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Protecting Venice

Think of Venice and water probably springs to mind.

The problem is that unusually high tides often cause serious harm to its centuries-old architecture, which draws millions of visitors each year.

Now, four new mobile barriers designed to protect the city have been successfully tested.

Eventually, 78 floodgates will shut off the Venice lagoon when water levels get too high.

Vocabulary:

springs to mind - arrives as a sudden thought high tides - when the sea or a river is at its highest level draws - attracts designed - created for a specific purpose floodgates - gates that can be opened or closed to control the flow of water

Exercise:

Use one of the words or phrases below to complete each of these sentences from news reports. Note that you may have to change the form of a word to complete the sentence correctly.

springs to mind / high tide / draws / designed / floodgates

1. At the weekly papal audience which __________pilgrims from many countries, a priest read a summary of the Pope's address in Arabic for the first time, joining other briefs in French, English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Slovak, Czech, Polish, Hungarian and Russian.

2. A system of nine dams called the Vltava Cascade was found to be dangerously full, and the __________ were opened at 20:00 local time (18:00 GMT) on Monday night.

3. The sea defence gates on Weston-super-Mare's seafront were closed during __________ at the weekend. Strong onshore winds were forecast which, coupled with a tidal surge, led to the precaution being taken.

4. Some of the rules were __________to keep the young men in check, with advice on "not gadding and gossiping from chamber to chamber", or "picking your nose" in the company of tutors, a habit Duport regarded as "uncouth and unseemly".

5. If you had to list prerequisites for being a bomb disposal officer, then courage would go without saying. Patience, ingenuity and an ability to keep a cool head under pressure also __________.

Answers:

1. At the weekly papal audience which draws pilgrims from many countries, a priest read a summary of the Pope's address in Arabic for the first time, joining other briefs in French, English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Slovak, Czech, Polish, Hungarian and Russian.

Source: Pope Benedict adds Arabic to weekly Vatican address http://bbc.in/W2959m

2. A system of nine dams called the Vltava Cascade was found to be dangerously full, and the floodgates were opened at 20:00 local time (18:00 GMT) on Monday night.

Source: Floods threaten Dresden as Prague river levels fall http://bbc.in/1309bjF

3. The sea defence gates on Weston-super-Mare's seafront were closed during high tides at the weekend. Strong onshore winds were forecast which, coupled with a tidal surge, led to the precaution being taken.

Source: Weston-super-Mare sea defences used as precaution http://bbc.in/194qQLs

4. Some of the rules were designed to keep the young men in check, with advice on "not gadding and gossiping from chamber to chamber", or "picking your nose" in the company of tutors, a habit Duport regarded as "uncouth and unseemly".

Source: Cambridge University student guide from 350 years ago http://bbc.in/17ppxmw

5. If you had to list prerequisites for being a bomb disposal officer, then courage would go without saying. Patience, ingenuity and an ability to keep a cool head under pressure also spring to mind.

Source: Peter Gurney, a 'born bomb-disposal officer' http://bbc.in/GJ1nGt