It's fun and simple!
  1. Start by clicking on a news article below.
  2. Get help with TOEFL / SAT vocab words while reading.
  3. Take a quiz after you are done reading.
Want to use it on any web page anywhere?
  1. Add the ESL Reader bookmark to your browser.
  2. Go to any web page and click on the bookmark.
News / blog publishers:
Increase your traffic and user engagement using the ESL Reader Widget.

World News North America Europe Asia Latin America Mid-East Africa Live Dictionary API & Feeds About

Select Your Reading Level:   All Levels |  Easy (Simpler English) |  Medium (Intermediate) |  Hard (Advanced)

Africa's top shots: 11 -17 October 2019

  • parody: The annual event began in 1993 as a parody of the UK's famous horse race.
  • repute: Image copyright AFP Image caption Identical twin sisters Kehinde Olofin (L) and Taye Olofin take part in the Igbo-Ora World Twins festival on Saturday... Image copyright AFP Image caption Alese Kehinde Akat (L) and Alese Taiwo also attend... Image copyright AFP Image caption The event is held in a part of south-western Nigeria reputed to have one of the highest incidences of multiple births in the world.
  • incidence: Image copyright AFP Image caption Identical twin sisters Kehinde Olofin (L) and Taye Olofin take part in the Igbo-Ora World Twins festival on Saturday... Image copyright AFP Image caption Alese Kehinde Akat (L) and Alese Taiwo also attend... Image copyright AFP Image caption The event is held in a part of south-western Nigeria reputed to have one of the highest incidences of multiple births in the world.

Eritrea - where ATMs are unknown and Sim cards are like gold dust

  • treacherous: This has forced hundreds of thousands of Eritreans to flee the country, some of whom perish during the treacherous journey across the Sahara desert and the Mediterranean Sea as they try to reach Europe.
  • porous: So, many young Eritreans leave illegally, crossing the porous borders to settle in Ethiopia and Sudan.
  • treacherous: Others risk the treacherous journey through the Sahara and the Mediterranean to reach Europe, only to die of hunger and thirst in the desert or drown at sea.

Turkey begins attack on Kurds in northeast Syria, Erdoğan announces

  • smoke: Turkish television showed smoke rising from the Kurdish-held town of Ras al-Ain as fighter jets began attacking the positions of the Syrian Democratic Forces ( SDF), the Kurdish-led force that led the fight against Islamic State ( Isil).
  • panic: There is a huge panic among people of the region," he said.
  • demolish: Their position has been further weakened after they agreed to demolish their fortifications in the area at the request of the US, which as recently as last weekend was still trying to broker a compromise to forestall a Turkish offensive.
  • forestall: Their position has been further weakened after they agreed to demolish their fortifications in the area at the request of the US, which as recently as last weekend was still trying to broker a compromise to forestall a Turkish offensive.
  • shell: The SDF said Turkish troops shelled one of their positions near Ras al-Ain late on Tuesday night but that their forces suffered no casualties.

Why Kenyans never quit

  • discard: Image copyright AFP Image caption Residents find a discarded shoe at the site of a school collapse which killed eight children.
  • mentality: The phrase " winners never quit and quitters never win ", coined by the late American Football player and coach Vince Lombardi, could also describe the mentality of many Kenyan civil servants.
  • dam: When the privately-owned Patel dam burst in western Kenya's Solai town last year, at least 44 people were killed.
  • burst: When the privately-owned Patel dam burst in western Kenya's Solai town last year, at least 44 people were killed.
  • dam: Politicians were quick to express their outrage, and a Water Resources Management Authority spokeswoman said the dam had been built illegally.

Lupita Nyong'o: Colourism is the daughter of racism

  • ascribe: We still ascribe to these notions of Eurocentric standards of beauty, that then affect how we see ourselves among ourselves," she said.
  • audition: The actor said she was once told at an audition that she was " too dark" for television.
  • ascribe: Race is a very social construct, one that I didn't have to ascribe to on a daily basis growing up ," she said.
  • ascribe: That changed when she moved to the US," because suddenly the term black was being ascribed to me and it meant certain things that I was not accustomed to.

UFO seekers are flocking to a huge Buddha statue in Thailand saying it is home to a wormhole that al...

  • supernatural: There is no substantive evidence that the site has supernatural or alien qualities.
  • supernatural: The hill is located amongst a sugar cane plantation, and, according to the Bangkok Post, believers in the supernatural site say it hides a secret wormhole that allows aliens to travel between different dimensions.
  • supernatural: Somjit Raepeth, a member of Khao Kala group or UFO Khao Kala, a group that believes that the area possesses supernatural qualities, told the Post in 2015 that members practice strict Buddhist principles and were able to contact aliens from Pluto and another planet called Logu Kata Paka Tig ong, located somewhere in the Milky Way.

