Posts tagged ‘Germany’

June 9, 2011

Germany denies America drug for killing its citizens

[Tom Hopper, US News Contributor]

Spiegel Online International: With more than 3000 American death row inmates in the 34 US states that  employ the death penalty not-so-eagerly awaiting their killing by lethal injection, America is running out of the lethal injection drugs to despatch the prisoners as US firms stop producing the deadly drug.

America’s desperate attempts to import the drugs though are not proving to be successful as country after country is refusing to supply the deadly drugs. The latest slap in the face for US executioners was from Germany which point-blank refused to supply the drug. Recently, India, UK and Denmark have done the same.

As a result, many executions have had to be delayed and the US is currently considering the employment of more primitive methods to cull its waiting list for executions.

Not a good time to be on death row in the USA it would seem. Perhaps the USA should be looking to get the lethal drugs from countries more amenable to killing their citizens which include Libya, China, Syria, Yemen, DRC as it is unlikely then that it would face any opposition for the importation of the necessary drugs.

In America, offences that carry the death penalty include:

  • Treason
  • Use of weapon of mass destruction resulting in death
  • Espionage, terrorism, certain violations of the Geneva Conventions that result in the death of one or more persons,
  • Aggravated rape in Louisiana, Florida and Oklahoma;
  • Extortionate kidnapping in Oklahoma;
  • Aggravated kidnapping in Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky and South Carolina;
  • Robbery and and aircraft hijacking in Alabama;
  • Drug trafficking resulting in a person’s death in Connecticut and Florida;
  • Train wrecking which leads to a person’s death and perjury which leads to a person’s death in California.

In addition, under the US Uniform Code of Military Justice, execution can be ordered for many more offences including: desertion, mutiny, spying, and misbehaviour before the enemy.

Many of those executed in the USA have received posthumous pardons.

June 8, 2011

Scientists link e.coli epidemic to mutation of earlier 2001 bug outbreak in Munster, Germany

[Renate Von Kuznig, Health Contributor]

Wall Street Journal:  Not cucumbers, not sprouts, not tomatoes – what then is responsible for the ongoing deaths (up to 28 or so) and the thousands being made ill by the e.coli infections hitting Germany and frightening the world?  The culprit it seems is to be none other than an evolved and extremely toxic version of a bug first identified in Münster, Germany, way back in 2001 say scientists.

According to Alexander Mellmann at the University Hospital of Munster: “Everything we know so far indicates it is an evolved strain…if it was completely unknown, we’d struggle a lot more in our effort to fight it.”

Researchers at BGI and University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf researchers who seem to agree with Dr. Mellmann after looking at material belonging to the 2001 and 2011 strains of the bug and found that seven genes crucial to both bugs’ existence are the same as well as 12 others.

The 2001 outbreak had affected around five identified people world-wide and had never really been identified and eradicated and the scientists’ genetic analysis has shown up that as the earlier bug has interacted with the newer one, it has become stronger and is practically drug-resistant.

Nearly all the 2700, or so cases of the bug infection and associated deaths can be traced back to Germany.

June 4, 2011

“Outbreak” – you saw the movie, but now the reality is here as mutant e.coli superbugs ravage Germany and kills 11 people in the UK whilst spreading to the USA

[Selma Tahovsky
Health News Contributor]

According to a recent MailOnline report, a new, ultra-toxic and drug-resistant E.Coli strain is now causing serious concern by health officials in the US and UK and at least nine other European countries, thus threatening to become an international epidemic of epic proportions.

Following eleven reported infections in the UK, British supermarkets have been warned against selling any German food, although several larger chains like Lidl and Tesco have announced that they will still sell the food, though in small quantities.

Medics are warning the public that the bug is likely to be spreading not only through raw vegetables, but also through personal contact and poor hygiene.  In the meantime, Russia has banned food imports from Germany and along with severe losses from damage to its food industry as a result of the outbreak which is ravaging the country, Germany is likely to face Spanish farmers’ lawsuit for close to two hundred million British pounds in compensation for Germany’s widespread (which have proved now to be mistaken) allegations about the bacteria coming from Spanish food imports.

June 2, 2011

More deaths spreading over Europe as Germany’s drug resistant e.coli outbreak threatens a worldwide disaster – Spanish cucumbers not to blame

[Manuel Barthoso, Public Health Contributor]

A new strain of the e.coli organism is being blamed by scientists for an outbreak which has killed over 20 and hospitalised more than 2000 people in Germany and Europe over the past few days.  Furthermore, the organism thought to be the culprit, has been found to be drug-resistant by Chinese and German scientists according to News24 and the Telegraph.

