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Travel: Germany's answer to Vancouver and Whistler is worth the trip - BCBusiness

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Last May, German airline Lufthansa launched its first direct flight from Vancouver to Munich, on an Airbus A350-900. Planes now leave daily, and passengers fly in style. The aircrafts curved wing means that it uses 25-percent less fuel than its competitors, with lower cabin pressure, too. Then theres the LED lighting system, which adjusts according to the time where the flight originated. Perhaps most surprising, the planes economy class se...https://www.bcbusiness.ca/Travel-Germanys-answer-to-Vancouver-and-Whistler-is-worth-the-trip

A World War II hero returns to Germany to solve a mystery -- and meet an enemy - CNN

Saturday, December 8, 2018

The car crashed into the sidewalk, and then Smoyer saw something that made the pit of his stomach fall out. The car's passenger door swung open and a person with a light-colored sweater embroidered with flowers crumpled to the street. He saw a flash of curly brown hair. Smoyer's adrenalin turned to horror: Did I just shoot a woman?The past can destroy the present Smoyer's question would force him to return to Cologne 68 years later. It would force him to reach out to an unlikely ally. And it would force him to deal with another question that may not be limited to war veterans: How do you atone for a terrible deed when you're not sure you've committed it? How Smoyer answered those questions is the subject of an upcoming book, "Spearhead: An American Tank Gunner, His Enemy, and a Collision of Lives in World War II." Written by Adam Makos, the engrossing book is a war story and a mystery. Yet unlike other mysteries, this was one the main character wasn't sure he really wanted to solve -- at least not at first. Smoyer dreaded the answers because still more questions had lingered at the back of his mind for decades: Was that a woman? If so, why was she there? And perhaps most important: Did she survive? "I often thought, 'Why the hell would somebody drive into a place like that,' " Smoyer says today. Smoyer is now 95 and long retired from his job as a supervisor at an industrial cement plant. He was married to Melba, the woman who sent him homemade fudge when he was in combat, for 70 years before she died in 2017. They had two daughters. Anyone passing Smoyer on the street today wouldn't imagine that he fought in one the most legendary tank duels of World War II, says Makos. He destroyed a dreaded Panther tank, one of the most formidable weapons in the German arsenal. Yet Smoyer doesn't revel in war stories. He turns the channel when war movies come on. He closes the window when Fourth of July fireworks go off. He's a big quiet guy with a nervous chuckle. "It was hard for me to believe that he was a legendary tank gunner in World War II because he was so gentle and calm," Makos says. Smoyer had good reason to turn away from the sounds of war. For those who fought in tanks, war was literally hell on wheels. This is what they faced: Men who hadn't showered in three weeks were crammed together into small...https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/10/us/ww2-reunion-us-german-veterans/index.html

Europe: Going with the flow on the Danube and the Rhine

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Advertisement Leaving Amsterdam, the small ship mostly 100 to 200 passengers, often fewer makes its way through gorgeous Dutch countryside along the tree-lined banks of the Rhine. For long stretches, it cruises past pasture, passengers watching from balconies or enjoying the view from the top deck of cows grazing and even wading in the water, the view occasionally changing to a village or windmill. Past the medieval village of Andernach, where Princess Heide von Hohenzollern greets visitors to 14th century Namedy Castle, once the home of emperors and kings, for concerts and tours, the ship enters one of the most scenic areas of the entire voyage. The Rhine Gorge, also known as the "Romantic Rhine", is a World Heritage Site. Here be dragons, too: drifting past a castle or a ruin at every bend, vineyards and orchards, and picturesque islands, travellers will hear the saga of Siegfried, who killed a dragon on a rock in the river; and the Lorelei. Beneath this 130m rock, three maidens protect a golden treasure by luring sailors to their doom in the treacherous currents. Yes, that Wagner opera. Through the gorge, the charming wine-producing village of Rudesheim is a spot to relax and revive, perhaps an overnight mooring. Soon, the ship joins the Main River, so narrow and placid that travellers may feel they can reach out and touch trees lining its banks. A view from the hills overlooking the historic village of Durnstein, on the Danube. Photo / Getty Images The jewel of this region is Miltenberg's old town, another World Heritage site, of half-timbered houses that have not quite got around to stepping out of the Middle Ages. Its cafes and shops sell traditional German pretzels. Made from fres...https://www.nzherald.co.nz/travel/news/article.cfm?c_id=7&objectid=12132000

Chinesische Banken erwägen Einstieg bei NordLB

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Beihilfeverfahren der EU-Kommission mit harten Auflagen kommt. Ein Sprecher des niedersächsischen Finanzministeriums bekräftigte am Donnerstag, die NordLB arbeite in enger Zusammenarbeit mit ihren Eignern intensiv an einem umfassenden Konzept zur Stärkung der Kapitalquoten und zur Weiterentwicklung des Geschäftsmodells. „Dabei werden unterschiedliche Szenarien, Maßnahmen und Modelle durchgespielt und intensiv geprüft. Es gibt derzeit noch keine Vorfestlegungen oder Entscheidungen.“ Niedersachsen ist mit gut 59 Prozent größter Eigner der NordLB, die Sparkassen des Landes halten rund 26 Prozent, Sachsen-Anhalt fast sechs Prozent. https://deutsche-wirtschafts-nachrichten.de/2018/08/16/chinesische-banken-erwaegen-einstieg-bei-nordlb/

