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Germany

No Longer Just For Youths, Many German Hostels Now Want The Whole Family

As their traditional customer base – groups of school children – shrinks, Germany’s hostels are trying to woo a new market: whole families. In places like the Baltic Sea island of Rügen, some hostels have transformed themselves into affordable, kid-friend

Families are more than welcome to stay at the Walkater hostel in central Germany (Kleiner Waldkater)
Families are more than welcome to stay at the Walkater hostel in central Germany (Kleiner Waldkater)
Andreas Heimann

For a long time, "youth hostel" conjured up an image of noisy kids on school trips staying 10 to a room, with shower and other facilities shared by the whole floor and peppermint tea for breakfast. That doesn't exactly sound like a vacation. But times have changed. Hostels are now marketing to families – and, according to Knut Dinter, spokesman for the German Youth Hostel Association (DJH), "more and more families are staying at hostels every year." Families generally account for about a fifth of the total number of guests, and in some areas of the country it's as much as a third.

Obviously, hostels are not going to appeal to all families, since a certain amount of sacrificed comfort is inevitable. "There is often very little space to put suitcases and clothing , sometimes just a locker you can't fit a lot into," says Torsten Kirstges of the Jade University of Applied Sciences in Wilhelmshaven. "And instead of double beds, the parents have to sleep in bunk beds." Plus, there are only a few rooms with their own toilet and shower.

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Society

End Of Roe v. Wade, The World Is Watching

As the Supreme Court decides to overturn the 1973 decision that guaranteed abortion rights, many fear an imminent threat to abortion rights in the U.S. But in other countries, the global fight for sexual and reproductive rights is going in different directions.

"Don't abort my right" At 2019 pro-choice march In Toulouse, France.

Alain Pitton/NurPhoto via ZUMA
Hannah Steinkopf-Frank and Sophia Constantino

PARIS — Nearly 50 years after it ensured the right to abortion to Americans, the United States Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade case, meaning that millions of women in the U.S. may lose their constitutional right to abortion.

The groundbreaking decision is likely to set off a range of restrictions on abortion access in multiple states in the U.S., half of which are expected to implement new bans on the procedure. Thirteen have already passed "trigger laws" that will automatically make abortion illegal.

U.S. President Joe Biden called the ruling "a tragic error" and urged individual states to enact laws to allow the procedure.

In a country divided on such a polarizing topic, the decision is likely to cause major shifts in American law and undoubtedly spark outrage among the country’s pro-choice groups. Yet the impact of such a momentous shift, like others in the United States, is also likely to reverberate around the world — and perhaps, eventually, back again in the 50 States.

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