Wirecard management is said to have bagged money before the bankruptcy

Wirecard-Logo in Aschheim

Insolvency administrator Jaffé is looking for companies and accounts around the world in order to get back as much as possible of the group’s stolen money.

(Photo: dpa)

Düsseldorf Wirecard insolvency administrator Michael Jaffé made serious allegations against the old management of the scandal group in a letter to the workforce. This is reported by the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” (SZ). Accordingly, the company was “emptied in the months before bankruptcy,” said Jaffé. Those responsible at the time are said to have systematically put money aside.

The insolvency administrator did not mention any names in the letter. But it should be clear that the hiding ex-board member Jan Marsalek and his environment are meant, it says in relation to “Wirecard circles”. Marsalek had left for Belarus four months ago. To this day he has not been found and has gone underground.

According to SZ, investigators, auditors and lawyers who deal with the Wirecard scandal are talking about numerous suspicious cash flows, especially from the end of 2019 to the bankruptcy in mid-2020. Above all, it is about high loans that were granted to business partners in Asia and which are said to add up to well over half a billion euros.

According to the report, insolvency administrator Jaffé announced in his circular that the sale of Wirecard’s core business should take place soon. “A decision can be expected by November at the latest,” he is quoted as saying. You are “now in the decision-making phase”. The two remaining applicants are probably the Spanish bank Santander and the British cell phone company Lycamobile.

The insolvency administrator had already sold the Wirecard North America branch for more than 300 million euros this week. One reason for the empty coffers should have been that Marsalek should have put money aside. In the circular, Jaffé writes: “As you know”, the insolvency proceedings have started “without any liquidity”.

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These profiles are currently in demand in German companies

Headhunter attacks managers

Many executives do not want to change jobs at the moment, and new career opportunities are available even in the crisis.

(Photo: Luca D’Urbino)

Düsseldorf Crisis-proof employer, more influence and a wage increase of around 20 percent – the management position in the armaments industry sounded tempting for aviation engineer Klaus Jähn (name changed). Nevertheless, the 42-year-old turned down the attractive post. Jähn’s thought: Let’s see if a better offer might not come in at better times.

The manager is currently anything but alone with his hesitation. The willingness of managers to change has decreased massively since the corona crisis. This is shown by the current manager barometer from Odgers Berndtson, the results of which are available exclusively to the Handelsblatt.

Every year, around 2000 German-speaking executives are asked about their well-being by the personnel consultancy. While in the past two years a good three quarters of those surveyed stated that they are open to changing employers because they lack innovative strength, sustainability and personal perspective in their company, many managers are now apparently keeping their feet still.

Expressed in figures, this means: 44 percent of managers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland consider a move to another company in the next few months to be unlikely. As many as not in a long time. Wintering seems to be the top priority of the crisis.

Managers in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries in particular, but also managers from the financial services sector, are hesitant, followed by management consultants and auditors. Silvia Eggenweiler, partner at Odgers Berndtson, says: “The lower the current position in the hierarchy, the greater the reluctance.”

But so many managers are currently missing out on attractive career opportunities that are definitely there. Because despite the bad news about downsizing and restructuring, for example at Volkswagen, Continental or BASF: New positions are also being advertised, especially in “top management is being searched for on all channels”, says headhunter Sabine Hansen, owner of the HR consultancy She4Her.

Managers have particularly good chances, for example:

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Culture demo in Munich – “It highlights the country and lets it shine” – Munich

Bela tigert. Bela Rieger is rarely on stage herself, he is a music manager, artist supervisor, promoter. Today, however, he is supposed to go to the microphone himself and that’s why he runs restlessly back and forth in front of the stairs, which immediately bring him into the spotlight. The occasion is obviously important enough: Several 100 artists and cultural workers – the police initially spoke of 400 participants, the organizers of the officially permitted 1000 – demonstrated on Saturday afternoon on the Königsplatz to draw attention to the catastrophic situation in their industry.

Rieger will say, among other things, that nothing has come of the talks with politicians. Yes, the occasion is important enough.

