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  • The EXB news briefing: July 5, 2018

Politics

The EXB news briefing: July 5, 2018

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

Image for The EXB news briefing: July 5, 2018

Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-J30400 / CC-BY-SA 3.0

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

The jailbird vlogger A prisoner in JVA Tegel uploaded a seven-minute YouTube video on Tuesday in which he explains his day-to-day routine in prison. He talks about whether everyday life in jail looks like we know it from TV reports – and basically, it does… for Germany. He also discusses working in the jail and clarifies that only people who adhere to the rules get the opportunity to work. It is still unclear how the prisoner, who was hiding his identity throughout the video, managed to smuggle a phone into the prison.

Bold move Greenpeace, bold Last week’s Greenpeace action in which they coloured streets around Victory Column with 3500L of environmentally-friendly yellow paint comes with a high price. BSR, the company responsible for cleaning up Berlin, has estimated the costs of cleaning at over €15;000. But not to fret, at least for now, Greenpeace says they will pay the costs of cleaning if they receive an official bill from BSR.

Damn quick service On Saturday for the eighth time waiters, waitresses, bartenders and cooks competed on Kudamm against each other at Berliner Kellnerlauf. What makes a winning waiter? Carrying a tray filled with different drinks for a distance of either 400m or 720m and spilling as little as possible. Cooks had to prepare a delicious dessert, while bartenders had to make a cocktail while running. That’s speedy delivery!

Another day at the races On Sunday curious swimmers could take a dive into the Spree canal around the Museumsinsel for the Flussbad-Pokal. The competition had 123 swimmers registered, the youngest contestant was 16 years old and the oldest 75. Whether swimming there will be possible in the future depends on the success of an ecological plant filter in the canal.

Love is in the air The number of divorces in Berlin and Brandenburg declined in 2017, with only 4445 divorces, which is 5.2 percent less than in 2016 (4691 divorces), according to the State Statistics Office Berlin-Brandenburg on Wednesday. Looks like its safe to put a ring on it after all.

Bat invasion Four buildings on the site of the former Lungenklinik Heckeshorn are not going to be converted into refugee accommodation because bats. If renovations were to take place the bats would lose their “breeding and resting places”, which would violate the Federal Nature Conservation Act.

Jannoshissbrücke Jannowitzbrücke has centimetre-thick pigeon dung on sidewalks and lanterns under the bridge. The station claims they were not aware of increased pigeon population. These are also feeding grounds for the pigeons and their homes and shouldn’t just be removed, while BSR says they will “check whether the walkway section can be included in their special cleaning program”.

Move over (legend of) Knut? Berlin Zoo got another star, a six-month-old bear Hans. Little Hans keeps proudly showing off different skills he has, such as balancing on tree trunks, slipping down or drilling his pointed teeth into the wood and climbing all the way to treetops to enthusiastic visitors. Andreas Knieriem, the Zoo manager explains that Hans was born to climb.