LawTag™ English

The online English language school

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Pricing


General English

£49/Month
  • Value £200 pm
  • 30 min a day 5 days a week
  • General classes for all levels

English for Exams

£59/Month
  • Value £400 pm
  • 30 min a day 5 days a week
  • IELTS for all levels

Discounted Study Options


1 free month of classes free per referral

Get 1 free month of classes (1 hr per day 5 days a week) per referral made.  Valid upon your purchase of a minimum of 1 month

You can make as many new referrals and claim 1 free month of classes for each when they make a minimum purchase of a month.


Healthcare workers receive 1 month of free classes with their first purchase

If you are a healthcare worker, you will receive a month of classes for free (1 hr per days a week) when you purchase your first month of classes

1/3 off your second year

When you have been with us for longer than a year, you get 1/3 off your second year of study.

Contact before claiming

Contact us before you would like to claim any of the offers to confirm.

Book A One to One session


  • £25.00
  •  22/06/2021 11:00 AM - 22/06/2021 11:40 AM
  • Online Event

£25. Normally £40 LawTag™ English 's Spoken Session provides a great way to get started with online English learning at any level. Speak along in this safe and fun environment. There is no need to have previous experience and all materials for the session are provided beforehand. Just book and attend! The session is primarily repetition based with speaking as the sole focus. There is no need to write anything down. It follows a simple format and requires only requires you to speak along and repeat the language being taught. You can expect to leave the session with new vocabulary, better pronunciation, improved confidence in your spoken English ability and new knowledge of a relevant business topic. You will also have gained confidence in interacting in an online learning context. The session will be a stepping stone into your next stage of learning and into the right language classes. Book now!

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  • £25.00
  •  23/06/2021 11:00 AM - 23/06/2021 11:40 AM
  • Online Event

£25. Normally £40. LawTag™ English 's Reading and Listening Session provides a great way to get started with online English learning at any level. Listen, read along and speak in this safe and fun environment. There is no need to have previous experience and all materials for the session are provided beforehand. Just book and attend! The session is primarily listening and reading based with speaking for answering questions. There is no need to write anything down. It follows a simple format and requires only requires you to listen and speak. You can expect to leave the session with new vocabulary, improved listening skills, pronunciation practice and improved confidence in your spoken English ability. You will have discussed a relevant business topic. You will also have gained confidence in interacting in an online learning context. The session will be a stepping stone into your next stage of learning and into the right language classes. Book now!

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  • £25.00
  •  26/05/2021 11:00 AM - 06/05/2021 11:40 AM
  • Online Event

£25. Normally £40. LawTag™ English 's Reading and Listening Session provides a great way to get started with online English learning at any level. Listen, read along and speak in this safe and fun environment. There is no need to have previous experience and all materials for the session are provided beforehand. Just book and attend! The session is primarily listening and reading based with speaking for answering questions. There is no need to write anything down. It follows a simple format and requires only requires you to listen and speak. You can expect to leave the session with new vocabulary, improved listening skills, pronunciation practice and improved confidence in your spoken English ability. You will have discussed a relevant business topic. You will also have gained confidence in interacting in an online learning context. The session will be a stepping stone into your next stage of learning and into the right language classes. Book now!

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  • £25.00
  •  25/05/2021 11:00 AM - 04/05/2021 11:40 AM
  • Online Event

£25. Normally £40 LawTag™ English 's Spoken Session provides a great way to get started with online English learning at any level. Speak along in this safe and fun environment. There is no need to have previous experience and all materials for the session are provided beforehand. Just book and attend! The session is primarily repetition based with speaking as the sole focus. There is no need to write anything down. It follows a simple format and requires only requires you to speak along and repeat the language being taught. You can expect to leave the session with new vocabulary, better pronunciation, improved confidence in your spoken English ability and new knowledge of a relevant business topic. You will also have gained confidence in interacting in an online learning context. The session will be a stepping stone into your next stage of learning and into the right language classes. Book now!

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  • £25.00
  •  27/04/2021 11:00 AM - 27/04/2021 11:40 AM
  • Online Event

£25. Normally £40. LawTag™ English 's Reading and Listening Session provides a great way to get started with online English learning at any level. Listen, read along and speak in this safe and fun environment. There is no need to have previous experience and all materials for the session are provided beforehand. Just book and attend! The session is primarily listening and reading based with speaking for answering questions. There is no need to write anything down. It follows a simple format and requires only requires you to listen and speak. You can expect to leave the session with new vocabulary, improved listening skills, pronunciation practice and improved confidence in your spoken English ability. You will have discussed a relevant business topic. You will also have gained confidence in interacting in an online learning context. The session will be a stepping stone into your next stage of learning and into the right language classes. Book now!

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  • £25.00
  •  22/04/2021 11:00 AM - 22/04/2021 11:40 AM
  • Online Event

£25. Normally £40 LawTag™ English 's Spoken Session provides a great way to get started with online English learning at any level. Speak along in this safe and fun environment. There is no need to have previous experience and all materials for the session are provided beforehand. Just book and attend! The session is primarily repetition based with speaking as the sole focus. There is no need to write anything down. It follows a simple format and requires only requires you to speak along and repeat the language being taught. You can expect to leave the session with new vocabulary, better pronunciation, improved confidence in your spoken English ability and new knowledge of a relevant business topic. You will also have gained confidence in interacting in an online learning context. The session will be a stepping stone into your next stage of learning and into the right language classes. Book now!

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  • £25.00
  •  13/04/2021 11:00 AM - 13/04/2021 11:40 AM
  • Online Event

£25. Normally £40. LawTag™ English 's Reading and Listening Session provides a great way to get started with online English learning at any level. Listen, read along and speak in this safe and fun environment. There is no need to have previous experience and all materials for the session are provided beforehand. Just book and attend! The session is primarily listening and reading based with speaking for answering questions. There is no need to write anything down. It follows a simple format and requires only requires you to listen and speak. You can expect to leave the session with new vocabulary, improved listening skills, pronunciation practice and improved confidence in your spoken English ability. You will have discussed a relevant business topic. You will also have gained confidence in interacting in an online learning context. The session will be a stepping stone into your next stage of learning and into the right language classes. Book now!

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  • £25.00
  •  08/04/2021 11:00 AM - 08/04/2021 11:40 AM
  • Online Event

£25. Normally £40 LawTag™ English 's Spoken Session provides a great way to get started with online English learning at any level. Speak along in this safe and fun environment. There is no need to have previous experience and all materials for the session are provided beforehand. Just book and attend! The session is primarily repetition based with speaking as the sole focus. There is no need to write anything down. It follows a simple format and requires only requires you to speak along and repeat the language being taught. You can expect to leave the session with new vocabulary, better pronunciation, improved confidence in your spoken English ability and new knowledge of a relevant business topic. You will also have gained confidence in interacting in an online learning context. The session will be a stepping stone into your next stage of learning and into the right language classes. Book now!

