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From CNN Student News, January 22, 2014:

It tells that how the Russian Police guard Sochi -- a city in Russia which is supposed to hold the Winter Olympics in 2014.

40,000 Russian police and security forces will be guarding the events. International officials are concerned about possible terrorism. Islamic militants have threatened to attack the games. And Russian police have handed out fliers of a woman they say may now be in Sochi and may be planning an attack.

I have two questions:

  1. From the dictionary, hand out means to give something to each person in a group, but this interpretation seems not work in the sentence. So what does the phrase hand out mean here?
  2. What's the meaning of fliers of a woman? Fliers is in the plural, but a woman is singular. I cannot understand the combination. And I also cannot understand what does the expression refer to. Can anyone give a proper explanation? Thanks.
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  • The link does not work! – Maulik V Jan 23 '14 at 6:00
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Your answers:

You are right about the verb 'hand out'. It's giving away something.

Now the second question -

Flier (n) - a piece of paper that has something printed on it and given to many people.

The troops suspect a woman who's into conspiracy and planning an attack in the mega event.

And Russian police have handed out fliers of a woman they say may now be in Sochi and may be planning an attack - The Russian police is now giving away a printed paper (to everyone) about that woman as she might be in Sochi. If anyone sees her, they can inform the police.

Here she is:

enter image description here

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  • @MarkZar You can think of flier as a piece of paper that could fly away from your hand easily (if you don't grasp it firmly and the wind is strong). It was translated into my first language as "a piece (of paper) that flies". ;-) – Damkerng T. Jan 23 '14 at 9:45
  • @DamkerngT. Very figurative, I guess it may be the origin of the word. – Searene Jan 23 '14 at 10:57

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