Local news translated – Nov 4, 2020

USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs – Local news translated – Nov 4, 2020

Airlines fined for delayed reimbursements of cancelled flights due to Corona

According to a newspaper report, the German Federal Aviation Authority (LBA) has imposed fines in 21 cases on airlines that have failed to reimburse the ticket costs of flights cancelled due to Corona. The “Handelsblatt” reports that a spokesperson of the authority had informed the authorities of this on request. The spokesman did not give details about the amount of the fines. Lufthansa, which was supported by the state during the Corona crisis, has been particularly criticized in this context. Consumer protectors had accused the airline of failing to refund cancelled flights. (Handelsblatt, November 4)

Up to 25,000 Euro fine for refusing to wear masks in Düsseldorf

According to the general ruling published by the capital of North Rhine-Westphalia on Tuesday evening, anyone who violates the new, practically city-wide mask obligation in Düsseldorf, can be fined up to 25,000 euros. Until now, the obligation to wear a mask – as in other cities – only applied to busy streets and squares in Düsseldorf. The now general obligation to wear a mask (cemeteries, forests, and parks as well as cyclists and motorists are excluded) is justified by the high incidence of infection. (Ntv, November 4)

Stuttgart hospitals limit visitors as Covid-19 patients increase

The second corona wave is causing more and more trouble for Stuttgart hospitals. The number of Covid-19 patients treated there has doubled within a week. The hospitals have therefore tightened their regulations for visitors. What makes the situation so challenging for the hospitals at the moment is that regular surgeries are to be maintained as best as possible.  In view of the growing number of infections, hospitals have tightened their visitor regulations to protect patients. Visits are now “only permitted under certain conditions,” according to the municipal hospital. There are exceptions, for example, for persons accompanying children and relatives of the dying or for patients with dementia. At the RBK and Marienhospital, only patients who are expected to stay in the hospital for more than five days can name a specific person for visits. Considering the intensive care and ventilation places currently used for Covid-19 patients, there is still capacity available. In the municipal hospital, there are 109 regular places, and for emergencies even 215 ventilators. In the RBK there are 43 intensive care beds, which could be increased to 67, in case of an emergency even to 82 places. In the Diakonie-Klinikum the eight ventilation places can be increased to 14, in the Marienhospital 29 intensive care beds can be extended up to 34. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Nov 4)

Corona rapid tests soon also available at schools

In Baden-Württemberg, rapid antigen tests are to be used in schools and day-care centers in the future as a method to reduce the spread of corona infections. The Minister of Education, Susanne Eisenmann (CDU), and the Minister of Health, Manfred Lucha (Greens), announced that they had decided to present a cabinet bill to this effect next week. With the rapid tests, a result should be available within a few minutes. Up to now, the state government has only used so-called PCR tests in schools and day-care centers. Their results are usually only available after one or two days – but they are considered less prone to error. The Federal and State governments are pushing ahead with preparations for mass corona vaccinations. The Government has requested that the States present a plan as to how they will organize the distribution of vaccinations for their populations no later than November 10th. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Nov 4)

With restaurants closed, farmers find alternative ways to sell their meat

The Waldenbuch goose farm at Bonholz is full of geese. The farmer Hermann Mayer says that most should have been slaughtered by October 30, but then came the partial lockdown, and they were not able to sell them to the restaurants. He has decided to market the poultry directly, via the sales outlet. Patrick Haag’s business has also suffered by Corona. The 27-year-old runs the Tegerhof farm outside Degerloch with his brother, and he also has several hundred geese ready for slaughter, but closed restaurants. The majority of the goose meat, which from now on until Christmas can be picked up on Saturdays on order on site in Degerloch. The Gasthaus zur Linde in Möhringen is helping to advertise the sale of the meat. On the restaurant’s homepage, a goose package for two people can be ordered for pick-up: leg and breast, apple-cranberry-red cabbage, dumplings, goose with red wine-apple puree, all vacuum-packed for completion at home, “ready to eat just like at our inn,” emphasizes restaurant owner Ferdinand Trautwein. In addition, side dishes from Möhringen are sold on Saturdays at the Degerlocher Tegerhof – a win-win situation for both farmer and innkeeper. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, November 4)

Non-Corona News

Global order hinges on US election outcome

Green leader Robert Habeck believes that the global order depends on the US election. “If Trump wins this, then a dividing line is crossed, and the global order will change fundamentally,” he told ntv. “If Biden wins this, perhaps it will be possible to turn it back, repair it, gain trust in institutions. Maybe it is too early to speculate about that, but three things can be said right now that are surprising in a certain sense: the polls were off again, and surprisingly strongly, even though one knew that things had gone wrong before. Trumpism is more robust than we thought, and it won’t go away. The third thing is that Covid-19 has had a different effect than most people thought. If this had been just a performance record on crisis management, they would have had to vote Trump out without a second thought. (Ntv, November 4)

Two new stores in the Mercaden Böblingen

Visitors to the Mercaden Böblingen shopping center can look forward to two new stores: The PWV press store on the first floor offers a wide range of products from the press, tobacco and lottery sectors on almost 90 square meters. At the same time, PWV is a partner branch of Deutsche Post and provides postal services. The new Tea Motion store was launched in the Mercaden Böblingen on October 30. The refreshing tea-based beverages are called Bubble Teas, Pearl Milk Tea or Boba and are of Taiwanese origin. They can be mixed with milk and fruit syrup. There are no limits to the imagination. You can find the 50 square meter store on the first floor of the center. (Sindelfinger Zeitung, November 4)

Far from being the end of the story

The terrorist militia Islamic State and the terror network Al Qaeda see the corona pandemic as an opportunity to fight against a weakened West, IS expert Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi is convinced.  Since mid-October, the Islamic state has been on a worldwide offensive, continuing a course begun in the spring. It wants to fight the West, which in its eyes is weakened by the Corona pandemic, with all means at its disposal. The terrorist organization sees the pandemic as an opportunity and wants to use it. In a recent message it was said that they now want to confront the “weak crusader nations with their worst nightmares.” (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Nov 4)