DAILY NEWS IN ENGLISH
Wirecard: German watchdog files market manipulation charges Germanyʼs financial market regulator filed charges against multiple people for allegedly trying to manipulate the share price of payment services provider Wirecard AG. The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) opened a probe into the matter after the German companyʼs stock fell 40 percent in late January in response to several Financial Times articles that accused Wirecard of fraud. BaFin confirmed to DW that it had filed the charges with prosecutors in the southern city of Munich. Der Spiegel magazine first reported on the filing.A spokeswoman at the watchdog said the suspects were accused of trying to manipulate Wirecardʼs share price as part of a "short attack." She did not provide any details on their identity.Der Spiegel reported that BaFin had targeted a dozen people, including journalists at the Financial Times.The regulatorʼs probes into "other potential attempts to manipulate Wirecard AG shares are continuing," the spokeswoman said.
Germanyʼs AfD party fined over €400,000 for illegal campaign financing The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party was fined €402,900 ($455,548) by German parliamentʼs administrative authority on Tuesday. The fine is related toillegal campaign fundsfor two of the partyʼs officials. The campaign funds originated from Swiss public relations agency Goal AG.German parties and candidates are not permitted to receive donations from non-EU entities.The funds were used to finance state election campaigns in 2016 and 2017 for national chairman Jörg Meuthen and national board member Guido Reil.AfD co-leader Alice Weidel could also be fined for receiving illegal funds, again from Switzerland, where she lived for years.
89/2019 • 17 APRIL, 2019
Franceʼs Macron vows to rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral within 5 years Two French billionaires and oil giant Total have already pledged huge donations
The French president has announced a funding campaign to rebuild Notre Dame after it was partially gutted in a fire. Two French billionaires and oil giant Total have already pledged huge donations towards the effort.
Paris joins Hong Kong and Singapore as worldʼs most expensive city The French capital shares the title of the worldʼs most expensive place to live with Hong Kong and Singapore. Economic woes have made Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo and Istanbul much cheaper. Singapore is one of the worldʼs three most expensive cities for the sixth year running, according to The Economist Intelligence Unitʼs 2019 Worldwide Cost of Living Survey, released on Tuesday. The southeast Asian citystate shares the tag of the most costly place to live with Hong Kong and Paris. When the prices of more than 150 items were compared in 133
cities around the world, the French capital moved up one place in the rankings compared to last year. Parisʼ advance perhapsbolsters the central case of Franceʼs yellow vest protesters, who have blockaded major roads and cities during the past four months over the rising cost of living. The Swiss cities of Zurich and Geneva were ranked fourth and joint fifth respectively, followed by Japanʼs Osaka and Seoul in South Korea. Israelʼs second-most populous city, Tel Aviv, entered the Top 10 for the first time — the only Middle Eastern highranked representative in the survey.
Erwin Blumenfeld: Fashion photographyʼs surrealist innovator An imaginative visionary who claimed to have "smuggled art" into his body of work, photographer Erwin Blumenfeld often embraced mischief when he produced his images. His friendship with Dadaists impacted how he experimented with photography and his life experiences, which took the German-Jewish photographer from his Berlin birthplace to a
failed business in Amsterdam to internment camps in France and eventually to the United States, also fed into the dark visual subtitles of his images. While in Europe, Blumenfeld shot in black and white, but itʼs his kaleidoscopic photography that forms the subject of a new exhibition at Foam in Amsterdam: "Erwin Blumenfeld in Color — His New York Years."
Bahrain strips 138 people of citizenship for links to elite Iran force A court in Bahrain sentenced 138 people to jail and stripped them of their citizenship for conspiring to create a "terror" cell linked to Iranʼs elite Revolutionary Guards force, the countryʼs public prosecutor said. The mass sentencing was "the largest" revocation of nationality since the country started using the punishment in 2012, the Europe-based Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) said. The 138 people received sentences ranging from three years to life imprisonment. One man was jailed, but did not have his citizenship revoked.The group was accused of forming a "Bahraini Hezbollah" — a reference to the Shiite militant faction in Lebanon — with Iranian help, to carry out terrorist attacks in Sunni-ruled Bahrain.
Widow of prominent IS terrorist reportedly living quiet life in Germany When Jenan Moussa, an acclaimed war reporter for the Arab TV channel Al Aan, received the contents of a smart phone from a "trusted source," she immediately knew she had been handed a treasure trove. The phone, she says, belonged to an Omaima A. — a German citizen of Tunisian descent. The contents of the phone — thousands of chat messages and photographs, as well as flight details and screenshots of official papers — document Omaima A.ʼs journey from Germany to the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) in early 2015.
