Regional News • Europe • Germany
Thousands of Germans demonstrate at Black Lives Matter "Silent Demo" against racism
Black Lives Matter "Silent Protest" in Berlin
Black Lives Matter "Silent Protest" in Berlin Credit: Dominik Erhard

In multiple German cities, thousands of people are demonstrating in solidarity with the protests in the United States against racism and police brutality. The police are securing the peaceful protests as the main square "Alexanderplatz" in Berlin is full of people. In the German capital alone, 14 demonstrations have been registered with the police, while protests are being held in 19 German cities. Protesters have been asked to wear black clothing for symbolic reasons.

Berlin state passes own anti-discrimination law, covering potential gaps in federal law
Berlin state passes own anti-discrimination law, covering potential gaps in federal law
Credit: Pablo Hermoso

Taking further the federal General Equal Treatment Act, the Berlin government has explicitly outlawed discriminatory actions from public authorities. German federal law from 2006 covered only discrimination in employment and between private citizens, as the German constitution already prohibits public service discrimination.

Lawmakers believe this will help to address issues of systemic racism, along with explicit awareness of many other unlawful discrimination factors in public service - such as gender, age, sexual identity, religion, disability, illness, worldview, education, occupation or income.

Attack with a chainsaw in Berlin unemployment office

After a verbal argument, because a 44-year-old wasn't able to cash a check at the Berlin unemployment office, the man threatened a security employee to come back with a chainsaw.

Fifteen minutes later he actually appeared in the company of a woman having a chainsaw in hands. Thanks to the quick action of the staff, the entrance to the unemployment office was closed and the police were able to find the perpetrators without anybody getting injured.

Terrorist attack Breitscheidplatz - missing information from Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania

In addition to the many question marks about the misconduct by the security authorities in Berlin and North Rhine-Westphalia, an employee of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution from Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania now also plays an unknown role in the terrorist attack that happened in 2016.

Information from sources after the terrorist attack apparently did not reach the investigating Federal Criminal Police Office. What information this was and why the employee reported to the General Attorney General as a witness is currently still unclear.

Regional News • Europe • European Union
Germany backs France in new EU recovery fund proposal

The Franco-German agreement supports a €500 billion recovery fund to be distributed as grants, not requiring direct repayment from the countries receiving the funds. Recognizing the exceptional nature of the challenges posed by the pandemic, this is the first time Berlin has agreed to a plan based on grants instead of loans. The proposal is now in the hands of the European Commission and would require approval from all EU member states.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Art & Design
Brandenburg parliament: There will be no statewide security concept for museums

The parliament of Brandenburg answered on Friday, that there will be no statewide security concept for museums. Reasons for this decision were, that all buildings and art collections are too specific in the architecture and the way how to secure them.

The party "Freie Wähler" called for measures after the burglaries in the "Bode Museum" in Berlin and the "Grünes Gewölbe" in Dresden.

Sports • Soccer
Bundesliga to resume season on May 15th
Bundesliga match between Hertha Berlin and Eintracht Frankfurt
Bundesliga match between Hertha Berlin and Eintracht Frankfurt Credit: Érico Andrei (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The Bundesliga will resume on May 15, the German Football League (DFL) announced today, becoming the first major football league to resume playing during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Germany's top politicians approved a plan for the Bundesliga to resume in stadiums without spectators and with players regularly tested.

"Matches will be allowed under the approved rules," said Angela Merkel at a press conference in Berlin.

"After weighing up all the arguments, the DFL Executive Committee decided today... to resume play in the Bundesliga and 2nd Bundesliga from 15 May 2020," the DFL said in a statement to magazine Kicker.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Berlin will introduce new Corona fines

There is no longer a requirement to stay in the apartment all the time - thus the previously possible fine of 10 to 100 euros no longer applies. Anyone who meets more than one other person who is not part of his or her own household in a public space risks paying a fine of 10 to 100 euros.

Those who do not keep the distance of 1.50 metres to others may have to pay 25 to 500 euros - this also applies to meadows and open spaces. The ban on visiting hospitals is still subject to a fine of 50 to 1000 euros. However, exceptions apply here. Anyone entering or returning from abroad must remain in domestic isolation for two weeks. Violations of this rule can cost 500 to 2500 euros.

Barbecuing or offering open meals was already prohibited. Now this is subject to a fine: 25 to 500 euros.

From 4 May, open-air meetings of up to 50 people will be allowed. However, the assembly management is responsible for ensuring the rules of distance and hygiene.

The basic principle remains the same: the amount of the catalogue of fines is based on three criteria: What damage is caused to public health? Does the person show insight or is there a repeat offence?

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Berlin police bust party with 32 attendees amid coronavirus lockdown
Berlin Police Car
Berlin Police Car Credit: Dick Elbers (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

During the early hours of Monday, Belin broke up a birthday party with 32 attendees in the German capital's central Mitte neighborhood

"If a girl together with 31 guests is celebrating her 16th birthday and her own mother has apparently rented a 2.5 room apartment in Mitte for this purpose, then, unfortunately, we aren't stopping by just to say congratulations," Berlin police tweeted.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Berlin regional government accused U.S. government of "modern piracy"

German officials said a shipment of 200.000 N95 face masks destined for Berlin was seized at Bangkok airport and diverted to the U.S.

Berlin Interior Minister Andreas Geisel called the incident an act of “modern piracy.” Berlin Mayor Michael Müller, a Social Democrat, said: “the actions of the U.S. president are…inhumane and unacceptable.”

Regional News • Europe • Germany
German Chancelor Angela Merkel tested negative for Coronavirus

The Press and Information Office of the Federal Government of Germany announced on Monday that Merkel's first Coronavirus results came back negative. According to Steffen Seibert, the Government spokesman of Germany, further tests would follow in the coming days. Merkel, who has been in quarantine since Sunday, is currently governing remotely from her own home.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Germany wants to support businesses with 750 billion Euros in Emergency Aid

The German government presented a plan to help all kinds of businesses, including small companies, freelancers as well as large businesses. The plan includes credit guaranties as well as direct investments into companies and special financial support for hospitals. Regulations regarding Germanys short-time work and welfare programs as well as bankruptcy rules will be eased, and landlords will no longer be able to evict due to missing rent payments. The German Bundestag and Bundesrat still needs to accept the plans.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Angela Merkel went into self-quarantine

After getting a vaccination on March 20th, the doctor that gave the German Chancellor Angela Merkel the vaccination got tested positive for the coronavirus. As a consequence the German Chancellor went into self-quarantine.