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  • £25.00
  •  25/03/2021 11:00 AM - 25/03/2021 11:30 AM
  • Online Event

LawTag™ English 's Spoken Session provides a great way to get started with online English learning at any level. Speak along in this safe and fun environment. There is no need to have previous experience and all materials for the session are provided beforehand. Just book and attend! The session is primarily repetition based with speaking as the sole focus. There is no need to write anything down. It follows a simple format and requires only requires you to speak along and repeat the language being taught. You can expect to leave the session with new vocabulary, better pronunciation, improved confidence in your spoken English ability and new knowledge of a relevant business topic. You will also have gained confidence in interacting in an online learning context. The session will be a stepping stone into your next stage of learning and into the right language classes.

Read More
  • £25.00
  •  18/03/2021 11:00 AM - 18/03/2021 11:30 AM
  • Online Event

LawTag™ English 's Spoken Session provides a great way to get started with online English learning at any level. Speak along in this safe and fun environment. There is no need to have previous experience and all materials for the session are provided beforehand. Just book and attend! The session is primarily repetition based with speaking as the sole focus. There is no need to write anything down. It follows a simple format and requires only requires you to speak along and repeat the language being taught. You can expect to leave the session with new vocabulary, better pronunciation, improved confidence in your spoken English ability and new knowledge of a relevant business topic. You will also have gained confidence in interacting in an online learning context. The session will be a stepping stone into your next stage of learning and into the right language classes.

Read More
  • £25.00
  •  16/03/2021 11:00 AM - 16/03/2021 11:30 AM
  • Online Event

LawTag™ English 's Reading and Listening Session provides a great way to get started with online English learning at any level. Listen, read along and speak in this safe and fun environment. There is no need to have previous experience and all materials for the session are provided beforehand. Just book and attend! The session is primarily listening and reading based with speaking for answering questions. There is no need to write anything down. It follows a simple format and requires only requires you to listen and speak. You can expect to leave the session with new vocabulary, improved listening skills, pronunciation practice and improved confidence in your spoken English ability. You will have discussed a relevant business topic. You will also have gained confidence in interacting in an online learning context. The session will be a stepping stone into your next stage of learning and into the right language classes. Book now!

Read More
  • £25.00
  •  04/03/2021 11:00 AM - 21/01/2021 11:30 AM
  • Online Event

LawTag™ English 's Spoken Session provides a great way to get started with online English learning at any level. Speak along in this safe and fun environment. There is no need to have previous experience and all materials for the session are provided beforehand. Just book and attend! The session is primarily repetition based with speaking as the sole focus. There is no need to write anything down. It follows a simple format and requires only requires you to speak along and repeat the language being taught. You can expect to leave the session with new vocabulary, better pronunciation, improved confidence in your spoken English ability and new knowledge of a relevant business topic. You will also have gained confidence in interacting in an online learning context. The session will be a stepping stone into your next stage of learning and into the right language classes.

Read More
  • £25.00
  •  02/03/2021 11:00 AM - 23/02/2021 11:30 AM
  • Online Event

LawTag™ English 's Reading and Listening Session provides a great way to get started with online English learning at any level. Listen, read along and speak in this safe and fun environment. There is no need to have previous experience and all materials for the session are provided beforehand. Just book and attend! The session is primarily listening and reading based with speaking for answering questions. There is no need to write anything down. It follows a simple format and requires only requires you to listen and speak. You can expect to leave the session with new vocabulary, improved listening skills, pronunciation practice and improved confidence in your spoken English ability. You will have discussed a relevant business topic. You will also have gained confidence in interacting in an online learning context. The session will be a stepping stone into your next stage of learning and into the right language classes. Book now!

Read More
  • £25.00
  •  25/02/2021 11:00 AM - 21/01/2021 11:30 AM
  • Online Event

LawTag™ English 's Spoken Session provides a great way to get started with online English learning at any level. Speak along in this safe and fun environment. There is no need to have previous experience and all materials for the session are provided beforehand. Just book and attend! The session is primarily repetition based with speaking as the sole focus. There is no need to write anything down. It follows a simple format and requires only requires you to speak along and repeat the language being taught. You can expect to leave the session with new vocabulary, better pronunciation, improved confidence in your spoken English ability and new knowledge of a relevant business topic. You will also have gained confidence in interacting in an online learning context. The session will be a stepping stone into your next stage of learning and into the right language classes.

Read More
  • £25.00
  •  23/02/2021 11:00 AM - 23/02/2021 11:30 AM
  • Online Event

LawTag™ English 's Reading and Listening Session provides a great way to get started with online English learning at any level. Listen, read along and speak in this safe and fun environment. There is no need to have previous experience and all materials for the session are provided beforehand. Just book and attend! The session is primarily listening and reading based with speaking for answering questions. There is no need to write anything down. It follows a simple format and requires only requires you to listen and speak. You can expect to leave the session with new vocabulary, improved listening skills, pronunciation practice and improved confidence in your spoken English ability. You will have discussed a relevant business topic. You will also have gained confidence in interacting in an online learning context. The session will be a stepping stone into your next stage of learning and into the right language classes. Book now!

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Contact for General English, IELTS, Business English, Spoken English, English for Specific Purposes, Corporate English and Bespoke Training

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Official LawTag™ Store

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Branded Goods


Season's Choices

Samsung S9 Rubber Case

This case makes your Samsung Galaxy S9 just as unique as you are. Personalise your smartphone with flexible covers, and outfit your phone in no time. It keeps the phone safe from scratching, and it’s designed to withstand daily wear and tear. Fits the Samsung Galaxy S9 Consists of an elastic rubber casing with an aluminium, white cover plate that can be put in the case Cutouts for cameras and connections Buttons can be pressed through the rubber Material: Rubber, aluminium

£13.38

Teddy Bear

Cuddly pet or best friend, the trusty bedside guard is super cute and mega customisable. Print designs, slogans and photos on him to endear him to big and small people’s hearts. Sewn-on button eyes made of synthetic material Cuddly and soft plush coat Height, sitting: 20cm (incl. ears) Weight: 77g Fabrics: 100% polyester

£15.05

Contrast Mask

This stylish face mask will cover your mouth and nose in public, so you’ll still look good. The white mask has a black border and black ear loops. Two rubber stoppers are included for easy adjustment to the shape of your head. Mask consists of 3 layers Elastic ear loops incl. 2 rubber stoppers to adjust to the shape of the head Outside material: 100% polyester, inside material: 100% cotton Reusable (wash at 60°C, suitable for ironing) Size L fits most men Not a medical grade product. Not proven to protect against infection.

