By Money & Finance
Negative interest rates = The bizarro market... And it's happening right now in most of Europe. The federal government of Germany just did something nearly unheard of: It issued a 30-year bond with a negative interest rate. Here's why that's weird:
How a 30-yr bond normally works: An investor gives $900 today, in return for $1,000 in 30 years. Investors make money by lending. How Germany's 30-yr bonds work right now: Investors gave Germany $1,149 today, in return for just $1,000 in 30 years. Investors pay money to lend. The asparagus is white... and you have to pay to keep money in a bank. These are both truths about Germany right now, and it's thanks to the European Central Bank — Europe's equivalent to the Fed. It's using a negative interest rate to force you to take cash from your savings account and invest it instead. It's like opposite day for European bank accounts:
In Germany, banks won't pay you interest — they charge you interest. Banks have to pay money for holding your money in an account, so they probably pass that charge on to you. THE TAKEAWAY This is punishing you for not investing... European economies didn't recover from the financial crisis as well or fast as America's did. Policymakers there are still desperate to stimulate growth, which requires investment. So negative interest rates hurt people who don't invest. You're more likely to buy things or invest in stocks if the alternative is your money shrinking in a bank account.
By Bible Speaks
? HITLER'S EFFORTS TO WIPE OUT JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES IN GERMANY FAILED: “Do not meddle with these men, but let them alone; because, ... if it is from God, you will not be able to overthrow them..." Â—Acts 5:38, 39.
During 1933, when JehovahÂ’s Witnesses in Germany refused to heil Adolf Hitler as their FÃ¼hrer, Hitler vowed to exterminate them.Â
Hitler launched a campaign to annihilate JehovahÂ’s Witnesses in Germany. By 1935 they were proscribed in the entire nation.
October 7, 1934, Adolf Hitler with clenched fists declared regarding JehovahÂ’s Witnesses: Â“This enemy of Great Germany, This brood Â of International Bible Students will be exterminated in Germany!Â”Â
Â Widespread arrests occurred. A Â“special Gestapo CommandÂ” was formed to fight against the Witnesses.Â
The Nazis did succeed in rounding up thousands of Witnesses and sending them off to concentration camps. Repeatedly they were promised release from the camps if they would only sign a declaration renouncing their beliefs.Â
The Earthly part of Jehovah's Organization wrote a personal letter to Adolf Hitler warning him regarding the situation. J. F. Rutherford along with the entire worldwide brotherhood went into action. JehovahÂ’s Witnesses throughout the earth met and, after united prayer to Jehovah, sent a cablegram warning the Hitler government: Â“Your ill-treatment of JehovahÂ’s witnesses shocks all good people of earth and dishonors GodÂ’s name. Refrain from further persecuting JehovahÂ’s witnesses; otherwise God will destroy you and your national party.Â”Â
The Witnesses kept right on preaching that GodÂ’s Kingdom is mankindÂ’s only hope. At the end of the war, over a thousand surviving Witnesses came out of the camps, with their faith intact and their love for one another strong.Â
The Nazis failed to break the WitnessesÂ’ resolve to worship God alone, and they failed to eliminate GodÂ’s servants as a group.Â
Why was Hitler, with his well-equipped army, highly trained police, Â unable to carry out his threat to destroy this relatively small and unarmed group of what the world views as ordinary people?Â
The answer lies in some wise advice given by Gamaliel, a Law teacher, to fellow members of the Jewish Sanhedrin when they were dealing with a similar case involving the apostles of Jesus Christ. He said: Â“Do not meddle with these men, but let them alone; because, if this scheme or this work is from men, it will be overthrown; but if it is from God, you will not be able to overthrow them; otherwise, you may perhaps be found fighters actually against God.Â”Â—Acts 5:38, 39.
Sixty years later, faithful survivors of HitlerÂ’s concentration camps are still serving Jehovah Â‘with their whole heart and soul and mind,Â’ whereas today Hitler and his Nazi party are wiped off the face of the earth, Â nowhere to be found, living only in infamy.
