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Week in Review – Family Reunion Korea, Mid-Term Elections and Chemnitz

Family Reunions between North and South Korea

After 67 years families were reunited with their loved ones – brothers and sisters, husbands and wives, parents and children met for the first time since being separated by the Korean War that took place from 1950 – 53. The reunion is the 20th round since they started in 2000 and 89 families participated this time.

The reunion took place at Mount Kumgang in North Korea and is the first one for three years. On Monday the families came together and they were separated again on Wednesday. They had 11 hours together, always watched by North Korean agents. More than half of the participants are over 80 years old, the oldest one was 101. For most of them this will be the only time they meet their loved ones.

More than 130.000 South Koreans signed up for the reunions, many of them don’t even know if their loved ones are still alive. In total, 132.600 individuals are listed as coming from separated families, of these only 57.000 were identified by the Red Cross.

South Korea president, Moon Jae-in, comes from a separated family himself. He stated that the reunions of families should have top priority among the humanitarian projects and that the meetings should be held more frequently.

to reunite (ˌri:ju:ˈnaɪt) – sich wiedervereinigen, jdn zusammenbringen, zusammenführen
to separate (ˈsepərət) – etw teilen, jdn/etw trennen
to watch (wɒtʃ) – beobachten, auf jdn aufpassen, jdn im Auge behalten
participant (pɑ:ˈtɪsɪpənt) – der/ die Teilnhemer/in
to sign up (saɪn ʌp) – sich anmelden, einschreiben
still (stɪl) – noch immer, nach wie vor
to list (lɪst) – etw auflisten, aufführen
among (əˈmʌŋ) – unter, zwischen
frequently (ˈfri:kwentli) – häufig, oft

Mid-term Election Is Coming up

Mid-term elections are coming up in November and for the president it is a test of his popularity. He had to battle negative publicity after his former campaign chief, and ex-lawyer were convicted earlier this month. All 435 members of the House of Representatives and many state and local offices are up for election. Currently, the Republicans hold the reigns of both chambers of Congress and the White House.

But the president predicted a violent overturn of everything he and his administration have achieved so far if the Democrats win the mid-term election. He mentioned Antifa as an example of left-wing violence. Although Trump is not up yet for reelection his ability to govern the country for the next two years depends on the outcome of the mid-term election.

Now he appealed to conservative Christian groups to support him. In a closed-door meeting he told them the mid-term election was not only a referendum on his person but also on such topics as religion and freedom of speech. President Trump urged the representatives to use their power to influence the voters. An audio recording of the meeting was leaked to the media.

popularity (ˌpɒpjəˈlærəti) – die Beliebtheit
publicity (pʌbˈlɪsəti) – die Werbung, Presse
currently (ˈkʌrəntli) – momentan, gegenwärtig, zurzeit
reign (reɪn) – die Herrschaft
 to hold the reign – die Zügel in der Hand haben
violent (ˈvaɪələnt) – gewalttätig, gewaltsam
overturn (ˌəʊvəˈtɜːn) – der Umsturz, Umwälzung
to achieve (əˈtʃi:v) – etw erreichen, schaffen
to mention (ˈmen(t)ʃən) – etw erwähnen, sagen
ability (əˈbɪləti) – die Fähigkeit
to govern (ˈgʌvən) – etw regieren, leiten
to depend (dɪˈpend) – von etw abhängen, auf etw ankommen
to appeal (əˈpi:l) – hier: um etw bitten, appellieren
to urge (ɜ:ʤ) – jdn drängen, antreiben
to leak (li:k) – hier: etw zuspielen, durchsickern lassen

Clashes in Chemnitz

At a city festival in Chemnitz last week a man was stabbed and killed, two suspects have been arrested – a Syrian man and an Iraqi. A group of right-wing people took matters into their own hands to bring about justice. They were chasing people from different nationalities through the streets. Now protests between Neo-Nazis and left-wing counter-protesters escalated.

Both sides threw firecrackers, causing injuries. The police are now facing criticism – in a statement they admitted to having mobilized too few officers. They struggled to keep protesters from breaking through police lines.

The incident reflects a growing schism in German society. The far-right party Alternative for Germany (AfD) is now the main opposition party. They received almost a quarter of the vote in Chemnitz last year. The city and the eastern state of Saxony are a place of growing anti-immigrant sentiment. After almost 1mio immigrants were allowed to enter Germany in 2015 a shift to the right occurred in the country´s politics.

A spokesperson for Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany will not accept extremism and intolerance or allow “vigilante justice”.

to stab (stæb) – auf jdn einstechen, erstechen
suspect (səˈspekt) – der/die Verdächtige
to chase (tʃeɪs) – etw/jdn verfolgen
to escalate (ˈeskəleɪt) – stark zunehmen, sich zuspitzen
to admit (ədˈmɪt) – etw zugeben, eingestehen
to struggle (ˈstrʌgl̩) – kämpfen, sich abmühn, ringen
incident (ˈɪn(t)sɪdənt) – der Vorfall, Zwischenfall
schism (ˈskɪzəm) – die Spaltung
to receive (rɪˈsi:v) – etw erhalten, bekommen
to enter (ˈentəʳ) – eintreten, hineingehen
to occur (əˈkɜ:ʳ) – geschehen, stattfinden, auftreten
spokesperson (spəʊks ˈpɜ:sən) – der/ die Sprecher/in
vigilante justice (ˌvɪʤɪˈlæntiˈ ʤʌstɪs) – die Selbstjustiz