Week in Review – Fire in Russian Mall, March for Our Lives and Love a Muslim Day

Mall Fire in Russia

A deadly inferno swept through a shopping mall in the Sibirian city of Kemerovo on Sunday last week. The fire burnt for twelve hours and claimed at least 64 lives. Furthermore, 16 people are still missing, among them many children. The exact cause of the fire is still unclear but it´s supposed the fire started in the fourth floor play area were bouncy castles exploded due to the intense heat. The Winter Cherry mall was very popular as an entertainment centre for children and was packed with families.

When the fire was noticed panic ensued – lights went out, the escalator and the elevator didn’t work anymore and thick smoke billowed through the complex. With the fire alarm switched off the sprinklers didn’t work either. People smashed in windows and jumped out to save themselves but many people remained trapped inside. Families will receive 1million rubles (ca. 14.000€) as compensation for each victim. Many volunteers came forward to donate blood in hospitals in order to help the survivors.

Now a criminal probe is launched into the fire as apparently fire exits were blocked illegally and the alarm system was switched off. So far, four people have been detained and questioned. The owner of the Winter Cherry complex is also among them. President Vladimir Putin travelled to Kemerovo on Monday to lead a meeting on the disaster. The building was still burning a day later and several parts of the complex had collapsed. Calls for safety checks at similar entertainment centres became loud.

to sweep (swi:p) – fegen, dahinjagen
to claim (kleɪm) – einfordern, beanspruchen
cause (kɔ:z) – der Grund, Ursache, Anlass
bouncy castle (ˈbaʊn(t)si ˈkɑ:sl̩) – die Hüpfburg
heat (hi:t) – die Hitze
popular (ˈpɒpjələʳ) – beliebt, populär
to ensue (ɪnˈsju:) – folgen, sich ergeben
escalator (ˈeskəleɪtəʳ) – die Rolltreppe
elevator (ˈelɪveɪt̬ɚ) – der Fahrstuhl, Aufzug
thick (θɪk) – dicht, zäh, stark
sprinklers (ˈsprɪŋkləʳ) – die Beregnungsanlage, Sprinkler
to be trapped (træp) – eingesperrt, eingechlossen sein
to receive (rɪˈsi:v) – etw erhalten, bekommen
volunteer (ˌvɒlənˈtɪəʳ) – der/die Freiwillige
to donate (də(ʊ)ˈneɪt) – etw spenden
survivor (səˈvaɪvəʳ) – der/die Überlebende
criminal probe (ˈkrɪmɪnəl prəʊb) – die Kriminaluntersuchung
switch off (swɪtʃ ɒf) – ausschalten
to detain (dɪˈteɪn) – jdn inhaftieren, jdn festhalten
several (ˈsevərəl) – einige, verschiedene
similar (sɪmɪləʳ) – ähnlich

March for Our Lives

It was the biggest gun control protest in a generation and the largest one in American history. On Saturday last week marchers filled the streets in hundreds of rallies all across the US and around the world to call for tighter measures. Between 1.2 and 2 million people attended the events in the United States alone. The student-led movement urges for universal background checks, raising the federal age of gun ownership to 21, closing the gunshow loophole and a ban on sales of high-capacity magazines.

Now, after the marches the organisation is going after the town halls. They are pushing every single member of the House of Representatives, both Republican and Democratic members, to hold a town hall meeting on Saturday, April 7. More than hundred meetings have already been scheduled. This puts pressure on lawmakers ahead of the 2018 midterms.

The movement emerged after the school shooting in Florida earlier this year. And this time the movement seems to gain more and more strength and importance. Voters are ready to hold politicians accountable for what happened and they are ready to go the polls on this issue. Support for the movement is stronger than after previous events like the Columbine High School shooting in 2000. Even in areas that are usually pro-gun marchers filled the streets to protest for stronger gun control.