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89/2019 • 17 April, 2019
German satirist Jan Böhmermann sues Angela Merkel over Erdogan poem remark German comedian Jan Böhmermannis seeking an injunction against German Chancellor Angela Merkelover her comments about his controversial poem about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a Berlin court confirmed on Tuesday. Böhmermannʼs "Schmähgedicht" — or "defamatory poem" — sparked a diplomatic crisis between Germany and Turkey in 2016 and led to an investigation against the German comedian. Details of the case: A spokesperson with Berlinʼs Administrative Court told news agency DPA that Böhmermannʼs suit against Merkel includes two parts: First, he wants the court to bar her from publically repeating that his poem was "purposefully offensive."If the court rejects that motion, Böhmermann has asked the court to formally state that Merkelʼs assessment of his poem was unlawful.The Berlin court will hear the case on April 16 and is also due to deliver a verdict then as well.Merkel will not personally appear in court, but will be represented by her lawyer.
DFB President Reinhard Grindel steps down The German FA (DFB) announced on Tuesday that the organizationʼs president, Reinhard Grindel, had resigned with immediate effect. The two DFB first vice presidents, Rainer Koch and Reinhard Rauball, are to lead the DFB on an interim basis until a new president is elected at a congress in September. "Through his high level of personal commitment Reinhard Grindel has achieved a lot for the DFB, not only regarding the application for EURO 2024," Koch said in a statement posted on the DFBʼs website.
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No-deal Brexit ʼalmost inevitableʼ — the view from Europe The deadline for the UK to present the European Union with a new proposal for its exit from the bloc or crash out without a deal is fast approaching. A top EU official has warned that Britain is "facing the abyss." After the UK Parliament once again rejected alternative options to Prime Minister Theresa Mayʼs Brexit deal, European politicians were quick to react. The European Parliamentʼs Brexit coordinator said the UK has a "last chance" to break the deadlock on leaving the European Union when Parliament meets again on Wednesday or "face the abyss." Guy Verhofstadt said: "The House of Commons again votes against all options. A hard #Brexit becomes nearly inevitable. Jens Geier, a German member of the European Parliament, said that there
was a "ridiculous self-blockade in the British parliament" and that the EU could only agree to an extension of the Brexit deadline beyond April 12 if there was a second referendum. The EU has called an emergency summit for April 10 and warned that without a plan, Britain risks abruptly ending ties with its largest trading partner two days later, causing huge economic disruption. "With our British friends we have had a lot of patience, but even patience is running out," European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker told Italian television channel Rai 1.
After Chinaʼs import ban, where to with the worldʼs waste? When China announced it would no longer recycle the worldʼs old plastic bottles, cardboard boxes and tattered newspapers, it triggered a global trash crisis. The toxic fumes wafting across the small village of Jenjarom, just outside the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur, are especially bad at night, when the nearby recycling plants begin to meltplastic waste. "It stinks, and the fumes hurts our lungs," says Lay Peng, a 47-year-old who lives in a nearby housing estate. "No one can
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run away from the toxic fumes, thatʼs the worst part." Lay Peng says hundreds of tons of plastic waste are regularly incinerated in an illegal operation just a kilometer (around half a mile) from her home. Her three children, she says, have all developed asthma, and her husband has been hospitalized with lung cancer. For the last year and a half, Jenjarom has been importing increasing amounts of plastic waste to be recycled and incinerated, putting the village in the middle of a worldwide garbage crisis.
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Global property markets on the turn Boom times in many global real estate markets are turning to bust. Australia, several Asian countries and North America are starting to see large price corrections that are leaving speculators racing for cover. Australiaʼs housing market is witnessing its steepest annual fall in 15 years. In Sydney, prices are down 10 percent in a year. House prices in Sydney doubled in a decade on the back of Australiaʼs booming economy, with the median price still being an eyewatering 1,062,619 Australian dollars (€668,391, $762,391). But tighter lending criteria for mortgages have helped fuel the drop. Bangkokʼs condo market cools Bangkok condominiums have been popular with Chinese investors over the past five years, with prices rising at 5-10 percent per annum. A building boom has, however, left 40,000 units unsold, with another 53,000 new apartments to be launched this year. While properties in other Asian cities have doubled in value as a result of limited land space, the Thai capital has plenty of room to grow — and is.
Geely the car industryʼs rising ʼprofitability starʼ Ferdinand Dudenhöffer from the CAR Center Automotive Research at Germanyʼs DuisburgEssen University called Chinese auto manufacturer Geely "the profitability star of the worldʼs car industry." A fresh study by the center points out that on average, a Geely car costs just €9,529 ($10,942), but the companysecures a 14.4 percent profit from revenues before tax and interest. Dudenhöffer says thatʼs a lot more than, say, the profit margins of foreign rivals BMW, Toyota or PSA-Opel. The worldʼs largest carmaker, Wolfsburg-based Volkswagen, logs a profit margin of only 8.2 percent, the survey says. Geely is part of the Zhejiang Geely Holding,which also owns Volvo Cars, London EV-Taxi and Lotus.The holding has also acquired a 10 percent stake in Daimler. According to the CAR researchers, Geelyʼs rapid rise is based on its successful compact car platform, which it developed together with Sweden-based Volvo.