Tag Archives: Germany

South African through to Wimbledon last 16


At the Wimbledon tennis championships, South Africa’s number eight seed Kevin Anderson has made it into the last 16 with a straight sets (6-3, 7-5, 7-5) win over Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber – who was seeded number 25.

Anderson will face France’s former top-10 player Gael Monfils after he beat 11th seed Sam Querrey three sets to one.

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Mercedes Benz announces $700m expansion in South Africa


German car manufacturer Mercedes Benz says it is expanding its production operations in South Africa by investing 10bn rand ($700m; £529m) to “equip it for the future”.

The plant in the coastal city of East London currently employs 3,300 people, most of whom work in passenger vehicle production. It was first opened in 1958, and in 2017 the plant’s production volume reached 110,000 vehicles.

“We are hoping that this investment here will lead to further investments by components manufacturers – we estimate that will bring a further 2bn rand investment,” said South Africa’s trade minister Rob Davies.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said he wanted the announcement to send a signal to other international investors that “South Africa is capable of delivering efficiency.”

Source: Morning Call

German aid worker ‘being held in central Somalia’


A German aid worker who was abducted early last month from Mogadishu is reportedly being held in the Mudug region of central Somalia.

Reports are saying that the woman is in the hands of armed men in an area about three miles (5km) from Hobyo district.

One of the residents of the area where the aid worker – a nurse, who was working with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) – is being held told the media she was in the hands of about 10 abductors.

He says the abductors have built tents in a place that consists of hills and caves.

According to the IRCR, the nurse had been delivering first aid training for local responders and caring for Somalis at hospitals, health clinics and places of detention when she was seized.

Source: ZTF

The world’s biggest economies in 2018


The United States has the largest economy in the world at $20.4 trillion, according to data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which shows the US economy increased from around $19.4 trillion last year.

China follows, with $14 trillion, which is an increase of more than $2 trillion in comparison to 2017. Japan is in third place with an economy of $5.1 trillion, up from $4.87 trillion a year previously.

European countries round off the top 5

Three European countries take up the next places on the list: Germany is fourth, with a $4.2 trillion economy, the United Kingdom is fifth with $2.94 trillion and France is sixth with $2.93 trillion.

Close behind the UK and France, in seventh, India’s economy is $2.85 trillion, and Italy is in eighth with an economy of $2.18 trillion. Ninth on the list is Brazil, with an economy of more than $2.14 trillion, while Canada is 10th with a $1.8 trillion economy.

The sheer scale of the United States’ economy puts others into perspective. It is larger than the combined economies of numbers four to 10 on the list above. Overall, the global economy is worth an estimated $79.98 trillion, meaning the US accounts for more than one-quarter of the world total.

China and India predicted to surge

However, its dominance looks to be waning. According to data from the World Bank (illustrated by visual capitalist), America’s GDP is expected to grow by 17.9% between 2017 and 2019. China’s, however, is predicted to grow by almost double this, at 35.2%.

China’s digital economy is also experiencing a boom period . It has grown from less than one percent of the global e-commerce market about 10 years ago to 42% today. In comparison, the United States’ share of the market is 24%, down from 35% in 2005.

China’s economy will also eclipse the US economy by 2050, according to a report by professional services firm PwC, which also predicts India will overtake the US.

China, the report says, will have an economy of nearly $58.5 trillion, while India’s will be around $44.1 trillion and America’s will total $34.1 trillion.

Interestingly, Japan ($6.7trn), Germany ($6.1trn), the United Kingdom ($5.3trn) and France ($4.7trn) are expected to fall to eighth, ninth, 10th and 12th in the list, respectively.

These countries will be replaced by Indonesia ($10.5trn), Brazil ($7.5trn), Russia ($7.1trn), and Mexico ($6.8trn), which climb to fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh, respectively.

