This Week in the News

This Week in the News (21st - 27th January)


Supreme Court: Brexit must be voted on by Parliament

The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom has decided that Britain cannot trigger Article 50 without the vote of the Parliament. As this is the result of an appeal made by the government, with this ruling, the Supreme Court upheld a decision it had taken in November, according to which the executive power on its own does not have the legal authority to start the procedures of leaving the European Union.  Consequently, Prime Minister Theresa May will have to put the matter to the vote in the British Parliament before she can formally trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.


The government had already prepared a parliamentary bill in case their appeal would fail, so that the eventual negotiations with the European Union would start as soon as possible. However, the process is expected to be delayed by amendments proposed by parties which firmly oppose Brexit, such as the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party.


More on this topic at


Supreme Court = Höchster Gerichtshof

on its own = (hier) selbstständig

procedures = Verfahren

put sth to the vote = über etw abstimmen lassen

bill = (hier) Gesetzentwurf

to delay = hinauszögern

amendments = Abänderungen

to propose = vorschlagen

to oppose sth = sich etw widersetzen

Donald Trump’s first week in office

Following a campaign in which he promised to make numerous changes starting from his very first day in office, Donald Trump seems to have kept his word so far. It has been a very busy first week at the White House for the new American president, who signed a number of controversial executive orders he had been constantly talking about in his race against Hillary Clinton.

On Monday, as it had been expected, Trump formally withdrew the United States from the Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement, which former president Obama had intensely negotiated for. However, Trump’s decision is mostly symbolic, considering that the USA had not signed the agreement and that it was unlikely for it to pass Congress due to the opposition it had been facing. Another early order given by the new president was that of taking a first step towards dismantling the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare and often viewed as one of the biggest achievements of the former president. Donald Trump had made it clear during his campaign that he would implement a different type of healthcare reform, although his plans regarding this change have not been revealed.

©Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

On Tuesday, president Trump took his first decision concerning the production of energy by giving the go-ahead for two controversial oil pipelines, the Dakota Access pipeline and the Keystone XL pipeline. The works on the former had been delayed by protests against the route of the pipeline, which was designed to pass through an area near a territory populated by a Sioux tribe, while the project on building the latter was rejected by president Obama in 2015.

One particularly controversial executive order was given on Monday, when Trump formally decided to reinstate the “Mexico City Policy”, which forbids the allocation of public funds to NGOs “providing counselling or referrals for abortion or advocating for access to abortion services in their country.”

However, the decision which has been the most discussed in the media this week was Trump’s executive order aimed at preventing illegal immigration by building a wall along the border with Mexico. In an interview, he stated that he was determined to have Mexico pay for the wall, although it is still unclear how such an approach will be implemented.

Last but not least, Trump announced that he would launch an investigation which he hopes will confirm his claim that 3 to 5 million votes were cast illegally in the presidential election last November. He believes that a massive fraud took place, with people voting multiple times, in different states in which they were registered.

Trump’s busy first week continues today with the first state visit by a foreign leader, as he welcomes British PM Theresa May to the White House.


Read a more detailed presentation of Trump’s actions in his first week as president:


to keep one’s word = sein Versprechen / sein Wort halten

controversial  = umstritten

executive order = Durchführungsverordnung

considering that = in Anbetracht dessen, dass

to dismantle = abbrechen

achievements = Leistungen

to implement = umsetzen

healthcare = Gesundheitswesen

concerning = betreffend

to give the go-ahead (for sth) = freie Fahrt / grünes Licht geben (für etw)

