Week in Review (28th Aug – 01st Sept)

North Korea fires missile over Japan

North Korea fired a missile into Japan´s airspace on Tuesday, the prime minister of Japan called it an “unprecedented, serious threat”. It was not immediately clear what type of missile had been fired but by now it is confirmed that it was a ballistic missile. North Korea has never before used a ballistic missile, which is designed for military strikes, but always sent satellite missiles.

The missile travelled over the North Japanese island Hokkaido and fell into the Pacific. In many towns sirens wailed and people were urged to stay at home and seek shelter. Although there was no reported damage from the missile, people are terrified and shocked. North Korea aims to build an arsenal of nuclear missiles and announced that more launches will follow as part of military operations in the Pacific.

The UN Security Council met later on Tuesday and condemned North Korea´s actions. They called it a threat to all UN member states but did not threaten new sanctions against Pyongyang. Missile launches are banned under UN rules. It is said that the launch was a direct response to joint US-South Korean military drills. Trump renewed his support for Japan and said that all options were on the table regarding North Korea.

airspace (eəʳspeɪs) – der Luftraum
unprecedented (ʌnˈpresɪdəntɪd) – beispiellos
serious (ˈsɪəriəs) – Ernst, schwerwiegend
threat (θret) – die Drohung, Bedrohung
immediately (ɪˈmi:diətli) – sofort, gleich
ballistic missile (bəˈlɪstɪk ˈmɪsaɪl) – das Raketengeschoss
strike (straɪk) – der Angriff, Schlag
to wail (weɪl) – jammern, hier: heulen
to urge (ɜ:ʤ) – jdn zu etw drängen, eindringlich raten
shelter (ˈʃəltəʳ) – de Schutz, Unterstand
to be terrified (ˈterəfaɪ) – eschrocken, verängstigt
to aim (eɪm) – nach etw streben, etw zum Ziel haben
to condemn (kənˈdem) – jdn/etw verurteilen
member (ˈmembəʳ) – das Mitglied
response (rɪˈspɒn(t)s) – die Antwort
joint (ʤɔɪnt) – gemeinsam

No more Fake News

Facebook takes another step in trying to stop the spreading of fake news. Pages that post hoax stories on the social media platform will be banned from buying ads. Many pages use advertisements to build their audience and whenever someone clicks on a link that leads to a fake news story those pages can earn money off their readership. It is not easy to filter hoax stories but this step will contribute toward making it harder for people to exploit the system.

The problem of fake news gained traction after the 2016 US presidential election. Facebook already took a number of steps to crack on fake news stories. They will be fact checked by third parties, the news algorithm has changed as well and with a print campaign they tried to draw attention to the problem and how to spot a fake news story.

Pages that repeatedly share fake news are no longer allowed to buy ads. But Facebook did not want to share the amount of pages that will be affected by the new rule. Furthermore, it will not be a permanent ban but pages that stop posting hoax stories it may run ads again. The social media platform was criticized for fueling fake news stories by giving them a platform.

to spread (spred) – etw verbreiten
fake (feɪk) – falsch, gefälscht
hoax (həʊks) – die Täuschung, der Trick
to ban (bæn) – etw bannen, etw verbieten
advertisement (ədˈvɜ:tɪsmənt) – die Werbung, die Reklame
audience (ˈɔ:diən(t)s) – Zuschauer, Publikum
readership (ˈri:dəʃɪp) – die Leserschaft, der Leserkreis
to contribute (kənˈtrɪbju:t) – zu etw beitragen, beisteuern
to exploit (ɪkˈsplɔɪt) – jdn ausbeuten, ausnutzen
to gain (geɪn) – an etw gewinnen
traction (ˈtrækʃən) – die Zugkraft, Antrieb
to crack (kræk) – etw knacken ( im Sinne von: etw lösen)
to fact check (fækt tʃek) – Aussagen überprüfen, etw nachschlagen
print campaign (prattention (əˈten(t)ʃ ə n) – die Aufmerksamkeit
to allow (əˈl) – etw erlauben
amount (əˈmnt) – die Menge
to fuel (ˈfju:əl) – etw nähren, antreiben

Chemical plant in Houston about to blow up

A chemical plant near Houston is expected to explode and catch fire during the next days. Due to the heavy rainfall the plant lost its ability to refrigerate chemical compounds. The plant shut down last week on Friday before the storm hit but the heavy rainfall flooded the plant and cut its power off. The back-up generators were also flooded. The facility manufactures compounds that are used in everything from making pharmaceuticals to construction materials.

The weather forecast says there is no sign of easing over the next days. Due to the high water already on the plant there is no way to prevent the explosion. The fire is expected to be mostly contained to the site but residents in a 2.4km radius have been evacuated. The last workers remaining on the plant left on Tuesday. Even a temporary ban on flights near the plant is active.

plant (plɑ:nt) – das Werk, der Betrieb
to catch (kæ) – etw fangen, einfangen
ability (əˈbɪləti) – die Fähigkeit
to refrigerate (rɪˈfrɪʤərt) – etw im Kühlschrank aufbewahren, kühl lagern
compound (kəmˈpnd) – die Mischung, der Stoff (chem.)
back-up (bæk– ʌp) – Reserve-, Ersatz-
facility (fəˈsɪlɪti) – die Einrichtung, die Anlage
to manufacture (ˌmænjəˈfækəʳ) – etw herstellen
weather forecast (ˈweðəʳˈfɔ:ʳkɑ:st) – die Wettervorhersage
to prevent (prɪˈvent) – etw verhindern, vorbeugen
to contain (kənˈtn) – etw in Grenzen halten
temporary (ˈtempərəri) – zeitweilig