A brief overview of the most important messages:
- Sebastian Kurz’s ÖVP has to pay a heavy penalty (3.45 p.m.)
- Russian government resigns (2:44 p.m.)
- BGH overturns arrest warrant against alleged accomplices in Lübcke murder (3 p.m.)
- Kramp-Karrenbauer visits troops in Jordan and talks in Iraq (1.45 p.m.)
- Report: Ukrainian plane hit by two Iranian missiles (8:18 a.m.)
Today’s news in star-Ticker:
+++ 18.18 clock: contract for red-red-green Thuringian minority government ready +++
Linke, SPD and Greens in Thuringia have agreed on a contract for a minority government. This was announced by the party leaders in Erfurt. The government program includes joint projects such as a third non-contributory year, but is not as detailed as a coalition agreement.
+++ 18.09 PM: Trump praises trade agreements with China as “historic” +++
Immediately before the first trade agreement with China was signed, US President Donald Trump described the conclusion of the contract as “historic”. Such an agreement had never been achieved before, Trump said. The deal will make the two largest economies’ trade relationship fairer and more intense, Trump said before the White House signed the deal. China’s chief negotiator and Vice Premier Liu He also attended the ceremony. The US government sees the contract as the first of several phases of a comprehensive trade agreement.
+++ 17.41 PM: New investigation after the killing of Italian doctoral students in Egypt +++
Four years after the Italian doctoral student Giulio Regeni was killed in Egypt, the North African country has announced new investigations into the case. For this, Egyptian investigators met with representatives of Italian authorities on Tuesday and Wednesday, said Egyptian prosecutor Hamada al-Sawi.
The case at the time had led to diplomatic upsets between Cairo and Rome. A new team of investigators is currently reviewing the case file and “is taking all possible steps to reveal the truth completely neutrally and independently,” Al-Sawi said.
+++ 17.40 clock: Venezuela: opposition raises charges against security forces +++
In the struggle for the presidency of the Venezuelan National Assembly, the opposition has accused the government-loyal security forces of denying them access to the parliament building. “The government is militarily sealing off the parliament (in the capital, Caracas) using its repressive organs and paramilitary groups,” wrote self-appointed interim president Juan Guaidó on Twitter on Wednesday. One MP reported that her car was shot at on the way to the National Assembly.
Already on January 5, pro-government parliamentarians and security forces blocked opposition MPs from accessing the National Assembly to prevent Guaidó from being re-elected president of the parliament. He was then re-elected elsewhere while government supporters elected their own candidate to head the parliament.
+++ 17.21 PM: Vladimir Putin wants to appoint the head of the tax authority as Prime Minister +++
President Vladimir Putin held a working meeting with Mikhail Mishustin and invited him to assume the post of prime minister. With his approval, he submitted Mishustin’s candidacy for examination by the State Duma, ”reports Interfax, citing the Kremlin’s press service.
Mikhail Mishustin is currently the head of the Russian tax authority.
+++ 16.51 PM: EU sends 20,000 young people on trips +++
This summer, 20,000 young Europeans can travel through Europe at EU cost. They were selected from a total of 75,000 applicants for the DiscoverEU program, the EU Commission said. From Germany alone, more than 10,000 young people applied, of whom 3,386 received the grant. They form the largest group among the participants.
With the program, the EU wants to promote language skills, an understanding of other cultures and the self-confidence of young Europeans. In principle, they should travel by train, but journeys by bus and ferry or – exceptionally – flights are also allowed. The EU bears the pure travel costs, but no further costs for accommodation or food.
+++ 16:26: Iran: Khamenei leads Friday prayers +++ for the first time since 2012
Iran’s spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Chamenei wants to lead Friday prayers in Tehran for the first time in almost eight years. The state-run news agency Irna reported. The announcement came amid massive tensions with the United States and protests by the Iranian people against their leadership.
Khamenei is officially the Imam of Tehran, but usually other clergy take charge of Friday prayers. Most recently, on February 3, 2012, the spiritual leader conducted Friday prayers on the occasion of the 33rd anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.
+++ 15.56 PM: Egypt arrests employees of a news agency +++
The Egyptian police searched the offices of the Turkish state news agency Anadolu in Cairo and arrested four employees. The German press agency learned from security circles that it was a Turkish citizen and three Egyptians. The detainees were taken to an unknown location, Anadolu reported.