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SOURCE: World Economic Forum

​’Islam doesn’t belong to Germany’: Interior minister tells Muslims to ‘live with us, not parallel to or against us’


In this March 14, 2018 file photo German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, left, talks to German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the German parliament in Berlin. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber,file) Markus Schreiber / AP
BERLIN — Germany’s new interior minister said on Friday he doesn’t consider Islam to be a part of Germany, a position that puts him at odds with Chancellor Angela Merkel on the central question of migration.
Horst Seehofer, the country’s top security official, told the Bild newspaper that “Islam doesn’t belong to Germany,” but added that “the Muslims who live with us are, of course, part of Germany.”

Seehofer said his message to Muslims was: “Live with us, not parallel to or against us.”

Muslims pray at a makeshift mosque in Potsdam near Berlin, northeastern Germany, on March 16, 2018. RALF HIRSCHBERGER / AFP/Getty Images
His Bavaria-only Christian Social Union, which has always taken a harder line on migration than Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union, faces a state election later this year in which the anti-Islam Alternative for Germany party is expected to do well.

Asked about Seehofer’s comments, Merkel said while Germany is shaped by its Judeo-Christian heritage, “now there are 4 million Muslims living in Germany” — a country of about 82 million people.

“They can live their religion here too,” she said. “These Muslims belong to Germany and in the same way their religion belongs to Germany, that is to say Islam.”

She added that the Islam practiced by Muslims in Germany would have to conform to the country’s constitution.

The head of the Turkish Community in Germany, Gokay Sofuoglu, called Seehofer’s comments unhelpful at a time when the country is again seeing a rise in attacks on mosques and other Islamic institutions.

“Religious freedom is without a doubt part of Germany,” said Sofuoglu. “It’s in the constitution.”

A protest poster with a composite photograph of German Chancellor Angela Merkel is pictured in front of a German national flag during a demonstration of PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West) in Dresden, eastern Germany, Monday, Feb. 29, 2016. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

Jens Meyer / AP

The phrase “Islam is part of Germany” was coined by former President Christian Wulff in 2010 and has since become a battleground for those who oppose mass migration from Muslim countries.

The Alternative for Germany’s campaign in last year’s election — which saw the party win seats in national parliament for the first time — included the statement that “Islam is not a part of Germany.”

Source: ottawacitizen.com

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There’s a doorway to the underworld’ in Siberia so big it’s uncovered ancient forests


​A doorway to 200,000 years ago.

It’s no secret that Siberia’s permafrost is on thin ice. Conditions are varying so much that huge holes are appearing out of nowhere , and, in some places, tundra is quite literally bubbling underneath people’s feet .
But one of the biggest craters in the region, known by the local Yakutian people as the ‘doorway to the underworld’ , is growing so rapidly that it’s uncovering long-buried forests, carcasses, and up to 200,000 years of historical climate records.

Known as the Batagaika crater , it’s what’s officially called a ‘ megaslump ‘ or ‘ thermokarst ‘.

Many of these megaslumps have been appearing across Siberia in recent years, but researchers think Batagaika could be something of an anomaly in the region, located around 660 km (410 miles) north-east of the region’s capital city of Yakutsk .

Not only is the crater already the largest of its kind, almost 1 km (0.6 miles) long and 86 metres (282 feet) deep, but it’s getting bigger all the time.

Alexander Gabyshev, Research Institute of Applied Ecology of the North
Research presented in 2016 by Frank Günther from the Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany revealed that the head wall of the crater has grown by an average of 10 metres (33 feet) per year over the past decade of observations.

And in warmer years, the growth has been up to 30 metres (98 feet) per year.

The team also suspects that the side wall of the crater will reach a neighbouring valley in the coming months as temperatures heat up in the Northern Hemisphere, which could lead to even more land collapse.

“On average over many years, we have seen that there’s not so much acceleration or deceleration of these rates, it’s continuously growing,” Günther told Melissa Hogenboom from the BBC .

“And continuous growth means that the crater gets deeper and deeper every year.”

That’s not great news for climate change. The crater formation first started after a large chunk of forest was cleared nearby in the 1960s.

Because the ground was no longer shaded in the warm, summer months, it heated up more rapidly than it had in the past, eventually causing the permafrost to melt and the ground to collapse.

