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The situation in the morning


Republicans accuse Joe Biden of weakness in dealing with Beijing. Why the German banks are making nice profits with the interest rate turnaround. And: Donald Trump's latest attacks on Ron DeSantis. That's the situation on Saturday.

Balloon crisis between China and USA

America has a new excitement topic.

The suspected Chinese spy balloon that has surfaced over the state of Montana is causing balloon fever.

Anyone who reads some of the comments from politicians or alleged experts might think that aliens have appeared.

The Republicans in particular are no longer able to come to terms with each other.

For them, China has been enemy number one for years, and the fact that a Chinese balloon is now flying over American territory borders on a kind of declaration of war.

And of course they take the opportunity to attack US President Joe Biden.

Because Biden initially preferred not to launch the balloon to prevent debris from falling on civilians, Republicans accuse him of weakness.

Donald Trump Jr., the former president's son, tweeted that China had "bought Joe Biden."

Biden's refusal to shoot down the balloon proves that America under Biden is weak and "subservient" to Beijing.

Right-wing commentator Ben Shapiro accused Biden of "cowardice."

It is "pathetic" that the president would simply allow a hostile power to fly over spying like this.

In view of the sharp criticism at home, Biden and his people cannot avoid reacting.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will postpone his visit to China, which was originally planned for Sunday.

This is not a rejection, but a clear signal to Beijing that the White House is not particularly amused by the incident.

Beijing, for its part, has expressed "regret" for what happened to the US in an unusual act of humility.

The balloon, which – of course – was primarily intended to collect weather data, accidentally went off course, according to a statement from the State Department.

According to the Pentagon, another suspected Chinese spy balloon has now been sighted over Latin America.

It is not entirely clear when Blinken's visit to China will be rescheduled.

A long delay would not necessarily be in the US interest.

There are a lot of important issues to be discussed between Beijing and Washington.

Like the Ukraine conflict.

Washington wants Beijing to influence Moscow to finally end the war in Ukraine.

  • Alleged spy balloon:

    US Secretary of State Blinken postpones trip to China

  • Object sighted over the USA:

    what a balloon is good for espionage 

  • Superpower conflict:

    How China and the US are spying on each other

  • Spy balloon over the USA:

    China – the obvious suspect 

You can find news and background information on the war in Ukraine here:

  • The chancellor appeals to the Panzer partners' consciences:

    After the Leopard 2 decision for Ukraine, there are problems with implementation.

    According to SPIEGEL information, there have been hardly any tank commitments from European partners.

    The situation is precarious, the chancellor intervenes.

  • More tanks despite Putin's panic strategy:

    Putin is threatening the West, but the Allies want to expand military aid for Ukraine.

    The EU is also flying the flag in Kyiv.

    The overview in the video.

  • Submarines for Ukraine?

    These are the problems:

    tanks, fighter jets and now also warships - the weapons requests from Kiev are becoming more and more daring.

    The delivery of German submarines would dangerously weaken NATO.

    And that is not the only difficulty.

  • Zelenskyy doesn't want to give up "Bakhmut Fortress":

    Ukraine will fight as long as it can, says its president.

    Meanwhile, Berlin has criticized Putin's "abstruse comparisons" on the tank issue.

    And: The Crimean occupiers are apparently dispossessing numerous Ukrainians.

    Friday's news.

A super deal (only) for the banks

Bertolt Brecht famously asked: »What is a burglary in a bank compared to founding a bank?« Well, this saying comes to mind when you look at the billions in profits that institutions are reaping these days.

While the average customer continues to receive hardly any interest on his savings, the German banks are apparently making hefty profits with the latest interest rate hikes by the European Central Bank.

The deposit rate, at which commercial banks can park excess money at the ECB, has been 2.5 percent since Thursday – the highest since 2008.

The citizens' movement Finanzwende has calculated that the German financial institutions alone

could pocket around 27.4 billion euros in the current year

if the ECB, as expected, raises the key interest rate by another 0.5 percentage points by the middle of the year.

The scenario calculations are available to SPIEGEL.

Even if the key interest rates stop rising in 2023, the banks would still receive around 25 billion euros in interest.