However, no one really knows what is responsible for the outbreak which seems to be getting worse by the day with Germany, where the outbreak appears to have started, being the hardest hit country.

What is clear is that that the infection is caused by eating bad food. But which foods are affected and how to clean food before consumption to clear the organism at the moment are wild guessing games by baffled scientists. In the meantime, more people in Germany and Europe are falling ill, some fatally.

The are rumours that the organism is a result of genetically modified food production and also the horrific contamination of the sea by the ongoing Fukushima disaster which has affected the fish worldwide.

The Beijing Genomics Institute, which has been working on a solution for the outbreak has said that the organism: “contains several genes that were resistant to antibiotics”.

p
Related articles
May 31, 2011

“Not our vegetables to blame, its German food!”, Spain says after accusations from Germany that its vegetables caused the country’s deadly e.coli outbreak

[Peter Skelps, Epidemics Contributor]

BBC News: Spain is furious with the Germans for passing the buck to it for Germany‘s recent bad food outbreak which is making thousands seriously ill and so far has killed around 20 over Germany.

Angry Manuel Jose, a Spanish tourist in Hamburg, told iTOD Daily news contributor, Peter Skelps: “It’s nothing to do with Spain and Spanish food. It’s just a big cover up by the Germans to hide their own bad food. Bad food poisoning in Germany has always been a time bomb. Go to any fast food place, or cafe – they all touch money and everything with their hands and then handle your food with the same hands. Restaurant attendants and kitchen hands there even go to the bathroom and handle your food after without washing their hands. It’s them to blame, not us and it’s certainly nothing to do with our cucumbers.

He went on to say: “So they are bothered about 20 deaths…what about the 140,000 Germans that die each and every year directly from smoking tobacco in Germany. Instead of continuing to encourage Germans to smoke, shouldn’t they  stop trying to kill them all?”

Spain’s agricultural minister has said that Germany has no reliable data to link the poisoning to Spanish vegetables.  This view has since been echoed by a number of German officials who have expressed mixed views concerning the matter.

The outbreak has killed around fifteen Germans and one Swedish woman who died after eating German food.

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI), which is Germany’s national disease institute, has confirmed that since the outbreak, which appears to be worsening, over 1,150 people in  Germany have been contaminated by enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (‘EHEC‘) which in turn has led to Haemolytic-uraemic Syndrome (HUS), which causes kidney problems and can kill. Germany has 373 cases of HUS currently.

May 30, 2011

Germany makes no move to halt its imports of nuclear energy from France, but will stop its own nuclear energy production in 2022

[Tim Salinger, Germany Nuclear Power Contributor]

EUOBSERVER: In a politically savvy move made breathtaking by its boldness, in the wake of popular widespread opposition to nuclear energy in the country following the Fukushima disaster, the German government has announced that it will stop all its nuclear energy production by 2022.

However, its bordering neighbour, France, which meets 78% of its own energy needs via nuclear energy production and  is the world’s leader in nuclear energy production is set to export significant amounts of energy to its neighbour, Germany, as a result of the German moratorium on nuclear power.

Germany as the world’s fifth largest energy consumer imported two-thirds of its primary energy needs in 2002 of which around 12% was from France.  As Germany’s nuclear power program has slowed down, its imports of energy have steadily risen and it is expected that in by the time of Germany’s total discontinuation of nuclear energy production, it will be importing more than 25% of its energy needs from a nuclear productive France.

As France with it 59 nuclear power plants borders Germany, any nuclear disaster in France would impact the German people in the same way as any nuclear plant disaster on German soil. Therefore, wouldn’t it be a good idea to get France to stop its nuclear energy production as well?  Hmmmnnnn….

May 29, 2011

Nicht gut! Deadly E.Coli bacteria outbreak kills many in Germany, hundreds infected

[Sarah Dunkelmann, Health News Contributor]

Mail.com reports that after the dioxin contamination scandal which dissuaded many families from having fresh milk, eggs, chicken and pork for breakfast, German food is contaminated again, this time with the bacteria E.Coli  which has been found in German tomatoes, cucumbers and other vegetables.

According to the official data, at least nine people have died so far from deadly infection, which causes fever, severe stomach cramps, watery diarrhea which continues unstoppably for several days until only blood is pouring out when relief is only delivered by death due to severe red blood cells count fall and/or renal failure.  Around three hundred E.Coli infected are reported  to have reached this final, life-threatening sickness stage.

The deadly bacteria was initially found in cucumbers imported from Spain, and currently investigation is being carried out in order to establish whether the cucumbers were contaminated from the start or became so during shipment or during their handling in Germany.

