TIME Germany

Matisse Painting Looted by Nazis Returned to Jewish Art Dealer’s Heirs

A handout picture provided by Wolf Heider-Sawall Art Recovery Group shows the representative of the Rosenberg family, Christopher Marinello, with the painting 'Seated Woman' by Henri Matisse on behalf of the family in Munich
Wolf Heider-Sawall—picture-alliance/dpa/AP A handout picture provided by Wolf Heider-Sawall Art Recovery Group shows the representative of the Rosenberg family, Christopher Marinello, with the painting 'Seated Woman' by Henri Matisse on behalf of the family in Munich on May 15, 2015.

The painting was found stashed in an apartment with $1 billion worth of artwork

A valuable piece of modern art is finally being returned to the heirs of an art dealer who fled the Nazis.

The artwork, Matisse’s Seated Woman, was eventually intercepted by German authorities in 2010 after they stopped an elderly man, Cornelius Gurlitt, on a train from Zurich to Munich for carrying a large amount of money on him, NPR reports. They then inspected his apartment, where they found more than 1,000 works by artists including Chagall, Degas and Renoir, worth an estimated $1 billion.

The pieces had been stashed in the apartment because Gurlitt’s father, an art dealer named Hildebrand Gurlitt, had helped broker deals between Nazis who traded modern art—works Nazis derisively called “degenerate art.”

MORE: The Nazi Art Theft Crisis in Europe

One painting in particular, Matisse’s Seated Woman, was among the billion-dollar art cache. The owner, Paul Rosenberg, had been an art dealer and friend of the artist, but in 1940, he fled the Nazis and many of his pieces were pillaged. Rosenberg devoted years to trying to find 400 works stolen by the Nazis before he died in 1959. There are still about 60 works missing from Rosenberg’s collection, his granddaughter told NPR.

“There is nothing I have loved more in my life than my pictures,” the younger Gurlitt once told the German news magazine Der Spiegel. Gurlitt died in 2014 in his Munich apartment.

TIME Germany

Germany’s Next Topmodel Finale Canceled After Bomb Threat

Members of the audience leave the SAP-Arena venue after the German television casting show "Germany's Next Topmodel" is cancelled in Mannheim, Germany on May 14, 2015.
Uwe Anspach—picture-alliance/dpa/AP Members of the audience leave the SAP-Arena venue after the German television casting show "Germany's Next Topmodel" is cancelled in Mannheim, Germany on May 14, 2015.

An anonymous phone call prompted the evacuation of 8,500 people

Heidi Klum and thousands of others were evacuated from the live televised finale of “Germany’s Next Topmodel” after a bomb threat was made against the show.

Police said that an anonymous female called in the threat to the SAP Arena in Mannheim, Germany, at 9 p.m. local time on Thursday (3 p.m. EDT)—prompting 8,500 people to be removed from the venue and cancellation of the finale’s live broadcast.

Officials found a suspicious bag but later determined it was not dangerous, the Mannheim Police Department said in a statement. It added that the all-clear was given after a full search of the…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME Germany

102-Year-Old Who Fled Nazis to Become Oldest Doctorate Recipient

German pediatrician Ingeborg Rapoport, 97, speaks during an interview in her house in Berlin
Thomas Peter—Reuters German pediatrician Ingeborg Rapoport, 97, speaks during an interview in her house in Berlin on July 3, 2009.

Ingeborg Rapoport was refused an opportunity to defend her thesis in Nazi Germany.

A 102-year-old retired neonatologist successfully defended her doctoral thesis on Wednesday, 77 years after the Nazi regime denied her the opportunity.

Ingeborg Rapoport will become the oldest person to receive a doctoral degree at a ceremony at the University of Hamburg next month, the Wall Street Journal reports. Her thesis, which she submitted in 1938, focused on diphtheria, an infectious disease that was the leading cause of death among children in Europe at the time.

Rapoport was raised a Protestant but her mother was Jewish, leading officials at the time to deem her ineligible for academic advancement. She emigrated to the United States in 1938 and eventually received an M.D. from the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania.

Read more at the Wall Street Journal

TIME India

German Ambassador to India Urges Support of International NGOs

German business leaders in India
MONEY SHARMA—EPA German Ambassador to India, Michael Steiner (L) listens to Dr. Hubert Lienhard (R), Chairman of the Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business (APA), speaking during a joint news conference in New Delhi, India, 11 July 2014.