£13.59

Full colour mug

Fresh colour for your breakfast area: A fresh and colourful lift to your morning mood to give your hot brew a great look. Material: 100% ceramics Capacity: 325ml Full colour mug (inside and outside) Hand wash only

£15.61

Water bottle

Stick this water bottle in your backpack, and you’ll quench the thirst when it hits you. It’s a trendy companion that can also be attached to your bag with a snap hook. What's more, it comes fully equipped with a hinged mouthpiece and straw. With screw cap with grip eyelet Volume: 600 ml Material: stainless steel Not suitable for white designs or design elements Hand-washing recommended Please note: Depending on the supplier, you may receive different caps with identical product

£17.28

Insulated Water Bottle

Whether you need a hot brew in the office or a cold one on your hike – this vacuum flask offers an elegant solution to quench your thirst with cold or warm drinks, anytime and anywhere. The double-walled stainless steel insulation ensures 24 hours of cool refreshment and 12 hours of hot drinks. Made of 100% stainless steel | capacity: 500ml Not suitable for white designs or design elements Not suitable for dishwasher, freezer and microwave Please rinse by hand</> Bisphenol-A-free & phthalate-free

£20.63

Finance

Finance Article of The Month


Finance Article of The Month
Cryptocurrency dealers face closure for failing UK money laundering test
03 June 2021
Kalyeena Makortoff

Source: The Guardian
Level: Upper Intermediate +

Link: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/jun/03/cryptocurrency-dealers-face-closure-for-failing-uk-money-laundering-test 





Vocabulary in context (Google)

Dabble /ˈdab(ə)l/
Take part in an activity in a casual or superficial way.




Up to 50 companies dealing in digital assets such as bitcoin could be forced to stop trading immediately 

Up to 50 companies dealing in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin may be forced to close after failing to meet the UK’s anti-money laundering rules.


The Financial Conduct Authority, the City regulator, announced on Thursday that an “unprecedented number” of companies had withdrawn applications from a temporary permit scheme that allowed firms to continue trading until the regulator could green-light or formally reject their operations.


A “significantly high number” of those firms had been warned that they were falling short of anti-money laundering standards intended to stop criminals and terrorist groups from disguising the source of their money, usually through a complex web of financial channels.

Firms that pull out of the permit process are required to stop trading immediately, until they can meet the watchdog’s standards and are admitted to the formal list of registered businesses.


Companies that refused to shut down could face fines or legal action by the FCA.


A number of regulators across the globe have been cracking down on crypto assets, which have been linked to money laundering and black market dealings. Last month, Chinese regulators banned banks and payment firms from offering clients any services involving cryptocurrencies, and warned of the risks linked to trading crypto assets.

The governor of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey, has told investors they should be prepared to lose all their money if they dabble in cryptocurrencies.


Crypto assets are not covered by UK schemes that help investors reclaim cash when companies go bust.


The European Central Bank has compared bitcoin’s meteoric rise to other financial bubbles such as “tulip mania” and the South Sea Bubble, which burst in the 17th and 18th centuries.


However, banks including Goldman Sachs and Standard Chartered have launched their own cryptocurrency trading desks to take advantage of their rapid growth.


The price of bitcoin has tumbled 40% since hitting all-time highs of more than $64,000 (£45,000) in mid-April. It was trading at $38,706 on Thursday afternoon.

Only five crypto asset firms have been admitted to the FCA’s formal register so far. Another 90 firms are being assessed through the temporary permit scheme, which has been extended by nine months to allow the FCA to fully review all of the applications.


While a further 51 have withdrawn their applications, some may not be covered by the FCA’s rules to register, meaning not all of them will be forced to shut down.


Others will have an opportunity to re-apply, though they are required to cease trading until they are formally admitted to the permanent register, since the deadline for registering for the temporary scheme has now passed.

International Law

International Law Article of the Month


International Law Article of the Month
Uber accused of using 'loaded questions' in survey of drivers
Sarah Butler
01 March 2020

Source: The Guardian
Level: Upper Intermediate+

Link: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/mar/01/uber-accused-of-using-loaded-questions-in-drivers-survey 





Vocabulary in context (Google)

Landmark /ˈlan(d)mɑːk/
An event or discovery marking an important stage or turning point in something.

Enshrined /ɪnˈʃrʌɪn,ɛnˈʃrʌɪn/
Preserve (a right, tradition, or idea) in a form that ensures it will be protected and respected.




Unions say questions are designed to help get sympathetic changes in employment law

Uber has been accused of using “loaded questions” in a consultation with drivers, after a landmark court ruling handed workers rights to improved conditions.

The firm may have to pay out over £100m in compensation to 10,000 drivers, after the UK supreme court ruled last week they are entitled to holiday pay, a company pension and the national minimum wage. Uber has previously argued that its 60,000 UK drivers are self-employed independent contractors with limited employment rights.


A questionnaire, sent out via the Uber drivers’ app following the ruling, offers a limited choice of answers on questions about benefits and flexible working without mentioning holiday pay or the national minimum wage – both of which the court found Uber drivers were entitled to.


Steve Garelick, a regional organiser for the GMB union, said: “These are loaded questions to get the answer they need.”


He said the way the questions were posed suggested that Uber could be hoping to lobby government for a change in the rules to suit their existing working practices rather than changing their practices to fit the rules.


James Farrar, one of the lead claimants in the supreme court case and general secretary of the App Drivers & Couriers Union, said: “The driver survey is a crude attempt by Uber to divert attention away from their obligation to abide by the supreme court ruling and immediately implement the statutory protections of worker status for all their drivers.


“Instead, Uber is setting up the cruelly manipulative false choice between fairness and flexibility by loading the survey with bias and leading questions.


“Uber should focus on how it can best quickly implement the ruling rather than set up an alternative set of improvements based on a set of assumptions derived from a biased survey.”


One questions asks, for example: “When deciding to whether to earn on the Uber app which best describes you?


It offers only three possible answers: “I value the ability to work flexibly and determine when and where I drive”, “I would value being able to access new benefits and protections such as pension contributions, knowing that this could mean I lose control of when and where I drive” or “neither/don’t know”.


Nigel Mackay, a partner at law firm Leigh Day, is representing more than 1,000 drivers seeking compensation for missed holiday pay in the wake of the supreme court ruling.

He said that the question on flexibility was presented “as there being a binary choice between flexibility or benefits (again, without even mentioning some of the most important benefits), whereas in reality it is not a choice between the two. They could maintain flexibility for drivers and provide the benefits.”


