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Adidas is closing its high-tech ‘robot’ factories in the US and Germany just 3 years after the first one opened

“Adidas plans to close high-tech “robot” factories in Germany and the United States it launched to bring production closer to customers, saying on Monday deploying some of the technology in Asia would be “more economic and flexible.”” writes Emma Thomasson for businessinsider.com. Adidas started production of shoes largely by robots at its “Speedfactory” in the southern town of Ansbach near its Bavarian headquarters in 2016 and opened another near Atlanta in 2017.The German sportswear company did not give details for why it was closing the facilities, which have proved expensive…

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Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, a divide remains in Germany, leading to the rise of the far right

“Beyond the parliament, western Germans also largely retained administrative positions, leaving eastern Germans less represented in the unified government” writes Elena Souris Is for washingtonpost.com. While over half of westerners are satisfied with German democracy — in some states — eastern Germans aren’t: Less than 40 percent of eastern Germans in Brandenburg and Saxony are satisfied with democracy.Some eastern Germans, including Chancellor Angela Merkel and former president Joachim Gauck, have been extremely successful in contemporary German politics.Today, eastern Germans make up an estimated 17 percent of the national population.The Treuhandanstalt,…

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In big step forward, tampons in Germany won’t be taxed as luxury items

“In the U.S., tax rates vary from state to state, with a growing number of states now dropping the tax” writes Natasha Pinon for mashable.com. Meanwhile, other countries around the world, like Kenya, India, and Canada  have eliminated their former “tampon tax” rates.A vote on Thursday in German parliament changes the tax rate for menstrual hygiene products like tampons or pads from their current designation as “luxury items” to that of “daily necessities.”. “It is the women who bear these costs ― and periods are no luxury for women,” Roloff…

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Why the French economy is outperforming Germany – but can it last?

“The French economy has turned out to be one of the best-performing in Europe this year, to the surprise of economists, and possibly the French government itself” writes Senior Writer for marketwatch.com. The French economy will grow by 1.3% this year against 1.1% for the whole eurozone and 0.4% for Germany, according to European Union forecast published Thursday.And since investment is mostly funded by borrowing in France, French companies have taken full advantage of the loose-money policies of the European Central Bank, Moëc notes.France received more foreign investment projects than…

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I was a teenager in East Germany when the Wall fell. Today we are still divided

“The end of the GDR opened up many opportunities for the east Germans, but it also made them more sensitive to change” writes Sabine Rennefanz for theguardian.com. One government survey found 57% of east Germans feel like second-class citizens.In 1991, only 15% of east Germans felt happy about their personal life; in 2019, it was 59%.A lot of the things that are a source of pain in east Germany – rural exodus, ageing populations, lack of infrastructure – are problems that permeate everywhere: throughout Germany and in many western societies…

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Germany’s Merkel renews push for FTA with India, pledges green funds

“A free trade pact with India has been a long-pending demand from Germany which is India’s largest trading partner in Europe” writes Midwest Communications Inc for 95kqds.com. NEW DELHI (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday there was a need for a fresh attempt to restart talks on finalizing a free trade agreement (FTA) between India and the European Union.Merkel who is in India along with several cabinet colleagues and a business delegation, began talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on trade, investment, regional security and climate…

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News Regulators 

Mario Draghi is Leaving the ECB: Here Are the Key Moments of His 8-year Reign

“The euro zone seemed to be experiencing higher and more sustained economic growth” writes Silvia Amaro for cnbc.com. Thursday marks his last press conference and rate decision at the euro zone’s central bank and he will officially leave on October 31.Inflation and economic growth in the euro zone were still struggling.Draghi’s words rang loudly around the world’s trading rooms, investors believed his commitment and yields fell sharply across the euro zone. Source: cnbc.com

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Data on online spread of livestreamed shooting kept secret

“After the Christchurch attack, Facebook said in a statement it had removed about 1.5 million videos of the attack globally, more than 1.2 million of which it blocked at upload” reports theguardian.com. US tech companies have declined to release data on the online spread of footage of last week’s shooting in Halle, Germany, despite pledging greater transparency as part of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s “Christchurch Call”.Facebook and Microsoft declined to answer questions about how they decide when to disclose data around attacks.Releasing the data would provide an indication…

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