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Posts Tagged ‘germany

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

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  • blogTO notes the refusal of Bombardier to explain to the TTC, even in the context of an impending lawsuit, why streetcar production is so delayed.
  • At the Broadside Blog, Caitlin Kelly recommends the movie Spotlight for its insights into the importance of journalism.
  • Crooked Timber considers protests at Princeton about racial representation.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper suggesting possibilities for direct imaging of the Alpha Centauri system.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes plans to close down the last coal-powered power plant in Britain.
  • Far Outliers looks at Russian and German encounters with Papuans in the late 19th century.
  • Language Hat starts a discussion on marginalized languages.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the defense of the mayor of Roanoke that his defense of the Japanese-American internment was not racist.
  • Marginal Revolution notes the importance of the Iran-Iraq War in the Middle East’s downward spiral.
  • pollotenchegg notes language use in Ukraine.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes how the Kirchner governments in Argentina subsidized energy companies.
  • Torontoist notes a Bloordale artist’s efforts to start a fact box in her neighbourhood.
  • Towleroad notes the belated recognition of a trans widow’s marriage.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the complications of the cut-off of electricity supply from Ukraine to Crimea.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alexander Harrowell is critical of certain plans for devolution that risk creating party fiefdoms.

[URBAN NOTE] “Berlin Just Showed the World How to Keep Housing Affordable”

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At CityLab, Feargus O’Sullivan writes about Berlin’s imposition of rent controls to protect poor tenants.

Beginning January 1, many Berlin housing project residents can expect a cut in their rent. The cost of public housing in the city is just too high, the Berlin Senate ruled today, and from now on the rent tenants pay will be directly linked to how much they earn.

In a city with high numbers of public housing residents, the effect of the new rule could be striking. Of Berlin’s current 3.5 million residents, about 250,000 people live in housing projects, spread across some 125,000 apartments. The city also has 280,000 apartments owned by four state property companies that will likewise be subject to the new rules.

From now on, low-income tenants in these homes will have a guarantee that rent rises will not price them out. The number of these protected apartments will also go up. Today’s ruling binds the Berlin Senate to build 30,000 new public housing units within the next 10 years, while the proportion of affordable housing owned by the state property companies will also be pushed up.

The new law, thoroughly explained in the Berliner Zeitung newspaper yesterday, will work as follows. People on low incomes living in social- or state-owned housing will pay no more than a third of their gross income in rent. For tenants in a few buildings with especially high energy costs, that ceiling will be dropped to 25 percent of gross income.

More there.

Written by Randy McDonald

November 19, 2015 at 12:58 pm

[BLOG] Some Monday links

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  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly writes about the things important to her.
  • Crooked Timber’s Chris Bertram shares a quietly beautiful picture of a Paris café late at night.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes a paper suggesting that atmospheric haze on exoplanets might be a biosignature.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that the Earth appears not to have gotten its water from comets, and examines the geology of Mars’ massive Hellas crater.
  • Far Outliers notes initial Soviet goals in Afghanistan and looks at Soviet reluctance to get involved.
  • Joe. My. God. notes panic in the Republican Party establishment over a possible victory of Carson or Trump.
  • Language Hat notes some online resources on Beowulf and the Hittite language.
  • pollotenchegg maps the distribution of ethnic Germans in Ukraine in 1926.
  • Torontoist notes an architecturally sensitive data centre on Cabbagetown’s Parliament Street.
  • Towleroad notes Ukraine’s passage of a LGBT employment non-discrimination bill.
  • Window on Eurasia notes Putin’s attempt at forming an anti-globalist coalition and notes Russian opinions about Western passivity.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

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  • blogTO notes that a TTC driver has been caught on video … doing pushups.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at the discovery of distant dwarf planet V774104.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze reports that white dwarf SDSS1228+1040 is surrounded by a ring of shattered planets.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes widespread German espionage on allies, undermining somewhat German official protests.
  • Far Outliers notes how the desire of Afghan Communists in the late 1970s for radical reform undermined their cause fatally.
  • Geocurrents looks at the various heterodox Christian movements around the world, like Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses.
  • Language Hat notes how people repairing a church in Russia found centuries’ worth of bird nests, often made of written documents.
  • Language Log looks at a photo caption translated from Tibetan to English via Singlish.
  • Marginal Revolution writes about the Chinese economic slowdown.
  • The Planetary Science Blog reports from Ceres.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog shares a map of China, comparing life expectancy in different jurisdictions to different countries.
  • Torontoist reports on a pediatric clinic that opened up in a Toronto public school.
  • Towleroad notes the governor of Utah has argued a judge who removed a child from gay foster parents should follow the law.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the relative disinterest of ethnic Russians in the Baltic States in Russia, and looks at the Ukrainian recognition of the Crimean Tatar genocide.
  • The Financial Times‘ The World links to a paper noting, in Africa, the close relationship between city lights and economic growth.

[DM] “On how the relative youth of India will not ensure future prosperity”

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At Demography Matters, I note approvingly a Bloomberg article noting that the youth of India’s population relative to China’s, or the rest of the world’s, is not by itself capable of ensuring future prosperity.

Written by Randy McDonald

November 12, 2015 at 4:56 am

[LINK] ‘For Some Muslim Asylum-Seekers In Germany, Christianity Beckons”

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Soraya Sorhaddi Nelson at NPR reports on the growing number of conversion to Christianity among nominally Muslim refugees in Germany. The extent to which the conversions are sincere is debatable, though what is not is the real nature of many of these.

Under EU rules, migrants aren’t deported if they face persecution in their home countries for being converts. The EU provision can be especially important for Iranians and Afghans seeking asylum in Germany, given that they otherwise would have a difficult time gaining refugee status. In Iran and Afghanistan, penalties for conversion can include imprisonment or death.

Even so, converts are relatively few when compared to 4 million Muslims living in Germany. The exact number is unknown because German authorities do not track the religion of asylum seekers.

Martens says conversion is not an easy choice for these Muslims, since those who do convert are often ostracized, harassed or worse by relatives, friends and neighbors.

At Trinity, ex-Muslim converts dominate the active congregation of 900. Three-quarters of the congregation are Iranian. Most of the others are Afghan.

During the recent baptism class, Martens explained the meaning of Holy Communion in German, which a congregant translated into Farsi. The pastor said many of his Iranian students are already well versed in Christian practices, thanks to an underground evangelical movement in the Islamic Republic that comes from abroad and takes place in secret in people’s homes.

“There is a big awakening going on in Iran at the moment,” Martens says. “There are serious estimations going from 500,000 to 1 million secret Christians in Iran and the secret service is trying to find them. And when they find them, of course, they have to flee and so they come here.”

Written by Randy McDonald

November 10, 2015 at 10:31 pm

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

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  • blogTO ranks Toronto’s newest neighbourhoods from best to worst.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze suggests exoplanets which receive between 60 to 90% of the energy the Earth received are likely to support broadly Earth-like conditions.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to a paper suggesting the solar system likely did not eject a fifth gas giant and looks at what happened to the very early crust of the Earth.
  • Language Hat talks about the language use of writer Raymond Federman and tries to find a story with an unusual method of inputting Japanese.
  • Marginal Revolution notes dropping fluency in English in China.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer describes how he kicked a man dressed as Adolf Hitler out of a Halloween party.
  • Towleroad notes an interracial German-Thai gay couple mocked on social media has married.
  • Window on Eurasia wonders whether Russia will use the recent crash of a Russian plane in the Sinai to justify a widened war.

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