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LIVING IN GERMANY

Germany: Flixbus takes on Deutsche Bahn with train routes

German bus start-up Flixbus has announced that it will begin running two long-distance train services, in a challenge to the dominance of state-owned rail behemoth Deutsche Bahn. The “Flixtrains”, decked out in the trademark bright-green of the company’s low-cost buses, will travel from Hamburg to Cologne from March 24, while the Stuttgart to Berlin line will open in April. Prices …

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Far-right crime reaches record high in Berlin

The German capital city saw a drastic increase in far-right crime last year with more than 1,942 incidents reported, the highest in ten years. Incidents of incitement, damage to property and public calls to criminal action accounted for most of the crime. The number of politically-motivated crimes in Berlin, however, declined by ten per cent compared to 2016. A total …

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Protests against right-wing extremist demonstration in Berlin

Berliners turned out on Saturday to register their protest against a public demonstration by the right-wing extremist organization “Wir für Deutschland (WFD). The alliance Bündnis für ein weltoffenes und tolerantes Berlin (Alliance for an open and tolerant Berlin), a joint effort of churches, trade unions, charities, Landessportbund Berlin and further actors of civil society, held a counter demonstration in the …

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Germany: Chancellor Merkel criticizes food charity for turning migrants away

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has criticised a food bank for refusing to accept any more migrants, calling the decision “not good”. Essener Tafel, a charity that serves free meals to the poor, had come under fire after it said it would now require new customers to produce German identity papers as a huge migrant influx was displacing locals in need. …

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Community mourns African pastor murdered in Berlin

The corpse of the 54-year-old clergyman was found in his office in the Berlin district of Berlin Charlottenburg last Thursday.  Rev. Father (Dr) Alain-Florent Gandoulou is believed by the police to have been murdered. German media say the suspected assailant is from Cameroon. Berlin’s French-speaking Catholic community held funeral rites Sunday for Father Gandoulou in the city’s St Thomas Aquinas …

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Germany: Protesters confront AfD demonstration in Berlin

Residents of Berlin’s multicultural district of Kreuzberg turned out in large numbers on Saturday to confront a march of the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD). Protestors clashed with police during the heated counter-demonstration against the far-right party.   Several arrests were made when demonstrators tried to obstruct AfD supporters as they marched through Kreuzberg, a district of Berlin known for …

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Refugees find work in Germany via Munich start-up Social-Bee

Displaced people have a hard time finding employment. Five hundred thousand refugees are currently on the job market — and prospects look bleak. A Munich startup has founded a non-profit temporary work agency. Temporary work employment refers to an employment situation where the working arrangement is limited to a certain period of time based on the needs of the employing organization.  …

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Germany: Afghan refugee sentenced to life in prison for killing Christian convert

An Afghan man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a woman because she had converted to Christianity. The court recognized a ‘very high degree of culpability’ in handing down its decision. A court in the southern German city of Traunstein on Friday sentenced a 30-year-old Muslim refugee from Afghanistan to life in prison for killing a woman …

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Germany, land of woefully slow internet

A new report has found that only a small fraction of German users get the internet speeds that providers promise. And, according to a study of service providers, the problem is only getting worse. Elizabeth Schumacher reports. A new report from Germany’s Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) has revealed that the country — known the world over for ingenuity and efficiency …

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German doctors give private patients special treatment, says study

German doctors shut their doors to state insurance patients at the end of each quarter to save money, a new study has shown. Germany’s profit-driven health care system is increasingly attracting criticism. State health insurance patients are struggling to see their doctors towards the end of every quarter, while privately insured patients get easy access, according to a study released …

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Boris Becker speaks out on AfD politician’s racist comment about his son

After several days of public silence, tennis living legend Boris Becker has finally spoken up on the controversy surrounding AfD politician Jens Maier’s racist comment about his son. The member of the German parliament had attacked Noah Becker, calling him a “little half-negro” on Twitter over an interview in which the son of the former Wimbledon champion compared Berlin with …

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Germany’s Black Community condemns AfD politician for insulting Noah Becker

The Association of Black People in Germany (Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland or ISD Bund e.V.) has condemned Jens Maier, a member of the far-right, anti-immigrant party Alternative for Germany (AfD), for his racist Twitter comment on Noah Becker (23), son of former tennis star Boris Becker. The member of the Bundestag or German parliament had attacked Noah Becker, calling …

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Boris Becker’s son to sue AfD politician over racist Tweet

Noah Becker, son of German former tennis star Boris Becker, plans to press charges against a member of the federal parliament, Bundestag, who called him a “little half-negro” on Twitter, mass-circulating Bild daily reported Thursday. The 23-year-old Noah, whose mother Barbara Becker is the daughter of an African-American man and a German woman, took the decision in consultation with his …

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Germany: Immigrant youths face barriers to vocational training

Young people without German citizenship are more likely to struggle to get vocational training slots than their German counterparts, according to a new study. Their prospects are especially bleak in the country’s east. Natalie Muller (with dpa) reports. The study, published by the Bertelsmann Foundation on Monday (18 December), found that more than half of all “young people without a …

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