The United Nations Refugee Agency UNHCR has warned that migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Africa are putting put themselves in even more danger than in the past.
According to a UNHCR report, the number of refugees who have arrived in Europe has fallen while more of them have died on their trip across the Mediterranean. Over 1,000 people have died on the journey so far in 2018. The death rate is the highest since the migration crisis of 2015. One out of every 18 people attempting the passage have drowned .
The Mediterranean route leads from the Libyan coast to Italy. Authorities in the northern African country are catching more and more traffickers who take money to smuggle refugees to Europe. These smugglers try to get them to Europe as fast as possible in order to cut the costs of keeping them in warehouses and other hiding places for a longer period of time. However,they are also taking more risks due toincreased Libyan surveillance.
While the EU has cooperatedwith Libya to intercept migrant boats, more and more organisations are wiling to take the risk and bring people to Europeillegally.
Migrants from all over Africa are arriving in Libya at an alarming rate.The EU has suggested opening up special migration centers in northern Africa in order to examineasylum applications .
EU member countries have not agreed on how to handle migration from Africa . Whereas states like Italy and Greece want to send migrants to other EU countries as quickly as possible, northern EU states suggest setting up migration centers in the south to control the number of asylum seekers.
according to = as reported by …
alarming rate = very very fast
asylum application = if you officially say that you want to come to another country because you are in danger in your own
asylum seeker = person who wants another country to let them live there because they are in danger at home
attempt = try
authorities = government organisation that has the power to make decisions
cooperate = work together
cut = lower, bring down
drown =to die from being under water for too long
due to = because of
examine = look at something very carefully
handle = deal with
however = but
illegal = against the law
increased = higher, more
intercept = to stop someone that is going from one place to another before they get there
journey = longer trip
Mediterranean Sea = sea between Europe and Africa
migrant = someone who goes to another country in order to live or work there
passage = here: journey
refugee = someone who has to leave their country because of war, natural disaster or because of political reasons
smuggle = to take something illegally from one country to another
surveillance = when police watch a place carefully because it may be connected with criminal activities
trafficker = here: person who brings people from one country to another illegally
UNHCR = United Nations High Commission for Refugees = organisation that deals with helping and supporting refugees all over the world
warehouse = large building where you can store goods and products for a longer time
The Indonesian capital Jakarta is in danger of sinking . According to a new report by environmentalist groups the city could be completely submerged by 2050. Jakarta is one of the most densely populated cities in the world – home to about 10 million people.
Jakarta is sinking at an average of 10 cm a year and , currently, half of it is already below sea level. Even more alarming, the luxurious northern part of the capital, with its modern buildings and high-rises has sunk by 2.5 meters in the past decade.
Sinking is partly due to the 13 rivers that flow through the Indonesian capital. Torrential rainfall in the monsoon season causes flooding on a regular basis.
In addition to natural causes, part of the problem is man-made. The city does not have enough piped water for its growing population. Authorities can only supply about 40% of the clean water that the city needs. Many people draw water out of the ground for drinking and other purposes. As a result the land above the ground water sinks.
As in many Third World cities, infrastructure cannot keep up with the growing population. There are not enough sewers and a lack of pipes for the city’s water supplies. Indonesian authorities are now consideringevacuating and relocating millions of people if the city continues to sink.
Global warming is also playing its part in Jakarta’s dilemma. As ocean levels are rising more and more water is being forced into the city, causing rivers to sometimes flow upstream. Plans are under way to build a sea wall to keep ocean water out of the city.
according to = as reported by …
authorities = group of people in the city who have the power to make decisions
average = here: in a normal year
capital = the most important city in a country; usually where the government is
cause = lead to
consider = think about
currently = at the moment, now
decade = ten years
densely populated = many people live on a small area of land
draw = pull
due to = because of
environmentalist = person who cares about nature
evacuate = here: to move people to a safer area
force = the power with which something moves
global warming = the increase in the world’s temperatures
high-rise = tall building with many floors
in addition = also
infrastructure = the basic systems that a city or country needs in order to work the way it should: for example roads, hospitals, bridges, public transport etc…
lack = not enough
natural causes = here: problems that are caused by nature
partly = some of it, but not all of it
piped water = clean water that runs through tubes to people’s homes
purpose = for something you want to do
relocate = to move a person to another place
sea level = the normal height of the sea, used as a standard for measuring other objects
sewer = pipe under ground that carries away waste material and dirty water from houses and factories
submerge = to cover completely with water
supply = give to the people
torrential rainfall = very very heavy rain
upstream = in the opposite direction of the way a river normally flows
According to the country’s census office Australia’s population has crossed the 25 million mark, almost a decade earlier than expected. Last year the population rose by almost 400,000, since 1970 it has doubled.
