In one of the world’s biggest underwater discoveries, Mexican divers have found a flooded cave near Tulum, a beach resort on the Yucatan peninsula. The cave is part of the Sac Actun cave system, which now measures a total length of 347 km.
The discovery was made by members of Gran Acuifero Mayaa, a projectdedicated to the study and preservation of underground water systems in Yucatan. After a few months of exploring divers found an underwater link between two existing caves. After examining the flooded area divers found rocks and stones with ancient markings, grave sites and remains of human bones.
The flooded cave may be connected with the ancient Maya civilisation and could help us understand the Mayan culture. The Yucatan peninsula is full of monuments and ancient Mayan sites.
Mayan cities and temples were built over sinkholes, so-called cenotes. They were natural pits that were formed by the collapse of limestone, revealing subterranean rivers.
ancient = very old
collapse = when something suddenly falls down or apart
connect = to join together
dedicated = to work on something very hard
discovery = to find something new for the first time
diver = person who swims or works under water using special equipment that helps them breathe
examine = to look at something very closely
flooded cave = natural hole in the earth that is full of water
grave site = place where people are buried
length = how long something is
limestone = type of rock that lets water through and has calcium in it
link = connection
measure = how large something is
peninsula = piece of land that is surrounded by water on three sides
pit = hole in the ground
preservation = to try to keep something in its original state
remains = what is left over from a human body
resort = town where people spend their holidays
reveal = to show something that you didn’t see before
sinkhole = a hole in the ground caused when the surface collapses
After the end of World War II, as many as 9,000 high-ranking Nazi officersescapedpunishment in Germany and fledabroad, most of them to South America. Over 5,000 started a new life in Argentina, the rest were scattered across Brazil, Paraguay and other countries.
At the beginning of World War II, Argentina already had a large German community. President Juan Peron sympathized with the Third Reich and helped set up routes in Spain and Italy, through which Nazi officers escaped. He also gave them false passports and new identities.
With the help of the Vatican and relief organisations like the Red Cross, more and more Nazis poured into South America, building a network of contacts that made it easier for the rest of them to flee. In the decades after the war, some were tracked down and brought back to Germany, however many Nazis escaped justice.
One of the most famous Nazis who found his way to South America was Adolph Eichmann. He was an SS officer in charge of Hitler’s final solution – sending millions of Jews to death camps all across Europe. He lived in Buenos Aires until 1960 when a team of Israeli intelligence officerscaptured him and got him out of the country. After his trial in Jerusalem, he was hanged in 1962.
Another famous Nazi was Joseph Mengele, a doctor who conducted medical experiments at the Auschwitz death camp, where he often used prisoners as guinea pigs. He spent several years in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay where he died in 1979.
abroad = to a country across the ocean; here: North or South America
capture = to catch a person and keep them as prisoner
community = people who live together in the same area
conduct = carry out
death camp = place where a large number of prisoners are killed or die
decade = ten years
escape = get away from a bad or dangerous situation; leave a place because it is dangerous
false passport = here: a passport that is not real, with a made-up identity
flee – fled = escape; get away from a bad situation
guinea pig = someone who is used in a test or experiment to see how successful something new is
high-ranking = in a high position in an organisation
hang – hanged = to kill someone with a rope around their neck
however = but
identity = name
in charge of = responsible for
intelligence officer = person of a foreign government who tries to collect secret information in other countries
justice = system by which criminals are punished
network = system
officer = someone who has power in the military or police department
pour into = come in large numbers
prisoner = someone who is kept in prison for a crime they may have committed
punishment = to make somebody suffer because they have done something that is against the law
relief organization = organization that helps people who are in danger
scattered = spread over a large area of land
sympathize = here: like, support, help
Third Reich = period of Nazi Germany, led by Adolf Hitler
track down = to find someone who has been hiding
trial = legal process in which a judge and a jury in a courtroom decide if a person is guilty or not
A recentsurvey , examining the years between 2005 and 2015, has come to the conclusion that more and more of the Amazon rain forest is lost due tomining operations. According to the government, most of these mining activities are illegal and unregulated.
