Dear, Canada, Britain, France, Mexico, Australia, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Nigeria, Argentina,Japan, New Zealand and the rest of the world.


Dear, Canada, Britain, France, Mexico, Australia, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Nigeria, Argentina,Japan, New Zealand and the rest of the world,

Despite what you read and see on television. America and Americans haven’t lost our minds or our way.  We realize you are bombarded with negative sounds and images emanating from our great nation, leaving the impression we aren’t the welcoming nation we once were.

These aren’t the best of times for the United States

Our current President, businessman with no experience on the world stage    Who in short time, has become the President his competitors warned us about during our presidential primary.

He is easily played.   Compliment him and you’re in.  In his mind, he is always successful.

Like you, most Americans are in a constant state of shock .  Many Americans are overwhelmed by the amount of negative and often destructive news emanating from the White House.

Just when we think our President has reached bottom, he finds a way to go even lower.  He has insulted our neighbors ,Canada and Mexico.  Damaging long-term relationships with our Allies and forging relationships with enemies of our nations.    He is impulsive, and often acts without council and doesn’t fully understand protocol.

Most Americans (not all) are frankly embarrassed.

Its seems, by the hour he is dismantling, environmental laws in favor of business.  Relaxing and reversing laws that benefit the poor, laws that once protected women, members of the gay communities and people or color.

 Two America’s

This picture taken last Thursday in Montana,  gives the impression that Americans  overwhelmingly support the President and his policies.   The reality is far from the truth.  Look at the participants in this photo.  They are good Americans, however they do not represent the majority of Americans.

Donald TrumpImage result for president obama crowd

Compare this picture to the one above.  The participants represent the real landscape of America.

Donald Trump rarely travels beyond his fan base.  Our great cities  with their diverse populations, New York, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco,or Honolulu are not on his itinerary.

At these rallies, the Real Estate business man and Reality Television personality  is energized by his fan base.  Where he seems more comedian than politician, here in a friendly enviroment is where he is the happiest, places where he feels loved.

 His words and global intentions, are often designed to keep this narrow base happy.   Our Commander-in-Chief, goes his own way, he doesn’t like to be told what to do.  He oftens ignores the advice of those with decades of experience in global affairs, to spout conclusions that is loosely based on facts.   Which often confuses and angers our allies and friends around the world

He has often said, he and he alone have the answers to the worlds issues.  The Tariffs he is levying on our friends and neighbors and China, does not have the support from most Americans.   Politicians in both parties and the business community and yet he continues.

In Montana, he made fun of the #MeToo movement.  He insulted our war hero’s, Senator John McCain and former President Herbert Walker Bush, who are highly regarded members of his political party.  Both of these men are ill, one is terminally .

In the United States, he has always been a bit of a social media bully, who often acts differently when in the presence of the people he’s attacked.

While he insists upon loyalty, he hasn’t demonstrated any loyalties to anyone including those he appointed and placed in positions of power.

I have lived in the United States  my entire life.  When one group is attack , we react!    Many Americans are currently outraged by the treatment of children, who were stripped from their parents.  Simply to intimidate those who want to immigrate to the United States.  This has never been a policy of America to separate families.  Again, this was done to appeal to some of the  Presidents supporters, many of whom have long wanted to limited the number of  individuals immigrating from south of our Border.

Many of family members and friends who live outside the United States often asked ,how was he elected?   I believe the fault lies with our leaders. 

The day Donald Trump announced he was running for President and then went on to insult Mexican American and citizens of Mexico.  There was no major outrage from either party.

In 1968, George Wallace the former Governor of Alabama ran for President.   Wallace supported segregation and was outraged by the Passing of the Civil Rights Legislation.  The Governor stood at the entrance of the University of Alabama to prevent a black student from enrolling .

Forty eight years later, both parties were relatively silent.  Presidential candidate and former Governor of Florida, (Father George HW, and his brother George W,  were both Presidents of the United States)  Jeb Bush, whose wife is Mexican American, and has three bi-racial children and other bi-racial family members  wasn’t outraged enough to speak against Trump.    Not one candidate from either party, went in from of the Cameras and screamed “The statement made by Donald Trump goes against everything that America is!  They were all playing politics.   There was an assumption, Donald Trump would never be elected president.

Today, most members of the Republican party remains silent.  Unlike most of the world, the United States, has primary elections then ,General Election in November.   In the majority of the states.  Members of a party can only vote for members of their party in the primary election.  Only in the General Election can citizens vote for any candidate.

