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Vocabulary. Study the following phrasal verbs.
Article 2 says: “ … Hamas called off attacks …”
Remember other expressions with ‘off’:
To be off, to be well (badly) off, to be way off, to get off with …, to go off, to keep off, to pass off as …, to put off, to put smb off the scent, to take off, to tell smb off, to wear off, to write smth off.
Choose an appropriate expression to translate the words and wordcombinations in the following sentences given in italics.
1. I suggest you (избегать) the delicate subject of the president’s health while the reporters are here.
2. It doesn’t matter if her husband (не очень состоятелен), if he can make her happy.
3. She managed to (выдать себя за) an experienced actress.
4. It was decided (прекратить) the search when there was no hope of finding the missing people alive.
5. Your company didn’t provide the necessary papers in time, so our deal (не состоится).
6. (Не откладывай) making the arrangements until the last minute.
7. We won’t be able to catch up with the group. They must (быть далеко) by now.
8. The dogs chased the criminal, so he crossed the river (чтобы сбить их со следа).
9. You must (избегать) spicy food until you have completely recovered.
10. The bus was badly damaged in the crash, but luckily the passengers (отделались) with slight cuts and bruises.
11. The effect of the drug (постепенно пройдет) after three hours or so.
12. How did the talks (прошли)? – They (прошли) very well, thank you.
13. After a slow start the plan (получил развитие) and was accepted by all the directors.
14. After the crash, the insurance company agreed (списать) the car as a total loss.
15. The manager (отругал Джима) for being late for work.
Reading and Speaking 2
16. Read the following article and do the multiple choice task givenbelow.
Flights of Fear
All night, long after the television cheers and hugs celebrating the arrival of the year 2004, national security officials manning the White House Situation Room waited for the worst. Only 10 days earlier, the Department of Homeland Security had upped the nation’s threat warning to Code Orange, the second highest level. And officials tasked with protecting American security were at high-alert status. Intelligence services had intercepted “incredibly good” information about possible targets in major US cities. Among other worries, they feared terrorists would hijack airliners and try a repeat of the 9/11 attacks.
There were adrenaline moments. A Mexican airliner bound for Los Angeles was ordered to turn round when US authorities determined passengers hadn’t been thoroughly screened. At one point during the holiday week, a private airplane ventured into the restricted airspace above the White House. When the pilot didn’t respond to frantic air dispatches from air controllers, fighter jets were scrambled to intercept the aircraft. Eventually, the authorities identified the plane’s tail number and called the pilot’s cell phone. The chastened man explained that his radio was on the fritz, and quickly changed course.
Despite the warnings – or perhaps because of them – the holidays passed without incident. But administration officials can’t savor whatever relief they may feel. Instead, they once again find themselves fending off complaints that they overreacted and caused the national frenzy for nothing. Four times before, the country had gone to Code Orange, and each time the feared attacks never materialized. It’s a sore point for the people at the Homeland Security Department, who lament they are forever caught in a “damned if you do, damned it you don’t” situation. If they hadn’t issued the alert and a holiday attack had taken place, they would have been blamed for being caught unprepared and failing to warn the public. “This is in some sense a paranoid business,” says one counterterrorism official wryly.
Administration officials have worried for months about what they see as a growing credibility problem with a threat-weary public. Heading into the holiday season, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge got the message that people were becoming fed up with the endless march of vague warnings about possible threats. He resolved to increase the alert status only if there was very credible intelligence pointing to specific attacks. As December wore on, US intelligence agents reported that “chatter” among suspected terrorists was increasing alarmingly. Still, Ridge held out. But a few days before Christmas, he decided he could no longer wait.
What changed his mind was a deluge of intelligence that seemed to point to immediate attacks on US cities. Some conversations between Qaeda terrorists, intercepted by the National Security Agency, seemingly referred to an upcoming airplane attack in Los Angeles. Intelligence reports even mentioned specific routes and flight numbers on British, French and Mexican airlines, a level of detail agents had rarely heard before. Other intelligence suggested possible attacks against four cities: L.A., New York, Washington and Las Vegas. There were also hints that terrorists might target a major oil terminal in Valdez, Alaska, or launch a “dirty bomb” attack. “For the first time, people were definitely freaked out,” says a senior US official.
Federal agencies launched the most drastic security measures since 9/11. Six Air France flights bound for Los Angeles over Christmas were cancelled. Other international flights were shadowed by F-16 fighters. In Las Vegas, the FBI demanded that hotel owners relinquish the names of everyone who booked rooms through New Year’s holidays so they could be matched against a master list of suspected terrorists. When one big hotel refused, it was slapped with a subpoena. In L.A., the FBI began a “disruption” campaign. Agents fanned out into the city and interrogated dozens of Middle Eastern immigrants whose names had popped up in terror-related probes. Security officials became even more alarmed when they began to examine the passenger lists of some of the potentially targeted flights. At the newly built Terrorist Screening Center in suburban Washington, analysts compared the names with government watch lists of terror suspects – and came up with several possible matches.
It turned out to be a false alarm. Believing they might have disrupted a terrorist plot, the United States asked French authorities to track down several passengers on an Air France flight whose names closely matched the list. But none had evident connection to terrorism. One was a 6-year-old child. The FBI’s screening of Las Vegas visitors and questioning of Arab immigrants were equally fruitless. As one counterterrorism official put it, the efforts produced “zilch”.
Though drained and somewhat frustrated, federal officials aren’t prepared to let down their guard. Privately, British and French intelligence officers say they think the United States went too far; some speculate the increased chatter may have been a Qaeda disinformation campaign designed to whip up fears. But Homeland Security officials say the display of vigilance may have deterred terrorists. “When you prevent something, you may never know you prevented it,” says a Homeland source.
Choose the best answer to the following questions.
1. During the New Year celebrations (2004), American security alert status was upped to Code Orange, which means
A. a high level of the nation’s threat warning.
B. the second highest level of the nation’s threat warning.
C. the highest level of the nation’s threat warning.
2. A Mexican airliner bound for Los Angeles was ordered to turn round because
A. the passengers hadn’t been photographed.
B. the passengers hadn’t been checked thoroughly enough.
C. they weren’t properly protected.
3. The pilot who ventured into the restricted airspace above the White House said his radio was
A. out of order.
B. switched off.
C. on a different wave-length.
4. Americans are constantly blaming the Homeland Security Department because
A. they think security officials are not efficient enough.
B. security officials exaggerate the danger.
C. the public is tired of constant threats.
5. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge increased the alert status before Christmas because
A. he had got reliable information about forthcoming attacks on US cities.
B. he was on edge and couldn’t stand the tension.
C. the character of intelligence information had changed and become more specific.
6. What security measures did Federal agencies launch over Christmas 2004?
A. International flights were followed by US military aircraft.
B. They cancelled all flights bound for Los Angeles.
C. American fighters were among the passengers of each airliner.
7. When a big hotel in Las Vegas refused to reveal the names of its guests
A. it was fined.
B. the owner was slapped in the face.
C. it was summoned to court.
8. After security officials examined the passenger lists of potentially targeted flights they tracked down
A. Middle Eastern immigrants suspected of terrorist activities.
B. the passengers who were name-sakes of suspected terrorists.
C. those who took part in a match between terrorists and security forces.
9. US Homeland Security officials say
A. they don’t know if they prevented a major terrorist act.
B. the intelligence they received before Christmas must have been disinformation.
C. they may have prevented a terrorist act.