Week in Review – Church Shooting, Walt Disney and a Third Gender

Texas Church Shooting

26 people died during a shooting in a church in Texas. During a Sunday service a gunman opened fire at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs that left 20 more people wounded. The victim´s ages ranged from 5 to 72. The shooter was later found dead in his car. He was a young white male of 26 years.

He had opened fire outside the church and then went inside, dressed in a bulletproof vest. When he left the church a local citizen shot back at the gunman with his own rifle and the shooter fled the scene by car. Citizens pursued the gunman and eventually the suspect lost control of his car and crashed it. The car contained several more weapons and it is unclear if the suspect died from a self-inflicted wound or through one of the citizens.

The incident was stated to be the worst mass shooting in the history of Texas. The gunman was unknown to the community of Sutherland Springs and police is now investigating to find out where he came from. The motives for this act are unclear. President Trump blamed mental health problems in the US for the incident and stated it was not a guns situation.

service (ˈsɜ:vɪs) – hier: der Gottesdienst
victim (ˈvɪktɪm) – das Opfer
to range (reɪnʤ) – schwanken, sich bewegen von bis
bulletproof vest (ˈbʊlɪtpru:f vest) – schusssichere/kugelsichere Weste
citizen (ˈsɪtɪzən) – der Bürger
rifle (ˈraɪfl̩) – das Gewehr
to pursue (pəˈsju:) – jdn/etw verfolgen, auf den Fersen sein
eventually (ɪˈventʃuəli) – schließlich, endlich, irgendwann
to contain (kənˈteɪn) – etw enthalten
several (ˈsevərəl) – einige, verschiedene
self-inflicted (self- ɪnˈflɪkt) – selbst zugefügt, selbst beigebracht
unknown (ʌnˈnəʊn) – unbekannt
to investigate (ɪnˈvestɪgeɪt) – etw untersuchen, ermitteln
to blame (bleɪm) – jdn beschuldigen, verantwortlich machen

LA Times back on Disney’s good side

Walt Disney ended its ban of the Los Angeles Times. The company had excluded the newspaper from press screenings because of an article that was published in September. The article was a two-part piece about the company´s California Park and its relationship with the town of Anaheim, where it is based. Disney´s decision was publicly criticized by highly-profiled organisations and individuals. The New York Times and the Washington Post vowed to boycott Disney as well out of solidarity.

Disney claimed the article painted a false picture and disregarded journalistic standards. In the article the LA Times showed that Disney is facing opposition from politicians in Anaheim. Furthermore, apparently the company had made deals with the city that were rather lucrative for Disney itself but not so much for the citizens of Anaheim. The LA Times informed its readers it could not review Disney´s Christmas movies because they were banned from the advance screenings.

The ban backfired completely when on Tuesday a band of critics associations voted to disqualify Disney movies from award consideration. On Tuesday the company back paddled and stated it had changed its mind about the ban. After a productive talk with the newly installed leadership at the LA Times, Disney revoked the restrictions. This is a dangerous precedent as it shows how a big company tried to punish a newspaper over an article they did not agree on.

to exclude (ɪksˈklu:d) – jdn/etw ausschließen, nicht zulassen
press screening (pres ˈskri:nɪŋ) – die Pressevorführung
relationship (rɪˈleɪʃənʃɪp) – die Beziehung
highly-profiled (ˈhaɪli- ˈprəʊfaɪlt) – profiliert, bedeutend
to vow (vaʊ) – etw geloben, schwören
to disregard (ˌdɪsrɪˈgɑ:d) – etw ignorieren, nicht beachten
opposition (ˈɒpəˈzɪʃən) – der Widerstand, Opposition
apparently (əˈpærəntli) – anscheinend, es sieht so aus
rather (ˈrɑ:ðəʳ) – ziemlich, recht
advance (ədˈvɑ:n(t)s) – im Voraus
to backfire (bæk ˈfaɪəʳ) – nach hinten losgehen, fehlzünden, ins Auge gehen
consideration (kənˌsɪdərˈeɪʃən) – die Überlegung, in Betracht ziehen
to back paddle (bæk ˈpædl̩) – zurückrudern
to install (ɪnˈstɔ:l) – jdn einsetzen
to revoke (rɪˈvəʊk) – etw aufheben, rückgängig machen
restriction (rɪˈstrɪkʃən) – die Beschränkung, Einschränkung
precedent (ˈpresɪdənt) – der Präzedenzfall,
to punish (ˈpʌnɪʃ) – jdn bestrafen

German Court rules for third gender

The third gender will be an option for people who don’t identify as either male or female or for people with an ambiguous sexual anatomy. The Federal Constitutional Court ruled in favour of the third gender on Wednesday. It is supposed to be enacted by the end of 2018, either by allowing a third category or by dispensing with gender altogether in civil status documents.

With Wednesdays decision a ruling was overturned that was made by a lower court last year that decided that it was impossible it choose a third option but said it would be ok to just leave the gender identity blank. However, the Federal Constitutional Court decided that this would interfere with the personality rights of individuals.

The Third Option group praised the ruling but said it was just the first step on improving the situation for transgender people. The government in berlin estimated that in 2013 between 8,000 and 10,000 people identified as transgender but interest groups say the numbers could be way higher. Although many people welcome the ruling some fear it could also bring new problems with it when travelling to countries that don’t allow a third gender, for example.

gender (ˈʤendəʳ) – das Geschlecht, Genus
either… or (ˈaɪðəʳ… ɔ:ʳ) – entweder… oder
ambiguous (æmˈbɪgjʊ:əs) – mehrdeutig, zweideutig, unklar
in favour (ˈfeɪvəʳ) – dafür sein, etw befürworten
to enact (ɪˈnækt) – etw erlassen, verordnen
to allow (əˈlaʊ) – etw erlauben, gestatten, ermöglichen
to dispense (dɪˈspens) – auf etw verzichten
altogether (ˌɔ:ltəˈgeθəʳ) – völlig, ganz
to overturn (ˌəʊvəˈtɜːn) – etw aufheben, revidieren
blank (blæŋk) – leer
to interfere (ˌɪntəˈfɪəʳ) – sich einmischen, etw stören
to praise (preɪz) – etw loben, bejubeln
to improve (ɪmˈpru:v) – etw verbessern
to estimate (ˈestɪmeɪt) – etw schätzen, etw annehmen
transgender (trænzˈʤendəʳ) – wörtl. zwischen den Geschlechtern
to fear (fɪəʳ) – befürchten

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