Right-wing extremists at security authorities: 350 suspected cases

Hundreds of employees of security authorities are said to be right-wing extremists. This emerges from a confidential paper from the Office for the Protection of the Constitution.

The police in Hesse are particularly suspicious: the police headquarters in Frankfurt am Main Photo: Boris Roessler / dpa

BERLIN afp | According to a report, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) counts more than 350 suspected right-wing extremism cases in the German security authorities. This is evident from the management report on the topic, which was first prepared, reported the World on Sunday. The document classified as confidential therefore illuminates the period from the beginning of January 2017 to the end of March 2020.

According to the report, the BfV asked the Federal Intelligence Service, the Military Counter-Intelligence Service, the Federal Criminal Police Office, the Federal Police, the 16 state police and the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, which together have around 300,000 employees. The authorities therefore had to fill out a questionnaire on right-wing extremist cases in their homes, which the BfV then evaluated centrally.

Most right-wing extremist suspected cases among the federal states reported according to the World on Sunday Hesse. The interior ministry there explains this by stating that internal investigations have been carried out particularly intensively in this area for two years.

In the state, 59 measures under service and labor law have been carried out in the past three years. Disciplinary proceedings were initiated in 50 of them and 29 were suspended, the newspaper wrote. In eleven cases there were dismissals or non-appointment as civil servants.

In the past few months, right-wing extremist incidents in security authorities had repeatedly caused a stir. Most recently, a right-wing extremist chat group within the police was uncovered in North Rhine-Westphalia. In Leipzig, a police officer is suspected of having “made right-wing extremist and racist remarks” as a participant in a chat, as the Leipzig police department announced on Friday.

The eagerly awaited situation report of the protection of the constitution should be loud World on Sunday to be presented in October. Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer (CSU) had rejected a study on racism in the police that had been requested by many parties on the grounds that the situation report was currently being prepared.

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Those infected continue to secrete the virus for 90 days after being cured

BY rafael m. manueco

The director of the Russian control body Rospotrebnadzor, Anna Popova, said yesterday during a meeting of the presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences that “we have evidence that a person who has already recovered from covid-19 continues to excrete the virus for up to 90 days”.

Popova clarified that “the observations made in Russia indicate that the patient cured of the disease continues to secrete the virus for about 48 days, although scientists from other countries have determined that this period can be extended to 90 days.” Therefore, the head of Rospotrebnadzor recommended establishing a period of at least 90 days of prevention against the presumed contagions that may be caused by those who suffered from covid-19. Popova explained that the recovered patients “are people who do not have symptoms, the indicators of their blood tests are excellent, but they secrete the virus through the nose.”

Speaking to the RIA-Nóvosti agency, the Russian virologist, Anatoli Alstéin, pointed out that a former coronavirus patient “remains dangerous for his environment for an average of two weeks, but there are exceptions. There are those who retain the ability to continue infecting for much longer. According to Alstéin, “there are not even total guarantees against reinfection after being vaccinated (…) the vaccine only increases the chances of avoiding contagion”.

Popova also made reference yesterday to the possibility of Covid-19 becoming a seasonal disease and accompanying us every year. In her words, “the covid is acquiring seasonality (…) for now it is a forecast that such an assumption is confirmed, but it is quite objective. In the southern hemisphere the incidence of the disease increased during the winter while in the northern hemisphere the peak moments have been during spring and now in autumn.

On the other hand, the Russian Minister of Health, Mikhail Murashko, said yesterday that more than 300 people have already been vaccinated in Russia on a voluntary basis with the Spútnik V and, according to his words, “approximately 14% of them complained of certain feeling of general weakness, slight muscle aches and fever in some cases. However, Murashko said that all these side effects “are predictable reactions.”

Meanwhile, infections continue to increase in Russia. Since yesterday, Tuesday, 5,670 new positive cases have been registered, which is 141 more than the previous day. The total number of infected in Russia since the beginning of the pandemic thus amounts to 1,079,519 patients, of whom 890,114 were cured. Since yesterday there have also been 132 new deaths, which puts the total number of deaths at 18,917. It assumes, according to official sources, a mortality of 1.7%, which is 17 times higher than that of seasonal flu (0.1%).

Germany

Germany agrees to pilot phase with spectators in Bundesliga

  BY JUAN CARLOS BARRENA

BY JUAN CARLOS BARRENA

The governments of the 16 German federal states have reached an agreement to initiate an experimental phase that allows spectators to return to the football fields and basketball or handball halls, among other sports, despite the coronavirus epidemic. From now on, for six weeks and coinciding with the start of the new Bundesliga season, public access to the stands is authorized up to a maximum of 20% of its capacity, but at least a thousand spectators. A rule that will apply in the same way to sports that are played indoors in closed pavilions. The agreement contemplates strict hygiene and physical distance rules, but also a series of restrictions such as the issuance of personalized tickets to facilitate the tracking of possible infectious outbreaks, the prohibition of the sale of tickets to fans of the visiting team, the total suspension of the sale of alcoholic beverages or control of access to the pitch and stands to avoid crowds. It will be mandatory to wear a mask until reaching the assigned seat in the stands and keeping a minimum distance of one and a half meters with other spectators.

