Economic wise men: self-healing of the underdog

Social class is increasingly becoming a literary theme – associated with this is a renaissance of the male joke.

Home of men’s jokes: the corner pub Photo: dpa

Men’s jokes are manual labor jokes. Sure, there are civil servant jokes, janitor jokes, boss jokes, doctor jokes, etc., but these are, if not headworker jokes, then professional jokes. "Male humor, with its jokes about beer and naked women, seems on the one hand to have fallen completely out of time, but on the other hand it persists," writes Die Welt. They belong to a certain form of existence that was widespread in West Germany until recent times: the man works hard, earns the dough, and the woman takes care of the household and the children. To gain distance from both, he goes to "his" pub. "Landlady," he calls out as he enters, "did I really drink away 20 marks last night?" When the landlady confirms this to him, he says, "Thank God, I already thought I’d squandered the dough."

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Encryption of data: “they want the last secret”.

Intelligence agencies are bothered by encrypted communications. But surveillance is far more than just an anti-terrorism measure.

Police agencies, after all, always find ways when they want to get somewhere. Picture: dpa

So now it’s Germany, too. The terrorist attacks in Paris have generated a new security discourse across Europe and put highly questionable legislative proposals on the agenda. Following in the footsteps of German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière, head of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution Hans-Georg Maaben is now urging the taz to attack the encryption of Internet communications. It’s about the last secret, the last possibility to communicate unsupervisably – cryptography.

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Preparing for the climate conference: saving the world, but without coercion

The climate summit in Paris will be about a soft treaty based on voluntary action. Only a small core is to become legally binding.

A reservoir in Alcora, Spain. Picture: ap

The crucial paper has eleven pages and a modest title: "US proposals for elements of the 2015 agreement." The letter is the blueprint for a global climate agreement in 2015, and it signifies a change of course in climate policy: away from an agreement that commits all states to climate protection, and toward a treaty that brings together the voluntary offers of the 195 states of the UN Climate Convention. The U.S. plan, which has been followed by about two dozen similar variants from many countries and groups, is therefore what one European negotiator calls "the mother of all proposals."

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Before the brexit vote in the house of commons: clear the stage for the showdown

Dispute over rules of procedure opens debate on withdrawal treaty with EU. Speaker of Parliament Bercow faces massive criticism.

John Bercow (right) faces fierce accusations from his own party colleagues Photo: ap

In the British House of Commons on Wednesday began the crucial debate on whether Britain will leave the European Union on March 29, 2019, with or without an agreement with the EU. The Brexit treaty negotiated between the United Kingdom and the EU in November has been submitted to parliamentarians for ratification, but it has so far met with such widespread rejection in British politics that the government postponed the vote on it, which was actually due in December, to Jan. 15 at short notice.

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Election of eu commission president: zensursula becomes eursula

After much controversy, Ursula von der Leyen was voted in as the new EU Commission President. She achieved a majority only by a narrow margin.

Ursula von der Leyen applied for the post of Commission President with a committed speech on Tuesday Photo: dpa

She had to fear and fight, but at the end of a long day she made it: The European Parliament has elected the German CDU politician Ursula von der Leyen as the next president of the EU Commission with 383 to 327 votes. She received nine votes more than necessary. 23 parliamentarians abstained, there was one invalid vote. The MEPs thus confirmed the controversial nomination by the Council. The EU heads of state and government had overruled the will of the Parliament and did not nominate any of the top candidates for the European elections.

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Ban on nuclear weapons: majority is in favor of negotiations

Three quarters of Germans are in favor of entering into negotiations on a ban on nuclear weapons. The German government has boycotted these so far.

Almost 140 states are negotiating a ban on nuclear weapons, Germany is not taking part Photo: dpa

Three quarters of all Germans eligible to vote want the German government to participate in the UN negotiations on a worldwide and complete ban on nuclear weapons, which it has boycotted so far. Twelve percent each are against or have no opinion on the issue. This is the result of a representative survey, the results of which are available to the taz.

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Vattenfall considers exit: opencast mining expansion to be scaled back

Because of the German government’s climate plans, the energy company is questioning the planned expansion of lignite mining in Lusatia.

Dredged: the opencast lignite mine in Nochten, Saxony. Photo: dpa

There are signs of a turnaround in the dispute over lignite mining in Lusatia. After the energy company Vattenfall wanted to expand open pit mining in the two areas there, the company is now backpedaling.

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Gilded spiritualized metal: buddha finds place in bremen

After being ritually filled, the Peace Buddha in Bremen’s Botanika will have transformed into a cult object

When it’s finished, it should look like this: a golden little guy next to pink azaleas Photo: Montage: Schulze Pampus Architekten

What peace! What power! What a massive figure with an almost childishly small head! In the future, an almost three-meter-high Buddha figure will sit in Bremen’s Science Center Botanika, gleam golden and exhale its peaceful spirit over Europe – as a peace Buddha.

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Rethinking tourism: travel as a sensual experience

The consumer logic of tourism not only harms the environment – it also pushes us away from the real purpose of travel.

Plenty of room for pigeons in Barcelona’s Plaza de Catalunya Photo: Nacho Doce/reuters

A top theme of the pandemic season has been walks. And so it happened that walk scientist Bertram Weisshaar became a sought-after interviewee. Weisshaar’s latest book, "Einfach losgehen," talks about walking, straying, thinking, hiking. Weisshaar is passionate about reading landscapes the way other people read books, and you can only do that on foot. He considers finding one’s own paths in a thoroughly planned landscape to be art. For him, a walk under corona conditions is like "consciously taking time off".

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Tunisia before the election: new trench warfare in sight

First presidential, then parliamentary elections: In Tunisia, the moderate Islamists of Ennahda could expand their influence.

Supporters of the prime minister are happy about his announcement to run again Photo: reuters

The upcoming presidential election in Tunisia is already turning into a veritable political thriller during the campaign. The race to enter the presidential palace in Tunis is completely open, and the list of favorites is long. If no candidate achieves an absolute majority in the first round on Sept. 15, a duel reminiscent of Tunisia’s political trench warfare between Islamists and secularists since the mass revolt of 2011 could repeat itself in the runoff.

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