The Indian government is cracking down on organizations like Greenpeace and the Ford Foundation

The German Ambassador to India added his voice to the growing discontent over the Indian government’s treatment of international nongovernmental organizations on Thursday, saying that the South Asian nation needed to show more support to the groups.

“NGOs are doing impressive work in India,” Micheal Steiner said at an event in Delhi, according to the Indian Express. “I think the fundamental approach should be to support their work.”

Steiner’s remarks came a day after a similar sentiment was expressed by U.S. Ambassador Richard Verma. “I read with some concern the recent press reports on challenges faced by N.G.O.s operating in India,” Verma said in a speech, warning of a “potential chilling effect” if the Indian government continued to target civil society groups.

The government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has cracked down on various nongovernmental groups such as Greenpeace India and the Ford Foundation, claiming they have violated rules and citing national security concerns over the use of their donations.

“I think the best situation is if you have transparency on one hand and appreciation on the other,” Steiner said on Thursday.

MORE How Narendra Modi Wants to Change India

TIME energy

Germany’s Nuclear Cutback Is Darkening European Skies

nuclear-power-plants-sunset
Getty Images

If Germany wants to phase out nuclear power, coal is the only realistic option

Germany’s influence in Europe is unquestionable, but it appears that some of its neighbors may be adversely affected by recent German decisions; and Greece is not the neighbor in question here. France has been reporting heavy levels of air pollution which authorities in the country are blaming on diesel cars there. But the real culprit may in fact be the renewed German penchant for coal power.

Up until a few years ago, Germany, along with France, was at the forefront of nuclear power use. But after the Fukushima disaster in Japan in 2011, the Germans were quick to begin phasing out nuclear power. In some countries, phasing out nuclear power would be easy, but in 2011, Germany obtained 25% of its power from nuclear sources. This nuclear power generated no carbon dioxide emissions of course, and little in the way of other forms of pollution. But after starting the phase out of nuclear power, Germany still needed to find a source of replacement power.

Renewables like wind and solar sound great in theory, but the sporadic nature of power generation from those sources makes them imperfect substitutes for the consistency of nuclear. In that sense then, battery solutions like that announced by Tesla last week, or the solutions from General Electric, may eventually provide a solution for Germany. But as of now, the grid battery industry is still too nascent to provide serious help to Germany.

Germany aims to generate 80% of its power from renewable sources by 2050 with nuclear being fully phased out by 2021. But given the costs associated with renewables and the challenge of replacing nuclear power efficiently, it is not clear that Germany will succeed in either of these goals.

With renewable energy sources facing generation consistency challenges, that has left the Germans with only a few alternatives for replacing nuclear power: oil, natural gas, and coal. Oil has been so expensive for so long that it never received serious consideration for new power plants. Natural gas on the other hand is cheaper per unit of power generated and it releases about half the level of carbon dioxide that coal does. These characteristics have helped to make natural gas the power plant feedstock of choice in the U.S. especially given the falling per MCF over the last decade.

In Europe though, in part because of concerns about fracking, much of the natural gas comes from Russia. And relying on Russian natural gas as a primary power feedstock can be a dangerous proposition especially given the geopolitical concerns about Russian involvement in Ukraine. Thus, the Germans have increasingly turned to coal as their power generation source of choice, especially U.S. coal. Today coal power plants are responsible for generating nearly half of Germany’s power, and numerous new plants are scheduled to come online in the next few years.

Overall, the increase in coal is likely to create a significant increase in airborne pollution and potentially stoke tension between Germany and its neighbors. But at the same time, if Germany wants to phase out nuclear power, coal is the only realistic option; a fact which some German politicians are starting to admit.

German increased reliance on coal could throw a lifeline to U.S. coal companies and manufacturers like Joy Global (JOY) and Caterpillar (CAT) that rely on coal miners as significant customers. While Germany is the eighth largest coal producer in the world, even with this production it still imports significant amounts of coal from the U.S. If the country continues its plan to phase out nuclear power, it is hard to see how it can avoid increasing its coal use dramatically which, in turn, should help to offset the decreasing coal use from the United States.

This article originally appeared on Oilprice.com.

More from Oilprice.com:

TIME Germany

Germany: 4 Arrests in Alleged Plot to Attack Islamic Targets

The German extremist group was planning to attack the country's mosques and asylum-seeker centers

(BERLIN) — German authorities conducted raids across the country on Wednesday, seizing explosives and arresting four people accused of founding a right-wing extremist group to attack mosques and housing for asylum seekers.