Because of our electoral system, and Donald Trump’s current popularity in his party. members of his party is choosing him over party and country.   To criticize him could mean losing in the primary.    While his actions go against many tenets of the Republican party and against many conservative views of the party.   Most Republican bite their teeth and support the President even though his views and actions are not only damaging to the Republican Party and the United States, it’s having a negative effect on our friends and allies.

His insistence in meeting in Vladimir Putin is a slap in the face to Prime minister May  after several Russian based poisonings in the United Kingdom.

If the Russians intent was to destabilize the Western Alliance by meddling in the US election then they were successful.  Our friends very concerned.  Nothing would make Putin happier than a dismantled Nato.

The majority of his party are afraid to speak out against him  because they need to survive the primary .  Even though his practices conflicts with the party and is damaging to the country.  The few member of his party who are critical of him and his policies are not running for re-election.

There is a bright high!     After the initial shock and disappointment,followed by proposed ban on Muslim immigrants.   Americans are angry!   People are all walks of live are getting involved , in numbers we haven’t seen since the 1960’s

The challenge, unlike the 60’s, it’s not just the Vietnam war,  it’s not just civil rights.   There are so many issues,created by this president we are overwhelmed.    We are less confident.  Conventional wisdom says ,with all of this outrage by the American public, there will be a change after this fall’s midterm elections.    However, conventional wisdom said, Donald Trump could never get elected.

To our all of our friends in:  Canada, Britain, France, Mexico, Australia, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Nigeria, Argentina,Japan, New Zealand and the rest of the world. .  America is still America, the land of immigrants and the place where dreams can come true.   America is at a crossroads, many American are disappointed with our government.

For nearly 10 years, there has been a civil war within our government.  A war of a zillion words which has been damaging to Americans as our needs have been ignored.   Many frustrated Americans wanted something different, something new, as the old guard had placed their political ambitions and party over the needs of its citizens.

Something you maybe currently experiencing in your country.  In America, we basically have a two-party system, this was deliberate.   The Republicans and the Democrats have made it difficult for other parties to participate in the system.  There are many political parties in the United States.   However, Americans are unlikely.  to hear from them.  They are not allowed to participate in public media debates.

 As a result, we have limited choices in this great nation.   Some, angry americans chose, a business man whose “business” reputation is so poor, he cannot get a loan from an american bank,   A man who had well known credibility problem, a man whose family has a legal history of not renting to people of color,and a man who has little respect for women, over the status quo.  Despite all the money in world, spent to prevent him from being elected,  Donald Trump became President of the United States.

I do not represent all Americans in my views.  But I am sorry.

I hope you learn from our mistake.  I believe in choosing a leader, demand experience, and integrity, empathy and heart.   Avoid, shiny objects, with promise, but doesnt have a history of performance or you may just elect a Donald Trump

Better days to come

CityFella

 

 

 

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Zzzzzz Your next-NEXT car will be Electric!


Yes, your next NEXT car will be electric.   A report from research firm,Bloomberg New Energy Finance says by 2022,” the report says, the cost of ownership of battery electric vehicles will fall below that of an internal combustion engine vehicle.  Bloomberg projects by 2040 25% of the cars globally will be electric.

In 2016, nearly 160,000 electric vehicles was sold in the US . Last year Toyota sold nearly 390,000 Toyota Camry’s

Electric vehicles have fewer moving parts than an internal combustion vehicle.

The current challenge for electric car production is the availability of batteries which currently accounts for one third of the cost of the vehicle.

California Clears The Air

Automobiles are responsible for more than 40% of air pollution.

Air pollution exposure can trigger new cases of asthma, exacerbate (worsen) a previously-existing respiratory illness, and provoke development or progression of chronic illnesses including lung cancerchronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and emphysema.

1.2 million die each year in India to diseases related to Air Pollution.  In China over 2 million people die annually.

In 1967, The State of California established the Air Resources Board(CARB).  One of the goals of CARB is maintaining air quality.  One of CARB’s responsibilities is to define vehicle emissions standards.  California is the only state permitted to issue emission standards.  Other states can choose to follow CARB standards   There was a time when Automakers  built two engines, one designed for California and the other for the other 49 states.

A few years ago CARB set a mandate for cars sold in the state. By 2025,15% of all cars sold in California must be zero polluting vehicles.  These would include, Electric, fuel cell vehicles powered by hydrogen.