An Uber spokesperson said: “We are currently studying the details of the judgment and listening to all active drivers to help us shape the future of flexible work. We will share the conclusions of this process in the coming weeks.”


A source close to the company said it would respect the supreme court verdict and had discussed issues such as holiday pay at roundtable discussions with small groups of drivers this week.


But Mick Rix, national officer of the GMB, said: “They’re leading drivers up the garden path.


“Worker status does not mean drivers losing flexibility, it means they will get the legal rights the courts have ruled they are entitled to.”

Mackay said individuals’ opinions on benefits were irrelevant as the rules were enshrined in law and the research appeared to be set out for PR purposes.


“For example, where they ask drivers what they would like to see more of, they don’t refer to paid holiday/minimum wage. It seems that this is so that, down the line, they can say that drivers are not interested in holiday pay or the minimum wage because they carried out research and the most popular benefits were other things,” Mackay said.

Clothing


Season Selection

Women's Polo Shirt

Women's Polo Shirt is in stock. Will be printed as soon as you order it. Delivery time: 12-30 days (Standard) Loose-cut polo for women, 100% cotton, Brand: Gildan

£21.83

Men's Polo Shirt

Men's Polo Shirt is in stock. Will be printed as soon as you order it. Delivery time: 12-30 days (Standard) Loose-cut polo for men, 100% cotton, Brand: Gildan

£21.83

Technology

Technology Article of the Month


Technology Article of the Month
AMAZON’S FIRST CHECKOUT-FREE SUPERMARKET COMING TO UK
Anthony Cuthbertson
02 March 2021

Source: The Independent
Level: Upper Intermediate +

Link: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/amazon-go-supermarket-london-b1810246.html 






Vocabulary in context (Google)

Signage /ˈsʌɪnɪdʒ/
Signs collectively, especially commercial or public display signs.





‘Once you’re done shopping, you’re on your way. No lines, no checkout,’ online retail giant says


Amazon plans to open the first checkout-free supermarket in the UK this week, according to reports.


The Amazon Go store will open in Ealing in West London, with up to 30 locations across the country eventually planned.

Council documents reveal that Amazon applied for permission to put up signage in November for a shopfront that was previously used by the retailer Monsoon.


Amazon has also filed several trademark applications with the UK Intellectual Property Office, including “No Lines, No Checkout. (No, Seriously)”.


The concept was first introduced in 2016 in Seattle, Washington, where Amazon’s corporate headquarters are based.

The stores make use of “Just Walk Out” technology that uses cameras and sensors to track when an item is picked up from a shelf.


This means that once a customer has signed in at the store’s entrance, they are able to just pick things up and leave. The items are then charged to their Amazon-linked credit or debit card.

“Our checkout-free shopping experience is made possible by the same types of technologies used in self-driving cars: computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning,” Amazon’s website states.


“When you arrive, use the app to enter the store, then feel free to put your phone away – you don’t need it to shop. Then just browse and shop like you would at any other store. Once you’re done shopping, you’re on your way. No lines, no checkout.”


The Independent has contacted the company for comment about its UK plans for Amazon Go stores.

Business

Business Article of the Month


Business Article of the Month
Zoom revenue surges 326% during year of global lockdowns
Tom Batchelor
02 March 2021

Source: The Independent
Level: Upper Intermediate +

Link: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/zoom-revenue-growth-2020-covid-b1810146.html


Image: Anna Shvets



Vocabulary in context (Google)

Unprecedented /ʌnˈprɛsɪdɛntɪd/
Never done or known before.



‘Unprecedented year’ for video conferencing business with pandemic forcing people to stay home, says founder-CEO 



Video conferencing app Zoom has seen revenues soar more than four-fold over the last year as the pandemic forced family, friends and businesses to turn their face-to-face meetups virtual, the company has announced.


Revenues at the California-based company rose 326 per cent year-on-year to $2.65bn (£1.87bn), while for the fourth quarter they were up an even more impressive 369 per cent over the previous year, at $883m.


Eric Yuan, founder and CEO, said the last 12 months had been an “unprecedented year for Zoom”.


He said: “We significantly scaled our business to provide critical communications and collaboration services to our customers and the global community in response to the pandemic.


“As we enter FY2022, we believe we are well positioned for strong growth with our innovative video communications platform, on which our customers can build, run, and grow their businesses; our globally recognised brand; and a team ever focused on delivering happiness to our customers.”

Despite an expected return to more normal ways of socialising and doing business in the coming months, Zoom still expects a 42 per cent growth in revenue for the next fiscal year to $3.7bn.


The company said it had 467,100 customers with more than 10 employees each at the end of January – up approximately 470 per cent on the same period last year.

Ryan Koontz, an analyst with Rosenblatt Securities, said in a note to investors: “Though we are thoroughly impressed with [Zoom] execution to date and recognise that WFH [working from home] and hybrid models are likely to remain post-pandemic, we believe it is critical to monitor company progress in building enterprise direct and channel sales while its brand and lead market position are most valuable.”


Zoom shares rose 11 per cent in extended trading on Monday after the company reported its results.


Bags


Bags

Tote Bag

A bag just in case. This classic tote bag carries your groceries, text books and everything else you can easily strap around your shoulders. Handle length: approx 12” (30cm) Holding capacity: 10 litres Light consistency: 140 g/m² Fabrics: 100% cotton

   

£13.37

Drawstring Bag

Essentials for the gym and short trips. This simple and stylish little specimen is ideally suited to easily store away the essentials. Put it on your back and you won’t even notice it’s there when out on short excursions or bike trips and roaming the urban jungle. Handy drawstring mechanism for easy opening and closing 12 litres holding capacity Quality: 130 g/m² 100% cotton

   

£13.93

Shoulder bag

Keep a green conscience. This easy-going shoulder bag is a stylish companion for trips to the college, the shopping centre and any other every-day activity. And you can always show off your green conscience. Light weaved product made of 100% recycled raw material (weight: 220g/m²) Bottom and side fold for more storage room, width 4cm (approx. 2”) broad carrying handle, Length 80cm (approx. 32”) Snap fastener Material: 60% cotton (from organic production), 40% polyester from recycled materials

   

£15.61

Duffel bag

A holdall to carry on your gym gear. This big duffel bag really holds all you need to carry when going to the gym, football training or other leisure activities. And it’s light as a feather. With contrasting handles and zipper Holding capacity: 60 litres) Fabrics: 100% polyester

   

£18.95

Politics

Politics Article of the Month


Politics Article of the Month
UK will diverge from EU and US on approving tweaked Covid vaccines
Sarah Boseley and Libby Brooks
04 March 2021


Source: The Guardian
Level: Upper Intermediate +

Link: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2021/mar/04/vaccines-tweaked-for-covid-variants-will-be-fast-tracked-safely-says-uk-regulator 



Vocabulary in context

Tweak /twiːk/
Improve (a mechanism or system) by making fine adjustments to it.

