In Brief: ‘Berlin rocks!’ Elon Musk announces plans to build a new Tesla electric car plant near Berlin

"Berlin rocks!" said Tesla CEO Elon Musk when he announced plans to build a new electric car plant near Berlin.

Photo by Afif Kusuma on Unsplash

Elon Musk has announced plans to build the Tesla European Gigafactory 4, including locations for manufacturing and for engineering and design.

Musk made the announcement during an acceptance speech at the annual Goldene Lenkrad, or Golden Steering Wheel awards. His company’s Tesla Model 3 won the award for 2019’s best midsize car.

Germany’s Economy and Energy Minister Peter Altmaier welcomed the news.

“That Germany has been presented with this offer is important and good news. For one, it will create stable jobs in Germany in the future. Secondly, it helps maintain Germany’s presence as a global auto manufacturer,” Altmaier said. “And thirdly, it helps us achieve a new milestone with regard to electric mobility and the production of battery cells.”

Musk said along with a manufacturing plant near Berlin, an engineering and design center is planned in Berlin. The electric car pioneer cited Berlin’s abundance of creative minds as additional reasoning for Tesla’s decision.

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Germany’s federal government is looking to expand all-day care for elementary school students.

The federal government will set up a special fund to financially support German states in providing childcare after school hours. As of 2025 parents will have a legal right to full-time care for school children. Previously, this legal right has only existed for children starting from the age of 1 until  they enter school.

According to a study from the Deutsche Jugendinstitut released in October, more than 820,000 new places will be needed by 2025 to cover care for elementary school children.

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Bundestag lawmakers have ousted AfD politician Stephan Brandner from his post as chairman of the legal committee, a first in the Bundestag’s history.

Members of the CDU/CSU, SPD, Greens, Left, and FDP voted for his dismissal. Secretary General of the CDU party, Paul Ziemiak said in a tweet that Brandner was unfit as chairman and his anti-semitic rhetoric was “unacceptable.” Brandner has made several controversial statements, including comments after the attack on the synagogue in Halle.

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‘Upskirting’ is becoming a criminal offense.

Germany has passed a new “anti-gawking law,” with harsher penalties for people who film or photograph others in various circumstances.

The stricter penalties will apply to people who capture and share photos of people in fatal accidents, or who secretly take photos or videos without the consent of an individual, for example under skirts while women are in public.

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Attention Berlin film buffs: Cinestar has confirmed the closure of cinemas in the Sony Center on Potsdamer Platz.

The IMAX and the multiplex cinema will close on New Year’s Eve, when the current lease expires.

This news is brought to you in cooperation with Berliner Rundfunk.

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