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  • The EXB news briefing: August 23, 2018


The EXB news briefing: August 23, 2018

In the German papers this week: Vexing and perplexing news stories from Berlin and beyond...

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A weekly round-up of news stories that piqued our interest or made us scratch our heads.

DB goes atonal In an attempt to curb the high numbers of drunks at Hermannstraße S-Bahn station, Deutsche Bahn announced an innovative repelling method to be trialled this September: loud atonal music! The announcement prompted activists and fans of the genre to respond with a big atonal bash on Friday: Schönberg anyone? There’ll also be free food and drinks for the station’s homeless!

East-West split It may be nearly 30 years since the fall of the Berlin wall but the Ossi/Wessi divide still remains. A recent meta-study from the federal and state statistics bodies reveals that West Germans earn more than East Germans while working shorter hours. On average the East, including Berlin, works 1346 hours a year compared to Western Germany’s 1279, while earning €30,172 a year compared to the West’s much higher €35,084.

She-sha A woman-only hookah bar has opened in Kreuzberg!  Even the boss is not allowed in the bar, talking to the manager from outside via walkie-talkie. It has already proved a massive success, and is fully booked each weekend!

Tatort-Tod The creator of Tatort, Gunther Witte, was found dead last Thursday. The crime show, invented in 1970, is a true cultural institution, with Germans filling Kneipen every Sunday to watch the drama. Expect pubs this Sunday to be more crowded than usual.

Berlin pays “r e s p e c t”! It usually takes a while for streets to be renamed in Berlin. For example, the much awaited David-Bowie-Straße is yet to become a reality. Aretha Franklin, however, who died last Thursday, already has a street named after her. Charlottenburg’s Franklinstraße has been creatively amended by a zealous fan with the name “Aretha” on top. This gesture is unlikely to last long.

Better late than never On Wednesday, the police arrested a Chechen man suspected of planning a terrorist act in Berlin. The man, Magomed-Ali C., is supposed to have stored “large amounts” of explosive TATP in his Berlin flat back in 2016. At the time he was sharing his flat with another alleged terrorist, Clément B., who was arrested in Marseille last year and whose number was found of Christmas-market murderer Anis Amri’s phone.

Where-fi? Ever been desperate for a good wi-fi connection while waiting for your U-Bahn? According to the B V G, the middle of the platform is where reception is best. Since 2016, free wi-fi has been made available at 170 stops, with plans to fit out the remaining three stations (Bismarckstraße, Schlossstraße and Rathaus Steglitz) by the end of this year. In addition, members of the LTE network can enjoy fast 4G internet in 21 stations. Happy surfing!

No gatecrashing Unlike other heads of state on official visits to Germany, Turkish president Erdogan will not get the opportunity to stroll through Brandenburger Tor on September 28 and 29. The official reason: The area will be sealed off for preparations of Germany’s national holiday, October 3. The Tor will be at the centre of a special show (details not released yet), but it looks like the controversial autocrat won’t be part of it.