Let’s play linguistic chicken

This summer’s bad weather is affecting local fruit supply. Yields of regional apples, pears, cherries and plums are down by about 50%, pushing prices up by 15%.

In other apple news, there’s controversy at the Apfelfest in Guben in south-east Brandenburg. A man is suing the organizer of the Apple Queen competition, claiming the vote was rigged in favour of a female contestant. He said voters were mislead as the winner didn’t have a driver’s license.

English speaking waiters in Berlin are getting on the nerves of CDU politician Jens Spahn, who said they should be able to take orders in German. He also criticized Germans who talk to each other in English as being elitist.

Air Berlin has officially filed for bankruptcy after 37 years in operation. Germany’s second largest airline has been losing money, passengers and their luggage for years. Now several airlines are fighting to buy the scraps of Air Berlin, which owns some valuable landing spots at key airports. The airline is still operating and tickets are still valid.

Come along to our next live recording on Sunday September 3 at the Comedy Cafe Berlin. Caroline is also hosting We Are Not Gemused, a stand-up show on Tuesday September 5 at Sameheads in Neukölln.

This episode was presented by Caroline Clifford and Joel Dullroy, and brought to you by Radio Eins, Berlin’s public broadcaster.

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Live at Mobile Kino Summer Camp 2017

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Meet Diana Arce, host of Politaoke, a cross between karaoke and political speeches. She hosts events where people read topical politcal rants while the audience boos and cheers. Diana is also part of White Guilt Cleanup, a service for people who don’t know how to handle topics of race. Find out more at www.politaoke.com and www.whiteguiltcleanup.com.

There’s a referendum coming up on September 24, the same day as the federal election. The question will be: should Berlin keep Tegel airport operating when BER finally opens? The no camp says Tegel will cost too much to renovate. The yes camp says it’s necessary due to rising tourist traffic. Does Berlin really need more tourism?

The Berlin Senate has finished a new law that ensures bicycle infrastructure will improve. There will be 50,000 new bike parking spots near public transport, including parking boxes. Bike lanes will be widened, a 100km bicycle highway will be opened, and dangerous spots will be fixed. If the Senate fails to deliver, social groups can sue to force them.

Joel’s got a new society startup idea: “Flat Rate Living – an all-inclusive way of life. All services provided free for 90% of your income.”

This episode was hosted by Jöran Mandik, Joel Dullroy and Caroline Clifford.

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The Berlin Squirrel Virus

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Meet our guest host Caroline Clifford, who will also join us at this weekend’s Mobile Kino Summer Camp live recording!

Over 210,000 posters are going up on the lampposts for the federal election, happening on September 24. The AFD posters manage to be both racist and sexist: “Burkas? We’d rather bikinis.” We doubt they’d really be happy with streets full of half-naked women.

What’s a souvenir these days? A Berlin court has decided that teapots, cake slicers and cheese graters are not. A kitchenware in Mitte was fined for opening on Sundays: only tourist shops are allowed to do that. Permitted souvenirs include street maps, guidebooks, tobacco, film and camera items. When was the last time anyone bought film?

Berlin’s cute little squirrels are suffering from a virus that makes wounds grow on their paws. The squirrels can’t hold on to trees because their fingers are stuck together. The wounds can be so painful that the poor squirrels sometimes die from shock. The condition has been named the Berliner Eichhörnchenvirus.

The abbreviation “späti” has been entered into Germany’s respected Duden dictionary. Also going in the dictionary is “Icke.” It’s all a publicity stunt as dictionaries are in decline.

The U1 is running again after a few weeks of repairs, but the U6 and U7 will be affected by repair work at Mehringdamm station that will last until September 3.

Join us on Sunday August 13 for a live recording at the Mobile Kino Summer Camp, taking place at Klingemühle, 100km east of Berlin.

This episode was hosted by Jöran Mandik, Joel Dullroy and Caroline Clifford.

Sperm donor equality now!

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This Berlin summer continues to be a wash-out, causing floods and public transport delays. Despite the rain, the Weißensee lake in north Berlin is drying up. The operator of Strandbad Weißensee is crowdfunding €90,000 to pay for 40,000 cubic meters of water or 20 Olympic swimming pools.

Berlin just had its annual Christopher Street Day pride parade, which celebrated Germany’s surprise legalization of gay marriage. But as Joel points out, all things are not well for gays in Berlin. Attacks against LGBTQ increased by 10% in 2016. And gays are banned from donating blood or becoming sperm donors. Time for a new campaign – sperm donor equality!

Berlin city government lost a court case against Airbnb, which is partially banned in Berlin. It had tried to force the website to hand over the names of its users, but a court ruled in Airbnb’s favour because it is data is controlled from its Irish headquarters. Those illegally renting their whole flats could still get reported by your neighbours or uncovered by the city’s team of host hunters.

The German air traffic control authority said drones are allowed to be operated in the south-eastern end of Tempelhofer Feld, the former airport. They’re not allowed to film or take photos of people without permission.

Fans of unusual sports competitions should check out the Beach Völkerball World Cup. Völkerball is a strange cross between volleyball and dodgeball in which two teams of eight try and hit their opponents with a small rubber projectile. It takes place at BeachMitte near Nordbahnhof on Saturday July 29 in Berlin.

This episode was presented by Joel Dullroy and Maisie Hitchcock.

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Singing in the Rain

Berlin Police Gold Coin

Police raid Neukölln houses in search of the missing 100kg gold coin! The case of the spectacular robbery of the Big Maple Leaf coin from the Bode Museum is close to being cracked. Four men have been arrested, including one who worked as a security guard at the museum. The level of detail in the execution led to suspicions that it was an inside job.

