News from Berlin and Germany, 26 May 2022

Weekly news round-up from Berlin and Germany



Protest against education cuts in Berlin’s budget gets louder

More and more education stakeholders demand the planned cuts to be reversed. Some are even holding vigils in front of the Berlin House of Representatives. They come with an urgent plea, to correct the “wrong decisions in the current budget draft. Without this correction, the education sector is facing a caesura and will have to face blatant cuts in times of greatest shortage, which will make it impossible to combat the shortage.” The petition was signed, among others, by Carola Cypra-Ehrlich (“die Grünen”), Philipp Dehne (“die Linke”), and Maja Lasić (SPD). Source: Berliner Zeitung.

State Protection raided “half-naked” climate activist in 2019

Janika Pondorf (“Fridays for Future”), who was a 15-year-old teenager at the time, was investigated by the police in Augsburg for an alleged political offense. “At first I was still half naked in front of the police officers,” Janika said. She was then searched in front of her neighbours and taken to a police car. The reason for the unusual intervention is said to have been an incident during a Greenpeace action against the Black Friday shopping promotion. Activists allegedly painted shops and the pedestrian zone with washable chalk at the end of November 2019. Janina denies having taken part in it. Source: Berlin Kurier.



Hundreds of police officers and soldiers suspected of right-wing extremism

327 employees of the federal and state security authorities have come to light because of suspected or proven links to right-wing extremists, so-called Reich citizens and self-governors. This is the result of a new situation report presented by Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) and the President of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Thomas Haldenwang (CDU). There were 138 cases at the federal level and 189 cases at the state level. According to the data, 38 per cent of the 860 cases examined contained evidence of efforts against the free democratic basic order. Source: Migazin.

Ultrafine dust partly responsible for weather extremes

There is evidence extreme weather events such as heavy rain or long-lasting droughts are increasing worldwide. According to researchers from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), this could be influenced by ultrafine particles in the atmosphere. Such ultrafine particles are mainly produced by the combustion of fossil fuels with exhaust gas cleaning systems, for example in power plants and refineries. Although exhaust gas purification reduces coarse particulate matter and ammonia, which has been used since the 1990s, prevents the formation of nitrogen oxides (NOx) in exhaust gases from industrial plants, huge amounts of nanoparticles enter the atmosphere. These nanoparticles, in turn, cause smaller raindrops to collect in a cloud. Source: dw.

On hold instead of consulting room

Investors want to make high profits for their stakes in clinics, practices and nursing homes, at the expense of patients and staff. The President of the German Medical Association, Klaus Reinhardt, warned on Tuesday against such increasing economic pressure on patient care. Price competition, and the quest for profit are increasingly determining everyday life in medicine, he said in Bremen. Doctors were increasingly being urged by hospital owners and financial investors in medical care centres to act according to commercial guidelines. “We must not allow our health system to be transformed into a profit-oriented franchise system. Nor do we want industry-like processes in inpatient care,” said Reinhardt. Source: jW.

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