Another walkout is scheduled to April 20 to commemorate the Columbine High School shooting 18 years ago. Students will leave their desks and walk out of their classrooms as a sign of protest. Furthermore, this time the movement is led by students who survived a mass shooting themselves and they share their traumatic experience with the world. This brings a strong emotional aspect to the protest that not only helps the movement to gain attention but it also  speaks to many people and convinces them to fight for tighter gun control to make sure there won´t be another school shooting.

large (lɑ:ʤ) – groß, beträchtlich
rally (ˈræli) – die Massenversammlung, Zusammenkunft
tight (tt) – fest, streng
measure (ˈmeʒəʳ) – die Maßnahme
to attend (əˈtend) – etw besuchen, teilnehmen
to raise (rz) – etw heben, erhöhen
ownership (ˈəʊnəʃɪp) – der Besitz, Eigentum
loophole (lu:phəʊl) – die Gesetzeslücke, Schlupfloch
high-capacity (h kəˈpæsəti) – hohe Kapazität, hohe Leistung
pressure (ˈpreʃəʳ) – der Druck
lawmaker (lɔ: ˈmkəʳ) – der Gesetzgeber, Gesetzmacher
movement (ˈmu:vmənt) – die Bewegung
to emerge (ɪˈmɜ:ʤ) – aufkommen, entstehen
to gain (gn) – erhalten, gewinnen
strength (streŋ(k)θ) – die Kraft, Stärke
importance (ɪmˈpɔ:tən(t)s) – die Bedeutung, Wichtigkeit
to hold accountable (həʊld əˈkntəb) – jdn zur Verantwortung ziehen, zur Rechenschaft ziehen
poll (pəʊ) – die Umfrage, Abstimmung
support (səˈpɔ:t) – die Unterstützung
previous (ˈpri:viəs) – vorherig, frühere
to commemorate (kəˈmemərt) – etw/jdm gedenken
experience (ɪkˈspɪəriən(t)s) – die Erfahrung, das Erlebte
attention (əˈten(t)ʃən) – die Aufmerksamkeit, Beachtung
to convince(kənˈvɪn(t)s) – jdn überzeugen

Love a Muslim Day

Over the past week Muslim communities all over England have received anonymous letters enclosed in white envelopes with messages calling for a “Punish a Muslim Day”. These letters had content that was alarming enough to call for a national counter-terrorism investigation.

The contents of the letter called for a “Punish a Muslim Day” to be carried out on the 3rd of April. The letter starts with a paragraph persuading people to hurt muslims as a form of revenge, “Are you a sheep like the vast majority of the population? Sheep follow orders and are easily led,” it says. “They are allowing the white-majority nations of Europe and North America to become overrun by those who would like nothing more than to do us harm and to turn our democracies into sharia-led police states”.

The letter also includes a list of actions and crimes that people could carry out on muslims, in which they will receive certain amount of points in return, these actions include pulling off a woman’s headscarf for 25 points and nuking Mecca for 2500 points.

Anti Islamophobia communities have taken to social media to call April 3rd a “Love A Muslim Day” as a form of solidarity, government officials urge the communities to stand together, assuring them that hate crimes in any form will not be tolerated.

communities (kəmˈjunətiz) – die Gemeinschaften
anonymous (əˈnɑnəməs) – anonym
enclosed (ɛnˈkloʊzd) – angefügt
envelopes (ˈɛnvəˌloʊps) – die Umschläge
punish (pʌnɪʃ)  –  jdn. bestrafen
alarming (ˈlɑrmɪŋ) – besorgniserregend
counter-terrorism (ˈkaʊntər-ˈtɛrəˌrɪzəm) – der Terrorismusbekämpfung
persuading (pərˈsweɪdɪŋ) – überzeugend
vast majority (væst məˈʤɔrəti) – die große Mehrheit
overrun (ˈoʊvərˌrʌn) – überlaufen
democracies (dɪˈmɑkrəsiz) – die Demokratien
crimes   (kraɪmz) – die Verbrechen
head scarf (hɛd skɑrf) –  das Kopftuch
nuking (nukɪŋ) – eine Atombombe werfen
solidarity (ˌsɑləˈdɛrəti) –  die Solidarität
urge (ɜrʤ) – jdn. Auffordern, drängen
assuring (əˈʃʊrɪŋ) – jdm/etw versichern
tolerated (ˈtɑləˌreɪtəd) –  geduldet