Welcome to the Clubhouse – Panorama

“All over the world people are keen to be admitted to the hottest clubs,” is the advertising text of the Swiss agency. “But that is permanently denied to many. Private Member Clubs choose their audience and only those who come into possession of one of the rare club cards will be let through the door. “A terrible state of affairs for all those who thirst for social advancement, but for whom the steps to success remain closed The agency promises a remedy here: “If you are looking for a solution to effectively enhance your own reputation with exclusive VIP club memberships, we will arrange top-class club memberships for you – either in appearance or in reality,” says the advertising text.

Associations, clubs, boxes, circles – people who are trimmed for success repeatedly fail because of their non-affiliations. In the past it was fraternities or “the little wreath” from which he could have benefited, today it is the digital communities whose access is often denied him. For days, people have been waiting impatiently for an invitation from the new, supposedly very exclusive “Clubhouse” social media app. But she just doesn’t come. Perhaps you haven’t been part of it for a long time?

Not that all of this is a new experience. Even on Instagram and Facebook you were often locked out of a lot of interesting things because you weren’t allowed to be a “friend”. In the Middle Ages, the sender put his request in one of these baskets hanging down from the balconies and protected the paper from the wind with a heavy stone. All in the hope that the addressee on the upper floor will read the message at some point. And answer. Otherwise the waiting person only got “a basket”. Today it is blocked digitally. It’s simpler, but it hurts just as much.

Useless knowledge: What is the sociological term for networking?

One would love to belong to this or that nice or even promising rope team, also called “dictyonomy” (from the Greek “dictyo”, “network”) by the sociologist Nicholas A. Christakis and the political scientist James H. Fowler. And of course you strive upwards, like the young Karl in Hans Fallada’s novel. Karl: “I can’t eat – at least not until my future has been decided!” The housekeeper: “There won’t be much to decide! You will have to become a seller, with your uncle Ernst!”

It’s just stupid that as “Karl 2021” you lack tough cliques. You neither belong to the paladins of the economy, nor do you meet any autocrat in the golf club. And clubhouse still doesn’t answer! The Swiss agency is reassuring: even earlier it was “only a very small and elitist group who were allowed to enter clubs in which artists, intellectuals, diplomats and high-ranking businessmen were allowed”. And please note: “Beauty, wealth and social prestige alone are by no means sufficient to enjoy VIP club membership. Then as now, recommendations and vitamin B are considered the best door openers.” Please contact us if you are interested.

If only it weren’t for these access restrictions. They add to the stress. With an artificial shortage (no more than 144,000 heavenly places) the Jehovah’s Witnesses were already successful. But happiness also comes as a limited edition in trendy shared apartments like the Soho House. The countdown is running. According to the Institute for Labor Market Research, a quarter of the jobs in Germany are only awarded on the basis of personal recommendations. Groucho Marx, who didn’t want to belong to a club that accepts him as a member, doesn’t help you either.

April 14 2018 Palm Springs California U S Playboy pool party VIP special guests at the Playb

Oh, to be a “Special Guest” once in a lifetime, that’s it! Here is the exclusive Playboy Pool Party at the Coachella Festival 2018.

(Foto: Dane Andrew/Imago/Zuma Press)

Another Marx, namely Karl, was indignant about the “coterie”, as the friends’ economy was called during his lifetime. The rise of a lord to power, he wrote in 1859, had given “a coterie of the ruling class” the signal to “rush in and fill the posts that had just become vacant after the other coterie had been forcibly evicted”. Today it sounds like this: “Due to our close cooperation with a global partner network, it is possible for us to give you an impressive VIP membership or to arrange top-class VIP club memberships for you.” This is what it says in the agency’s advertising text. “Use the card to get into conversation with celebrities, artists and high society.” Will you finally get your clubhouse password here?

Maybe you should just keep it like Thomas Mann. The winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature once said that he had never “belonged to a school or coterie that was just on top”. And, of course, “that is why I was never supported by a school, I was rarely praised by writers.” But he still made it to the top, as people like to call it.


