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News of the day: Friedrich Merz, the terminator of German politics


The CDU politician goes to the next battle after each defeat. A new arms race looms between the USA and China - with combat robots. And the corona lockdown should continue, only more loosely. That is the situation on Tuesday evening.


Loosened lockdown


lockdown should


until March 28th

, but it will be relaxed.

This is indicated by a resolution proposal for tomorrow's video meeting between the Chancellor and Prime Minister.

Perhaps then you can officially receive more than one person as a visitor.

Maybe the daycare centers and schools are making progress, but there is probably a lack of sufficient rapid tests.

In any case, Angela Merkel insists on an

"emergency brake if the numbers go up again,"

as can be heard.

We won't know exactly until tomorrow.

Icon: enlarge

Careful loosening (symbol image)

Photo: Annegret Hilse / dpa

There are umpteen suggestions, quotes and accusations in circulation.

"Top politicians are currently outbidding each other with new corona strategies," says my colleague Julia Köppe from our science department.

Some of the ideas are risky from a research perspective.

"The number of infections is increasing - not a particularly good time to relax," she says.

How well Germany will get through the impending third wave depends above all on how quickly vaccinations go ahead and whether rapid tests are used wisely.

  • You can read the entire analysis here: step-by-step plan, vaccination, rapid tests - these are the opportunities and dangers

  • All current corona news can be found here: The news update on the pandemic


Fighting machine from the Sauerland

The T1000 of German politics is called

Friedrich Merz


The almost indestructible fighting machine from the best Terminator film ("Day of Reckoning") survives almost every battle, the CDU politician reappears after every vote defeat.

He did not make it to the top of the CDU twice.

The Chancellor ignored his offer to join the cabinet as Minister of Economics.

Now he apparently at least wants to run again in the Bundestag and in his old constituency as a direct candidate, as my colleagues Florian Gathmann, Kevin Hagen and Veit Medick report: “Merz signaled to confidants that he wanted to declare his candidacy in a round of the local district association this evening . "

Icon: enlarge

Cannot take the form of complex machines.

Photo: Bernd von Jutrczenka / picture alliance

The problem: There is already a CDU member in the Hochsauerland district.

Interior expert Patrick Sensburg has represented the constituency in the Bundestag since 2009 - and would like to continue to do so.

"I'm sticking to it: I'll compete again," he says.

"If I have to, I am not afraid of running for a fight."

Why is Merz provoking the next power struggle?

"I think he has the feeling that he has lost the fight for the party leadership too narrowly to get out of politics entirely," says Veit.

“Whatever might develop out of a Bundestag mandate - he would gladly take it.” The risk: “He threatens to appear as someone who cannot let go.

Whoever wants to get involved. ”Maybe it is like this: The T1000 can change its shape, Merz cannot get out of his skin.

The question is who will take on the role of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

  • Read the full story here: Attack from the Sauerland


Fighting machines on the battlefield

In the Terminator films,

artificial intelligence


against its creators, i.e. us humans.

For a long time I thought that was science fiction - in the words of my colleague Christoph Seidler from our science department: “Anyone who has ever used a computer, who has dealt with crashes and hidden updates, can only find the idea grotesque that machines are about life and decide death. "

Icon: enlarge

Ancestor of the Terminator?

Photo: Pfc.

Rhita Daniel / 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit

But apparently we are closer to the

Cyberdyne Skynet moment

than I thought: “The enormous technological advances that have been made in the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence in recent years have put this notion of autonomous weapons on the threshold of concrete Implementation moved «, says the best robot German in an expert report by the Office for Technology Assessment at the German Bundestag.

In the United States, Pentagon advisors are now recommending to new President Joe Biden that America must be right at the forefront when it comes to developing such weapons systems.

Otherwise China will take this place.

"A revolution is taking place in military technology

, the third fundamental one after the invention of black powder and nuclear weapons," reports Christoph, who has analyzed the Pentagon paper.