Naturally there was resistance by auto manufacturers.  How committed was the state to implement this programs in 2006 there were a few charging stations and no hydrogen stations.

To build an electric vehicle from the ground up would cost the industry billions without a guarantee of acceptance by the public.

To meet this mandate, Auto manufactures modified existing vehicles adding an electric motor.  The problem is these cars had a very limited range(most were less than 100 miles) and to completely charge the cars took 8 hours or more.  The electric vehicles were based on a compact or subcompact platform, the average cost for these electric cars was $40,000 (before state and federal incentives) The manufactures lose money on each electric sold.   As for styling ,automakers seems to be dragging their feet, building something to meet the requirements.

Image result for bmw i3 price

BMW I-3

The worlds best selling electric vehicle in the Nissan Leaf.   The Leaf was introduced in 2011 and more than 250,000 Leafs has been sold worldwide.   The current Leaf has a range of 107 miles.

Image result for nissan leaf

 

 Tesla Brings Sexy

Founded in 2003 The Palo Alto, California based Tesla started building electric vehicles in 2008.,  A two seat Roadster with a range of 200 miles.  It was the first production automobile to use the lithium-ion battery.

In 2012, Tesla introduced the model S.

Image result for 2012 tesla model s

  Unlike the other automakers,the S was built from the ground up as an electric vehicle.  The batteries are larger and is a part of the cars structure. thus having a considerable longer range (265 to 351) than other electric vehicles .

The S was an instant hit.  With a price range from $80,000 to $100,000 its style attracted buyers who would normally purchase premium luxury cars from Mercedes Benz, BMW and Jaguar.

In 2015, Tesla introduced the model X, SUV.

Tesla has a network of high-powered Supercharges located across North America, Europe and Asia for Tesla vehicles.  Software within the vehicles navigation directs Tesla to charging stations.  The company also operates a Destination Charging program, under where shops, restaurants and other venues are offered fast chargers for their customers. As of  December 2016, Tesla has nearly 1000 stations globally, and 6,400 and charging locations. 

Image result for tesla supercharger station roseville

Tesla Supercharing Center, Rocklin, Ca

Earlier this year, Tesla briefly surpassed Ford and General Motors in market capitalization for a couple of months, making it the most valuable American automaker.

An Electric World?

The Government of Norway intends to ban internal combustion engine cars fueled by gasoline or diesel by 2025.

  Sweden, Japan and the Netherlands do not have an official mandate, however,their governments are  looking at 2025.  Implementation in Japan and the Netherlands would not be difficult. In the Netherlands 6% of the cars sold are electric.  In Japan 14%

China, home to some of the world’s most polluted cities has a mandate similar to California requiring manufacturers to sell a minimum of 8% “new energy vehicles” by next year.  Virtually every car company argued the time table was too aggressive. Even though sales of the low or zero emissions vehicles are higher than in most other countries, except Norway, they still account for less than 3% of the Chinese new car market.

There are now strict limits on the number of new vehicles that can be registered in major cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, but qualified NEV models are exempt, encouraging buyers to shift. With some of the world’s most polluted cities, some observers believe China could call for an outright ban on internal combustion technology in the not-too-distant future.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       India wants all its cars to be battery powered by 2030 — and that means it not only wants to end the sale of internal combustion vehicles but convert or replace all other vehicles already on the road by the end of the next decade, a goal few see possible.

France and Germany, the ban is expected to be far more contentious. Auto manufacturers in both countries have condemned the moves by their respective governments to ban the internal combustion engine, saying that it would make the economy less competitive. European automakers have lagged behind Japanese and American ones in both hybrid and all-electric car technology, as conventional

European gasoline based and diesel cars already have high fuel economy. In response to so-called range anxiety, in which an electric car’s limited range may leave the driver stranded on the motorway, the Holland administration is expected to pair the proposed phaseout with national investment into charging stations as well as additional investment into TGV lines, to make it easier to travel long distances in France without a car.

Germany may also push to end sales of gas and diesel cars by 2030, but there is strong opposition, especially since half of its electricity comes from coal. Yet German automakers are launching major drives to electrify and that could help build momentum for a switch.

Volvo Leads the Way

In July, Volvo told the world ,all the models it introduces starting in 2019 will be either hybrids or powered solely by batteries.

