By Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson and Sylvia Cunningham
As of today, restaurants, bars and casinos in Berlin are no longer restricted by pandemic rules on how late they stay open.
The Senate’s easing of the time limit is because of a decision by the Higher Administrative Court of Berlin and Brandenburg, which questioned the legality of limiting hours of operation to 11 p.m.
Meanwhile, in a ruling on Tuesday, the country’s Constitutional Court sided with the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) Party.
It had accused the German interior minister of breaking the law by posting a dpa news agency interview on his office’s home page that called the populist right-wing party, “corrosive for the state.”
The court agreed that Horst Seehofer had violated the neutrality of his office by posting the article.
Nearly 1,200 people reported racist incidents in their daily life to Germany’s Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency last year, the largest share of complaints and twice as many than in 2015.
The agency’s temporary director, Bernhard Franke, said Germany has an “ongoing problem with racist discrimination…that endangers societal cohesion.”
This past weekend, at least 15,000 protesters joined at Alexanderplatz in solidarity with ongoing “Black Lives Matter” demonstrations in the United States and to bring attention to racism in Germany.
The International Labor Organization says up to 200,000 crew members are stuck aboard ships at sea because of the pandemic.
The organization is calling on governments and maritime authorities to recognize the crew members as “key workers” and quickly take steps to allow them to return home.
The group says many of the crew members completed their tours more than four months ago and are suffering physically and mentally.
This news is brought to you in cooperation with Berliner Rundfunk.