Violent explosion shakes Madrid – Panorama

It was an explosion at a critical point in the Spanish capital: on Wednesday afternoon around 3 p.m., an explosion largely destroyed a multi-storey building in Madrid. The incident occurred near the Puerta de Toledo, a square in the center of the metropolis, the bang could be heard for miles. The affected building, a residential and office building for Catholic priests, was almost completely destroyed, leaving only a skeleton of the facade.

At least three people were killed. The bodies of an 85-year-old woman and two initially unidentified men were recovered, as reported by several Spanish media citing spokesmen for the Ministry of the Interior and the fire department. A retirement home and a school are located right next to the destroyed building. The school yard was littered with rubble.

José Luis Martínez-Almeida, Mayor of Madrid, described it as a “real miracle” that apparently no students were harmed by the incident. After a weather-related break after the winter storm Filomena classes started again this Wednesday in Madrid’s schools. According to the mayor, several injured were brought to various hospitals in Madrid, among them at least one was seriously injured.

The cause was a gas leak, said the Interior Ministry

The cause of the accident was probably a gas leak, said the interior ministry spokesman. At the time, maintenance work was carried out on the boiler in the accident building. The man who carried out this work is still missing. Eyewitnesses reported two explosions in quick succession on television. “Debris flew through the air,” said a neighbor on TV.

Fire brigade and police arrived with numerous emergency vehicles, a helicopter and police drones circled over the explosion site. The security forces feared that the building could collapse. Flames broke out of the facade in the early evening. The residents of the retirement home and other neighboring buildings were brought to safety by the emergency services.


Finland: More violence in the lockdown panorama

In Finland, the number of homicides rose sharply in the past year – and the authorities suspect the corona pandemic and the associated lockdowns to be an important reason behind the increase. Public broadcaster YLE released figures from the national police this week that there were a total of 489 attempted and successful homicides in Finland in 2020, compared to just 397 the year before. 33 people were murdered in 2020, and 57 others were killed.

The numbers are almost a quarter higher than in 2019 – they had declined in previous years. According to the trend of the last year, “20 to 30 percent fewer homicides” should be expected, said the criminologist Miikka Vuorela from the University of Eastern Finland to the broadcaster YLE. There was a particularly sharp increase in the spring and early summer of last year when the Finnish government declared a state of emergency in March due to the corona pandemic, which lasted for three months.

Finland reacted particularly early and severely to the pandemic and is still rewarded with low Covid-19 infection and death rates to this day. At the same time, the lockdown appears to have at least in some places contributed to conditions that favor acts of violence. “In the spring, society was shut down, people were released and laid off. This led to financial insecurity and stress,” says Miikka Vuorela, who is researching possible links between pandemic and crime. The bottom line, he says, is that the state of emergency has therefore been reflected in an increase in violence.

Similar trends have also been observed in other countries with different corona strategies, for example various cities and regions in the USA are reporting a sharp increase in violent crimes and murders. In Finland, however, the national police are now providing figures and assessments of the phenomenon for the first time.

Alcohol consumption has moved more into your own four walls

Last year, the authorities in Helsinki identified an increase in drug abuse, relationship conflicts and mental illness as major factors in the rise in violence. “Alcohol consumption has increasingly shifted into your own four walls,” police inspector Pekka Heikkinen from YLE is quoted as saying. That also exacerbated the situation: “When it comes to a row, there is nobody to intervene.”

In general, according to the Finnish police, drug abuse has increased over the past year. The Ministry of Health found record levels of amphetamines in a study of drug residues in Helsinki wastewater in 2020. And for the first time in history, Finnish police officers pulled more drivers off the road for substance abuse than for alcohol use last spring. The authorities are concerned that the perpetrators of violent crimes are getting younger and younger. Ostuusimaa police identified minors as suspects in at least a dozen of the crimes.

There is also good news: in late autumn and at the beginning of winter, the number of cases fell again.


