German unity: Has Horst Seehofer forgotten the 30th anniversary?

15,849,448,000 euros gets the Federal Ministry of the Interior, for Construction and Homeland (BMI) of Horst Seehofer (CSU) this year from SPD Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, so nearly 16 billion euros. And what all of this has to be paid: the federal police officials, the rent for office buildings, the cost of the European elections and and and.

Despite the billion budget, for one thing, the money apparently not enough: for celebrations. Therefore, the officials of the BMI for the current year have once again demanded € 30 million from government treasurer Scholz – and for the upcoming equal to another 31 million.

German unity should be celebrated big

As the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” (SZ) reports, the house of Horst Seehofer has simply forgotten that an anniversary is due in 2020: the 30th anniversary of reunification on 3 October. And as befits a round anniversary, the celebration should be bigger than usual. More than a celebration, “Germany Festival” and “Country Mile”.

One must organize the festivities completely differently than before, justified the officials their additional demands according to “SZ” in their letter to the Ministry of Finance. Otherwise, they could “exacerbate existing frustrations and tendencies towards social division” or even “interfere with political and social interests”. Among other things, the dialogue format (“serious” and “honest”) was planned, in which cohesion and living conditions in unified Germany could be discussed. (Why this is a good idea, read here in the star.) The additional money is needed because “comprehensive measures for the conception and implementation of the anniversary year” are required.

The “SZ” writes of “huge justification garlands”, which lead the ladies and gentlemen from the BMI to convince Finance Minister Scholz to loosen the money – and of course he does not want to stand there as a fun-spoiler. The 61 million euros have already been approved, the Anniversary Commission is to present the first plans for the big federal Sause in August, according to Interior Ministry.

Forgotten or planned?

The question remains, why the financial reference for the party was not priced right from the outset in the budget of the Ministry.

Well: “The realization of the need to use the 30th anniversary of German Unity (…) in a very special way only took a substantial shape after the deliberations of the federal budget in 2019 (…)”, the BMI explains loudly “SZ” the extra demand. And Marco Wanderwitz, Parliamentary State Secretary for Construction and Homeland in the BMI, says that the celebrations were “naturally” not forgotten. They were initially only “smaller” planned. In fact, the budgets for 2019 and 2020 also include several amounts planned for the celebration of the Day of German Unity.

But as it often happens with round birthdays: First they are repressed and then they come faster than expected. The party is then usually larger and more expensive than planned.

Unit Study 2018: Life in East and West is so drastically different - two points give hope

Swell: Federal Budget I, Federal Budget II, “Süddeutsche Zeitung”, Federal Ministry of the Interior, Marco Wanderwitz on Twitter

Jesidis in the Netherlands full of disbelief about rejecting asylum

Majid Sedo fled to the Netherlands in October, because it is still not safe for Iraqis in Iraq. Today he was told by the IND that he will not be granted asylum in the Netherlands.

“What should I say? I have been rejected, but I cannot believe it,” he responds. “Rejected by the government despite
the killings of us and our families. People have been abducted, children have been taken. After all I have experienced,
I can't believe the rejection. “

According to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND), Yazidi refugees in tent camps in Kurdistan can count on shelter and sufficient food and therefore return safely.


Wahhab Hassoo, also Jazidi, fled to the Netherlands in 2012 with his family. Because his father works for the Americans, he is allowed to stay in the Netherlands. Hasso finds it incomprehensible that the Netherlands is now rejecting asylum requests from other jesidis. “They say it is safe. But Jezidi's flights are not for nothing.”

Hassoo mentions Germany as an example. “There they have a special program for Jazidis, including trauma treatments and we get asylum there. In the Netherlands it is the other way around. Here we talk about the retrieval of IS fighters and the victims of IS, the Jazidis, we send back. none of it. “

“We dominate the school in terms of shisha”

Be in the United States vapes very popular. Research from the National Institute of Health said 37 percent of US last year high school students used an e-cigarette last year. In 2017 that was 27 percent.