The employees were questioned about the allegation that they had spread false news, security circles said. In addition, they do not have a valid work permit. According to the news site Mada Masr, two journalists were among the four arrested. Turkey strongly condemned the search, according to Anadolu, and called for the release of the workers.
+++ 15.48 PM: Hungary sets compensation for prisoners from +++
Hungary no longer wants to pay compensation to prisoners due to the poor conditions in the country’s prisons. “The Hungarian state has stopped paying compensation awarded to criminals who are in prison,” Bence Tuzson, secretary of state in the cabinet of prime ministers, told Hir TV. Such compensation is set by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) or by Hungarian courts.
In total, there are 12,000 proceedings, said the State Secretary. “It is well known that you can win processes like these on the fly,” he said. Lawyers and civil organizations have “founded a business model”. The government wants to put an end to this and initiate a discussion with the Council of Europe and the European Parliament about whether convicted criminals should be compensated for bad prison conditions only.
+++ 3.45 p.m .: Austria: ÖVP must pay a penalty for campaign costs that are too high +++
Because the ÖVP of Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz spent far more money on the election campaign than allowed in 2017, the party now has to pay a heavy penalty. The conservative party was obliged to pay a fine of 800,000 euros for exceeding the campaign cost limit, said the Independent Party Transparency Senate in Vienna.
The ÖVP had spent almost 13 million euros on the 2017 election victory. Only seven million euros are permitted in the Alpine Republic in the last 82 days before an urn.
+++ 3.30 p.m .: Russia: resigned ministers should continue official business +++
Putin has asked ministers who have resigned to continue in office until a new government is appointed. He wanted to express his thanks and “his satisfaction with the results achieved (…), if not everything was successful,” said Putin.
+++ 15.26 PM: Sicily: Almost a hundred arrests for anti-mafia use +++
In a large-scale blow to the mafia, the Italian police arrested almost a hundred suspects in Sicily. They are accused of having obtained a total of around ten million euros in EU agricultural subsidies since 2013, as the Messina public prosecutor said.
According to the investigators, a total of 94 suspects were arrested in dawn raids, including the bosses of two mafia clans, a notary, several entrepreneurs and administrative employees who were supposed to support farmers in applying for EU funding. 48 suspects were arrested and the rest were placed under house arrest, including the mayor of Tortorici. 151 agricultural companies with mafia connections were confiscated.
+++ 15:20: Russia: Putin thanks government resigned +++
Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin thanked the resigned government for its work. But not everything could succeed, he said after a four-eye conversation.
The government was under great pressure due to the country’s economic crisis. Putin had only recently promised more help for low-income families. The next parliamentary election was scheduled for autumn 2021.
+++ 15.13 PM: researchers warn of further right-wing attacks in Germany +++
After the murder of Kassel government president Walter Lübcke (CDU) and the anti-Semitic attack in Halle, experts fear further right-wing extremist attacks in Germany. In a new volume of the Institute for Democracy and Civil Society (IDZ) Jena presented in Berlin, researchers come to the conclusion that right-wing extremism in Germany increasingly shows itself as “swarm terrorism”.
The experts wrote that more and more people without prior ties to extreme right-wing groups would take part in serious, more or less spontaneous, right-wing terrorist acts and plans in the shortest possible time. Matthias Quent, director of IDZ, said that “an openly accessible digital hate culture has been established on the Internet, which has created new paths for radicalization and recruitment”. At the same time, the danger of legal terrorism had been underestimated by the state for too long. The trivialization of right-wing extremism has damaged trust in the rule of law.
+++ 15.09 PM: Palestinians fire rockets from Gaza to Israel +++
Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip have fired four rounds into Israel, Israeli said. Two of the projectiles were intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system, the army said in the afternoon. According to the Israeli emergency services, there were initially no reports of injuries.
In the Gaza Strip, none of the Palestinian organizations initially assumed responsibility for the shelling. Most recently, the situation between Israel and Islamist Hamas in the Gaza Strip and the extremist organization Islamic Jihad remained rather calm.
+++ 3 p.m .: Lübcke murder: suspected accomplice is released +++
The Federal Court of Justice has lifted the arrest warrant against one of the suspects in the murder of the Kassel government president Walter Lübcke. This was announced by the 3rd criminal senate in Karlsruhe. Elmar J. is suspected of selling the murder weapon to suspect Stephan E.