After all, nothing has been going on in culture since March. Concerts: canceled. Theater: closed. Galleries: to. This is not only regrettable for music listeners, drama friends or picture viewers – the corona pandemic is now threatening the existence of many artists. They do not feel that they have heard from politics. While some branches of industry are supported with amounts in the billions, many freelance artists could not even apply for the solo self-employed aid, because it can only be used to cover operating costs. “But I have no operating costs,” says a saxophonist on the sidelines of the demonstration. “I have my apartment, there are my saxophones, and when I have a gig I take one and go there.”

For the state of Bavaria, art is not an “unimportant addition”

The freelance violist Veronika Stross organized the demo – and produced a long list of speakers. For example, the former Bavarian Minister of Culture, Hans Maier, who is now 89 years old, which is why he is the only one to have a chair. Maier says that if culture is no longer allowed to take place, it will lose its attraction, presence and survivability. For the state of Bavaria, however, art is not an “insignificant addition”: “It highlights the state and makes it shine.”

Gerhard Polt started with a video message and immediately apologized for still saying the virus and not the virus: “But I also say the Weps and not the Wasp.” On the subject of systemic relevance, Polt had thought of the fable of the ant and the cricket: the ant manages the whole summer, the cricket just chirps. “And chirping is of course not very relevant.” Gerhard Polt thinks.

Kuturdemo at Königsplatz: STANDING UP FOR CULTURE

Culture demo at Königsplatz: STANDING UP FOR CULTURE Werner Schmidbauer and Martin Kälberer

(Photo: Florian Peljak)

The singer, cabaret artist and Munich city councilor Roland Hefter took over the moderation and now said that many had never considered that “the beer tent musician and the expression dancer are in the same boat”. And so they came Cagey Strings on the stage, which the Oktoberfest and other merrymaking, but now a song with the title “Schade – nicht systemrelevant” have written. “Make it really loud,” they called to the sound engineers. “So that you can hear it all the way to the State Chancellery.”

The audience is still insufficiently described as “mixed colors”. A no longer very young man in a punk outfit had his Ramones-Jacket dressed with the beautiful life motto “Don’t tell me how to live” – ​​which he certainly meant very differently than the two women who thought it was a good idea to tie a coffin on a wagon. But they didn’t want to draw attention to the dying of culture. They wanted to make this known: “Mask requirement is child abuse”. At least that was what it said on the death’s furniture, which was ignored by most of the participants, as was the man who said on his T-shirt that he thought all of this was a big joke with this Corona.

For most participants, however, the situation is too serious to be impressed by hand-made leaflets. Others had come, although they are not feeling that bad personally: Patrick Lindner, for example, along with his husband Peter Schäfer and the dog Obelix. “We stand here for all the others,” said Lindner. The presenter and musician Werner Schmidbauer said that fortunately he had his television jobs, but: of twelve concerts scheduled for October, he was only able to play five, and there were only 48 people in Ravensburg. A few meters further stands the actor Hannes Jaenicke, next to Manfred Stecher, Axel Hacke stopped by, Konstantin Wecker sent a video message – solidarity of the more prominent artists with their less well-off colleagues.

Kuturdemo at Königsplatz: STANDING UP FOR CULTURE

Kuturdemo at Königsplatz: STANDING UP FOR CULTURE PROF. JULIAN NIDA-RüMELIN

(Photo: Florian Peljak)

Musicians, cultural managers, the managing director of the Tölzer Knabenchor, representatives of stage technicians and related professions had their say on the stage. Julian Nida-Rümelin’s speech can be summed up in one sentence: “If you look back on the last few months, you can be shocked.”

Finally the politics: Wolfgang Heubisch of the FDP, former Bavarian art minister, appealed to the state government to “give up the attitude of refusal”. And Minister Bernd Sibler, currently responsible for culture, is repeating the proposals made by the Prime Minister on Wednesday: a solo self-employed program, a venue program, and scholarships for young talent. Roland Hefter said at the beginning: “We are stage people. Whoever goes on stage gets applause.” Sibler is only booed a little. But the demonstrators don’t look completely convinced when he’s finished.

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Democracy and Corona: Dare to be more democratic (neue-deutschland.de)

The Bundestag feels increasingly ignored in the Corona crisis. While in the corona denier scene there is talk of “fascist” conditions in view of the measures to combat pandemics, outside this scene there have been only a few who have considered the factual disempowerment of parliaments since the spring to be questionable. But for a few days now, the number of federal politicians who vehemently demand a return to normal parliamentary procedures for future decisions has been growing.

