Joe Biden with his runner-up, Kamala Harris

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Joe Biden with his runner-up, Kamala Harris

They are said to have devised the fraudulent shutdown devices on diesel engines.

In the general debate on the federal budget for 2021, the Bundestag is discussing, Angela Merkel must defend her corona debt policy.

In Stuttgart, the victim of the outbreak of violence is in a silent march on "Black Thursday" thought ten years ago today. More than 100 people were injured in the police operation around the Stuttgart 21 rail project.

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READ WHAT

Angela Merkel, Markus Söder and Peter Tschentscher presented the stricter corona rules. (Source: Kay Nietfeld / dpa)

As in spring, the corona situation is now again breathless. Every few minutes a new breaking message pops up on the smartphone. You don’t have to know all of it, some do. My colleagues Philip Friedrichs and Adrian Röger will show you in which districts the situation is becoming critical. Our health experts Sandra Simonsen and Manfred Schäfer explain to you how experts evaluate the new federal and state corona rules. And our reporter Tim Kummert was out and about in Saxony-Anhalt for a week: Almost nowhere are the Corona rules so relaxed – nevertheless, the anger of many people is growing there.

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Angela Merkel has often been accused of explaining her politics too little. In Corona times, it is different, as it proved yesterday.

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Next Saturday will be the 30th anniversary of German reunification, and there is still criticism of the unity: Too expensive, too unfair, complaining Ossis, arrogant Wessis – is that true? "The unit was more successful than some would like to admit", says the political expert Klaus Schroeder in an interview with my colleague Marc von Lüpke. 

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In the series "Germany ’89" Sylvester Groth plays a major general of the GDR intelligence service. (Source: Amazon Corporate)

Sylvester Groth packed a suitcase in Dresden in July 1985 and fled to Salzburg. He never returned to the GDR before reunification. From then on, the actor was spied on by the Stasi – and only found out involuntarily about four years ago. He told my colleague Steven Sowa how this came about.

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WHAT AMUSES ME?

He’s really musical, Donald!

Tomorrow my colleague Daniel Fersch will write the break of day, you will read about me again on Friday. Have a nice day.

Best regards,

your

Florian Harms, Editor-in-Chief of t-online, Email: t-online-newsletter@stroeer.de

With material from dpa. Subscribe to Florian Harms’ daily newsletter here.

You can find all the daybreak issues here. All the news can be read here.

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Good morning, dear readers,

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here is the annotated overview of the day’s topics:

WHAT WAS?

It is the nightmare of every car or motorcycle driver: You glide unsuspectingly across the street – and suddenly there is another car that comes closer in a flash. Crash, slide, silence. This is what happened on Tuesday evening on the city motorway in Berlin: A man apparently deliberately rammed two other cars and literally chased motorcyclists. He injured six people, three of them seriously. According to the police, the alleged perpetrator is a rejected but tolerated asylum seeker from Iraq. He is said to have an Islamist attitude and to be mentally unstable, yesterday he was temporarily admitted to psychiatry. According to the public prosecutor’s office, before his terrorist trip he propagated Islamic martyrs’ sayings on the Internet. After the deed he rolled out a prayer rug and chanted "Allahu Akbar" and threatened that "Everyone dies" would. He also had a kitchen knife with him. Nobody wants to face a man like that, not even on the highway.

When there is talk of Islamist attacks, many people think of the massacre in Paris in 2015 or the attack on the Berlin Christmas market a good year later. Since then, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution has counted 17 further Islamist attacks in Europe – but in this country, right-wing extremist attacks have dominated the headlines in recent months, and left-wing extremist violence has also increased. Now it is apparently an Islamist again who injures several people in a large German city and scares many others.

Does it come as a surprise, does it come out of nowhere? Rather not. Militant Islamism remains a major threat in Germany as well. Although the scene since the breakup of al-Qaeda and the "Islamic State" receives less support from abroad, it maintains its structures. At the beginning of the corona pandemic, the militants went into lockdown like everyone else – but now they are as active as before the pandemic, warns the President of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution Thomas Haldenwang. His people are concerned not only with the fundamentalist organizations, but also with small cells and, above all, individual perpetrators: They radicalize themselves in silence, often reinforced by excessive consumption of propaganda videos on the Internet, and many feel great anger about the wars in Arab countries and the indifference of the West – and not a few also plague psychological problems.

The assassin from the Berlin city motorway apparently also had no clear mind. That does not in the least diminish the cruelty of his acts. But it shows how difficult it is for security agencies to identify and stop such people before they strike. Anyone who speaks to German secret service agents keeps hearing the concern that "lonely wolves" could be discovered too late.

