Apartment inspection undercover: rent cap? No one sticks to it

Landlords come up with a lot of ideas to get around the rent cap. A user contract instead of a rental agreement? Let’s take a look.

Viewing an apartment (symbolic image) Photo: dpa

On Tuesday morning, freelance writer Tom Kraftwerk posts a tweet: "Have ne apartment viewing tomorrow and was just informed by phone that no rental contract, but a ‘contract of use’ is awarded to circumvent the rent cap. So much for implementation."

Read more

World economic forum in davos: just don’t talk about redistribution.

Experts debate what governments must do to get a grip on the crises. They continue to assume that inequality will increase.

The main thing is to be there: The elite of political and economic decision-makers – mostly male, for some inexplicable reason – meet in Davos. Picture: dpa

One should not put his word at this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos on the gold scale, sent David Rubenstein in advance. The head of the U.S. investment firm Carlyle Group admitted that he had been quite wrong with his economic forecasts in 2014.

Read more

Accommodation of refugees: “take care of us!”

Refugee women and children still live in secluded homes, criticizes Women in Exile – and recalls the fate of a disappeared woman.

Protest against the scandalous treatment of a disappeared woman in front of the home in Hohenleipisch Photo: Uta Schleiermacher

How secluded and deep in the forest the refugee shelter Hohenleipisch is located in the district Elbe-Elster in the south of Brandenburg, participants of a bus tour could experience firsthand on Monday. The tour bus takes a good three quarters of an hour from the district town of Herzberg, and it will be a two-hour drive to Potsdam later. Supermarkets, the train station and neighboring houses are several kilometers away.

Read more

Controversial poem “avenidas”: not sexist in rehau

The Gomringer poem that Alice Salomon University no longer wants has found a new home in Rehau, Franconia.

Instead of Berlin, now in Gomringer’s home in Franconia: the poem "avenidas" Photo: Nicolas Armer

The beauty of sorting out is the comfort that a useless possession may still serve its purpose somewhere else. It’s a feeling familiar to anyone who has ever sold a stir stick or a racing bike, or put clothes in the nearest swap meet. With a, let’s say, out of time poem, which should no longer stand on the wall of the house, it is of course a little more difficult. You paint white paint over it until the words are no longer legible. That’s it. There is nothing to pass on. Perhaps that’s why the Alice Salomon University struggled with this step for so long.

Read more

University protests in turkey: “terrorists’ club”.

Students at Istanbul’s Bogazici University are fighting back against the appointment of a rector with close ties to the AKP. Also with social media like Clubhouse.

A student is arrested during the demonstration Photo: Burhan Ozbilici/AP/dpa

Protests against the appointment of an AKP-affiliated rector have been going on at Istanbul’s prestigious Bogazici University since early January. Unlike previous rectors, Melih Bulu’s appointment was made by President Erdogan. Notable protests have become rarer in Turkey in recent years. The resistance, which is not abating now, is taking place not only on campus, in Istanbul and other cities, but also in the social media – with the hyped network Clubhouse playing a special role.

Read more

Farsighted justice: jail with de facto probation

The local court has sentenced a man with many previous convictions for growing and selling cannabis. However, even the judge doubts the sense of further imprisonment.

Georg K. had already served 22 years and seven months in prison – but he still remained a criminal. Picture: dpa

It could have gone quickly last week before the district court: In the apartment of Georg K., the police found nearly 200 cannabis plants, technical equipment for cultivation and packaging material for sale. In addition a clear confession of the accused: "A good Graschen" he had wanted to sell, says K. – only to adults. Guaranteed organically grown, to boot.

Read more

Arms sales decline worldwide: defense companies hit by crisis

Sales fall by 4.2 percent worldwide. According to the Sipri Institute, Russia is significantly increasing its arms spending, while the USA is buying much less.

Leopard tank from Krauss-Maffei Wegman (KMW) at an arms fair in Schonefeld near Berlin, 2008. photo: ap

The global arms business is in crisis. The 100 largest arms companies suffered a 4.2 percent drop in sales in 2012. This continued a trend from 2011. At that time, arms sales had fallen by 6 percent for the first time after the boom decade in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

Read more

Independence movements in europe: edinburgh and glasgow say “si”

Scottish separatists hope Catalonia will boost their own independence. Their solidarity irks Spain’s government.

Solidarity with Catalonia at a party conference of the Scottish National Party Photo: dpa

The Senyeras, the Catalan flags, still hang on many windows in Edinburgh and Glasgow. On the street, some wear a "Si" pin. Most of them are supporters of the Scottish National Party (SNP), the party of Scottish head of government Nicola Sturgeon. They are expressing their solidarity with the Catalans because they hope for a boost for their own country’s independence.

Read more

Science council versus finance minister: bargaining for billions

The Science Council wants more money for universities. In an internal letter, the finance ministers oppose ambitious figures.

Less money means above all nothing good for them, the students. Picture: dpa

More money for universities – that’s what the Science Council, the most important political advisory body on these issues, demanded last week. An internal letter obtained by the taz now shows how rabidly the finance ministers previously fought off overly ambitious spending targets.

Read more

Because of the greek crisis: bosbach resigns from committee chairmanship

CDU politician Wolfgang Bosbach does not want to support the Bundestag’s decision to continue negotiations with Greece. However, he will remain a member of parliament.

"I cannot and will not go along with this path," the 63-year-old said. Photo: dpa

CDU member of the Bundestag Wolfgang Bosbach wants to keep his parliamentary mandate despite his fierce criticism of the German government’s Greece policy, but resign from his post as chairman of the Interior Committee.

Read more