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August 17, 2018
Good morning
dear reader,
+  A country of immigration, after all  +  Berlin recommends a holiday in Turkey  +  Benetton’s bridge damage
Oh, how the Christian Democratic Union party has beat itself up over whether or not Germany is a country of immigration! How its guiding lights like Armin Laschet repeatedly attempted to push forward the discussion! And now, all of a sudden, everything is moving apace: The CSU’s quick-change artist Horst Seehofer has hammered out the key points for an immigration law which will likely be discussed by the government next week. It centers on skilled immigrants and how Germans will no longer be given an advantage over them when vacancies are filled. It contains a slice of realism that looks set to further radicalize the ideologues from the AfD party.  READ MORE  
Meanwhile, the very same Interior Minister Seehofer, who is now pro-immigration, faces bitter criticism from North Rhine-Westphalia’s Minister for Integration Joachim Stamp (FDP) over the case of Sami A. from Tunisia. Stamp is “deeply disappointed” about the loud announcements by Seehofer, who said he would take charge of his case, but then nothing happened. Due to Seehofer’s ministry and the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (Bamf), a document was missing which would ensure that the alleged Islamist would not be tortured in Tunisia. An Administrative Court in North Rhine-Westphalia has now ruled that the man, who was wrongly expelled – contrary to a court order – must be brought back to Germany. Out of all those involved in this case, only the rule of law is spared embarrassment.  READ MORE  
The argument between the US and Turkey continues to escalate. Now the US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has threatened further sanctions if the country ruled by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan doesn’t quickly release the Pastor Andrew Brunson from house arrest. During the game of intimidation, further pressure is piling onto the Turkish lira. And President Erdogan has already lifted the duties on US imports (cars 120 percent, alcohol 140 percent and tobacco 60 percent). Despite the rising tensions, the German government continues to tout holidays along the Bosporus or in Antalya. “For me there is no reason,” said the commissioner for tourism Thomas Bareiss (CDU), “not to travel to Turkey on holiday.”  
Luciano Benetton, with his range of sweaters in rainbow shades, left his imprint on an era. He was both beloved and provocative, partly because his brand broke advertising taboos. But now the 83-year-old Italian has become a hate figure for the government and on social media, because his family, as a side business, controlled the motorway operators from Genoa. Following the bridge collapse, which likely killed more than 50 people, Benetton, a big shareholder of the toll-collecting firm Autostrade, has been criticized for thinking more about dividend payouts than repairs. Against this background, it is hard to imagine recovery for his battered textile company, which was due to be revitalized by the 76-year-old photographer Oliviero Toscani.    
And finally there is Aretha Franklin, the soul diva with 11 Grammys who sung at the inauguration of US President Barack Obama back in 2009. Around the world long obituaries and eulogies have been made for this outstanding artist (1942-2018), a woman who frequently lent a shine to other people’s songs. For example, in 1967 with a title by Otis Redding, whose single-word title is uncannily timely for America’s racists, grabbing men and for all sorts of Trump-esque people around the globe: “Respect!”

I wish you a weekend brimming with respect,
Hans-Jürgen Jakobs
Senior Editor / Handelsblatt Author
Top Story:
Seehofer makes a German immigration plan on his terms
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