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News: Corona lockdown, schools, Julian Assange, Donald Trump, US election, Gerry Marsden

Uncertainty for students

This morning at eight o’clock my seven-year-old daughter is sitting in front of the laptop. Your teacher invites the children in her first grade to a video conference, goes through a few tasks with them, and discusses the daily and weekly schedule. Our daughter knows that from the days before Christmas, she thinks it’s exciting, of course, it’s also new, different, exciting, a lesson on the computer. She does the subsequent tasks with astonishing independence, my wife and I help and animate if necessary – or entertain her two-year-old brother. He also finds his sister’s video conference quite interesting …

Corona everyday life. As in Berlin, the holidays in several federal states are over today. The schools but remain empty for the time being, because the Christmas New Year’sShutdown forces millions of children and parents to Home schooling. It will probably stay that way for a while. In view of the infection situation, it is impossible for public life to start up again on January 10th, which is still valid.

Nevertheless, one has to be surprised that after a year of Corona the same debates are being held: Shouldn’t at least the daycare centers and schools open again after all? Or only with certain, low incidence values? Maybe just primary schools? Or just the final classes? Which is better: change of presence, distance teaching? And can the schools even manage it?

Lockdown and the end of the vacation come as a complete surprise once again.

2021 begins as 2020 ended. Parents, schoolchildren and daycare children do not know what will happen in the coming winter months, when there is hardly any relief on the pandemic front. This Monday they advise Minister of Education of the countries about whether there is one nationwide course she can give the Prime Minister and the Chancellor recommend for their round the next day.

You don’t have to be a prophet: there won’t be this uniform course. It’s not that bad, after all, not all countries and all regions are equally affected. The bad thing is that there is unlikely to be a course that politics – federalism or not – is not in a position to adopt a Minimum level of commitment create, draw up a rough roadmap, guard rails, guidelines, call it whatever you want, anything that schools, teachers, parents, children can orientate themselves on.

Is Assange being shipped?

This Monday, a court in London will decide whether Julian Assange is shipped to the USA. It goes behind the swanky stucco facade of the Central Criminal Court of Old Baily about more than the legal fate of WikiLeaks-Founder. Maybe it’s also about his life.

For more than a year and a half, the 49-year-old Australian has been sitting in the maximum security prison in Belmarsh, 23 hours a day alone in a two by three meter cell, although he has not yet been convicted of a crime – he will be held there until the outcome of the Extradition proceedings is certain.

A procedure in which Nils Melzer, the UN special rapporteur on torture, sees “the basic standards” of human rights and the rule of law being violated. A psychiatric evaluator feared Assange might attempt suicide if extradited to the United States. The US judiciary accuses him, among other things, of espionage, and if convicted on all counts, Assange faces up to 175 years in prison.

You don’t have to like Julian Assange, attribute noble motives to him or worship him as a fearless hero. But the significance of the case extends far beyond the man’s personal fate. It’s about the Freedom of the press. The US wants to make an example, to send out a warning to investigative journalists. Investigation turns into espionage, even if war crimes, corruption or other atrocities are uncovered (read more about the background to the complex case here).

Should the hitherto not very squeamish London judge Vanessa Baraitser decide against Assange, his lawyers want to appeal. In the end, the new US President Assange may be the last hope. When Joe Biden When Barack Obama was Vice President, the US waived an indictment.

Donald Trump’s Despair

You could laugh out loud if it weren’t for howling: Donald Trump still doesn’t think about giving up. After a group of Trump fans among the Republican Senators announced the official confirmation of the election victory of Joe Biden Wanting to sabotage by the US Congress, the still-incumbent president has this weekend Georgia State Election Officer on the phone bluntly urged to “find” 11,780 votes and “recalculate” the result – in other words: to slam the state Trump.

The story is actually incredible, but you can hear everything. There is a recording, including undisguised threats from the president to his interlocutor Brad Raffensperger, even Republicans, he runs a high risk if he does not comply with the request. Raffensperger is also unimpressed.

It is just as incredible that all ten former US Secretary of Defense still alive consider it necessary to warn against abusing the military in the dispute over the election result. Mark Esper, who most recently served under Trump, is among the authors of the guest article in the Washington Post.

No, it’s not a laughing matter after all.

Farewell of the day

Gerry Marsden is dead. Many football fans may not even know the name of the British singer of the group “Gerry And The Pacemakers”, although they have already heard their most famous song from the 1960s several times. “You’ll never walk alone” is not only the club anthem of Liverpool FC, but is also at home in stadiums around the world (the original, by the way, comes from a musical from 1945). Marsden died at the age of 78, his song will survive forever.

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