+++ 14.44 PM: Russian government resigns +++
The Russian government is resigning under Article 117 of the Constitution, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said, according to the Interfax news agency. Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed the old staff to carry out their duties until a new government was appointed. The decision was made against the backdrop of the President’s announced proposals to amend the constitution, said Medvedev. “We as the government of the Russian Federation should give the president of our country the opportunity to make all the necessary decisions,” he said.
Medvedev will be appointed deputy head of the Security Council by Putin, Interfax reports. There he should be responsible for the area of defense and security.
+++ 14.41 PM: despite ceasefire attacks on Syrian rebel territory – nine dead +++
Despite a ceasefire, at least nine civilians were killed in a government airstrike in Syria’s last large rebel area, Idlib, according to activists. At least 20 people were injured, the Syrian Human Rights Observatory reported on Wednesday. Accordingly, an industrial area and a market were hit in the city of Idlib.
Planes by the government and its ally Russia have bombed dozens of other places in the region, human rights activists and other activists said. Russia announced a new ceasefire for the area last Thursday, which had been agreed with Turkey. Ankara supports the rebels in the Syrian civil war.
+++ 14.28 PM: Söder is also ready to exchange CSU Federal Minister +++
CSU leader Markus Söder has confirmed his firm will to fill ministerial posts in Berlin and has not ruled out a change of CSU ministers in the federal government. The party must show in some places beyond the content “that our claim will go beyond 2021,” said the Prime Minister of Bavaria on Wednesday at the CSU parliamentary group’s retreat in the Upper Bavarian Seeon monastery.
For an election to be successful, it is crucial to generate more momentum, said Söder and emphasized: “I will make my contribution as the CSU leader alongside the reorganization of the content.” This includes the need for additional personnel. “The survey values of individual people are always a yardstick for us,” said Söder.
According to a survey published in early January, the majority of Bavarians are dissatisfied with the work of the three CSU ministers in the federal government. Satisfaction is lowest with Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer, who is also responsible for the toll debacle in a committee of inquiry.
+++ 14.18 PM: Protest in Syria’s government area against bad economic situation +++
In protest against the poor economic situation, several people have taken to the streets in a government area in southern Syria. Photos and a video of the Suwayda 24 news site showed young men on Wednesday who were singing and blocking signs on a street in the center of the city of Shahba. The state news agency Sana also reported a protest in the nearby provincial capital Al-Suwaida. Accordingly, the demonstrators, among other things, chanted the chorus “We want to live”.
In areas under the control of Bashar al-Assad, protests practically never occur. Demonstrations against the government triggered the civil war in 2011. The government security forces used force against the demonstrators.
The civil war, international sanctions and the economic crisis in neighboring Lebanon are weighing heavily on Syria. The Syrian pound was last at an all-time low. The US dollar cost more than £ 1,000 for the first time. Before the Civil War it was around £ 50. Traders complain of empty deals. Damascus had already rationed gasoline last year due to a lack of fuel. The situation is exacerbated by the crisis in Iran, which has close contacts with Syria.
+++ 14.07 clock: Minister of Labor Heil: “Do not insert the time clock everywhere” +++
The planned new rules for the stricter recording of working hours in Germany should also allow for a flexible division of work. The time clock should not be introduced everywhere, said Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) on Wednesday during the government survey in the Bundestag in Berlin. However, it was clear that German law had to be changed following a judgment of the European Court of Justice (ECJ). Checkable working hours are a civil right of the people.
The CJEU asked for working hours to be recorded last May. According to an expert opinion commissioned by the Ministry of Labor, it is also possible to record on paper, for example, in electronic form, by means of computer programs or using electronic access cards.
+++ 13.53 PM: Norway’s King Harald released from hospital +++
King of Norway Harald V returns to the palace after a week in the hospital. The 82-year-old monarch was released from the Imperial Hospital in Oslo, the royal family said. However, he was still on sick leave. Harald was taken to the hospital on Wednesday last week with dizziness, but he was not diagnosed with any serious illness.
However, the hospital stay was longer than expected: it was originally planned that he could leave the clinic before the weekend. Crown Prince Haakon, 46, took over the business as long as his father was on sick leave.