This is remarkable insofar as the number of new infections with the Sars-CoV-2 virus is currently increasing rapidly, both in Germany and in numerous other countries. The growing protest is likely to have something to do with the fact that the Federal Cabinet, above all Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU), is preparing the possibility created by the amendments to the Infection Protection Act of March 27 and May 19, in an “epidemic situation of national Scope «to bypass parliament with ordinances until well into the next year.

But: It shouldn’t be that easy to push through. Because meanwhile it is political heavyweights like Bundestag President Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU) and members of the SPD, Greens and Left Party and FDP alike who emphasize that the pandemic does not justify a long-term or even permanent annulment of fundamental and freedom rights without the participation of the parliaments in the federal and state levels . The Scientific Service of the Bundestag also spoke up at the beginning of the week with a statement in which the current government projects are described as “probably not compatible with the requirements of the Federal Constitutional Court on the admissibility of statutory instruments”.

Spahn’s special powers

Minister Spahn defended his plans to extend and even expand the special powers of the federal and state health ministries under infection protection law in an urgent procedure. He was aware that the measures taken over the past few months were “the greatest restrictions on freedom in the history of the Federal Republic” and “unreasonable demands” for each individual, he told ZDF on Tuesday. Nonetheless, the regulations are not “arbitrary”, have a “legal basis” and are regularly “discussed” by the Bundestag. So far, the special rights to issue ordinances have been limited in time and have to be extended regularly by Parliament. The current ones would expire on March 31, 2021.

Schäuble had already warned on Monday, with a view to Spahn’s plans, “that the Bundestag must make its role as legislator and public forum clear.” Referring to the statements made by the scientific service, he had made proposals on how Parliament could be more involved in decisions on measures to contain the pandemic. The Scientific Service calls for “concrete authorization bases for particularly intensive and wide-ranging measures” to be created. The measures should be limited in time and statutory regulations of the government should be subject to the approval of the Bundestag. Alternatively, Parliament should be able to repeal ordinances.

Representatives of the Union parliamentary group complained that Schäuble could have sought a conversation with the MPs instead of submitting a written statement. In the other parties, however, his suggestions met with great approval. The parliamentary manager of the left-wing parliamentary group, Jan Korte, even sees “almost all of his group’s demands” confirmed.

For his part, last weekend Korte presented a five-point plan for dealing with pandemic regulations in accordance with the constitution. Among other things, he calls on the Federal Government to submit a report on the effectiveness of the previous measures “by the beginning of winter at the latest” and a “comprehensive week of evaluation” on this in the Bundestag. At the same time, the simple rules of hygiene, which “have been proven to counter the spread of the pandemic and have broad acceptance among the population,” must be enforced consistently and across the board, Korte demands.

Bundestag Vice President Claudia Roth (Greens), who criticized Spahn’s plans at the same time, expressed a similar opinion. It could not be that a minister would get “some kind of unlimited general authorization,” said Roth on Deutschlandfunk.

The FDP in turn rushes forward with demands for the complete lifting of the “epidemic emergency”. Their chairman Christian Lindner and Bundestag Vice-President Wolfgang Kubicki have expressed themselves in this direction in the past few days. The FDP parliamentary group submitted an application on Thursday. A catalog of measures contained therein is intended to give parliament more weight again. There is a demand, for example, that the “far-reaching and constitutionally dubious authorization to issue ordinances” should be restricted and that the ordinances should be waived.

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Coronavirus: learning instead of isolating (neue-deutschland.de)

If you listen to some politicians, you get the impression that they can’t wait for the next nationwide lockdown. “We are closer to a lockdown than many believe,” said Bayer’s Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) in the state parliament this week. Even Berlin’s father Michael Müller (SPD) no longer wants to rule this out.

It remains unclear what this actually means. Should all shops and public institutions, including schools and daycare centers, be closed? Or even people generally being kept at home? Half a year ago, when the coronavirus was still the great unknown, there were reasons for disproportionate measures according to the motto: isolate all 83 million, not just a few tens of thousands of infected people and their close contacts. But now we know a lot more: As the current case numbers show, unlike a year ago, a lot more Covid 19 diseases with a mild course are identified, while the number of severe cases is significantly lower than in spring, despite the strong increase. A lot is also known about the transmission routes: Local public transport plays a minor role in the infections, as the President of the Robert Koch Institute, Lothar Wieler, said this week. Outbreaks in schools are also not very common. Infections are also rather rare after overnight stays in hotels.

