Week in Review (10th – 14th July)

Airstrikes in Iraq and Syria result in a rising number of civilian casualties

The city Mosul has been liberated from the Islamic State (IS). The US has led a coalition airstrike into Mosul to liberate the ISIS stronghold in Iraq and another one into the city Raqqa in Syria. This has come at a heavy cost for the civilians trapped inside the two cities. ISIS is known to have used civilians as shields, hiding among them and killing people who tried to flee the cities according to the United Nations Human Rights Office.

The US led coalition airstrike was meant to root out the jihadists but it also resulted in the death of numbers of civilians. The non-profit organisation Airwars tracks the number of civilian casualties against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The group consists of former journalists from Europe, the Middle East and the US. They found that at least 4,354 civilians have been killed by US-led coalition airstrikes between August 2014 and June 2017.

Mosul was captured by ISIS in 2014 and is the second largest city in Iraq. More than 850,000 people managed to leave the city. The press office for the coalition, the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, released a statement saying there is no evidence that the number of civilian casualties has increased over the last months. The US military says there first priority is to stop people from suffering by defeating ISIS as soon as possible.

Now the coalition forces are closing in on Raqqa. The city is of great strategic importance to ISIS as they used it as a base to launch attacks on the West. Here the UN again criticises the use of unrestrained airstrikes without any regard for civilian protection. For the organisations trying to help civilians fleeing from the violence it has been an extremely challenging experience.

to liberate (ˈlɪbəreɪt) – befreien

airstrike (eəʳ straɪk) – der Luftschlag, der Luftangriff

stronghold (strɒŋhəʊld) – die Hochburg, die Festung, der Stützpunkt

heavy (ˈhevi) – schwer, schwer wiegend

to trap (træp) – hier: eingeschlossen sein, eingesperrt

shield (ʃi:ld) – das (Schutz)schild

among (əˈmʌŋ) – unter, zwischen

to root out (ru:t aʊt) – etw entreissen

to result (rɪˈzʌlt) – resultieren, sich ergeben

non-profit (ˌnɒnprɒfɪt) – gemeinnützig, nicht gewinnorientiert

to track (træk) –

casualty (ˈkæʒjuəlti) – (Unfall)opfer

to consist (kənˈsɪst) – bestehen aus

to capture (ˈkæptʃəʳ) – jdn gefangen nehmen

large (lɑ:ʤ) – groß

to manage (ˈmænɪʤ) – leiten, hier: etw schaffen

press office (pres ˈɒfɪs) – die Pressestelle, das Pressebüro

task force (tɑ:sk fɔ:s) – die Sonereinheit, die Einsatzmannschaft

inherent (ɪnˈherənt) – innewohnend

resolve (rɪˈzɒlv) – die Entschlossenheit

statement (ˈsteɪtmənt) – die Äußerung, die Erklärung

evidence (ˈevɪdən(t)s) – der Beweis

to increase (ɪnˈkri:s) – ansteigen, zunehmen

priority (praɪˈɒrəti) – die Dringlichkeit, die Priorität

to suffer (ˈsʌfəʳ) – leiden

to defeat (dɪˈfi:t) – jdn besiegen, jdn schlagen

soon (su:n) – bald

to close in (kləʊs ɪn) – jdn einkesseln

importance (ɪmˈpɔ:tən(t)s) – die Wichtigkeit, de Bedeutung

unrestrained (ˌʌnrɪˈstreɪnd) – uneingeschränkt, hemmungslos

regard (rɪˈgɑ:d) – hier: die Rücksicht

protection (prəˈtekʃən) – der Schutz

violence (ˈvaɪələn(t)s)  – die Gewalt

challenging (ˈtʃælɪnʤɪŋ) – herausfordernd

experience (ɪkˈspɪəriən(t)s) – die Erfahrung

Trump didn´t know about son´s meeting with Russian lawyer

Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer who said she could provide damaging material about Hilary Clinton that could help with Donald Trump´s campaign. The meeting was arranged by an intermediary, a British publicist. It took place last year in June and apart from Trump Jr. Jared Kushner and the campaign chairman were also present. Trump Jr. said he didn´t tell his father about the meeting because there was nothing to tell.