+++ 13.52 PM: SPD is pushing for a new right to vote before Easter +++
The SPD is pushing for a reform of the Bundestag suffrage until mid-April. “We need a law by Easter,” said Bundestag Vice President Thomas Oppermann in the ZDF “Morgenmagazin”. He was “confident that this would still happen”. The SPD wanted to prevent the Bundestag from becoming even bigger. If the opposition succeeds in making a constructive proposal, the federal government will do it.
SPD parliamentary manager Carsten Schneider also made it clear that the SPD is seeking an agreement within the government coalition. The SPD is currently negotiating with the Union “in constructive-critical dialogue”. The aim is that the Bundestag does not get bigger than it is now “and that the second vote result is shown correctly”.
+++ 13.45 p.m .: Kramp-Karrenbauer to visit troops in Jordan and talks in Iraq +++
Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU) visited Bundeswehr soldiers in Jordan. Then she traveled on to the Iraqi capital Baghdad, as the Bundeswehr announced. The minister had arrived at the Jordanian air base Al-Asrak in the morning, said a spokesman for the Federal Ministry of Defense in Berlin on request.
German soldiers are stationed at the air force base as part of the international anti-IS mission. Among other things, they provide reconnaissance from the air and support deployment with tanker aircraft. Kramp-Karrenbauer arrived in Baghdad in the early afternoon. The program included a conversation with high-ranking Iraqi military personnel, as the Bundeswehr said via the short message service Twitter. The conversation was therefore about the future of the fight against the jihadist militia Islamic State (IS) and the presence of the Bundeswehr in Iraq. The invitation from the Iraqi government remains a prerequisite for the continuation of the operations, it said.
+++ 13.35 p.m .: Difficult defusing damaged World War II bomb keeps Kiel in suspense +++
The difficult defusing of an unexploded bomb from the Second World War led to major impairments in Kiel. According to the city administration, around 3,000 people on both sides of the fjord had to leave their residential and commercial buildings. Parts of the shopping and pedestrian zone in the city center were also affected because they were within the evacuation radius.
The 250 kilogram British aviator bomb itself was on a shipyard on the opposite bank of the fjord. Specialists from the state police ordnance clearance service took around two and a half hours to defuse the explosive device. According to the officials, he was “badly demolished”. Parts of the fjord and the port of the Schleswig-Holstein state capital were also affected by closures. A local ferry line was interrupted.
+++ 13.26 PM: King of Jordan warns of further escalation in Libya +++
The King of Jordan warned of an escalation in the civil war-torn country of Libya and called on the EU for support in the region. What would happen if Libya became the new Syria? King Abdullah II asked the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. The conflict would then be even closer to the European continent, said Abdullah.
Jordan is considered an important ally in the fight against the terrorist militia Islamic State (IS). More than a million Syrians have found refuge in the conflict-ridden kingdom, including around 650,000 refugees registered by the UN Refugee Agency.
+++ 13.06 clock: relieved in Machu Picchu: tourists are expelled +++
They are said to have illegally gained access to the Inca ruin Machu Picchu, broken a stone from a wall and relieved themselves: Now five tourists from Chile, France, Brazil and Argentina are being deported from Peru. The alleged main perpetrator, a 28-year-old Argentine, remains in custody in Peru for the time being, the police said on Tuesday (local time). He is accused of damaging cultural heritage.
The Machu Picchu ruins are one of the most important tourist attractions in South America and have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983. The city was built by the Incas in the 15th century and consists of around 200 buildings. Up to 6000 tourists visit the Inca site every day. Archaeologists and Unesco have long been calling for the number of visitors to be significantly reduced in order to better preserve the ruined city.
+++ 13.01 PM: Haldenwang is unimpressed by complaints from the AfD +++
The Office for the Protection of the Constitution is confident about an upcoming legal dispute with the AfD. “The handling of the suspected cases” The Wing “and” Young Alternative “is carried out in accordance with our legal mandate and is based on a well-founded expert review,” said the President of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Thomas Haldenwang, the German Press Agency. He therefore looks forward to the legal debate “with composure”.
The AfD had lodged a complaint with the Cologne Administrative Court against the classification of its youth organization and the right-wing “wing” around Björn Höcke, head of the Thuringian AfD, as suspected cases in the field of right-wing extremism. The lawsuits had been served on the Federal Office on Tuesday.
