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sort-of-but-not-quite

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sort-of-but-not-quite ...

    a and United delivered word of a sort-of-but-not-quite coupling. These deals thrust the much-scrutinized airline industry even more into the public spotlight. Airline profits are at record highs. Business fares are climbing into the stratosphere, up 16 percent last year alone. Now comes the consolidation sweeping the industry. The question is whether these deals will mean more choice and more convenience, as the airlines argue, or less competition or even higher prices.

     Clearly consumers can benefit from these tie-ups. Passengers flying American or US Airways, for instance, can now use either carrier's network of 72 worldwide clubs and lounges. They can combine their frequent-flier awards, allowing them not only to build up redeemable miles more quickly but also cash them in to more destinations. American can plug into US Airways' deeper web of connections up and down the Eastern Seaboard; US Airways, with fewer routes to South America, the Caribbeari and Europe, will be able to offer a greater array of international flights. In time, American and US Airways hope to create the more ambitious partnership -- a so-called code-sharing agreement that would allow the two carriers to coordinate flight schedules without entering a full-fledged merger. The goal is "seamless service" -- without having to change airlines.

     Price is a wild card in these alliances. Consumer groups worry that they will reduce competition, translating in turn into higher fares. They could be right. Given the rapid trend toward consolidation, many analysts foresee a day when most major "hub" airports will be dominated by a single airline or consortium. A report last year by the General Accounting Office found that ticket prices, in such cases, ranged from 45 to 65 percent higher than at cities where two or more carriers competed. And just last week the Transportation Department announced it was investigating allegations of price-fixing by the major airlines -- aimed at keeping smaller discount-carriers from intruding on their turf -- and the Justice Department has begun similar probes. The message? Airlines may yearn to merge -- but winning approval from skeptical authorities might be tougher than they expect.

    13.Judging from the passage, the frequent-flier program is one by which ________.

     A) people who have built up a certain number of flying miles with an airline will get a free ticket.

     B) people who fly an airline frequently will get a discount

     C) people who have built up a certain number of flying miles with an airline will

get a cash award

     D) people who fly an airline frequently will get extra service

    14. according to this passage, the federal government's attitude towards airline mergers is one of _______

     A) encouragement B) restriction

     C) prohibition D) approval

    15. The expression "a wild card" in the last paragraph most probably means ________.

     A) a chief concrn B) an important factor

     C) an unpredictable element D) a necessary consequence

    16. Which of the following statements is true?

     A) Airline mergers will give rise to intense competition.

     B) Consumers benefit from airline mergers.

     C) Tie-ups between airlines seem to draw little public attention.

     D) Ticket prices tend to be higher where there is only one carrier.

    Passage 5

     A decade ago Susic Makinster learned she might have a liver problem. Her doctors told her not to worry. So she didn't -- until three years ago, when she was astonished to learn she had tested positive for hepatitis (肝炎) C, a blood-borne

    virus she had never heard of. Makinster, then 45, had been living with an infection that would likely stay with her for life and that could eventually destroy her liver and cause her death. Yet she had no idea how or when she had contracted the virus.

     Hepatitis C wasn't even discovered until 1989. Today an estimated 3.9 million Americans are infected, and most of them still don's know it. Like HIV, hepatitis C is a slowacting virus that can be transmitted by shared needles and blood transfusions. But it is far more rampant. There is no vaccine to prevent its spread, and no reliable treatment. Some 75 percent of people who contract the virus will carry it for life; 20 percent will develop cirrhosis of the liver. Hepatitis C is now the nation's leading reason for liver transplantation, and the second leading cause of cirrhosis (after alcohol). It will kill roughly 10,000 Americans this year -- and that number is expected to triple over the next two decades, as more past infections come to light. Says Surgeon General David Satcher, "This is a major public health crisis."