In the event that more than 35 infections per 100,000 inhabitants are registered in a population within a week, the prohibition of spectators will be automatically imposed on all its playing fields and sports halls, the German regional governments also agreed. The different federations have also agreed to carry out a scientific monitoring of the experimental phase so that by the end of October it can be decided whether to continue allowing the presence of the public in the stands or even about the possible increase in the number of spectators. The federated states of Saxony and Mecklenburg-Antepomerania already authorized the presence of the public on the football fields last weekend on the occasion of the tie for the German Cup. In Leipzig it was played with 8,500 spectators while in Rostock 7,500 people were allowed to attend the stadium.

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI), responsible for coordinating the fight against the coronavirus epidemic in Germany, expects that in the future several different vaccines will be available in this country to combat the Sars-Covid-19 virus. “In view of the large number of potential candidates for a vaccine, it is likely that in the end several will be licensed in Germany,” says Sabine Wicker, vice president of the RKI Permanent Commission on Vaccination, in statements to the Funke media group. Wicker stresses that possibly some vaccines will be inoculated to specific groups of the population, for example the elderly, in view, for example, of their side effects.

A strong coronavirus outbreak in the Bavarian town of Deggendorf, where 275 people have so far been ordered to quarantine, may have originated from a doctor who continued to practice despite having clear symptoms of the disease, according to a statement issued by the authorities of said population. The doctor did not leave his job until a test confirmed that he is a carrier of the Sars-Covid-19 virus, local authorities said. The Deggendorf prosecution has taken up the case to investigate whether there is an alleged crime. The health authorities of the city of 37,000 inhabitants indicated that five people in direct contact with the doctor have tested positive and these had contact in turn with at least 275 other people, who are already in home isolation and who have begun to perform tests to see if they also carry the virus. The tracking of health officials determined that one of the five people who tested positive is a high school student, where all her classmates were quarantined, as well as all the people who traveled with her on public transport when she was going to the school.

United Kingdom

Back to school collapses testing system in parts of UK

  BY iñigo gurruchaga

BY iñigo gurruchaga

The Minister of Health and Social Assistance, Matt Hancock, has announced that the test structure created in recent months will give priority to patients and staff of hospitals and nursing homes. The minister had to answer an urgent question from the opposition, in a day in which long queues formed in test centers created in parking lots and other public spaces.

The ‘Daily Mail’ found on Tuesday that there were no tests available in 46 of the 49 towns where there are outbreaks that have led to increased restrictions. The system gives a high test figure, 227,075, but its total capacity, which would exceed 300,000, is not met on any day. The car test spaces remain empty and there are multiple instances of appointments being offered many kilometers away from the applicant’s residence.

The opening of schools would be behind the increase in applications. Schoolchildren return home with sneezing, colds, fever, … which can be interpreted as symptoms of covid-19. Minister Hancock has acknowledged that the problem will not be resolved for “a few weeks”. And he has promised that at the end of October there will be 500,000 daily tests. But he has not offered a transparent explanation of the bottlenecks of the system that reassures the population.

Another possible reason for the increase in test requests is the feeling of alarm promoted by the Government to contain the increase in cases. The Minister of the Interior, Priti Patel, has advised that neighbors who violate the rule of not meeting more than six people inside homes be denounced and also that the two families who are in a park and start to chat will be fined a while, if the total sum exceeds six.

France

The number of schools and classes closed in France increases

Fifteen days after going back to school in France, the centers and classes closed for suspected or positive cases of covid-19 increase throughout the country, according to the latest balance of the French Ministry of Education.

“At the moment, there are 81 closed establishments and a little more than 2,100 closed classes. And there are 1,200 new cases of covid-19 in students ”compared to last week, announced the French Minister of Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, in an interview with the LCI chain. The previous week there were 28 centers and 262 classes closed due to coronavirus throughout the country.

The minister considered that the number of closed schools and institutes is still very low, considering that there are about 60,000 centers in total. “When we have 0.13% of schools closed and 0.3% of classes closed, it is good news,” said Blanquer, who recalled that France, unlike other countries, has opted for a return to school with classes in person.

The minister recalled the protocol to be followed in schools. “In general, from three cases of covid-19 per class, this class closes” but this may vary. The local health authorities are the ones that decide, case by case, whether or not to close a class or a center. In the event of closure, distance classes will be used during this period to guarantee the pedagogical continuity of the students.

On the other hand, cases of covid-19 in universities also continue to increase in France, although, for now, the ministry has not specified the number of schools or classes closed due to infections.

The National Institute of Applied Sciences (INSA, in its acronym in French) of Toulouse has decided to close its doors for two weeks and go on to teach only distance classes, after 127 positive cases have been detected in this center.

Since the pandemic began, 30,999 people have died in France from covid-19 and 395,104 have tested positive for coronavirus, according to the latest balance of Santé Publique France, the national public Health agency.

France is the third European country with the highest number of deaths from covid-19, after the United Kingdom (41,753) and Italy (35,633). Spain (30,004) ranks fourth in the European ranking, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University in the United States.

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More than 1400 new infections according to the RKI

DAs expected, the Robert Koch Institute reported a comparatively low number of new corona infections this Sunday. The health authorities had transmitted 1411 cases within one day, the RKI announced in the morning. Experience shows that the number of cases reported is usually lower on Sundays and Mondays, also because not all health authorities report data to the RKI at the weekend.