+++ 12.45 p.m .: Securing the Lucke lectures cost university over 100,000 euros +++
The securing of the macroeconomics lectures by AfD co-founder and economist Bernd Lucke has already cost the University of Hamburg € 107,000. The university told the “Hamburger Abendblatt” that this was solely the expenditure for a private security service that controlled access to the lectures. It was not yet possible to quantify any other costs that were incurred through the use of university staff, for example.
Lucke had returned to his chair for economics in the winter semester after not having rejoined the European Parliament. The disruption of his first two lectures in October had sparked a nationwide debate on freedom of expression in Germany. The following lectures could only be held under police protection.
Lucke is a full professor and official in the country. He left the AfD, which he co-founded in 2013, in July 2015.
+++ 12.40 p.m .: Thuringian state parliament partially blocked due to suspicious shipment to Höcke +++
Due to a suspicious mailing to the Thuringian AfD parliamentary group leader Björn Höcke, the Thuringian state parliament in Erfurt has been partially blocked. A spokeswoman for the police in Erfurt said the shipment had already been opened and a suspicious substance had been found in it. Accordingly, it can already be ruled out that it is explosives. However, further tests were still underway, it was said. The state parliament was not vacated.
+++ 12.31 PM: investigators: No knowledge of the context of abuse cases +++
According to a spokesman, the Cologne public prosecutor’s office has no knowledge of a criminally significant connection between the abuse cases in Bergisch Gladbach and Lügde. “We have not gained any knowledge that perpetrators from our Bergisch Gladbach complex could also have been involved in the crimes committed in Lügde,” said Ulf Willuhn, Cologne’s chief prosecutor.
Security circles had confirmed to the German Press Agency on Tuesday evening that the investigators had come across a possible link to the case in Lügde. Accordingly, the authorities have long been investigating connections between relatives of the suspected perpetrator of Bergisch Gladbach and the campsite in Lügde. “But there were no indications of criminally relevant facts,” said Willuhn.
+++ 12.20 PM: annual balance for Austria: more than 300 dead in the mountains +++
Last year, 304 people died in Austria’s mountains or died of cardiovascular failure in Austria’s mountains. Among them were 85 victims from Germany, said the Board of Trustees for Alpine Security and the Alpine Police. Most people had an accident while hiking and mountaineering. According to the information, 26 people died on ski tours. Avalanches killed 22 people.
+++ 11.51 PM: dead baby found in Plauen – mother suspected of manslaughter +++
A dead newborn has been found in a neglected apartment in Plauen. The suspected mother of the girl is suspected of manslaughter, said the Zwickau prosecutor. On Tuesday, the emergency services were called into the apartment of the 30-year-old. The paramedics found that there had obviously been a birth. However, they did not find a child for this. The called police then discovered the dead child in the afternoon. The baby corpse is now being examined by forensic medicine. In particular, it must be clarified whether the little girl lived at birth. The 30-year-old is currently not interrogated. She was treated in an intensive care hospital.
+++ 10.46 clock: “mirror”: Former German EU diplomat is said to have spied for China +++
According to a “Spiegel” report, the federal prosecutor’s office is investigating a former German EU diplomat and two other suspects for espionage for China. The magazine reported that since morning there have been raids on nine properties in Berlin, Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg as well as the Belgian capital Brussels.
According to the report, the former diplomat is said to have worked for a major German lobby company since the end of his career at the EU in 2017, and has provided “private and business information” to the Chinese Ministry of State Security since this year. The other two suspects are also working for the company and are said to have been recruited by the former diplomat.
+++ 10.44 PM: DGB boss calls supervisory board offer for climate activist “bad PR gag” +++
DGB chief Reiner Hoffmann criticized Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser’s proposal to offer Luisa Neubauer from the climate protection movement Fridays for Future a post on the supervisory board. “Unfortunately, that was a bad PR gag,” Hoffmann told the “Handelsblatt”. If shareholders believe that more young people and more women belong on the supervisory boards, then he is immediately in favor. Then, however, the prerequisites would also have to be created at the Annual General Meeting so that the shareholders follow their boards and appoint such people to the supervisory boards. “It is still a huge problem, especially when I look at the quota for women on the supervisory boards,” Hoffmann told the newspaper.