     Until treatment is less hit-or-miss, living with hepatitis C will be a matter of accommodation. Though most people who contracted the virus become chronically

    infected, many never develop advanced liver disease. That's partly luck, but not entirely. Giving up alcohol brightens the prognosis, and many sufferers tout the benefits of reducing stress and getting more rest. Getting vaccinated against hepatitis a and B is also a good idea, since a dual infection can aggravate the disease. And preventing further spread requires some precautions. Experts are divided on the need to practise safe sex, since the virus is normally only in the blood. But they stress the importance of covering open wounds and not sharing razors and toothbrushes.

    17. According to the passage, the leading cause for liver cirrhosis is _______.

     A) too much drinking B) hepatitis C

     C) hepatitis A D) hepatitis B

    18. According to the passage, which of the following statements is true?

     A) No one who contracts hepatitis C can hope to live long.

     B) More people have contracted hepatitis C than HIV.

     C) Alcohol is the chief cause for hepatitis C.

     D) Hepatitis C is sexually transmitted.

    19. The number of people who will die of hepatitis C in twenty years will be ______.

     A) 20,000 B) 10,000

     C) 30,000 D) 40,000

    20. The word "accommodation" in the last paragraph most probably means _______.

     A) care B) treatment

     C) rest D) adjustment

    Unit 14

    Passage 1

     New and bizarre crimes have come into being with the advent of computer technology. Organized crime too has been directly involved; the new technology offers it unlimited opportunities, such as data crimes, theft of sevices, property-related crimes, industrial sabotage, politically related sabotage, vandalism, crimes against the individual and financially related crimes. . .

     Theft of data, or data crime, has attracted the interest of organized criminal syndicates. This is usually the theft or copying of valuable computer program. An international market already exists for computerized data, and specialized fences are said to be playing a key role in this rapidly expanding criminal market. buyers

    for stolen programs may range from a firm's competitors to foreign nations.

     A competitor sabotages a company's computer system to destroy or cripple the firm's operational ability, thus neutralizing its competitive capability either in the private or the government sector. This computer sabotage may also be tied to an attempt by affluent investors to acquire the victim firm. With the growing reliance by firms on computers for their recordkeeping and daily operations, sabotage of their computers can result in internal havoc, after which the group interested in acquiring the firm can easily buy it at a substantially lower price. Criminal groups could also resort to sabotage if the company is a competitor of a business owned or controlled by organized crime.

     Politically motivated sabotage is on the increase; political extremist groups have sprouted on every continent. Sophisticated computer technology arms these groups with awesome powers and opens technologically advanced nations to their attack. Several attempts have already been made to destroy computer facility at an air force base. A university computer facility involved in national defence work suffered more than $ 2 million in damages as a result of a bombing.

     Computer vulnerability has been amply documented. One congressional study concluded that neither government nor private computer systems are adequately protected against sabotage. Organized criminal syndicates have shown their willingness to work with politically motivated groups. Investigators have uncovered evidence of cooperation between criminal groups and foreign governments in narcotics. Criminal groups have taken attempts in assassinating political leaders. . . . Computers are used in hospital life-support system, in laboratories, and in major surgery. Criminals could easily turn these computers into tools of devastation. By sabotaging the computer of a life-support system, criminals could kill an individual as easily as they had used a gun. By manipulating a computer, they could guide awesome tools of terror against large urban centres. cities and nations could become hostages. Homicide could take a new form. The computer may become the hit man of the twentieth century.

     The computer opens vast areas of crime to organized criminal groups, both national and international. It calls on them to pool their resources and increase their cooperative efforts, because many of these crimes are to complex for one group to handle, especially those requiring a vase network of fences. Although criminals have adapted to computer technology, law enforcement has not. Many still think in terms of traditional criminology.

1. How many kinds of crimes are mentioned in the passage?

     A) 7. B) 8. C) 9. D) 10.

    2. What is the purpose of a competitor to sabotage a company's computer?

     A) His purpose is to destroy or weaken the firm's operational ability.

