The End of the Space Age
From a recent issue of the Economist. A rather disparaging account of international space programs and their future.
I don't like the word "space cadets" used repeatedly in this article, by the way. It seems to insinuate that those who follow the lead of the likes of Carl Sagan are a bunch of starry-eyed boy scouts. But I shouldn't prejudice you. Listen and judge for yourself.
I'm using the free "Economist" iPhone app to access selected Economist articles for some time now, but I didn't realize until a few days ago that the application had an audio feature. In fact, you can download and listen to recordings of all articles (the above article included), read not by software but by human narrators.
That being the case, is it superfluous for us to read the Economist articles out loud and record it? Far from it, at least from a viewpoint of someone struggling to read English well. In fact, I'd encourage you to do it. You can then compare your performance with that of narrators hired by the Economist. Mind you, their art of reading is not exactly the gold standard, so don't go trying to imitate them. Generally speaking, learning by uncritical mimicking is a bad idea in the long run. But there are things you can learn from them; how they emphasize certain parts of speech to get the meaning across, for instance. If you think the way they handle a particular phrase is effective, steal it. Take what you need and discard the rest. Keep on doing that and someday, hopefully soon, you'll find that you have got your own style.