+++ 10.43 p.m .: Royal Run: Danish Crown Prince Frederik wants to run in Greenland +++
Denmark’s sporty Crown Prince Frederik also wants to start in Greenland at a running event he initiated. Four days before the official start of the Royal Run in Sønderborg near the German-Danish border, the 51-year-old will run the ten-kilometer route in the Greenland capital Nuuk on May 28, as the royal family announced. In 2019 Frederik had traveled to the Faroe Islands for the preliminaries, but could not run there due to back problems. Greenland and the Faroe Islands are both largely autonomous, but are part of the Danish kingdom. Frederik had launched the Royal Run 2018 on his 50th birthday.
+++ 10.32 p.m .: Process of death after arson in the sauna club for the time being +++
The murder process surrounding a deadly arson attack on a nudist sauna club in Hamminkeln in the Lower Rhine region has surprisingly failed. It is scheduled to begin on January 27th. The defense lawyers applied for the suspension and relocation because they had not received the fire report until the evening before the trial began and, according to their own statements, could no longer read before the trial. The 43-year-old German accused is accused of having set fire to 14 July 2019 at night. Alleged motive: dissatisfaction with the performance of the staff. A 64-year-old Dutchman who had also been a guest in the establishment had died in the fire.
+++ 10.30 a.m .: Amazon buys 40 street scooter delivery vehicles from Deutsche Post +++
Deutsche Post has won the online mail order company Amazon as a customer for its electric transporter street scooter. Amazon ordered 40 copies of the Streetscooter Work Box version, said the Post subsidiary Streetscooter. At the Amazon distribution center in Munich-Daglfing, the electric vehicle manufacturer has already set up 60 charging stations and delivered vehicles. As a mail order company, Amazon has long been a major customer of Deutsche Post, but has now also set up its own delivery service. In Munich, Amazon wants to use the street scooter fleet to supply customers on the last mile, it said.
+++ 10.27 PM: 68-year-old pinched in paper press in Munich and died +++
The caretaker of a Munich department store got into a paper press and died in the process. As the fire department announced on Wednesday, the 68-year-old was pinched by the suddenly retracting press shop. Employees found their colleague and immediately alerted the company’s paramedics and fire department. An emergency doctor could only determine the death of the man. To free the body, parts of the machine had been dismantled. It was only after about three hours that the body could be recovered. The police took over the investigation into the exact course of the accident.
+++ 10.12 clock: Protests in Lebanon: 65 injured in clashes with the police +++
At least 65 people were injured in clashes between demonstrators and security forces in the Lebanese capital Beirut. The police used tear gas near the central bank against demonstrators who wanted to cross a barrier, eyewitnesses reported. The demonstrators in turn would have thrown stones. The 65 people were treated with minor injuries, said the head of the Lebanese Red Cross, George Kittanih. The owner of a café said the demonstration in the al Hamra district had started peacefully. However, rioters would have mixed in with it. These began to destroy the windows of banks and ATMs in an important shopping street. The protests against the government flared up after a long pause over the turn of the year.
+++ 10.03 clock: German economy is growing – but much weaker +++
The German economy grew by 0.6 percent in 2019, as reported by the Federal Statistical Office. That is significantly less than in 2018 and 2017 with economic growth of 1.5 and 2.5 percent.
++ 9.58 a.m .: Two men injured 72-year-old US citizens in Berlin +++
Two men who fled undetected are said to have insulted and injured a 72-year-old man in xenophobia in Berlin. The suspects are said to have attacked their US-born victim in the Schöneberg district, the Berlin police said. First, they insulted their victim, shortly afterwards the 72-year-old felt a blow to the face. The victim went to his wife after the attack, who alarmed the rescue workers due to the short-term loss of consciousness of her husband. These found cuts and a hematoma on the man’s face, he was hospitalized for treatment. The state police took over the investigation,
+++ 9.56 clock: three dead in Israeli attack in Syria +++
At least three members of pro-Iranian militias have been killed in an air attack on an air base in Syria, activists say. The Syrian Human Rights Observatory blamed the Israeli Air Force for bombing base T4 near the city of Homs. There was initially no official confirmation of this. The state-run Syrian news agency Sana reported that the country’s air defense had launched several missiles. The attack only caused property damage.