Beloved hat for 1000 euros – Panorama

On Wednesday last week, the parents apparently saw no other option. “Our son is selling his beloved hat with the original autographs of various soccer players”, they wrote on the eBay classifieds sales platform and added the picture of a black and white striped hat.

The ten-year-old had “unconsciously spent more than 1000 euros” on in-app purchases of a mobile game, it said. “Now he wants and has to pay it back somehow.” There are original signatures from Jogi Löw, Philipp Lahm, Oliver Bierhoff and many others on it. The price only says: “Basis for negotiation.”

Now it happens again and again on such online platforms that people with sentimental stories try to pull the money out of the pockets of good-natured people. But in this case it is different. The ad appears three days later on the Instagram account @ bestofkleinangebote1, which keeps sharing strange offers. Behind the site is a 28-year-old from Hamburg who is on the Internet under the artist name Marcel Rolf. He doesn’t want to read his real name in the newspaper, after all, he also has a “real job”.

Rolf wanted to help. “Everyone messes up as a child,” he says on the phone. “As a ten-year-old you just don’t know how much you have to work for 1000 euros.” He wrote to the family, who initially did not take him seriously. “At first they thought I was kidding.” Because he had shared the ad, the family also received a lot of negative letters: insults, envy, parenting tips. “The Internet is exhausting,” says Rolf, who is followed by half a million subscribers on Instagram. “Everyone knows everything better.”

After 15 minutes, the 1000 euros were collected

In this respect, he saw himself complicit in the unexpected flood of news. He launched an online appeal for donations. 15 minutes later the 1000 euros were there. 178 people had donated, most of them five euros. Marcel Rolf sent the family the money. “It was only when the 1000 euros were there via PayPal that they apparently believed that it was real,” he says.

The family wants to remain anonymous and not give interviews, there should not be more unsolicited parenting tips. But on Saturday you could find out what mother and son think about the action. Marcel Rolf called her again and streamed the conversation live on the Internet, how to do it as a successful content creator. “How many hear me now?” Asks the mother uncertainly at the beginning. “Just a few people,” says Marcel Rolf, around 600. Of course, the campaign is also an advertisement for his channel.

The mother says: At the end of November, she received her credit card statement that she hardly ever used. More than 1200 euros instead of the usual 200 to 400. “Oh God, maybe someone hacked our credit cards,” she thought. Her husband had the card blocked. She found out that the money went to iTunes because of numerous in-app purchases. The ten-year-old son, who had received a smartphone for the new school year, had played a game with “small, cute characters that are fighting, but not such a bad game”. She actually deactivated the fact that you can buy “diamonds and things like that” in the game, but the son changed that again. This was followed by calls to the bank, the game operator and the lawyer. He advised: The company is based abroad, a lawsuit is time-consuming and expensive, they should leave it.

Two happy endings – one is still pending

The son wanted to help. “He just noticed that it cost us a lot of time, stress and nerves,” says the mother. He suggested he could sell his old things online. But with books and CDs only 15 euros came together. “And then he said: my hat may be worth more.” When Rolf asks the boy on the phone whether he has learned from it, a very rueful “Yeah” can be heard. And: “Um, thank you very much for getting in touch.” The mother announced that she would send the hat to Rolf and donate half of the money to a children’s hospice.

If she is reading this article out loud to her son, she should stop now (although the boy can be trusted to find him on the net himself). Because there is another agreement that the little one probably doesn’t know about: At the beginning of March, for his eleventh birthday, Marcel Rolf wants to send him the hat back. “I’m going to assume that the boy has learned his lesson,” says Rolf.


Indonesia: 81 dead in earthquake – panorama

After the severe earthquake in Indonesia last Friday, the number of deaths has risen to 81, according to civil protection reports. In the middle of the night, the 6.2 magnitude earthquake on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi woke people up and brought death and devastation. More than 740 people were injured and almost 28,000 people are in emergency shelters. Videos and photos showed weeping people and emergency services in desperate search for survivors.