“For us in Germany, too, this is not a purely academic debate.

The Federal Republic is currently negotiating with France and Spain about the construction of a “Future Combat Air System”.

In addition to a fighter aircraft that is supposed to replace the Eurofighter, this would also include so-called remote carriers.

And these unmanned missiles would then have at least some autonomous functions. "

The only consolation: Even the Pentagon advisors do not want to have atomic weapons controlled by machines.

Sarah Connor says at the end of "Terminator 2": "The unknown future is rolling towards us and for the first time I look at it with a feeling of hope." I would not go that far.

  • Here's the whole analysis: The battle robots race

(You want to get the "situation in the evening" by e-mail easily to your inbox?


you order the daily briefing newsletter.)

What else is important today

  • USA imposes sanctions on Russia in the Navalny case:

    After the EU, the USA is also imposing punitive measures against Russian companies and officials in the Navalny case.

    Moscow is not impressed by the EU sanctions.

  • Hungary has to pay compensation to refugee families:

    Hungary was repeatedly criticized for the catastrophic conditions in the Röszke refugee camp.

    The European Court of Human Rights has now issued a judgment in a particularly blatant case.

  • British study proves high effectiveness after the first dose:

    Figures from Great Britain show that hospital stays of the very old have decreased by around 80 percent after the first corona vaccination.

    Mortality also fell.

What we recommend today at SPIEGEL +

  • The 47 accused:

    Eight months after the imposition of the draconian security law, the leadership of Hong Kong's opposition is on trial.

    Your offense?

    They wanted to vote out the government.

  • Whoever opens a shop stays rent-free:

    first online trading, then the pandemic: the pedestrian zones are threatened with extinction.

    In the Lower Saxony city of Hameln, the mayor is now using unusual means to counter this.

  • Parrots in plastic bottles:

    thousands of dollars bring rare birds on the black market.

    Animal traders use brutal methods to ship them.

Which is not so important today

Icon: enlargePhoto: 

Buckingham Palace / AP

  • Still image expression in moving image conference: Queen Elizabeth II

    , 94, holder of the somewhat elongated title "By the grace of God Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and her other kingdoms and territories, head of the Commonwealth, defender of the faith", commented happily on a statue which was erected in her honor in Adelaide, Australia.

    In a video call with leading politicians in the state of South Australia, she said: "One might think, 'Good gracious, did she come unexpectedly?'"

Typo of the day

, now corrected: "Instead, the affluent countries of the north have secured many times the amount of vaccine they need to feed their own people."

Cartoon of the day:

opening discussion orgy

Icon: enlarge Photo: Klaus Stuttmann

And tonight?

Icon: enlarge

Author Kracht 2008


Julian Baumann

Could you start


Christian Kracht's

new novel




If you are lucky, the bookseller in your neighborhood or town still has its window sales open and has it in stock, if necessary you would have to switch to the e-book.

In any case, Kracht became famous with his novel “Fiberland”, “the story of a journey from north to south, on which an aesthetically highly sensitive loner worked his way through West German society in the 1990s”, as my colleague Sebastian Hammelehle, head of the cultural department, describes it.

More than a quarter of a century has passed since "Fiberland", Kracht has written other great novels and occasionally worked for SPIEGEL for a while.

His new book is touted as a continuation of his debut, and Sebastian also writes: “› Eurotrash ‹is ​​like› Fiberland ‹a travel story.“ This time, however, “it's not about experiences at the airport gate or the ICE boarding station, but about a journey in itself.

The book reads like the report of a psychoanalysis.

The real main character, how could it be otherwise in a psychoanalysis, is not the narrator.

It's his mother. ”Sebastian is quite impressed by the harrowing family history as Kracht wrote it down.

(Here is the full review.)

A lovely evening.


yours, Oliver Trenkamp

Here you can order the "Lage am Abend" by email.

Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2021-03-02

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