The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is situated on the British Isles. The British Isles consist of two large islands, Great Britain and Ireland, and about five thousand small islands. Their total area is over 244,000 square kilometres.
The United Kingdom is made up of four countries: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast respectively. Great Britain consists of England, Scotland and Wales and does not include Northern Ireland. But in everyday speech ‘Great Britain’ is used to mean the United Kingdom. The capital of the UK is London.
The British Isles are separated from the European continent by the North Sea and the English Channel. The western coast of Great Britain is washed by the Atlantic Ocean and the Irish Sea.
The surface of the British Isles varies very much. The north of Scotland is mountainous and is called the Highlands, while the south, which has beautiful valleys and plains, is called the Lowlands. The north and west of England are mountainous, but all the rest — east, centre and south-east — is a vast plain. Mountains are not very high. Ben Nevis in Scotland is the highest mountain (1343m).
There are a lot of rivers in Great Britain, but they are not very long. The Severn is the longest river, while the Thames is the deepest and the most important one.
The mountains, the Atlantic Ocean and the warm waters of Gulf Stream influence the climate of the British Isles. It is mild the whole year round.
The UK is one of the world’s smaller countries. Its population is over 57 million. About 80 % of the population is urban.
The UK is a highly developed industrial country. It is known as one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of machinery, electronics, textile, aircraft and navigation equipment. One of the chief industries of the country is shipbuilding.
The UK is a constitutional monarchy. In law, the Head of State is the Queen. In practice, the Queen reigns, but does not rule. The country is ruled by the elected government with the Prime Minister at the head. The British Parliament consists of two chambers: the House of Lords and the House of Commons.
There are three main political parties in Great Britain: the Labour, the Conservative and the Liberafbarties. The Conservative party is the ruling party nowadays. The Prime Minister is John Major.
Our bodies patently lack protection
The marriage of intellectual property (IP) and life sciences creates one of those niche practices of law that most solicitors like to avoid. But two events recently brought home the importance of this area of law.
First, the recommendation by the UK Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority to permit human cloning for ‘spare parts’ is likely to create a huge wave of research leading to a flood of patent registrations and subsequent litigation. Penny Gilbert, of the IP firm Bristows, says that though the European Commission Biotechnology Directive specifically excludes human cloning processes from patentability, it does not apply to such parts of the human body as tissue. There are’, she says, ‘potentially valuable patents in this field and litigation between rival researchers is almost inevitable.’
Elsewhere in the market, the pharmaceutical companies Zeneca and Astra were deep in talks about so a merger. Both face the imminent end of the patent on several drugs, and need more resources to plug the gaps. Patents are probably these companies’ most important single resource and the big pharmaceutical companies and life sciences firms jealously guard them. Larger law firms such as Cameron McKenna and Herbert Smith are often engaged in litigation to protect rights that may have been infringed.
Smaller research-based companies are not always so alert to the dangers and opportunities of patent law. A recent report, commissioned by Taylor Joyn-sen Garrett from the London Business School, says: There is evidence of a
2 niche practices
3 patent registration
10 scratch the surface
surprising lack of recognition of the importance of IP protection.’ Almost a third of companies think their investors ‘understand little’ or ‘not at all’ the nature of their IP rights. Only two-thirds of companies said that when it came to IP, due diligence] had been undertaken by their investors where it was relevant before financing their most recent investment.
Just over half the smaller companies have a programme in place to ensure that all IP rights produced by their research development are adequately protected. And many that have an IP protection programme do not produce a complete set of contractual documentation to cover dealings in IP rights, even though this is potentially the most critical component of all.
The report is a wake-up call to smaller research-based companies to take the legal implications of their work seriously. While there are bound to be ethical debates about the right to make money out of this kind of activity, there is no question that larger companies will have little hesitation in capitalising on discoveries not properly protected. Ms Gilbert believes that we are only starting to scratch the surface of developments in this field. How it turns out will be shaped as much by the application of the law as by the inventiveness of scientists. And though the Biotechnology Directive excludes human cloning processes from patentability, commercial companies will not stop doing the work, nor stop generating complex and puzzling legal issues.