     B) His purpose is to weaken firm's competitive capability and get it.

     C) His purpose is to buy the rival's company at a relatively low price.

     D) His purpose is to steal important data.

    3. Which of the following can be labelled as a politically motivated sabotage of a computer system?

     A) Sabotage of a university computer.

     B) Sabotage of a hospital computer.

     C) Sabotage of computer at a secret training base.

     D) Sabotage of a factory computer.

    4. What does the author mean by "Homicide could take a new form"?

     A) There is no need to use a gun in killing a person.

     B) criminals can kill whoever they want by a computer.

     C) The computer can replace any weapons.

     D) The function of a computer is just like a gun.

    Passage 2

     The banking revolution in America is as much about attitudes and assumptions as about size and structure. For centuries, Americans have distrusted banks. In the 1930s, Andrew Jackson denounced and destroyed the Second Bank of the United States, which existed "to make the rich richer" at the expense of "farmers, mechanics and laborers." In the 1930s, banks were blamed for helping cause the Depression. The wonder, then, is that the latest wave of bank mergers -- the largest ever -- has inspired little more than a bewildered and, perhaps, irritated shrug from the public.

     As banks grow bigger, they seem less fearsome. Why? The answer is that banks have shrunk in power even as they have expanded in size. Traditionally, banking has been a simple business. Deposits come through one door, loans go out through another. Profits derive from the "spread" between interest rates on

    deposits and loans. If savers and borrowers cannot go elsewhere, banks are powerful. And if there are other choices, banks are less powerful. And so it is.

     We inhabit an age of superabundant credit and its purveyors. A century ago, matters were different. Small depositors could choose from only one or several local banks; getting a loan meant winning the good graces of the neighborhood banker. Even big corporations depended on a few big banks or investment houses.

     John Reed or Hugh McColl -- the heads of Citicorp and Nations Bank -- are not

    household names. In 1990, J. P. Morgan was. As head of J. P. Morgan & Co., he controlled through stock and positions on corporate boards -- a third of U.S. railroads and 70 percent or the steel industry. A railroad executive once cheerfully confessed his dependence on Morgan's capital: "If Mr. Morgan were to order me tomorrow to China or Siberia. . . I would go."

     No bankers today inspires such awe or fear. Time, technology and government restrictions weakened bank power. In the 1920s, auto companies popularized car loans. National credit cards originated in 1950 with the Dinners Club care. In 1933, the Glass-Steagal Act required banks and their investment houses to split. After World War II, pensions and the stock market competed for consumer saving. As a result, banks command a shrinking share of the nation's wealth: 20 percent of assets of financial institutions in 1997, down from 50 percent in 1950.

    5. Why are John Reed and Hugh McColl not as well-known as J.P. Morgan?

     A) John Reed and Hugh McColl are not as rich as J.P. Morgan was.

     B) Banks are no longer as powerful as they were in J.P. Morgan's time.

     C) John Reed and Hugh McColl are not as capable as J.P. Morgan was.

     D) The banks John Reed and Hugh McColl head are smaller than Morgan's. 6. The word "spread" in Paragraph 2 most probably means_______.

     A) cover B) extent C) difference D) degree

    7. Which of the following statements is true?

     A) The recent bank mergers have given much shock to the nation.

     B) People no longer distrust banks.

     C) No bank today can compare with J.P. Morgan's in size.

     D) It is easier to borrow money today than it was in this past. 8. What does the author chiefly talk about in the passage?

     A) Banking and investment.

     B) The credit market.

     C) The evolution of the banks.

     D) The shrinking power of the banks.

    Passage 3

     Brisk, cheerful and passionate about educating children, Nancy lchinaga thinks social promotion is "junk." As principal of an elementary school for the past 23 years, Ichinaga has never passed kids on to the next grade just to protect their self-esteem. The school is 51 percent African-American, 48 percent Latino and 75 percent below the poverty line. But last year, 88 percent of its students read at or

    above grade level, and Ichinaga thinks her willingness to hold kids back has much to do with that success. "We don't promote so students can fail," she says. "We make sure that they succeed. Our students self-esteem is good because they're successful academically, not because we've tried to pump them up."

