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Germany

German Drivers No Longer Get Points On Their License For Raising The *Stinkefinger*

DIE WELT(Germany)

Worldcrunch

BERLIN - A German driver who insults another with gestures like tapping their finger against their head to indicate craziness, or raising the middle finger, gets five points in the central index of traffic offenders in addition to a hefty fine sometimes as high as four figures.

Supporters of the severe regulations say that they keep such insults in check.

However Germany’s Minister of Transport Peter Ramsauer doesn’t buy that, and wants index points attributed only for violations that impact safety. *Das Zeigen des Vogels or the Stinkefinger (middle finger) do not fall into that category and should be point-free, he says. The minister has also announced plans to revise the central index and point system starting in February 2014, reports Die Welt.

Road insults will however continue to be punishable, just not with points, says Anne Kronzucker, a jurist with the legal expenses insurance company DAS: "As per paragraph 185 of the penal code, an insult can mean a fine or even imprisonment. That includes verbal insults as well as insulting gestures of any kind."

There are no set fines for insults as there are with traffic violations; how high the fine is depends on the situation but also the income of the accused. Repeat offenders may risk a prison sentence.

*Correction: Due to an editing error, an earlier version of the story referred to "Das Zeigen des Vogels" as “Flipping the bird.” It is instead a gesture to say someone is crazy.

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Society

"Splendid" Colonialism? Time To Change How We Talk About Fashion And Culture

A lavish book to celebrate Cartagena, Colombia's most prized travel destination, will perpetuate clichéd views of a city inextricably linked with European exploitation.

Photo of women in traditional clothes at a market in Cartagena, Colombia

At a market iIn Cartagena, Colombia

Vanessa Rosales

-Analysis-

BOGOTÁ — The Colombian designer Johanna Ortiz is celebrating the historic port of Cartagena de Indias, in Colombia, in a new book, Cartagena Grace, published by Assouline. The European publisher specializes in luxury art and travel books, or those weighty, costly coffee table books filled with dreamy pictures. If you never opened the book, you could still admire it as a beautiful object in a lobby or on a center table.

Ortiz produced the book in collaboration with Lauren Santo Domingo, an American model (née Davis, in Connecticut) who married into one of Colombia's wealthiest families. Assouline is promoting it as a celebration of the city's "colonial splendor, Caribbean soul and unfaltering pride," while the Bogotá weekly Semana has welcomed an international publisher's focus on one of the country's emblematic cities and tourist spots.

And yet, use of terms like colonial "splendor" is not just inappropriate, but unacceptable.

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