Major flooding in 2008 made the melting even worse, and contributed to the size of the crater.

Alexander Gabyshev, Research Institute of Applied Ecology of the North
The instability of the region isn’t just dangerous for locals, there are also concerns that as the hole gets deeper and larger, it will expose carbon stores that have been locked away for thousands of years.

“Global estimations of carbon stored in permafrost is [the] same amount as what’s in the atmosphere,” Günther told the BBC.

As the crater continues to melt, these greenhouse gases could be released into the atmosphere, triggering more warming.

“This is what we call positive feedback,”

added Günther. “Warming accelerates warming, and these features may develop in other places.

But it’s not all terrible news. A study published in February 2017 in the journal Quaternary Research has shown that the layers exposed by the crater could now reveal 200,000 years of climate data.

That’s in addition to the preserved remains of long-buried forests, ancient

pollen samples, and even the frozen remains of a musk ox , mammoth, and a 4,400-year-old horse .

Here’s some ancient tree remains in the melting permafrost:

                   Julian Murton
The research was led by Julian Murton from the University of Sussex, who says the exposed sediment could be useful for understanding how the climate of Siberia changed in the past, and predicting how it will change in the future.

While most of the planet went through periods of cooling and warming over the past 200,000 years, the climate history of Siberia is vastly unknown.

But according to Murton, the last time Siberia saw this kind of slumping occur was around 10,000 years ago, as Earth transitioned out of its last Ice Age.

And today greenhouse gas levels in our atmosphere are much higher than they were back then – we’ve exceeded 400 parts per million CO2, compared to 280 parts per million when the last Ice Age ended.

“The Batagaika site contains a remarkably thick sequence of permafrost deposits, which include two wood-rich layers interpreted as forest beds that indicate past climates about as warm or warmer than today’s climate,” Murton told Sarah Emerson over at Motherboard last year .

“The upper forest bed overlies an old land surface that was eroded, probably when permafrost thawed in a past episode of climate warming.”

If the researchers can use this information to understand exactly what happened to Siberia last time the permafrost melted, we might be able to better prepare for when it happens again.

But there’s more research that needs to be done – the exact dates of the sediment that have been exposed in the crater still aren’t known, Murton told Hogenboom.

He’s now planning to drill bore holes in the region to analyse more sediment and get a more accurate understanding of what happened in the past.

“Ultimately, we’re trying to see if climate change during the last Ice Age [in Siberia] was characterised by a lot of variability: warming and cooling, warming and cooling as occurred in the North Atlantic region,” says Murton.

The research has been published in Quaternary Research .
Source: sciencealert.com

In Germany Most industrial firms say Brexit won’t hurt their business – Ifo


image

Nearly two-thirds of German industrial companies say a British exit from the
European Union won’t hurt their business, a poll by the Ifo economic institute showed on Wednesday, albeit underlining differences in size and sector.
According to the survey, 61 percent of respondents said a Brexit would have no negative consequences for their business while 38 percent said it would cause damage.
Larger companies, those with more than 500 employees, were more concerned, with 53 percent of them saying a British exit would have negative consequences for their business.
Looking at different sectors, firms in the electronics, automobile and metals industry were most concerned while food and textile companies were the least unsettled, Ifo said.
The head of the BGA trade association said on Monday German exports will grow less than expected this year due to external risks, including a British exit from the EU and uncertainties ahead of elections in the United States and France – Germany’s two most important trading partners.
Britain is Germany’s third most important export destination. In 2015, German companies exported goods worth some 89 billion euros ($100 billion) to Britain . At the same time,
Germany imported British goods worth some 38 billion euros, leaving a trade surplus of around 51 billion euros.
With a total trade volume of 127.5 billion euros, Britain is Germany’s fifth biggest trading partner behind the United States, France, the Netherlands and China. For the UK, Germany is the most important trade partner, ahead of the United States.
The DIW economic institute DIW has warned a British exit would likely lead to higher export tariffs, reducing German trade and knocking up to half a percentage point off growth in Europe’s biggest economy next year.

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Source: Pulse