Since When Does Ukraine Have A Graffiti Problem?

German drones could soon fly over eastern Ukraine? I thought they were only used for patrolling railyards by night to fight graffiti spraying terrorists here in Germany.

Drone

Or to harass the Bundeskanzlerin in Dresden. Or to terrify passengers on commercial airplanes trying to land in Kabul. Hey, practice makes perfect, I guess.

France and Germany are preparing to send their unmanned aircraft as part of the ongoing OSCE mission. The first soldiers from those countries arrived in Ukraine Tuesday to evaluate the conditions on the ground.

Uber And Out

It’s new, it promotes competition, it has something to do with the Internetz and it’s American. It just has to be verboten.

Taxis

The ride-hailing service Uber is about to have a head-on collision with Germany’s taxis and legal system. A court in Frankfurt has banned Uber’s most popular service from operating in the country until a hearing this year on whether it unfairly competes with local taxis.

It’s like this: Whatever is not expressly permitted in this country is strictly forbidden.

Es würden gegen Entgelt Personen befördert, „ohne im Besitz einer Genehmigung nach dem Personenbeförderungsgesetz zu sein.“

PS: Or maybe everyone’s pissed because they spelled Uber wrong?

Germany Increases Pressure On Russia By Selling It An Oil Company

Berlin is set to approve the sale of one of Germany’s largest oil producers to a Russian consortium, in a move that may undercut U.S. and E.U. sanctions aimed at punishing Russia for its role in stoking the conflict in Ukraine.

Oil

Der Verkauf galt wegen der Rolle Russlands in der Ukraine-Krise als politisch umstritten. Die Bundesregierung hat bei derartigen Transaktionen ein Mitspracherecht nach dem Außenwirtschaftsgesetz.

“Friends Don’t Spy On Friends”

Somebody said that once, not all to0 long ago, after some NSA Aufregung (excitement) about something somewhere. I forget where. But I couldn’t agree more. So, uh, where’s the outrage now?

Turkey

Now that Germany’s intelligence agency BND has revealed that NATO ally Turkey is one of five countries it is spying on, I mean.

Outrage won’t be necessary this time, I guess. It appears that Germany is finally coming clean and ready to admit to the world that Turkey has officially reached non-friend status so spying in this case is allowed.

Hey, what goes around comes around.

The news reports (of NSA spying in Germany) outraged Germans, leading to favorable attitudes about the United States falling to their lowest levels in years and creating a public and private sense of mistrust. Merkel has repeatedly called the U.S. spy program a breach of trust and noted that “friends don’t spy on friends.”

German Intelligence Failed To Find Anything Intelligent While Wiretapping Hillary Clinton’s Telephone Conversation

According to a report today in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the German intelligence service BND listened in on at least one telephone call involving former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton while she was still in office.

Hillary

Not only was the eavesdropping “purely accidental,” an unidentified source told the newspaper, but the conversation was also “one of the stupidest, most inane and brain-dead phone conversations I as a spy have ever had to endure. It got so bad I had to start banging my head against the wall and broke off the connection after three minutes. Laber, laber, laber! It’s like her brain is in neutral or something. And they can’t fire me for this either now because I quit!”

Deutsche Regierungskreise bestreiten allerdings, dass es eine systematische Spionage des BND gegen die USA gibt. Vielmehr sei das Gespräch, das Clinton in ihrer Amtszeit aus einer US-Regierungsmaschine heraus geführt habe, nur zufällig aufgefangen worden.

Germans Really Are Industrious

Even when it comes to industrial piracy.

Piracy

German companies are ranked second in the world for industrial plagiarism, a global study released today has found (only China does it better). The numbers indicate that 1 in 4 plagiarized tech goods are made in Germany.

Of course the only problem with this study is that it was made by the the Federation of German Machine and Equipment Builders (or VDMA) so it may have been plagiarized itself.

And no, this wasn’t in the news tonight.

Für den Ideenklau ist oft nicht ein Produzent im fernen China, sondern der Konkurrent um die Ecke verantwortlich.

Is The Party Over?

While Germany has so far led the regional recovery, it is feeling the pain of increasing political tension. The European Union agreed last week on its widest-ranging sanctions yet over Russia’s backing of rebels in eastern Ukraine. Russia counts Germany as its biggest trading partner in Europe.

Germany

“The manufacturing-sector outlook does not look encouraging.”

Die Konjunktur läuft nicht mehr rund – Industrie-Aufträge mit stärkstem Minus seit 2011

Der Spiegel Bugs Israel Bugging Kerry Bugging Everybody Else

According to secret Spiegel bugging sources, the Israeli intelligence service has bugged telephone conversations made by American Secretary of State John Kerry while he was busy bugging anyone he could find in the Middle East and elsewhere who might possibly be interested in negotiating a peaceful solution to the current Gaza crisis.

Kerry

Spiegel sources refused to go into detail here but did confirm that all of these telephone calls were very short ones.

Der israelische Geheimdienst hat offenbar Telefonate von US-Außenminister Kerry abgehört. Nach SPIEGEL-Informationen nutzte die Regierung in Jerusalem die so gewonnenen Erkenntnisse bei Verhandlungen zum Nahost-Konflikt.

Energiewende Update: German Solar Energy Production Still Not Working At Night

Or when it’s cloudy and gray and yucky outside (an estimated 359 days a year here). Wind energy does, however. But only when there is enough so-called Wind (wind) to go around.

Wind

German environmentally renewable scientists have now been informed, however, and once they figure out a way to keep it sunny and windy all day long this German energy turnaround thing is going to turn everything around for good.

Because Energiewende has been accompanied by a rapid move away from nuclear power following the Fukushima disaster Germany has had to make up its energy deficit by increasing its reliance on coal for the first time in years. German CO2 emissions have actually been rising over past three years.

Cocky German Soccer Team Loses To Australia

Still on an unnatural natural high after their nation’s recent World Cup championship victory over Argentina in Brazil, an overconfident team of German robots has lost miserably to Australia 5-1 in the RoboCup 2014 final.

Robocup

Congratulations to the Rockem Sockem Socceroos. Those many long nights in the lab really paid off.

“Unfortunately, during the final, after our goalie saved an attempt, he fell over and while trying to get back up and in position we conceded the only goal during the entire competition.”

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