     Social promotion has been widespread in US school for at least 20 years. Its rationale is to avoid damaging the pupil's sense of self-worth and to assume that if promoted, the child can catch up. But school officials and politicians are increasingly ready to accept what traditionalists like Ichinaga have been saying all along -- that social promotion, though well intended, has been as academic disaster. Bill Clinton is on record against it, as is the American Federation of Teachers. In New York City, schools chancellor Rudy Crew recently unveiled a plan to phase it out. He told a reporter, "This is not about being punitive with kids. It is about caring so much about children that you will not let them fail."

     To live up to that rhetoric, Crew and other reformers urgently need to show that kids who fail will get the academic support they need. The model could be the Chicago public school system, which abolished social promotion in 1996. Kids who fail are sent to summer school, where they get a second chance to pass. Most succeed and those who don't are assigned to smaller classes and evaluated for leaning disabilities and other special need.

     The scary part is just how widespread social promotion has become. In New York, Crew estimated that more that a third of all fourth-and seventh-grades would have to repeat a year if the policy were ended immediately. Though Crew didn't say so, there is no reason to think the percentage is different for other grades -- which is why the practice arguably conceals massive failure. And nobody gains from that.

9. What does "social promotion" mean in this passage?

     A) Promotion of social progress.

     B) Passing students who fail to the next grade.

     C) Giving praise to students for encouragement.

     D) Sending students who fail to a summer school.

    10. According to traditionalists like Nancy Ichinaga, social promotion will _______.

     A) encourage students to catch up

     B) help boost students' self-esteem

     C) lead to massive failure in education

     D) contribute to academic success

    11. If social promotion is ended immediately in New York, how many students will have to repeat a year?

     A) 12 percent of the total. B) One quarter of the total.

     C) One seventh of the total. D) Over a third of the total. 12. What do students urgently need in order to succeed?

     A) Academic support. B) Smaller classes.

     C) Summer schools. D) More special education experts.

    Passage 4

     Perhaps never has the mood of a decade reversed itself so totally. The 1980s began with the worst U.S. inflation in 60 years and a deepening dread of nuclear destruction. As they closed, inflation was negligible, the Berlin Wall was tumbling down, and the Soviet empire was dissolving.

     The road between was hardly a smooth climb. Ronald Reagan gave the U.S. a heady draft of optimism while reversing the direction of government policy, recasting social programs and cutting taxes. Unmatched by spending reductions, however, those cuts sent deficits soaring to unheard-of highs, and the double-digit inflation of 1980 was cured only by double-digit unemployment in 1982.

     The economy revived, but an outsize share of the benefits seemed to flow to Wall Street. But unlike in the irrationally exuberant 1920s, disaster did not strike. Though stock fell even faster on October 19, 1987, than they had in 1929, they bounced back higher than ever, setting the stage for what could soon become the longest period of economic expansion in history. Something fundamental had happened to the boom-and-bust cycle that had charted the century.

     Beneath the surface, though, the alignment of forces was shifting. Reagan's heavy military build-up were putting heavy pressure on the Soviet Union to keep up. Moscow was vulnerable because the Soviet economy was decaying badly, and its leadership was nearly paralyzed. Only in 1985, after three Kremlin funerals in three years, did a leader, mikhail Gorbachev, emerge who was realistic and vigorous enough to attempt drastic reforms.

     In a series of summits, Gorbachev and Reagan brought about a de-escalation of the arms race, which the Soviet leader realized was swallowing more resources than he could afford. The European satellites were too, so Gorbachev told their chiefs that Soviet tanks would no longer keep them in power. That started a chain reaction. By the end of 1989, the Soviet bloc had dissolved. Even then nobody would have guessed that in another two years, the soviet Union itself would shatter into 15 pieces. But it was already obvious that the world was entering a strange new era; only one superpower; no cold war.

