Week in Review Sept 25th – 29th

Saudi Arabian women allowed to drive

A decree was issued late on Tuesday by Saudi Arabia´s king allowing women to drive a car. This would end a longstanding ban on female drivers. The ban is supposed to be lifted in 10 months. A committee will be formed especially to look into how to implement the decree. Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world in which women are not allowed to drive. No wonder it was ranked worst country in the world regarding gender equality. Women are still forbidden to wear make-up or clothes that show off their body. They are not allowed to use public swimming pools.

Saudi women´s rights activists have been trying to push for the right to drive for decades. In 2011A Saudi women´s rights activist was jailed for posting a video of herself driving a car. This sparked a campaign in which around 70 women made videos of themselves driving. Furthermore, last year thousands of women signed a petition.

Since 2015, when the reign of king Salman began, women managed to get more rights. They were allowed to vote for the first time in 2015. Saudi Arabia´s ambassador to the United states said it was not a religious issue but a societal one but now it is time to make a step forward and to adapt to the young and more open minded society of Saudi Arabia. Lifting the ban on female drivers marks a historic change for Saudi Arabia. Women will not have to be accompanied by a male guardian or ask for permission.

decree (dɪˈkri:) – der Erlass
to issue (ˈɪʃu:) – etw ausstellen, erlassen
to allow (əˈlaʊ) – etw erlauben, gestatten
long-standing (lɒŋˈ-stændɪŋ) – langjährig, andauernd
to lift (lɪft) – hier: ein Verbot aufheben
to implement (ˈɪmplɪmənt) – etw einführen, ausführen
gender equality (ˈʤendəʳ ɪˈkwɒləti) – Gleichberechtigung der Geschlechter
public (ˈpʌblɪk) – öffentlich
rights activist (raɪt ˈæktɪvɪst) – der/die Menschenrechtler/in
to jail (ʤeɪl) – jdn einsperren
to spark (spɑ:k) – etw entfachen
reign (reɪn) – die Herrschaft
to manage sth (ˈmænɪʤ) – etw erreichen, schaffen
issue (ˈɪʃu:) – die Frage, das Thema, Problem
societal (səˈsaɪətəl) – gesellschaftlich
to adapt (əˈdæpt) – etw anpassen
to accompany (əˈkʌmpəni) – jdn begleiten
guardian (ˈgɑ:diən) – der Vormund
permission (pəˈmɪʃən) – die Erlaubnis

Hugh Hefner died

Famous Hugh Hefner died at the age of 91 in his home in LA. He passed away peacefully of natural causes. Hugh Hefner was the founder of the international adult magazine Playboy, which became the largest selling men´s magazine in the world. He began publishing it in 1953 in his own kitchen. The first edition featured a set of nude pictures of Marilyn Monroe. But was the Playboy magazine just the sleazy dream of a man or was it a sexual revolution?

Fact is, the magazine made nudity respectable in mainstream publications. In 2012, at the age of 86 he married his third wife who was 60 years his junior. He claimed to have slept with over 1,000 women. The magazine also made him a multi-millionaire and from 2005 – 2010 a TV-Show aired that showed his libertine lifestyle surrounded by young and beautiful women. Hugh Hefner was famous for always wearing silk pyjamas and throwing decadent parties at his Playboy mansion. The huge mansion has already been sold to a neighbour.

But next to the glossy nude pictures of playmates the magazine also featured important interviews, amongst others with Fidel Castro, John Lennon and Martin Luther King, and came to be known for his fine writing. Maybe that was just so men had an excuse to buy the Playboy magazine. But Hugh Hefner also supported gay rights and racial integration. In the 1980s his daughter took over the Playboy Enterprise when her father suffered a stroke. “I am a kid in a candy store” were his most famous words.

to pass away (pɑ:s əˈweɪ) – sterben, entschlafen
peacefully (ˈpi:sfəli) – friedlich
founder (ˈfaʊndəʳ) – der Gründer, Begründer
adult (ˈædʌlt) – für Erwachsene
kitchen (ˈkɪtʃɪn) – die Küche
to feature (ˈfi:tʃəʳ) – etw ausstellen, zeigen
sleazy (ˈsli:zi) – anrüchig, billig, schmierig
nudity (ˈnju:dəti) – die Nacktheit
to claim (kleɪm) – etw behaupten
to air (eəʳ) – hier: etw übertragen, etw senden
libertine (ˈlɪbəti:n) – der Casanova
to surround (səˈraʊnd) – etw umgeben, einkreisen
decadent (ˈdekədənt) – verschwenderisch, dekadent
glossy (ˈglɒsi) – glänzend
amongst others (əˈmʌŋst ˈʌðəz) – unter anderem
excuse (ɪkˈskju:z) – die Ausrede, Entschuldigung
racial integration (ˈreɪʃəl ˌɪntɪˈgreɪʃən) – die Rassenintegration
stroke (strəʊk) – der Schlaganfall
candy store (ˈkændi stɔ:ʳ) – der Süssigkeitenladen

Update on Maria and earthquake in Mexico

On Wednesday Maria became a hurricane again and gained some strength pushing water over both sides of North Carolina´s Outer Banks. But the good news is, the hurricane is moving away from the Carolina coast. The surge of ocean water flooded properties and highways, bringing traffic to a halt, but fortunately no one was injured.

Some areas of Carolina are cut off from the rest of the state as the highway is flooded and ferries are not moving. People are unable to get to their jobs. Ocean surges are predicted to erode more than half of the dunes along the coast of North Carolina. The hurricane still has top sustained winds at 75 mph.

2,000 historic buildings were destroyed due to the earthquake that struck Mexico last week. Some of them were already damaged as years of deterioration from previous quakes had built up. Most of the buildings were churches, but also homes, libraries, schools and offices were destroyed. The assessment of the damage is still continuing, but the overall damage could surpass $2billion.

The death toll increased to 344, many of the victims had been covered by collapsed buildings. President Enrique Pena Nieto vowed to rebuild all damaged towns and the government started transferring money to the victims of the earthquake so they can start rebuilding their homes.

to gain (gn) – zunehmen, erlangen
strength (streŋ(k)θ) – die Kraft, Stärke
surge (sɜ:ʤ) – die Flutwelle, die Woge
property (ˈprɒpəti) – die Immobilie, das Eigentum
highway (hw) – die Autobahn
traffic (ˈtræfɪk) – der Verkehr
ferry (ˈferi) – die Fähre
to erode (ɪˈrəʊd) – etw auswaschen, erodieren, untergraben
top sustained wind (səˈstn) – maximale Windgeschwindigkeit
deterioration (dɪˌtɪəriəˈrʃən) – die Verschlechterung, der Zerfall
previous (ˈpri:viəs) – vorausgegangen, vorherig
library (ˈlbrəri) – die Bibliothek, Bücherei
assessment (əˈsesmənt) – die Schätzung
to continue (kənˈtɪnju) – etw andauern, weiterführen
to surpass (səˈpɑ:s) – etw übertreffen
death toll (deθ təʊl) – die Zahl der Todesopfer
to vow (vaʊ)  – etw geloben, schwören
to transfer (træn(t)sˈfɜ:ʳ) – etw überweisen
to rebuild (ˌri:ˈbɪld) – etw wieder aufbauen

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