+++ 9.54 a.m .: EU funds for the Mafia: Many arrests in Sicily +++
Mafia bosses are said to have enriched themselves with millions of EU funds in Sicily. Investigators therefore found 94 suspects in the Messina area. Among other things, they are accused of fraud, drug trafficking and extortion, the financial police said. The bosses are said to have used EU agricultural funding for their criminal business in the mountainous region of Nebrodi. Italian media reported that more than five million euros had flowed into the bosses’ pocket. Investigators and representatives of public authorities also came under the spotlight. The accused are said to have used land for agricultural purposes to receive EU subsidies.
+++ 9.15 a.m .: slightly more cigarettes taxed +++
A little more cigarettes were taxed in Germany last year than in 2018. According to the Federal Statistical Office, the amount rose by 0.3 percent to 75 billion pieces. Pipe tobacco, on the other hand, grew by a significant 24.5 percent to 4,150 tonnes, which also includes products for hookahs and electric tobacco heaters. In contrast, cigars, cigarillos and fine-cut twists were less in demand. A total of 27.4 billion euros in tobacco goods were taxed last year. That was 4.0 percent more than in 2018. Of this, 14.4 billion (plus 1.5 percent) went to the tax authorities.
+++ 9.19 p.m .: Historical books worth millions stolen from the US library +++
An archivist and a bookseller in the United States have stolen and resold rare historical books worth more than $ 8 million from a library over the years. Among the more than 300 works were a Latin edition of the “Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica” by the English mathematician Isaac Newton (1643-1727) and a 17th century Bible, according to US media. The two men, aged 63 and 56, admitted their actions to a Pittsburgh court on Monday. They now faced up to 16 months in prison. The 63-year-old archivist reportedly smuggled the books out of the Carnegie Library’s special reading room in Pittsburgh from 1992 to 2017. The 56-year-old bookseller sold the stolen goods online and in his nearby book store in the university town in the eastern United States. D
+++ 8.57 a.m .: more building permits until November than in the previous year +++
The building authorities in Germany apparently took a final sprint last year. In the period up to and including November, the number of newly approved apartments exceeded the level from the previous year, as reported by the Federal Statistical Office. According to this, around 319,200 apartments were approved in the first eleven months of 2019. That was 1.3 percent more than in the same period last year, but less than in 2016, when 340,000 units had already received the approval of the offices. The new building is also being slowed down by the fact that space in metropolitan areas is scarce, prices have risen significantly and craftsmen can hardly keep up because of full order books.
+++ 8.18 a.m .: reports: Ukrainian plane hit by two Iranian missiles +++
After shooting down a Ukrainian plane with 176 people on board near Tehran, another video is now to show that the machine was hit by two Iranian missiles. This was reported by the “New York Times” and the “Wall Street Journal”. Both sheets said independently that they had verified the video. The blurry images show how two floors hit the aircraft at intervals of 20 to 30 seconds. According to the reports, these were fired from an Iranian military base almost 13 kilometers away.
+++ 8.14 a.m .: Volcano in the Philippines: More than 80,000 people on the run +++
A dangerous volcano in the Philippines continues to drive people there. For the volcano Taal south of the capital Manila, level 4 of 5 still applied on Wednesday – as it had since Sunday. A dangerous, explosive outbreak could still occur within hours or days. According to the civil protection agency, more than 82,000 people have already taken to safety. However, some people stayed with their animals and houses, or made their way back from the full evacuation centers. Emergency workers, the police and the military marched through the cities. “The volcano is so unpredictable that we tell them they can’t stay in town or go back to their homes,” said Danilo Manala, chief of police at Agoncillo.
+++ 6.00 clock: criticism of Trump’s Iran policy in the TV debate of the US Democrats +++
Leading US Democratic presidential candidates have criticized President Donald Trump’s actions in the conflict with Iran. Former Vice President Joe Biden accused Trump of a Democratic TV debate that he “lied” about the killing of Iranian general Kassem Soleimani in the evening. Biden was referring to Trump’s statement that Soleimani had planned attacks on US embassies in the Middle East.
+++ 5.55 a.m .: deportation flight from Germany arrived in Kabul +++
Another flight from Germany with deported people arrived in the Afghan capital Kabul in the morning. Officials at the airport said the plane had landed with 37 Afghans deported shortly after 7:00 a.m. local time. It was the 31st collective deportation since the first such flight in December 2016. In the past 30 deportations, the federal and state governments had brought 800 men back to Afghanistan. The deportations are controversial in view of the ongoing war against the militant Islamist Taliban and the terrorist militia Islamic State (IS). The number of civilian casualties in the Afghan war had recently reached a new high.