pipeline = Rohrleitung

the former = der / die / das Erstere

tribe = Stamm

to reject = zurückweisen

to reinstate = wiedereinsetzen

to forbid = verbieten

allocation = Zuweisung

funds = Gelder

counselling = Beratung

referrals = Einweisung

abortion = Abtreibung

to advocate for sb / sth  = sich für jdn / etw einsetzen

to launch an investigation = eine Untersuchung einleiten

claim = Behauptung

to cast (a vote) = (eine Stimme) abgeben

fraud = Betrug


The Oscar nominations have been revealed

©Getty Images

©2016 Summit Entertainment

The best films of 2016 in twenty-three categories have received their nominations for the 89th edition of the Academy Awards, the gala of which will take place on 26th February at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Following an unprecedented success at the Golden Globe Awards, where it won more distinctions than any other film in history, the movie musical La La Land confirms its status once again, after being nominated fourteen times. The drama Moonlight and the science fiction production Arrival are the other two most serious contenders of this year’s edition, with eight nominations each.

Alongside La La Land, Moonlight and Arrival, Fences, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures, Lion and Manchester by the Sea will compete for the Oscar awarded in the Best Picture category. The nominees in the “Best Actor in a Leading Role” section are Casey Affleck, Andrew Garfield, Ryan Gosling, Viggo Mortesen and Denzel Washington, while Isabelle Huppert, Ruth Negga Natalie Portman, Emma Stone and Meryl Streep will compete against each other for the trophy awarded to the “Best Actress in a Leading Role”.

Unlike in recent years, the nominations for the upcoming edition of the Oscars have not provided equal rights activists with reasons to protest.  After no actor or actress of colour was nominated for an award in the last two years, 2017 sees seven non-white candidates compete in the two categories. Another positive aspect of this edition of the Academy Awards is Meryl Streep’s twentieth nomination, which defeats her own record of nineteen.

With three nominations, the German film industry also hopes to obtain one of the three awards in the categories Documetary (Short Subject), Foreign Language Film and Music (Original Score). The three contenders are “Watani: My Homeland” directed by Marcel Mettelsiefen, Maren Ade’s tragicomedy “Toni Erdmann” and the soundtrack of the film “Lion”, in the creation of which the German pianist Volker Bertelmann, also known as Hauschka, was involved.


Read more about the 89th edition of the Academy Awards at


unprecedented = beispiellos

distinctions = Auszeichnungen

contenders = Anwärter

alongside = neben

to compete = wettstreiten

to award = verleihen

nominee = Kandidat, Nominierter

upcoming = bevorstehend

also known as =alias, auch bekannt als


World Cup victory in Zakopane for the German ski jumping team

Numerous Polish fans of ski jumping warmly welcomed the best athletes of the season for four World Cup events in Wisla and Zakopane. The team competition on Saturday, which was attended by 40,000 spectators, saw the German team secure the victory, leaving the local heroes 5.1 points behind in the overall ranking, while Slovenia came in third.

Following eight consistent jumps, Markus Eisenbichler, Stephan Leyhe, Andreas Wellinger and Richard Freitag managed to repeat the result they had obtained on the same hill the previous year. The success continued on the second day in Zakopane, with Andreas Wellinger and Richard Freitag securing the silver and bronze medal, respectively, in the individual competition. These results also confirm the good form shown by all the top German ski jumpers so far in the World Cup season, raising expectations for the upcoming team and individual competitions on home soil, in Willingen.


However, there is also bad news for the German team. After he had taken a break from competing for a couple of weeks, it has been reported that team leader Severin Freund will be unable to jump for the remaining duration of the World Cup due to an ACL tear, which he suffered during training on Monday in Oberstdorf.


Read about the details of the German victory in Zakopane here:

Watch a short video on this topic here:


warmly = herzlich

spectators = Zuschauer

local heroes = Lokalmatadoren

overall ranking = Gesamtrangliste

to come in third = als Dritter ankommen

consistent = konstant

hill = (hier) Schanze

success = Erfolg

respectively = beziehungsweise

to raise expectations = Erwartungen wecken

on home soil = auf heimatlichem Boden

a couple of = ein paar

ACL tear (anterior cruciate ligament tear) = vorderer Kreuzbandriss