Police arrested three men and a woman accused of leading the group during raids by some 250 investigators on homes in Saxony and four other states, the federal prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

Prosecutors allege the four helped found the “Old School Society” group and were planning to attack asylum-seeker housing, mosques and well-known members of the Islamic-extremist Salafist scene in Germany.

The four arrested, identified only as Andreas H., 56, Markus W., 39, Denise Vanessa G., 22, and Olaf O., 47, are being held on terrorism charges and are also accused of having procured explosives.

The statement identified Andreas H. and Markus W. as the group’s president and vice president.

“According to current investigations, it was the group’s goal to conduct attacks in smaller groups inside Germany on well-known Salafists, mosques and asylum seeker centers,” the statement said. “For this purpose the four arrested procured explosives for possible terror attacks by the group.”

Prosecutors said they are still trying to determine whether the group had concrete attack plans and refused to comment beyond their written statement.

TIME protest

Workers Rally on May Day Across the World

A masked protestor runs away from tear gas during a May Day rally at Okmeydani in Istanbul on May 1, 2015.
Yasin Akgul—AFP/Getty Images A masked protestor runs away from tear gas during a May Day rally at Okmeydani in Istanbul on May 1, 2015.

May 1 regularly sees clashes between police and militant groups in some cities

(HAVANA) — Left-wing groups, governments and trade unions were staging rallies around the world Friday to mark International Workers Day.

Most events were peaceful protests for workers’ rights and world peace. But May 1 regularly sees clashes between police and militant groups in some cities.

International Workers Day originates in the United States. American unions first called for the introduction of an eight-hour working day in the second half of the 19th century. A general strike was declared to press these demands, starting May 1, 1886. The idea spread to other countries and since then workers around the world have held protests on May 1 every year, although the U.S. celebrates Labor Day on the first Monday in September.

Here’s a look at some of the May Day events around the world:

TURKEY

Police and May Day demonstrators clashed in Istanbul as crowds determined to defy a government ban tried to march to the city’s iconic Taksim Square.

Security forces pushed back demonstrators using water cannons and tear gas. Protesters retaliated by throwing stones and hurling firecrackers at police.

Authorities have blocked the square that is symbolic as the center of protests in which 34 people were killed in 1977.

Turkish newswires say that 10,000 police officers were stationed around the square Friday.

The demonstrations are the first large-scale protests since the government passed a security bill this year giving police expanded powers to crack down on protesters.

___

CUBA

Thousands of people converged on Havana’s Plaza of the Revolution for the traditional May Day march, led this year by President Raul Castro and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. After attending Cuba’s celebration, Maduro was to fly back to Caracas to attend the May Day observances in his own country.

The parade featured a group of doctors who were sent to Africa to help in the fight against Ebola. Marchers waved little red, white and blue Cuban flags as well as posters with photos of revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, his brother Raul, and the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.

Additional marches were held in major cities around the island, including Santiago and Holguin in the east.

___

SOUTH KOREA

Thousands of people marched in the capital Seoul on Friday for a third week to protest government labor policies and the handling of a ferry disaster that killed more than 300 people a year ago.

Demonstrators occupied several downtown streets and sporadically clashed with police officers. Protesters tried to move buses used to block their progress. Police responded by spraying tear gas. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

South Korean labor groups have been denouncing a series of government policies they believe will reduce wages, job security and retirement benefits for state employees.

___

PHILIPPINES

More than 10,000 workers and activists marched in Manila and burned an effigy of Philippine President Benigno Aquino III to protest low wages and a law allowing employers to hire laborers for less than six months to avoid giving benefits received by regular workers.

Workers in metropolitan Manila now receive 481 pesos ($10.80) in daily minimum wage after a 15 peso ($0.34) increase in March.

Although it is the highest rate in the country, it is still “a far cry from being decent,” says Lito Ustarez, vice chairman of the left-wing May One Movement.

___

GREECE

In financially struggling Greece, an estimated 13,000 people took part in three separate May Day marches in Athens, carrying banners and shouting anti-austerity slogans. Minor clashes broke out at the end of the peaceful marches, when a handful of hooded youths threw a petrol bomb at riot police. No injuries or arrests were reported.

Earlier, ministers from the governing radical left Syriza party joined protesters gathering for the marches, including Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis — who was mobbed by media and admirers — and the ministers of labor and energy.

___

GERMANY

Police in Berlin say the traditional ‘Walpurgis Night’ protest marking the eve of May 1 was calmer than previous years.

Several thousand people took part in anti-capitalist street parties in the north of the city. Fireworks and stones were thrown at police, injuring one officer. Fifteen people were detained. Elsewhere in the German capital revelers partied “extremely peacefully,” police noted on Friday morning.