The really dangerous super spreader events are family gatherings and large weddings. The new upper limits here are welcomed by all experts. Virologist Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit from the University of Hamburg calls them “targeted and proportionate”. However, young people in particular have to be offered offers – events with special hygiene concepts – “otherwise it would become illegal”. Virologists agree that the most effective measure is the AHA-L rule, i.e. distance, hand washing, everyday mask and airing. In addition, there is contact tracking.

The containment of the coronavirus – and the renewed fall increase

But would a lockdown be preventive? You have to be clear about the consequences: The cold season with higher rates of infection has only just begun, so a lockdown should last five or six months. One does not want to imagine the social, political, economic and also psychological effects. Or you can quickly pick it up again, depending on the infection, then there would be a ping-pong game between phases with and without lockdown.

And not only that: the procedure would have to be repeated every year. A central fact about Sars-CoV-2 hardly plays a role in the discussion of the short-term thinking politicians: “This virus can no longer be expelled from humans, and we have to start living with it,” as the virologist Hendrik did Streeck from the University of Bonn. Vaccines won’t change that either. First of all, it is unclear when they will come – current hope: mid-2021 – in what quantity they will then be available and how effective they are. And even then, Covid-19 will not simply go away, as influenza teaches.

So long-term strategies are needed. There has been a lack of those so far: a traffic light, for example, which is based on the numbers of severe Covid 19 cases and is particularly aimed at protecting risk groups. Regulations on home office or a strategy to avoid collective accommodation are also pending. Ultimately, however, something else is decisive: broad acceptance and personal responsibility among the population, something that hardliners like Söder also admit. This can only be achieved with a few clear and comprehensible rules. According to Schmidt-Chanasit, these would then also have to be “implemented and controlled”. Ultimately, it is about a social learning process to do the right thing independently, from applying the AHA-L rules to self-quarantine when health authorities are overloaded. In short: learn instead of isolating.

Covid-19: How far to new measures * in the counties?

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Famine in the rich country (neue-deutschland.de)

The Calvary Baptist Church in East Orange is bustling with people. As early as 9 a.m., the line of cars in front of the Essex County church is several hundred meters. Two blocks in front of the building, cars with LED displays and orange rubber cylinders are being funneled into the church parking lot. What draws people here is not the prospect of comfort or peace of mind. It’s about food. “People come here who have never needed help,” says Joseph DiVincenzo as he waves one car after the other into the parking lot.

DiVicenzo is the chief administrative officer of Essex County and has had a coronavirus infection himself. With four dozen employees in the district administration, he manages the needy in a sophisticated system for the distribution of food parcels. The applicants have to wait in their cars in the right lane, in the church parking lot they drive up in two rows, signs announce two simple instructions: “Open the trunk, leave the window up.” The district employees with colorful masks then carry one of the 16 kilogram cardboard boxes with groceries to the trunk and close it again, the car continues and leaves the parking lot on the other side. Distribution has been going on for 25 weeks, and there is no end in sight for the time being. “We will continue as long as there is a need,” says DiVincenzo, “at least until the end of the year or March.”

On dry land

Each of the food boxes contains 40 meals, 1000 boxes will be handed out that day, after an hour and a half they are all gone. This is paid for with funds from the Corona emergency aid decided by the US Congress in March, the Cares Act. But this source of money is slowly drying up. For months, the Republicans in the US Senate have been blocking the adoption of further aid in the corona crisis and only want to provide minimal aid.

Washington is a long way from the Calvary Baptist Church, it is about concrete problems. Drive-thru grocery distribution – some people also come by on foot – meets all the requirements of social distancing. It is also important that no questions are asked. Accepting help from others, including from the welfare state, is a shame, especially in the USA.

