Can our inner cities soon breathe a sigh of relief?

1. thick air

Take a deep breath: The European Court of Justice has condemned Germany, because for years in many cities the Limit values ​​for the air pollutant nitrogen oxide have been significantly exceeded were. The highest EU judges in Luxembourg decided that the Federal Republic had broken EU law. The limit values ​​are from 2010 to 2016 in 26 cities "Systematic and ongoing" has been exceeded.

Exhale: »More or more are conceivable now stricter driving bansbut for which the federal government would not be responsible at the moment «, as my colleagues Dietmar Hipp and Emil Nefzger explain. Much now depends on whether there are any remaining Problem cities like Munich and Stuttgart the NO2-Can adhere to limit values ​​with short-term measures - and whether these are sufficient if car traffic increases again after the corona crisis. (Here you will find answers to the most important questions.)

And what is the auto industry doing? She publicly invokes the multi-billion dollar turnaround to electromobility. "But behind the scenes she is fighting the old battle against stricter limit values," as my colleagues Simon Hage and Gerald Traufetter report.

2. Correct in essence?

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett want a New type of nuclear power plant build, that sounds like a »Simpsons episode« (»Nucular, the word is called nuclear«), But is a message from the US state Wyoming. The sodium-cooled reactor is to be built on the site of a disused coal-fired power station, as has now become known, and to generate climate-friendly energy. "This is our fastest and clearest way to go carbon negative," said Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon. (Here more.)

After the Fukushima meltdown Germany decided the Nuclear phase-out, The last systems will go offline at the end of 2022. Does that take revenge in the climate crisis? My colleague Marius Mestermann talked to my colleague Marco Evers from our science department about this for our podcast “Voices Catching”. "We are fooling ourselves when we think we can get out here, but this technology will continue to exist in the rest of the world," says Marco. "Germany will continue to be surrounded by nuclear reactors in the future." More than 400 nuclear reactors are currently running in over 30 states. Dozens of new nuclear power plants are being planned, around 50 reactors are already under construction, 15 of them in China alone. India, Russia and South Korea are also involved. In several countries, researchers are working on reactor types similar to the one that is now to be built in Wyoming: So-called Small Modular Reactors are relatively small and should be quick and inexpensive to build.

"It will be many decades before the real end of the nuclear age," wrote Marco on the tenth anniversary of Fukushima. “But the role that nuclear power plants will play in the energy mix of the future is likely to get smaller and smaller. They are thrown back to niche markets, and the most important reason for this is that solar power is already unrivaled cheap. "(More background information here.)

3. Much to lose

In a democracy, as you know, it depends on the losers: the losers have to take on their role in order for it to work. In the USA it has been evident for months how dangerous it is when the loser in the election is reluctant to do so. Today it shows in this news: The celebrities Republican Liz Cheney apparently had to Hire bodyguardsafter going for one in January Impeachment from Donald Trump was true. According to the records of the US electoral authority: The cost of Cheney's personal protection increased from $ 2000 in the last three election campaigns to about $ 60.000 in the first three months of 2021.

It will show itself in Israel in the days to come. The only democracy in the Middle East will probably be one soon new government have - for the first time without Benjamin Netanyahu. Now the outgoing prime minister has spoken out and called on the MPs to resist the future government. The tone becomes sharper, Netanyahu spoke of the "deceit of the century", although he also has a lot to lose. "For him, the defeat in the Knesset might just be the beginning of trouble", reports my colleague Alex Sarovic. Because the current head of government has had to answer for a year in court: the public prosecutor's office accuses him of fraud, infidelity and bribery. "In the worst case, he would have to go to jail."

The domestic secret service Schin Bet increases protection for Naftali Bennett from now on, possibly the next head of government from the right-wing Yamina party. The newspaper »Haaretz« described the move as »extraordinary«, since the Schin Bet usually only protects the Prime Minister when he is in office.

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You could go to the cinema. Well, or pretend. Anyway, on this Thursday, alleskino.de will run “Kids Run”, a social drama by the German director Barbara Ott. It's about "a young man who almost collapses under the burden of looking after his three children," writes my colleague Lars-Olav Beier from the cultural department.

Andi, a former boxer, lives off odd jobs and has to look after his three children from failed relationships. “Andi's toughest opponent,” writes Lars-Olav, “are his own emotions, which he can hardly control. His anger breaks out again and again «.

The colleague is particularly impressed by the leading actor Jannis Niewöhner: "It's great how the actor brings together the rough and the tender sides of his character, how he turns this Andi into a fierce and caring father." Check out the film here.

A lovely evening. Heartily
Yours Oliver Trenkamp

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