In Brief: German interior minister says he will stop sending police to Berlin because of the city’s anti-discrimination law

German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said Berlin’s new law unfairly puts the burden on police to prove they are not discriminating.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

 

By Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, William Glucroft and Monika Müller-Kroll

According to German news agency dpa, German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said he will no longer send police from other jurisdictions to Berlin because of the city’s new anti-discrimination law

He said the law unfairly puts the burden on police to prove they are not discriminating. As such, they say they are no longer willing to answer future Berlin requests for additional police support.

Hours later at a conference in Erfurt, Berlin Interior Senator Andreas Geisel dismissed the complaint as “conservative folklore.” He’s also referred to the law’s critics as being “old, white men.”

Backers of the new law say it allows minorities to fight discrimination by holding police and other state officials accountable.

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The UN reported refugee numbers set a new record in 2019. 

The 79.5 million people forcibly displaced from their homes last year account for about 1% of the entire global population. That’s an assessment by Filippo Grandi, the head of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

The agency’s annual Global Trends report shows an increase of nine million refugees from the previous year, which is double the number in 2010. Just five countries — Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, Myanmar and South Sudan — account for more than two-thirds of the world’s refugees.

The report also found more than half are internally displaced and as many as 34 million of the refugees are under 18.

Grandi told reporters that as a European, he is embarrassed and ashamed that the EU has not done more to alleviate the situation.

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The Berlin Senate has released details on the construction of a long-delayed expressway, which will connect the eastern districts of Köpenick and Marzahn. 

The eye-catching aspect of the project is a circular bridge for pedestrians and cyclists, which appears to float over car traffic.

The bridge would be a focal point in the 7.2-kilometer road project ⁠— that’s about 4.5 miles ⁠— construction of which has been delayed for years.

The so-called Tangential Link East is meant to give commuters easy access to the nearby highway and relieve residents in Berlin’s eastern districts from traffic.

City officials say the approval process for the project will continue in 2022 at the earliest.

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

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