Volvo headquartered in Sweden, is owned by Geely Automobile Holdings of China, which already produces battery-powered cars for the Chinese market. The decision by Volvo to focus on electric vehicles could ultimately give it and Geely a head start if, as many analysts expect, sales of battery powered cars begin to take off. China is already the largest market for electric vehicles.

Next!

With the American automakers focus on the very profitable SUV’s  will they have the billions necessary to build electric vehicles?  Currently every electric vehicle sold in America loses money.

Last year General Motors introduced the Chevy Bolt, the first car built from the ground up as an electric vehicle.   The car has been well received by the press.  Car and Driver says the Chevy Bolt ” is so cutting edge that it makes all other affordable electric vehicles seem irrelevant.”  At 238, it has more electric range than any car on the market with one exception, Tesla. It actually has a greater range than the highly anticipated Model 3

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Nissan just announced their next generation Leaf will have a range of 150 . Hiroto Saikawa CEO of Nissan says a Leaf with a range of 300 miles is possible within 3 years.

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Unlike Tesla, this car is affordable. its very quick and roomy AND it starts at $38,000 (before incentives) $40,000 less than the current Tesla model S.   If there is one problem with the car, its the styling.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

 

It not ugly or Toyota Prius Quirky.   Tesla gave buyers a reason to trade in their BMW’s and Mercedes . One would expect more from the General.

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Waiting in the wings is Tesla’s people’s car the  Model”3”. Tesla began building the car in its Fremont, California plant in July.    Pricing for the “3” begins at $35,000(before incentives), if its the “3′ you want, you’ll have to get in a very long line as 450,000 people have placed deposits on the “3”.  Based on Tesla’s track record the 400 thousandant should receive his “3” by 2020   Tesla has an Apple like, cult following and those people are willing to wait.

Game Changer?

With all the luxury manufacturers taking aim at Tesla. Jaguar, a company known for its stately vehicles, is introducing a compact luxury electric SUV called the I-Pace( Est arrival is first quarter 2018).  Its engineering comes from Tesla’s play book.  The batteries anchor the car with two electric motors, one at each axle.  Jaguar says the range of the I-pace is estimated at 220 miles.

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The SUV, will be built in Austria and the platform will be used on other Jaguars as the company says half of its vehicles  will be electric by 2025  The cost for I-Pace begins a tick under $100.000.

If $100,000 seems hefty.  Tesla sells to variations of the Model S for $100,000 and the Model X SUV sells for over $100,000.    If Jaguar is remotely successful, expect the automakers to quickly follow suit.

Perhaps with the assistance of Tesla’   Tesla build a Gigafactory, outside of Reno Nevada.  Panasonic is currently building car batteries in a section of the uncompleted building and Tesla will eventually build cars there.

  Cummins, known for diesel trucks recently introduced its first application for inthe first electric commercial truck

The truck has a range of 100 miles and is capable of hauling a 22-ton trailer.  Cummins electric power train is being targeted at urban delivery vehicles (like a beer truck or food delivery truck) as well as for short haul trips in and around ports and other terminals. It can be recharged in about an hour at a 140 kWh charging station, and Cummins’ goal is to get that down to 20 minutes by 2020, reducing down time for its business customers. Production begins in 2019.

There are challenges ahead for the industry.  There isn’t a standard for charging. In Most charging stations uses Level 2 J1772 charger.these will work on all electric cars. Those charging stations are fairly slow, often requiring hours to fully charge your vehicle.  If you own a Tesla you can drive from coast to coast due to their network of superchargers where owners can charge their cars in as little as 30 minutes. Those charger are exclusive to Tesla vehicles.

The other challenge is much greater.  Is  our national electrical (grid) prepared for an  increase of electric usage?  As a result of individual scharging their vehicles at home?

Your next-next new car is likely to be an electric car.  With ranges considerable more than the cars of today.

Like your cell phone, charge it and drive.

CityFella

Meet the matchmaker hooking up US soldiers with German women


Meet the matchmaker hooking up US soldiers with German women
Matchmaker Jessica Dreyer. Photo: private
By: Emma Anderson/The Local
With thousands of American military members and personnel in the Wiesbaden (Germany) community, there is certainly a market for foreign singles looking to settle in. And that’s where matchmaker Jessica Dreyer steps in.

When Wiesbaden native Jessica Dreyer started working at the US Army Europe headquarters in her hometown, she noticed an interesting phenomenon. At work, her American male colleagues were eager to find out if she had any single, German friends that they could meet. And in her personal life, her female German friends inquired about the potential availability of any of her US army co-workers.