Brazilian environmental organisations now say that mining is one of the major problems of the Amazon rain forest. Whereas earlier estimates put the destruction through mining at about 2% of the total area, experts now say that over 10% of rain forest loss is caused by mining. Most of the rain forest is cleared to create settlements for mine workers , as well as new transportation routes and airports. Minerals mined in the Amazon region include iron ore, bauxite and copper.
The destruction of the rain forest through mining is 12 times greater outside official and regulated areas than within. In some cases observers saw mining activity up to 70 km from a mine’s border.
Rain forests are essential to the planet’s climate. They bindcarbon dioxide and provide a living space for many plants and animals . Since 2000 more than 190 000 square kilometres of the Amazon rain forest have been cleared. The leading cause of deforestation is still farming.
Officials also report that, for the first time in years, deforestation throughout the year has actually decreased – by 16 % between August 2016 and July 2017. This is a result of more surveillance and stricter controls, but it is also caused by lower livestock prices on world markets.
according to = as said by …
bauxite = soft material that you use to get aluminium
bind = here: not let something escape into the atmosphere
border = the end of an area
carbon dioxide = gas that is produced when animals and people breathe out and when carbon is burned
cause = reason
clear = here: cut down trees
conclusion = to decide or say something, based on the information you have
copper = soft reddish-brown metal that lets electricity and heat pass through easily
decrease = to go down
deforestation = the cutting down or burning of all trees in an area
destruction = here: cutting down all trees in the area
due to = because of
environmental = about nature and the world around us
essential = extremely important and necessary
estimate = to calculate how big something is using the information you have
examine = to look closely at a topic in order to get more information about it
government = the people who rule a country
illegal = against the law
iron ore = rock that has iron in it
livestock = animals, such as cows or sheep, that are kept on a farm
loss = losing something
major = very important
mineral = material in the earth that is valuable and which you can sell
mining = the work of getting minerals, like coal, oil or metals out of the earth
official = here: allowed by the government
provide = offer, give
recent = a short time ago
settlement = group of houses created to live in
surveillance = when the police watch a place very closely because there may be something wrong going on there
survey = questions that you ask people in order to find out more about a topic
unregulated = not controlled or watched by the government
Che Guevara was a Marxistrevolutionary who was a close aide of Fidel Castro during the Cuban Revolution. He was killed in Bolivia 50 years ago.
Che was born into a middle class Argentinian family in 1928 and studied medicine in his youth. From the beginning he was influenced by left-wing ideas and strongly opposed the government of Argentine leader Juan Peron.
Instead of finishing his studies, the young rebel decided to travel around South America, where he witnessedwidespread poverty and oppression among the population. In the 1950s he travelled to Guatemala where he saw how the CIA helped overthrow a leftist government.
In Mexico, Che Guevara met Fidel Castro and his brother Raul. Together , they planned to overthrow the pro-western government in Cuba. After Castro took power in 1959 , Che Guevara held some top posts in his government and also became Castro’s military adviser. He strongly opposed the United States and its policies. Instead he tried to strengthenties with the Soviet Union and spread socialism to Central America.
The Marxist revolutionary was sent to developing countries in order to show them how Cuban socialism worked. In Congo, he trained rebels to fight against government soldiers. Che Guevara was finally captured in Bolivia where he was he was executedin 1967.
adviser = person who gives you advice because they know a lot about a topic
aide = person who helps a politician or leader
capture = to catch a person and keep them as a prisoner
developing country = poor country in Africa, Asia or America
execute = to kill someone as a from of being punished
influence = to affect or change the way someone behaves or thinks
instead = in something’s place
government = the people who rule a country
Marxist = person who supports the ideas of Karl Marx. He explained changes in history as a result of the struggle between social classes
oppose = to be against
oppression = when you treat a group of people in an unfair way and do not give them the same rights that others have
overthrow = remove a leader or a government
policy = the way a government plans to handle a topic or problem
poverty= the situation of being poor
revolutionary = person who joins or supports a revolution
socialism = system in which many industries are owned by the state and rich people pay more taxes than poorer ones
strengthen = make stronger
take power = here: become a leader or the head of a government