06 July 2010

Video Of the Moment / Vocabulary In the News : ‘No Appetite’ for Comprehensive Immigration Reform (taken from Newsy.com)

In his first speech on immigration, President Obama called the system “broken," urging Congress to toughen enforcement of existing laws.

Newsy’s sources: CNN / KSAZ / The Huffington Post / The Guardian / ABC

For a full transcript, go HERE!

Multisource political news, world news, and entertainment news analysis by Newsy.com

to toughen / to toughen up


to become more strict, or to make something more strict

Example: Due to the current economic crisis, many countries are toughening (up) financial rules.

to be a matter of


to be a question of

Example: It’s only a matter of time before he realizes the mistake he made.

undocumented (adj.)


lacking documentation or authentication; lacking proper immigration or working papers

Example: About 60% of the illegal alien population in the US are "undocumented aliens," who are commonly known as "unlawful border crossers," or more properly known as "illegal aliens." 

to make a mockery of something


to make someone or something seem stupid or useless

Example: Ten-year marriage contracts would make a total mockery of marriage vows.

to urge


to advise someone very strongly about what action or attitude they should take

Example: Environmentalists are urging the US Government to stop drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico.

an appetite for


to advise someone very strongly about what action or attitude they should take

Example: The public’s appetite for celebrity gossip seems insatiable.

Synonym: a desire for

mixed (adj.)


mixed feelings or emotions make you not certain how you feel about someone or something

Example: Teachers have mixed feelings about the use of distance language teaching.

coverage (uncountable)


news about something on television or radio or in the newspapers

Example: People around the world watched live coverage of the FIFA World Cup on television.

to shine a spotlight on something


to give a lot of importance to, to give a lot of public attention to

Example: The BP oil spill is shining the spotlight on how dangerous and difficult deepwater drilling can be.

Other expressions: to be in the spotlight (= to have a lot of public attention) ≠ to be out of the spotlight

after (prep.)


in quest or pursuit of something

Example: Participants in Star Academy are seeking after fame. / Some believe that President Obama is going after amnesty for illegal immigrants.

a spin (informal / uncountable)


a way of presenting information, especially a way that makes something seem good or less bad

Example: Not even the craftiest politician could put a positive spin on this.

Other Expressions: to spin a story / a spin doctor (=someone who works in public relations or the media who presents news in a way to promote a particular political agenda, they usually try to make a situation look better or worse than what it really is)

to enact legislation


to make into an act or statute

Example: With the president’s signature, the new legislation/bill on healthcare reform was enacted into law.

to stem


to stop something from spreading or increasing, especially something bad

Example: France passed a new retirement policy in an attempt to stem an increasing budget deficit.

misguided (adj.)


a misguided idea or action is based on judgments or opinions that are wrong

Example: Many people believe that the war in Iraq was misguided.

Synonym: unfounded

the purview


the area of responsibility or influence that a person or organization has

Example: Organizing new training is under the purview of the human resources department.

to put forth (formal)


to state or offer an idea, opinion, plan ,etc

Example: The French government put forth a plan to reform retirement benefits.

to require


if a rule, law, contract etc requires something, you must do that thing

Example: Car insurance is required by law in most countries.

to be driven by something


is motivated by

Example: He is driven by the desire to be the best football player.

to outline


to give the main ideas of a plan or a piece of writing without giving all the details

Example: The document outlines our company’s recycling policy.

contentious (adj.)


causing disagreement between people or groups

Example: Abortion in the United States is a major contentious issue.

to take something/someone on


to fight or compete against someone

Example: The United States took on Ghana at the FIFA World Cup but was eliminated by them.

pandering (from the verb ‘to pander’)


this is the act of saying or doing what someone wants in order to please them, even though you know it isn’t right.

Example: Politicians do a lot of pandering during election time and really don’t mean a lot of what they say or promise.

So, what do you think? Did the president’s speech on comprehensive immigration reform make any progress or was he simply pandering? What immigration reform would you like to see in your country? Please feel free to leave your comments!

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