Especially the Juul is smoked a lot there. The American Lucas (16) also sees this at his school in Washington. “It's very popular,” he says. “Everyone does it. At parties, at school, after school.”

According to Lucas this is mainly because the Juul is very easy to use. “The only thing you need is a battery and a charge,” he says. But if a teacher catches you, according to the student you should go to a rehab. “Or you will be suspended,” he says. “Then you have to leave for a few days. Or you get a teacher all the time if you have to go to the toilet or if you go to another class.”

Sem doesn't think his school knows that he and his friends are trading in shisha pens. “I assume they know it's going around, but it's not the biggest problem at our school,” he says. “There is also dealing in drugs. Then I think this is only innocent.”

The destruction of nature, a threat to man as much as the warming

The message launched Monday at the opening of a global meeting on biodiversity is clear: the destruction of nature threatens humans “at least as much” as climate change and therefore deserves as much attention to avoid devastating impacts.

Scientists and diplomats from more than 130 countries are gathered until Saturday in Paris to adopt the first global assessment of ecosystems for nearly 15 years, a dark inventory of a nature yet vital to humanity.

“The evidence is indisputable: our destruction of biodiversity and ecosystem services has reached levels that threaten our well-being at least as much as human-induced climate change,” said Robert Watson, chair of Intergovernmental Science Platform and Policy on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

The group of experts worked for three years on a report of 1,800 pages which should become the scientific benchmark for biodiversity, as are those of Giec for climate.

If the word “biodiversity” sometimes seems abstract, it concerns all animal or plant species living on the planet, including the species that puts itself in danger by destroying nature: Man. And man can not live without this nature that renders him invaluable services, from pollinating insects to forests and oceans absorbing CO2, through drugs or drinking water.

So as for the climate, “this month of April 2019 may mark the beginning of a + Parisian turn + similar for biodiversity and the contributions of nature to the populations,” said Mr. Watson, referring to the agreement of Paris, in 2015.

Many hope that this assessment will be the prelude to the adoption of ambitious goals at the 2020 meeting in China of the member states of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15).

Virtually none of the 20 goals previously set for 2020, which aim for a life “in harmony with nature” by 2050, will be achieved, according to the draft summary of the report obtained by AFP, which will be discussed, amended and adopted line by line by the delegates before its publication on 6 May.

“The global environmental heritage (…) is being altered to an unprecedented level,” warns this text.

A quarter of the estimated 100,000 species – a small portion of the estimated 8 million on Earth – are already threatened with extinction, under pressure from agriculture, fishing, hunting, or climate change.

But “an imminent rapid acceleration of the extinction rate of species” looms, according to the draft report: between 500,000 and one million should be threatened, including “many in the coming decades”.

– “Change our consumption” –

Projections in line with what some scientists have been describing for years: the beginning of the 6th “mass extinction”, the first since the arrival of men on the planet.

The text clearly links the two major threats of warming and damage to nature, identifying some similar causes, in particular agricultural practices and deforestation, responsible for about a quarter of CO2 emissions as well as serious direct damage to ecosystems.

All on a planet more and more populated whose inhabitants consume more and more.

“Your collective expertise must allow us to have specific objectives,” said Monday afternoon the French Minister for Ecological Transition François de Rugy before the experts meeting at the headquarters of Unesco.

“We must not only change agricultural production, we must also change our consumption.For example, a well-balanced diet is good for our health and also good for the planet,” Paul Paulley told AFP. authors of the report.

But given the scale of the reforms to be implemented, which imply a real transformation of our lifestyles, resistance may be even stronger than for the fight against climate change.

“There could be difficulties with some countries, we do not know how Brazil will react, with the new government (by Jair Bolsonaro) .We do not know what the United States think of this assessment,” notes Günther Mitlacher, of WWF, which also describes a North-South division similar to climate geopolitics.

