to meet in group to discuss plans. For example, in the US Senate, the two main political parties are Democrats and Republicans but there is one senator who is socialist and another who is independent. Because these two senators’ political beliefs lean to the left and they often vote with the Democrats, they caucus with the Democrats which gives the left control of 59 seats out of 100 in the Senate. The noun is the same as the verb. A caucus is a closed meeting of a group of persons from the same political party or faction that is designed to either select candidates or to decide policy. Full story >>

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