May 3, 2011

Deutsche bank in $1 billion sting, claims US Government

[Bjorn Schroeder, Global Finance News Contributor]

BBC News: It seems that after just stemming the tide of harsh criticism after a recent adverse German Federal Court of Justice ruling that the bank had acted dishonestly towards its German customers, one of the world’s leading banks, Deutsche Bank, is under legal crossfire again, as the US Justice Department is claiming more than $1 billion (£600 million) from it in the US Supreme Court in compensation for ‘defrauding the US government’.

The US Goverment is saying that Deutsche Bank’s MortgageIT subsidiary gave intentionally false information to US authorities to get Federal Housing Administration (which is the federal US mortgage insurer) to cover its loans without doing due diligence on bank’s clients’ solvency.

The lawsuit is one of the first but most likely not the last in the row of US Government‘s actions against unfortunate mortgage lenders within the light of the globally declining real estate market and the growing number of bad loans.

April 26, 2011

Germany, new mecca for cash-strapped eastern Europeans

[Daciana Antonescu, EU News Contributor]

Spiegel Online International: It seems that, in times of the global financial crisis, ‘wealthy Germany‘ has become not only the final destination for many disadvantaged fortune-seekers from the less affluent east and south, but also a favoured destination for desperate eastern Europeans whose counties are practically bankrupt states.

Because of that, the trade for human trafficking is Germany is going through the roof as traders flood the country with cheap work forces from Bulgaria, Romania and other ‘new member states’ made up of those who are so desperate to get any kind of work. For them, the prospect of as little as 3 EUR per hour (tax and social insurance free) and a place to sleep in a crowded warehouse, or cellar, is a vision from heaven itself.

The Outskirts of the EU

Since 2007 when Bulgaria was accepted in the European Union, the number of Bulgarians residing  in Germany is estimated to be 36,000, although no one really knows the true figure. Thousands and thousands are there, unknown and unaccounted for, living on less than EUR15 a day and having their children around as still cheaper workers.

The flow of labour from the eastern Europe is intense because, being citizens of the European Union, Bulgarians and other eastern European citizens, whose countries are in the EU, can enter any EU state without a visa.  Many of the workers have no choice.  “If the children weren’t in Germany we would starve,” says one old woman from Bulgarian countryside as her son leaves for Germany. The majority of them can afford to send home no more than around EUR 200 a month, however, in Bulgaria it is the size of the average salary and their parents need it to pay their debts and for food.

Sinan Kemal’s – a Bulgarian slave labourer in Germany

Sinan Kemal, 27, has worked in Germany for four years. His ‘luck story’ is quite different from what many prospective immigrants would like to think. For example, he had to pay  EUR150 a month for a bed which comprised a dirty mattress at an acquaintance’s house. At some time, he had worked at a warehouse under the surveillance of Turkish managers and remembers that each time he had slowed down in his task of packing boxes, he had got hit in the face by one of the managers. He reflects:  “You’re an EU citizen, but you just happen to be born in the wrong country. But EUR3 an hour is good, compared with going hungry in Bulgaria.”

April 25, 2011

Bad news for doctoral cheats as hunt for plagiarised theses goes viral in Germany

[Dietke Kohl, Germany News Contributor]

Spiegel Online:  It was only two weeks ago that a law professor from the University of Bremen outed Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, who was Germany‘s defense minister at the time, as a plagiariser of parts of his doctoral thesis. As a result, the minister departed his job from the German government last month and lost his PhD title.

Since then,  the hunt for plagiarised works has gone viral in Germany with more than 20 plagiarism hunters working round the clock to out high profile cheats mainly in the field of politics. The group, which calls itself VroniPlag, says that it is not politically motivated:  “The goal is to guarantee the integrity of doctor titles in Germany….the work performed here is neither politically motivated nor is it aimed at personal defamation or anything like it.”” (accrording to the VroniPlag website).

VroniPlag, is made up of Ph.D. holders and a number of professors and regularly updates the media with its outings.

Commentators as saying however, that VroniPlag is targeting German politicians more or less exclusively and  that having regard to the track record of politicians who never plagiarised anything, eg., Hitler, it is puzzling that a German minister should be forced to resign for cheating on his doctoral thesis?

In particular, they say, as a pre-eminent skill for any politician is the ability to cheat and lie seamlessly, it would seem that VroniPlag is in for a busy and fruitful time in its endeavours. But whether those politicians found out should be made to resign their posts as politicians is another matter as cheating on a doctoral dissertation is certainly nothing to suggest that the cheater is not a first-class politician.