Jehovah's name and his Kingdom is still being proclaimed in Germany by some total of what went from only a few thousand of Jehovah's servants during Hitler's reign to today numbering far over 165,837 and still rapidly growing. The work is from Jehovah, not man, and the work of Jehovah cannot be overthrown.Â
?? Â“They will not do any harm or cause any ruin in all my holy mountain; because the earth will certainly be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah as the waters are covering the very sea.Â”Â—Isaiah 2:4; 11:9.
Â• jv 552, 553, 659-660, 693, w05 12/15 pp. 19-24Â
Â Â Whom Do You ObeyÂ—God or Men?
By Guest Nicole
On December 29th, 2017, Watchtower attorney Armin Pikl filed a lawsuit against Rowohlt Publishing Company, the highly regarded publishing house in Germany which produced the acclaimed book Goodbye Jehovah!, authored by former Jehovah’s Witness Misha Verollet. The autobiographical novel is subtitled “How I left the world’s most notorious cult.”
The suit followed a December cease and desist order from Watchtower which demanded the redaction of numerous passages along with the destruction of all current editions of the book in circulation. Rowohlt ignored Watchtower’s plea, resulting in legal action.
Goodbye Jehovah! was published in 2014 under the author’s pen name Misha Anouk, and was well received in Germany, reaching #22 on the German best-sellers list. Media attention was widespread across Germany, Switzerland and Austria, resulting in numerous television appearances, articles and radio interviews. While it was a clear winner in Europe, more than three years later the Jehovah’s Witness organization has opted to take issue with a book which is apparently having an effect on its German-speaking members.
While Jehovah’s Witnesses are not permitted to read “apostate” books or any materials critical of their religion, Verollet believes some German-speaking JWs are reading his book. During an interview with JW Survey he stated:
The average E-book share of book sales is 5 percent. With my book, over 20 percent were sold as E-books. This is an absolute outlier for the industry
Because hardcopy books are easily found and confiscated, Verollet believes a number of Jehovah’s Witnesses are reading his book by downloading it to their tablets and phones. Witnesses are less likely to be caught with the electronic version of a book.
Read more: http://jwsurvey.org/news/goodbye-jehovah-hello-courtroom-watchtower-brings-lawsuit-publishing-company
By Noble Berean
This video indicates that 252 JW congregations have closed in Germany since 2015. Is this a legit statistic? What is causing this decline?
By The Librarian
After more than 26 years of legal proceedings, the Witnesses now have the same legal status as that granted to major religions in the country.
By Bible Speaks
Germany. The Kingdom Hall Fire, provoked.
A few days ago we reported that a kingdom hall in Germany had been set on fire at 9 points. The Fire Department controlled the fire.
The Police, after viewing the security cameras in the building, have arrested the arsonist, who has proved to be a witness to the Lord of this hall.
By The Librarian
During a special campaign in 2016, the Witnesses distributed almost 3,000 tracts, had discussions with over 360 Sinti and Roma, and started 19 Bible studies.
via TheWorldNewsOrgWorld News
via TheWorldNewsOrgWorld News
By Guest Nicole
Both Chile and Germany qualified to the finals of the Confederations Cup 2017 finals by defeating Portugal and Mexico respectively. Chile vs Germany final match will kick-start at 7 PM BST or 11:30 PM IST at Stadion Krestovskyi. Based on the Cover365 predictions, Germany will win the finals of FIFA 2017 Confederations Cup by defeating Chile in Russia.
Chile entered into the finals by defeating Portugal in the Penalty shots in the last week Semi-final game. The Chile vs Germany live streaming will be telecasted on the following TV Channels, the United States – Fox Sports GO, Fox Sports 1 USA, the United Kingdom – ITV 1 UK, India – TEN 1 and TEN 2 channels, Germany – ORF 1, ZDF, Chile – TVN, Canal 13 channels. Playing 11 of Chile vs Germany has been announced already.
Read more: http://www.cover365.in/2017/07/chile-vs-germany-fifa-confederations-cup-2017-finals/
By Guest Nicole
Friday's parliamentary vote in Berlin to recognize the right of same-sex couples to wed was a long-awaited victory for German liberals. But the vote was a defeat for the woman who seemed to have emerged as one of the country's most popular icons of liberalism: German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
She welcomed over 1 million refugees, abandoned nuclear energy over safety fears and has urged President Trump to respect human rights.