+++ 4.35 a.m .: destruction of the Brazilian Amazon forest in 2019 increased drastically +++
The destruction of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil has increased dramatically in the past year. According to data from the Brazilian Institute for Space Research (Inpe), deforestation in the area increased by 85 percent compared to the previous year. A total of 9166 square kilometers of Amazon forest were destroyed. It was the largest forest area destroyed in five years.
+++ 4.03 clock: police violence on New Year’s Eve in Leipzig? – Prosecutor checks videos +++
After the escalation of New Year’s Eve in Leipzig, the public prosecutor’s office also examines the suspicion of possible police violence. According to the spokesman for the Leipzig public prosecutor, Ricardo Schulz, there were still no reports of those affected.
The prosecution had explicitly called on any injured party to report. The Internet portal “BuzzFeedNews Germany” published video recordings of the riots in the Connewitz district on New Year’s Eve. The blurry images show, among other things, how police officers walk past a person lying on the floor. A video is also said to show a bleeding man in handcuffs.
+++ 3.08 PM: US Democrats want to clear the way for Trump impeachment in the Senate +++
The impeachment proceedings against US President Donald Trump are about to begin: The Democrats in the House of Representatives want to decide this Wednesday to transfer the charges to the Senate. They also want to determine which MPs represent the House indictment in the other chamber of parliament. Both steps are a prerequisite for the formal launch of the Senate impeachment process that Republican Chamber leader Mitch McConnell is expecting this week.
+++ 2.17 PM: US plane drains kerosene from primary school +++
A U.S. passenger plane has dumped fuel over a primary school in California, causing health damage to more than 30 students and adults. The delta flight from Los Angeles to Shanghai had technical problems on Tuesday shortly after take-off, which is why the crew released the kerosene and turned around, a spokesman for the airline said. The fuel went down in the playground of the school 25 kilometers from the airport. According to the fire brigade, around 20 children and 11 adults were treated on site for skin irritation and easier breathing difficulties. In no case was hospital admission necessary.
+++ 1.50 clock: USA support European approach to nuclear agreements with Iran +++
The United States supports the new course of action by Europeans in the dispute with Iran over the international nuclear agreement. The US government “fully” supports Germany, France and the UK’s decision to initiate arbitration, the State Department said in Washington. Additional “diplomatic and economic pressure” on Tehran is justified.
+++ 1.32 PM: US Democrats: New evidence against Trump in Ukraine affair +++
The Democrats in the US House of Representatives say they have further incriminating evidence of the upcoming impeachment proceedings against US President Donald Trump in the Senate. Among other things, this involves confidential telephone data, according to a statement distributed by four democratic committee chairs in the evening. Since this data contained “sensitive personal information”, it would not be made public
+++ 0.25 p.m .: Police officer shot seriously injured gorilla after monkey fire in Krefeld +++
After the fire in the Krefeld zoo on New Year’s night, there were previously unknown, dramatic scenes: a seriously injured gorilla had to be killed by a police officer in the morning by several shots from a submachine gun because the veterinarian was unable to put the animal to sleep. This emerges from a report by the Interior Ministry to the North Rhine-Westphalian state parliament. According to the Ministry of the Interior, police officers had already posted around the monkey house with submachine guns during the fire to stop injured or panicked animals to protect the emergency services. This did not happen.
+++ 0.13 PM: Greens demand a fixed date for the end of the internal combustion engine +++
Before the meeting on structural change in the automotive industry this Wednesday at the Chancellery, the Greens have asked the federal government for a fixed date to exit the combustion engine. “We are calling on the federal government to present a future plan for the automotive industry,” said Green Group leader Hofreiter of Düsseldorf’s “Rheinische Post”. In addition to a specified exit date for the internal combustion engine, this must also include an electric car and charging station offensive.
The Green Group leader also called for “clear offers” to industry workers to deal with the consequences of structural change for them. Employees should have “the chance of a job with a future” through the right to further training and the introduction of a qualification short-time work allowance.
+++ 0.03 PM: rockets hit near base used by US soldiers in Iraq +++
Several rockets have struck near a US Army base used in Iraq. The attack on Tuesday targeted the Taji military base north of the capital, Baghdad, the Iraqi army said. Two Iraqis have been injured, police and rescue workers say.