Monday, March 04, 2024

Race for the vaccine

By Helene Bubrowski

Infection numbers are sinking in Germany. Life has somewhat returned to normal. The economy is recovering. Yet gratification over the fairly mild course of the pandemic is being tempered by fears of a second wave, which could wreak havoc if it were to descend upon the Federal Republic as early as this autumn. A full return to normalcy will only be possible once a vaccine against the virus has been …

Trade war: Donald Trump is isolating the US

By Alexander Hagelüken

Donald Trump says that Donald Trump has a date in mind. By then, America’s trade deficit with Europe is supposed to have vanished. Until that date, the US president will deploy the same threats he’s using to blackmail China, a global power. But Trump has not yet considered the ways in which Europe can defend itself, nor has he realized that in turning the global system of multilateral free trade …

Nord Stream 2 and its myriad stakeholders

By André Wolf

The project was almost 90 percent finished. Preparations for the inaugural festivities were underway. But the US was set on putting a halt to the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline no matter what. Even though the ships belonging to the Swiss contractor Allseas would most likely have completed their work within a couple of days, Donald Trump abruptly threatened sanctions on companies involved in the project. And then, early this …

Knock, knock! Huawei’s there

Knock, knock! Huawei’s there
By Daniel Leisegang

It appears that the impasse relating to Huawei is finally coming to an end. Starting back in May 2019, a heated discussion had emerged within the EU as to whether or not the controversial Chinese tech giant should be involved in the expansion of the ultra-fast fifth-generation (5G) mobile network in Europe.

Ever since, two distinct fronts have stood almost irreconcilably opposed to one another. On one side are the …

Climate debate: Eco-dictatorship vs. eco-Calvinism

By Julia Boek

When Time magazine chose climate activist Greta Thunberg as its person of the year last December, US President Donald Trump fumed in a tweet: “So ridiculous. Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!”

Several journalists interpreted Trump’s tweet as a tasteless spin on the “Run Forrest, Run!” clip from Forrest Gump. The eponymous character …

The German Trade Union Confederation is celebrating its 70th birthday this year at a time when representing workers’ interests is as urgent as ever

By Claus Leggewie

It’s quite possible that the German Train Drivers’ Union (GDL) has made more enemies than friends in recent years. In 2014 and 2015, it repeatedly called for widespread, all-day strikes in an attempt to achieve higher wages and better working conditions for its roughly 35,000 members – locomotive drivers and other railroad personnel. “All engines cease without your elbow grease.” In this case, the defiant workers’ slogan was quite literally …

How Brandenburg’s farmers are striving to fulfill their Berlin customers’ demands for organic fruits and vegetables

By Manfred Ronzheimer

Farmer Sven Geelhaar has set up five rolling chicken coops, each with 220 hens, in the countryside around Chorin in Brandenburg. “On the upper floor, they’ve got nesting areas, perches for sleeping as well as food and water,” says Geelhaar, who owns 97 hectares of arable land near the Chorin biosphere reserve. Every week, the chickens roll to a different meadow, where they can peck away to their hearts’ content …

Street-smart jump-start: The strategic partnership between Ford and VW is good for both carmakers.

By Carsten Germis

Almost four years have passed since the fall of 2015, and that moment when US environmental protection officials exposed the extent to which the Volkswagen Group had manipulated exhaust emissions in its cars, thereby throwing VW into the largest crisis in its history. Today, however, the German automaker is doing better than ever before.

While its domestic competitors, including Daimler and BMW, have struggled with losses in recent years, Volkswagen …

Petromelancholia and its discontents

By Benjamin Steininger

Fossil fuels have driven prosperity, technology and politics but have also created dependencies as well as new possibilities for waging war and destruction


In 1944, one year before the end of World War II, the Russian- Ukrainian biogeochemist Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky (1863– 1945) published his final paper. The text, titled “Some Words on the Noosphere,” holds that science and technology have created a new, geohistorically significant layer: the noosphere. …

Tired of winning: Who bears the consequences of President Trump’s tariff policies?

By Nikolaus Piper

In early August, President Donald Trump was able to celebrate a small yet tangible success in his beloved trade war. The European Union and the United States had just signed an agreement on the import of American beef to Europe – one in which the EU committed to accepting up to 35,000 tons of hormone-free beef from American suppliers over the next seven years. As the total of EU imports …