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Weekly update: Merkel supports student climate demonstrations

Updated: Feb 2, 2021

By Jack Turner

Merkel spricht sich positiv für Klimademonstrationen von Schülern und Studenten aus:

This week, Angela Merkel has backed the weekly student demonstrations for more climate protection. Every Friday, pupils and students in Germany and other countries around the world demonstrate under the motto "FridaysForFuture”, modelled on the young Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. In her video podcast released on Saturday, Merkel said, "I strongly support that students take to the streets for climate protection and fight for it," and expressed her belief that “this is a very good initiative" as “climate protection goals are only achievable if there is support in society”.

Paragraph 219a wird weiterhin diskutiert:

In response to the Bundestag approving the reform of section 219a on the ban on advertising abortions last week, the FDP, Left and Green parties are reportedly considering a joint complaint to the Federal Constitutional Court against the new paragraph. In a conversation with the RND newspaper, law expert Arthur Kreuzer said he “considers a lawsuit promising," as "the law does not seem constitutionally tenable”.

Renovierung des Marine Schiffs ‘Gorch Fock’ um mehr als das Zehnfache teurer als ursprünglich angenommen:

According to a report in Die Welt, the Federal Ministry of Defence has admitted it made serious mistakes in the affair surrounding the mariner training ship ‘Gorch Fock’. Initially estimating the renovation of the ship would cost around €10 million in 2015, the renovation cost has now skyrocketed to €135 million. The Court of Auditors found serious failures in the repair of the sailing ship built in 1958, complaining that before the repair there had been neither a comprehensive loss assessment nor a sufficient investigation of the economic viability.

Zukünfitge Lohnerhöhung in einigen soziale Berufen:

Finally, an agreement was made on Saturday between trade unions and state employers for an 8% pay-rise for 1 million teachers, nurses and other state employees. By the end of 2021, state employees should be making at least €240 more per month. The agreement is also hoped to help address Germany’s care worker crisis and ailing labour market.

Die fünfte Jahreszeit in vollem Gange:

Finally, it’s carnival season again in Cologne. Check out all the events, pictures and more on their website. If you’re unsure about what it all means, check out’s ready-made glossary on carnival terms. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer grabbed the headlines for all the wrong reasons, however. She caused controversy by mocking the idea of gender-neutral bathrooms during a Carnival-themed programme showing on SWR (Südwestrundfunk).

Zu guter letzt:

We were pretty hesitant to put this story in about a rat getting stuck in a manhole. But it hit BBC news and went viral on Social Media. See for yourself.

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