On Friday, however, Merkel voted against same-sex marriage, despite having paved the way to its recognition only days earlier.
The anti-marriage-equality party line of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) had long prevented the law from being passed. But on Monday, the German chancellor cleared the way for the issue to win approval in the German Parliament by allowing lawmakers to choose according to their personal convictions after being pressured into a vote by the Social Democratic Party. “I would like to steer the discussion more toward the situation that it will be a question of conscience instead of me forcing something through by means of a majority vote,” Merkel said earlier this week.
Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/06/30/why-angela-merkel-known-for-embracing-liberal-values-voted-against-same-sex-marriage/?utm_term=.b6ce6745071c
By Queen Esther
Regional Convention Germany.....
Greeitngs from Germany Hannover, a 360* pic:
This link from our Reg. CONVENTION in HANNOVER -
I got it yesterday from a Brother in a message ENJOY !
WONDERFUL PANORAMA PICTURE ❤
By Bible Speaks
An Aniversary of a Faithful Man of God and Survivor, Leopold Engleitner
One of the oldest known survivors of the holocaust who refused to renounce his faith has died aged 107.
Leopold Engleitner died on April 21, 2013, according to the Mauthausen Committee, an Austrian organization that tracks the fate of Nazi concentration camp inmates.
After refusing to give up his faith as a Jehovah's Witness, he survived three concentration camps and forced labor between 1939 and 1945.
Engleitner was born in Aigen-Voglhub, Austria, in 1905 but grew up in the city of Bad Ischl.
He became a Jehovah's Witness in 1932 after studying the bible for many years and faced religious intolerance even before the war began.
He was arrested in April 1939 with other Witnesses during a religious celebration, and four months later was transferred to Buchenwald concentration camp.
Two years later, Engleitner was held at Niederhagen concentration camp in Wewelsburg, Germany.
He was offered release if he agreed to renounce his beliefs, but he refused saying he lived by God's word.
Instead, he was transferred to Ravensbruek.
He weighed just 28 kilograms - about 60 pounds - on release from the Ravensbrueck camp in 1943 after he agreed to work as farm slave laborer.
AS TOLD BY LEOPOLD ENGLEITNER
The SS officer drew his pistol, held it to my head, and asked: “Are you ready to die? I’m going to pull the trigger because you’re really a hopeless case.” “I’m ready,” I said, trying to keep my voice steady. I braced myself, closed my eyes, and waited for him to pull the trigger, but nothing happened. “You’re even too stupid to die!” he shouted, removing the gun from my temple. How did I end up in such a desperate situation?
I WAS born on July 23, 1905, in the town of Aigen-Voglhub, nestled in the Austrian Alps. I was the eldest son of a sawmill worker and a local farmer’s daughter. My parents were poor but hardworking people. My early years were spent in Bad Ischl, near Salzburg, amid scenic lakes and breathtaking summits.
As a child, I would often muse about life’s injustices, not only because my family was poor but also because I suffered from congenital curvature of the spine. The backache caused by this disorder made it almost impossible for me to stand erect. At school, I was barred from gymnastics and thus became a target of ridicule among my classmates.
At the end of World War I, just shy of the age of 14, I decided that it was time to look for a job in order to escape poverty. Gnawing hunger was my constant companion, and I was weakened by bouts of high fever caused by the Spanish flu, which had sent millions to the grave. “What use could we possibly have for a weakling like you?” is how most farmers reacted to my request for work. However, one kind farmer did hire me.
Thrilled by God’s Love
Even though Mother was a devout Catholic, I rarely went to church, mainly because my father had liberal views on the matter. As for me, I was disturbed by the worship of images, so widely practiced in the Roman Catholic Church.
