Crackdown on smuggled clothing

clothesI buy all my clothes second-hand. Well, almost all of them. I wouldn’t consider buying second-hand boxer shorts or socks but other than that, all my clothes are already used when I buy them.

Until I saw this article on the Reuters website, I didn’t know that dealing in used clothes was such big business. There was some really interesting vocabulary in the article, too.

The first interesting word was in the title:

Crackdown on smugglers of used clothing

A ‘crackdown‘ is when the police or authorities make a serious effort to stop something from happening. We can also use it as a phrasal verb and say to ‘crack down‘.

The other interesting word here is ‘smuggler‘. Before we look at what a ‘smuggler‘ is, let’s have a look at the verb in its base form. To ‘smuggle‘ is to bring something into a country illegally. People smuggle for two main reasons. The first is that whatever they are importing is illegal in that country. The second reason is to avoid paying tax on whatever they are bringing in.

A ‘smuggler‘ is a person who smuggles things into a country. Later in the article, the phrase ‘smuggling ring‘ is used. This is the group of people that smuggle things into a country then distribute them.

The last expression I would like to look at in this article is the phrasal verb ‘turned up‘. In the context of this article, it means found or discovered. It is more common to use it to mean ‘arrived’ or ‘appeared’. For example, ‘he wasn’t invited to the party but he turned up anyway’.

Is it common to buy second-hand clothes in your country?

Today’s image is by Sanja Gjenero.

Indonesian Graft

corruptionThe trial mentioned in this article has been all over the news in Indonesia. I can see why so many people are following it, too. There have been accusations of murder and corruption. Some people have also mentioned a ‘love triangle‘ as the motive for the murder. It’s like something from a novel! A ‘love triangle‘ is when two people are in love with the same person and competing for his or her love.

The first word I would like to look at in this article is in the title:

Indonesia graft chiefs ‘suspects’

Graft can refer to a range of corrupt practices but usually means taking bribes or giving out government contracts to companies in a way that benefits or makes money for the ‘grafter‘ or corrupt official.

The final other expression I would like to look at is ‘clamp down‘. It means to make a severe or serious attempt to stop or suppress something. In this case, they are ‘clamping down‘ on graft. We could also use the expression ‘crack down‘ in the same way.

Do you have problems with corruption in your country?

Today’s image is by Ivan Petrov.