Daily Host Nation Stories September 15, 2020
German Trade Union Confederation insists on the right to telework
Despite sharp criticism from employers, the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) continues to press for a general right of employees to work from home. The decision for telework should not be left exclusively to the discretion of the companies, DGB chairman Reiner Hoffmann told the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung.” At the same time Hoffmann conceded that some work was not adaptable to remote work, such as health care or construction. Nevertheless, telework has increased at a speed that was unimaginable before the Corona pandemic. “We see opportunities here– more compatibility between home and career life and more autonomy with one’s time,” said Hoffmann. However, at the same time Hoffmann calls for a “reliable framework of conditions that ensures work boundaries and protects employees from being overburdened.” (Deutsche Gewerkschaftsbund, September 15)
Bavaria continues to be a Corona hotspot
The infection map for Germany still shows three red spots, all of which are located in Bavaria. According to the latest RKI data, Kaufbeuren, Würzburg, and the district of Garmisch-Partenkirchen all exceed the agreed upon limit of 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days. The cities of Rosenheim and Nuremberg are also close to this critical mark. Currently there are few districts and cities who are reporting no new cases in the past seven days. (Robert-Koch Institute, September 15)
Churches prepare for outdoor Christmas services
It is one hundred days before Christmas in a pandemic year, and church congregations are preparing for possible alternatives for church services. In addition to digital formats and television and radio broadcasts, they want to go out into the open air, says Heinrich Bedford-Strohm in an interview with RTL. “We want to be in the center of communities: marketplaces, sports fields, stadiums, and parks,” says the Chairman of the Council of the Protestant Church in Germany. Lots of people have attended outdoor events during the winter. “They adapt just fine by wearing warm layers of clothing,” says Bedford-Strohm. But since no one knows what rules will be by Christmastime, new digital formats are also in preparation. “We are also in the process of developing digital nativity plays, and there will be a lot of materials available for home worship,” said Bedford-Strohm. (RTL, September 15)
European airlines demand uniform travel rules
Airlines from Europe see uniform travel rules in the Corona pandemic as the most important means of boosting demand for air tickets. The industry association Airlines for Europe (A4E) called on governments in the European Union to follow a corresponding recommendation of the EU Commission. “There is an urgent need for a uniform European test program so that we have a chance to win back the confidence of our passengers,” said A4E Managing Director Thomas Reynaert. The head of the British low-cost airline Easyjet, Johan Lundgren, sees the Europeans’ desire to travel confirmed by the booking figures. “As soon as travel restrictions are withdrawn, bookings go through the roof,” he said. Therefore standardized rules would help the airlines more than money from governments. According to Sebastian Mikosz of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the industry is still struggling for survival. Many states have saved airlines from bankruptcy during the crisis with loans worth billions. From IATA’s point of view, the weak recovery in ticket demand is not due to people being afraid of catching the virus on the plane. “But if people don’t know if they can travel, or what the quarantine requirements will be, they won’t buy tickets,” Mikosz said. The chance of a quarantine obligation upon return might as well be a travel ban. (Ntv, September 15)
Fake police officer scams senior out of his money
A criminal posing as undercover police investigator convinced an 80-year-old man from Bad Cannstatt to give them thousands of euros. The perpetrator pretended to be undercover police investigators and worked on the scam for several weeks. According to the police report, the criminals deceived the senior citizen into believing that his bank assets were in danger. The perpetrator claimed that police were conducting undercover proceedings against bank employees involved in fraud. The unidentified man was able to persuade the 80-year-old to withdraw several tens of thousands of euros in a parking lot of a hardware store in Uhingen. When the victim learned in the media about a fraud in which the perpetrators had acted in a similar manner, he called the police on Monday, September 14. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, September 15)
Exhibitionist sexually harasses three women – witnesses wanted by the police in Stuttgart
On Monday evening in Stuttgart-Mitte, a man sexually harassed three women. According to police, the man exposed himself, but fled when he noticed one of the women was calling the police. The victims describe the man to be in his 40s and about 1.80 meters tall. He was wearing white pants and a plain black T-shirt. The police are asking witnesses to call 0711/8990-5778. (Stuttgart Nachrichten, September 15)
Archaeologists uncover Roman ruin in Rhineland
Traces of the Romans can still be found in the Rhineland today. Archaeologists have recently discovered a shattered column depicting the Roman god Jupiter in a 15-meter-deep well. Researchers already have a theory as to why the column was sunk into the well. Archaeologists made the discovery in the Rhenish coal mine near Kerpen. A spokesman for the LVR Office for the Preservation of Archaeological Monuments in the Rhineland reported the discovery of the five-meter high Jupiter column with three female goddesses on it.
Columns for the worship of Jupiter, the highest Roman god, are not rare. However, the combined illustration with the goddesses is unusual. On display are Juno, the wife of Jupiter, Minerva, the goddess of wisdom, and most likely Nemesis-Diana, the goddess of righteous revenge. “The illustration of Nemesis-Diana is something special in the Rhineland,” explains Erich Claßen.
Archaeologists have known about the former Roman estate since the 1980s. However, since mining operations are getting closer and closer, the relic from Roman times had to be excavated. Because wood was also found alongside the column, the find can be dated. It’s estimated that the well was used from the 2nd or 3rd century and up to the 5th century. At that time, the Romans had around 30,000 soldiers stationed along the Rhine. Country estates such as the one on this site would have served to supply food.
The Jupiter column was found shattered into about ten large fragments. The pieces are currently being restored in the LVR State Museum in Bonn. However, it is unclear whether the column will ever be exhibited, as “the upper body has disappeared,” said the spokesman for the museum. Speculation as to why the column was thrown into the well says it could have happened in the course of Christianization of the region or during conflicts with Germanic tribes. (Ntv, September 15)