GA English on Sunday News in Brief from Bonn and the region
Bonn/Region · Foreign minister Annalena Baerbock in Altenahr to involve the general public in developing Germany’s first national security strategy, forest fires in Lohmar on Saturday evening, police warn of increased pickpocket theft in Bonn, and the city is to receive 18.2 million euros in funding for broadband expansion - here is our news in brief on Sunday.
Baerbock visits Altenahr: Climate protection as part of national security strategy
Altenahr. “Sicher leben” (Living in security) is the theme of foreign minister Annalena Baerbock’s summer tour of Germany, the second part of which kicked off on Saturday. Altenahr was one her first stops, revisiting the area affected by the flood disaster where she had last been in September.
The guest from Berlin was accompanied by district administrator Cornelia Weigand, municipal mayor Dominik Gieler, local mayor Rüdiger Fuhrmann and the Deputy Prime Minister of Rhineland-Palatinate, Katharina Binz through the streets with their unhealed wounds, hotels standing like skeletons, with battered façades and entrances barricaded up with wood.
From Brückenstraße, they accompanied the green politician up the steep stairs to the parish church, where a group of Altenahr residents has set up a memorial for the ten people from the local community who lost their lives in the flood disaster a year ago.
Baerbock explained that her tour forms part of the drafting process for a National Security Policy as agreed by the coalition parties. “Security is more than military and diplomacy. It is also about disaster prevention, for which we were not best prepared,” she said, making reference in this context to the consequences of climate change. Looking out from the partly destroyed Altenahr railway station over the ruined bed of the river Ahr with only the concrete walls of some of the hotels remaining, she noted, “Altenahr looks more like a war zone than a wine growing region and holiday destination.”
Baerbock explained that the Federal Foreign Office is collecting reports from local people and ultimately coordinating all the issues into a national security strategy. District councillors and mayors will be explaining what they think can improved. “We cannot prevent the climate crisis nor the effects of the weather on the local area,” said Baerbock. “But we can protect better against it.” Climate protection is also linked to the question, “how can we live better prepared along rivers and streams?” she said. The human wounds of the disaster in the Ahr valley will never heal, Baerbock said, “but what we can repair is the damage and loss to people's homeland.” (Original text: Christine Schulze)
Over one thousand square metres of forest burns in Lohmar
Lohmar. On Saturday evening at around 8pm over one thousand square metres of forest was on fire in Lohmar between Gammersbach and the Gammersbach mill. Fires were reported to have been burning at 20 different places in the forest.
A spokesperson from the fire service said that the fire is believed to have spread through flying pollen and plant seeds. Fire departments from Scheiderhöhe, Wahlscheid, Lohmar and Birk attended the scene to extinguish the individual sources of the fire. At around 10.45 pm the fire services declared that the fire had been put out.
The fire service spokesperson stated that further task forces with thermal imaging cameras would go out to the embers during the night to prevent a renewed fire. (Original text: ga)
Police warn of increasing pickpocket theft in Bonn
Bonn. The number of pickpocketing thefts in Bonn has increased since the beginning of the year. Pickpockets are using distracting tactics to steal from victims particularly in places such as supermarket queues and on buses. Bonn police are spraying warning signs on the streets to raise public awareness.
A police spokesperson said, “we have recorded a sharp rise in pickpocket thefts since the start of the year, particularly in central areas in Bonn and Bad Godesberg.” “This is certainly partly due to the relaxation of covid restrictions which means that town and city centres are busier again and there are more opportunities for pickpockets to commit crimes.”
By spraying warning signs on the ground such as in Remigiusstrasse, the police want to prevent people from falling victim to pickpockets and tricksters. The signs can also be found around the Münsterplatz. Voice over announcements are also being played more frequently on public transport to inform people about the tactics used by the thieves.
In the wake of increased pickpocketing thefts, Bonn police are once again appealing for people to “make it as difficult as possible for pickpockets,” and provide the following tips: In crowds of people be especially wary of pickpockets trying to distract you and then stealing from you. Be suspicious of strangers approaching you or bumping into you. Rather than carrying valuables and documents in your handbag, split them up into zipped inside pockets in your clothes. Money belts and chest or belt pouches are also recommended. Always carry your handbag or shoulder bag closed and tucked under your arm, with the clasp facing your body. In shops, pedestrian zones and other crowded places backpacks should always be carried closed under your arm. (Original text: Gabriele Immenkeppel)
Funding for fibre optic expansion - Bonn to receive 18.2 million euros
Bonn. Bonn's economic development agency has recently received a provisional commitment from the federal government for 18.2 million euros in further funding for fibre-optic expansion under the so-called grey spots program. The state of North Rhine-Westphalia will also support the development project with a further 18.2 million euros. All connections with a download speed of less than 100 Mbit/s are eligible for the grey spots funding programme, which is the third federal funding procedure for fast broadband. In Bonn these expansion points are spread across the entire city area.
After receiving the preliminary funding approval, a market survey will be carried out in which all telecommunications companies will report on the internet speeds they can currently provide at the respective connections and whether they will supply them with fibre optics in the next three years. Completion of this procedure will provide a clearer picture of eligibility, so that the entire number of connections can then be put out to tender. (Original text: buj)
(Translations: Caroline Kusch)