At noon, Green Party activists unveiled a statue at Alexanderplatz in central Berlin of Edward Snowden, Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning, considered heroes by many on the left for leaking secret U.S. intelligence and military documents. The statue, called “Anything to say,” depicts the three standing on chairs and is scheduled to go on tour around the world, according to the website http://www.anythingtosay.com/.

In the central German city of Weimar far-right extremists attacked a union event. Police said 15 people were injured and 29 were arrested.

___

RUSSIA

In Moscow, tens of thousands of workers braved chilly rain to march across Red Square. Instead of the red flags with the Communist hammer and sickle used in Soviet times, they waved the blue flags of the dominant Kremlin party and the Russian tricolor.

Despite an economic crisis that is squeezing the working class, there was little if any criticism of President Vladimir Putin or his government.

The Communist Party later held a separate march under the slogan “against fascism and in support of Donbass,” with participants calling for greater support for the separatists fighting the Ukrainian army in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine.

___

ITALY

In Milan, police released water from hydrants against hundreds of demonstrators, many of them scrawling graffiti on walls or holding smoky flares during a march in the city, where the Italian premier and other VIPs were inaugurating Expo, a world’s fair that runs for six months.

An hour into the march, protesters set at least one parked car on fire, smashed store windows, tossed bottles and chopped up pavement.

Italian labor confederation leaders held their main rally in a Sicilian town, Pozzallo, where thousands of migrants from Africa, the Middle East and Asia have arrived in recent weeks after being rescued at sea from smugglers boats. Hoping to settle for the most part in northern Europe, the migrants are fleeing poverty as well as persecution or violent conflicts in their homelands.

___

SPAIN

Around 10,000 protesters gathered under sunny skies in Madrid to take part in a May Day march under a banner saying “This is not the way to come out of the financial crisis.”

Spain’s economy is slowly emerging from the double-dip recession it hit at the end of 2013, but the country is still saddled with a staggering 23.8 percent unemployment rate.

“There should be many more of us here,” said demonstrator Leandro Pulido Arroyo, 60. “There are six million people unemployed in Spain, and many others who are semi-unemployed, who although they may be working don’t earn enough to pay for decent food.”

___

POLAND

Rallies in Warsaw were muted this year after Poland’s weakened left wing opposition held no May Day parade.

Only a few hundred supporters of the Democratic Left Alliance, or SLD, and of its ally, the All-Poland Trade Union, gathered for a downtown rally Friday to demand more jobs and job security.

___

BRAZIL

President Dilma Rousseff skipped her traditional televised May Day address, instead releasing a brief video calling attention to gains for workers under her leadership.

In the video, Rousseff says the minimum wage grew nearly 15 percent above the rate of inflation from 2010-2014. Her office said the choice to roll out several short videos via social media Friday was aimed at reaching a younger public.

TIME Germany

Germany Foils Suspected Boston-Style Terror Attack, Officials Say

Suspicion of terror in Oberursel
Boris Roessler—dpa/Corbis Explosives experts leave the grounds of an apartment complex in Oberursel, Germany, on April 30, 2015, carrying bags and suitcases filled with secured items.

Authorities seized a cache of weapons, a pipe bomb and chemicals

(BERLIN) — German authorities foiled what they believe may have been an imminent Boston Marathon-style attack on a professional cycling race planned for Friday, seizing a cache of weapons, including a pipe bomb, and chemicals that can be used to make explosives in a raid on a suspected Islamic extremist’s home outside Frankfurt.

Authorities detained a 35-year-old Turkish-German man and his 34-year-old Turkish wife in the raid in the town of Oberursel. The couple, whose names weren’t released in line with Germany privacy rules, had been under surveillance.

Security officials were worried that the couple may have been targeting the one-day Eschborn to Frankfurt race, which draws around 200 professional riders and thousands of spectators on the May Day public holiday. Police said the race would be canceled in case the couple had accomplices, or they placed as-yet undetected explosive devices along the route.

Suspicions were heightened when police recently observed the male suspect, a trained chemist, apparently scouting out the area where the race was due to take place, said Frankfurt’s chief prosecutor, Albrecht Schreiber. The race was supposed to pass through Oberursel.

“The result of the raid shows that our suspicions were confirmed,” Schreiber told reporters Thursday at a news conference in Wiesbaden, the state capital of Hesse.

“According to our current information, we have prevented an attack,” said Stefan Mueller, the chief of police for western Hesse state.