However, according to the RKI dashboard, the new figures apparently do not contain any cases from Baden-Württemberg. North Rhine-Westphalia reports the most nine infections with 492 cases.

On Saturday, the highest value since April was reached with 2507 new corona infections.

The peak of new infections reported daily was at more than 6000 at the end of March / beginning of April. The number then tended to fall and rose again in July. In August the number of cases was just over 2000 (2034). The number of new infections detected also depends on how many people are tested.

Five new deaths

According to the RKI figures, at least 284,140 people in Germany have been proven to have been infected with the Sars-CoV-2 virus since the beginning of the Corona crisis (data as of September 27, 00:00). The number of deaths related to a corona infection is 9,457 – five more deaths than the previous day. According to RKI estimates, around 250,800 people had survived the infection by Sunday morning.

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According to the management report on Saturday, the number of reproductions, or R-value for short, was 1.08 in Germany (previous day: 0.91). This means that one infected person infects a little more than one other person on average. The R-value depicts the infection rate approximately one and a half weeks beforehand.

In addition, the RKI gives a so-called seven-day R in its current situation report. The value relates to a longer period of time and is therefore less subject to daily fluctuations. This value was 1.17 (previous day: 1.24). It shows the infection process from eight to 16 days ago.

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40 years of the Munich Oktoberfest attack: the first right-wing lone perpetrator

September 26th marks the anniversary of the crime. The worst terrorist attack in the history of the republic remains unsolved.

The mug shot of the Bavarian LKA from 1980 shows a photomontage by the 21-year-old student Gundolf Köhler Photo: Handout Polizei / dpa / picture alliance

As early as 1982, when Attorney General Rebmann stopped the investigation for the first time and presented Gundolf Köhler as a frustrated, lovesickly afflicted individual without political motives, a number of disagreements put this decision into question.

As if preprogrammed, the investigations at the time resulted in the thesis of the apolitical individual perpetrator. This is also made clear by the interrogations of Köhler’s friends. The investigators asked extensively about sexual preferences and romantic relationships. Questions about political background or contacts with right-wing groups, on the other hand, were asked rather sporadically and hardly followed up in detail.

Despite these tendentious investigations, it was completely obvious that Gundolf Köhler adhered to anti-Semitic, National Socialist and racist ideas and did not hold back with them. In the interviews there was repeated mention of a picture of Hitler over the bed or of statements against Jews.

Over the years, thanks in particular to victim lawyer Werner Dietrich and journalist Ulrich Chaussy, more and more contradictions came to light, of which the missing hand is probably the most prominent. Said hand was found at the crime scene after the explosion. Then as now, the investigators attributed it to Gundolf Köhler.

Internal betrayal

But that cannot be: Serologically it could not be assigned to the assassin and, in contrast to the rest of Koehler’s body, no traces of the bomb component nitrocellulose were found on the hand. Finally, a former BKA explosives expert came to the conclusion that the hand, which was barely damaged by burn marks, could not have come from Koehler because his hands and forearms were probably torn into tiny pieces by the force of the explosion.

Today, a DNA examination of the hand could determine whether it came from Koehler – but both the hand and the forensic medical report were made to disappear in the course of the investigation.

In 2014, the Federal Prosecutor finally gave in to the pressure and resumed the investigation into the Oktoberfest attack. However, the results with which she announced the hiring five years later are thin. It is true that the strategically communicated figures of the many surveys conducted and did not check traces of their target and were found in almost every press article. But the amount of individual investigative measures cannot outweigh what the investigations as a whole failed to do.

So the question arises why the Federal Prosecutor’s Office entrusted the Bavarian LKA with the investigation instead of the Federal Criminal Police Office, and thus precisely the institution that had carried out the original investigation without success. Bearing in mind the obvious assumption that these investigations were severely disrupted and influenced, for example, by the theft of evidence or the betrayal of internal investigations, this decision seems simply wrong.

Linked to this is a second omission: the resumed investigations did not deal with the errors of the first special commission as an independent investigation objective. However, this omission is incomprehensible in view of such fundamental errors as the disappearance of the hand. For what motives, with what effects, to what extent and with whose participation the investigations were sabotaged in the 1980s, was never the subject of the resumed proceedings – another knowingly missed chance to clear up the background to the attack.

Destroyed traces

The investigators were also unable to identify possible accomplices and associates of Köhler. The men in the green parkas, who were observed by various witnesses talking to Koehler immediately before the explosion and shortly afterwards on the run from the crime scene, remain unknown, as is the young woman with whom other witnesses saw Koehler at the scene. The traces from Köhler’s car are also puzzling: Who owned the green parka that was found in the car, to whom did the 48 cigarette butts of different brands and with different saliva accumulations belong? A DNA comparison is also ruled out here; the traces were destroyed.

The press release closes with the succinct statement “that questions remained open and that individual issues could not be fully ascertained or assessed”. These open questions and the failure of the highest investigative authority, which is badly concealed in this sentence, should form the core of the assessment, because the open questions touch the core of the subject. Who were the men Koehler was seen with just before the explosion? How was the bomb detonated, how did Koehler get the explosives, where and by whom was the bomb built? Who did the hand found at the crime scene belong to and who made it disappear?