Trump Jr. stated that he was interested in the information as part of opposition research. He released the Mails after he had been told that the New York Times would publish the full exchange. The president defended his son and praised his transparency. From the Mails it is apparent that Trump Jr. was rather eager to get information that could have helped to boost his father´s campaign. Furthermore, he thought he would be meeting with a Russian government representative.

However, the meeting was a waste of time according to Trump Jr. as no important or sensitive information about the Clinton campaign were provided. The Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, denied ever having any information about Clinton or even having links to the Kremlin. In lights of the ongoing investigation into the alleged meddling with the US election, the news about this meeting show that the scope of the investigation has grown.

lawyer (ˈlɔɪəʳ) – der Rechtsanwalt

to provide (prə(ʊ)ˈvaɪd) – etw bereitstellen, mit etw besorgen

damaging (ˈdæmɪʤɪŋ) – schädlich, nachteilig

to arrange (əˈreɪnʤ) – etw vereinbaren, etw arrangieren

intermediary (ˌɪntəˈmi:diəri) – der Vermittler

publicist (ˈpʌblɪsɪst) – der Pressesprecher, der Presseagent

apart (əˈpɑ:t) – hier: abgesehen von, außerdem

chairman (tʃeəʳ mæn) – der Vorsitzende, der Vorstand

opposition (ˈɒpəˈzɪʃən) – die Gegenseite, der Gegener

research (rɪˈsɜ:tʃ) – die Forschung, die Recherche

exchange (ɪksˈtʃeɪnʤ) – der Austausch

to defend (dɪˈfend) – etw(jdn verteidigen, etw/jdn unterstützen

to praise (preɪz) – jdn/etw loben, rühmen

transparency (trænsˈpærən(t)si) – die Lichtdurchlässigkeit, hier: die Offenheit, die Transparenz

apparent (əˈpærənt) – offensichtlich, scheinbar

rather (ˈrɑ:ðəʳ) – eher, hier: ziemlich,

eager (ˈi:gəʳ) – begierig, eifrig

to boost (bu:st) – etw ansteigen lassen, einen Schub geben

waste (weɪst) – die Verschwendung, die Vergeudung

to deny (dɪˈnaɪ) – etw abstreiten, etw leugnen

even (ˈi:vən) – selbst, sogar

ongoing (ˈɒnˌgəʊɪŋ) – laufend, im Gang

scope (skəʊp) – der Rahmen, der Umfang

Brexit – Repeal will be published

The Repeal Bill will ensure the same rules apply in the UK after Brexit but the UK parliament will be given the power to change them. The bill will repeal the European Communities Act 1972 and removes the supremacy of Brussels law. The bill will not be debated until autumn but is due in March 2019 when the UK leaves the EU. The minister in charge of the UK´s EU exit urged the MP´s to work together to make Brexit a success.

The bill is supposed to convert EU law into UK law and not a bill to repeal and replace. People will have to face the same laws as before the government says. They will publish three position papers for the exit negotiations that will be presented to the European Commission in Brussels next week for discussion. One will cover safeguards issues and the other ones will deal with ongoing judicial and administrative proceedings.