The disaster area is in the West Sulawesi region. The center of the quake, which shook the region at 1:28 a.m. local time, was at Majene at a depth of ten kilometers. The search parties were also in action with excavators and cranes. Most of them worked their way through the meter-high rubble without equipment to look for signs of life in the ruins of the houses.

Among other things, two hospitals, a hotel and part of the local administration building in the provincial capital Mamuju collapsed, the authorities said. The civil defense reported that several landslides had been reported in the region, which buried several streets. Thousands of people had to flee their homes. The power supply also collapsed. A 5.9 magnitude quake had already struck the area on Thursday.

A video published by Civil Protection showed a little girl crying out in pain under the rubble of a house. “There are four people there, but we can’t do anything because we don’t have heavy equipment,” said a male voice in the video. In another video, a crying woman pointed to the rubble of her house and said, “My child is in there”.

Tsunami warning issued

Experts warned the population of a possible tsunami if there were stronger aftershocks. Then landslides on the ocean floor are possible, which could trigger a large wave, the media quoted the agency for meteorology and geophysics as saying. If people near the coast experienced further tremors, they should get to safety immediately without waiting for a tsunami warning. However, people were advised not to flee to the mountains because of the possible loss of earth. The agency recalled the devastating 7.5 magnitude quake on Sulawesi in 2018, when it took only three minutes after the earthquake for a meter-high tidal wave to devastate the city of Palu and the surrounding communities. More than 4,000 people fell victim to the two natural disasters.

The Indonesian President Joko Widodo promised the people quick help. “I ordered immediate emergency procedures to save people and treat the injured,” he said. According to the National Search and Rescue Agency, a Hercules C-130 transport aircraft with search equipment and emergency services was on its way to the disaster area. Sulawesi lies between Borneo and New Guinea. Indonesia lies on the Pacific Ring of Fire. In the southern part of the archipelago, the Indo-Australian plate pushes under the Eurasian plate, causing frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions in the region.


Drastic increase in the numbers in the countries of origin of the mutations

The Chancellery is pushing for a harder lockdown – out of concern about the corona mutations. How the situation has developed since then in the countries from which two new virus variants originate, t-online shows in the video.

Despite four weeks of hard lockdown, the number of infections in Germany is hardly falling. Politicians are now considering longer and even more stringent measures. The background for the considerations should be the spread of the highly contagious Corona variant B.1.1.7, which has already been proven in Germany. The coronavirus mutation that has emerged in Great Britain is spreading much faster than the original form, and scientists are very worried, according to the Chancellery. The virus mutation is very aggressive and its spread must be slowed down. Act now. The modified coronavirus 501.V2 (or variant B.1.351), which was detected for the first time in South Africa, also plays a role in the considerations.

t-online took a look at the corona situation in the countries from which the new virus variants originate.

How the corona numbers in South Africa and Great Britain have developed since the appearance of the new virus variants and how explosive the corona situation is in Swedenwhich went a separate way until recently, can be seen in the video above or here.


Racial Profiling: Berlin Police and their Dealing with Sinti and Roma – Panorama

The grandchildren’s trick is a form of fraud in which perpetrators pretend to be relatives, sometimes as craftsmen, in order to get into apartments or to sneak money. Older people are the victims of such trick thefts. The police have done a lot in recent years to clear up this type of crime and to catch the masterminds. However, the Berlin police overshot the target. She not only pursued the thefts, but also repeatedly linked the deeds in internal processes with an ethnic minority: the Sinti and Roma.

According to SZ information, the Berlin police noted terms such as “Roma”, “Sinti” or “Gypsy” in 31 cases in 2017 alone. The information was found in criminal charges, search reports, interim reports or final reports to the public prosecutor’s office; it was often just quotations from the interrogation of witnesses. Again and again, however, such terms were used without cause in connection with trick theft. And the latter is illegal according to the Berlin state data protection officer Maja Smoltczyk.

