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Week in Review – Children Saved, Pope Francis and One Year of Donald Trump

Parents arrested in California – Children Saved

A couple has been arrested in California for holding their children captive at their house. Some were even shackled to beds with chains. The children were between 2 and 29 years old. A 17-year old managed to escape the prison and alerted the police. When they arrived at the house they found the children in dark and foul-smelling surroundings and seemingly underfed.

At first police didn’t notice that some of the children were actually adults – they were all so thin and dirty that they seemed years younger. They were all brought to the police station where they received food and water before they were sent to the hospital to get checked. No-one knows how long the children have been kept prisoners or more importantly why.

The neighbourhood looks friendly and quiet and the neighbours say they didn’t know much about the family but never suspected something so gruesome going on. The grandparents stated they hadn’t seen the family in years. The father is listed as principal for a private school operated from home. In California private schools operate mostly outside jurisdiction and regulations. The couple is very religious and they had so many children to please god.

couple (ˈkʌpl̩) – einige, ein paar, hier: das Paar
to arrest (əˈrest) – jdn festnehmen
captive (ˈkæptɪv) – gefangen
to shackle (ˈʃækl̩) – jdn fesseln, anketten
chain (tʃeɪn) – die Kette, Fessel
to alert (əˈlɜ:t) – jedn alarmieren
foul-smelling (faʊl-smelɪŋ) – übelriechend
surrounding (səˈraʊndɪŋ) – die Umgebung, Verhältnisse
underfed (ˈʌndəʳfed) – unterernährt
actually (ˈæktʃuəli) – eigentlich, tatsächlich
thin (θɪn) – dünn, dürr
dirty (ˈdɜ:ti) – dreckig, schmutzig
to receive (rɪˈsi:v) – etw erhalten, bekommen
important (ɪmˈpɔ:tənt) – wichtig, wesentlich
neighbourhood (ˈneɪbəhʊd) – die Nachbarschaft
quiet (kwaɪət) – leise, ruhig
to suspect (səˈspekt) – etw vermuten, verdächtigen
gruesome (ˈgru:səm) – grausig, schaurig
to list (lɪst) – auflisten, aufführen
to operate (ˈɒpəreɪt) – funktionieren, operieren, arbeiten
jurisdiction (ˌʤʊərɪsˈdɪkʃən) – die Gerichtsbarkeit, Zuständigkeit
regulation (ˌregjəˈleɪʃən) – die Vorschrift, die Bestimmung

Pope Francis Meets with Sex Abuse Victims

Pope Francis has met with victims of sex abuse through priests in Chile. The meeting was strictly private and there are no further information about what was going on behind closed doors. Earlier he was heavily criticised for ordaining a bishop who was accused of covering up sexual abuse. During his visit the pope said the mass to some 400.000 people in Santiago and made the issue a topic during the service.

Furthermore, he gave his sympathy to victims and their families whose trust in the church was betrayed. In the past Pope Francis had already talked about how important it is to deal with sexual abuse as it damages the credibility of the institution church and that sanctions must be imposed. Under Pope Francis a committee has been set up to fight sexual abuse and to help victims. But on the other hand, he has not responded to the request to review the appointment of Juan Barros as bishop.

On Monday activists gathered in Santiago for a conference to talk about what could be done about sexual abuse and how to fight for the rights of victims. They stated that saying sorry is not enough and they urged Pope Francis to take actions and said that more transparency on the issue is needed. Furthermore, they launched an organisation called “Ending Clerical Abuse”.

