Wednesday, February 28

Germany

Criticism of American Billion-Dollar Investment Energy Company RWE
Business, Europe, Germany, News, US

Criticism of American Billion-Dollar Investment Energy Company RWE

The German energy group RWE will invest billions in sustainable energy projects in the United States. It is one of the largest green deals ever in the US. But there is also criticism. An activist investor who has bought into RWE would rather see the energy company invest in the domestic energy sector. With the deal worth approximately 6.8 billion dollars (almost 7 billion euros), RWE is doubling its energy portfolio in the US to more than 7 gigawatts. The transaction is made partly by the investment fund of Qatar, which will become a major shareholder of RWE with an investment of more than 2 billion euros. Qatar and Germany signed an agreement in May to intensify their energy cooperation. But Benedikt Kormaier of investor Enkraft Capital, which holds about a million shares in...
Activists Briefly Occupy German Coal-Fired Power Station
Europe, Germany, News

Activists Briefly Occupy German Coal-Fired Power Station

On Monday morning, a group of about 40 climate activists broke into the site of a coal-fired power station in Jänschwalde, 100 kilometres southeast of Berlin. Two units of the power station, half the capacity, were subsequently shut down. The protesters protested against generating electricity from coal. Two of the factory's spare units will be switched on next month due to the energy crisis in Germany. A spokesman for the coal-fired power plant operator called the action "an attack on the security of energy supply". According to a police spokesperson, the activists occupied, among other things, conveyor belts. As a result, the adjacent coal mine was not reached. That mine is the third largest source of lignite in Germany.
Volkswagen CEO: Risks for Factories Due to Russian Gas Stop
Business, Germany, News

Volkswagen CEO: Risks for Factories Due to Russian Gas Stop

The German automaker Volkswagen is at risk with production at its factories if Russian gas supplies to Germany were suddenly stopped. That said CEO Herbert Diess to Bloomberg news agency at the Qatar Economic Forum in Doha.   He said that because Germany relied on Russian natural gas, the company will retain the option of running its power plants on coal instead of gas. He stated that the transition in Germany to energy sources other than Russian gas is not proceeding fast enough and that major disruptions could therefore arise if Moscow suddenly turns off the gas tap. According to the CEO, it will take time to get liquefied natural gas (LNG) from other countries and build the infrastructure for it. Diess did say that he is convinced in the longer term that Germany can do without R...
Germany is Open to Russian Coal Ban, Minister Says
Germany, News, Russia

Germany is Open to Russian Coal Ban, Minister Says

Germany will not lie in front of a European ban on importing Russian coal. According to German Economic Affairs Minister Robert Habeck, Germany has already cut its dependence on Russian coal and lignite by half.   Under an EU plan announced earlier this week, Russian coal imports will be phased out over three months before a ban on new contracts will be imposed. Habeck said Germany had cut the share of Russian coal in its fuel imports to a quarter or less in the past four weeks. It used to be at least 50 percent. "If that meant no more coal imports from tomorrow, including no more docking of ships already underway, we'd be in big trouble," Habeck told German broadcaster ARD. "But because we have already worked hard, we are prepared. That is why we do not stand in the way of an emba...
German Ex-Leader Merkel Defends Against Barrage of Criticism
Europe, Germany, News, Russia

German Ex-Leader Merkel Defends Against Barrage of Criticism

Former German leader Angela Merkel has defended herself against a barrage of criticism over Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky and Poland, among others, accuse her of pursuing a pro-Russian policy.   Merkel blocked Ukraine's entry into NATO in 2008 so as not to offend Russia. In a short statement, the former chancellor said that she still stands behind her decision. Merkel says she "fully supports" international efforts to end Russian aggression in Ukraine. She points to the atrocities in Butsa near the capital Kyiv and those in other places. Zelensky was vehemently against Merkel. He called on her to go to Butsha, where hundreds of bodies have been found in recent days after the withdrawal of the Russians. He believes she has conducted a totally ...
Suspect Arrested for Poisoning German University Students
Europe, Germany, News

Suspect Arrested for Poisoning German University Students

The German police have arrested a suspect seven months after the poisoning of seven students at the technical university of Darmstadt. The 32-year-old woman from Mainz is suspected of attempted murder, German media report.   Because she was mentally insane at the time, she was placed in a psychiatric institution. She would also be enrolled at the university herself. The students became ill in August after having had a drink to which an unknown "dangerous" substance had been added. A 30-year-old student became blue-skinned and in critical condition, and another had to be taken to hospital. Police in the city south of Frankfurt went on a massive outcry and treated the case as attempted murder. Trace analysis eventually led to the suspect woman. Police said at the time that the punge...
Nearly 200,000 Ukrainian Refugees Registered in Germany
Europe, Germany, News, Ukraine

Nearly 200,000 Ukrainian Refugees Registered in Germany

The number of registered Ukrainian refugees in Germany has risen to nearly 200,000. These are refugees encountered by the federal police at, for example, the border, at train stations and in trains.   While it is not clear how many of the 200,000 Ukrainians have remained in Germany, authorities believe the real number of refugees is significantly higher. Ukrainians do not have to report to the German government. They can travel freely in the European Union for 90 days, where there are also no fixed border controls. Since February 24, the day Russian troops invaded Ukraine, nearly 3.3 million Ukrainians have fled abroad. Of these, 2 million first travelled to neighbouring Poland.
Twitter Bans Porn Accounts in Germany
Europe, Germany, News, Tech

Twitter Bans Porn Accounts in Germany

Twitter is gradually banning accounts with pornographic content. This is done at the request of German authorities who do not want minors to see inappropriate material. But the lack of age control also plays a role.   Erotic material on social media remains a tricky topic. At Meta (specifically Facebook and Instagram), it is not allowed. Nudity or pornography is allowed on Reddit or Twitter, but that is not appreciated everywhere. Wired notes that at least 60 accounts have been closed to the German public since the end of 2020. The exact number is unknown. Anyone who wants to view the account from Germany will see that they have been blocked for legal reasons. It's one of the rare occasions when a major tech platform addresses such questions. This is partly due to requests from th...
German Experts Recommend Novavax Vaccine for Adults
Europe, Germany, News

German Experts Recommend Novavax Vaccine for Adults

Adults in Germany should be able to get the vaccine from the American company Novavax, advises the STIKO vaccination committee.   Because this vaccine works differently from the means used so far, it can convince people who have not yet been vaccinated, the idea is. The vaccine called Nuvaxovid is the fifth corona vaccine that can be used in Europe. It is based on proteins, a proven technique. In the Netherlands, it is expected to be used in the course of March. The German committee also recommends that a booster shot should be given with a so-called mRNA vaccine, such as that of BioNTech/Pfizer or Moderna. Such an agent should also be used for a second booster shot. The recommendation is that vulnerable groups and healthcare staff get such a second boost as soon as they are elig...
Germany Buys Pfizer Corona Pills
Europe, Germany, News

Germany Buys Pfizer Corona Pills

The German government buys one million packs of the corona pills Paxlovid from the American pharmaceutical company Pfizer.   That is what Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach says, who calls the drug very promising in an interview with news agency DPA. It should protect patients after a corona infection against a severe disease course. The first delivery of the corona pills is expected in January. Lauterbach thinks that fewer patients will end up seriously ill in intensive care thanks to the drug. He says he would rather fight the pandemic with drugs and vaccines than with drastic measures such as closing schools. A course of Paxlovid lasts five days. Patients then take two pills twice a day. German media reports that each pack contains enough pills for a single treatment.