Over the Christmas-New Year’s holiday in 2003, Khaled El-Masri traveled by bus to Skopje, Macedonia. There he was apprehended by border guards who noted the similarity of his name to that of Khalid al-Masri, an Al Qaeda agent linked to the Hamburg cell where the 9/11 attacks were plotted. Despite El-Masri’s protests that he was not al-Masri, he was beaten, stripped naked, shot full of drugs, given an enema and a diaper, and flown first to Baghdad and then to the notorious “salt pit,” the CIA’s secret interrogation facility in Afghanistan. At the salt pit, he was repeatedly beaten, drugged, and subjected to a strange food regime that he supposed was part of an experiment that his captors were performing on him. Throughout this time, El-Masri insisted that he had been falsely imprisoned, and the CIA slowly established that he was who he claimed to be. Over many further weeks of bickering over what to do, a number of CIA figures apparently argued that, though innocent, the best course was to continue to hold him incommunicado because he “knew too much.”...
Tag Archives | Germany
Look beneath the surface of everyday life, and strangeness awaits. In Mannheim, Germany, Google Street View captured this image of a naked man climbing out of a car trunk…one can only speculate as to the reason. Via CNET:
A large sinkhole opened up overnight in the middle of residential area in Thuringia [Germany], sucking a nearby car and part of a garage into its depths and forcing authorities to evacuate residents, police said on Monday. The crater, measuring some 40 by 15 metres, appeared in the town of Schmalkalden around 3 am, a police spokesperson said. A nearby resident heard the noise and called police...
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The German electricity grid faces instability because of too much solar power, an expert said.
Thanks to a generous feed-in tariff, the installation of rooftop solar panels and large-scale photovoltaic plants has exploded in Germany.
Stephan Kohler, chairman of the DENA agency, an energy adviser to the government, has warned that the green boom could turn into a disaster for Germany’s aging power grid.
“The network is facing a congestion due to solar power,” Kohler told the Berliner Zeitung newspaper. “That’s why the expansion of solar power has to be cut back quickly and drastically.”
Experts have long called for an overhaul of the European power grid to integrate the fluctuating renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power.
Experts forecast between 8 gigawatts and 10 GW of solar power capacity to be installed this year — the equivalent of roughly 10 large coal-fired power plants. In 2009, only 4 GW were installed.
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It’s been 25 years since Chernobyl fallout contaminated flora and fauna in Europe, but German hunting officials are still dealing with rising numbers of radioactive wild boars. But why?
This burgeoning boar population munches on radiation-absorbing truffles and mushrooms, and because of an overall increase in wild boars, the number of radioactive boars has gone up as well. The German Atomic Energy Law requires Berlin to reimburse hunters who bag radioactive boars. In 2009, the government paid out approximately €425,000 — or $555,000 — for polluted piggies. According to Der Spiegel, the contaminated boar population has been the most problematic in southern Germany:
Many of the boar that are killed land on the plates of diners across Germany, but it is forbidden to sell meat containing high levels of radioactive caesium-137 — any animals showing contamination levels higher than 600 becquerel per kilogram must be disposed of.
Scott Roxborough writes in the Hollywood Reporter:
COLOGNE, Germany — A German cartoon mocking the Catholic Church has sparked holy outrage among believers here who say it incites hatred against the Pope and the Catholic faith.
The caricature, published in the Good Friday edition of satire magazine Titanic, shows a priest apparently having oral sex with a crucifix of Jesus on the cross.
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The crucifix cartoon is a barbed commentary on recent revelations that 250 people in Germany were sexual abused at Church-run schools in the past decades. The scandal has shaken the German Church. A recent poll said Germans’ trust in the Catholic Church had fallen to 17% from 29% in late January and approval ratings for Pope Benedict have dropped from 38% to 24%.
The German Press Council reported that some 100 formal complaints have been filed since the magazine came out, a level of protest not seen since 2006, when German newspaper Die Welt reprinted the infamous Danish Mohammed cartoons.
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VATICAN CITY — Germany’s sex abuse scandal has now reached Pope Benedict XVI: His former archdiocese acknowledged it transferred a suspected pedophile priest while Benedict was in charge and criticism is mounting over a 2001 Vatican directive he penned instructing bishops to keep abuse cases secret.
The revelations have put the spotlight on Benedict’s handling of abuse claims both when he was archbishop of Munich from 1977–1982 and then the prefect of the Vatican office that deals with such crimes — a position he held until his 2005 election as pope.
Benedict got a firsthand readout of the scope of the scandal Friday in his native land from the head of the German Bishop’s Conference, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, who reported that the pontiff had expressed “great dismay and deep shock” over the scandal, but encouraged bishops to continue searching for the truth.
Reported on SPIEGEL ONLINE:
The Catholic Church in Germany has been shaken in recent days by revelations of a series of sexual abuse cases. Close to 100 priests and members of the laity have been suspected of abuse in recent years. After years of suppression, the wall of silence appears to be crumbling.
This is what it looks like, the document of a conspiracy: 24 pages, with appendix, in Latin, published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican. A “norma interna,” or confidential set of guidelines for all bishops, who were required to keep it a secret for all eternity, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.
The guidelines, issued in the year of our Lord 1962, address a sensitive subject: sex in the confessional. The Vatican doesn’t put it quite that directly, preferring to use more guarded terminology to describe what happens when a priest leads a member of his flock astray before, during or after the confession — in other words, when he provokes a penitent “toward impure and obscene matters” through “words or signs or nods of the head (or) by touch.”
Read More: SPIEGEL ONLINE
Allan Hall reports that a tape recording of Nazi officers describing the moment they found Adolf Hitler’s body in his Berlin bunker has been discovered, in the Telegraph:
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The recording was made on October 25 1956 in a courtroom in Berchtesgaden, site of the Fuehrer’s mountaintop home in Bavaria. The court was convened to officially declare the former leader of Nazi Germany dead so that his fortune and rights to his book “Mein Kampf” could be seized by the state government.
Among those giving evidence that day were Otto Guensche, an SS officer, and Heinz Linge, a valet, who first discovered the corpses of Hitler and his new bride Eva Braun.
On the recording, discovered by researchers for the German Spiegel TV channel, the men speak under oath of entering the Fuehrer’s study after hearing shots ring out on April 30 1945.
“When I entered to my left I saw Hitler on the sofa,” said Linge, who died in 1980.
Hitler's Hidden City is a subterranean adventure under the streets of Berlin, following the work of a team of German archaeologists and historians exposing and exploring the last remaining structures of the Third Reich. We gain rare access to an underground city ordered and -- in part -- designed by Hitler himself, part of a vast network of over 1000 bunkers and many miles of tunnels, much of which has remained sealed since the war. Eyewitnesses and historians add colorful stories to cutting edge CGI that bring to life this network of bunkers, how they were built and how they were used in the dark days of the downfall of Berlin.