Hyacinth passed by on foot. The teacher was actually already retired. However, since her pension was insufficient, she worked as an assistant teacher until recently. However, she was not allowed to give distance learning as an assistant in the corona pandemic – she lost her job. Now she is getting a little social assistance and some unemployment benefits. But that too is “little,” says the black woman, and besides, not sure. Because in a few weeks your entitlement to unemployment benefits will expire. In many states in the USA, this support is only available for 26 weeks. The Cares Act allowed states to extend this for 13 weeks. What happens after that? “I really don’t know,” she says as she waits for a lift with her grocery package. Hyacinth is not alone. More than 350,000 Corona unemployed in the USA had already exhausted their 13-week extension in mid-October. The program expires at the end of December, then 13 million corona unemployed could be left completely without unemployment benefits from their states or the federal government if the period of benefit is not extended or new aid is decided in the US Congress.

No one is currently immune from falling into poverty. “Each of us could be in this situation,” says DiVincenzo. His county is “very diverse,” it includes urban and rather black and poor Newark and East Orange with the poor wooden houses in narrow rows, from which the paint is peeling, to affluent suburbs, more inhabited by white Americans, with mansion-like houses and stately ones Driveways. “The poor as well as the more affluent are affected by the crisis,” he says. In fact, some of the cars pulled up outside the church don’t look poor. According to survey data on the corona crisis in the USA, however – unlike the financial crisis in 2008 – this time it is less white workers and more Latinos, blacks and women who are losing their jobs.

“People in the area who work in retail are particularly affected, many small businesses have to close,” says DiVincenzo’s colleague Cinda Williams as she waves cars to the pick-up point. Usually she advises people looking for work for the district. Now she is helping out with the box allocation.

Even before the corona crisis, there was a lot of social hardship in the USA. 34 million people lived below the poverty line. In the past few months, according to calculations by researchers at Columbia University, another eight million people have been added – for the most part since the federal extra corona crisis unemployment benefits expired in late July.

»The poor as well as the more affluent are affected by the crisis. Any of us could be in this situation. ”Joseph DiVicenzo, Essex County Chief Executive Officer

Photo: Moritz Wichmann

You don’t just need groceries. There is even a lack of money for the funerals of deceased relatives, Williams said. And with the approaching winter, switching off electricity and heating due to unpaid bills and the procurement of warm clothing will become a problem. In addition, “people have to decide whether to pay the rent or spend money on food,” she says. Those who fail to pay the rent quickly end up on the street – or in the nearby Isaiah House, a homeless shelter with a food board. “When the $ 600 extra unemployment benefit ceased to exist at the end of July, a lot more people suddenly reported who could no longer pay their rents,” says employee Julia Hismeh.

No hope of Biden

Isaiah House has been offering a blackboard for 25 years. In the corona crisis, however, the need is twice as high. “In the first two months of the pandemic, we sometimes had 600 people waiting for food and queues around the block,” says Tafel boss Latoya Anderson.

As with the Calvary Baptist Church, no further questions are asked of the needy. Anderson does not want to scare them off with requirements like those prescribed by other institutions. For many marginalized people, these are hardly achievable, for example showing a social security number or a birth certificate. What Anderson distributes should “only be additional help, people are also entitled to food stamps,” she emphasizes with reference to the corresponding state program.

In addition to food tables and social institutions such as Isaiah House, groups have also sprung up all over the country that offer mutual help. Both citizens who are active in Facebook groups and left-wing activists like Jeff are involved in it. He is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America group in northern New Jersey. With other volunteers, the DSA activists offered food aid in a Newark neighborhood with high homelessness before the pandemic. At the beginning of the pandemic, this was discontinued to protect against infection, now those in need are supplied by delivery, around 200 times so far.

Jeff has no hopes for the presidential election in early November. “The hardship in the country will not change just because we may soon have another president,” he says, referring to a possible election victory for Joe Biden of the Democratic Party. With the increasing number of corona infections, one will soon be back where we were in April with new restrictions or even a new lockdown. But this time we are better prepared, can distribute more deliveries and have raised more money. “

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Corona intensive treatment: neighboring countries ask for help – politics

It’s more than a flight, it’s a sign of danger: For the first time in the second wave of the corona pandemic, patients are being transferred from the Netherlands to German clinics. On Friday morning, a helicopter transported a patient from Almere, 30 kilometers east of Amsterdam, to a hospital in Münster, and a second should follow later in the day. This shows: The hospitals in the Netherlands are slowly filling up with Covid patients – in some cases the limit has even been reached. The same applies to some other neighboring German countries. As at the height of the first wave of the pandemic in spring, Germany, where the situation is still fairly stable, is being asked for support. An overview:

Netherlands

Almost every second bed in intensive care units in the Netherlands is occupied by a patient suffering from Covid-19. The hospitals in the northwest region, to which Almere belongs, could hardly cope with the influx of new patients, said the coordination center for the distribution of patients in Rotterdam. “The water is up to their necks.”

