Week in Review (30th May – 2nd June)

Global computer failure in British Airways system

A global IT crash in British Airways´ computer system left thousands of travelers stranded at airports in England last weekend. Both, Gatwick as well as Heathrow airport were affected. The incident could not have happened at a worse time with a public holiday on Monday and many children starting their school mid-term breaks. Especially short-haul flights were cancelled.

Many people had to spend the night at the airports and slept on yoga mats provided by British Airways. Passengers were advised not to travel to the airport unless their flight was scheduled to depart within the next 90 mins with police guarding the entrances. British Airways apologized to their customers via Social Media and will be reliable to reimburse thousands of passengers for hotel costs.

There was no evidence of a cyber-attack. The problem is supposed to stem from a power supply issue. This was not the first incident with British Airways, they had a series of similar IT troubles. Earlier this month their website was offline for many hours.

to be stranded (ˈstrændɪd) – gestrandet sein, festsitzen

to be affected (əˈfektɪd) – betroffen sein

incident (ˈɪn(t)sɪdənt) – der Vorfall

worse (wɜ:s – bacd, worse, worst) – schlechter (Komp.)

mid-term break (mɪd-tɜ:m breɪk) – Halbjahres-Feriensh

short-haul flight (ʃɔ:t-hɔ:l flaɪt) – der Kurzstreckenflug

to provide (prə(ʊ)ˈvaɪd) – etwas zur Vefügung stellen

to advise (ədˈvaɪz) – jemanden beraten

unless (ʌnˈles) – außer wenn, es sei denn

to be scheduled (ˈʃedju:ld) – geplant, planmäßig

to depart (dɪˈpɑ:t) – fortgehen, hier: abfliegen

within (wɪˈðɪn) – innerhalb

entrance (ˈentrən(t)s) – der Eingang

to  be reliable (rɪˈlaɪəbl̩) – verantwortlich sein

to reimburse (ˌri:ɪmˈbɜ:s) – etwas ersetzen, jemanden entschädigen

evidence (ˈevɪdən(t)s) – der Beweis

to be supposed to (səˈpəʊzd) – es wird angenommen, vermutet

to stem (stem) – hier: zurückzuführen sein

power supply issue (ˈpaʊəʳ səˈplaɪ ˈɪʃu: ) – die Störung in der Stromversorgung

similar (ˈsɪmɪləʳ) – ähnlich

Bombing in Kabul´s embassy quarter

A suicide bomb killed at least 80 people and left more than 300 wounded in Kabul on Wednesday morning. The bomb detonated during rush hour when the streets were busy. Most of the casualties were civilians, among them many children and women. The detonation left a crater in the street and shattered windows and doors of nearby shops, bars and other buildings.

The incident happened near the presidential palace in Kabul but even nearer to the German embassy. Some employees there were injured through the blast. The neighborhood is considered the safest area in Kabul with many embassies protected by the police and guards. The Japanese, Turkish, French and British embassies also suffered damage although no one was seriously injured.

It is yet unclear what the target was. Also, no group claimed responsibility for the attack so far, the Taliban said they had nothing to do with it. This was the deadliest attack in the capital in years.


Suicide bomb (ˈsu:ɪsaɪd bɒm) – der Selbstmordattentat

to be wounded (ˈwu:ndɪd) – verwundet sein

to detonate (ˈdetəneɪt) – explodieren

rush hour (rʌʃ aʊəʳ) – die Hauptverkehrszeit

busy (ˈbɪzi) – beschäftigt sein

casualty (ˈkæʒjuəlti) – das Unfallopfer, der/die Verletzte

among (əˈmʌŋ) – darunter

to shattered (ˈʃætəʳ) – zerspringen, zerbrechen

embassy (ˈembəsi) – die Botschaft

employee (ɪmˈplɔɪi:) – der/die Angestellte

to be injured (ˈɪnʤəd) – verletzt sein

blast (blɑ:st) – die Explosion

neighborhood (ˈneɪbəhʊd) – die Nachbarschaft

to consider (kənˈsɪdəʳ) – hier: etwas für etwas halten, als etwas gelten

to suffer (ˈsʌfəʳ) – etwas erleiden

damage (ˈdæmɪʤ) – der Schaden

seriously (ˈsɪəriəsli) – ernsthaft, ernst

yet (jet) – hier: bis jetzt, noch

target (ˈtɑ:gɪt) – das Ziel

to claim responsibility (kleɪm rɪˌspɒn(t)səˈbɪləti) – die Verantwortung übernehmen

Nasa announces launch of new sun probe

NASA announces the launch of a sun probe, a mission that has been in the making for nearly 60 years. A sun probe will be launched into the sun´s atmosphere in 2018 and will help scientists to predict a solar storm. The probe was officially renamed the Parker Solar Probe on Wednesday after the Dr. Eugene Parker, an astrophysicist who first predicted the solar wind´s existence in 1958.

The sun´s atmosphere is the only region of the solar system that has yet to be explored. But only now does NASA have the technology to actually make that happen. Even today scientists do not know how solar storms happen but that is going to change.  A phenomenon like the solar storm would fry power lines, cause a blackout and it could also harm space travelers. The damage in the US alone would be as high as $2 trillion.

The car-sized probe is in the making since 2010 and will be able to endure temperatures of about 2,500C. It will travel closer to the sun´s surface than any man-made object ever before. NASA calls it the first mission to ever ‘touch’ the sun.


to announce (əˈnaʊn(t)s) – etwas bekanntgeben

launch (lɔ:n(t)ʃ) – der Markteintritt

probe (prəʊb) – hier: die Sonde

in the making (ˈmeɪkɪŋ]) – die Herstellung, in der Mache sein

to predict (prɪˈdɪkt) – etwas vorhersagen, prognostizieren

to rename (ˌri:ˈneɪm) – etwas umbenennen

solar system (ˈsəʊləʳˈsɪstəm) – das Sonnensystem

to explore (ɪkˈsplɔ:ʳ) – etwas erforschen, erkunden

to fry (fraɪ) – hier: etwas schmoren

power line (ˈpaʊəʳ laɪn) – die Stromleitung

to cause (kɔ:z) – etwas verursachen, hervorrufen

blackout (ˈblækaʊt) – hier: der Stromausfall

to harm (hɑ:m) – jmd. Schaden zufügen

damage (ˈdæmɪʤ) – der Schaden

to be able(ˈeɪbl̩) – in der Lage sein etwas zu tun

to endure (ɪnˈdjʊəʳ) – etwas ertragen, aushalten

surface (ˈsɜ:fɪs) – die Oberfläche

man-made (mæn-meɪd) – künstlich