With African countries particularly demanding actions because “they see that their population depends on natural resources,” he adds.

“Spanish Social Democrats benefit from a hollowed-out political center”

Millions of Spaniards voted today for the election of the Congress of Deputies (similar to our House of Representatives) and the Senate. The Social Democratic PSOE, Prime Minister Sánchez's party, appears to be the largest party.

“Spain is doing well. There has been a lot of room for social policy lately. Pensions could go up, minimum wages could go up. The party is being rewarded for that,” says correspondent Rop Zoutberg.

Moreover, says Zoutberg, many other parties shifted to the right, towards the new radical right-wing party Vox. The PSOE could benefit from this. “The entire middle of the political spectrum remained empty, where the Social Democrats have stood firm.”

Unity party

The new Vox seems to get about ten percent of the votes. The party is primarily a national unity party, fiercely opposed to the separatist parties in Catalonia and the Basque Country. Unlike many other populist parties in Europe, the party is not so much characterized by a hard anti-Europe or anti-migration position.

“We're going to restore order,” party leader Santiago Abascal recently said at a meeting in a bullring near Madrid. “We are going to defend unity and ban the parties to independence. We are sick and tired of receiving our tax money. That is how they destroy Spain, the sacred legacy we received from our grandparents.”

Forming a majority coalition will be a challenge for PSOE winner, correspondent Zoutberg says:

At Angelo you build your future: “Free, but I expect commitment”

The talent is there, now the mentality. Angelo Bromet (42), for example, looks at the young people who participate in his 'Springplank' initiative in the NoLIMIT cultural center in Amsterdam.

He takes care of around 500 young people a week in the building. There they can use rehearsal rooms for six to twelve weeks to develop their talent. “You can dance, make theater, record music or just study quietly,” he says. Bromet, himself a programmer of events in the cultural sector, and his former trainees walk around to give feedback.

You can hear how young people gratefully make use of this in our Good Story this week:

Singer Amartey also walked into NoLIMIT a few years ago. He has since won the Grand Prix of the Netherlands and performed at Paaspop last week. “I still come here every week to give others feedback, or to work on my own music,” he says.

Gianny (21) also wants to go that way. He studies Events and Marketing and joins NoLIMIT every week to practice with Gowtu, a group that mixes Surinamese roots with urban, consisting of percussionists, DJs and MCs. “I changed my mentality through Angelo. When I came in here five years ago, I thought very rudely. Now I am more open-minded, business-like and I look at development.”

The 'Amsterdam approach'

Part of the culture house is rented to companies. In this way the training rooms and volunteer allowances are paid for.

Youth unemployment in Amsterdam has almost halved in three years, figures from the municipality show. In 2014, 13.3 percent of young people between 15 and 26 years were unemployed, in 2017 this fell to 7.5 percent. The decline is due to the 'Amsterdam approach': unemployed young people in the city have been intensively guided to school or work for a number of years.

Various Dutch municipalities, including Amsterdam, encourage cooperation between, for example, role models and young people. That is exactly what Bromet wants to manage.

After cyclone Kenneth, Mozambique fears “devastating” floods

Tens of thousands of people were threatened Sunday in the extreme north of Mozambique by the “devastating” rise of waters following the devastating passage of cyclone Kenneth, which has already caused at least 5 deaths and extensive damage.

The heavy rains that resumed at dawn throughout the Cabo Delgado region caused the first floods in several neighborhoods in the provincial capital, Pemba, and in surrounding areas, according to AFP journalists.

Still green just twenty-four hours ago, many fields on the edge of the city have been invaded by the waters.

“It's been raining heavily since Sunday morning, so we expect violent floods in and around Pemba,” said World Food Program spokeswoman Deborah Nguyen.

“We are very worried because the forecast anticipates heavy rains for the next four days,” said Nguyen, “it is estimated that the level of rainfall will be twice that of the cyclone Idai that hit the city. from Beira last month “.

