Germany

Health
EU calls for swift reform of WHO
EU calls for swift reform of WHO
Credit: © Yann Forget / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.5)

German Health Minister Jens Spahn said at a press conference that "the current pandemic challenges us very acutely, but it is very important that the [WHO] reform debate is to be held in parallel".

The draft EU document, which will represent the bloc's position at a WHO assembly in mid-November, calls on the agency to make public more quickly how and whether its member countries meet their obligations on information sharing in health crises.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Covid-19 deniers set off explosive device in Berlin

An explosive device detonated in Berlin's Invalidenstraße this weekend. Apparently, the attack was caused by opponents of the Corona measures in Germany. Nobody was injured, the investigations are ongoing.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Germany: 16,282 Coronavirus cases, daily record
Germany: 16,282 Coronavirus cases, daily record
Credit: Courtesy of Risklayer

Germany has reported 16,282 new Coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours. This is the country's highest daily case count. Death toll rose by 97. The data comes directly from the regional health authorities and has been aggregated by risklayer.

Previously the highest recorded number of new cases had been 14,964.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Germany decides on extended restrictions from Monday on due to rising Covid-19 numbers
Germany decides on extended restrictions from Monday on due to rising Covid-19 numbers
Credit: Screenshot live stream Bundespressekonferenz

The German federal and state governments agreed on extended restrictions following a rise in Covid-19 cases. The restrictions will take effect in all of Germany from next Monday on and last for four weeks.

Only members of two households - a maximum of ten people - will be allowed to meet in public. "Groups of people celebrating in public places, homes and private institutions are unacceptable in view of the seriousness of the situation in our country", the decision states. Schools and shops will remain open, restaurants and other activities for personal entertainment or leisure will be forced to close.

Law
Attempted break-in in Sparkasse Hamburg

On Saturday evening, a cleaner in a Hamburg Sparkasse branch informed the private security service after noticing something inexplicable.

Alarmed police officers were able to secure an industrial drill in the basement of the bank, with which the unknown perpetrators had apparently tried to drill open the safe.

There are currently no references to the perpetrators.

Regional News • World
Foreign Minister states that Thai King is under "permanent" review while in Germany
Foreign Minister states that Thai King is under "permanent" review while in Germany
Credit: The Public Relations Department (กรมประชาสัมพันธ์) / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

The German Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has stated that Germany has "made it clear that politics concerning the country of Thailand should not be based on German soil" and that the Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn would be "permanently" under review while he is Germany.

The King has spent part of the Covid-19 lockdown in Germany in a luxury hotel in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and owns a property in Bavaria.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Merkel warns that Germany is "on the verge of losing control of virus"
Merkel warns that Germany is "on the verge of losing control of virus"
Credit: FinnishGovernment, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

German chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that Germany is "on the verge of losing control of its fight against the virus", telling her party in an internal meeting that "the situation is threatening" and that the country has "very, very difficult months ahead."

Germany has seen a steady increase of Covid-19 cases of the past weeks, reporting over 14,000 cases on October 24, the country's highest daily case count.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Police prohibit demo but do not break it up
Archive image from "hygiene demonstration" 29.08.2020 in Berlin
Archive image from "hygiene demonstration" 29.08.2020 in Berlin Credit: Thomas Neugerriemschneider / Wikimedia Commons

The police spoke of about 2000 people who gathered on Alexanderplatz in the Mitte district to protest the Covid-19 measures in Germany. Many of them ignored the required social distancing and mask rules. The police let most of the participants walk the planned demo route along Karl-Marx-Allee without being disturbed, even though these people violated the conditions of the demonstration.

At about 4 p.m. the demonstration was ended by the organizers, as the Berlin police announced on Twitter.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Berlin police break up fetish party with 600 guests
Berlin police break up fetish party with 600 guests
Credit: Courtesy of Twitter / Polizei Berlin Einsatz

Police dissolve fetish party - a violation of Corona rules Hundreds of people met at a fetish party in Berlin - despite the current Corona contact restrictions.

A fetish party with about 600 guests in a location in Berlin-Mitte came to an abrupt end on Saturday evening. Officials of the Berlin police and the federal police disbanded the event at the Alte Münze. "There were simply too many for too little space," the police said later that evening. The guests were released into the Berlin night and sent home. Close-meshed controls at the weekend On Saturday, the Berlin police used hundreds of task forces to check whether people were following the Corona rules.

About 1,000 police officers were to be on duty during the course of the day, half of them from the federal police.

Regional News • Europe
Europe's Covid-19 cases doubled over the past ten days
Europe's Covid-19 cases doubled over the past ten days
Credit: unsplash.com/Ewien van Bergeijk - Kwant

Covid-19 cases have doubled in Europe over the past ten days, rising from 100,000 to 200,000. Multiple countries, including Austria, Germany, Italy and France, have reported daily records in the past week.

