Week in Review – Beer Bottle Shortage, Polar Bear and Death Penalty

Beer Bottle Shortage in Germany

Due to the heat wave the beer bottle sales have increased in Germany. The country saw the warmest month since records began in 1881 and might even break the highest record of 40,3° C soon. Now breweries struggle to maintain the supply – they run out of bottles and ask their consumers to return their empty bottles as soon as possible.

Campaigns on Facebook remind customers to bring back all the empty beer bottles before they leave for their holiday. Many other European countries use cans but German breweries often have customized beet bottles that are tricky to replace.

After a few years of decline this increase in sales is welcomed by breweries. The early end for Germany in the World Cup came rather unexpected and jeopardized the beer sales. But thanks to the heat wave sales are back on track now – 47,1 million hectoliters in total beer sales in just half a year. Even though the prices increased by 4% in comparison to last year people still drink more beer to fight the heat. Luckily for beer drinkers, the hops harvest should be about average this year.

due to (dju:) – auf Grund von, geschuldet
heat wave (hi:t weɪv) – die Hitzewelle
might (maɪt) – könnte
brewery (ˈbru:əri) – die Brauerei, Brauhaus
to struggle (ˈstrʌgl̩) – sich abmühen, kämpfen
to maintain (meɪnˈteɪn) – etw beibehalten, aufrecht erhalten
supply (səˈplaɪ) – der Vorrat, Versorgung, Bereitstellung
empty (ˈem(p)ti) – leer
to remind (rɪˈmaɪnd) – jdn erinnern
customer (ˈkʌstəməʳ) – der/die Kunde/in
to replace (rɪˈpleɪs) – etw ersetzen
decline (dɪˈklaɪn) – der Rückgang, Abnahme
unexpected (ˌʌnɪkˈspektɪd) – unerwartet, unverhofft
to jeopardize (ˈʤepədaɪz) – etw gefährden, etw riskieren
hops (hɒps) – Hopfen
harvest (ˈhɑ:vɪst) – die Ernte
average (ˈævərɪʤ) – der Durchschnitt

Polar Bear Killed by Cruise Line

A crew member of a German cruise ship killed a polar bear that attacked a guard. The cruise ship was travelling near the northernmost island of the Svalbard archipelago, between mainland Norway and the North Pole. It was a tour supposed to show the polar bears off to a group of tourists. The incident caused a huge backlash and brought up the question if the guard really had to kill the bear.

Apparently a four-man team headed out ahead of the group of tourists to scare the bears off by making loud noises and even firing a signal pistol. However, that didn’t seem to disturb the bears. The polar bear that attacked the guard had not been spotted before and gave the guard no time to react. The other team members said the bear had to be killed in order to save the guard´s life. He is in stable condition now but still in the hospital.

Since the natural habitat of polar bears is shrinking encounters between bears and humans occur more and more often. In future, people need to find a way to proactively prevent encounters with polar bears or at least find a way to deescalate the situation without killing the animal. It is believed that there are between 20.000 and 25.000 polar bears left in the world.

Although there are specific rules of engagement that cruise lines have to follow in order to limit encounters between polar bears and humans it is sometimes impossible to spot the animals in the snow. This is the second polar bear that has been killed in 20 years of the cruising industry in Svalbard.

guard (gɑ:d) – die Wache, Wachposten
mainland (meɪn lænd) – das Festland
incident (ˈɪn(t)sɪdənt) – der Vorfall, Zwischenfall
backlash (bæk læʃ) – der Rückschlag, Reaktion
noise (nɔɪz) – das Geräusch, Lärm
to disturb (dɪˈstɜ:b) – jdn/etw stören
condition (kənˈdɪʃən) – der Zustand
habitat (ˈhæbɪtæt) – der Lebensraum
to shrink (ʃrɪŋk) – schrumpfen, eingehen
encounter (ɪnˈkaʊntəʳ) – die Begegnung, Treffen
to prevent (prɪˈvent) – etw verhindern, vorbeugen
at least (li:st) – hier: zumindest, wenigstens
rule of engagement (ru:l  ɪnˈgeɪʤmənt) – die Spielregel
to spot (spɒt) – etw bemerken, entdecken

Pope Changes View on Death Penalty

The Catholic Church opposes death penalty in all circumstances after Pope Francis changed the teachings of the faith. They previously stated that death penalty could be applied in some cases but it is an attack on the dignity of a person and therefore needs to be abolished, according to the Pope. It is an outdated concept.

Pope Francis has spoken against executions before – last year he urged the Church to go with modern concerns and change the view on the death penalty. Today we have detention methods that are more effective. Inmates have the time and the opportunity to think about their crimes and ask for redemption. All life is sacred and we need to give criminals a second chance.

The pope vowed he would work towards the worldwide abolishment of the death penalty. Popes before had different opinions on the issue but historically they have been unopposed. The new teachings have been approved in May but have only been published on Thursday earlier this week. It now states that the “death penalty is inadmissible”.

to oppose (əˈpəʊz) – gegen etw sein, etw ablehnen
death penalty (deθ ˈpenəlti) – die Todesstrafe
teaching (ˈti:ɪŋ) – die Lehren
faith (fθ) – der Glaube
previously (ˈpri:viəsli) – zuvor, früher, vorher
dignity (ˈdɪgnɪti) – die Würde
to abolish (əˈbɒlɪʃ) – etw abschaffen, aufheben
outdated (aʊt ˈdtɪd) – veraltet, überholt
detention (dɪˈten(t)ʃən) – die Haft, Arrest
inmate (ˈɪnmt) – der/die Insasse/in
redemption (rɪˈdem(p)ʃən) – die Wiedergutmachung
sacred (ˈskrɪd) – heilig
to vow (v) – etw geloben, schwören
to approve (əˈpru:v) – etw zustimmen, gutheißen
inadmissible (ˌɪnədˈmɪsəb) – unzulässig