In Brief: FC Union Berlin wants to reopen its soccer stadium in September by offering free COVID-19 testing to ticket holders

The soccer club’s president said in a statement: “Our stadium experience doesn't work with social distancing, and if we aren't allowed to sing and shout, then it's not Union.”

Photo by: Markus Spiske, Unsplash

By Sylvia Cunningham and Kate Brady

One of Berlin’s top Bundesliga soccer teams, FC Union Berlin, wants to see its stadium in Köpenick full of fans again in September – without social distancing.

“Our stadium experience doesn’t work with social distancing, and if we aren’t allowed to sing and shout then it’s not Union,” said Union president Dirk Zingler in a statement.

The management is proposing to test the more than 22,000 ticket holders and staff before game day – and cover the costs. Only those with a negative test can enter.

Critics say the idea is irresponsible and if tests show false negatives, the stadium could turn into a new coronavirus hot spot.

It is also unclear how this proposal would work while there’s still a ban in place on outdoor gatherings of up to 5,000 people through October 24.

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Germany’s agriculture minister wants to make the mass killing of male chicks illegal.

The country’s poultry farmers say only egg-laying hens are beneficial to the industry, which is why 45 million male chicks were shredded or gassed in Germany last year.

Julia Klöckner told the Neue Osnabrücker newspaper there are alternatives – like determining the sex of the chick before it hatches or fattening the roosters up to eat – but the poultry industry is failing to use them.

Animal rights activists have long protested the practice and last year, a German court ruled chick culling could continue but only until alternative methods were implemented.

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

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