The number of infections in the Netherlands is among the highest in Europe. On Thursday, almost 9,300 new infections were reported within 24 hours, with around 18 million residents. On Thursday, 463 corona patients were in intensive care units. In the spring, patients had already been transferred to German clinics. North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony have therefore offered to take on patients again. The Netherlands has 1150 beds in intensive care units. North Rhine-Westphalia alone has around five times as many with the same number of inhabitants. According to the Münster University Hospital, which coordinates the aid on the German side, it provides 85 beds for patients from the Netherlands. 87 NRW clinics have offered free capacities.

Belgium

It was a cry for help, or rather: a scream. On Friday morning, the well-known Brussels epidemiologist Marius Gilbert wrote this tweet: “You who have 100, 1000, 10,000 or 100,000 followers, here, on Facebook or Instagram! You, who meet so many people every day, help each other, help us! It’s one minute to twelve, your influence can save lives, our hospitals are on the brink of the abyss. ” The following is a list of the most important rules of conduct that should now be observed.

The situation in Belgium, which was hit hard by the first wave, is dramatic. After the Czech Republic, the country reports the second highest values ​​for new infections per 100,000 inhabitants. According to official data, an average of 10,000 people are infected every day, for a population of 11.5 million. The virologist Steven Van Gucht, spokesman for the Belgian Corona crisis team, expects the number of new infections “towards 20,000” to increase in the coming days. Applied to Germany, this would mean around 140,000 cases a day.

In mid-November, the intensive care units in nine out of ten Belgian provinces would reach their capacity limits if the number of cases remained at the high level, the health authorities warn. The number of available beds in the intensive care units is to be increased to 2,300. Operations that are not absolutely necessary are to be postponed in the next four weeks. From this Friday on, new, stricter measures apply. University lecture halls may only be 20 percent full, and theme parks have to close. A maximum of 200 visitors are allowed in theaters and cinemas. In amateur sport, competitions with more than 18 athletes are prohibited, and spectators are again taboo at sporting events. However, experts doubt that this will be enough to avoid overcrowding in intensive care units.

Czech Republic

The hospitals in the Czech Republic are also full. Not only the 4,000 or so intensive care beds, but also breathing equipment are running out. Now new devices are to be procured quickly, the EU promised to deliver 30 pieces from its stand. Only patients who need urgent intensive care may be admitted to the hospitals. New beds can hardly be added because there are too many infected doctors and nurses and there are already great shortages of staff in the hospitals. The government asked Bavaria for help days ago, which Prime Minister Markus Söder has promised. If necessary, intensive care beds will be made available.

The country, with almost eleven million inhabitants, is currently at the top of the list of new infections in Europe, and a lockdown has been in effect for a few days, as in spring, albeit with many exceptions. The Ministry of Health reported 14,151 confirmed cases within 24 hours on Friday, slightly fewer than the previous day, when there was a new record of 14,968 new infections.

Switzerland

In Switzerland, the federal government and cantons have asked the hospitals, as they did in spring, to make space for more Covid patients. Non-urgent medical interventions would now have to be scaled back quickly in order to have enough staff and space available for Covid patients, the health directors of the cantons decided on Thursday. The country’s Covid task force warns that without further measures, the hospitals would reach their capacity limits in mid-November, i.e. in three weeks. In some cantons the time has come, said Lukas Engelberger, President of the Conference of Health Directors. The situation is very serious. “We have to take action.”

Germany

In the spring, the Federal Republic of Germany admitted 232 corona patients from Italy, France and the Netherlands for intensive treatment. At the moment the situation in Germany is still somewhat relaxed. On Friday morning, according to the intensive care register of the “German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive and Emergency Medicine”, 7212 beds were occupied, which are suitable for Covid-19 patients. The number of free beds was 6,175.

1121 Covid-19 patients are currently in intensive care. On Thursday it was 1030. The increase in patients has doubled within twelve days. The increase is accelerating: on Tuesday the doubling time was 15 days, on Wednesday 14, on Thursday 13 days. That is why experts are now sounding the alarm in Germany too, not least because there is a lack of sufficient staff.

