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Twitter withdraws ban on "Mohammed" post of German politician Sawsan Chebli

On May 4 Sawsan Chebli , a German politician of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and Berlin State Secretary, posted a tweet that was later deleted by Twitter for allegedly violating the platform's new rules regarding election manipulation. "My father's name was Mohammed. My name is Sawsan Mohammed Chebli. My oldest nephew's name is Mohammed. My niece gave her son her grandfather's name. Shortly: We will make sure that this name never disappears!" wrote Chebli on her Twitter profile.  #Servicetweet für die #AfD : Mein Vater hieß Mohammed. Ich heiße Sawsan Mohammed Chebli. Mein ältester Neffe heißt Mohammed. Meine Nichte hat ihrem Sohn den Namen ihres Opas gegeben. Kurzum: Wir werden schon dafür sorgen, dass dieser Name nie verschwindet! pic.twitter.com/HPkVwkJIWH — Sawsan Chebli (@SawsanChebli) May 4, 2019 Her tweet was expressly directed at the far-right party Alternative for Germany (AfD). The AfD has called asylum and immigrat

German court rules pro-Nazi car license plate can be revoked

A court in the German city of Duesseldorf has ruled that the license identifier "HH 1933" may be revoked by the Road Traffic Licensing Department (RTLD).  According to Der Spiegel , the motor vehicle licensing authority of the district of Viersen had authorized a requested personalized registration plate featuring the ID "HH 1933." After a citizen issued a complaint, however, the license plate was revoked. The driver appealed the decision in court.     "HH 1933" is thought to be a reference to the Nazi salute "Heil Hitler" (HH) and to the year 1933, when the Nazis seized power.  On May 2 a court in Duesseldorf ruled that the RTLD may revoke the licence plate.     The court ruled against the Department's initial request that the driver replace the licensing plate. The court found that the Department only has the authority to prohibit the vehicle from being driven on public roads, but not to order a replacement of the lic

European far right leaders gather in Yalta to defend Russia's Crimea policy

Yalta, Crimea (by Marcin Konsek via Wikimedia Commons ) In early April the Ukrainian embassy in Berlin notified the German government that 22 individuals, including five lawmakers of the far right, anti-EU Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, and two of the socialist Left party, planned on attending the Yalta International Economic Forum in Russia.  The 5th Yalta International Economic Forum titled "World. Russia. Crimea. New Global Reality" took place in the Crimean city of Yalta on April 17 - 20 for the purpose of attracting investment and promoting relations between Russia and foreign politicians willing to accept Moscow's annexation of Crimea in 2014.  At a conference held within the framework of the Forum, Head and Prime Minister of Crimea Sergey Aksyonov urged Friends of Crimea clubs to consolidate efforts to lift sactions imposed on Russia after the annexation of Crimea.   "We saw how many allies we have," Aksyonov said. "Toda

German Police Exchanged Nazi Content In Chat Group

Frankfurt Police HQ (by Magadan  via Wikimedia Commons) Policemen in the German city of Frankfurt have been accused of threatening a lawyer and exchanging far-right and Nazi content in a chat group.  On 2 August 2018 lawyer Seda Başay-Yildiz received an anonymous fax signed by "NSU 2.0." The message described her as a "lousy Turkish pig" ( miese Türkensau ) and threatened to "slaughter" ( schlachten ) her two-year-old daughter. The authors of the fax knew not only her private address but also  her daughter's name. She reported the incident to the police.  Başay-Yildiz was representing a victim of the NSU - National Socialist Underground - a far-right terrorist group responsible for 10 murders and various terror attacks. The trial of NSU members lasted from May 2013 to July 2018 and resulted in 5 convictions.  According to the Tagesspiegel , in October investigators searched the 1. police department in Frankfurt and found out t

Majority Of Germans Are Afraid Of Donald Trump - Survey

Breitscheidtplatz, Berlin (by Harald Krichel via Wikimedia Commons) More than two-thirds of Germans think that Donald Trump 's foreign policy is making the world more dangerous, according to a recent  survey . The survey shows that 69 percent of respondents worry that Trump's policy is making the world more dangerous, topping this year's list.  63 percent of respondents said they are worried about asylum seekers, 63% fear "tensions due to the arrival of foreigners", 61 percent worry about politicians' inability to tackle problems. 59 percent are worried about terrorism - 12 percent less than a year ago. 58 percent are worried about the cost of the EU debt crisis to German taxpayers, while 57 percent fear political extremism. "The Fears of the Germans" (Die Ängste der Deutschen) is a survey conducted every year by R+V-Infocenter since 1992. 2,400 people above 14 years are asked about their biggest worries. This year the survey was conduct

