Is Germany protecting its neo-Nazis? Immigrant murders reveal a blind spot - McClatchy Washington BureauWednesday, October 26, 2016
Richard Goerlitz” walked into Day 290 of the most sensational hate crime trial in Germany since the aftermath of World War II with his gray hoodie pulled down low over his face, and a black and white scarf covering his mouth.
It was the German domestic intelligence officer’s fourth appearance in the Munich courtroom. In previous visits, he’d worn fat suits or a mask to disguise his identity. This time, in addition to hiding under his clothing, he also wore a wig. The name is a fake. His memory is spotty, at best. One German newspaper has even dubbed him “a Teddy bear with memory lapses.”
But he’s also central to understanding the importance of this trial, which already has lasted three years and is expected to go at least a year more. It’s through his testimony that a troubling question has emerged: Did German domestic intelligence agencies – in the name of protecting informants – allow the murders of 10 immigrants over 11 years by staying silent about what they knew of the plotters?
Germany may end coal use - Sunbury NewsSunday, March 3, 2019
These regions — in the states of North Rhine-Westphalia, Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt and Saxony — should also get federal subsidies totaling 40 billion euros (45.6 billion dollars) in the next twenty years.
“New jobs will be created through structural measures in the coal mining regions,” Pofalla said. “We will keep up secure and affordable energy supply and the agreement will lead to sustainable climate protection in Germany.”
Germany is committed to an “energy transition” that involves replacing fossil fuels with renewable sources such as solar and wind power. While the country has made great strides in that direction — renewables beat coal for the first time last year — removing coal from the power equation entirely is a major challenge.
The reduction in coal will have to be compensated by an increase in renewable power sources and — at least in the interim — from burning more natural gas, which emits about half the amount of greenhouse gases as coal.
Greenpeace, which wants all coal plants shut down by 2030, welcomed that “Germany finally has a timetable how the country can become coal-free” but said the measures were not ambitious and fast enough.
“The speed is wrong,” said Martin Kaiser, the head of Greenpeace. “Exiting coal by the year 2038 only is inacceptable.”
The country’s environmental groups welcomed the commission’s recommendation that Hambach Forest in western Germany, an ancient woodland that became a flashpoint of anti-coal protests last year, should be saved.
Energy company RWE’s plans to cut down half of the Hambach Forest to expand a lignite strip mine had seen protesters camping out in the trees for months to block workers from cutting them.
An opinion poll released by public broadcaster ZDF found that 73 percent of Germans agree a quick exit from coal is very important. The telephone poll of 1,285 people, conducted Jan. 22-24, had a margin of error of about three percentage points.
This version corrects the commission’s suggested subsidy for affected regions to 40 billion euros, not 40 million euros.
Frank Jordans contributed reporting.
Trump’s push for new offshore drilling is likely to run aground in California
Updated January 27, 2019
Author: Charles Lester, Researcher, Institute of Marine Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz
Disclosure statement: Charles Lester served as the executive director of the California Coastal Commission from 2011 to 2016.
Partners: University of California provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation US.
Fifty years ago, on January 28, 1969, a blowout from Union Oil’s Platform A spilled more than 3.2 million gallons of oil into the Santa Barbara Channel. The disaster was a seminal event that helped create the modern environmental movement, and it forever changed the political and legal landscape for offshore oil development in California. No new oil leases have been approved off the California coast since 1984.
Today a large majority of Californians believe that offshore oil development is not worth the risk. Opposition stands at 69 percent, including a majority of coastal Republicans.
The Trump administration is pushing to dramatically expand federal offshore oil and gas production, reigniting a battle 50-year battle with California over this issue. But based on my research and years of experience working with passionate Californians as the executive d...https://www.sunburynews.com/opinion/25027/germany-may-end-coal-use
German mayor seeks to reassure foreign students after far-right violence - The Times of IsraelSunday, March 3, 2019
Germans considered acceptable.
Anti-migrant sentiment has been particularly strong in Saxony, the state where Chemnitz is located. The nearby state capital of Dresden is home to the group Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West, or PEGIDA, and the far-right Alternative for Germany party received almost a quarter of the vote in Saxony last year.