A look at Italy shows that it is not a law of nature that investigations must remain inconclusive after 40 years. Later that year, the right-wing terrorist Gilberto Cavallini was sentenced to life imprisonment for providing logistical support to the attackers in the 1980 attack on Bologna train station.

It borders on insolence that 40 years after the bloody attack in Munich, on the one hand, not having contributed anything to the investigation and at the same time proclaiming the banality that the act was politically motivated.

The lone perpetrator

The termination of the investigation is a scandal. It reveals the entitlement of the bereaved, the injured and the dead to the investigation of the crime and the determination of the guilty. This claim remains unpaid. The attitude is also momentous in that it is historiography and thus works equally in the past and present. She contributes to the construction of a historical figure that never existed and that still causes damage today: the right-wing lone perpetrator.

The decision is doing the historical subject an injustice, because weighty circumstances indicate that Köhler did not act alone. It also contributes to the fact that present and future right-wing terrorism is not understood as the work of networks. Victims remain unpunished and perpetrators unknown.

The attack on the Munich Oktoberfest on September 26, 1980 remains unsolved and challenges us. Bertolt Brecht’s sentence applies: “Only as much truth prevails as we enforce.”

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Lindner, Merz and Discrimination: The Sexism In Us

Christian Lindner and Friedrich Merz knock old man’s sayings at the expense of women and homosexuals. They hope for an audience that will approve of such statements.

Grin, art break, totally unintentional. Simply old in thinking: Christian Lindner and Friedrich Merz Photo: David Charisins / dpa

It was a week of linguistic lapses. First Christian Lindner humiliated the general secretary Linda Teuteberg, who had been killed by him, at the FDP party congress with a sexist “joke”: he had started his day with Teuteberg 300 times, he said, took a break to catch laughter in the audience and then followed up : “I speak about our daily morning phone call about the political situation. Not what you think now. “

CDU man Friedrich Merz made a similar misstep when, when asked whether he could imagine a gay chancellor, he linked homosexuality with child abuse. Everything in 2020. Weren’t we already further?

The interesting thing is that both statements came across as surprisingly backward-looking, but at the same time so everyday and “heard a thousand times” – it was just everyday sexism and everyday homophobia par excellence. The fact that Lindner and Merz both felt misunderstood in retrospect is only an expression of their permanent self-infliction.

Nevertheless, it is too easy to dismiss Merz and Lindner as yesterday and to claim that the rest of society is already further. The degradation of others is a tried and tested means of maintaining power. It’s also like this: Friedrich Merz is running for the chairmanship of the CDU – and his polls are not too bad. And Lindner is still the FDP leader, even if his party is currently not soaring.

These men are not just from the present, they may also be men of the future. It is far from clear that these escapades necessarily lead to poor approval ratings. Considering the Trump principle, the opposite could also happen.

Progress is not necessarily linear; all social achievements can also be lost again

Lindner and Merz are both rhetorically trained and not new to politics. Both apparently assume that there is an audience that approves of such sayings. It is therefore not exaggerated to deal with these apparently only spoken words. The public can and should ask politicians not to discriminate against anyone with words.

“Anyone who wants Merz as their chancellor and Lindner as their deputy wants a rollback to the 1950s,” criticized SPD General Secretary Lars Klingbeil. But it is dangerous to locate the two men in a past that is long gone.

It was not 1950, but 2001, when Klaus Wowereit was the first top politician to openly address his homosexuality with his sentence “I am gay – and that’s a good thing!”. In 2005 Angela Merkel became the first woman to be elected to the Chancellery. Both moments were milestones in emancipation. But progress is not necessarily linear; all social achievements can also be lost again.

Narrowing the problem only to the two people Merz and Lindner or the CDU and the FDP obscures the view of the whole picture. The fact that today gay and lesbian politicians can act more naturally in political operations without having to cover up this part of their identity, and that women occupy ministerial posts does not mean that everyone lives non-discriminatory.

Despite legal achievements, sexism, homophobia and trans-hostility are still common – in all social milieus, in all parties. Anyone who claims otherwise is misunderstanding the reality of life for those affected.

There is also discrimination in left, progressive circles. Identifying Merz and Lindner as culprits can also serve to just make sure that you are on the right side. But perhaps this only reveals the discrepancy between modern social discourse and a society that is not as progressive as some would like it to be.

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Demonstration on family reunification from Eritrea: increase the pressure

Eritrean refugees wait years in Germany for their families to be allowed to come. That’s why they want to demonstrate on Saturday.

Demonstration for family reunification from Eritrea in June in Berlin Foto: Florian Boillot

BERLIN taz | For the second time within a few months, Eritrean refugees want to demonstrate on Saturday in Berlin’s government district for their right to family reunification. After the first demonstration in July with more than 1,000 participants, the Federal Foreign Office had neither answered the demonstrators’ letter nor changed its practice, says one of those affected, Mehari Tsegay of the taz. The motto of the demo at the time was “I miss my family”.