Since the end of World War II Australia has recorded a steady growth rate of 1.6% per year. While natural increase makes up only 38% over 60% of the country’s growth comes from immigration. The Bureau of Statistics estimates that Australia will add another million to its population in three years time.
Australia attracts hundreds of thousands of immigrants every year. In the last two decades most of Australia’s newcomers have come from India, China , Great Britain and the Philippines. Today, over one third of Australia’s population were not born in the country.
As in many other western countries, some politicians have called on the government to curb immigration. They argue that the rapid increase puts stress on infrastructure, demanding more schools, hospitals and public transportation. However, it also leads to a higher growth for Australia’s economy. Immigrants pay taxes and work in areas that Australians avoid.
One of the big problems is getting immigrants to move to rural areas, where there is already a shortage of skilled workers. Eight out of ten Australians live in coastal regions . Melbourne and Sydney, the two largest cities of Australia, make up about 40% of the population. Much of the so-called outback is sparselypopulated.
according to = as said by, as reported by …
argue = give reasons for something
attract = here : to make something interesting so that people go there
avoid = don’t want
census office = place that is in charge of how the country officially counts its people
demand = need
doubled = to become two times as much
estimate = to calculate something in the future, based on the information that you have
cross = reach, move over
curb = slow down
immigration = when people go to another country in order to live and work there
natural increase = here: number of people who are born in the country minus those who die
newcomer = person who starts living in a new country
outback = the inner part of Australia , far away from the big cities
politician = someone who works in the government or in a political party
public transportation = trains, buses etc.. that everyone can use
put stress on = here: there is not enough for the growing number of people to use; you need more and more
rapid = fast
record = to write down information
rise – rose = go up
rural = in the countryside
shortage = not enough
skilled workers = someone who does something special they have learned through training
sparsely = only very few people
steady = slow but without stopping
tax = the money you pay to the government from what you earn; it is used for public services
Apple has become the first US company to reach a market value of 1 trillion dollars ($1,000,000,000,000) . The hi-tech firm has beaten its rivalsMicrosoft, Google and Amazon to pass the magical mark. Apple’s stock is now worth $207 per share, an all-time high. If it were a country, Apple would rank 17th in the world, on par with Indonesia.
Before Apple, only China’s oil giant PetroChina made it over the 1 trillion dollar mark back in 2007. It’s valuedeclined sharply shortly afterwards when oil prices collapsed.
Apple was founded in 1976 in a California garage by Steve Jobs. In the first two decades the company was famous for producing computers. Later on Apple developed its revolutionary MP3 player, the iPod, which also saved the company from bankruptcy 20 years ago.
The iPhone, the world’s first smartphone, was introduced in 2007 and has become the company’s flagship product. Up to now over 1.3 billion iPhones have been sold. AlthoughApple is currentlyselling fewer new models, sales and profits are rising. It is also making money by selling music and apps.
In 2017, Apple has made profits in the range of $50 billion, selling over $220 billion worth of products .
Apple may soon be joined in the 1 trillion dollar club by other hi-tech giants . Amazon and Microsoft are close to the mark and may be passing it soon.
all-time high = the highest point ever reached
although = while
bankruptcy = situation in which you have no money left and cannot pay back what you owe to others
collapse = here: to go down very quickly
close = near
currently = at the moment
decade = ten years
decline = to go down very fast
develop = to design and produce a new product
flagship = the best and most important product
found- founded = here: to start a new company
introduce = here: to bring to the market
join = to be together with others
market value = what a company is worth on the market
on par = on the same level
profit = the money you get by selling products and services after your costs have been paid
rank = position
reach = get to a certain point
revolutionary = something completely new and different
rival = another company that wants to be more successful than you are
share = a part of a company that belongs to you
stock = the total value of all the company’s shares
A large crack inthe surface of the earth, several kilometres long, has caused a highway to collapse in Kenya. The area lies on the East African Rift, where the Arabian and African plate meet.