“I thought, ‘I could make a business out of this’,” Dreyer tells The Local.

And so she did last summer, launching her matchmaking service under the name “US Love Wiesbaden”.

Business started to really boom after a few months when local media noticed the novel dating firm, and now she receives on average 60 to 80 new inquiries from Germans and Americans combined each week.

While she gets calls and emails from all kinds of people, including men seeking men and women seeking women, Dreyer says her biggest client base is German women seeking US military men and vice versa.

This, she says, is simply because of the numbers: The US Army counts 3,100 soldiers, 3,900 American civilian workers, and 1,100 retirees as part of its Wiesbaden Garrison. And around 85 percent of military personnel are male.

For a city that has a long history with the American military, such pairings between American soldiers and German women are also perhaps not so uncommon. Wiesbaden was captured by US forces in March of 1945 during the Second World War, and remained under American occupation after the war’s end. Troops have been present in the Wiesbaden area ever since.

Even beloved American superstar Elvis Presley spent some time stationed near Wiesbaden – a fact which the city proudly boasts about online – and made sure to carve his and wife Priscilla’s initials into a Wiesbaden tree.

Plus, Dreyer also works with clients in nearby Kaiserslautern, where tens of thousands more American armed forces and government affiliates live in the largest US military community abroad.

But even though Germans and Americans have long lived with one another in the area, stereotypes on both sides persist, which perhaps drives some of the mutual interest.

“A lot of German women want to meet an American because they say they like the culture, the way of life, the music, being in the USA and the way they think American men are… They find a man in the US armed forces very attractive,” Dreyer explains.

“The way American men look and act, they seem very friendly and like they will be good partners because they are easy going. They think German men are not so easy going in life, and are too picky with things.”

And Dreyer’s American male clients sometimes have just as many preconceived notions of German women – including quite romantic ones.

“American men say they like the women here, they’re taller on average and seem a little more natural. A lot of American men say they love the idea of an international romance. They might like the accent, or the different heritage.”

Dreyer also makes it clear that she’s not doing this to help arrange marriages for legal purposes, like gaining citizenship. And for the most part, neither are her clients.

“To the people who say they just want to meet and marry [for citizenship], I say I’m not a marriage agency. This is about dating and relationships, not about getting a green card or something.”

To set up the matches, Dreyer meets with prospective clients in person to get a sense of who they are, as well as to ask them what they’re looking for in a mate. Her customers tend to be aged 35 and up, which she attributes to the fact that older singles are looking for more discreet and direct ways of meeting someone than dating apps with online profiles.

Dreyer charges men €189 ($206US) for their first match – €50 ($55US) more than she charges women, who she says she charges less because they generally earn less than the men. Fees for subsequent matches are then the same: €95.($103US)

An important factor in the matchmaking though, is that the German will almost always have to speak English: her American clients rarely speak German well enough to have a conversation, if they speak it at all.

“Most Americans don’t speak German well, but most Germans speak solid English… but if they say they don’t speak English, I have to tell them to consider how they think they can have a relationship with an American this way.”

But when it comes to dating norms, Dreyer says there aren’t the same barriers. Germans and Americans tend to have similar views on courtship, such as questioning who should pay on the first date. Just as in the US, in Germany the answer to this depends on the individuals, Dreyer says.

One thing that is a bit different is the question of marriage. Still, given that her business kicked off less than a year ago, Dreyer hasn’t had any couples get to this point yet.

“Americans expect marriage to come sooner. In Germany we tend to wait years before getting married. We want to make sure we have the right person on hand.”

Eight weird habits you’ll pick up in Germany


Eight weird habits you'll pick up in Germany
In Germany men sit down when taking a pee. Photo: DPA
When you go back the homeland for your Christmas hols don’t be surprised if people look at you a bit funny – you’ve probably picked up one of these peculiarly German habits.

Not crossing the street until it’s green

Berlin’s famous Ampelmann. Photo: DPA

In the Anglophone world it might seem like perfectly reasonable behavior to step out into the road if you’ve scoured both horizons and not found a vehicle in sight.

But in Germany it’s considered downright reckless – and a bad example to children, who might be watching out of windows even if they’re not there beside you on the street.

Give yourself a few months and you’ll be waiting with the crowds for the little man to turn green – if you don’t, prepare to get shouted at.

