In Brief: German officials call for aid to automakers hit by coronavirus pandemic, but offer no rescue plan

In an interview Tuesday morning with public broadcaster ZDF, Bavarian Premier Markus Soeder warned of mass unemployment if the government fails to do more for the car companies.

Photo by Leon Seibert on Unsplash

 

 

By Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson and William Glucroft

Federal and state officials met with German auto executives Tuesday night in Berlin, where pressure is growing on Chancellor Angela Merkel to boost aid to carmakers struggling during the pandemic.

In an interview Tuesday morning with public broadcaster ZDF, Bavarian Premier Markus Soeder warned of mass unemployment if the government fails to do more for the car companies.

Soeder added that automakers need help to ease the transition to newer combustion-engine models that are better for the environment.

But officials failed to agree at the summit on a plan for the aid.

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A new report finds air pollution kills 400,000 people every year in the EU.

The European Environment Agency, based in Copenhagen, published their findings on Tuesday. They concluded that environmental factors account for about one in eight EU deaths — including 400,000 deaths from air pollution and 12,000 from noise pollution every year.

Researchers said pollution impacts poorer people and regions most, with eastern European countries suffering more environmental-related deaths than western European countries. In Iceland and Norway, for example, just 9% of deaths have environmental causes, in comparison to 27% of deaths in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The report recommends governments work to improve air quality and access to green spaces, especially in cities.

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People who’ve lived in the United States have likely heard those annoying tones on their radios and televisions announcing a test of the emergency broadcast system.

Starting Thursday, Germany will begin offering something similar on what is being called “Warn Day.”

The German emergency warning is being tested at 11 a.m. Thursday to help increase public awareness. The federal project, which proponents said will save lives when there’s a real emergency, will be carried out on the second Thursday in September every year.

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

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