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Local News Summary of August, 13th

  • Millions worth of damage caused after warehouse fire in Pratteln 
  • Semi-final for Federer after win in two sets
  • If the judges and defendants do not understand, the Basel court need an interpreter

Millions worth of damage caused after warehouse fire in Pratteln

The damage to a warehouse in Grüssenhölzliweg in Pratteln after a fire on Friday night has been estimated at millions of francs.

The fire broke out shortly before 4.15pm, just half a block away from a large furniture store and a stone‘s throw from a rock concert hall. Thick smoke spread far and wide and was visible from the nearby A2/A3 motorway and the train line between Basel and Zürich/Olten. Several neighbouring buildings were evacuated, the police said in a statement on Saturday.

The area, with its diverse and large stores, is always extremely busy at weekends; some of the furniture stores there are open until 9pm. According to initial findings, the smoke was not harmful to people or the environment.

As the fire brigade arrived, the flames were already blazing high into the sky and thick smoke filled the building. Although the fire fighters were able to bring the flames quickly under control, it took around 12 hours to completely extinguish the fire. There were around 200 emergency personnel involved in the operation. Lorries parked nearby were quickly driven away from the scene.

The exact source and cause of the fire is not yet known, it was further reported. The building‘s interior was severely damaged by the flames, making the initiated investigations more complex. The property damage is severe. The affected buildings are at present unusable, although they are not in danger of collapsing. According to a police spokesperson, the smoke penetrated nearby buildings. Losses worth several millions of Swiss francs are expected. The police are looking for witnesses.

Semi-final for Federer after win in two sets

Roger Federer has reached the semi-finals at the masters 1000 tournament in Montreal after beating Spanish player Roberto Bsutista Agut in two sets (6:4 6:4).

Against the world's No.16, Federer performed much better than on Thursday against Agut's fellow countryman David Ferrer who he bet in a fierce battle over three sets. Although the windy conditions were more difficult than on the previous day, Federer found his rhythm early and served well. Although he again committed 25 unforced mistakes (by 24 winners), his serves had more drive and in 26 hits against the net he gained 20 points.

The decisive moves occurred at the end of the first and the start of the second set. When at a score of 4:4 Federer came to a break point, his adversary helped by making a double mistake. In the entire first set Federer lost only three points when he served. The only time his service was weaker was at the start of the second set when he missed a break at 1:1. However, the 36-year-old Basler took the service from Bautista Agut in the next game.

Later, Federer had to defend two break points, but after a playing time of 68 minutes he used his first match point to achieve victory. 'I haven't played a fantastic but a solid match', said the Swiss player. His tactics were right and so he deployed it well.

Opportunity to become No.1

His adversary on Saturday night in the semi-final was the surprising Dutchman Robin Haase. The only match had played so far against the world's No. 52 was five years ago during the Davis Cup, during which Federer had a clear win.

After Rafael Nadal's sensational defeat against the Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov (world's No. 143) the door is now wide open for Federer to become No. 1. If he wins the tournament in Montreal he will close the gap with Nadal by 10 points. Scottish player Andy Murray will remain top ranked on Monday however he will lose his position since he misses the tournament in Montreal and also the Cincinnati Masters due to a hip injury. It means his 600 points gained from last year's final will drop from his account.

As Nadal will also lose 90 points, Federer will start off in Cincinnati as the virtual leader, a tournament he has already won seven times. He only has to get as far as Nadal to be the oldest No.1 in tennis history in the ranking, from 21. August. After his defeat in the tie break against Shapovalov, the Spanish player spoke about his 'worst defeat this year' since he said he had missed a big chance.

If the judges and defendants do not understand, the Basel court need an interpreter

Anthony Glass puts words on the gold scale. As court interpreter, this is his job. After this, his translation determines how the court process proceeds. The 43-year-old Basler explained how he handles the responsibility at the Basel Criminal Court.

„They (suspects) have the right to remain silent,“ he said. „Anything you say can be used against you.“

No television crime series comes without this sentence. In the Swiss courtrooms however these words have a wider-ranging meaning than in a crime series. Anyone who opens his mouth when interrogated by the police and prosecution should be aware of what they are say, since their statement is recorded as evidence.

And in this regard, Anthony Glass is under pressure.

„It is not always recognised how much responsibility the interpreter has,“ he said. One false word, and the story of an accused person can turn in a completely different direction with different meaning.

„There is a lot at stake when one interprets for the court,“ Mr Glass said.

One can not know everything

However, what happens, when an interpreter makes a mistake?

„Nobody can know everything,“ Mr Glass emphasised.

„The interpreter can acknowledge before the court that he must look up a term.“

And if he ever made a mistake, did he admit it?

Mr Glass laughed and said: „Sometimes it costs a great deal of overcoming, although in such a case a quick reaction is important.“

Translations for murderers

Anthony Glass said he fell into translation work during his studies in Holland. In Amsterdam he worked for years as an interpreter -a career that remained with him even when he faced exceptional challenges.

„Of course there have been assignments which I was not so happy about,“ he said.

He then gave an example of when he realised that he must translate on behalf of a murder or a rapist.

"It could be intimidating," he admitted.

„However, everyone must know for themselves whether they can be a professional interpreter in such situations,“ he said.

During court cases, he said there is not much time to think in depth about it. That happens in the hours after the trial, when the interpreter processes the translation for himself.

„What is absolutely important is that you talk about what happened when you get home,“ he said.

Of course they are not allowed to divulge the details of a court case, but it can be enough just to say: „Today I am not doing so good.“

Lone wolf with important tasks

A court translator is in an unique situation, Mr Glass explained.

„An interpreter is often on his own there,“ he said. He works alone and sees his profession as one where someone could be at risk of burn-out. He does not know the same support from work colleagues which many other people have. „There are no colleagues who can say just once: I‘ll take over that for you now. You've got too much on your plate.“

Thanks to courses and studies in Winterthur and Geneva he gets to know the perspectives of other interpreters. There is always a lot of networking between the language mediators.

It is clear that for language talented Mr Glass, who, along with Schwyzerdütsch speaks six languages, translation is a passion. Even if it depends on every word, especially in court.