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TOPIC: namibia


The Latest: Taiwan’s Vaccine Question, Germany’s Second Genocide, Backwards Fugitive

Welcome to Friday, where COVID spikes in Asia, Germany formally recognizes its second 20th-century genocide and a fugitive in New Zealand went the wrong way in a helicopter. Berlin daily Die Welt introduces us to an openly gay Catholic priest, whose Sunday Mass is always full.

• UN to investigate war crimes over Israeli-Hamas conflict: The UN Human Rights Council has voted to investigate violence in the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas. The United States worries this decision would threaten the progress of bringing calm to the region.

• Syria's Assad wins fourth term: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad won a fourth term in office with 95% of the votes in an election criticized by Western countries as not free or open. The country has been devastated by a ten-year conflict that has killed hundreds of thousands of people and driven 11 million people — about half the population — from their homes.

• Hong Kong tycoon Jimmy Lai sentenced: Jailed Hong Kong media tycoon and Beijing critic Jimmy Lai has been sentenced to 14 months in prison over his participation in a pro-democracy rally last year.

• Germany recognizes colonial crimes in Namibia as genocide: Germany has officially recognized that it committed genocide in Namibia, apologizing for its role in slaughter of Herero and Nama tribespeople between 1904-1908.

COVID-19 spreading in Asia: South Asia has crossed 30 million COVID-19 cases on Friday. Japan says it will consider sharing some of its vaccine doses with Taiwan, which has seen a sudden spike in cases and only has 1% of its population inoculated. In Australia, the spread of the Indian variant of coronavirus has forced the city of Melbourne to enter its fourth lockdown since the beginning of the pandemic.

• Nike split with Neymar over sexual assault investigation: U.S. sportswear giant Nike announced that it will stop working with Neymar over his failure to cooperate with an internal investigation of sexual assault charges alleged in 2016 by an employee of the company. Neymar denies the charges, and the investigation was inconclusive.

• New Zealand fugitive rents helicopter to surrender: A fugitive New Zealand resident facing assault charges hired a helicopter to fly to a police station to turn himself in.

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Contain & Innovate — African Success In COVID-19 Response

Three months ago, as the pandemic began to spread beyond Asia, many worried that Africa was particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. Yet, so far, the toll has been relatively contained across the continent. In Africa, there have been a total of circa 200,000 recorded cases, compared to over two million in Europe and more than three million in the Americas. In several African nations, often without the same resources as more developed countries, the response has stood out for its success in implementing innovative medical equipment, effective quarantine measures and large-scale aid programs. Three examples, Namibia, Rwanda and Tunisia, have not only done well in curbing the impact of coronavirus, but also thinking to the future for how to handle future health crises.

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In Namibia, Open Wounds Of Germany’s “Other” Genocide

Thirty years before Hitler's crimes, Germany's southwest African colony was the scene of mass killings of ethnic Hereros, whose descendants are still waiting for answers.

WINDHOEK — Outside, the spirits of the past are set to rise from the desert's dust. Men, women and children are glaring at the enemy, while soldiers in khaki bark out orders. The commander of the troops, proudly wearing a black-red-golden ribbon, walks towards the pond and opens a bottle to pour the liquid content in. This oasis of water could have saved the fugitives in the desert, but is now poisoned. Soon, the first bodies will begin dropping, lying motionless on the floor.

Each year the Herero people recall their history with this amateur theatrical reenactment. None of the cruel details are spared. These descendants, here in the modern state of Namibia, should know who to thank for their forebear's misery: Germany.

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Lea Hampel

Basic Income Crowdfunding? Germany's Money-For-Nothing Campaign

Would people stop working if the government gave them a basic income? One Berliner wants to prove the opposite, raising money for an experiment to showcase the idea.

BERLIN — At first glance, they have nothing in common. Götz Werner is wearing rimless glasses, a suit and the kind of cropped hair typically favored by older men. Michael Bohmeyer has a rather moppier hairstyle — long on top, short on the sides — and prefers T-shirts to suits.

And yet, Werner, founder of the dm-drogerie markt chain of drugstores, has found a kindred spirit in 29-year-old Bohmeyer.

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food / travel
Detlef Berg

Riding Namibia's Seductively Slow Desert Express

WINDHOEK — A train trip through Namibia? Several times a year, the Desert Express travels a loop through the most beautiful areas of Namibia, which is more than twice the size of Germany. The trip is far more comfortable than the alternative — a strenuous bus journey along dirt roads.

We start out in Windhoek, which for most tourists is the gateway to Namibia’s attractions. Before the train leaves the station, there’s still some time to look around the city. Travel guide Bianca Preusker recommends the “Ink Palace” (seat of the country’s legislature), Christ Church, and the Equestrian Monument made for the German Emperor Wilhelm II, as well as a stroll on Independence Avenue, formerly Emperor Street. (From 1884 until 1915, Namibia was a German colony.)

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food / travel
Sebastian Geisler

German Brewing Secrets Turn Namibia Into Unlikely Beer-Making Mecca

Reinheitsgebot is the name of the German Beer Purity Law, which states that only barley, water and hops may go into beer.

Reinheitsgebot is also the best-known German word in Namibia. April 23, marked the 497th anniversary of the proclamation of that law in Bavaria, and in Namibia the anniversary is always cause for celebration. That’s because one of the world’s top beers is brewed in this former German colony in southwest Africa – Windhoek Lager, named after Namibia’s capital city.

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