The party, known by its acronym AfD, publicly sided with the anti-migrant protesters in Chemnitz and is organizing a demonstration of its own in the city on Saturday.
The strategy appears to be paying off. A poll published Friday by public broadcaster ZDF put the party’s rating nationwide at 17 percent, up from 13% in last year’s elections.
The same poll found that 65% of the party’s voters don’t believe far-right extremists are a threat to democracy. The telephone survey of 1,216 randomly selected respondents, carried out from August 28-30, found that supporters of all other parties overwhelmingly consider far-right extremists a threat to democracy.
Officials in Saxony have requested help from federal police and are drawing together all available officers to police the weekend protest. The move has resulted in the rare cancellation of a 2nd league soccer match Saturday in Dresden, for lack of available police.
Right-wing demonstrators light flares on August 27, 2018 in Chemnitz, eastern Germany, following the death of a 35-year-old German national, allegedly at the hands of two Muslim-world immigrants. (AFP Photo/Odd Andersen)
Such short-term effects could pale in comparison to the medium-term impact that the spike in anti-migrant sentiment could have for the region, according to experts.
Chip maker Globalfoundries told business daily Handelsblatt that Saxony’s reputation has made it difficult to attract skilled foreign workers to the state.
“It’s not easy to convince an engineer from abroad to move to Saxony and bring his family,” spokesman Jens Drews told the newspaper. “We need to explain to him that the Dresden region is safe, that his children can go alone to school and one won’t be marginalized for wearing a head scarf.”
On Friday, a 31-year-old German was convicted of attempted murder, using explosives and attempted arson for a 2016 attack on a Dresden mosque. Nino K., whose last name wasn’t given in line with privacy laws, was sentenced to nine years and eight months in prison.
During his trial, experts testified that it was only by luck that the imam’s family wasn’t injured in the attack.
Chemnitz itself, a city of some 250,000 people, desperately needs skilled foreign workers for its industry. The city’s renowned University of Technology, which has one of the highest rates of international students in Germany, issued a statement following the protest expressing dismay at the killing and the “subsequent unjustifiable xenophobic and racist attacks, excesses and riots.”
A police officer pushes a man during a demonstration...https://www.timesofisrael.com/german-mayor-seeks-to-reassure-foreign-students-after-far-right-violence/
Far-right German politician starts a new party with a logo bearing a secret Nazi symbol - CNNSunday, March 3, 2019
The new party's logo includes a cornflower, which was also adopted as a secret symbol by Nazis in the 1930s.André Poggenburg, a former leading figure in the AfD in the eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt, resigned this week with an email sent to the leadership, in which he criticized the party's supposed move to the left. "Unfortunately, developments inside the AfD in the past weeks and months have shown, that this is no longer my true political home," he said in the email, which was seen by German news site Spiegel Online.His new party is called Aufbruch der deutschen Patrioten (Awakening of German Patriots), and Poggenburg has updated his social media profiles with party logos featuring a cornflower with a German flag. The flower was previously worn as a secret symbol identifying members of the then-illegal Nazi party in Austria in the 1930s. It was also the favorite flower of Kaiser Wilhelm -- the last German emperor and king of Prussia -- and came to be a symbol of pan-German nationalism in the 19th century.The flower was associated with German nationalism even before the emergence of the Nazi party, after far-right politician Georg von Schönerer encouraged his s...https://edition.cnn.com/2019/01/11/europe/andre-poggenburg-afd-germany-far-right-scli-grm-intl/index.html
Best European Christmas markets - National GeographicSaturday, December 8, 2018
Dresden's market may be the oldest in Germany, with the first event approved by Frederick II, Elector of Saxony, in 1434. Eventually these seasonal markets turned their focus on Christmas celebrations, as known today. Here are some of the best Christmas markets in Europe for a holiday treat.
The Strasbourg market lights up the Place de la Cathédrale.
Photograph by Frederic Maigrot, REA/Redux
Strasbourg: French classic
The largest and oldest in France, the Strasbourg Christmas Market dates back to the 16th century. Hundreds of market stands spread across the Grande Île–an island in the historic center of the city and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Try delicacies from thi...https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/destinations/europe/best-christmas-markets/