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German report German report
by Euro Reporter
2009-08-20 08:00:37
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Heading to Web for political information

The majority of Germans turn to the Internet for information about what political parties are promising ahead of September's election, and nearly half of Germans would take part in online voting, a new survey shows. Mainly young people are turning to the World Wide Web to inform themselves about the upcoming general election in Germany.
"The Internet is becoming a key medium for communication between politicians and citizens," said August-Wilhelm Scheer, head of the German Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media (Bitkom). Some 77 percent of people between 18 and 29 go online for information about the parties' platforms. For the entire population that number dropped to 45 percent, according to a survey released on Wednesday.
The vast majority of voters - 81 percent of those under 30 and 71 percent of the entire population - turn to traditional media's Websites for details on what the parties are promising, the study showed. "The journalistic skills of traditional media are asserting themselves on the Internet," Scheer said.


Killing Germans is a duty

One of the men accused of planning attacks on US military bases in Germany in 2007 told a Dusseldorf court Wednesday that he described the armed fight against German soldiers in Afghanistan as a "duty". Adem Yilmaz, part of a group of suspected militant Islamists arrested in Germany's Sauerland region in September 2007, told the court in one of Germany's largest terrorism trials since the 1970s that it didn't matter to him whether the soldiers were American, German or Turkish.

"For me they are all the same," said Yilmaz, who is himself Turkish. "Allah gave us the right to fight against those people who are fighting us," he said, adding that many Muslims had been attacked in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yilmaz also said he stood by an earlier statement that he wanted to kill as many non-believers as possible. Asked whether he would return to fighting armed jihad - holy war - after serving his sentence, the 30-year-old said, "I don't know yet." Yilmaz belongs to the so-called Sauerland Group, together with fellow defendants Fritz Gelowicz, Daniel Schneider and Attila Selek.


To fill teacher gap, foreigners get training for German classrooms

German schools face a severe shortage of tens-of-thousands of math and science teachers. A German foundation is offering special training for non-EU teachers to help fill the gaps. In many of Germany's 16 states, it was back to school for kids after their six-week summer break. But it's also back to a troubling shortage of teachers, especially in the fields of math and science.
The DphV teachers’ organization recently estimated the shortage will reach 40,000 nationwide during this school year. Ten years from now, the organization predicts the situation will worsen when about 300,000 of the current 770,000 teachers in Germany retire. With figures like those in mind, the Bonn-based Otto Benecke Foundation established a special training program three years ago for teachers from non-EU nations in Bochum, a city in Germany's most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia.


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