Week in Review – Stone Age, Trinidad and Tobago and Facebook Scandal

A Look into the Past

British and Belgian scientists have teamed up to explore the coast of Norfolk in hopes to find evidence that Stone Age people lived there when it was still dry land.

In previous years prehistoric animal bones and simple tools where found by researchers in the North Sea, therefore the team of scientists on the Belgian ship RV Belgica aim to map the Brown Bank area; a sand area that is approximately 30 km in length, where it is believed that Mesolithic people have lived there between 10,000-5,000BC.

Archeologists suspect that this bank is on the edge of a prehistoric lake, because that is where settlements are usually expected to be located due to the access to water and fish.

The large area was flooded in 6000 BC after the Ice Age glaciers retreated, but so far no discoveries of any settlements were made despite the recent prehistoric finds.

Scientists have already mapped more than 45,000sq km in the area but are yet to find any settlements. The team plans to use sonar and seismic equipment to further understand the underwater topography and the evolution of the prehistoric rivers. They are also certain that there are other undersea territories yet to be mapped and explored for prehistoric remains.

scientists (ˈsaɪəntɪsts) – die Wissenschaftler
explore (ɪkˈsplɔr) – etw. erforschen
evidence (ˈɛvədəns) – der Nachweis
prehistoric (ˌprihɪˈstɔrɪk) – prähistorisch
researchers (ˈrisərʧərz) – die Forscher
approximately (əˈprɑksəmətli) – ungefähr
Mesolithic (ˌmɛzəˈlɪθɪk) – die Mittelsteinzeit
settlements (ˈsɛtəlmənts)  – die Siedlungen
flooded (ˈflʌdəd) – überschwemmt
retreated (riˈtritəd) – zurückgezogen
discoveries (dɪˈskʌvəriz)  – die Entdeckungen
mapped (mæpt) – etw. kartieren
seismic (ˈsaɪzmɪk)  – seismisch
equipment (ɪˈkwɪpmənt) – die Ausrüstung
evolution (ˌɛvəˈluʃən) – die Entwicklung
territories (ˈtɛrəˌtɔriz)  – die Territorien
remains (rɪˈmeɪnz) – die Überreste

Trinidad and Tobago is set to finally decriminalize homosexuality.

The Trinidad and Tobago constitution states that a person who engages and performs homosexual acts could face up to 25 years in prison according to section 13 of the country’s Sexual Offenses Act, while section 16 states that an individual who “commits an act of serious indecency” could face 5 years in prison.

In February 2017, Jason Jones a Trinidad and Tobago native and an LGBTQ activist filed a law suit against the attorney general claiming that these laws violated his right to privacy and freedom of expression. On Thursday a high court judge ruled that the nation’s colonial-era law towards homosexuality is unconstitutional.

Jason Jones and fellow activists took to social media and the streets to celebrate this long-awaited victory.

decriminalize   (diˌkrɪmənəˈlaɪz) – entkriminalisieren
homosexuality ˌ(hoʊmoʊˌsɛkʃuˈæləˌti)  – die Homosexualität
constitution (ˌkɑnstəˈtuʃən)  – die Verfassung
engages (ɛnˈgeɪʤɪz)  – sich an Aktivitäten beteiligen
Offenses (əˈfɛnsɪz) – die Straftaten
Commits (kəˈmɪts) – verüben
indecency (ɪnˈdisənsi) – die Unanständigkeit
activist (ˈæktəvəst)  – die Aktivisten
filed (faɪld)  – etw. einreichen
law suit (lɔ sut) – das Gerichtsverfahren
violated (ˈvaɪəleɪtɪd) – verletzt
ruled    (ruld)  – entschieden
unconstitutional (ˌʌnˌkɑnstəˈtuʃənəl) – verfassungswidrig
victory (ˈvɪktəri) – der Sieg

Mark Zuckeberg Hearing

During a two-day congressional hearing, that took place on Tuesday and Wednesday during this week, Mark Zuckerberg had to answer questions regarding the Facebook data scandal. Data from up to 87 million users was improperly harvested by the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.

Nearly a hundred lawmakers in the House and Senate interrogated Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook about the company´s handling of user information. During 10 hours Zuckerberg faced almost 600 questions – not just about privacy settings but also about Russia meddling with the elections through the social platform, about censorship and heavier regulations.

Mark Zuckerberg stated he knows where his company failed and apologized to everyone who was affected. Furthermore, he laid out a plan of steps to avoid a similar situation in the future. For example, you will be able to download and review your own data. The time now is good for new regulations and changes in the way user information is handled as privacy becomes a more and more important issue.

Congressional hearing (kənˈgreʃənəl ˈhɪərɪŋ) – die Kongressanhörung
Improperly (ɪmˈprɒpəʳli) – nicht richtig, unangemessen
To harvest (ˈhɑ:vɪst) – etw ernten, einbringen
Nearly (ˈnɪəli) – fast, beinah
To interrogate (ɪn</spaˈterəgt) – jdn befragen, verhören
founder (ˈfndəʳ) – der Gründer
Handling (ˈhændɪŋ) – die Handhabung, Umgang
privacy setting (ˈprɪvəsi ˈsetɪŋ) – die Datenschutzeinstellung, -bestimmung
censorship (ˈsen(t)səʃɪp) – die Zensur
to apologize (əˈpɒləʤz) – sich entschuldigen
to avoid (əˈvɔɪd) – etw vermeiden, verhindern, ausweichen
important (ɪmˈpɔ:tənt) – wichtig, bedeutend