Union and spd before exploratory talks – part 1: maternity pensions as a bargaining chip

Taxes, minimum wage, pensions, rents, health. The CDU/CSU and SPD will begin their exploratory talks on Friday. Which party will buckle on which issue?

The world seen through black and red glasses: Beautiful is different. Picture: reuters

Actually, the CDU/CSU wanted to continue governing with the FDP – and the SPD together with the Greens. Now, however, the two major parties must roll the dice for posts and content without a junior partner. An overview of the most important points:


Youtuber interviews the us president: what obama learned about tampons

Once again, well-known Youtubers were allowed to ask the US president their questions. Obama remained calm, as always, and in the end it got almost corny.

Better Han Solo than Yoda: Obama plays the rebel. Screenshot:

"Which character from Star Wars would you like to be?" – "I guess I’d have to say Han Solo. He’s a rebel." Swoozie aka Adande Thorne gets wide-eyed and turns to the camera. Surprised? It was kind of obvious that President Obama wouldn’t choose Yoda, wasn’t it? It wasn’t until the end of his Q&A session that the Youtuber dared to draw the president out with questions like these.


Coalition agreement in bremen: senator for nursing sought

Trade unions, the Chamber of Employees and associations in Bremen are disappointed that there is no shake-up of the departments when it comes to the issue of "care".

The social affairs department is responsible for care of the elderly, while the health department is responsible for nursing care Photo: Jens Kalaene/dpa

The bundling of the areas of health and care in one department is demanded by the Chamber of Employees, the trade union Ver.di and the DGB from the future Bremen government, as well as the relatives’ initiative "Heim-Mitwirkung" and the care protection association "Biva". The state working group of independent welfare associations (LAG) is even calling for a joint department of health and social affairs.


State repression in nicaragua: campaign against independent voices

President Ortega wants to ban independent media and NGOs. On Friday night, police stormed the online newspaper "Confidencial".

Carlos Fernando Chamorro and other journalists surrounded by police in Managua Photo: dpa

Dissident voices are no longer allowed to be heard in Nicaragua. President Daniel Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo have ordered the storming of independent media and institutes, including the renowned human rights center CENIDH and the organization Popol Na of former guerrilla commander Mónica Baltodano.


Repression against grup yorum: a concert as terror propaganda

Imprisoned members of the Turkish political music group Grup Yorum have been on hunger strike since May. Now a solo concert in Cologne was banned.

Tens of thousands of fans came to Grup Yorum concerts like this one in 2012 Photo: Youtube

On November 24, a solidarity concert for the members of the band Grup Yorum imprisoned in Turkey was to take place in Cologne. At the Ezgi Center in Cologne-Braunsfeld, the stage was already set up, the speakers and musicians were ready, when five minutes before the start of the concert the police arrived, with a ban order in their hands. This showed that the concert had been banned due to "illegal propaganda for a terrorist organization" and that investigations had been initiated by the public prosecutor’s office.


Pollution by nitrate and fracking: water under pressure

Drilling for natural gas in Lower Saxony. Agriculture brings nitrate into the groundwater. Drinking water could therefore become more expensive.

In the pipe cellar: From here, water is pumped into the tap. Photo: dpa

Many consumer goods are debatable, but water is something that everyone really needs. Water is a basic supply. When water cannot be drunk without boiling for weeks because of contamination with coliform germs, as is the case in large parts of the Leinebergland region, and the supplier simply cannot find the source of the contamination, then there is more wrong than just a pipe system. That shakes basic trust. Where water comes under pressure and its purity is questionable, the state is in crisis.


Travel warning for turkey: hooray, the germans are coming

Germany lifts its travel warnings for parts of Turkey – and the tourism industry is rejoicing. But Corona infections are on the rise again.

The beach in Antalya is still empty, but that could soon change after the travel warning was lifted Photo: Marius Becker/dpa

It is worth a headline for the largest Turkish daily newspaper Hurriyet: "Germany opens its doors". On Tuesday afternoon, the German Foreign Ministry announced that the travel warning for the provinces of Izmir, Aydın, Mugla and Antalya would be lifted with immediate effect.


Better column: yum, yummy golan wine!

Is it okay to boycott products from Israeli-occupied territories? And what are they, anyway? A product test.

Cats would buy kosher. Image: Deniz Yucel

Stephen Hawking joins the academic ostracism of Israel, EU bureaucrats call for mandatory labeling of products from Israeli settlements in the West Bank and on the Golan Heights or outright boycott.


Vacations in times of the corona pandemic: the second wave threatens

Corona numbers are rising dramatically in Spanish tourist centers. First countries have ordered quarantine for Spain returnees.

Keeping distance is hardly possible on the beach of Barcelona

Fans, hats and other souvenirs are available at the Plaza Mayor of Madrid. The merchants pay more than 30,000 euros in rent for their small stores on the large 17th century square in the center of the city. Since March, they have sold hardly anything, and the tourists are still staying away. The situation is similar in Barcelona. There, only 80 hotels are currently open, just 25 percent of all accommodations, and even those are only 20 percent occupied. It is unlikely to get much better. Several countries are warning against travel to Spain or have imposed a quarantine for returnees from Spain.