One day in October 1931, a friend asked me to accompany him to a religious meeting sponsored by the Bible Students, as Jehovah’s Witnesses were then known. There, I was given Bible answers to important questions, such as: Is image worship pleasing to God? (Exodus 20:4, 5) Is there a fiery hell? (Ecclesiastes 9:5) Will the dead be resurrected?—John 5:28, 29.
What most impressed me was the fact that God does not condone man’s bloodthirsty wars, even if they are said to be fought in His name. I learned that “God is love” and that he has an exalted name, Jehovah. (1 John 4:8; Psalm 83:18) I was thrilled to find out that by means of Jehovah’s Kingdom, humans will be able to live forever in happiness in an earth-wide paradise. I also learned of the marvelous prospect open to some imperfect humans who have been called by God to share with Jesus in God’s heavenly Kingdom. I was prepared to give my all for that Kingdom. So in May 1932, I was baptized and became one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. That step required courage, considering the religious intolerance prevailing in the strictly Catholic Austria of the time.
Facing Contempt and Opposition
My parents were horrified when I quit the church, and the priest was quick to spread the news from the pulpit. Neighbors would spit on the ground in front of me to show their contempt. Nevertheless, I was determined to join the ranks of full-time ministers, and I started pioneering in January 1934.
The political situation became increasingly tense because of the strong influence the Nazi party was gaining in our province. During my pioneer days in the Styrian Valley of Enns, the police were hot on my heels, and I had to be ‘cautious as a serpent.’ (Matthew 10:16) From 1934 to 1938, persecution was an inseparable part of my daily life. Though I was unemployed, I was denied unemployment compensation, and I was sentenced to several short and four longer prison terms because of my preaching activity.
Hitler’s Troops Occupy Austria
In March 1938, Hitler’s troops marched into Austria. Within a few days, over 90,000 people—about 2 percent of the adult population—were arrested and sent to prisons and concentration camps, accused of opposing the Nazi regime. Jehovah’s Witnesses were somewhat prepared for what was in store. In the summer of 1937, several members of my home congregation made the 220-mile [350 km] trip to Prague by bicycle to attend an international convention. There they heard of the atrocities perpetrated against our fellow believers in Germany. Clearly, now it was our turn.
From the day Hitler’s troops set foot in Austria, the meetings and the preaching activity of Jehovah’s Witnesses were forced underground. Though Bible literature was being smuggled across the Swiss border, there was not enough to go around. So fellow Christians in Vienna would secretly produce literature. I often served as a courier, delivering literature to the Witnesses.
To a Concentration Camp
On April 4, 1939, three fellow Christians and I were arrested by the Gestapo while we were observing the Memorial of Christ’s death in Bad Ischl. We were all taken by car to State police headquarters in Linz. That was my very first car ride, but I was too troubled to enjoy it. In Linz, I was submitted to a series of excruciating interrogations, but I did not renounce my faith. Five months later, I was brought before the examining justice in Upper Austria. Unexpectedly, criminal proceedings against me were dropped; yet that was not the end of my ordeal. In the meantime, the other three were sent to concentration camps, where they died, remaining faithful to the end.
I was kept in custody, and on October 5, 1939, I was notified that I would be taken to the Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany. A special train awaited us prisoners at the Linz train station. The boxcars were equipped with two-man cells. The man who shared the cell with me was none other than the former governor of Upper Austria, Dr. Heinrich Gleissner.
Dr. Gleissner and I struck up an interesting conversation. He was sincerely interested in my plight and was appalled that even during his time in office, Jehovah’s Witnesses faced countless legal problems in his province. He stated regretfully: “Mr. Engleitner, I cannot undo the wrong, but I do want to apologize. It seems that our government was guilty of a miscarriage of justice. Should you ever need any help, I would be more than willing to do what I can.” Our paths crossed again after the war. He helped me to receive government retirement pay for Nazi victims.
“I’m Going to Shoot You”
On October 9, 1939, I arrived at the Buchenwald concentration camp. Shortly thereafter, the bunker attendant was informed that a Witness was among the newcomers, and I became his target. He ruthlessly beat me. Then, after realizing that he could not make me renounce my faith, he said: “I’m going to shoot you, Engleitner. But before I do, I’m going to let you write a farewell card to your parents.” I thought of words of comfort I could write to my folks, but every time I put the pen to the paper, he knocked my right elbow, causing me to scribble. He jeered: “Such an idiot! He can’t even write two straight lines. But that doesn’t keep him from reading the Bible, does it?”
