Archive for March, 2017

Merkel meets Trump

Friday, March 17th, 2017

Deutsche Welle

News: US President Trump welcomes Chancellor Merkel to the White House. “Chancellor Merkel and President Trump have held their first joint press conference at the White House. Items on the agenda for the first meetings between the two leaders are NATO, immigration and global trade.”

Merkel meets Trump: The ending of a beautiful friendship? “Trump does not only want to build real walls, he also wants to isolate the USA economically. Merkel will seek to fend off his plans as she visits Washington – and that is not only in her interest.”

Business: Uncertainty clouds German firms’ US outlook. “Amid growing protectionist rhetoric and fears of increasing barriers to trade across the world, German business leaders look at the new Donald Trump administration in the US with cautious optimism.”

In German:

Transatlantische Beziehungen: Erster Auftritt von Kanzlerin Merkel und US-Präsident Trump. “Chaos à la Donald Trump oder Ordnung à la Angela Merkel? Das war die Frage im Vorfeld des ersten gemeinsamen Auftritts. So viel vorweg: Er lief deutlich gesitteter ab als Trumps vorige Pressekonferenzen in Washington.”

Merkel in Washington: Das Ende einer wunderbaren Freundschaft? “Nicht nur echte Mauern will Trump hochziehen, auch wirtschaftlich will er die USA einigeln. Merkel wird sich bei ihrem Besuch in Washington dagegen stemmen. Aber auch andere würden unter einem isolierten Amerika leiden.”

Transatlantische Beziehungen: Merkel trifft Trump: Worum geht es? “Es dürfte kompliziert werden in Washington: Trump findet Merkels Flüchtlingspolitik “katastrophal”. Sie findet sein Einreise-Dekret ungerechtfertigt. Einem konstruktiven Dialog steht allerdings noch viel mehr im Weg.”

Tiny but dangerous

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

The Guardian: Single clothes wash may release 700,000 microplastic fibres, study finds. (September 27, 2016) “Tiny plastic particles released by synthetic fabrics can cause harm to marine life when they enter rivers and oceans.”

“Each cycle of a washing machine could release more than 700,000 microscopic plastic fibres into the environment, according to a study.
Inside the lonely fight against the biggest environmental problem you’ve never heard of
Read more

A team at Plymouth University in the UK spent 12 months analysing what happened when a number of synthetic materials were washed at different temperatures in domestic washing machines, using different combinations of detergents, to quantify the microfibres shed.

They found that acrylic was the worst offender, releasing nearly 730,000 tiny synthetic particles per wash, five times more than polyester-cotton blend fabric, and nearly 1.5 times as many as polyester.”

So far, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot we consumers can do, except not wear synthetic clothing. However, there’s a company called Guppyfriend that is developing a washing bag designed to catch those microfibers. Here’s their Kickstarter page.

Only 25% on 150 Million?

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

By the way, here in Germany the top income tax rate is 47.48%.

NPR the two-way: Trump Paid About $38 Million In Federal Taxes In 2005, Leaked Returns Say.

“Donald Trump and his wife Melania earned about $150 million in 2005 and paid federal taxes of about $38 million, the White House said tonight.

The Trump administration made the revelation after copies of the tax returns anonymously were put in the mailbox of journalist David Cay Johnston.”

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Stephen Pulls A ‘Rachel Maddow’. “The Late Show has acquired a long-awaited joke that has Americans on the edge of their seats. He’s going to share it with the world. Shortly. Keep watching.”

Wandern? Wandern!

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

Mal ein paar Tage ‘raus in die Natur? Die Seite Top Trails of Germany, Deutschlands beste Wanderwege bietet Informationen zu 16 Wanderwegen mit mehreren Etappen in (fast) ganz Deutschland.

This site is also available in English: Top Trails of Germany – Germany’s best hiking trails.

Einige dieser Wege kenne ich bereits aus eigener Erfahrung bzw. Erwanderung:

“You were used to having no one share the reward but now there was no one to share the work, either.”

Monday, March 13th, 2017

Washington Post Opinion: The day they disappeared. By Alexandra Petri.

“At first it seemed as if it might be heaven.

You could walk down the street and attend school free from the uncomfortable presence of a woman who had chosen distracting attire. There were no women in sweatpants or yoga pants or skirts of any length, with hair covered or with hair uncovered — or women, indeed, of any kind at all. Finally, you did not have to worry about feelings. The world was one big locker room.”