In Brief: Defendant confesses to killing son of former German president last November

The 57-year-old defendant said his original target was the late president.

By Sylvia Cunningham, Benjamin Restle and Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson

The man accused of killing the youngest son of former German President Richard von Weizsäcker confessed to the crime in court yesterday, saying he was happy his victim was dead.

According to news reports, the 57-year-old defendant, who per German privacy rules is only identified as Gregor S., said his original target was the late president. He added when he couldn’t get to Weizsäcker, his attention shifted to the Weizsäcker family.

The defendant is charged with stabbing Dr. Fritz von Weizsäcker while he was giving a lecture at a Berlin clinic last November, as well as the attempted murder of an off-duty policeman who tried to intervene.

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Some of Germany’s governing conservatives want to suspend next year’s raise to the minimum wage.

According to German news agency dpa, pro-business officials in the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party want to limit labor costs to help businesses struggling under the coronavirus restrictions.

But the leader of the CDU, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, rejects the idea. She tweeted that businesses should not be supported at the expense of their staff.

The center-left Social Democrats, who govern with the conservatives, reject the proposal as well.

Germany first introduced the minimum wage in 2015, which is increased every two years.

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Federal and state officials are criticizing Thuringia’s plan to no longer enforce restrictions like social distancing and wearing a mask. 

Bavaria is especially livid. Its interior minister, Joachim Herrmann, told Funke Media Group that his state would employ unspecified “countermeasures” against Thuringia to prevent a resurgence of the coronavirus.

But Thurginia Premier Bodo Ramelow told public broadcaster ZDF that it’s a matter of fairness to his constituents.

He said with fewer than 250 people infected at the moment, it’s wrong to have police descending on Thuringian families who are walking together to see if they are living in one household or not. Ramelow said that needs to stop.

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

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