Free societies are vulnerable, which is why democratic states must also be able to defend themselves and protect the population from extremists and violent criminals, no matter what delusion they are driving. This requires strong secret services such as the domestic protection of the constitution and the federal intelligence service for international intelligence. From some social circles, right up to the top of the SPD and the Left Party, open mistrust strikes the services. The dubious role of constitutional protection officers during the NSU terror series and the windy term of office of the southpaw Hans-Georg Maassen contributed to this. But since Thomas Haldenwang took over the protection of the constitution, a different wind has been blowing in Cologne. Reliable, prudent, loyal to the state and devoid of any vanity: This is how you experience the head of the agency in conversation, and this is how his work is shaped. And so he and his people deserve support to ward off dangers from all citizens.

Thomas Haldenwang is considered to be a level-headed and efficient head of authorities. (Source: imago images)

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WHAT’S UP?

There are occasional traffic jams on the ascent of Mount Everest. (Source: Nirmal Purja / Nimsdai Project Possible / AP / dpa)

When it’s full you should draw a number. At the office, at the ticket office – and on Mount Everest, it would be quite appropriate in the meantime. Reaching the highest point on earth is actually an awesome endeavor, but it can also be approached as a fun event. Paying customers crowd on the mountain, are guided up to the summit by porters and Sherpas under permanent oxygen ventilation and have to stand in line in between. Absurd. There have even been assaults and death threats up there. Mountains of rubbish and pieces of equipment line the path. But no matter how many fame-hungry people squeeze themselves to the summit, there are a few things on the way up that cannot be booked with any money in the world.

40 years ago today it was empty at the summit, and the man who had only crawled the last few meters had not yet made it. Great deeds in the mountains are not achieved when you are at the top, but are back down alive. That man’s performance was simple: up and down on his own. And breathe without help. What sounds simple, with mountains of this caliber, is an ordeal even for top athletes. With every fiber, the body longs for oxygen at extreme altitude. Every step is an act of overcoming. Leaden weight and deadly fatigue paralyze the limbs. You can get fuzzy in your head, dangerously listless, some have sat down and never got up again. Everest without additional oxygen is not a bookable feature. And then also being the first person all alone after climbing up with a colleague two years earlier? Respect!

There has been a lot of controversy about Reinhold Messner, and he doesn’t have such a small ego in his luggage either, but today we want to leave the arguments behind in the lowlands of ordinary mortals. Today we want to think back to the lonely success 40 years ago and congratulate someone who was professional, reflective, risk-conscious and at the same time colossally unreasonable. Who risked his life to push the limits of what is possible, for himself and everyone else. Without this limit having any practical use. You can find that meschugge – or great. If Reinhold Messner has to pull a number on Everest, we’ll treat him to one.

Reinhold Messner is committed to protecting the mountain world. (Source: Roland Weihrauch / dpa)

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Haven’t heard from Greta Thunberg for a long time. Today the Swedish climate protection fighter is working with activists from "Fridays for Future" received by Angela Merkel at the Chancellery. The Chancellor then jets to the French Mediterranean coast and meets French President Emmanuel Macron there. The two want to talk about the crises in Lebanon and Libya, the gas dispute between Turkey and Greece, China, Brexit, the fight against Corona and the details of the EU aid plan. There will probably be no time for the climate.

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Joe Biden with his runner-up, Kamala Harris. (Source: Carolyn Kaster / AP / dpa)

Joe Biden is easy to scoff at. You can tell the age of the 77-year-old, and he often loses the thread in his speeches. He must not allow himself to make such mistakes in his nomination speech at the end of the Democrats’ party congress this evening. But if you only look at your dropouts, you underestimate the presidential candidate, says our Washington correspondent Fabian Reinbold. He describes Mr Biden as a man who has the qualities to beat Donald Trump. 

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READ WHAT

The EU does not recognize the result of the presidential election in Belarus – but Alexander Lukashenko is still a long way from abdicating, says my colleague Patrick Diekmann. The dictator is apparently trying to sit out the crisis and believe that once he is sworn in, the EU will talk to him again at some point.

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Wirecard flies out of the Dax, but the delivery service Delivery Hero moves up. Why is this company so successful right now? Our finance editor Mauritius Kloft answers the most important questions about the German stock market climber. 

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WHAT AMUSES ME?

Justice must be!

(Source: Mario Lars)

I wish you a good day. 

Best regards,

your

Florian Harms, Editor-in-Chief of t-online.de, E-Mail: t-online-newsletter@stroeer.de

With material from dpa. Subscribe to Florian Harms’ daily newsletter here.

You can find all the daybreak issues here. All the news can be read here.