Residents observe a road destroyed by floods in Pemba, Mozambique, April 28, 2019

Residents observe a road destroyed by floods in Pemba, Mozambique, April 28, 2019

Six weeks ago, Idai hit Beira, the second largest city in Mozambique, then eastern Zimbabwe, killing 1,000 people and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless.

A thousand miles further north, it is now the turn of Pemba and its 400,000 inhabitants to be threatened.

– 'We are scared' –

“Houses have begun to collapse in the Natite neighborhood, according to our rescue teams, and we are sadly dreading devastating floods as a result of #CycloneKenneth,” the OCHA's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said Sunday. UN.

According to the figures of Mozambican authorities given to NGOs, 200,000 people are threatened in Pemba.

In the small village of Mieze, some twenty kilometers southwest of Pemba, dozens of people were gathered waiting for evacuation by boat.

“We are worried because of the floods, we do not know where there will be,” AFP told one of them, Filomeno Sira, 45 years old. “The government told us to climb to the top of the hill if the water continues to rise, we are afraid because we do not know anything.”

The Mozambican Prime Minister, Carlos do Rosario, reported Saturday a provisional record of 5 dead. More than 3,300 homes have also been destroyed or partially damaged, according to the Mozambican Institute for Emergency Management.

Several UN agencies have deployed intervention teams in Pemba.

North of the provincial capital, the city of Macomia was healing on Sunday. Houses and businesses destroyed, torn roofs, trees and electricity pylons on the ground. Kenneth caused significant damage.

– 'Back to normal' –

“The weather services had informed us of the arrival of the hurricane but we did not realize the strength when he hit us,” told AFP Mayor Fernando Neves. “We are now trying to rebuild our lives and get back to normal”; “It's very hard”.

In the health center of the city, the medical staff is forced to do with the means of the edge, deprived of power supply as its 90,000 inhabitants and medicines.

“This patient has not eaten and we have no antimalarials,” said nurse Joaquim Benedito, pointing at a 15-year-old boy with malaria, “he was sleeping outside when the cyclone struck. the coast “.

The area struck by Kenneth is much less populated than Beira, devastated by Idai. However, it has been very fragile for a year and a half by the deadly raids of a jihadist group that the army can not control.

Before reaching the mainland, Kenneth passed the small archipelago of Comoros.

There were at least five deaths, according to a report released Saturday by the director of the local Civil Security, Ismael Mugne Daho. “We have registered 41,161 people affected, 14,541 displaced and 189 wounded,” he added.

Venezuela: the US oil embargo begins

The US embargo on Venezuelan oil comes into effect Sunday, with the stated goal of pushing President Nicolas Maduro to the exit, targeting the pillar of the fragile Venezuelan economy.

As of 00:01 (04:01 GMT), the embargo prohibits any US company from buying oil from the state-owned oil company PDVSA or any of its subsidiaries, and from any foreign entity using the US banking system to supply Venezuelan black gold. This is one of the measures announced by President Donald Trump to overthrow the Venezuelan government in favor of the opponent Juan Guaido, self-proclaimed interim president and recognized as such by some fifty countries, most of which are from America. Latin.

Washington on Friday put Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza on the sidelines of the international financial system (in dollars). His potential holdings in the United States were frozen by the US Treasury, which placed the diplomat on his blacklist of financial sanctions.

At the end of 2018, Venezuela exported half a million barrels a day to the United States, and three quarters of its oil revenues came from American customers. PDVSA's US subsidiary, Citgo, has refineries, pipelines and oil terminal interests on US soil, and thousands of gas stations carry the Citgo brand under franchise status. Washington froze Citgo's US funds, leaving Juan Guaido in control. He has appointed a new management at the head of the US subsidiary, which can continue to operate.

