Of the dreary belief in authority in germany

Ulf Poschardt digs deeper into the donation debate and recognizes in it a "poisonous disrespect for those who have made it big"

"How could it be otherwise": The German public and politicians, with the exception of FDP members, are once again showing nothing but disgust, resentment and suspicion in the face of donations from American billionaires, as Ulf Poschardt summarizes in today’s World on Sunday the reactions here to "The Giving Pledge" initiative, led by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet (see U.S. super-rich pledge to donate more than half their wealth).

One sees only what one wants to see and thereby blindly overlooks the good, says Poschardt. A tone-setting majority, called the "articulated majority" by Poschardt, sees in the rich above all profiteers who "have too much". The willingness to donate is understood by the wealthy only as a way to take even more from them. Especially representatives from the red-green camp , the "fashionable combination" (Poschardt) in current surveys, were skillfully bundling the motives of the donation debate to act with feelings of guilt:


Turkey seals off borders against syrian refugees

turkey seals off borders against syrian refugees

Refugee camp in Syria on the Turkish border, 50 kilometers from Aleppo. Image: Wikimedia, screenshot from a video. Public domain

Turkey’s European Affairs Minister Bozkır justifies this by blaming Russia for airstrikes in the region, but they are currently flown by jets of the U.S.-led coalition

Syrian army offensive to take control of Aleppo has begun. Al-Masdar News, a publication close to the Damascus government, reports fighting inside the city, where enemy militias are nearly encircled, and military successes outside the city.


School strikes: what do the schoolers want?

School strikes: what do the schools want?

FridaysForFuture – rally (Berlin, 22.2.2019). Image: Leonhard Lenz / CC0

Coal phase-out by 2030, shut down a quarter of all coal-fired power plants immediately, 180 euros per ton CO2. Otherwise there will be more strikes

"The laws of nature cannot be negotiated", said Svenja Kannt, one of the spokeswomen for the striking schoolchildren of the German offshoot of the FridaysForFuture movement, who presented their demands in Berlin on Monday – their demands for the here politicians and not generally to the world community, because: "Germany must not impose its problems on poor countries", Šana Strahinjic, one of Kannt’s muckrakers, said.


Turkey: attempted coup and danger of civil war?

turkey: attempted coup and danger of civil war?

Erdogan supporters occupy the squares. Image

What about democracy and the rule of law – and what would a civil war mean for the EU??

The sigh of relief lasted only briefly over the weekend when it became clear that the coup attempt in Turkey had failed and the danger of a military dictatorship had been averted. But now the country seems to be on the edge of the abyss. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is conducting an unprecedented purge, eliminating critics and opponents at all levels of government. How did it come to this? What is the current situation? Is Turkey threatened by a civil war??


Real poison and false company spokesmen

The "Yes Men" have struck again

Not an easy anniversary: 20 years ago, a chemical plant of the US company Union Carbide blew up in Bhopal, India – tens of thousands died, hundreds of thousands are still damaged today. The BBC reported that Dow Chemical, which bought Union Carbide in 2001, was finally taking responsibility for the disaster. But then it turned out that the live interviewed company spokesman was a "Yes Man" was.

On 3. December 1984, water got into a tank containing methyl isocyanate at a pesticide plant shortly after midnight, causing it to explode: 40 tons of the toxic substance were released and drifted over the city as a cloud of gas. The first victims die in a few minutes, others only after months. Even days later, no one knew what had happened. Union Carbide, owner of the factory, claims that an employee known to and covered by the Indian police deliberately triggered the catastrophe, but journalist Rajkumar Keswani warned years before the accident about the lack of safety devices at the plant, which had already stopped production. The introduction of water into empty tanks was part of the normal cleaning procedure, so a wrongly set valve was already enough to trigger the catastrophe. Moreover, the tanks were overfilled and unchilled.


Sweden: use of military to fight gang crime?

sweden: use of military to fight gang crime?

The Swedish social democratic head of government Stefan Lofven. Image: Tore Sætre/CC BY-SA-4.0

In the election year, the Swedes’ fear of crime grows, the parties, driven by the right-wing Sweden Democrats, turn up the heat as with the refugee policy

Fear of crime is growing in Sweden. According to a just-released survey by the National Council for Crime Prevention (Brå), 29 percent say they are concerned about crime in Sweden. In 2016, 25 percent said this (though now it’s only back to where it was in 2006, when the poll first took place). At the same time, trust in the legal system, the police and the public prosecutors is declining.


Russia-germany: economic expansion in the opposite direction

Russia-Germany: economic expansion in the opposite direction

Symbol image: CC0

The Russian Torgservis chain wants to roll up the German discount market

Since the early 1990s, German discount chains such as Aldi and Lidl have been expanding into Central and Eastern Europe. Now a Russian chain wants to do business on the German market and participate in "over a hundred locations" to open stores in Berlin, Brandenburg, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania: Torgservis.


It will be negotiated

The examination of the Federal Government in Meseberg brought above all a result. It will be negotiated

Many political commentators were surprised that the Federal Government had to go to office after a few weeks in the office in Klausur. The politicians did not have enough time to get to know each other in the coalition negotiations?. After completing the first exam on Castle Meseberg is one thing. There was still other exams allowed. Some commentators already joke about the "Government of the eternal exam". Anyone who had expected important political decisions from the two-day meetings will actually be desapped. It will be negotiated, is the message that emanated from Meseberg.

Health Minister Philipp Rosler (FDP) will not only call an expert commission to further develop health care, but also lead a "Interministerial Working Group" on the same topic. Another commission should devote itself to the questions of demographic change.


Passenger data soon to be shared with canada

Meanwhile, the EU is setting up its own system that will also store travel data of suspects for five years

Following the agreements with Australia and the USA approved by the EU Parliament, EU member states are also to exchange passenger data with Canada. A draft agreement is to be finalized in the fall, according to which up to 60 different sets of data will be transmitted to Canadian authorities before each flight. As in the treaty with the USA, the length of storage and the possibility of using the data to combat terrorism are disputed "serious crime". At present, the data are being transferred to Canada without a valid legal basis.

After two years of discussions, the Commission will soon present a draft agreement on the exchange of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data with Canada. Airlines will again be obliged to provide the Canadian police with detailed information about the travelers before each flight. Personal and address data, payment information, travel history, the travel agency used and even the travel agent will be processed.