Displaying items by tag: Berlin

Thursday, 01 December 2022 21:21

Germany: struggling with influx of refugees

One million Ukrainians have fled to Germany since Russia's invasion. On the outskirts of Berlin, almost 1,000 people sleep in giant heated tents on a former airport runway. The German capital is struggling to house Ukraine's refugees properly. As winter deepens and Russia continues attacking Ukraine's energy infrastructure, authorities are hastily preparing more emergency shelters in anticipation of up to 10,000 more Ukrainians. Germany initially extended a warm welcome, but there are now growing concerns about how best to accommodate such a large number of people. Around 100 Ukrainians arrive every day at the main refugee reception centre in the airport terminal. Workers in brightly coloured tabards lead them to departure halls filled with trestle tables offering food, medical aid and a bed for a ‘temporary’ stay. But many will stay in bunks in shared cubicles or tents for longer than a few days. Permanent accommodation is getting harder to find.

Published in Europe
Friday, 15 October 2021 09:52

Germany: anti-Semitism at football match

UEFA are investigating Union Berlin after shocking acts of anti-Semitism took place during a match with Israel’s Maccabi Haifa football team in a Nazi-built stadium. Before the game Maccabi players laid a wreath at Berlin’s Holocaust memorial. During the game a Jewish group of fans were subjected to anti-Semitic abuse and assaulted in the mixed area of the stands where fans from both teams sit together. They were threatened, pelted with beer, insulted, and one fan tried to set fire to an Israeli flag. UEFA said that an ‘Ethics and Disciplinary Inspector’ has been appointed to conduct a disciplinary investigation regarding discriminatory incidents. Police are also investigating the antisemitic abuse, which included other incidents around the stadium. Club president Dirk Zingler said, ‘This latest display of anti-Semitism, in a place so iconic for the Nazis, shows there is still work to be done to stamp it out in German society.’

Published in Europe
Thursday, 12 August 2021 21:59

UK's embassy hired a Kremlin spy

David Smith, a security guard at the British Embassy in Berlin, is accused and charged with passing classified documents to a Russian spy. Smith received a bundle of cash in return for providing reports to a Kremlin agent of counter-terrorism tactics in the event of an attack, details invaluable to enemy agents seeking embassy weaknesses in a city where Russian espionage is rife. Smith may have been blackmailed by Putin agents due to his 'extreme right-wing views'. Germany’s domestic intelligence service said Russian espionage is as active as it was during the Cold War. Questions will be raised about vetting procedures at the British embassy in Berlin, which is seen by Moscow as a prime intelligence target. Smith was hired directly by the embassy - not the Foreign Office in London. This spying case is part of growing attempts by Russian spies to infiltrate Western intelligence operations in recent months.

Published in British Isles
Saturday, 07 January 2017 02:55

Portions of a letter from Germany

‘The terror attack on the Christmas market in Berlin has been reported in detail in the media. As well as praying for the bereaved and injured, please pray for the security forces, police, politicians and the justice system to work together for the security of citizens, and to better manage the challenges of tracing those who may be intent on carrying out terror attacks. Pray for God’s wisdom and protection from the rule of fear.’ Also: ‘Post-factual (or Post-truth) stands for a fundamental change in presenting news and information in society. Increasingly political and social discussions are based on emotion rather than facts. An emotional perception of what is real then replaces the factual reality. The “truth” now rests in what everybody is talking about irrespective of the underlying facts. News is increasingly created and spread through social networks. Pray for political leaders to protect citizens from the deliberate manipulation of facts and make the spreading of untrue information a punishable offence.’

Published in Europe