Saying hello and goodbye to shop owners

A small late-night convenience store. Photo: DPA

It would seem downright rude to ignore a shopkeeper or cashier in Germany, even if you don’t end up buying anything.

Germans may not be known for their friendliness, but they never fail to greet you as you come into the convenience shop, grocery store or pharmacy and almost always sing a melodic “Tschüß” as you walk out the door.

Perhaps it’s because shops tend to be smaller and thus feel more intimate than they do in the US – just imagine greeting all of Walmart’s workers as you walked in.

Clapping when the airplane lands

It’s always an entertaining clash taking a flight from the US to Germany and witnessing the German half clapping upon landing while the rest look around utterly baffled.

                                                 Photo: DPA

Especially when there’s a bit of a bumpy ride beforehand, it’s actually quite a nice gesture to show appreciation to the folks upfront who managed to bring an enormous, flying metal bird back down to Earth safely.

Obsessively collecting bottles for Pfand

Getting Pfand for empty bottles. Photo: DPA

Germans take recycling seriously – as you can tell by each apartment complex’s courtyard dedicated to an elaborate system of specific bins.

Beginners’ German classes sometimes even spend time explaining the process, almost as a matter of German pride.

But on top of that, supermarkets make it extremely easy to turn in bottles for their Pfand deposit and immediately get the cash reward through automatic machines.

Thus you will see long queues of folks on weekends awaiting their chance to earn a few extra cents per bottle – and huge collections of bottles amassed in each German’s household, rich or poor.

Simply tossing a beer bottle in the normal garbage bin would feel almost sacrilegious when you know the next passing bottle collector could put it towards their next meal or good night’s sleep.

Sitting while peeing

For men, sitting down is a must. Photo: DPA

If you come from the barbaric Anglophone lands where the lesser sex still stand up while doing a number one, you may have to deal with weeks of passive aggressive muttering from German flatmates before they finally concede their ire at the fact you don’t bend the knee when taking a pee.

This isn’t just something that will bother female flatmates, German males are often just as insistent. In fact it’s an issue taken so serious,one landlord recently took a tenant to court over it.

Throwing in English words while speaking German

                                                Photo: DPA

German culture is so heavily influenced by American culture that sometimes it seems like every second word has been pinched from English – even for words that already exist in German.

After a while you’ll feel that it’s too weird to use the actual German word you learned so diligently in school and start using the English one instead – but with a heavy German accent to it of course.

Being totally cool with nudity (and mixed sex saunas)

Naked sunbathing in Munich. Photo: DPA

This is the one that us prudish Anglo-Saxons probably take the longest to get used to. But it is accepted – if not widespread – to be naked in certain areas at the beach or by the lakeside.

If you are a member of a gym in Germany you will also have to get used to the fact that you’ll be the only one wearing speedos in the sauna if that’s how you choose to go about it.

And there’ll be naked members of the other sex too. This is one habit that is sure to cause a storm if you take it back to the Anglo world with you.

Having lightning speed hands at the cash register

She’s never as decisive as when packing her shopping. Photo: DPA

When you head to the checkout counter at grocery stores in Germany, you have to be both physically and mentally prepared. Those cashiers don’t mess around. And no one is going to bag your food for you like stores in the States.

Nope. German grocery store checkouts are survival of the fittest, a competition between consumer and cashier to see if you can keep up with their lightning-speed hands, throwing veggies, milk and eggs across the scanner as you scramble to pack things in a bag before they read out your total.

Those who are too slow should expect frustrated sighs and passive aggressive watch-checking from both the cashier and the customers behind them.

Germany will soon have more refugees in work than out: report


Report: Refugees in Germany are often overqualified
Refugees from Afghanistan train in Jena to learn metalworking. Photo: DPA.
The number of employed refugees in Germany will exceed those out of work within the next two years, according to a new report.

 

By the end of 2018, some 410,000 refugees will have jobs in Germany, newspaper Bild reports, citing a new study from the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW) scheduled for publication this Thursday.

Of the 396,000 refugees not working, 192,000 will be signed up for integration courses or other labour-market programmes, while 204,000 will be registered as unemployed.

The IfW, an international economic research centre, based its findings on projections that two percent of refugees find work each month, while three percent of refugees leave Germany on a monthly basis.

Three out of four refugees in Germany are of working age, most of whom had registered to work, Bild reports.