Tsegay has lived in Germany since 2014 and has been waiting for his wife and two children who are in Ethiopia ever since. He says, “We have to increase the pressure. The unrest in Ethiopia, where many families are waiting, has worsened in recent months. Our families are badly affected and had to leave their homes. “

According to the initiators, 1,200 refugees from Eritrea are currently waiting for their families to join them. The escape from the Horn of Africa to Europe via the Sahara, the civil war state of Libya and the Mediterranean Sea is so dangerous that often only men feel comfortable going. Meanwhile, the women and children wait in Ethiopia or Sudan, i.e. in politically and economically unstable countries. According to official statistics, a good 80 percent of the Eritrean refugees living in Germany are men. If they are granted asylum – the rule given the catastrophic situation in Eritrea – they have the right to family reunification.

In practice it looks different. According to official information from the federal government and international organizations, one first waits six to twelve months for registration with the UN refugee agency UNHCR in Eritrea’s neighboring countries and then another 12 months for an appointment at the German embassy in order to even be able to apply for family reunification. During this time, their husbands in Germany are responsible for the livelihood of the women and children, who often run into high debts. Because they are poorly trained and often only precariously employed here.

Eritrea takes a lot of money for official documents

“Then many more months pass before the applications are processed,” says the call for the demonstration. “Family reunification often fails because of the unreasonable and unfulfillable demands that the German embassies place on the evidence of family ties and the identity of relatives”.

This is due to the fact that in Eritrea births and weddings are usually not registered by the state but only by the church. Applicants can only submit church birth and marriage certificates. But the Foreign Office does not recognize this because the consular officers are not qualified to do so, as the federal government announced in its response to a parliamentary question from the left.

If you want to apply for a certificate for a marriage or a birth from abroad at a later date from the Eritrean state, you have to pay two percent of your income as a so-called “disaspor tax” for the time after leaving Eritrea. Without this tax there are no documents. Refugees call it unreasonable to also finance their persecuting state. They demand that the German Foreign Office should move and also recognize non-state documents. In addition, the refugees believe that applications for family reunification should be given priority.

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Holiday in Corona times: do consulates help despite travel warning?

IIn spring 2020, the largest repatriation campaign in the history of the Federal Republic took place: 240,000 Germans were brought back to Germany from abroad due to the Covid 19 pandemic. The federal government made it clear that there shouldn’t be a second time. In emergencies, however, travelers can of course still count on consular help.

But what exactly does this mean for individual travelers who, unlike package tourists, are not taken care of by an operator?

Stranded in Panama because of Corona

First of all, a real case: Ronja Kötzer was stuck in one of the last open hostels in Panama City for seven days in mid-March, five days of which in complete uncertainty. The 23-year-old student from Passau actually wanted to travel to Peru after her internship abroad.

But then came the news of the worried mother, the border closure, armed patrols and the curfew. In the end, it was clear to Kötzer: “I have to go back to Germany.”

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First, Kötzer signed the Federal Foreign Office’s crisis prevention list. Since the site was completely overloaded, it took four days for the registry to work. Meanwhile, the German searched intensively for return flights – most of them had either already been canceled or cost around 2,000 euros.

Then she heard about the return campaign. There should be two planes, the first for high-risk patients and doctors. Finally, on March 27, the embassy received the email: there would be a return flight to Frankfurt in two days.

Consular help even in the event of a travel warning

The example shows: Foreign missions such as embassies and consulates help if there are unrest or disasters in the country of residence. As with Ronja Kötzer, the representation can provide support when you leave the country. And: Germans can register for short-term stays via the Elefand crisis prevention list so that the embassy can contact them in an emergency.

Strand in Panama

If you unintentionally get stuck abroad, you can no longer necessarily enjoy dream beaches like here in Panama

Those: Getty Images / Andrea Comi

Foreign missions often also help travelers in other cases – for example when vacationers have been robbed and therefore have neither money nor passports. Then they issue replacement passports, for example. You can also put in contact with local lawyers, doctors and translators. Financial advance payments are only possible in exceptional cases. All of this applied before Corona and continues to apply.

The Foreign Office (AA) assures that the worldwide network of diplomatic missions is still available “to provide consular support to German citizens in emergencies and to find pragmatic solutions for a return to Germany if necessary”. This applies regardless of the existence of a travel warning.

Vacationers have no general right to help

However, it always applies that the consular help is help for self-help. So you have to try to help yourself or with the support of family and friends first.

A direct right of the individual to the granting of consular help is not regulated in the Consular Act, explains lawyer Vladimir Stamenkovic from Essen. Whether and how consular assistance is provided is at the discretion of the consular officer.

According to the Federal Foreign Office, the type of support depends on the circumstances and possibilities in the individual case. The spectrum ranges from general advice to specific practical support. Financial support is only available under strictly defined conditions.

In principle, the following applies: The German diplomatic missions can generally help, but it depends on the individual case.

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In order to protect against corona, the stewardess wears protective clothing on the plane

As a rule, however, individual travelers cannot count on support in rebooking their return trip. Here vacationers are left to fend for themselves, says Robert Bartel, legal advisor at the Brandenburg Consumer Center.

Although it is usually more expensive, a flexible ticket can be a solution. This means that you have the option of leaving earlier or later spontaneously, if the circumstances on site or an infection require it. In any case, many airlines are currently offering free rebooking options.

When the Federal Foreign Office warns of a trip

Travel warnings are an urgent appeal by the Federal Foreign Office to refrain from traveling – but not a travel ban. Vacationers decide on their own responsibility whether they should go on a trip or not. The diplomatic mission does not refuse to help just because there is a travel warning.