Pompeo: State Dept. will follow law in impeachment inquiry

  • contradictory: Trump has offered a series of contradictory statements when it comes to the Democrats ' subpoena of White House records.
  • hoax: Asked Wednesday whether the White House intended to comply, Trump told reporters, " I always cooperate," even as he dismissed the inquiry as " a hoax.
  • precede: We're going to be more responsive than the Obama administration was in the years that preceded this particular Congres s," he said.

Cameroon's conflict: Will the National Dialogue make any difference?

  • normalcy: Jean Emmanuel Pon di, a professor of political science, told the BBC that " for Anglophones, it is a return to normalcy ".
  • forward: The proposals will be forwarded to President Bi ya, with the expectation that he will order them to be implemented.
  • spectator: So they were actually looking for spectators, not participants," Mr Muna told the BBC.

Lion bones weighing 342kg seized in South Africa

  • prize: The bones, which are prized in Asia for supposed medicinal benefits and to make jewellery, were destined for Malaysia.
  • skeleton: The average weight of a lion skeleton is 9 kg, according to a report produced by South Africa's EMS conservation foundation and the Ban Animal Trading group.
  • skeleton: With skeletons of average weight, 342kg would amount to 38 lions.

Nigeria and South Africa: When two African giants meet

  • competitor: Many Nigerians see South Africa as their only other competitor on the continent for sporting prowess, cultural output and economic strength.
  • prowess: Many Nigerians see South Africa as their only other competitor on the continent for sporting prowess, cultural output and economic strength.
  • spill: This anger spilled out onto the streets of Nigeria's urban centres.
  • loot: Young people, allegedly motivated by a need for revenge, and fuelled by fake videos and photos on social media, started looting and burning South African businesses.
  • outburst: Frustration with the status quo has sparked outbursts of violence that have surprised the authorities.

Letter from Africa: The dilemma of how to appease Mugabe's spirit

  • sumptuous: This was followed by the viewing of the body, and a sumptuous lunch of pie and vegetables across the room from the corpse.
  • belittle: It also belittles the contribution of others- and suggests that the government is being held to ransom by the ego of a dead man, he said.
  • hereditary: The question now is whether the man who tried to treat Zimbabwe's presidency as a hereditary post will be buried in a cave, like a traditional chief.

In Syria, a vast underground hideout housed rebel base

  • prelude: The caves provided shelter to those fighters from the intensive air strikes Russian and Syrian aircraft usually conduct as a prelude to any ground advance.
  • wire: One room was even equipped with an old TV, wired up with cables that run around one kilometre from the nearby town of Lataminah.
  • maze: The room which officers believe was used as a prison was dug out no less than 400 metres deep into the maze of tunnels and caves.

As attack drones multiply, Israeli firms develop defenses

  • trick: They can also be deployed in " swarms," which can trick or elude conventional defense systems.
  • laboratory: In a laboratory near Israel's main international airport, Israel Aerospace Industries offered a glance at its new optical detection system: a black cube resembling a souped-up subwoofer that it says can spot a standard commercial drone from several miles ( kilometers) away.
  • differentiate: Developers say the system, which has already been field tested by the Israeli military, can differentiate threats from standard civilian aircraft with an advanced algorithm.
  • discern: "Our system can discern from several kilometers away any threat that approaches," he said.

Be careful what you wish for: Impeachment inquiry poses risks for 2020 Democrats

  • unanimous: WASHINGTON (Reuters)- The crowded field of Democratic presidential candidates were nearly unanimous in praising House Democrats ' decision to begin an impeachment inquiry into Republican President Donald Trump over accusations he sought foreign help to smear a political rival.
  • smear: WASHINGTON (Reuters)- The crowded field of Democratic presidential candidates were nearly unanimous in praising House Democrats ' decision to begin an impeachment inquiry into Republican President Donald Trump over accusations he sought foreign help to smear a political rival.
  • overshadow: With impeachment set to overshadow the Democratic presidential primary race, how will candidates draw attention to their key policy issues, ranging from universal healthcare to income inequality?
  • populous: Kurt Meyer, Democratic party chairman for three rural Iowa counties north of Des Moines, the state's most populous city, said he expects the impeachment proceedings to energize the Democratic base.
  • substantive: There is also a risk that any substantive policy discussions among the 19 Democrats running for the party's nomination to take on Trump in the 2020 election will be drowned out in the growing battle between allies and foes of Trump, several Democratic strategists and experts said.