Refugees in Germany are often overqualified

Some 71 percent of refugees in Germany are overqualified for their work, compared to an EU average of 60 percent, according to a working paper released on Wednesday by the European Commission and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The figures were based on comparing the job requirements for refugees’ occupations to their actual qualifications. But when refugee workers were asked personally whether they felt they were overqualified, 54 percent in Germany said yes, compared to 57 percent EU-wide.

Refugees are also more overqualified than other groups of immigrants in Germany: 38 percent of non-EU born employees work in jobs that are below their level of qualifications, compared to 30 percent EU-wide.

And there’s an even starker contrast when looking at the native German population: 16 percent of locals in Germany are overqualified for their jobs, while the EU average is 21 percent.

The OECD used data from 2014, before Germany saw a huge uptick in asylum seekers in 2015.

While refugees in Germany might be overqualified, the report praised Germany for being on the right track of integrating refugees into the job market.

“The refugee crisis is an opportunity to significantly improve the system for integration,” said OECD job market expert Thomas Liebig.

The report also looked at refugees’ language skills, which it noted are important for integration and the job market. Across Europe, less than half had advanced knowledge of the local language, compared to two-thirds of other immigrant groups.

In Germany, only 9 percent of refugees who had lived in the country for up to ten years had an advanced level of German. But this is hard to compare to countries like Spain where most of the refugees come from Latin America and the percentage there was 98 percent who had advanced Spanish.

Still, over time refugees in Germany do seem to take on the language: about half of all refugees who had lived in Germany longer than ten years had advanced German skills.

The situation for female refugees in Germany can be more difficult: their employment rate is 45 percent on average, which is 17 percentage points below men.

But at the same time, of refugee women who came to Germany between 1999 and 2014, every fourth woman had some form of post-secondary education, such as university – this was four percentage points higher than men.

Still, about half of these women had low-level education, which was higher than the amount of men with this level.

The report also noted the importance of gaining citizenship for integration. Germany was behind the rest of the EU in this area, making it the “only major exception” among the countries accepting the most refugees.

On average across the EU, 61 percent of people who had arrived as refugees became citizens after ten years. But in Germany, this percentage was 40 percent

The Local.

Germany’s answer to the Sydney Opera House opens its doors


Over budget and six years late, not everyone is pleased with Hamburg’s new architectural landmark, the Elbphilharmonie concert hall. But, the building’s dynamic and dramatic design is certainly extraordinary, and it has created some incredible inside spaces.

Opens January 11 in Hanberg Germany (click website below for concert info)

https://www.elbphilharmonie.de/en/elbphilharmonie

Iran’s media considers German female minister a man, sparking outrage over handshake


Iranian Vice President Masoumeh Ebtekar

Iran’s press and social media users blasted a handshake between Germany’s Minister for the Environment Barbara Hendricks and Iranian Vice President Masoumeh Ebtekar on Thursday.

The Iranian news outlet IRIB reported that Ebtekar shook a man’s hand while visiting her counterpart Hendricks in Berlin.

 Iran’s radical theological state prohibits hand contact between a religious woman and a man who does not know her. Tehran also mandates a public policy of strict separation between men and women.

“This handshake [created an] uproar for [a] few hours in conservative media & social network pages. They thought the #Germanminister is a man. #Iran,” wrote Sadegh Ghorbani, a Tehran- based journalist, on his Twitter feed.

Ebtekar served as the spokeswoman for the Iranians who took 52 Americans hostage in 1979

Germany’s LGBT press reported on the case of alleged homophobia because Hendricks is a lesbian. The website Queer.de wrote that Hendricks announced she was a lesbian in 2013 and is the first lesbian in German history to serve as a federal minister.

The NGO Stop the Bomb, an organization that seeks to end Iran’s nuclear program and improve human rights in the country, tweeted on Friday, “Disgraceful: Lesbian German minister happily signed deals with regime of Iran that executes homosexuals.”

According to a 2008 British WikiLeaks dispatch, Iran executed 4,000 to 6,000 gays and lesbians between 1979, the founding of the Islamic Republic, and 2008. Iran’s regime prescribes the death penalty for gays as part of Islamic Shari’a law system.

In July, Iran hanged Hassan Afshar, 19, a gay teenager.

Stefan Schaden, a LGBT rights activist with the Stop the Bomb campaign, told The Jerusalem Post at the time, “Consensual homosexual conduct remains illegal under Iran’s Shari’a law and is punished with public flogging or even execution.

While the Islamic State throws gays from rooftops, the Islamic Republic [of Iran] hangs them.”