    13. The mood of Americans at the beginning of the 1980s was _______.

     A) changeable B) optimistic

     C) gloomy D) calm

    14. We can infer from the passage that during Ronald Reagan's presidency the poor ________.

     A) had more job opportunities B) received more care than before

     C) paid less taxes D) received less benefits than before 15. According to the passage, why did Gorbachev start negotiations with Reagan to reduce arms?

     A) He wanted to start a chain reaction in East Europe.

     B) The burden of arms race was too heavy for the Soviet Union.

     C) He wanted to end the cold war

     D) He realized only drastic reforms could save the Soviet Union. 16. Which of the following might be the best title for this passage?

     A) Reagan: An Optimistic President

     B) Historical Shift in the 1980s

     C) Gorbachev: A Realist and Vigorous Leader

     D) The Dissolution of the Soviet Bloc

    Passage 5

     Things have really changed. Not only is the military standing tall again, it is staging a remarkable comeback in the quantity and quality of the recruits it is attracting. Recruiters, once denounced by antiwar students as "baby killers" and barred from campuses, are welcomed even at elite universities. ROTC (Reserve Officer's Training Corps) programs that faltered during the Viet Nam era, when protesters were fire bombing their headquarters, are flourishing again. The military academies are enjoying a steady increase in applications.

     Certainly, the depressed economy has increased the allure of the jobs, technical training and generous student loans offered by the military. Students know that if they go in and become, say, nuclear weapons specialists, they can come out and demand a salary of $ 60,000 a year. Military salaries, while not always competitive with those paid for comparable jobs in the private sector, are more than respectable, especially considering the wide array of benefits that are available: free medical service, room and board, and PX (Post Exchange) privileges. Monthly pay for a recruit is $ 574; for a sergeant with four years services it is $ 906; for a major with ten years" service it is $2,305. The services' slick $ 175 million-a-year advertising campaign promising adventure and fulfillment has

    helped win over the TV generation. Kids are walking down the school hallways chanting 'Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines,' just like in the commercials. And many military officials feel that the key difference is the enhanced patriotism among the nation's youth. There is a return to the view that the military is an honorable profession. The quality is going up at an astonishing rate. The new kids are easy to train. The days of a judge telling a miscreant to join the army or go to jail are over. Recruiting for all four services combined is running at 101% of authorized goals. And the retention rate is now so high, that the services are refusing some re-enlistment applications and reducing annual recruiting target.

     The military academies are also enjoying halcyon years, attacting more and better-qualified students. Compared to private colleges, where tuition and expenses have been climbing sharply, the service schools are a real bargain: not only is tuition free, but recruits get allowances of up to $ 500 a month. It is reported that 12,300 applicants are for the 1,450 positions in this year's freshman class. Military academies are now just as selective as any of the best universities in the country.

     Nationwide, ROTC enrollment exceeds 105,000, a 64% increase over the 1974 figure. In the mid-70s, the ROTC students refused to wear their uniforms on campus because they suffered all sorts of ridicule, if they did. Now if they wear them to class no one looks at them twice. To them, Viet Nam is ancient history, something the old folks talk about.

17. What is the main idea of this passage?

     A) The Military is in. B) The Military is up-

     C) The Military is down. D) The Military is on.

    18. What was the attitude of the students in 1970's towards the military?

     A) Approval. B) Indifferent.

     C) Distaste. D) Scolding.

    19. The phrase "come out" is closest in meaning to ______.

     A) "become visible" B) "begin to grow"

     C) "be made public" D) "gain a certain position" 20. Which one of the following is NOT mentioned as a reason to attract students?

     A) Free tuition. B) Spacious rooms.

     C) Considerable allowance D) Technical training.

    Unit 15

    Passage 1

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