Even if the embargo comes into effect on Sunday, “the fact is that Venezuelan oil purchases by the United States are very limited and have fallen sharply,” says Mariano de Alba, a Venezuelan lawyer in Washington specializing in international law. The sanctions will still have an effect, since they apply to all foreign companies with links to the United States, which covers almost the entire planet. “It is certain that the sanctions will be applied and that the risks will increase for companies,” added de Alba.

Which buyers?

After the United States and China, India was the third largest importer of Venezuelan oil in 2017. And Indian companies have already begun to withdraw in anticipation of sanctions, making China and Russia the main supporters of the president. Maduro. The latter was re-elected in July 2017 in a ballot that was neither recognized by the European Union nor by the United States.

Oil accounts for 96% of national income and the IMF forecasts a 25% fall in GDP this year in Venezuela, as well as a hyperinflation of 10,000,000% and an unemployment rate of 44.3%. Some 2.7 million Venezuelans have fled the country since 2015, faced with shortages of basic necessities and medicines, according to UN figures.

Contrary to appearances, it is not the oil exports that matter most for Venezuela, but its imports: the country's economy depends on the import of 120,000 barrels per day of light crude oil, which must be mixed with its crude oil. heavier to make it usable. Caracas will have to turn to other suppliers, which will increase its production costs. According to the consultant Rapidan Energy Group, PDVSA production could drop to 200,000 barrels a day, compared to 3.2 million barrels a day in 2008. It had already fallen to 840,000 barrels in March.

Maduro made responsible

The United States makes Nicolas Maduro responsible for the current economic crisis and promises to help the country get back on its feet once the Venezuelan president has left. US envoy Elliott Abrams on Thursday pledged “tens of billions of dollars” to revive the country's economy “when there will be an opening government representing all Venezuelans”.

But in a study published in April, two progressive US economists, Mark Weisbrot and Jeffrey Sachs, warn that the embargo will affect mostly ordinary Venezuelans. “US sanctions are deliberately designed to destroy Venezuela's economy,” says Sachs in this study. “It is a vain, cruel, illegal and doomed policy, which is seriously damaging to the Venezuelan people”.

(With AFP)

Sri Lanka is hunting down the network behind attackers

Three explosions, fifteen dead. When security forces in Sri Lanka wanted to invade suspicious premises in the town of Sainthamaruthu yesterday, militants hiding there blew themselves up. Six children and three women among the dead. At another raid, the police found 150 packages with explosives and 100,000 bullets.

The hunt for people in the network of suspected perpetrators of the Easter attacks is in full swing. Dozens of suspects have already been arrested. The security services are accused of having dropped stabs prior to the attacks. Are they able to roll up the terror network?

“Large number of arrests is overreaction”

“The probable size of the network is shocking,” says Raffaello Pantucci of RUSI, a British defense and security think tank. “The police carry out a huge number of arrests. That is an understandable over-reaction after the huge mistake by the authorities. So many people seem to have been involved in the attacks, how could they have missed?”

Sri Lankan President Sirisena says he checks every home in the country for people who do not belong there. The state of emergency has been in force since Tuesday. As a result, the police and soldiers have far-reaching powers to arrest and interrogate people.

“The government has something to make up for,” says correspondent Aletta André. “They have not been able to prevent the attack, they are now going to do everything they can to prevent further attacks. But of course it is also a signal that they are on top of it.”

Why some countries really want you to reproduce

Few children are born in Europe. With an average of 1.6 children per woman, the fertility rate in the EU is far below the global average of 2.5. Some countries try to turn the tide. One with policy, the other with remarkable campaigns.

For example, Sweden offers 16 months of parental leave and France has a very generous range of childcare options. Poland calls on citizens to reproduce like rabbits. And at the beginning of this month, Hungary introduced all kinds of measures with far-reaching financial incentives, to have people have as many children as possible.

In this video, NOS explains on 3 why there are so few babies in Europe and what that means: