In Brief: Panda twins to make their public debut at Zoo Berlin

As of January 30, visitors to the zoo can see the panda babies up close for the first time.

Photo (c) Zoo Berlin, 2020



The Berlin Zoo is prepping twin panda cubs, Meng Xiang and Meng Yuan, for their big public debut next week. As of next Thursday, January 30, visitors to the zoo can see the panda babies for the first time up close.

Zoo Berlin spokeswoman Philine Hachmeister said the two young males, who were born on August 31, can now follow their mother around on more confident paws. She said this is the moment zoo staff have waited for, to ensure the twins have the skills they need to enter the full panda enclosure and move independently.

Zoo staff have also been busy baby-proofing the pandas’ home and making sure all the structures are safe for the young pandas.


Tegel and Schoenefeld airports are advancing preparations to manage potential cases of the new coronavirus from China.

According to the German Airports Association (ADV), detailed emergency plans and other precautions are in place. The association says close monitoring of travelers is ongoing and medical staff are on site to deal with suspected cases of the mysterious and deadly virus.

Berlin is one of five cities in Germany which have additional staff and procedures in place to accept planes with passengers potentially carrying a dangerous infection.


The German stock market index Dax reached a new record high on Wednesday. It rose to more than 13,600 points at the start of trading. According to analysts, the price gains are due in part to a trade truce between the United States and China.

But the easing of those trade tensions wasn’t enough for the DAX to close at a high by the end of trading, as a fresh European – U.S. trade battle looms.

On Wednesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, U.S. President Donald Trump said tough tariffs on European cars would be imposed if the EU doesn’t agree to a pending trade deal with Washington. Speaking to reporters, Trump criticized EU trade policies.

“They have tariffs all over the place. They make it impossible. They are frankly more difficult to do business with than China,” Trump said.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told German news agency DPA that the EU hopes to have a deal “in the next few weeks” that will protect Europe’s automotive industry.


Berlin’s Freie Universität is setting up a new teacher training program for Turkish language instructors.

According to Der Tagesspiegel, the training program could begin as early as the coming winter semester. For several years now, the German government has been trying to establish its own teacher training, independent of Ankara.

Currently most supplementary teaching of Turkish in elementary schools is led by teachers who are trained and paid for by the Turkish government.

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