Speed Reading — Most-Wanted - Level 6 — 500 wpm

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The majority of the most-wanted fugitives in Europe are women. Europe's crime agency Europol has revealed a list of 21 criminals who are on the run from the authorities. Eighteen of these are women. The wanted suspects have been accused of a range of charges including murder, human and drug trafficking and robbery. The most-wanted list was released as part of Europol's "Crime has no gender" campaign. A spokeswoman said: "People think that usually these crimes are not being committed by women, but they are, and they are equally as serious as those committed by men." However, a crime expert told the BBC that: "Some women do commit serious crimes. They do so far less frequently than men."

The Europol campaign hopes to raise awareness, "that women are just as likely to commit violent crimes as men." A spokeswoman said: "Even though the discourse is often around male fugitives, women can be just as bad." The campaign's website asks visitors the question: "Are women equally as capable of committing serious crimes as men?" It then answers that very question by stating: "The female fugitives featured on Europe's Most Wanted website prove that they are [capable]. The criminals - of both genders - in this new campaign by EU law enforcement are all wanted for grave offenses like murder, drug trafficking, fraud, theft and trafficking in human beings."

Comprehension questions
  1. What is the name of the crime agency mentioned in the article?
  2. How many on Europe's most-wanted list are women?
  3. What is the name of the Internet campaign mentioned in the article?
  4. What did a spokeswoman say about the severity of women's crimes?
  5. Who said women commit serious crime far less frequently than men?
  6. What does the crime agency hope the campaign raises?
  7. What did a spokeswoman say the discourse was often around?
  8. Who was a website question directed at?
  9. What did the question ask if women were capable of?
  10. What kind of crimes did the website say people were wanted for?

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