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Bill and the bioweapon (neue-deutschland.de)

There is much to suggest that the corona pandemic was staged under the leadership of the USA. The aim is to create fear. This is to create worldwide acceptance for vaccination and digital control systems. May the pharmaceutical industry make enormous profits and mankind become more manageable. And all for the benefit of “the elites”. The statements made by Paul Schreyer in his latest book, Chronicle of an Announced Crisis, can be reduced to this denominator.

OK. Have we heard it all? Crude corona theories are also voiced by Attila Hildmann, Ken Jebsen, Eva Herman and the people from “lateral thinking 711”. But Paul Schreyer comes in the guise of a researching journalist. He refers to reputable sources. He writes soberly and factually. He names actors by name, illuminates historical developments and asks questions – but very skillfully.

Schreyer uses questions and formulations that create very specific images in the head – and thus convey the desired statements. For example, it sheds light on the efforts the US military has made in recent decades to develop biological weapons. There is talk of »nerve agent VX«, of »anthrax«, but also of »bacterial bombs«. In addition, it was a matter of taking protective measures against an attack with “smallpox viruses”. The frame for this: Corona is also a dangerous virus. In the end, is it a bio-weapon developed in military laboratories? Schreyer also recalls the 1995 bomb attack in Oklahoma City. 168 people died at the time. That created fear, which played into the hands of certain politicians. “Not only was the anti-terror law passed quickly and without further discussion,” it says on page 42. Corona also creates fear – what kind of laws can the rulers enforce?

In the »Prolog«, author Schreyer sets the pace: »Special technologies and programs, promoted by some oligarchs, should become binding for all people in the world.« Apparently, Bill Gates is meant. The multi-billionaire and his rich foundation are indeed enormously influential. But in many countries, let’s take China, Gates has little to say. Schreyer also finds that trusting science alone is “often little more than a modern form of belief in authority.” Truth is “decreed,” a fair debate “made impossible.” At the same time, “censorship flourishes.” Oha.

What Paul Schreyer reports about the history of pandemic exercises in the USA and elsewhere is impressive. Administration, politics, media and science, but also companies, repeatedly sent high-ranking people to play out how to react to an outbreak of an epidemic. In 2000, US authorities tried out how to make decisions about a plague epidemic. 2001, 2003 and 2005 were about reactions to a smallpox attack. Increasingly, actors from other countries took part. In 2010, the Rockefeller Foundation published a study in which it presented four global future scenarios. One of the scenarios, called “Lock Step”, depicts an authoritarian world with “surveillance and coercion” that was enforced after an influenza pandemic with a global economic crisis. Is it a blueprint of what is emerging today? Schreyer leaves that open, but the blurb of the book says: “Some of the current developments are not accidental.”

Another simulation game called »Event 201« followed on October 18, 2019. This time, the outbreak of a novel coronavirus was simulated in the USA – based on the SARS epidemic of 2003 in China. The World Economic Forum (WEF), to which the world’s largest corporations belong, and the Gates Foundation provided financial support for the one-day simulation game. According to the script, one of the things that had been played out was how to react to “conspiracy theories”. Heinrich Heine already described the ominous role that legends played during the cholera epidemic in Paris in the 19th century. Schreyer is neutral: “It cannot be logically derived from these connections that the organizers and participants of the exercise ‘knew’ about the impending real pandemic.” However, “the striking similarity between exercise and reality suggests that we should look closely and examine, how the actual 2020 pandemic began in detail «.

Now Schreyer is in top form. He reports that on January 17, 2020 the evaluation of “Event 201” was published. On January 20, “the new disease” was mentioned for the first time in the main edition of the “Tagesschau”. On January 21, the New York Times published five articles on the coronavirus. Also on January 21, the WHO published its first situation report on Corona. The WEF’s annual meeting in Davos began on that day – corporate executives, many heads of state and media people had gathered. And on January 24, when everyone drove home, “essential elements” for managing the corona crisis were “already started or operational”. Again Schreyer agrees that the process described can also be “explained harmlessly”. However, other explanations are “conceivable”. It is conceivable that »in the shadow of a naturally occurring virus«, »a similarly acting but far more deadly biological weapon had been used«. An absurd fairy tale that Schreyer wants to sell as a realistic scenario.