1 the opposite of negligence; used by auditors and lawyers to show they have checked very carefully all the available documents in order to determine if a fact or figure is correct, or who is the current and legal owner of land, property or ideas
Reading tasks A Understanding main points
Mark these statements T (true) or F (false) according to the information in the text. Find the part of the text that gives the correct information.
1 Solicitors like very technical and specialised areas of law.
It is legal to clone humans for spare parts at present in the UK.
Patents protect the formulae of drugs for ever.
Patent law is well understood by most small research companies in the UK.
The most critical part of an Intellectual Property protection programme is a complete set of contractual documentation.
6 The inventiveness of scientists will have to be matched by the changes in the law.
B Understanding details. Answer these questions.
How many official bodies are named that deal with cloning and genetics? What are they?
What do the firms need to produce if they want complete IP protection?
What kind of effect should this report have on the small research-based com panies?
What kind of discussions are there likely to be about making money out of scientific research?
What might larger companies do if they find a discovery is not patented?
Which phrase in the last paragraph means the same as see only the tip of the iceberg?
What kind of legal issues does the cloning debate cause?
Vocabulary tasks A Definitions
a) complete set of details about IP rights dealings b) break a law or regulation c) adequate protection d) begin to understand something e) taking advantage of a commercial opportunity f) application for the sole rights of
g) allowing an invention to be registered
h) bringing a lawsuit against someone
i) thorough investigation
j) specialised areas of expertise
Match these terms with 1 proper safeguarding
1 investors 8 inventiveness
a) competing b) creativity c) allow d) safeguard e) aware 0 skin and flesh g) leaves out h) people risking money
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The Russian Federation
The Russian Federation is the largest country in the world. It occupies about one-seventh of the earth’s surface. It covers the eastern part of Europe and the northern part of Asia. Its total area is about 17 million square kilometres. The country is washed by 12 seas of 3 oceans: the Pacific, the Arctic and the Atlantic. In the south Russia borders on China, Mongolia, Korea, Kazakhstan, Georgia and Azerbaijan. In the west it borders on Norway, Finland, the Baltic States, Byelorussia, the Ukraine. It also has a sea-border with the USA.
There is hardly a country in the world where such a variety of scenery and vegetation can be found. We have steppes in the south, plains and forests in the midland, tundra and taiga in the north, highlands and deserts in the east.
There are two great plains in Russia: the Great Russian Plain and the West Siberian Lowland. There are several mountain chains on the territory of the country: the Urals, the Caucasus, the Altai and others. The largest mountain chain, the Urals, separates Europe from Asia.
There are over two million rivers in Russia. Europe’s biggest river, the Volga, flows into the Caspian Sea. The main Siberian rivers — the Ob, the Yenisei and the Lena -flow from the south to the north. The Amur in the Far East
flows into the Pacific Ocean.
Russia is rich in beautiful lakes. The world’s deepest lake (1,600 metres) is Lake Baikal. It is much smaller than the Baltic Sea, but there is much more water in it than in the Baltic Sea. The water in the lake is so clear that if you look down you can count the stones on the bottom.
Russia has one-sixth of the world’s forests. They are concentrated in the European north of the country, in Siberia and in the Far East.
On the vast territory of the country there are various types of climate, from arctic in the north to subtropical in the south. In the middle of the country the climate is temperate and continental.
Russia is very rich in oil, coal, iron ore, natural gas, copper, nickel and
other mineral resources.
Russia is a parliamentary republic. The Head of State is the President.
The legislative powers are exercised by the Duma.
The capital of Russia is Moscow. It is its largest political, scientific, cultural and industrial centre. It is one of the oldest Russian cities.
At present, the political and economic situation in the country is rather complicated. There are a lot of problems in the national economy of the Russian Federation. The industrial production is decreasing. The prices are constantly rising, the rate of inflation is very high. People are losing their jobs because many factories and plants are going bankrupt.
But in spite of the problems Russia is facing at present, there are a lot of opportunities for this country to become one of the leading countries in the world. I’m sure that we, the younger generation, can do very much to make Russia as strong and powerful as it used to be.