"Banks use these risk-free returns to increase and sometimes distribute their profits, while often nothing reaches the customers' accounts,"

said the expert Michael Peters from Finanzwende.

“Why do banks’ customers receive little or no interest while the institutes rake in billions in profits from the ECB – without risk and at the expense of the general public?” asks Peters.

»The ECB must finally put an end to this.

The central bank should no longer subsidize the banks unconditionally.”

  • Rising interest rates: German banks collect billions from the ECB

Germany is too fat

A sausage here, a beer there, the piece of cake also fits in.

Eating can be fun.

As with most things in life, it would be better if man proceeded in moderation.

But that doesn't seem to be the case in Germany.

Because Germans have been getting fatter for decades.

In a survey by the Robert Koch Institute, 46.6 percent of women and more than 60 percent of men said they were overweight.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the proportion of obese people has more than doubled since 1975.

Some are eating fat, others are too poor to eat well - and are also getting fat.

The WHO speaks of an obesity epidemic.

A team of SPIEGEL editors has examined the phenomenon of obesity and its various effects for a large report.

One finding: the spread of obesity is no longer a private problem, but a serious threat to society.

Fat people have a greatly increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

In addition, obesity is associated with a dozen types of cancer - including esophageal, colon and rectum and kidney cancer - and is considered one of the greatest risk factors for type 2 diabetes.

The German Obesity Society estimates that the weight problem in Germany causes health costs of more than 60 billion euros annually.

And: The dangerous development is not only continuing, but also seems to be accelerating.

  • Germany's nutritional disaster: Why we're getting fatter - and can hardly help it

Here's the current quiz of the day

The starting question today: »2023 Bubatz legal« – who promised that in autumn 2022?

Loser of the day...

…is former US President

Donald Trump


It's been a little quiet around him lately.

Although he has already announced his candidacy for the next presidential election, he is hardly noticed anymore.

That's why Trump is trying to make the headlines himself.

How does he do that?

With the usual Trump method.

He attacks his opponents.

Most notably, he shoots at Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

The Republican is considered a possible opponent for Trump, he could dispute his presidential candidacy.

Trump pisses off DeSantis.

Among other things, he accuses him of being disloyal.

In addition, he never tires of spreading that DeSantis only became governor because Trump supported him in the election campaign at the time.

DeSantis was on the decline.

Then he came to him and begged him to support him, Trump claimed on a radio show.


"had tears in his eyes".

Is the story true?

We will probably never know.

DeSantis almost always reacts to Trump's attacks in the same way.

He ignores him.

The latest news from the night

  • Sixth police officer also fired after Tire Nichols was killed:

    Five black police officers were fired from their jobs after Tire Nichols' death, and their white colleague has now also been fired.

    He is said to have broken rules in handling a Taser gun.

  • Musk acquitted in trial for misleading tweets:

    The jury deliberated for around two hours, after the market closed then the verdict: Tesla boss Elon Musk ended his trial for possible price manipulation via Twitter with an acquittal.

  • Leverkusen loses sight of Champions League places:

    Bayer Leverkusen's offensive game came to a halt in Augsburg.

    After a poor performance, Xabi Alonso's team lost and remains stuck in the middle of the table.

    Mërgim Berisha scored for FCA.

The SPIEGEL + recommendations for today

  • 20,000 euros for everyone?

    Rich parents, rich children – the inheritance system ensures that assets in Germany remain unfairly distributed.

    A controversial proposal is now circulating in the Bundestag.

  • Fight against pathogen X:

    The question is not whether a new pandemic will hit humanity, but when.

    Research teams are already working on antidotes.

    How do you arm yourself against an as yet unknown disease?

  • Alone in Stuttgart-Stammheim:

    Michael Ballweg, founder of the "lateral thinking" movement, sees himself as a freedom fighter.

    Just stupid: He has been behind bars for months because of allegations of fraud.

    Our reporter visited him. 

  • Some hate him.

    For these people, it's home:

    at Kottbusser Tor it's easy to despise Berlin: dirt, drugs, the full program of horrors.

    But what do the people who live here, sometimes for decades, say?

    Our reporter visited her. 

I wish you a good start into the day.

Yours, Roland Nelles, US correspondent

Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2023-02-04

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