In my eyes, Schreyer’s book is a sham. Disguised as a journalistic, even investigative work, it constructs highly adventurous connections. Educational value? Near zero. The criticism of the lurching course of science and health policy, the hacking about case numbers, the dispute about testing – free. We have read and heard a lot about this elsewhere. Above all, Schreyer fuels the fears of those who are insecure in times of globalization, digital technology, social isolation, precarious employment and mass layoffs. It goes without saying that these people want »attention, trust and solidarity«. Schreyer pleads for a return to »human interaction« – and to be more precise »without fear, distance rules and masks«. Not correct. In times of pandemics, “human interaction” requires that we adhere to rules of distance and wear masks. Nobody loses a critical view of the US military, the pharmaceutical industry and the machinations of those who rule us.

Paul Schreyer: Chronicle of an announced crisis. How a virus could change the world. Westend, 176 p., Br., 15 €.

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US Republicans wall on financial package (neue-deutschland.de)

The US faces crucial elections – and millions are left without social protection.

Foto: Reuters/Octavio Jones

In the struggle of the political camps in Washington for an urgently needed new Corona aid package, no agreement is in sight. On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump charged the Democrats, headed by House Chair Nancy Pelosi, with deliberately sabotaging an agreement. He believes the Democrats are “unwilling to do what’s right in stimulus for our great American workers or our wonderful USA itself,” he wrote on Twitter. In contrast, a spokesman had recently spread Pelosi’s optimism. You and Trump’s negotiator, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, had come closer to each other in an hour-long conversation on the same day and were on their way to “getting something down on paper.” But there is now more and more signs that the Republicans in the Senate are unwilling to reach an agreement as long as the Trump-nominated far-right judge Amy Coney Barrett is not confirmed for the Supreme Court. On Thursday, the Justice Committee of the US Senate cleared the way for the final vote on the candidate, which is expected to take place on Monday.

The new financial package has been negotiating in Washington for weeks. There are not two sides facing each other, there are several conflicting parties: the Democrats, two factions within the Republicans and a roving president. On the face of it, the negotiators are not very far apart. According to recent reports, Trump is offering $ 1.9 trillion, while Pelosi is demanding 2.2 trillion in aid. For some Republicans, on the other hand, the figure 1.6 trillion made the rounds, for another, probably the one who matters, the much smaller sum of 500 billion greenbacks.

Earlier this month, Trump suddenly broke off negotiations, claiming that the “crazy Nancy Pelosi and the radical left Democrats” only want money for the “failed” democratically governed cities and states with high crime rates. But when the stock market collapsed dramatically, Trump, who sees share prices as a measure of his own success, rowed back just hours later. He now offered instant payments of $ 1,200 per citizen, funds for airlines and small businesses.

For ideological reasons, the Republicans, on the other hand, disagree about the amount and possible recipients of stimulus injections. There are also election tactical considerations. The fundamentalists of the “free market” would prefer to see government funds only used to save large corporations from collapse. For other parts of the party, providing the states it controls with fresh money has absolute priority. Other Republican politicians are making the image of party unity, at least externally, a priority.

Who will get the majority in Electoral College?

Meanwhile, the Senate majority leader, Republican Mitch McConnell, pulls the strings in the background. There can be no vote in the House of Lords past him. McConnell is not yet ready to put more than $ 500 billion on the table. For him and other Republican strategists, shifting the majority of the Supreme Court to the right is a priority. In the eyes of these politicians, a comprehensive stimulus package only reveals the disagreement and the dispute in the party – and that just before the elections on November 3rd. In addition to the President, the House of Representatives and a third of the Senate are also elected. Accordingly, McConnell indicated that he is currently not interested in the stimulus packages.

The first support measures, which were adopted by Congress at the beginning of the corona crisis and at the instigation of the democratic socialist Bernie Sanders, expired in the summer. Since the funds from the $ 2 trillion Cares Act ran dry, the economic and social crisis in the USA has visibly intensified. The queues in front of the dispensaries for free groceries are getting longer every day. A new study from New York’s Columbia University shows that government aid at its peak in May saved 18 million citizens from poverty, down from 4 million in September.

Who Should Win the US Congressional Elections?

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