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For a holiday in Mallorca you just have to accept a little more hardship.  Here is a scene from Magaluf

Lawyer Stamenkovic emphasizes, however, that there is no entitlement to certain protective measures. The competent authority could even accept significant violations of the rights of a citizen abroad to protect the general public. “This can be justified in particular if a citizen ignores a travel warning and accepts the risk of Sars-Cov-2 infection.”

A travel warning can also have other legal effects: For example, the international travel health insurance usually does not pay. If there is an evacuation, as with Ronja Kötzer, a travel warning can, according to Stamenkovic, influence the amount of the return costs, which the German state interprets beforehand.

Insurance only helps with illness

The German diplomatic mission abroad cannot disregard laws and regulations in the country of travel. If a holidaymaker becomes infected with Corona on site or if there is even a suspicion, the country’s authorities decide which measures are to be taken, as reported by the Federal Foreign Office.

As in Germany, the authorities can order quarantine measures. These must also be followed by travelers. As a rule, it is not possible to return home during this period – and the federal government cannot bring back infected people.

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Corona test center at Cologne Bonn Airport.  Anyone who is noticed here first has to be quarantined

A travel health insurance abroad reimburses the costs of medical treatment abroad in the case of Corona and pays for the return transport to Germany – unless there is a clause in the contract that excludes pandemics. That’s it!

The insurance does not apply to travel restrictions and travel warnings. A travel interruption insurance does not cover costs if there are suddenly official restrictions on site. And travel insurers generally do not reimburse the costs of a repatriation to Germany organized by the state.

Ronja Kötzer is also still waiting for the bill for the return flight from Panama. “My originally planned return flight from Peru would have cost 280 euros,” says the student. She now reckons with significantly higher costs of several hundred euros. Communication was often difficult and there was great uncertainty, she said. “But in the end everything worked out.”

Federal Foreign Office prepares invoices for return campaign

Travelers who were brought back to Germany by the Foreign Office during the Corona crisis should soon receive their bills. According to the Consular Act, those affected should share in the costs of the charter flights, as the Foreign Office explained.

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AfD in Schleswig-Holstein: Right parliamentary group breaks up

The MP Frank Brodehl leaves his party in Schleswig-Holstein because national forces have increased. The party loses its parliamentary group status.

Leaving the AfD: the Schleswig-Holstein state parliament member Frank Brodehl Photo: Carsten Rehder / dpa

KIEL / BERLIN dpa / taz | The Schleswig-Holstein member of the state parliament, Frank Brodehl, leaves the AfD, which means that it loses its group status in the Kiel parliament. Brodehl announced the move surprisingly on Friday in a debate about the offers in all-day schools. This was his last speech as a member of the Afd and the parliamentary group, said Brodehl in a personal statement at the end of his contribution to the debate.

Compared to the world Brodehl justified his exit from the party and parliamentary group explicitly with the developments in the Schleswig-Holstein state association. “The völkisch-nationalistic forces have increased, while the bourgeois-conservative members are leaving the party,” said Brodehl. Because he considers the development in Schleswig-Holstein to be “irreversible”, he is now leaving the AfD.

With Brodehl’s move out, the AfD loses its parliamentary group status, for which four members are the minimum number. “This means that the parliamentary group has to dissolve,” said a state parliament spokeswoman on Friday. For the AfD MPs, this also means the loss of privileges associated with the parliamentary group status, such as additional resources for staff and a seat on the parliament’s council of elders.

With the loss of parliamentary group status in Schleswig-Holstein, the AfD’s loss of importance in the federal states continues. Only a few days ago, the AfD in Lower Saxony lost its parliamentary group status after three MPs had declared their exit from the parliamentary group. In Bremen there has been no AfD parliamentary group for a good year after the parliamentarians fell out and divided them into two groups.

Trial against Sayn-Wittgenstein

In Schleswig-Holstein, the AfD parliamentary group, which initially had five members after the 2017 state elections, excluded its MP Doris von Sayn-Wittgenstein in December 2018. She is said to have maintained connections to a right-wing extremist association that was co-founded by a Holocaust denier. This was also followed in December 2018 by the exclusion from the AfD, which the Federal Arbitration Court finally confirmed at the end of August 2019. In the first instance, the dismissal was rejected by the regional arbitration court in May 2019.

Sayn-Wittgenstein was elected AfD state chairwoman in 2017. Despite the current party expulsion process, she was re-elected to this office in June 2019. She lost it two months later when she was expelled. Sayn-Wittgenstein is still a member of the state parliament, but without any party or affiliation.

The remaining four-member AfD parliamentary group under its chairman Jörg Nobis was said to have a very tense relationship with the AfD state executive, in which Sayn-Wittgenstein is said to still have followers. The successor to Sayn-Wittgensteins as AfD country chief is still open today.

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North Sea: These five beaches are simply terrific

Eit doesn’t exist the North Sea. In this sea there are ebb and flow, sand and mud flats, wind and waves in very different forms. And coastal dwellers with many customs of their own. Every island, every shore here is different – and always something special. We present five of the most attractive places on the water.

Denmark: fishing trawler right on the beach

And that too, one involuntarily thinks – the fishing trawler ran aground, here in Jammer Bay on the northwest coast of Jutland in Denmark. The ship is lopsided and sways in the waves.