Authorities in Germany have long warned that the country is at high risk of an attack after being named as a target by extremists, including some who have joined the Islamic State group. Mueller declined to say whether authorities believe that known extremist groups were involved.

In the Boston Marathon attack, three people were killed and more than 260 injured when two bombs exploded at the finish line on April 15, 2013.

“Of course we talked about the Boston attack last night,” said Mueller, explaining why security officials decided to go ahead with the raid. The race “is a soft target, and of course, since the Boston Marathon, it’s part of the security assessment for every marathon in Germany, and of course this is true for cycling races too.”

Prosecutors in Frankfurt launched an investigation against the couple in mid-April after an employee at a hardware store informed police about a suspiciously large purchase of a chemical that can be used to make bombs. The couple had used a false name when they bought three liters (nearly a gallon) of hydrogen peroxide, but police were able to identify them and put them under surveillance.

“This hydrogen peroxide triggered an alert,” Frankfurt’s deputy chief prosecutor Stefan Rojczyk told The Associated Press earlier Thursday.

“Three liters is completely unusual,” he said. “You can use it to clear algae from your pond, but you can also use it to build bombs.”

Schreiber said investigators found a functioning pipe bomb, 100 rounds of ammunition, parts of an assault rifle, the hydrogen peroxide, a training rocket for an anti-tank weapon and various other chemicals in the cellar of the couple’s home.

Heavily-armed police wearing masks were involved in the overnight raid, and forensic officers in white suits entered the property and later carted out evidence during daylight hours on Thursday.

Schreiber said the detained man was linked to the extreme Islamic Salafist movement in the Frankfurt area and was known to police for 15 previous offenses. The two suspects would likely appear before a judge later Thursday, he said, adding that two young children found at the premises were being looked after by social services.

“I want to emphasize that an attack was prevented, but it will have to be seen whether a concrete attack against tomorrow’s cycle race was planned,” he said.

Mueller, the police chief, said hydrogen peroxide can be used to produce a substance called TATP. It has been used by extremists to build improvised explosive devices in the past, including by the “shoe bomber” Richard Reid, who tried to detonate a bomb in his shoe during a trans-Atlantic flight.

___

David Rising contributed to this report.

TIME Autos

Audi Just Invented Fuel Made From CO₂ and Water

Water, CO2 and green power are the ingredients for Audi e-diesel
Audi Handout Water, CO2 and green power are the ingredients for Audi e-diesel

The next step for the project will be industrial scale production

An Audi research facility in Dresden, Germany, has managed to create the first batches of diesel fuel with a net-zero carbon footprint — made from carbon dioxide (CO2), water and renewable energy sources such as wind or solar power.

Germany’s government has welcomed the new technology, created in partnership with a greentech company called Sunfire. Johanna Wanka, Germany’s Federal Minister of Education and Research, even test drove the fuel and called it, “a crucial contribution to climate protection and the efficient use of resources,” according to an Audi press release.

Manufacturing involves first breaking down steam into hydrogen and oxygen through high-temperature electrolysis. The hydrogen then reacts with CO2 to create a liquid called “blue crude.” This is then refined to make the e-diesel.

A visual infographic released by Audi explains the steps in detail.

Visual representation of Audi e-diesel
Audi Handout

The next stage for the project will be industrial scale production because Sunfire only has capacity to produce 3,000 liters (792.5 gal.) of e-diesel in coming months.

“If we get the first sales order, we will be ready to commercialize our technology,” said Sunfire CTO Christian von Olshausen in a company press release.

Read next: This Is How Much OPEC Really Earns

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME movies

This Is Why Germans May Not Be Able to See The Avengers

Small theaters are upset over rental fee hike

Hundreds of small movie theaters in Germany are threatening to extend their boycott of the film The Avengers: Age of Ultron to include all future films from Disney in protest of the company’s rental fee hike.

193 towns in Germany refused to show the film after Disney raised its rental fee (the amount Disney collects from ticket sales) for its films from 47.7% to 53%, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The smaller theaters say this puts them at a financial disadvantage since Disney focuses its advertising on larger cities. This means they don’t benefit from the studio’s advertising and have to use more resources, which is why they’ve historically had lower rental fees.

Disney has told the theaters that it is not changing the fees, leading the theaters to argue that if Disney does not meet demands, the boycott will extend to all upcoming titles from the studio.

The size of the impact is hard to pin down. According to THR, the theater boycott includes 686 screens, but not all of the screens were going to show The Avengers. The loss of screens not playing the film is likely closer to under 200.

[THR]

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