News

Dispute over asylum for snowden in germany: u.s. Denies influence

No more intelligence information if Snowden is granted asylum: That’s what the U.S. threatened, Glenn Greenwald claims to have heard from the head of the SPD. The US government denies this.

Did whistleblower Gabriel (right) pass on his information to Glenn Greenwald? The SPD leader and the investigative journalist in Homburg. Image: dpa

The U.S. has rejected accusations that it threatened Germany with a break-off of intelligence exchanges in the Snowden affair. U.S. government circles described this as "baseless," according to a report in the online edition of the daily Die Welt. The ability to fight terrorist and other threats together with Germany should not be reduced, they said.

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Nationalization may come after all: senate leans toward power grid purchase

Finance Senator Matthias Kollatz (SPD) assumes that the Vattenfall offer will be accepted. However, the purchase price is still open.

Vattenfall wants to sell the Berlin power grid – and the Senate apparently accepts the offer Photo: Reuters

The red-red-green senate apparently wants to accept the purchase offer of the power company Vattenfall for the Berlin power grid, which it has operated until now. "There is a lot to be said for accepting the offer," Finance Senator Matthias Kollatz (SPD) said at a press conference on Tuesday, while his government colleagues were still meeting on how to proceed in the Corona crisis. Vattenfall had offered on Friday to hand over the power grid in 2021 to avoid further years of legal wrangling. This came as a surprise in that the company had prevailed against the Senate only five weeks ago at the Kammergericht.

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Preview of the second half of the season: now it’s back on the pitch again

Eisbaren Berlin (no winter break in ice hockey)

What with the footballers crisis, is with the ice hockey men blissful sunshine. In the German Ice Hockey League (DEL), the club can say in a reminiscent tone: We are who again. The team has bitten its way to the top, two points behind league leader Nuremberg. Champion 2018, why not? In the summer, the stakes were high with many transfers, the level has risen significantly, and under coach Uwe Krupp there has been a constant improvement in the playoffs. But the fans, who are accustomed to success, won’t consider themselves winners again until they have the title. The owner, the Anschutz Entertainment Group, wants that, too, which helps with the purse strings. Despite all the imponderables of the playoffs, the chances of a revival of the good old days have rarely been better. Including titles.

Alba Berlin (no winter break in basketball)

News

Elections in the usa: first take a deep breath

U.S. President Trump is shaking faith in the democratic system. The bigger problem: A sizable portion of the population applauds him.

Trump supporters at a Nov. 1 campaign event Photo by Brynn Anderson/ap

Whatever the final outcome of the U.S. presidential election, one thing is already certain: anyone employed in polling should consider a career change. Any crystal ball is more reliable than this industry. Once, a catastrophic miscalculation like the one in 2016, when a Hillary Clinton victory seemed certain, can be forgiven. But once it happens a second time, trust is permanently squandered. Even if Joe Biden does win the presidency: There can be no talk of a profound turnaround, or even a landslide.

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Waste in the diocese even greater: 31 million for limburg residence

The new bishop’s residence in Limburg has cost considerably more than previously assumed. 5.5 million euros were planned, 31 were spent.

This fancy building (right) has gobbled up 31 million euros. Photo: dpa

The new official residence of Limburg’s Catholic Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst has cost around 31 million euros. The original budget was 5.5 million euros. Most recently, it was assumed to be more than ten million euros. The diocese says that an internal audit has calculated the final sum. The Catholic bishop himself had announced it for October.

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Zdf documentary with joachim gauck: dreaming of paradise

ZDF has sent former German President Joachim Gauck on a tour of Germany. The occasion is the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Schauble negotiated the Unification Treaty, Gauck embodies reunification Photo: ZDF/Stephan Lamby

Among all German television writers, Stephan Lamby, the son of a ministerial director, might be the one with the best connection to the highest circles of politics. With film portraits of Helmut Kohl, Angela Merkel and several others, he has been up close and personal. And this year marks the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. In short, "An Exploratory Journey through Germany, with Joachim Gauck" by Stephan Lamby (and Florian Huber) – is about as surprising on the 2019 TV schedule as the expected Christmas address by the current German president.

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Verdict against navalny: the verdict from the drawer

Moscow had to send Alexei Navalny behind bars to avoid ridicule. The Kremlin flaunts its monopoly on the use of force.

For violating probation: three and a half years in prison for Alexei Navalny Photo: Moscow City Court Press Service/imago

Short trial: three and a half years in prison for Alexei Navalny for violating parole conditions from a 2014 trial. The twelve months he has already served in house arrest will be kindly waived. It will remain a Kremlin mystery how the poisoned opposition politician, who lay comatose in a Berlin hospital bed, should have fulfilled his reporting obligations.

Health

Dealing with paragraph 219a: self-determination is a state matter

The Hamburg health authority publishes addresses of doctors who perform abortions. Other states have so far withheld this information.

Again and again a reason to take to the streets: Paragraph 219a Photo: Imago

47 years after the "We had an abortion" cover of Stern magazine, abortions and their legal basis have been the subject of renewed debate for months now. The focus is on paragraph 219a of the penal code, which prohibits "advertising" for abortions, in other words, prohibits doctors from informing people, for example on their homepage, that they perform abortions. It is therefore difficult to find information about this topic on the net in most areas in Germany.

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Traffic pollution from german cars: scheuer wants to sue austria

Austrian villages are flooded with German drivers and enact driving bans. The German transport minister wants to sue against this.

Prefer to drive through the villages – this is how German drivers avoid Austrian tolls Photo: dpa

For the Austrians, it’s self-defense. They have complained often enough to the Germans about the avalanche of cars that pushes its way from the north through the villages of Tyrol toward Jesolo, Lake Garda or the Adriatic – also to avoid the Austrian toll. Now the black-green regional government is escalating the dispute: Tyrol’s rural roads have been closed to through travelers since last Thursday – the start of the vacation season in Germany.

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Vacation in corona times: tourism industry faces debacle

The EU tourism industry is facing losses of 400 billion euros. Commission head von der Leyen is looking for "intelligent solutions".

Granted, not Capri. Tourists on a stone beach, in Rijeka, Croatia Photo: Eibner Europa/imago

After the forced pause in industry, the EU is now threatened with a debacle in the tourism sector. Because of the Corona crisis, sales could slump by up to 70 percent this year, said EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton in Brussels. According to initial estimates, the European travel industry could lose between 2 billion euros, the Frenchman said.