A sailor stands at the bow and throws a line. The surf tugs at the cutter. But it doesn’t have to be rescued, just pulled ashore.

Thorup Strand in northern Denmark: Here the cutters land directly on the sand and sell freshly caught fish to tourists

Quelle: Getty Images

Thorup Strand in Denmark is one of the last and largest landing sites for fish in Northern Europe, where the local fishermen and captains let themselves be pulled ashore with their cutters by a bulldozer, there is no pier or quay.

When the weather permits, the ten skippers of the local fisheries association extinguish their catch every day – mainly plaice, sole and cod. If you want, you can buy these fish right here from the ship.

EU fisheries ministers agree on new catch quotas

After a negotiating marathon, the EU fisheries ministers agree on new catches for the North Sea and the north-east Atlantic. Significantly less cod can be caught in 2020.

Source: WORLD / Sebastian Struwe

Of course, you can also eat freshly caught North Sea fish in the small town: In “Thorupstrand Fiskehus”, for example, fish sizzle in butter that recently swam in the sea.

And in the snack bars you can get fried fish dumplings on hand for the beach. This is the best way to sit down in the fine sand, listen to the surf, look at the blue cutters and have the taste of the sea on your tongue – more North Sea is not possible (Info: visitjammerbugten.de).

Netherlands: Show of the stars on the mudflats

In the alleys of Schiermonnikoog, a few lanterns provide some light. But the small village is quickly left behind – and you are, in the literal sense, completely in the dark.

Schiermonnikoog is the smallest inhabited island in the West Frisian Wadden Sea in the Netherlands. In 2006 it was named the “most beautiful place in the Netherlands” by the Nederlandse Christelijke Radio Vereniging.

Beaches on the North Sea

Source: WORLD infographic

Also because of the darkness – on the island, which is just four kilometers wide and 16 kilometers long, nothing disturbs the view of the night sky. The few lanterns in the village and two lighthouses – these are the only artificial light sources.

Only a handful of residents live in the postcard-beautiful island village. The feeling of being far away from the rest of the world is therefore particularly intense on Schiermonnikoog. There is always a place on the island where you can be all to yourself. Just nature and the sea. And the sky above, which is most beautiful at night.

It’s a 20-minute walk from the village to the beach, first through the heather, then through a pine forest – and the sea spreads out in front of you, dark and unfathomable. A ghostly atmosphere, also because long-eared owls and nightingales are calling and the surf is rumbling.

More can be seen from the sky than from the dark water, such as the constellation of the Big Dipper. There is orientation, the fivefold extension of the rear axis leads to the North Star. It is one of the brightest stars in the sky and is exactly north.

Netherlands: The island of Schiermonnikoog should definitely be explored at night

The Dutch island of Schiermonnikoog should definitely be explored at night

Quelle: Getty Images

A bright band stretches out up there: the Milky Way. The stars sparkle like diamonds on the velvety black. Depending on the season, Venus can also be seen; sometimes it is the evening star for months, sometimes it announces the approaching morning. Jupiter and Saturn are in the constellation Sagittarius. In spring the lion sneaks up as its constellation.

More and more stars can be seen – in the deep darkness you almost have the feeling of being drawn into space. And sometimes even a shooting star pulls its orbit through the loneliness of the universe and ensures an unforgettable goosebumps moment in the loneliness at night on the beach of Schiermonnikoog (vvvschiermonnikoog.de).

Helgoland: The home of the gray seals

The little ferry has hardly left Heligoland when it arrives at the dune opposite. The little sister island with its snow-white beach and the holiday village is a bathing paradise and at the same time the nursery for Germany’s largest predator – the gray seal.

531 young animals were born on dune in 2019. The population has grown significantly in recent years and Heligoland’s side island has become a hotspot for seal fans from home and abroad.

Researchers waited almost 20 years for these recordings of gray seals

British researcher Ben Burville spent almost twenty years trying to capture these gray seals on camera. Now he has finally managed to record the animals’ breeding behavior, which is quite surprising.

In summer several hundred animals hunt for fish in the waters around Heligoland, often taking a break on the beach of their native island. Nowhere on the North Sea can you see the seals better.

However, a safety distance of at least 30 meters must be maintained on dunes – the sluggish-looking animals can, if they feel threatened, come out of cover at up to 20 kilometers per hour. And they do it without hesitation!

Helgoland is one of the best places on the North Sea to spot gray seals

Helgoland is one of the best places on the North Sea to spot gray seals

Quelle: picture alliance / imageBROKER

Those who want to be on the safe side prefer to take part in a guided tour. A specially created panorama path offers views of the sea again and again – and with a bit of luck you will see hairy snouts emerge from the waves.

It is not always seals, it can also be seals. They don’t use Helgoland as a nursery, but they also love trips to the island to do the same thing as human visitors: enjoy sunbathing (helgoland.de).

St. Peter-Ording: sailing on sand

How was that with the braking? The sand yachts are fast and have foot pedals as a steering wheel, but no brake pedal. Several of these three-wheeled speedsters with sails whiz across the beach of St. Peter-Ording. A constant wind blows on the kilometer-long sand ridge and puffs up the sails.