Brexit secretary David Davis says it is one of the most significant pieces of legislation that has ever passed through parliament. He will work together with anyone to ensure that Brexit will be successful for everyone. Labour on the other hand fears that the bill represents a power grab by Westminster over the devolved administrations. It looks like it will be a tough fight between government and parliament.

to ensure (ɪnˈʃɔ:ʳ) – etw garantieren, etw sicherstellen

rule (ru:l) – die Regel, die Vorschrift

bill (bɪl) – hier: die Gesetzesvorlage, der Gesetzesentwurf

to repeal (rɪˈpi:l) – etw aufheben (ein Gesetz), außer Kraf setzen

to remove (rɪˈmu:v) – etw entfernen, wegräumen

supremacy (su:ˈpreməsi) – die Vormachtsstellung

law (lɔ:) – das Gesetz

to debate (dɪˈbeɪt) – etw diskutieren, debattieren

autumn (ˈɔ:təm) – der Herbst

due (dju:) – fällig

in charge (tʃɑ:ʤ) – verantwortlich sein, federführend sein

to urge (ɜ:ʤ) – hier: jdn drängen, eindringlich bitten

success (səkˈses) – der Erfolg

to suppose (səˈpəʊz) – hier: etw tun sollen

to convert (ˈkɒnvɜ:t) – etw umwandeln

to replace (rɪˈpleɪs) – etw ersetzen

position paper (pəˈzɪʃən ˈpeɪpəʳ) – das Positionspapier, das Grundsatzpapier

negotiation (nɪˌgəʊʃiˈeɪʃən) – die Verhandlung, die Aushandlung

to cover (ˈkʌvəʳ) – hier: behandeln, abdecken

safeguard (ˈseɪfgɑ:d) – die Absicherung, die Schutzmaßnahme

issue (ˈɪʃu:) – das Thema, die Frage, die Angelegenheit

judicial (ʤu:ˈdɪʃəl) – gerichtlich

administrative (ədˈmɪnɪstrətɪv) – administrativ, Verwaltungs-

proceedings (prə(ʊ)ˈsi:dɪŋ) – das Verfahren

legislation (ˌleʤɪˈsleɪʃən) – die Gesetze

to pass (pɑ:s) – hier: verabschieden (ein Gesetz)

to fear (fɪəʳ) – etw befürchten

to grab (græb) – der Griff,

to devolve (dɪˈvɒlv) – übergehen, übertragen werden

Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo is dead

Liu Xiaodo was China´s most prominent political prisoner and pro-democracy icon. He died on Thursday at the age of 61. He was jailed in 2009 for eleven years for “inciting subversion of state power”. He was moved to a hospital earlier this year because he was suffering from advanced-stage liver cancer. This week he died in the hospital after multiple organ failure.

China was criticized for not releasing him sooner so he could get the medical care he needed. Amnesty International released a statement mourning him and remembering Liu Xiaodo as “an inspiring figure whose only crime was to speak truth to power.”

Liu Xiaodo was imprisoned in 1989 for the first time in connection with pro-democracy protests. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010 while he was in prison serving his fourth and last sentence. He advocated sweeping political reforms and greater human rights in China.

icon (ˈkɒn) – die Ikone, das Idol

to jail (ʤl) – jdn einsperren, inhaftieren

to incite (ɪnˈst) – jdn aufstacheln, anstiften

subversion (səbˈvɜ:ʃən) – die Unterwanderung

to suffer(ˈsʌfəʳ) – leiden

advanced-stage (ədˈvɑ:n(t)st-stʤ) – fortgeschrittenes Stadium

liver (ˈlɪvəʳ) – die Leber

cancer (ˈkæn(t)səʳ) – Krebs (med.)

failure (ˈfljəʳ) – das Scheitern, das Versagen

sooner (su:n) – bald, hier: eher

care (kʳ) – die Betreuung, die Pflege

to mourn (mɔ:n) – trauern

crime (krm) – das Verbrechen

to imprison (ɪmˈprɪzən) – jdn inhaftieren, einsperren

to award (əˈwɔ:d) – jdn auszeichnen

to serve (sɜ:v) – hier: etw absitzen, ableisten

sentence (ˈsentən(t)s)  – die Strafe, die Gefängnisstrafe

to advocate (ˈædvəkt) – etw unterstützen, befürworten

to sweep (swi:p) – etw hinwegfegen