The earth’s crust is broken up into several tectonic plates which are constantly on the move, gliding towards or against each other at various speeds. When these plates collide energy is set free, resulting in earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
The East African Rift stretches over 3000 km from the Gulf of Aden in the north to Zimbabwe in the south. It consists of several valleys that are filled with long lakes. Because the two plates are moving away from each other Eastern Africa will be separated from the rest of the continent.
A rift is the first phase of a plate that is breaking apart. After millions of years, it can lead to the formation of a new ocean. A well-known example is a separation of Africa and South America and the creation of the Atlantic Ocean.
Where the earth’s plates move away from each other magma plumes come up through the mantle and cause volcanic activity. Forces are so strong that the plate breaks apart and causes major earthquakes. In many cases, plates move slowly, at a rate of only a few cm per year and most of the time we don’t notice these movements.
at a rate = how fast something happens
collapse = fall apart; break down
collide = crash into each other
consist of = is made up of
constantly = always
crack = a line that you see when something starts to break apart
crust = the hard, outer layer of the earth
forces = here: the power or strength of an activity
formation = when something new is created
earthquake = a sudden shaking of the earth’s surface that can cause a lot of damage and kill people
eruption = if something breaks out suddenly
glide = move slowly and quietly
magma plumes = hot melted rock from the inner part of the earth which comes to the surface
major = here: very strong
mantle = part of the earth below the crust
notice = to see something happen; to be aware of something
resulting in = something that leads to something else
separate = divide, split apart
several = a few
stretch = to spread from one place to another
surface = here: the top layer of the earth
tectonic = about the movments of sheets of rock that form the earth’s surface
Winnie Mandela was a female South African activist who fought against Apartheid, together with her husband, South Africa’s first black president, Nelson Mandela. She died at the age of 81 in her home in Soweto, Johannesburg after a long illness.
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was born in 1936 in the Eastern Cape province, which at that time was the homeland of Transkei. In her early life, she was a social worker in a hospital.
In the 1950s she met Nelson and married him in 1958. When her husband was imprisoned in 1963 it was Winnie who led the movement against Apartheid. For over two and a half decades she campaigned for his release. During this period Winnie Mandela was her husband’s link to the outside world.
Winnie was a prominent member of the African National Congress and the head of its Women’s League. When Nelson Mandela was released from Robben Island, it was the “Mother of the Nation”, as she was often called, who marched with him to freedom.
Shortly afterwards, the couple separated and divorced in 1996, two years after Nelson Mandela had become South Africa’s first black president.
Winnie Mandela continued her political career and became a deputy minister in the first post-Apartheidgovernment. She was a member of parliament for several years.
However, Winnie was also a controversial figure and involved in many scandals. During the final years of Apartheid, she was accused of violence and blamed for killing and kidnapping informers in Soweto. She was sentenced to six years in prison, which was later turned into a fine.
After her death on 2 April 2018, politicians and human rights activists from all over the world praised South Africa’s most famous woman. Former Archbishop Desmond Tutu admired her as a revolutionary figure in his country’s history. The African National Congress said that the party had lost an icon.
accuse = to say that someone committed a crime
activist = a person who fights for something they believe in
African National Congress = political group that fought for the rights of black people in South Africa. It’s most famous leader was Nelson Mandela.
Apartheid = political system in South Africa, in which only white people had rights and people from other races, especially blacks, had to live separately; it existed between 1948 and 1990
blame = to be responsible for something
continue = to go on doing something
controversial = here: not everyone liked her and she also did bad things
deputy minister = person who is directly below the minister
divorce = to end a marriage
fine = to pay money as a form of punishment
freedom = being free and not in prison anymore
government = the people who rule a country
homeland = separate areas within South Africa where black people had to live
human rights = rights that everyone should have, like the right to vote or the freedom to speak freely
icon = someone who is famous and admired by many people
illness = being ill
imprison = put into prison
informer = someone who secretly tells the police about things that are going on
movement = campaign ; fight for beliefs and ideals
post-Apartheid = the time after Apartheid
praise = to admire a person for what they have done
prominent = famous; well-known
release = set free
revolutionary = here: a person who wants to change the system
Robben Island = famous prison island off the southern coast of South Africa
sentence = punishment that a judge gives to someone who is guilty
Malala Yousafzai, a 20-year-old female human rights activist, has returned to Pakistan for the first time since being shot by Taliban extremists. She was attacked and shot in the head on a school bus in 2012 because she had been demonstrating for western values and more education for girls. Malala kept a diary about girls’ life under Taliban rule. It was turned over to the BBC and made public.
