COP21, Kobe Bryant, Cyber Monday

    30 November, 2015

    Climate change on the Agenda

    The hashtag #COP21 started trending over the weekend ahead of the United Nations' conference on climate change.

    What is COP21?

    It stands for the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

    World leaders like U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke about this year's conference as a new beginning.

    Xi called the summit "a new starting point." Obama said, "Our generation may not even live to see the full realization of what we do here."

    U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a speech on the opening day of the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) in Le Bourget, near Paris, France, November 30, 2015.

    But it's a tweet from outer space that has received all the attention. American astronaut Scott Kelly wrote, "From space, we are privileged to see the beauty of Earth, but also our impact on its environment." 

    The tweet was liked over 4,000 times in seven hours.

    Kobe Bryant makes retirement plans

    Basketball star Kobe Bryant has been grabbing headlines his entire career.

    Bryant was a teenager when he entered the NBA draft straight out of high school. He won five NBA titles with the Los Angeles Lakers. He even scored 81 points in one game in 2006 – the second-highest single-game total ever.

    On Sunday night, Bryant announced he would retire at the end of this season. Bryant made the announcement with a poem on the website The Players' Tribune.

    Bryant wrote, "This season is all I have left to give. My heart can take the pounding. My mind can handle the grind. But my body knows it's time to say goodbye."

    By Monday morning in the U.S., the word "Kobe" was the subject of over one million tweets.

    Bryant will retire after 20 seasons in the league. He missed almost all of the last two seasons due to major injuries. Bryant will finish his career with the third-most career points in NBA history.

    Cyber Monday after Black Friday

    This is the time of year retail businesses in the U.S. look to start making money. Businesses offer customers discounts and incentives to make them come to stores and shop.

    The day after Thanksgiving is called "Black Friday." It refers to the first time all year businesses are "in the black" or making profit.

    With more businesses selling their goods online, the Monday after Thanksgiving has the name "Cyber Monday." There were over two million Google searches with the term "Cyber Monday" on Sunday alone for discounts on computers, clothes and shoes.

    Perhaps some businesses hyped the big day too much. Target's website could not handle the traffic and had to slow down.

    Some users got the message "So sorry, but high traffic's causing delays."

    One Twitter user was a little disappointed that he could not access the sales on Target's website.

    The website said PayPal had trouble keeping up with demand, too.

    I'm Jonathan Evans.


    Dan Friedell wrote this story for Learning English. Hai Do was the editor.

    Does your country have a good plan for climate change? Do you think we can make a difference today for future generations? We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments section or on 51VOA.COM.


    Words in This Story


    grab – v. to get the attention or interest of (someone or something)

    hype – v. to talk or write about (something or someone) in a way that is intended to make people excited or interested

    score – v. to get points, goals, runs, etc., in a game or contest

    draft – v. a system by which professional sports teams choose players from college or high school teams — usually singular