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BT launches fresh attack on phone crime
British Telecommunications (BT) is mounting a new offensive against the barons of organised telephone crime who are costing it hundreds of millions of pounds annually Its chief weapon is a new technology that can cut the time to detect and prove fraud from — in some cases — years to minutes. Developed with BT’s former partner, MCI of the US, the system has already been tested by BT’s calling card division, where it has doubled the number of frauds spotted and halved the financial losses. Now it is being deployed across BT’s business
The level of UK phone crime is hard to assess, but it is costing operators
a minimum of £200m ($334m) a year. Trade organisations put the figure at 55,000 crimes reported, with a similar number of unreported fraudulent calls. And forget youngsters and amateurs: telephone fraud is big-time crime. Some of the UK’s best-known villains are defrauding the operators to fund activities ranging from drugs to terrorism, according to Dennis Gotts, head of BT’s investigations unit. This is more than stealing 10 p from a call box,’ he says. «Notorious individuals in the criminal fraternity are involved. They know BT’s network
and they know what they are doing.’
Telephone crime can be absurdly easy. Opening an account in a false name and selling calls to international destinations before disappearing when the bill is due is one of the simplest. In one case earlier this year, a gang of
Tamil sympathisers siphoned off or diverted some £2m from 400,000 fraudulent calls to Sr, Lanka before they were arrested, convicted and imprisoned
It took BT’s investigators two years to collect the evidence to put the gang on tnal. The new system, called ‘Sheriff, will be able to do the job m minutes. Detection mvolves analysis of hundreds of millions of call records looking for unusual patterns: an unexpectedly large number of calls to a particula? number or destination, for example, or calls made at unusual hours or from un usual locations.
BT’s fraud strategy manager said the company’s services wen 65 already protected, but by individual systems. The need was for & single svs tern so fraud alert data could be shared across product lines
f;rf»SeS a-f dal intelli8en<* ^ analysis and an advanced ‘object-onentated’ database from Versant, a US company, to provide the speed and leliabildy needed to sort through a minimum of 120m calls a day on BT’s net
^ice to its large
A Understanding main points
Read the text about telephone fraud and answer these questions.
Who pays the bills when there is telephone crime?
What is BT’s calling card division?
How much does telephone crime cost operators a year?
How many fraudulent calls are made each year according to trade organisa- tions .
What is the simplest example of telephone crime mentioned in the text?
How does BT plan to protect itself from fraud?
How has new technology helped BT solve crimes?
B Complete the sentence
Use an appropriate word from the text to complete the six stages of a telephone crime. 1 A criminal has to open an 2 Next, he has to give a name.
3 The crime consists of making contact with people who need to a lot of expensive phone calls but have little money.
4 These people agree to the criminal in cash for the calls they make-
not the real costs of course, much less.
5 The criminal then sells hundreds of long — phone calls — to
Australia, for example.
6 However, when the bill is at the end of the month,
the criminal disappears.
A Word search
Replace the underlined items with words and phrases from the text that have a similar meaning.
BT is preparing a new attack against telephone fraud, o
The system has increased the number of detected crimes.
d the n of f s
3 Telephone fraud is very serious.
b -t c
4 One form of the crime is selling calls to others and then failing to meet the bill.
d w the b is d
5 BT experts took two years to find enough evidence to take the criminals to court.
p the g on t
6 The system uses an advanced computer programme that identifies patterns of calls.
a o -o d
7 The company may offer a fraud-detection service to its business customers that is specially, designed for each customer.
C Complete the sentence.
Use an appropriate word or phrase from the box to complete each sentence, detect, prove, barons of organised crime, fraud, false name, evidence, arrested, convicted, imprisoned.
It is one thing to fraud; it is quite another to it.
Telephone is said to be in the hands of
The police cannot prosecute a criminal without
One gang managed to steal millions before they were
5. Opening an account in a seems to be very simple.
siphon off and divert
a) hold someone at a police station b) implement a serious campaign against an enemy c) move part of something without the owner
knowing about it d) put someone in prison e) find someone guilty of a crime
Match these terms with their definitions. .» ««•—i ->• •