Week in Review 18.09. – 22.09.

Hurricane Maria follows in the footsteps of Irma

Yet another hurricane has wreaked havoc in the Caribbean. The hurricane made landfall on Dominica late on Tuesday and then made its way to neighbouring Guadeloupe. The people on the French island have been warned to seek shelter and stay inside. Hurricane Maria roughly follows the path Irma took earlier this month. That means the hurricane is likely to hit some of the islands that have been already devastated by Irma.

Hurricane Maria suddenly strengthened to a category five storm with maximum sustained winds of 260km/h before hitting the Caribbean Island Dominica. It jumped from a category three to a category five in just a few hours. The rapid development is due to high sea surface temperatures and other favourable atmospheric conditions, such as low wind shear. The eye of the storm passed directly over the island. All ports and airports are closed and residents near the ocean have been asked to move to a safe location.

Islands that escaped Irma have been used as base for those who have not been so fortunate. Now concerns are raised about the relief works for those who have been hit by Irma. Furthermore, debris left over from hurricane Irma could be picked up by Maria, posing an extra threat. The US National Hurricane Centre predicted life-threatening mudslides, storm surges and flash floods as well. Britain, France, the US and the Netherlands all have overseas territories in the Caribbean and sent additional troops to reinforce those already there.

to wreak havoc (ri:k ˈhævək) – schlimme Schäden anrichten, sich verheerend auswirken
neighbouring (ˈneɪbərɪŋ) – angrenzend, benachbart
roughly (ˈrʌfli) – grob, ungefähr
to devastate (ˈdevəsteɪt) – zerstören, vernichten
to strengthen (ˈstreŋ(k)θən) – etw kräftigen, verstärken
maximum sustained winds (səˈsteɪn) – maximale Windgeschwindigkeit
rapid (ˈræpɪd) – schnell
development (dɪˈveləpmənt) – die Entwicklung
surface (ˈsɜ:fɪs) – die Oberfläche
favourable (ˈfeɪvərəbl̩) – positiv, begünstigend
condition (kənˈdɪʃən) – der Zustand
wind shear (ʃɪəʳ) – die Scherwinde
resident (ˈrezɪdənt) – der/die Bewohner/in
fortunate (ˈfɔ:tʃənət) – glücklich, Glück haben
concern (kənˈsɜ:n) – die Sorge, Besorgnis
relief work (rɪˈli:f wɜ:k) – der Hilfseinsatz
debris (ˈdebri:) – Trümmer, Schutt
to pose (pəʊz) – etw darstellen
overseas (ˈəʊvəsi:z) – in Übersee
additional (əˈdɪʃənəl) – zusätzlich

Trump gives first UN speech

US president Donald Trump gave his first speech at the United Nations and it met with criticism. The speech has been denounced by a few members. News agencies reported that loud, startled murmurs filled the room and one audience member even covered his face with his hands. Trump gave a vision for the world, were national sovereignty functions as the pillar for the international system. On the other hand, he spent large portions of his speech targeting other nations.

He called the Iran a rogue regime and said it would be better to pull out of the nuclear deal between Iran and the US but has not made his definite position public yet. Furthermore, Trump threatened to destroy North Korea and called Kim Jon-un “Rocket man”. Washington has repeatedly warned North Korea over its weapons tests. The North Korean ambassador walked out before Trump could start his speech.

The US president also attacked Venezuela and warned the country that the US is prepared to take actions against their corrupt government. The speech was similar to his inauguration speech regarding the message it conveyed – he urged other countries to follow his example and put their country first. Other members of the UN called the speech hateful and contradictory.

speech (spi:tʃ) – die Rede, Ansprache
to denounce (dɪˈnaʊn(t)s) – etw anprangern
to startle (ˈstɑ:tl̩) – jdn erschrecken, schockieren
murmur (ˈmɜ:məʳ) – das Gemurmel, Raunen
audience (ˈɔ:diən(t)s) – die Zuhörer, Zuschauer
sovereignty (ˈsɒvrənti) – die Oberhoheit, höchste Gewalt
pillar (ˈpɪləʳ) – die Säule, Pfeiler
rogue regime (rəʊg reɪˈʒi:m) – der Schurkenstaat
to destroy (dɪˈstrɔɪ) – etw zerstören
repeatedly (rɪˈpi:tɪdli) – wiederholt
ambassador (æmˈbæsədəʳ) – der/die Botschafter/in
to prepare (prɪˈpeəʳ) – etw vorbereiten
similar (ˈsɪmɪləʳ) – ähnlich
inauguration (ɪˌnɔ:gjəˈreɪʃən) – die Einführung, Eröffnung
to convey (kənˈveɪ) – etw vermitteln, überbringen
contradictory (ˌkɒntrəˈdɪktəri) – widersprüchlich

Catalonia referendum

Supporters gathered outside the high court in Barcelona over Madrid´s latest attempt to stop a referendum on self-determination. The vote is supposed to take place on Oct 1st. Although Catalonia has its own language and culture it is not recognized as a separate nation by the Spanish state. What is more, Spanish authorities regard the vote as illegal. Spain´s prime minister even went on national TV to urge Catalan separatists to abandon their plans for a referendum.

During police searches in Barcelona a lot of referendum material was seized. This sparked mass protests on Wednesday with 40.000 people blocking the entrance to the Catalan economy ministry while the police was inside the building. Protesters threw things at the police when they came outside and police charged at the protesters in return.

Despite all this the regions president says the vote will go ahead. Referendum supporters have plastered walls and pillars with homemade posters demanding freedom. Other Catalan towns, such as Tarragona and Berga, are in protest as well. Supporters of the referendum accuse the central government of effectively suspending devolution after it moved to seize control of regional finances that were supposed to fund the referendum.

supporter (səˈpɔ:təʳ) – Anhänger/in, Befürworter/in
attempt (əˈtem(p)t) – der Versuch
self-determination (self-dɪˌtɜ:mɪˈneɪʃən) – die Selbstestimmung
although (ɔ:lˈðəʊ) – obwohl
to recognize (ˈrekəgnaɪz) – etw anerkennen
separate (ˈsepərət) – gesondert, einzeln
to regard (rɪˈgɑ:d) – etw als etw betrachten, erachten
to abandon (əˈbændən) – etw aufgeben
during (ˈdjʊərɪŋ) – während
to seize (si:z) – etw beschlagnahmen
entrance (ˈentrən(t)s) – der Eingang, Einfahrt
economy ministry (ɪˈkɒnəmi ˈmɪnɪstri) – Ministerium für Wirtschaft
to charge (tʃɑ:ʤ) – jdn angreifen, auf jdn losgehen
in return (rɪˈtɜ:n) – im Gegenzug, dafür
despite (dɪˈspaɪt) – trotz, ungeachtet dessen
to plaster (ˈplɑ:stəʳ) – etw pflastern
pillar (ˈpɪləʳ) – die Säule, Pfeiler
to demand (dɪˈmɑ:nd) – etw verlangen, fordern
to accuse (əˈkju:z) – jdn beschuldigen, anklagen
to suspend (səˈspend) – etw einstellen, aussetzen
devolution (ˌdi:vəˈlu:ʃən) – die Dezentralisierung