Technology • Internet & Web
Reform of the Youth Protection Act in Germany

Children and young people are to be better protected against harassment and cyberbullying on the Internet in the future. The Federal Cabinet has updated the Youth Protection Act of 2002 and adapted it to the new platforms such as YouTube, messenger services and TikTok. Accordingly, providers must meet requirements such as secure presettings, child-friendly help and complaint systems and uniform age rating.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
The German Health Minister Jens Spahn tested positive for Covid-19
Jens Spahn
Jens Spahn Credit: Olaf Kosinsky (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 DE)

Jens Spahn, the German Health Minister, tested positive for Covid-19 and has gone into immediate isolation.

The healthy ministry confirmed all those in close contact with Spahn had been informed.

Members of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Cabinet, that have met Spahn earlier on Wednesday, will not be self-isolating.

According to a government spokesperson: "The Federal Cabinet meets in compliance with hygiene and distance rules, which aim to ensure that even if a person who later tests positive were to participate, quarantining of other or even all participants would not be necessary."

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Handshake denied - Lebanese does not get German citizenship
Handshake denied - Lebanese does not get German citizenship
Credit: Amtec Photos (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

The German administrative court of Baden-Württemberg has ruled that anyone who refuses to shake hands with women because of fundamentalist values is not allowed to be made a citizen of Germany.

The Lebanese had signed the leaflet on loyalty to the constitution and the rejection of any form of extremism. He had also achieved the maximum number of points in the naturalization test. But then he refused to shake hands with the responsible official during the planned handover. The district administration office thereupon rejected citizenship, a decision that has been upheld by the German court.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Deutsche Bahn extends train routes between German metropolises
Deutsche Bahn extends train routes between German metropolises
Credit: unsplash.com / Yannes Kiefer

Deutsche Bahn has published its new timetable, which comes into effect on the 13th of December. The company intends to offer 13,000 additional seats by the end of the year by expanding its train fleet. Among other things, the long-distance trains will then run between Hamburg and Berlin at 30-minute intervals. From June 13, 2021, the railroad plans to deploy its XXL-ICE with 918 seats on the Hamburg-Frankfurt-Basel-Zurich-Chur route for the first time.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Berlin court overturn 11 pm Covid-19 curfew for restaurants and bars in the city
Berlin court overturn 11 pm Covid-19 curfew for restaurants and bars in the city
Credit: Berlin IckLiebeDir (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

A Berlin court suspended the 11 pm curfew on bars and restaurants that was in effect for a week. The court stated there was no evidence that establishments sticking to the existing rules on mask-wearing and social distancing contributed to an increase in the infection rates.

The court ruling was in response to a legal action brought by restaurant owners who contested the curfew, but not a ban on the sale of alcohol after 11 pm.

Regional News • Europe
Airport workers in Germany refuse to service Lukashenko's plane
Airport workers in Germany refuse to service Lukashenko's plane
Credit: unsplash.com / Tango Tsuttie

Airport service workers from Lufthansa Technik have refused to service a Boing 737 plane that belongs to the self-proclaimed president of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko. They stated that "We, Lufthansa Technik’s activists, do not forget the long tradition of international solidarity and stand side by side with Belarusian workers" and added that "the same Lukashenko that gave the order to shoot at demonstrators in Belarus".

Business • Media & Advertising
Netflix removes free test month in some countries
Netflix removes free test month in some countries
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler – Logo via Netflix (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Netflix, the largest video streaming provider, has cancelled the free trial period in many countries without notice.

Markets, including the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia and Japan have switched over to a model where the second month is free.

The 30-day trial subscription is no longer available in Germany and France either. In some other countries, nothing has changed yet.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Germany: Investigation against right-wing extremist chat groups at the Berlin police
Germany: Investigation against right-wing extremist chat groups at the Berlin police
Credit: Marco (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

In recent weeks and months, various right-wing extremist chat groups by police officers have been uncovered throughout Germany. After Hesse and North-Rhine Westphalia, the first such case became known to the Berlin police at the beginning of October.

As it turns out today, Wednesday, not an isolated case. Once again a WhatsApp group, this time from Berlin police students, became known in which right-wing extremist memes and symbols were also sent to each other. Criminal investigations were initiated against the suspects.

Climate & Environment
Study: Germany needs to stop CO2 emissions by 2035 to stay in line with Paris agreement
Study: Germany needs to stop CO2 emissions by 2035 to stay in line with Paris agreement
Credit: unsplash.com / Kurt Cotoaga

A new study by the Wuppertal Institute gives an overview of what has to be done if Germany wants to stay within its 1.5°C CO2-budget. The findings include the necessity to reach zero CO2 emissions by 2035 and to accelerate the expansion of renewable energies by a factor of at least 2.5.

More sector-specific findings can be read in the study. It was published today in a press conference together with activists of Fridays for Future, who had assigned the scientists with this study.

Business • Health Care
Germany: Slaughterhouse reopened after 112 Covid-19 cases became known

After several Covid-19 cases became public, a slaughterhouse in Lower Saxony is now resuming operations. The reason for this is the pressure of the farmers and agricultural lobby on politicians. 

Measures to contain the virus have been taken with workers' quarantines. Health and safety organisations criticise these measures.