The Berlin Senate is floating extensions to several U-Bahn lines, including the U9, U1 and U7, which could run all the way to Schönefeld and the new BER airport. This might be because Tegel fans seem to be winning the PR war to keep the old airport open. These extensions would take 15 years, if approved.

Fans of British royalty – get your flowers ready. William and Kate Windsor will be in Berlin on July 19. They’ll visit the Brandenburg Gate, the Jewish Memorial and a children’s charity in Marzahn.

Berlin has just endured its most rainy June on record with 193 litres of rain per square meter three times as much as normal, leading to floods across our swampy city.

Our next live recording is on August 13 as part of the Mobile Kino Summer Camp, an open air cinema festival in the woods. Go to http://www.mobilekino.de for more details.

This episode was presented by Jöran Mandik and Joel Dullroy, and brought to you by RadioEins. Photo by Jöran Mandik.

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Party Police Pissed Off


More than 200 Berlin police officers have been sent home from the G20 summit in Hamburg early after some were caught partying in their quarters. They were observed drinking and dancing on tables with their weapons, pissing in a row against a fence, and one couple was seen having sex in public. What might be standard behaviour for some Berliners was not acceptable in Hamburg.

Berlin’s fascination with its captive bears continues. Two adult pandas have arrived from China. Meng Meng and Jiao Qing will be on display in a fancy new enclosure at the Zoo Berlin from July 7.

Berlin’s gay pride parade, also known as Christopher Street Day or CSD, is happening on July 22. But there won’t be any Alternative CSD in Kreuzberg this year as the organizing team broke apart in a dispute. A replacement DIY picnic on Mariannenplatz was also cancelled after its Facebook event got too popular.

This episode was presented by Joel Dullroy and Jöran Mandik.

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RS Live: Riding under the U1


New York has its Highline Park. Should Berlin have a lowline bike path under the U1 tracks? We interview a team member behind the idea for the U1 Radbahn.

There’s controversy over plans to rename some streets in Wedding, where a citizen’s jury trying to replace German colonialist names somehow selected the name of a slave trader instead. Our guest Kilian Flad tells us about the revisionist history of street names.

And our friend Konrad Werner is back to talk about whether Germany has an equivalent to Jeremy Corbyn in the coming federal election.

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Dogs, danger and doubt

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There’s been a spate of mysterious dog deaths around the Tegeler See. The cause is unclear – either a dog hater leaving poisoned food, or a bloom of dangerous blue algae in the water. Swimmers are also advised to avoid the Tegeler See, Berlin’s second biggest lake.

It has been almost a year since a new law was introduced forcing dog owners to carry a plastic poop bag or face a €35 fine. But so far not a single fine has been issued. The law’s vague description of “suitable material” for poop collection could be at fault.

There’s a debate over whether a crucifix should be placed on top of the dome of the new Stadtschloss, or Humboldt Forum. Another suggestion is to install the word “Zweifel” (doubt) on the building. Joel’s preference? No cross, no doubt, no Stadschloss at all.

Come along to our next live recording, Sunday June 18, 17.30, at the Comedy Cafe Neukölln.

This episode was presented by Jöran Mandik and Joel Dullroy, and brought to you by RadioEins.

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Bus Inspectors Coming Soon

Only 26% of Berliners get around by car, a survey found. The rest walk, ride or use public transport. Those who take buses should be aware – the BVG has announced that it is looking for a security company to start checking tickets on buses, starting November 1. That’s because the city government wants the BVG to allow passengers to board buses through the rear doors to speed up departures.

Berlin’s first-league football team Hertha BSC are unhappy with their home ground, the Olympiastadion, which they say is too big to create an energetic atmosphere. Now the mayor Michael Müller says the city would agree to reconstruct the Olympiastadion to extend seats to the edge of the field to keep Hertha happy. It could cost €160 million and push out athletic events.

Karneval der Kulturen is on this weekend. The street festival runs from June 2 to 5, while the main parade is on Sunday June 4, moving from Hermannplatz to Yorckstraße.

This episode was presented by Joel Dullroy and Daniel Stern, and brought to you by RadioEins.

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Neukölln true crime story

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On our last episode we interviewed 4 Blocks writer Hanno Hackford about the fictional Arabic gangs depicted in the TV series. The show is based on real stories of gang violence. Here’s one we found in last week’s newspaper showing that fiction isn’t far from fact:

Berliner Zeitung – May 18, 2017

Beaten to death: masked attackers kill a family father. Background: a fight between two Arabic clans over €100,000 euros.

Ali O. left his three-storey house in Britz at At 7.55am. Two masked men hit him with fists and a baseball bat in the head. They struck until he lay motionless on the ground. Many witnesses saw the attack, including a child who stood close by.
The attackers fled into bushes. They must have been spying on the 43-year old, as they knew when he would be leaving the house to take his child to school.
In the neighbourhood rumours are going around about a fight between two criminal members of Arabic Großfamilien – or clans. Police will not confirm the suspicions.
It is speculated that Ali O. had given a loan of €100,000 euro to Family R., who were not prepared to pay the money back. The situation escalated. Possibly the debtors had wanted to give Ali a lesson, but not kill him. Many in Family R. now fear a deadly payback from Family O.
“I fear for my life,” said one person. “This could cause a family slaughter. Such things have happened before.”
The man who borrowed the money often caused problems for his brothers. In the past there were frequent bloody disputes between the clans, often ending in murder.
Ali. O was described as quiet and friendly man who moved to the area after separating from his wife, with whom he has three children. But he wasn’t nice to everyone. In summer, Ali. O had sprayed teargas inside a doctor’s office in Leinestraße after arguing with another patient.

Source: Berliner Zeitung