Hallmark /ˈhɔːlmɑːk/
A mark stamped on articles of gold, silver, or platinum by the British assay offices, certifying their standard of purity.


MHRA says it will not insist that vaccines altered for new variants are ‘non-inferior’ to original 

The UK will adopt a different standard from Europe and the US when it considers approval for coronavirus vaccines that have been tweaked to deal with variants, the regulator has said.


There would be no compromise on safety or effectiveness, said Dr June Raine, the head of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). But the UK will not insist, as the European and US regulators do, that the tweaked vaccine must be “non-inferior” to the original.


The UK has left the European Medicines Agency (EMA) post-Brexit. It used an existing provision before leaving to give the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine emergency authorisation ahead of the rest of the world in December.


It has now joined the Access consortium of regulators from Australia, Canada, Singapore and Switzerland, with whom it has published guidance on how tweaked vaccines will be approved for use.

“What I would like to say is we closely liaise with EMA and the FDA [Food and Drug Administration in the US], though I stress, too, that the Access consortium is our partnership organisation at international level,” said Raine at a briefing on the new guidance.


“The hallmark of our guidance is scientific flexibility. That’s not a contradiction in terms. It’s that we will use the best possible science and integrate sources of data commensurate with the urgency of the situation and so our flexible guideline is what we believe will enable us to adapt very quickly to a changing situation, which as we know can change very fast.”


The approval process would not necessarily be faster, said Dr Christian Schneider, the MHRA’s chief scientific officer. “It could be. But the main difference is the so-called clinical non-inferiority for immunogenicity.


“It basically means the EMA and the FDA are requesting that a new version of the vaccine is in no way inferior to the previous version when it comes to an immune response.”


The practical problem with that, he said, was not knowing where the threshold was. “When do you say that a new version is actually inferior to the previous? It is an arbitrary margin and it may well be that a vaccine is still efficacious even if is formally not hitting that margin,” said Schneider.


“This is why we say we look at the immune response per se, but we’re doing this with other data that we see, for example cellular immune response, cross-reactivity and so on. Then we will make a decision based on that. That enables us to look at this more on an individual basis and regulate this in a scientifically sound manner.”


Raine said the approach would be similar to the regulatory process for the flu vaccine, which is modified to deal with new variants each year, with a full new approval not required.


Scientists have previously said a Covid-19 variant resistant to the current crop of vaccines is likely to emerge at some point, but the manufacturers are already working on tweaks to those vaccines. Oxford University has said these could be in trials in June. New versions are expected to be ready in the autumn, if they get approval, which Raine and Schneider said might take only a couple of weeks or less.

The guidance states coronavirus vaccine manufacturers will need to provide robust evidence that the modified jab produces an immune response. However, lengthy clinical studies are deemed not to add to the regulatory understanding of their safety, quality or effectiveness and will not be needed.


Researchers will measure protection by looking at antibodies in the blood after vaccination, reducing the need to wait and see whether people in a trial become infected with the virus.


It said this would “significantly reduce” the length of time it took for the modified vaccine vaccines to be ready.

The health secretary, Matt Hancock, expressed confidence in the vaccines on a trip to Glasgow.


Asked if his visit was making a political point about the importance of the union to the success of the vaccine programme, Hancock said: “Now is not the time for any of these constitutional arguments,” but added: “There’s absolutely no doubt that the strength of the UK working together means we can go as fast as we can on the vaccine programme.”


While Nicola Sturgeon has spoken recently about the impact of cross-border travel on the spread of new variants, Hancock said that – while it was important to remain vigilant about the emergence of new variants – he was optimistic that people would be able to travel across the four nations by summer.


“I am more optimistic about having a Great British summer than I have been at any time thanks to the speed and the effectiveness of the vaccine rollout, and by that I absolutely mean people being able to enjoy travel across the whole of the UK. Of course the travel rules for Scotland are a matter for the Scottish government, but we can all see that we can make strides down that roadmap thanks to the speed of the vaccine rollout,” he said.

The guidance from the Access consortium requires that, as well as evidence on immune response, the modified vaccines must be shown to be safe and of the expected quality.


It says data from the original clinical trials and ongoing studies on real-world use in millions of people could be used to support any decision by the regulators.


Schneider said: “Our priority is to get effective vaccines to the public in as short a time as possible, without compromising on safety. Should any modifications to authorised Covid-19 vaccines be necessary, this regulatory approach should help to do just that.


“The public should be confident that no vaccine would be approved unless the expected high standards of safety, quality and effectiveness are met.”


Meanwhile, research has suggested the rate of decline in Covid-19 infections in England has slowed, with data indicating that in some parts of the country the rate has plateaued while in some places there are hints that rates are increasing.

One in every 213 people is still testing positive for Covid-19, the Imperial College London React study found.


Researchers warned that infection rates needed to get as low as possible to give the vaccination programme the best chance of working.


The study also suggested that some professions have had higher rates of infection than others during the national lockdown, including teachers and transport workers.


Government data up to 2 March shows that 20,703,615 first doses of vaccine have been administered so far in the UK.

Science

Science Article of the Month


Science Article of the Month
An adventure deep into Titan’s methane seas
Dennis Overbye
04 March 2021

Source: The Independent
Level: Upper Intermediate +

Link: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/saturn-moon-titan-methane-sea-b1809321.html 







Vocabulary in context

Rekindle /riːˈkɪnd(ə)l/
Revive (something lost or lapsed).



The discovery that Kraken Mare – an ocean of methane on Titan, one of Saturn’s moons – is at least 1,000 feet deep has rekindled my dreams of an unprecedented voyage, writes Dennis Overbye

What could be more exciting than flying a helicopter over the deserts of Mars? How about playing Captain Nemo on Saturn’s large, foggy moon Titan – plumbing the depths of a methane ocean, dodging hydrocarbon icebergs and exploring an ancient, frigid shoreline of organic goo a billion miles from the sun?


Those are the visions that danced through my head recently. The eyes of humanity are on Mars these days. A convoy of robots, after half a year in space, has been dropping, one after another, into orbit or straight to the ground on the Red Planet, like incoming jets at John F Kennedy International Airport. Among the cargo is a helicopter that armchair astronauts look forward to flying over the Martian sands.