Next the attendant drew his pistol, held it to my head, and made me believe that he was going to pull the trigger, as I related at the outset of this account. Then he crammed me into a small, overcrowded cell. I had to spend the night standing. But I could not have slept anyway, since my whole body was aching. “Dying for some stupid religion is really such a waste!” was the only “comfort” my cell mates had to offer. Dr. Gleissner was in the adjacent cell. He heard what had happened and pensively said, “The persecution of Christians is once again rearing its ugly head!”
In the summer of 1940, all prisoners were ordered to report for quarry duty on a Sunday, even though we usually had Sundays off. This was a retaliatory measure for some inmates’ “misdemeanors.” We were ordered to carry large stones from the quarry into the camp. Two prisoners were trying to place a huge stone on my back, and I nearly collapsed under the weight. However, Arthur Rödl, the feared Lagerführer (camp supervisor), unexpectedly came to the rescue. Seeing my agonizing efforts to carry the stone, he said to me: “You’ll never make it back to the camp with that stone on your back! Put it down immediately!” That was an order I was relieved to obey. Then Rödl pointed to a much smaller stone, saying: “Pick that one up, and bring it into the camp. It’s easier to carry!” Afterward, turning to our supervisor, he ordered: “Let the Bible Students return to their barracks. They’ve worked enough for one day!”
At the end of each workday, I was always happy to associate with my spiritual family. We had arrangements for distributing spiritual food. A brother would write a Bible verse on a scrap of paper and pass it on to the others. A Bible had also been smuggled into the camp. It was taken apart and divided into individual books. For three months I was entrusted with the book of Job. I hid it in my socks. The account of Job helped me to remain steadfast.
Finally, on March 7, 1941, I joined a large convoy that was transferred to the Niederhagen concentration camp. My condition was getting worse by the day. One day, two brothers and I were ordered to pack tools into crates. After doing that, we accompanied another group of inmates back to the barracks. An SS man noticed that I was lagging behind. He got so furious that he brutally kicked me from behind without warning, causing serious injury. The pain was excruciating, but despite the pain I went to work the next day.
In April of 1943, the Niederhagen camp was finally evacuated. Following that, I was transferred to the death camp at Ravensbrück. Then, in June 1943, I was unexpectedly offered the opportunity of a discharge from the concentration camp. This time, release was not conditional on my abjuring my faith. I just had to agree to do forced labor on a farm for the rest of my life. I was willing to do that to escape the horrors of the camp. I went to the camp doctor for a final checkup. The doctor was surprised to see me. “Why, you’re still one of Jehovah’s Witnesses!” he exclaimed. “You’re right, Herr Doctor,” I answered. “Well, in that case I don’t see why we should give you a discharge. On the other hand, it would be such a relief to get rid of a wretched creature like you.”
His description was no exaggeration. My state of health was truly wretched. My skin had been partly eaten away by lice, beatings had left me deaf in one ear, and my whole body was covered with festering sores. After 46 months of deprivation, endless hunger, and forced labor, I weighed only 54 pounds [28 kg]. In that condition, I was discharged from Ravensbrück on July 15, 1943.
I was sent back to my hometown by train without a guard to escort me, and I reported to Gestapo headquarters in Linz. The Gestapo officer gave me my discharge papers and warned me: “If you think that we are releasing you so that you can persist in your underground activity, you are sadly mistaken! God help you if we ever catch you preaching.”
I was home at last! My mother had not changed a thing in my room since I was first arrested, on April 4, 1939. Even my Bible lay open on my bedside table! I got on my knees and said a heartfelt prayer of thanks.
I was soon assigned to work on a mountain farm. The farmer, a childhood friend, even paid me a small salary, though he was not obliged to do so. Before the war, this friend had given me permission to hide some Bible literature on his premises. I was happy to make good use of that small literature depot to gain strength spiritually. All my needs were satisfied, and I was determined to wait out the war on the farm.