Because the police may only exploit a person’s ethnicity under very specific conditions. For example, if it is necessary for the manhunt or if a xenophobic or racist motive comes into question. Otherwise belonging to an ethnic group or a “nationality” has lost nothing in the files, according to the office of the Berlin state data protection officer. She has now formally objected to it – this is the toughest measure she has available.

Once there was a “Gypsy report” at the Berlin police

That sounds like a sideline in the vast area of ​​data protection laws, but the problem goes much deeper. For the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma, such incidents are evidence of an “anti-gypsy view”, which means that Sinti and Roma are generally associated with crime based solely on their origins. Romani Rose, the chairman of the Central Council, says he is particularly concerned that the police authorities may systematically collect data from Sinti and Roma.

A practice that reminds him of a tragic chapter from the past. For centuries, Sinti and Roma were recorded by the police in so-called “Gypsy intelligence services”, there were “Gypsy experts” who created files and profiles of Sinti and Roma, and anyone who found themselves in such a compilation was stigmatized for life. The National Socialists made use of such knowledge to persecute and murder Sinti and Roma. The Berlin police have a particularly inglorious history. A senior criminal secretary named Leo Karsten was the head of a “Gypsy unit” for many years and in 1942 saw to it that the Sinti living in Berlin were arrested and deported to Auschwitz.

To date, there has been no scientific study of how and whether German police authorities collect data from Sinti and Roma. The lawyer Lea Beckmann from the Society for Freedom Rights (GFF), who campaigns for fundamental rights and started the case with a complaint, believes, however, that Sinti and Roma are still categorized in the databases of the investigating authorities in some way. For example through notes such as “mobile ethnic minority”, “traveling perpetrators”, “Southeast Europeans” or “HWAO”, an abbreviation for “frequently changing whereabouts”.

The police are now asked to check independently

The 2017 Berlin crime statistics finally made the headlines: There it was said that thefts in apartments were “predominantly” committed by “members of the Sinti and Roma ethnic group”. It was this information that led the state data protection officer to rummage through the police records on a random basis. The police are now called upon to independently check their files “for illegal data processing in connection with the Sinti and Roma ethnic group and to clean up the data,” said a spokeswoman for the state data protection officer.

From the office of the responsible Berlin Senator for the Interior, Andreas Geisel (SPD), it is said that they share the view that it is only compatible with data protection in exceptional cases to state the ethnic affiliation of suspects. The Berlin data protection officer was therefore given the requested information and wanted to ensure that there was no “denigration of an ethnic group”.


Museum for Grönemeyer – Panorama

Cadenberge is not exactly deep in the west, rather high in the north. Nevertheless, the place near Cuxhaven is well on the way to establishing itself as the new Herbert-Grönemeyer-Mecca. This is thanks to the master watchmaker and fan Wolfgang Hess. After a year of waiting, the 59-year-old has just received the building permit to build a fan museum for the Bochum singer. The fact that this museum is not located in Grönemeyer’s Ruhrpott, but is intended to attract visitors to the Lower Saxony Elbmarsch region, is due to the fact that Hess is mayor of Cadenberge and has amassed more than 1000 Grönemeyer records and CDs, concert posters and fan articles there.

The waiting time resulted from an examination of the exact use of the construction site. But, according to Hess, “if you’ve been with us for 42 years, that one year doesn’t change anything”. As a 17-year-old, he saw the then unknown singer for the first time at a young talent competition of the NRD in Kiel. Since 1979 Hess has been collecting everything that has to do with his idol. That’s pretty broad; He even bought an Opel Kadett because Grönemeyer sang about this model.

Now only 700,000 euros are missing to erect the building. No problem for Hess: He is hoping for 7,000 Grönemeyer fans who will each give him 100 euros as an interest-free loan. When the museum opens its doors in November as planned, it will prove once again that nobody dreams as big as a real fan. Or as Grönemeyer sings in “Der Held”: “This is how dreams come true.” In Bochum you would just say: Glückauf!

Read more good news here.