But my own attention was diverted to the farther reaches of the solar system by the news that Kraken Mare, an ocean of methane on Titan, had recently been gauged for depth and probably went at least 1,000 feet down. That is as deep as nuclear submarines will admit to going. The news rekindled my dreams of what I think would be the most romantic of space missions: a voyage on, and ultimately even under, the oceans of Titan.


“The depth and composition of each of Titan’s seas had already been measured, except for Titan’s largest sea, Kraken Mare — which not only has a great name but also contains about 80 per cent of the moon’s surface liquids,” says Valerio Poggiali, research associate at the Cornell Centre for Astrophysics and Planetary Science. Poggiali is the lead author of a paper describing the new depth measurements in the journal of the American Geophysical Union.


Nasa recently announced that it would launch a drone called Dragonfly to the Saturnian moon in 2026. Proposals have also circulated for an orbiter, a floating probe that could splash down in a lake, even a robotic submarine.


“The Titan submarine is still going,” Poggiali says in an email, although it is unlikely to happen before Titan’s next summer, in about 2047. By then, he said, there will be more ambient light and the submarine conceivably could communicate on a direct line to Earth with no need of an orbiting radio relay.


Titan is the weirdest place in the solar system, in some regards, and also the world most like our own. Like Earth, it has a thick atmosphere mostly of nitrogen (the only moon that has much of an atmosphere at all), and like Earth, it has weather, rain, rivers and seas.


But in this world, when it rains, it rains gasoline. Hydrocarbon material drifts down like snow and is shaped into dunes by nitrogen winds. Rivers have carved canyons through mountains of frozen soot, and layers of ice float on subsurface oceans of ammonia. The prevailing surface temperature is minus 179C (290F). A chemical sludge, which optimistic astronomers call “prebiotic”, creeps under an oppressive brown sky. Besides Earth, Titan is the only world in the universe that is known to harbour liquid on its surface – with everything that could imply.


Astrobiologists have been eager to get a closer look at this world ever since Voyager I swooped past it in 1980 and radioed back evidence that its smoggy atmosphere was four times as dense as our own. Time, technology and human ingenuity have since revealed that cloudy world to be a natural wonderland.


The northern regions of Titan are laced with a network of lakes and rivers. The largest of them, called Kraken Mare, after a monster in Norse folklore, is bigger than all of North America’s Great Lakes combined.


The Cassini orbiter spent 13 years buzzing around in the Saturnian system, mapping these features in detail.


On 21 August 2014, when Cassini passed about 600 miles (966km) above the northern realms of Titan, it used its radar altimeter to measure the depths of Kraken Mare and Moray Sinus, an estuary at the sea’s northern coastline. Engineers could measure the depths of the seas by noting the delay between when the radar bounced back from the surface and when it bounced off the seabeds.


It turned out that Moray Sinus was about 280 feet deep, but there was no return echo from the bottom of Kraken Mare; either the lake was very, very deep, or it absorbed the radar signals so completely that they never escaped.


“Thus, the central part of Kraken Mare must be deeper than 330 feet and likely more than 1,000 feet,” Poggiali concludes.


Another major surprise, he said, was the composition of Kraken Mare. Scientists had expected it to contain relatively more ethane, which is denser than methane, than the northernmost sea on Titan, Ligeia Mare.


In prevailing models of Titan hydrology, Poggiali says, the presence of methane-nitrogen rain increases with increasing latitude. That would cause the composition of the more “poleward seas” to be more methane-rich. “In simple words, ethane behaves a little like salt in marine water on Earth,” he says


He adds: “For sure, the composition we derived for the liquid filling the Moray Sinus, this large bay in the northern part of Kraken Mare, is quite surprising. We expected it to be definitely more ethane-rich. What we found out, instead, is that the Kraken is much more similar to the Ligeia Mare, the second largest sea on Titan. This has significant implications for how the hydrologic cycle works.” There could still be more ethane in the southern parts of the Kraken Mare, he adds, but the existing data does not extend that far.


This is more than abstract planetary science. In the imagination of scientists like Poggiali, Titan is a laboratory where, over millions of years, chemistry could have learned how to generate energy and store information. “These are processes that have happened on our planet too, but they left no traces. As you probably see, we need to get back to Titan to better understand the mystery of life,” he says.


Like an old captain sitting on the dock, Poggiali rattles off the possible voyages of a proposed 20ft-long Nasa submarine. The trip would begin in the centre of Kraken Mare and go up to Moray Sinus, where the submarine would spend three weeks measuring tides and compositions before cruising coastlines, crossing the strait of Bayta Fretum and heading south through a throat-like passage called Seldon Fretum.


During these explorations, the vessel would map and periodically sample the sea bottom and gather detailed images of the shoreline where possible. Titan’s surface gravity is lower than Earth’s, and methane is less dense than water, so a small submarine could venture deeper without being crushed by pressure as it would be in a terrestrial ocean of salt water.


Moreover, Poggiali says, because methane is transparent to radio waves, the submarine could perhaps transmit data directly to Earth while still submerged. In all, over the course of 90 days, the little submarine could travel 2,000 miles under the sea, at a speed of a foot per second, according to a description of the proposed submarine on Nasa’s website.

Meanwhile, I can hardly be blamed for still dreaming of giant Titanic squid cavorting in that freezing, cosmic fish-tank of natural gas.


Since the early days of the space programme, cosmic visionaries have described space as a “new sea,” as President John F Kennedy put it in a speech at Rice University in 1962. He never dreamed that we might actually sail under it.

Culture

Culture Article of the Month


Culture Article of the Month
Marvel directors the Russo brothers: 'The Avengers films were a powerful political tool, at the right time'
Steve Rose
5 March 2021

Source: The Guardian
Level: Upper Intermediate +

Link: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2021/mar/05/marvel-directors-the-russo-brothers-the-avengers-films-were-a-powerful-political-tool-at-the-right-time 



Vocabulary in context

Saga /ˈsɑːɡə/
A long, involved story, account, or series of incidents.

Earnestly /ˈəːnɪstli/
With sincere and intense conviction; seriously.


The men behind the highest-grossing films of all time on how superheroes can instruct world leaders, and changing direction to make a bleak experimental opioid drama – starring Spider-Man


Where do you go after you have just directed the highest grossing movie in history and your past three movies brought in a combined haul of $6bn? Only two people have had to grapple with this question. Joe and Anthony Russo have spent nearly a decade immersed in the Marvel universe, weaving together a tangle of plot strands, marshalling an enormous cast, staging ever more spectacular action scenes, and bringing the whole saga in to land against gale-force headwinds of expectation.


As well as the concluding Avengers Endgame and Infinity War, the Russos directed Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) and Captain America: Civil War (2016), the latter of which introduced Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther and Tom Holland’s Spider-Man. On the one hand, you could say they have won Hollywood, but now they face the challenge of life after Marvel, which could be even tougher.


