Meat producers are allowed to merge.

Status: 20.11.2019 11:50 a.m..

The meat manufacturers Kemper and Reinert are allowed to merge. According to the Federal Cartel Office there are “sufficient alternatives” for buyers and suppliers even after the merger.

The Federal Cartel Office has given the meat product suppliers Kemper and Reinert the green light for the merger to become the second largest meat and sausage producer in Germany. “Even after the merger there are still sufficient alternatives for buyers and suppliers,” said the President of the Federal Cartel Office, Andreas Mundt, in explaining the move.

The new company, called “The Family Butcher”, will have a turnover of more than 700 million euros. Only the Tönnies group is bigger in Germany. Even together, however, Kemper and Reinert only have market shares of between ten and 20 percent, according to the competition authority.

In view of the high buying power of the food retail groups such as Edeka, Rewe or Kaufland, some of which even have their own meat plants, this is not worrying, stressed Mundt. In addition, despite the process of concentration that has been going on in the industry for years, there are still a number of larger, medium-sized meat and sausage manufacturers that are creating competition.

Kemper has its corporate headquarters in Nortrup, Lower Saxony, and Reinert in Versmold, North Rhine-Westphalia. According to earlier information, the owner families Kühnl and Reinert will each hold half of the shares in the new company. Around 2,600 people are expected to work in the nine joint plants.

Six federal states raided right-wing extremists.

Status: 02/14/2020 8:17 a.m..

Special police forces have been fighting a suspected right-wing terrorist cell since the morning – raids are taking place in several federal states.

By Michael Götschenberg and Holger Schmidt, ARD terrorism experts.

According to information from the ARD capital studio and the SWR, at least twelve objects in Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Rhineland-Palatinate and Baden-Württemberg are searched.

The measures are directed against a group of alleged right-wing extremists, to which 13 men are assigned. Specifically, it should be a terrorist cell made up of five people and eight supporters. The men are between 20 and 50 years old.

No arrest warrants yet.

According to the investigators’ findings, the group is said to have been founded in September 2019 and pursued the goal of creating conditions similar to civil war. A chat was about attacks on politicians and Muslims, and the men are said to have sent photos of weapons they had made themselves.

There are no arrest warrants yet. The searches are also intended to determine how dangerous the group was and whether there were already concrete plans for attacks.

The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution became aware of the chat group. The Baden-Württemberg State Criminal Police Office is in charge of the operation, the investigations are led by the Attorney General.

NDR Info reported on this topic on February 14, 2020 at 8:15 a.m..

Grand Coalition in Israel A fragile partnership.

Status: 04/21/2020 1:48 a.m..

Three elections later, Israel gets a grand coalition. Prime Minister Netanyahu and his challenger Gantz agreed on this. But the partnership is a shaky construct.

By Tim Assmann, ARD-Studio Tel Aviv.

In the end, the breakthrough came within a few hours. After a meeting between Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz ended unsuccessfully, both sides announced an agreement in the early evening and signed a coalition agreement.

Netanyahu’s Likud party and the blue-white alliance of ex-army chief Gantz want to work with partners from the national and strictly religious camp to first form a so-called emergency government to deal with the effects of the corona pandemic. Netanyahu is slated to start as prime minister and then hand over the office to Gantz in October next year, who is expected to become defense minister first.

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Coalition agreement a success for Netanyahu.

The government will save lives and care for the citizens in the corona crisis, said Netanyahu, and his future partner Gantz emphasized that new elections were now avoided. Both top politicians only spoke briefly via Twitter. Then began the national day of remembrance for the victims of the Holocaust in Israel.

Israeli media analysts are overwhelmingly of the opinion that the coalition agreement is primarily a success for Netanyahu. Yoav Krakowski, political commentator on Kanal 11, says:

“The list of achievements of blue-white is short and that of Likud is very long. This applies to the influence on the appointment of new judges and also to the annexation, which Gantz actually only in October, November, after the end of the Emergency government wanted to execute. “

Construction costs and land US troops cost federal hundreds of millions.

Status: 08/21/2019 12:17 p.m..

The military spending between the Federal Republic of Germany and the United States has repeatedly caused disputes. So far, the costs that the federal government pays for US troops in Germany have not been an issue. The sum is immense.

The federal government has supported the US troops in Germany with more than 240 million euros over the past seven years. Among other things, this was used to pay for pension benefits for former employees or for the management of land and buildings. In addition, there is a share in the construction costs of the US armed forces.

The 480 million euros that the federal government has planned for all military construction measures by NATO partners in Germany from 2012 to 2019 are “almost exclusively” in the USA. This emerges from a response from the Ministry of Finance to a request from the Left MP Brigitte Freihold.

Two percent target – who invented it?

The politician sharply criticized the financial support for the US armed forces. “Germany is a central hub of global US warfare,” she said. “Their subsidization by the German taxpayer must finally end.”

The majority is stationed in Rhineland-Palatinate.

According to the NATO troop statute, Germany participates in construction work and also bears other costs such as the maintenance of land, social and legal costs.

The US currently has around 35,700 soldiers stationed in four states. More than half of them (18,459) in Rhineland-Palatinate, 11,689 in Bavaria, 3036 in Baden-Württemberg and 2471 in Hesse. According to the US embassy, ​​an additional 17,000 American and 12,000 German civilians are employed by the US armed forces. US soldiers are repeatedly sent to Germany for military maneuvers.

According to the government response, 882 exercises by the US armed forces have taken place in Germany since 2012.

The US wants to send at least 1,000 additional soldiers to Poland and is considering transferring them from Germany there. The US Ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, had recently linked the considerations to Germany’s lack of military spending. “It is really insulting to expect the US taxpayer to keep paying more than 50,000 Americans in Germany, but Germans to use their trade surplus for domestic purposes,” he said. How much the US troop stationing in Germany costs, however, so far neither the US embassy nor the command center for the US armed forces in Europe EUCOM has been able to answer.

Expected costs of up to 650 million euros.

The answer from the Federal Government also shows that the US troop strength in Germany has been cut by more than 3,000 soldiers in the past five years: in 2014 there were 39,150 soldiers. Last September Grenell announced an increase of 1,500 soldiers. There is no longer any question of that.

US troops in Poland instead of Germany?

The Ministry of Finance assumes that if the construction turnover of recent years is updated, costs for the Federal Republic of around 650 million euros can be expected in the period from 2019 to 2030, reports the Reuters news agency. The German share in the projects includes around 110 million euros in a US school building program in Rhineland-Palatinate.

NDR Info reported on this topic on August 21, 2019 at 10:45 a.m..