Why The Deification Of Donald Trump By Right-Wing Christians Reminds Of Hitler Germany

2018 State of the Union (by The White House via Wikimedia Commons) "Our Lord has made us free by sending us a man like Adolf Hitler as a leader," said  Arnold Gustavs , pastor in the small northern German island of Hiddensee, in one of his sermons in the 1930s. " Heil Hitler ! we shout. And day after day millions of arms are raised for this salute, and millions of lips speak out these words ... We often read the word Heil ['salvation', 'hail '] in the Old and the New Testament: but salvation is always given by God. Therefore, when we say Heil Hitler !, we wish him God's salvation. This salute is actually a prayer, for we pray that God save this man, our Führer , that he protect and bless him, that he give him the helmet of salvation so that he may bravely carry on the struggle for the renewal of the German people."  Pastor Gustavs was only one of many church leaders in Nazi Germany who enthusiastically supported Hitler, and who port

Germany Warns Of Russian Cyber Attacks On Europe's Power Grids

Headquarters of Germany's Federal Intelligence Office, Berlin (by Fridolin Freudenfett [CC BY-SA 4.0] via Wikimedia Commons ) Cyber security experts of the German government have warned of possible Russian cyber attacks on power plants that could cause blackouts across Europe. According to German magazine Der Spiegel , the National Cyberdefence Centre (Nationales Cyber-Abwehrzentrum, NCAZ), an agency set up by the German federal government in 2011, issued a report warning that Russian hacking attacks on infrastructure could disrupt energy, water and gas supply as well as traffic. Due to the interdependence of Europe's infrastructure, a cyber attack on Germany could impact other European countries. The report was drawn up by experts from the Federal Criminal Police Office, the Federal Intelligence Service, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the Federal Office for Information Security and other government bureaus.  The German authori

Garbage Imports To Taiwan, Southeast Asia Soar After China Bans Foreign Waste

On July 27, 2017, China’s State Council announced that “ foreign garbage ”, including "plastic waste from living sources, paper, textile waste, and vanadium slag," would be banned from entering the country.  On July 18 Beijing had already notified the World Trade Organization (WTO) that by the end of the year it would no longer accept shipments of those types of waste. According to state-run Xinhua News Agency , China began to import solid waste as raw materials in the 1980s to meet its domestic demand for resources. However, some companies allegedly engaged in smuggling foreign garbage into the country for profit, "damaging the environment and public health." The Chinese authorities believe that imported solid waste poses "a serious threat to the environment" and has caused "widespread public concern." By the end of 2019 China will gradually phase out the import of "solid waste for which substitute resources are available in Chin

Differences between Germany and Taiwan

Recently I read an interesting blog post entitled “3 reasons why Taiwanese and German people think differently” (the original post is in German). The author is   Klaus Bardenhagen , a German journalist who has been living in and reporting from Taiwan for a few years. His blog and Facebook page have become major sources of information about Taiwan for German people as well as cultural bridges between Taiwan and Germany.  In his post Klaus Bardenhagen argues that Germany is a country of perfectionists in which everything has to be done according to a well-thought plan, with accuracy and exactness. On the contrary, he argues, Taiwanese seem to overlook even some of the most evident flaws and blunders. He demonstrates this point with the help of three pictures: the first picture shows a bus stop built right in the middle of a bicycle path; the second, too, shows a U-bike station that was built on a bicycle path; the third shows the shabby façade of a building.  After reading tha

German National Sentenced to Death in China

Yesterday (August 20) a court in Xiamen , a coastal city in China's Fujian Province,  sentenced a German national to death. The man, whose name has not been revealed to protect his privacy, was found guilty of manslaughter: he allegedly  killed  his ex-girlfriend and her boyfriend on a street of the Southern Chinese city. This is the first time a German citizen faces the death penalty in China.  According to reports , the 36-year-old German had met his Venezuelan girlfriend in Munich, where they both studied sinology. They broke up in 2005, but allegedly the man did not get over the end of their relationship. The woman and her new boyfriend later moved to China. They have a child together, who lives with relatives in Germany.