Hiding in the Mountains
Those calm days of freedom were short-lived, however. In mid-August 1943, I was ordered to report to a military doctor for a medical examination. First, he declared that I was unfit for active service because of my bad back. However, a week later the same doctor revised his findings to read: “Fit for active service on the front lines.” The army lost track of me for a while, but on April 17, 1945, shortly before the end of the war, it finally caught up with me. I was drafted for service on the front lines.
Equipped with a few provisions and a Bible, I sought refuge in the nearby mountains. At first, I was able to sleep outdoors, but the weather took a turn for the worse, and two feet [.5 m] of snow fell. I got soaked to the skin. I made it to a mountain cabin located at nearly 4,000 feet [1,200 m] above sea level. Shivering, I got a fire going in the fireplace, and I was able to warm myself and dry my clothing. Exhausted, I fell asleep on a bench in front of the fireplace. Before long, I was abruptly awakened by intense pain. I had caught fire! I rolled around on the floor to extinguish the flames. My whole back was covered with blisters.
At great risk, I sneaked back to the mountain farm before daybreak, but the farmer’s wife was so scared that she sent me away, telling me that a manhunt was on to find me. So I went to my parents. At first, even my parents hesitated to take me in, but they finally let me sleep in the hayloft, and Mother tended to my wounds. After two days, however, my parents were so uneasy that I decided it would be best to hide in the mountains again.
On May 5, 1945, I was awakened by a loud noise. I caught sight of Allied airplanes flying low. At that moment, I knew that Hitler’s regime had been overthrown! Jehovah’s spirit had strengthened me to endure an unbelievable ordeal. I had experienced the truth of the words recorded at Psalm 55:22, which had comforted me so much at the outset of my trials. I had ‘thrown my burden upon Jehovah,’ and though I was physically weak, he had sustained me as I walked through “the valley of deep shadow.”—Psalm 23:4.
Jehovah’s Power “Made Perfect in Weakness”
After the war, life slowly got back to normal. At first, I worked as a hired hand on my farmer friend’s mountain farm. It was only after the U.S. occupation army intervened in April 1946 that I was released from my obligation to perform forced agricultural labor for the rest of my life.
At the end of the war, Christian brothers in Bad Ischl and the surrounding district started holding meetings regularly. They began preaching with renewed vigor. I was offered employment as a night watchman in a factory and was thus able to continue pioneering. Eventually, I settled down in the St. Wolfgang area, and in 1949, I married Theresia Kurz, who had a daughter by a former marriage. We were together for 32 years until my dear wife died in 1981. I had cared for her for over seven years.
After Theresia’s death, I resumed the pioneer service, which helped me get over the great sense of loss. I am presently serving as a pioneer and an elder in my congregation in Bad Ischl. Since I am confined to a wheelchair, I offer Bible literature and talk to people about the Kingdom hope in the Bad Ischl park or in front of my own home. The fine Bible discussions I have are a source of great joy to me.
In retrospect, I can attest that the dreadful experiences I was forced to endure did not embitter me. Of course, there were times when I felt downcast because of the trials. However, my warm relationship with Jehovah God helped me get over such negative periods. The Lord’s admonition to Paul, “My power is being made perfect in weakness” proved true in my life too. Now, at the age of nearly 100, I can join the apostle Paul in saying: “I take pleasure in weaknesses, in insults, in cases of need, in persecutions and difficulties, for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am powerful.”—2 Corinthians 12:9, 10.
The Watchtower (2005)
By Guest Nicole
Adam Berry/Getty Images
By Anthony Faiola and Stephanie Kirchner April 5 at 4:55 PM
BERLIN — Germany officially unveiled a landmark social-media bill Wednesday that could quickly turn this nation into a test case in the effort to combat the spread of fake news and hate speech in the West.
The highly anticipated draft bill is also highly contentious, with critics denouncing it as a curb on free speech. If passed, as now appears likely, the measure would compel large outlets such as Facebook and Twitter to rapidly remove fake news that incites hate, as well as other “criminal” content, or face fines as high as 50 million euros ($53 million).