“The beach here is particularly suitable,” says Sven Harder from the Nordsport beach sailing school. He offers courses for beginners on one of the largest beaches in the North Sea. “Beach sailors have a lot of space here, hard sand and mostly good wind.”

Wind strengths between 3 and 6 are ideal, adds Harder, as it is a wonderful way to escape the stress of everyday life. If you know how to slow down the beach runabouts, you would like to add.

The course starts with some theory, the rules of avoidance, flag signals, safety instructions and fitting the helmet. It is particularly important because the lower, horizontal rod on which the sail sits just above the head swings back and forth when driving.

And how do you even get going? “With a line that we call a sheet, you let the sail loose or pull it in,” says Harder. “The sheet serves as a kind of gas pedal. If you pull the sheet tighter, the sand yacht accelerates. If you loosen the sheet, you reduce the speed again and thus determine the pace. “

North Sea: You can learn sand sailing on the beach of St. Peter-Ording

As fast as the wind: you can learn sand sailing on the beach in St. Peter-Ording

Quelle: picture-alliance / dpa/dpaweb

And brake? “You let the sheet as loose as possible, but not let go! You steer against the wind and take the car away from it. “

Dealing with the sand yachts seems child’s play. Feel, think, do – and the box starts running. Soon the course participants were racing on the firm sand of St. Peter-Ording.

Even beginners get going quickly, and they can soon manage a speed of 50 and more. And apparently the beach yachtsmen have been paying close attention during training, because everyone manages to brake without an accident. Without a brake pedal (st-peter-ording.de).

England: castles overlooking the North Sea

You can literally hear the blades clapping and the screams of rough men echoing through the walls – in your mind, of course, because it is more than 1200 years since native Celts and invading Vikings crossed their blades here in what is now Northumberland.

The defiant castles, of which there are many in this part of the English and Scottish North Sea coast, fire the imagination of the visitors. They are silent witnesses to an eventful history – and a wonderful backdrop for a walk on the beach.

One of the most beautiful North Sea beaches in Great Britain is the one in front of Bamburgh Castle. The castle itself is now a place for cultural events, you can visit it, walk in the footsteps of sagas and legends.

England: Visitors can also spend the night in Bamburgh Castle on the North Sea coast

Visitors can also spend the night at Bamburgh Castle on England’s coast

Quelle: picture alliance / Loop Images

And you can live here: On a clear day, the view from the room in the Neville Tower extends across to Holy Island and out to the Farne Islands. With binoculars you can see seals and dolphins, sometimes even whales.

The late light sets the huge castle in a picturesque scene and lets the walls light up like brass, the clouds in the sky are the color of mallow, the surf shimmers silvery and light gray.

The beach is clean and beautiful, the lords of the castle and the nature conservation organization Natural England are in charge. Bamburgh Beach is sweeping, ideal for long walks; however, the water is too cold for bathing.

Surfers in their wetsuits have it better, they appreciate the wind-blown coast, where steadily passable waves roll. Those who love lonely walks will get their money’s worth here, and everywhere you can enjoy an unobstructed view of the sea and the beach, the drama of the landscape and the sky.

But you can also just sit in the slipstream of the dunes and watch birds for hours. Or you can practice as a lord of the castle – and build a sand castle in the form of Bamburgh Castle (visitnorthumberland.com).

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The author at the age of eight in 1968 on a roof terrace in Wenningstedt

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The North Frisian Wadden Sea: in front right Blauortsand, far right Blauort

Vacationers come back to a new normal

Much is no longer the same as it was before the Corona crisis. And it will probably stay that way for a while. Holiday destinations on the Baltic Sea prepare for visitors with strict rules.

Source: WELT / Marcus Tychsen

This article was first published in May 2020.

The text comes from WELT AM SONNTAG. We are happy to deliver them to your home on a regular basis.

Packshot_WamS_halbeSeite_17.05

Source: WELT AM SONNTAG

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400 minor migrants supported in ten European countries

Ten European Union (EU) countries will welcome 400 unaccompanied minor migrants evacuated from the Greek island of Lesvos after the gigantic fire in the Moria refugee camp, the German Minister of the Interior announced on Friday (September 11th) , Horst Seehofer, specifying that Germany and France would each take care of 100 to 150 of these children.

These 400 unaccompanied minors have already been transferred to mainland Greece after the fire that devastated the unsanitary and overcrowded camp, and left the more than 12,000 people who lived there in the greatest poverty.

On the island of Lesbos, survive in the camps

“We are in discussion with other countries” of the EU that can accommodate these children, said Horst Seehofer during a press conference with the European Commissioner for Migration, Margaritis Schinas, who was participating by video from Athens. The Netherlands had offered Thursday, September 10 to take care of a hundred migrants, half of them minors.

The European Union is tearing itself apart

« [L’incendie du camp de] Moria is a stern reminder to all members of what we need to change in Europe ”, judged Margiritis Schinas, who was then to meet with the Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis. “We need solidarity in migration policy” of the EU, he added.

→ READ. In Greece, refugees under very high pressure

The Moria tragedy has reignited the debate on the reception of asylum seekers in Europe, over which the EU countries are tearing themselves apart. The European Commission is due to present at the end of the month a long-awaited, and several times rejected, proposal for a new pact on migration and asylum.

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