THIS Week in YOUR Region: Lokalo’s Top Articles in ENGLISH

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Symbolbild. Foto: dpa-Archiv

MONDAY, March 14th: TERRIBLE KNIFE ATTACK ON LITTLE BOY

Bloody Knife Attack On Child: 39 Year Old Man Under Suspicion

Image: dpa/stock photo

KOBLENZ. After a knife attack against a two year old boy, prosecutors in Koblenz are investigating a 39 year old man for charges of manslaughter.

The man under investigation allegedly attacked the child in its baby carriage after he pushed the mother away, prosectors said on Monday. The boy suffered severe injuries by stitches in the upper body and had to undergo surgery. His life is no longer in danger, but he remains in hospital.

There are indications that the alleged culprit, a German citizen, had diminished criminal responsibility at the time, investigators said. That’s why a judge at the local court in Koblenz ruled initially that he had to be placed in a psychiatric clinic until further notice. He has now been placed in a penitentiary. Charges of criminal assault are also being investigated.

Passers-by stopped the attack, which occurred at 2.15 p.m. close to the Koblenz train station by their “courageous interference,” according to the prosecutors. One man, who wrested the knife from the attacker’s hand, had no longer been at the site when police arrived. According to witnesses, he was wearing dark clothes. This man is asked to contact the authorities.

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TUESDAY, March 15th: COVID RESTRICTIONS PROLONGED

Rhineland-Palatinate to Lift Covid Restrictions Two Weeks Later

Image: Felix Kästle/dpa/stock photo

MAINZ. The State of Rhineland-Palatinate will lift Covid restrictions two weeks later than planned. This means that mask mandates will remain in place in some indoor spaces and in schools. The state cabinet agreed to a proposition to the effect by Secretary of Health Clemens Hoch (Social Democrats/SPD), as his department reported after the meeting.

According to the plans of the German federal government, most Covid restrictions are to end on March 20th. However, state legislatures may put in place a transitional period of two weeks, until April 2nd. The federal government intends to maintain mask mandates in hospitals, care facilities, as well as in busses and trains.

So until April 2nd, masks will not have to be worn in the State of Rhineland-Palatinate wherever certificates of vaccination, convalescence or a negative test are required. In retail spaces and other places, where certificates are not required, the mask mandate remains in place. In secondary schools, students will have to continue to wear masks during class for the additional two week period. Automatic Covid testing twice a week will continue in all schools. Restrictions for major events remain in place.

Since Monday, students in elementary schools and and schools for special needs students no longer have to wear masks in class, as was decided by the state government at the beginning of March.

Because of the requirements of federal law, however, mandates of social distancing, limits on the number of participants of public events and private contact restrictions must nonetheless be lifted this Sunday, March 20th, Hoch’s department declared. The possibility to shorten a quarantine by a negative test after an infection or contact with an infected person will be shortened by two days. “If, for example, a Covid test is negative on Tuesday, a second negative test the following Monday would end the quarantine requirement,” the Secretary of Health explained.

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WEDNESDAY, March 16th: POLICE STOPS DANGEROUSLY RUN-DOWN TRUCK ON AUTOBAHN

Including a 1000 Liter Gas Tank – Police Stops “Eastern European Wreck” on Autobahn and Can’t Believe Their Eyes!

Image: Police

KOBLENZ. Yesterday, Tuesday, March 15th, officers of the control unit of the Autobahn Police Koblenz checked on a trailer truck run by an Eastern European company on Autobahn 3, on motorway station Sessenhausen. They made surprising discoveries.

When checking on the driver, suspicions arose. The driving hours recorded on the required diagram discs and a certificate of vacation didn’t match the delivery dates on the freight documents.
After a thorough search and questioning, the 39 year old driver admitted that the certificate of vacation contained false data und presented his truck driver’s license to the officers. The license, which, when using a digital trip recorder, contains complete records of the driving hours, showed that the diver had begun his trip serveral days earlier with another truck in Eastern Europe. In order to be able to drive for longer hours than legally permitted, he obtained a false certificate of vacation. The diving hours recorded earlier were to be concealed completely when stopped and searched.

The technical state of the truck couldn’t convince the officers, either: The tires were deficient, the steering hardly responsive, the parking break didn’t work and the break pads were worn out. The trailer’s frame was broken in serveral spots and its breaks were nonfunctional.

Much to their surprise, the officers found that the standard gas tank of the vehicle, which originally contained roughly 80 liters of diesel, hat been replaced non-professionally by a 1000 liter tank. Thus, the company owning the vehicle had made it possible to buy cheap gas in their home country and keep the vehicle going for large distances without refuelling. However, the loading capacity had been severely reduced. The 3.5 ton transporter was no longer fit to be used for transporting cars when fully fuelled.