Protests planned as Erdogan opens mega mosque in Cologne

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Kurdish demonstrators marched with banners that showed likenesses of Erdogan shooting a journalist and devouring a peace dove. Mosque controversy Erdogans visit on Saturday takes him to North Rhine-Westphalia state, which is home to significant numbers of ethnic Turks, many who moved to Germany as so-called guest workers from the 1960s. Several anti-Erdogan demos are planned in Cologne on Saturday, including one under the banner Erdogan Not Welcome. They are expected to gather a few kilometres (miles) away from the neighbourhood of the mosque. The giant Cologne Central Mosque opened its doors in 2017 after eight years of construction and budget overruns. It can house more than a thousand worshippers. The sheer size of the building, designed to resemble a flower bud opening, and its two towering minarets has disgruntled some locals, triggering occasional protests. The Turkish-Islamic Union of the Institute for Religion (Ditib) that commissioned the glass and cement structure is itself not without controversy. The group runs hundreds of mosques across Germany, and its imams are paid by the Turkish state. Known for its close ties to Ankara, it has increasingly come under scrutiny with some of its members suspected of spying on Turkish dissidents living in Germany. German media recently reported that the domestic intelligence service was considering putting Ditib under surveillance. (AFP) ...https://hawthorncaller.com/protests-planned-as-erdogan-opens-mega-mosque-in-cologne/

German energy firm RWE investigates cyber attack

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

IT specialists to look into the matter. In the meanwhile, police in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia have continued with their clearance operations at a highly symbolic site for activists in the Hambach. Security authorities ordered protestors on Tuesday to remove flowers and candles commemorating a 27-year-old journalist who recently fell to his death in the forest, so that a nearby treehouse could be dismantled. The Hambach forest forms part of a property owned by German energy giant RWE which comprises the world's largest open pit brown coal mine. The company plans to cut down 100 out of a remaining 200 hectares of woodland from October 2018, a development which is vehemently resisted by activists who have moved into the threatened area and built treehouses and makeshift barriers there. A member of an activist group, known as "Operation Undergrowth" told the German press agency (dpa) earlier that some forest occupiers had by now already lived in Hambach for six years. The police operation, which was temporarily stalled following the fatal accident of the journalist, is one of the largest to be recorded in North Rhine-Westphalia to date and is supported by reinforcements from other German states. http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-09/25/c_137492052.htm

Stillness and shock in Hambach Forest after journalist dies

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Hambach Forest. Despite efforts to revive him, the 27-year-old German citizen died after being flown out by helicopter. Following the accident, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia's interior minister, Herbert Reul, announced that police activities in the forest would be suspended for now. "We cannot just proceed as normal at least I can't," Reul said at a press conference Wednesday night. Whether the eviction will continue is not yet known. The journalist is understood to have fallen from the bridge leading off this treehouse Read more: Hambach Forest: Battleground for climate action 'Pure sunshine' Activists and members of the public have gathered in Beechtown, one of the treehouse villages. People lay flowers on a makeshift altar, hug each other, sit on the leaf-covered forest floor and converse in whispers. Activists and citizens took time to mourn and honor the dead journalist in Hambach Forest A yellow banner hangs between two trees: "We love you and we won't forget," it reads in red letters, just a few meters from where the journalist died. Meyn had been present at the protest in the forest for months. He was working on a documentary about the occupation, he told me when I met him last week in Hambach Forest. A fellow freelance journalist with no direct assignment, but clearly strongly motivated to document what was happening on the ground. Equipped with a 360-degree camera placed on his bicycle helmet, and a big smile. To those he met, he came across as a friendly, chatty guy. Indeed, he was a friend to many activists and...https://www.dw.com/en/stillness-and-shock-in-hambach-forest-after-journalist-dies/a-45579629

German City Braces For Protests as Erdogan Opens Mega Mosque

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Kurdish demonstrators marched with banners that showed likenesses of Erdogan shooting a journalist and devouring a peace dove.Erdogan's visit on Saturday takes him to North Rhine-Westphalia state, which is home to significant numbers of ethnic Turks, many who moved to Germany as so-called "guest workers" from the 1960s. The giant Cologne Central Mosque opened its doors in 2017 after eight years of construction and budget overruns. It can house more than a thousand worshippers.The size of the building, designed to resemble a flower bud opening, and its two towering minarets has disgruntled some locals, triggering occasional protests.The Turkish-Islamic Union of the Institute for Religion (Ditib) that commissioned the glass and cement structure is itself not without controversy.The group runs hundreds of mosques across Germany with imams paid by the Turkish state.Known for its close ties to Ankara, it has increasingly come under scrutiny with some of members suspected of spying on Turkish dissidents living in Germany. ...https://www.news18.com/news/world/german-city-braces-for-protests-as-erdogan-opens-mega-mosque-1893241.html