Yousafzai’s arrival in Pakistan and her itinerary of the four-day visit was kept secret by Pakistani police. Ms Yousafzai said that it had been her wish to come back to Pakistan and speak with ordinary citizens there.
After the attack six years ago Malala Yousafzai was transported to the UK where a bullet was removed from her head. She recovered fully and is now studying at Oxford University.
In 2013 Yousafzai appeared before the United Nations, where she receivedstanding ovations for her courageous action. In 2014 she became the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Since then the young activist has been the figurehead of the Malala Fund, an organisation which raises money to help girls and young women in need of education.
Yousafzai’s return to Pakistan has not been welcomed by everyone. Although she has many supporters in her home country Pakistan, the country’s male-dominated society has criticized her for actively fighting for female rights.
Especiallyfundamentalists and conservative men are against her and have organised hate campaigns on the internet. Many say that women do not need education and should maintain their traditional role in the household.
actively = here: not just talking but doing something or taking action
although = while
appear = here: to hold a speech
arrival = when you come to a place
attack = to hurt someone with a weapon
bullet = small piece of metal that comes out of a gun when you shoot
citizen = person who lives in a country and has rights there
courageous = brave
demonstrate = to protest for or against something in front of many people
especially = above all
figurehead = someone who is the leader of a movement or organisation
fully = completely
fundamentalist = someone who follows religious laws very strictly
extremist = someone who has very radical opinions about politics and society
hate campaign = things that a person does in order to harm someone they don’t like
human rights activist = a person who fights for basic rights that everyone should have
in need of = who need
itinerary = a list of things you want to do or places you want to visit
maintain = keep up
make public = publish; show to everybody
male-dominated society = country where men are more important than women and have more power
Nobel Peace Prize = prize that is given each year to a person who has done important work to make the world a safer and more peaceful place
ordinary = normal
raise = collect
receive = get
recover = to get well again
remove= take out of …
rule = government
secret = here: known only to a few people
standing ovations = people get up and clap their hands loudly to show that they like what you have said or done
supporter = person who wants to help you and shares your opinions
Taliban = group that took control of most of Afghanistan in 1997. They are known for following Islam very strictly.
traditional role = here: what they have always done
welcome = to be glad about something
western values = the way people in western countries live and what they think is good or bad
One of the greatest mysteries of aviation history happened on March 8, 2014. Four years ago Malaysia Airlines MH370 went missing on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. The plane left its programmedflight path and headed south towards the Indian Ocean. During the last four years, several search teams have tried to locate the missing plane, but up to now, it hasn’t been found.
The Malaysian Boeing 777 with 239 passengers on board disappeared from ground stationradar screens but flew on for another six hours. Nobody knows what happened during this time. The last known location of MH370 was somewhere in the southern Indian Ocean near Australia. A few parts of the plane were washed up on Africa’s east coast and on islands in the Indian Ocean
Australia, China and Malaysia have taken part in hi-tech search operations that covered a total area of 120,000 square kilometres and cost $200 million. Now, another search is being conducted by an American firm.
Investigatorsspeculate on what may have happened on board MH370. Some experts state that there may have been some kind of mechanical failure while others consider a suddenloss of oxygen in the cabin and cockpit. Officials do not rule out the possibility of the pilot crashing the plane deliberately in unknown waters.
Aviation inspectors say that it is important to find out what happened to MH 370 in order to prevent such an accident from happening again.
aviation = the science of flying an airplane
conduct = carry out
consider = think about
cover = stretch = reach from one place to another
deliberately = on purpose; if you really want to do something
disappear = here: to be lost; not seen
firm = company
flight path = the course an airplane takes
ground station = here: building that watches and has contact with planes
head = to go in a certain direction
inspector = person who checks to see if something is done the way it should be
investigator = person who has the job of finding out what caused the accident
hi-tech = with the best and most modern technology
locate = to find out where something is
loss = to lose something
mechanical failure = an object or a machine on board the plane did not work the way it should have
official = person in a high position in an organisation
oxygen = element that is in the air and which we need to breathe
possibility = here: something may have happened
prevent = stop from happening again
programmed = here: the course it should have taken, according to flight computers
radar = machine that uses radio waves to find where something is and watch its movements
several = some
speculate = to guess about the possible causes or effects of something without knowing all the facts and details
sudden = something happening quickly
unknown = not known
wash up = when something drifts from the open sea to the coast
Egyptian archaeologists have discovered a tomb that dates back 4,400 years. Found near the famous pyramids at Giza, it probably belongs to a woman known as Hetpet, who was a female priest and closely connected to the royal family of the Fifth Dynasty.