The diver was prohibited from continuing his journey. The license plates as well as the vehicle’s documents were seized. Charges will be pressed against the diver and the owner.

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Thursday, March 17th: FEAR OF SUPPLY SHORTAGES LEADS TO PANIC BUYING

Panic Buying: How Short Is the Supply of Flour And Cooking Oil Really?

Image: Lokalo.de (se)

BERLIN. Ukraine is said to be the granary of Europe; Russia is a large producer of agrarian products as well. Fears that the war in Ukraine and sanctions imposed on Russia mighty lead to food shortages have prompted panic buying all over Germany. While people were hoarding toilet paper at the beginning of the pandemic, now the shelves containing flour and cooking oil are emptying.

According to a report by the newspaper “Süddeutsche Zeitung,” retail giant EDEKA has confirmed “that there could be shortages in certain products.” At the beginning of this month already, the German Organization of the Oilseed Processing Industry (Verband der ölsaatenverarbeitenden Industrie in Deutschland/OVID), located in Berlin, warned of supply shortages in cooking oil and protein-based fodder for live stock: “Ukraine and Russia are important suppliers of sunflowers, canola, linseed and soybeans. The conflict is likely to aggravate the already tense situation on the markets,” the organization said in a press release. Ukraine and Russia produce 51% and 27% of sunflower oil worldwide, according to OVID.

But the war could also impact “supply with protein-based fodder made from sunflower, linseed or soybeans for cattle, pigs or fowl,” the press release continued. Russia supplied 37% of EU imports of linseed and flax seed, Ukraine 5%. 90% of the linseed processed in the EU is being imported.

But there is also an increased demand for flour. In a new press release, the Association of Grain, Mill, and Starch Businesses (Verband der Getreide-, Mühlen- und Stärkewirtschaft/VGMS) makes an urgent appeal to consumers: “Don’t panic! Germany does not import grain from Ukraine and Russia.” The Federal Republic produced 30% more wheat than it consumed, the press release stated. Peter Haarbeck, director of VGMS, even warned that panic buying could worsen the situation: “Logistics are already strained and are being strained further by panic buying, which leads to empty shelves. That is completely unnecessary.”

Haarbeck voiced criticism of retailers. Sales promotions for flour sent entirely wrong signals: “They induce people to buy more than usual and that is counterproductive,” Haarbeck said.

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FRIDAY, March 18th: TRIER HOSPITAL CLOSED for VISITORS BECAUSE of PANDEMIC

++ BRAKING: Pandemic Situation – Brüderkrankenhaus Hospital in Trier to Stop Visits on Saturday ++

Image: Brüderkrankenhaus Trier

TRIER. Covid infections continue to be high among hospital employees and patients throughout the region – and they’re getting higher still. In the Büderkrankenhaus hospital in Trier, the percentage of employees and patients who tested positive for Covid-19 has risen during the past couple of days. That means lowered capacities of hospital beds since Covid patients need to be separated from other patients and since employees who have contracted Covid cannot com to work. Because the lifting of most Covid restrictions in the coming weeks is likely to fuel the pandemic, it is to be expected that the situation in hospitals will remain tense.

“In order to ensure regular care for our patients as well as emergency care, we have decided, after careful consideration of all relevant aspects, that we will implement a stop of all visits, starting Saturday, March 19th, for the protection of our patients as well as our employees,” explained Markus Leinweber, director and chairman of the board of the Brüderkrankenhaus. “We are aware of the gravity of the decision, but we see it as inevitable in light of rising infections.”

Exceptions will only be made based on individual consultations and only for specific groups of patients. “Knowing how important it is to be able to receive visitors during a stay in hospital, the decision wasn’t easy for us. That’s why we are keeping the option of visits based on prior individual consultations open,” says Leineweber.

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SATURDAY, March 19th: PAIN AT THE PUMP – AGAIN

New Diesel Shock: Gas Prices in Luxemburg Are Skyrocketing Again

A gas station in Luxemburg. Image: Thomas Frey/dpa

LUXEMBURG. Gas prices in the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg have risen significantly again, after a short period of relief. Once again, diesel is particularly affected.

Exactly one week ago, gas prices plunged in Luxemburg (see here), after having risen on Thursday before, leading to massive traffic jams at gas stations in Luxemburg. But the relief didn’t last long.

Last night, the price for a liter of diesel rose by 13.5 cents to 1.762 Euros. The price for Super 95 gasoline rose to 1.678 Euros per liter (plus 2.2 cent), the one for Super 98 gas to 1.75 Euros, i.e. 1.3 cents more (no guarantee on prices).

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Vorheriger ArtikelNeue Umwelt-Sauerei: 60 (!) Altreifen auf Wanderweg entsorgt
Nächster ArtikelLockerungen: Diese Corona-Regeln gelten weiter in Rheinland-Pfalz

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