Has there been a post-Marvel moment of existential crisis? “We didn’t really have time for that to be honest with you,” says Joe, the elder Russo (short grey hair, a little stockier, a touch of the tough guy about him), from their Los Angeles production offices. He is keen to move right on to their new movie, Cherry, adapted from a novel by Nico Walker and starring Tom Holland. “We came across this book while were still immersed in Endgame. So we hadn’t really spent a lot of time thinking about what we would do afterwards. The book just really struck us.”


Is it painful to talk about the Marvel experience? “No, not at all,” laughs Anthony from a separate room in the same office. Slimmer, with dark hair and glasses, he looks like he could be Tom Holland’s dad, which is apt. Joe earnestly agrees: “We’re always happy to talk about it. I mean, it was a very fulfilling part of our careers. Great experience with the Marvel folks. We prioritise quality of life as much as we prioritise quality of work, and they were a high quality of life.”


Maybe we’ll come back to Marvel. As a declaration of how much the Russos have moved on, Cherry verges on overstatement. It’s as if they cashed in theircarte blanche and decided to do all the movie genres at once. Following the fortunes of a disaffected Cleveland youth, over nearly two and a half hours, Cherry begins as a teen romance, then segues into an Iraq war movie, then an addiction movie, then a crime thriller with a dash of prison drama at the end for good measure. They seem to be covering all the bases stylistically, as well. There are operatic slo-mo shots, snappy montages, grand tracking shots, epic action scenes (naturally), energetic camerawork, even a shot from the point of view of Holland’s rectal cavity.


Cherry is, improbably, based on a true story – a fictionalised account of Walker’s own experiences. As such, rather than throwing genres together, the story underlines the causal links between them, from heartbreak to military service to post-traumatic stress disorder to addiction (first to the prescribed opioid OxyContin, then to heroin) to crime. “Even though Cherry’s journey is unique,” says Anthony, “at one level, it’s so representative. That the medical system would, number one, turn to [opioids] as an answer for PTSD. And then second, allow drug companies to maximise sales of their drug by pushing it on people. That happened over and over and over again.”


Cleveland is the Russos’ home town. Joe describes it as “the Newcastle of the US”, a post-industrial, working-class city that fell on hard times. “It has been made fun of for years,” he says. “We had an inferiority complex growing up in Cleveland, because the river caught on fire, the mayor’s hair caught on fire, our sports teams lost every championship.” Walker is a generation younger than the Russos (they are 51 and 49) but their biographies overlap: they grew up in middle-class families, in the same neighbourhoods and went to similar private schools. Walker even worked in the same restaurant Joe had done 10 years earlier (it features in a scene in the movie). “There’s a level of detail there that we’re very familiar with,” Joe says. “And there’s a sense of existential blight that we’re also very familiar with.”


Cleveland has been a centre of the US’s opioid crisis, which has been overshadowed and exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic but is continuing. Most people from the city have been affected, the Russos say, themselves included. “It’s a profoundly sad experience to be unable to help someone that you love deeply,” says Joe. “We lost a younger cousin to opioids, and it was a very, very painful funeral for us. And for his mother, our cousin, who we’re very close to. We’ve lost good friends from our childhood.”


What helped keep the Russos from that path was their close-knit, politically engaged, Italian-immigrant family. Their father, Basil, was a democratic city councillor. “So we were on the sidelines of a lot of political debates as children,” says Joe, “watching our father, going to churches with him, where he was speaking to constituents and talking about how to save the city from bankruptcy.”


The brothers went their separate ways to study, then joined forces to launch their film careers. “We believe in this concept called the mastermind principle,” says Joe, “which states that two minds are not doubly better than one; they’re exponentially better. We believe that we’re at our best when both of our brains are on the story at hand, and the day-to-day, creative decisions that get made when you’re executing a film.” One insider characterises Joe as “the strategist and general”, and Anthony as “the philosopher”.


Their self-financed debut, Pieces, was a typical low-budget 90s indie comedy, but Steven Soderbergh saw potential in them. He and George Clooney produced their next movie, the heist comedy Welcome to Collinwood (which was also set in Cleveland). Before Marvel, apart from another middling comedy, You, Me & Dupree, they primarily worked in television, including the hit sitcoms Arrested Development and Community. (There are numerous cast members in small cameos and easter eggs from both series to be found in their Marvel films).


Like Soderbergh, the Russos embrace a “one for them, one for me” approach, doing mainstream movies to fund less orthodox projects, such as the Arab-led war movie Mosul and the Australian horror Relic. Thanks to the Avengers movies, it’s looking more like “one for them, 10 for me” these days. They also seem to be running some kind of superhero rehabilitation scheme. As well as Holland, they worked with Chris Hemsworth (Extraction), and Chadwick Boseman (21 Bridges). Next, they are directing Chris Evans in a spy thriller, The Gray Man, written by their Marvel collaborators Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, while Paul Bettany will reportedly play Alexander Nix in their dramatisation of the Cambridge Analytica affair. It’s starting to look like Avengers Reassemble. They have got plenty more in the pipeline: new spy series Citadel with Priyanka Chopra; a sci-fi co-produced with the Obamas; and a live-action reboot of Disney’s Hercules (which sounds like “one for them”).


Early reviews of Cherry have not been ecstatic, it must be said. A common complaint has been that it feels inauthentic, as if drawn from other movies, but to the Russos, that’s the point: “The character cannot separate his life from its fictional influences,” says Joe. “He’s trapped in artifice, and that’s reflected in the execution of the movie.”


The Russos aren’t trying to be arthouse auteurs, it seems; they are more interested in injecting their sincere political beliefs into mainstream movies – at which they have inarguably succeeded. If you were going to counter Martin Scorsese’s now-infamous contention that superhero movies are closer to “theme-park rides” than “cinema”, the Russos’ Marvel movies would be exhibits A to D. Captain America: The Winter Soldier, in particular, critiqued the post-Snowden US landscape of state surveillance and counter-terrorist overreach. “This isn’t freedom; it’s fear,” says the recently defrosted superhero, who flips from patriotic asset to radical insurgent. (Meanwhile, Scorsese was making a movie about Jesuits in 17th-century Japan).


Beneath the spectacle and spandex, their subsequent Marvel movies grappled with similar “political thematics”, as the Russos put it. Their Avengers saga could be more reflective of their times than they are given credit for. “Those movies are very much about what went on in this country over the past four years,” Joe asserts. “They were about standing up for what you believe in, irrespective of the cost, and I think we’re losing sight of that. For some reason, in the UK and in the US, some of the worst people were being attracted to politics and were representing us collectively. It was affecting our collective mental health, and it was reflecting poorly on our character. We believed strongly that the reach in those movies was so significant that they could be influential in helping people make potentially make better decisions. We thought that they were a really powerful tool, at exactly the right time.”


