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  • The EXB news briefing: Aug 2, 2018

Politics

The EXB news briefing: Aug 2, 2018

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

Image for The EXB news briefing: Aug 2, 2018 A weekly round-up of news stories that piqued our interest or made us scratch our heads. This week: Potato panic Over the weekend several media ran the shocking news that, due to the drought, potatoes might not grow large enough to produce normal sized chips (aka French fries). On top of that, farmers are expecting to harvest 40 percent less, which is likely to make prices go up. Now, size surely isn’t everything, but if you’re into the long and crispy variety, better go and get them while you can! Back to the Future IV? Has Marty McFly returned? A DeLorean, the car made famous by the 1985 movie Back to The Future, was stopped in Britz by the police. Sadly, it wasn’t Marty and the Doc returning (to stop Donald Trump from being president for example!), but a music video shoot for New Zealand musician Rob Longstaff. Not having official approval documents, he was ordered to turn on his flux capacitor and reverse back to the 80s. Just friends One in three Germans think that “friends with benefits” is a good thing, according to a study published by YouGov. Over 60 percent believe that any male-female friendship carries the threat (or potential?) of something more, whereas 1 in 5 believe that men and women cannot be friends at all. Published ahead of the International Day of Friendship on July 30, it also found Germans have 3.7 close friends on average. How many of those are with benefits? Bike tax? Berlin’s 12 district mayors want to implement a new corporate tax for rental bike companies. Ten years ago, a court in Hamburg decided that raising taxes for parking a bike is not possible under existing law. But here we’re talking about an estimated 16.000 of them blocking up U-Bahn entrances and turning pavements into hurdling courses. Besides, Bremen has successfully instigated an annual fee, charging one euro per rental bike each year. And if Bremen can do it… The fast and the furious of Berlin The likeliness of finding yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time has increased: Since the law tightened in October 2017, the Berlin police stopped 150 car races, around 18 per month. In previous years, the average was six a month. By now, the fist verdicts are in: One Ku’damm racer got six months on probation and had his car confiscated, while another one was sentenced to 20 months in prison for a 90 minute race at 200km/h. Looking for a Kita One woman has devised a unique solution to the shortage of places at Kitas in Berlin. Frustrated by the application process, she created her own website. Entitled “Kai sucht einen Kita-Platz” (Kai is looking for a daycare place), it details her son’s daily schedule in the hope of finally finding him a place. At least once she does, it will be free: As of Tuesday day care has become free of charge in Berlin. Late again Whether it’s buses, U-Bahns or trams, we’re used to the BVG being late. Now they’re running behind with their official plan to make all Berlin underground stations wheelchair accessible by 2020. With less than two years to go, 52 out of 173 stations still haven’t been equipped with lifts. At €2,70 a ride you’d expect more! Blistering heat Marzahn’s emergency hospital specialises in skin burns. They are currently treating an increased number of patients for severe sun burns. According to the clinic’s spokesperson, all age groups are affected and should seek immediate medical care should they, after a day in the sun, find their skin in blisters. Meanwhile, the Berlin senate is operating a bus distributing water bottles and sunscreen to the city’s homeless and the Stadtmission has an ambulance taking care of dehydrated and sunburnt living on the street.