Hetpet is well-known among ancient Egyptian archaeologists. Even though her mummy has not yet been found, some of her private belongings were discovered over a century ago.
The tomb found in the western part of the Giza necropolis is made out of mud brick and is in good shape. Its wall paintings show hunting and fishing scenes as well as animal offerings and monkeys gathering fruit.
Excavatorsunearthed 300 cubic meters of earth before they found the tomb. They hope there may be more discoveries to be made in what they call a very promising area of the cemetery. Even though much of the area has been thoroughlyexamined in the past centuries, modern technologies may still reveal new findings under the desert surface. Increaseddigging is also going on in Luxor and the Valley of the Kings
Authorities hope that the recent discovery will help boost Egypt’s tourism industry which has been declining since the Arab Spring of 2011.
animal offering = here: animals that are killed and given to God
Arab Spring = series of protests and revolutions in northern Africa and the Middle East in 2010 and 2011
archaeologist = person who studies old civilisations and examines their buildings, tombs and what is left of that time
authorities = organisation within the government that is responsible for certain things
boost = improve ; make better
cemetery = area where dead people are buried
century = a hundred years
connect = link to; here: a close friend
decline = go down
desert = large area of dry land with rocks and sand
dig = to move the earth on the surface so that you can find something
discover = find for the first time
even though = while
excavate = to dig carefully in an area in order to find old objects like bones, cups or tools
examine = look at; observe
gather = collect
increased = more and more
mud brick = wet earth that is dried and used as a building material
mummy = a dead body that has been preserved by wrapping it in cloth
necropolis = area of land where dead people are buried
priest = man or woman who does performs religious acts
private belongings = what belonged to her
promising = here: an area where archaeologists hope to make new discoveries in the future
reveal = to find something that was not known at first
royal family = the king, his wife and children
surface = the top layer of something
technologies = methods of doing something
thoroughly = very closely; completely
tomb = stone structure above or below the ground where a dead person is buried
unearth = to find something that has been buried in the ground
Valley of the Kings = area in central Egypt where kings and queens of ancient Egypt were buried between the 16th and 11th century B.C.
For the first time, global fishing activity has been tracked from space. The data collected shows that 55% of the world’s oceans are used for commercial fishing, four times the area that is used for farming. In contrast, fish provides only 1.2% of the world’s food.
According to the data, China is the world’s top fishing nation. In 2016 Chinese vessels spent 18 million hours catching fish on the high seas, travelling a total of 460 million km.
The fishing fleets of 5 countries (China, Spain, Taiwan Japan and South Korea) account for more than 85% of the world’s fishing.
Almost half of the total catch comes from the high seas, where industrial ships fish for tuna and shark. Smaller fleets stay near coastal areas.
The data was collected over a period of four years from 22 billionautomatedemergency radio signals of over 70,000 ships. Although it is not totally accurate because smaller boats are not required to use tracking signals, it does show where most of the fishing takes place. Special software was used to generatemaps that show where fishing is most intensive, such as the northern Atlantic and northwestern Pacific Ocean.
The study also shows that the biggest influences on fishing come from political and cultural activities. Environmental problems, seasonal differences or the changing of ocean currents do not affect fishing that much.
according to = as reported by …
account for = to form a certain part of something
activity = things that people do
accurate = exact, perfect
affect = change
although = while
automated = here: created automatically
billion = a thousand million
catch = the fish that are caught at a certain time
coastal areas = near land
commercial fishing = here: ships catch fish and process them so that they can be sold to customers
data = information
emergency radio signal = every ship sends signals to show where they are in case something happens to them
environmental = about nature and the world around us
fleet = the ships that belong to a country
generate = produce
global = worldwide
high seas = the parts of the ocean that are far away from land
in contrast = on the other side
influence = the power to affect or change something in a certain way
intensive = here: where most of the activity takes place
map = drawing of an area that shows where something is
ocean current = the movement of water in the world’s oceans
provide = offer, give
required = need to do or have something
seasonal = referring to the seasons
space = outside the earth; here: from satellites that orbit the earth