Rather than the Russos struggling without Marvel, it’s Marvel that could struggle without the Russos. The good news is, they don’t rule out a return to that world. “There will always be a bigger Russo brothers commercial movie on the horizon,” says Joe, “because it’s towing in its wake a lot of socially conscious and politically conscious films.” The Russos don’t need to “move on” anywhere; they seem perfectly happy where they are.


Cherry is released digitally in the UK on 12 March

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Fashion

Fashion Article of the Month


Fashion Article of the Month
Louis Vuitton closes first audience-free Paris fashion week in Louvre
Jess Cartner-Morley
10 March 2021

Source: The Guardian
Level: Upper Intermediate

Link: https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2021/mar/10/louis-vuitton-closes-first-audience-free-paris-fashion-week-in-louvre 






Vocabulary in context

Marquee /mɑːˈkiː/
A large tent used for social or commercial functions.





Catwalk setting for luxury luggage brand is in intimate Michelangelo sculpture galleries


Louis Vuitton’s Paris show closed a catwalk season which will go down in fashion history not for a trend or a hemline, but for being the first to take place entirely without live audiences. Nicolas Ghesquière, along with most other designers, hopes it will also be the last.

The creative director said he stuck to filming a traditional catwalk format, instead of attempting a narrative movie, because “I wanted to do a pure fashion moment. We had everything except the audience. I miss you all.” In a zoom call after the show, he added: “Paris is a wonderful city but without visitors, it is not the same.”

Louis Vuitton, which began as a luggage brand and is steeped in the glamour of jet-set travel, has a vested interest in the reopening of international borders. But the ban on audience did have a silver lining for Ghesquière, who has the luxury of staging his catwalk in the Louvre each season, Louis Vuitton being one of the museum’s most generous donors. Without guests to accommodate, he was upgraded from a temporary marquee to the more intimate setting of the Michelangelo sculpture galleries. “In December I went to the Louvre and they showed me three locations, including this beautiful gallery which is usually too small to do a show and which will be under restoration for the next two years. I thought, OK, I can do something special.”

The film fitted the mood music of the week, which has been of a fashion industry confident that it is about to reap the benefits of a year of pent-up energy. The show opened with a hoodie – but in lemon organza, the hood embroidered with a crown of sequins, worn over a tulle skirt in sky blue. There was slick leather, sharp tailoring and even a drop-waisted, roaring 20s flapper-silhouette dress in silver.

Daft Punk, for whom Ghesquière designed stagewear while designing at Balenciaga a decade ago, agreed to curate a new soundtrack out of live versions of their music. “I wanted something that would bring a jolt of energy to an audience watching at home,” Ghesquière said. “Everyone in the studio, from the older team members to the young assistants, has great memories of listening to their music.”

After the soundtrack was finalised, Daft Punk announced they were splitting up, “which makes it feel even more of a gift to have worked with them,” said Ghesquière. “To me, they are great French artists.”

A year in which loungewear has become a new normal poses a challenge to Ghesquière, who brought sneakers, bright colours and technical fabrics into fashion as a way to shake up the catwalk. Now that sportswear has gone from edgy to oversaturated, where can he go next? “If there is a positive to come out of this year, it is that comfort is not a bad word,” he said. “Comfort is not something we associate with beautiful fashion, but now my clothes are padded and soft as well as being highly decorative. There has always been an idea of armour in fashion – but now that we are wearing masks in real life, the role of fashion is different. It is about feeling well, feeling protected.”

With Europe still under lockdown, the brand is focused on resurgent markets in Asia. “China is an amazing place for a designer, because the market there is extremely demanding of newness and high fashion,” said Ghesquière, adding that while the size of the Chinese market is well-known, “what people don’t always understand is how sophisticated the Chinese consumer is.”

Sport

Sport Article of the Month


Sport Article of the Month
America's Cup all square after tale of two starts on first day of sailing
Reuters
10 March 2021

Source: The Guardian
Level: Intermediate

Link: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/mar/10/americas-cup-all-square-after-tale-of-two-starts-on-first-day-of-sailing 



Vocabulary in context

Thrilling /ˈθrɪlɪŋ/
Causing excitement and pleasure; exhilarating.



  • Team New Zealand get off to good start off coast of Auckland
  • Luna Rossa hits back in second race to draw level at 1-1


Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa were all square at 1-1 after the first two races of the 36th America’s Cup off the coast of Auckland on an opening day that promised a thrilling contest for the oldest trophy in international sport.

Defender TNZ won the first race in the best-of-13 match by 31 seconds after Luna Rossa fluffed the start but the Italian challengers charged back to take the second by seven seconds.

TNZ skipper Peter Burling conceded his team had not been at their very best in their first races for some three months, particularly at the start of the second race.

“Looked a little bit rusty on that one but it was good to get back a bit on them and really show that we have good downwind [speed],” the Olympic champion said.

“Felt like the boats were pretty even today (in terms of speed), I felt like you just had to do the right things ... we made a few mistakes with tacks and stuff.... yeah, you could say it’s rust.”

The first day of racing, which was delayed for four days by a coronavirus lockdown in Auckland, confirmed that the battle for the ‘Auld Mug’ would at least be a contest after rumours that TNZ had far superior speed.

The Italians were swept 5-0 the last time they took on the New Zealanders for the America’s Cup in Auckland 21 years ago.

“I thought the boys sailed a great race then,” Luna Rossa’s Australian co-helmsman Jimmy Spithill after the second race. “We had obviously had quite a lot of manoeuvres, quite a lot of tacks and yeah, just kept the boat going well. It was a good sign of strength to bounce back after that first one.”

Spithill, who won two America’s Cups as skipper of the Oracle team, overplayed his hand at the start of the opening race, steering close to TNZ’s Te Rehutai before having a protest denied as the rival boat took a quick lead.

Luna Rossa were able to cut the deficit to 17 seconds by the fourth turn but TNZ were stronger over the last two legs and crossed the line comfortably ahead in 23 minutes and eight seconds.

Spithill got the start right in the second race and Luna Rossa had a 24-second lead at the halfway point before TNZ showed good downwind speed to narrow the gap significantly.

Luna Rossa held on to cross the line first in 24:41 to even up the match heading into Friday’s third and fourth races.

“It was one of those race tracks where I felt the lead boat had the advantage,” Spithill added. “It’s great to be competitive, great to get a race win and looking forward to tomorrow.”

From Friday, the racing will continue every day until one of the teams have won seven races.

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