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet agreed on the draft bill Wednesday, giving it a high chance of approval in the German Parliament before national elections in September. In effect, the move is Germany’s response to a barrage of fake news during last year’s elections in the United States, with officials seeking to prevent a similar onslaught here.
Already, a few fake news reports have emerged in Germany. One falsely alleged that a German girl of Russian descent was raped last year by asylum seekers. Repeated by high-level Russian officials, the reports seemed aimed at Merkel’s open-door policy for refugees.
Merkel is now involved in a strenuous campaign for a fourth term in office.
“The providers of social networks are responsible when their platforms are misused to spread hate crime or illegal false news,” German Justice Minister Heiko Maas said in a statement.
The proposed law would apply only within German borders. But Maas said Wednesday he would press for similar measures across the European Union.
A number of European countries have also sought to counter the fake-news scourge. The Czech Republic recently inaugurated a special unit charged with denouncing false reports. Should the German measure become law, however, experts say it would amount to the boldest step yet by a major Western nation to control social-media content. Depending on how obviously false or illegal a post is, companies would have as little as 24 hours to remove it.
In addition to fake news and hate speech, the draft bill would target posts seen as inciting terrorism or spreading child pornography. Officials have cited a surge of hate speech across the Internet as a major factor behind the rise of far-right violence in Germany, including arson attacks at refugee centers and assaults on police officers.
“Germany considers itself a pioneer,” said Markus Beckedahl, a prominent German Internet activist and blogger. “It’s a solo effort . . . but the European Commission will certainly watch closely what Germany is doing.”
Yet the broad nature of the bill prompted critics to call it an overreach that risks becoming de facto censorship. Stephan Scherzer, chairman of the Association of German Magazine Publishers, said the measure could turn big social-media companies into “private opinion police.”
Green Party politician Renate Künast told public broadcaster ARD that the bill could lead to “a sharp limitation of freedom of speech, because there will only be deleting, deleting, deleting.”
One of the companies most affected by the bill is Facebook, which has sought to sidestep such laws by taking voluntary measures to curb the spread of fake news. The company echoed concerns that the bill would wrongly foist upon corporations a level of decision-making on the legality of content that should instead reside with German courts.
By The Librarian
The Witnesses’ annual conventions are now recognized as religious holidays, reaffirming the right of parents to educate their children according to their religious beliefs.
By Queen Esther
Click on this link... and you can see the German Bethel in 3D -
around going with your mouse... also you can zoom it very near !
Without a mouse its going slowly alone the 360°
I saw different 3D pictures... ENJOY ;o) its so stunning and new !
In the background you hear KD songs.....
In 1939 Leopold Engleitner was given a choice by the Gestapo: renounce his beliefs as a Jehovah’s Witness or be arrested. Mr. Engleitner chose the latter and would spend four years in three different Nazi concentration camps: Buchenwald, Niederhagen and Ravensbrueck.
Jehovah’s Witnesses were another group that alongside Jews, homosexuals and gypsies (Roma) were targeted by the Nazis for annihilation. Hitler, referring to the Jehovah’s Witnesses, declared “This brood will be exterminated in Germany.” Not only conscientious objectors, the Jehovah’s Witnesses were especially infuriating to the Fuehrer because they refused to raise their arms and shout “Heil, Hitler!” They considered it a form of idolatry.
Mr. Engleitner was released in 1943 after promising to serve as an agricultural laborer near his home in Austria. He was liberated by the U.S. army in 1946.
In 2012, director Bernhard Rammenstorfer released the documentary Ladder in the Lions’ Den (the ladder symbolizing the way out that Mr. Engleitner refused when he would not renounce his faith), which examined the choices Mr. Engleitner made. You can watch the trailer here.
Leopold Engleitner, the oldest survivor of the concentration camps, died on April 21, 2013 at the age of 107.
This is an image of Leopold Engleitner from his arrest in 1939, from digitaljournal.com. Obituary via Greatest Generation.
Oldest Concentration Camp Survivor
By Guest Nicole
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Leander H. McNelly