victim (ˈvɪktɪm) – das Opfer
abuse (əˈbju:s) – etw/jdn missbrauchen
strictly (ˈstrɪktli) – genauestens, hier: streng
heavily (ˈhevɪli) – stark, sehr
to ordain (ɔ:ˈdeɪn) – jdn ordinieren, zum Priester weihen
to accuse (əˈkju:z) – jdn anklagen, beschuldigen
to cover up (ˈkʌvəʳ ʌp) – etw verschleiern, vertuschen
issue (ˈɪʃu:) – das Thema, die Frage, das Problem
trust (trʌst) – das Vertrauen
to betray (bɪˈtreɪ) – etw/jdn verraten, hintergehen
important (ɪmˈpɔ:tənt) – wichtig, wesentlich
credibility (ˌkredəˈbɪləti) – die Glaubwürdigkeit
to impose (ɪmˈpəʊz) – etw durchsetzen, etw erlassen
to respond (rɪˈspɒnd) – etw erwidern, antworten
request (rɪˈkwest) – die Bitte Anfrage
to gather (ˈgæðəʳ) – sich versammeln, zusammenkommen
to launch (lɔ:n(t)ʃ) – etw beginnen, einführen
clerical (ˈklerɪkəl) – geistlich

One Year of Donald Trump

There are good, bad and ugly things to say about the first year of Donald Trump´s presidency. To start with the positive, nearly 2.1 million jobs have been created and unemployment remains at 4.1 %. Furthermore, illegal immigration is down, consumer and business confidence is up and the GDP (gross domestic product) continued to grow. Republicans have a governing majority, the largest one since 1929.

Nevertheless, the members are in disagreement over most topics and they openly fight about the direction the party should travel. Because of the constant disagreement they could not repeal Obamacare, for example. The democrats might even take over control of the House of Representatives and that would make impeachment a dangerous possibility.

Donald Trump is often his worst enemy, although he usually blames the media of being biased and publishing fake news. Also his constant use of twitter to comment and to belittle his opponents is beneath the dignity of his office. Furthermore, he faced a lot of allegations of racism and criticism for his disparaging comments about other countries.

It is a sad thing when the media questions whether the president is a racist at an event honouring Martin Luther King or makes comments about his mental fitness. All in all, the question remains if Donald Trump is even aware of that. Does he realise that he has to care for all the people in America and not just white, middle-class men? The next year will show.

ugly (ˈʌgli) – hässlich, übel
nearly (ˈnɪəli) – fast, beinahe
unemployment (ˌʌnɪmˈplɔɪmənt) – die Arbeitslosigkeit
to remain (rɪˈmn) – verbleiben
consumer (kənˈsju:məʳ) – der Verbraucher, Konsument
confidence (ˈkɒnfɪdən(t)s) – das Vertrauen, Zuversicht
gross domestic product (grəʊs dəˈmestɪk ˈprɒdʌkt) – das Bruttosozialprodukt
disagreement (ˌdɪsəˈgri:mənt) – die Uneinigkeit, Meinungsverschiedenheit
to repeal (rɪˈpi:l) – etw aufheben, außer Kraft setzen
impeachment (ɪmˈpi:mənt) – das Amtsenthebungsverfahren
dangerous (ˈdnʤərəs) – gefährlich, gefahrvoll
possibility (ˌpɒsəˈbɪləti) – die Möglichkeit
enemy (ˈenəmi) – der Feind, Gegner
although (ɔ:lˈðəʊ) – obwohl, obgleich
usually (ˈju:ʒəli) – gewöhnlich, normalerweise
to blame (blm) – jdn verantwortlich machen, beschuldigen
biased (ˈbəst) – voreingenommen, vorgefasst
to belittle (bɪˈlɪt) – jdn schlechtmachen, herabsetzen
opponent (əˈpəʊnənt) – der/die Widersacher/in
beneath (bɪˈni:θ) – unter
dignity (ˈdɪgnɪti) – die Würde
disparaging (dɪˈspærɪʤɪŋ) – geringschätzig, verächtlich
whether (ˈ(h)weðəʳ) – ob
to honour (ˈɒnəʳ) – jdn ehren, achten
mental fitness (ˈmentəl ˈfɪtnəs) – gesitige Gesundheit, geistige Fitness
aware (əˈwʳ) – sich bewusst sein
to realise (ˈrɪəlz) – etw erkennen, begreifen, sich klarmachen