Russian 'advisers' train new Syrian battalion

  • brass: In the afternoon sun, top brass from both countries and dozens of journalists, including an AFP team invited from Moscow, are looking on.
  • unison: We sacrifice our blood for you Bashar," the soldiers chant in unison, throwing their fists in the air, in praise of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
  • battalion: The battalion was created on August 10 and started training that same day," said Omar Mohamed, who heads this new elite force.

See This Strange Tank? It Was Russia's Plan to Fight Tank Battles During a Nuclear War

  • prototype: It was certainly not a success, as the Soviet Union only manufactured a handful of prototypes.
  • pioneer: Medium tanks, such as the legendary T-34, would ultimately pioneer the main battle tanks which armies deploy today.
  • annihilate: Protesters during the 1956 Hungarian uprising destroyed a few, and the Israelis annihilated dozens of them in Egyptian service in 1967.
  • torturous: The IS-4 hardly fared better, and another tank called the T-10 endured a torturous development period as capable medium tanks such as the T- 55 and the soon-to-come T- 64 competed for budget dollars.

Fears grow in South Korea as tests confirm more swine fever

  • pig: Lab tests Tuesday night confirmed the country's fifth case since last week from a farm in Ganghwa, an island county near its border with North Korea, raising fears that the country is losing a battle to halt the spread of the illness that wiped out pig populations across Asia.
  • inspect: South Korea's Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said hundreds of officials have been deployed to inspect disinfection efforts at pig farms, slaughter houses and feed mills nationwide, which came under a government-imposed 48-hour standstill as of noon Tuesday.
  • pig: South Korea's Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said hundreds of officials have been deployed to inspect disinfection efforts at pig farms, slaughter houses and feed mills nationwide, which came under a government-imposed 48-hour standstill as of noon Tuesday.
  • feed: South Korea's Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said hundreds of officials have been deployed to inspect disinfection efforts at pig farms, slaughter houses and feed mills nationwide, which came under a government-imposed 48-hour standstill as of noon Tuesday.
  • noon: South Korea's Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said hundreds of officials have been deployed to inspect disinfection efforts at pig farms, slaughter houses and feed mills nationwide, which came under a government-imposed 48-hour standstill as of noon Tuesday.

The Aegis Combat System on the Navy's Destroyers Is Getting Even Better

  • upgrade: Key point: This upgrade will make the detection of targets easier.
  • amphibious: Related: Raytheon prepares to build AN/SPY-6 radar systems for aircraft carriers and amphibious transport ships.
  • hostile: The Raytheon AN/SPY-6( V) AMDR will improve the Burke-class destroyer's ability to detect hostile aircraft, surface ships, and incoming ballistic missiles, Raytheon officials say.
  • supersede: The AMDR will supersede the AN/SPY-1 radar, which has been standard equipment on Navy Aegis Burke-class destroyers and Ticonderoga-class cruisers.
  • amphibious: The inherent scalability of the AN/SPY-6( V) AMDR also could enable new instantiations, such as backfits on existing Burke-class destroyers and installation on aircraft carriers, amphibious warfare ships, frigates, the littoral combat ship, and Zu mwalt-class land-attack destroyers without significant new radar development costs, Raytheon officials say.

Ukraine Now Has America's Javelin Missile and Russia Isn't Happy

  • premier: The U.S.-made FGM-148 Javelin is one of the premier portable anti-tank missile systems in the world.
  • crew: It also exposes its crew to less danger than the typical guided missile system.
  • thermal: The seeker in the missile even provides a fourth 9x thermal viewing mode.
  • avert: The system also incorporates multiple safeguards to avert or abort accidental launch.
  • launch: The system also incorporates multiple safeguards to avert or abort accidental launch.

The Navy Now Has Three Deadly Stealth Destroyers

  • vertical: Surely, tall, vertical masts, hull-mounted sensors and protruding antenna could never be a low-observable ship, yet performing these missions comprised the technical starting point from which engineers launched into building a first-of-its-kind stealth warship.
  • comprise: Surely, tall, vertical masts, hull-mounted sensors and protruding antenna could never be a low-observable ship, yet performing these missions comprised the technical starting point from which engineers launched into building a first-of-its-kind stealth warship.
  • engineer: Surely, tall, vertical masts, hull-mounted sensors and protruding antenna could never be a low-observable ship, yet performing these missions comprised the technical starting point from which engineers launched into building a first-of-its-kind stealth warship.
  • stealth: Surely, tall, vertical masts, hull-mounted sensors and protruding antenna could never be a low-observable ship, yet performing these missions comprised the technical starting point from which engineers launched into building a first-of-its-kind stealth warship.
  • warship: Surely, tall, vertical masts, hull-mounted sensors and protruding antenna could never be a low-observable ship, yet performing these missions comprised the technical starting point from which engineers launched into building a first-of-its-kind stealth warship.