23
Tue, Oct
127 New Articles

YouTube’s dispute with Germany’s music rights authority GEMA has resulted in the country being cut off from more than 60 percent of the website’s most popular videos, according to a new analysis.

It’s common occurrence for internet users in Germany. A friend sends around a link to a cool band or the new David Bowie song, but clicking through to the popular video platform YouTube ends the journey with the frustrating notice: “This video is not available in Germany because it possibly contains music for which GEMA hasn’t approved the rights.”

And now an app developed by the Berlin-based data journalism outfit OpenDataCity shows the extent of the digital embargo. Germany cannot see 61.5 percent of YouTube’s top 1,000 videos – far more than the 15 percent blocked in South Sudan and the five percent that is taboo in the Vatican

 

thelocal

Landing a job in Germany as a foreigner can be tough. But knowing what German employers expect from your CV could mean the crucial difference between getting an interview and getting dumped in the wastepaper basket.


The Local spoke to professional careers advisers to find out how job-seekers in Germany can turn a English-language curriculum vitae into a slimmed-down, factual German Lebenslauf.

When sending out an application in Germany it's important to get the layout of your CV correct. If your information is where German employers will be expecting it, your document will be much easier for them to process at a glance.

"It's really important to know what you're doing when writing your German CV. It will get thrown out if you don't do it in the style which Germans are used to," career adviser Heidi Störr told The Local.

The first thing to note is that a Lebenslauf is one or two pages in a formal, fact sheet format, which looks and feels very different in style and content from a typical English CV.

“The Lebenslauf is a datasheet, a fact sheet,” Gerhard Winkler, contributor to Der Spiegel magazine's online careers section, told The Local. “The cover letter is a briefing – where you show how you're right for the job. Both texts are best when they are factual, sober list free of egotistical statements.”

German CVs are also set out in a two-columned table. You need to separate the table into six rows under the following headings written on the left column: 'Personal Details,' 'Professional Experience,' 'Education and Training,' 'Voluntary Work,' 'Scholarships' and 'Computer and Language Skills.'

Underneath each of these headings on the left go your exact dates - the time frames of activities, training or jobs which you will list in the right-hand column opposite. It's best to put activities in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent, according to career advisers.

The column on the right is where you enter your experiences. Underneath each job title or educational programme, describe your role in short, keyword sentences, concentrating on what you consider the most relevant details for the job you are applying for.

Germans tend to consider some information you might have on your English CV to be superfluous or even egotistical, said Winkler, so leave out any description of personal qualities, interests and hobbies, but do include membership of groups or organizations under 'Voluntary Work.'

There are a few must-have personal details every Lebenslauf should include which you might not have on your original CV: a photo, your marital status and place of birth. Also make sure you cover your language and computer skills in detail.

The photo question

Unlike most English resumes, German CVs always include a passport-style professional photo in the upper right-hand corner - a detail advisers say you would do well not to leave out.

"German employers are used to seeing a photo on a résumé, they can't explicitly demand in the job advert that you put one because that goes against privacy laws," Störr told The Local.

"But they'll be looking for it so always put one. A photo allows potential employers to make a different kind of personal connection with someone and will help them connect your skills with your face when you come to an interview."

Finally, since you will be applying for a job in a German workplace, you need to think carefully about which language to use on your CV. Advisers say if your German is up to it you would do well to show it off.

“If you can do it in German, make the effort, it doesn't have to be word-perfect,” said Störr.

But if those German lessons have not quite paid off yet, then avoid the temptation to get it translated and leave it in English. This will avoid any awkward moments if you get to an interview and an employer decides to test out your language skills.

“If an applicant has no or only a little German but has written their CV in German it would give the impression they had better language skills than they actually had, which could lead to problems,” said Störr.

“Personally, if English was my first language I'd write applications in Germany in English – unless I had to prove excellent German language skills for the job,” Winkler told The Local.

Generally, said Winkler it was important to remember his golden rule for CV writing: “Stick to the facts.”

Josie Le Blond

Immigration pushed Germany's population higher in 2012, official statistics showed on Monday, the second gain in two years despite the country's rapidly ageing society.


Federal statistics office Destatis said that 82.0 million people were living in Germany at the end of 2012, compared to 81.8 million at the start.

"After eight years of decline, the population number has now risen for the second year in a row," commented Destatis.

At least 340,000 more people entered the country than left it in 2012, the statistics showed. This net immigration effect outweighed a high net death rate. During the year, there were between 660,000 and 680,000 births and between
860,000 and 880,000 deaths.

Like other advanced economies, Germany is facing a snowballing population crisis, leaving the country short of workers and adding to the strain on already stretched public coffers.

With one of the lowest birth rates in Europe, Germany, currently the European Union's most populous country, could see its population decline to between 65 and 70 million by 2060, Destatis has calculated.

AFP/mry

 

Bavarian police were on Wednesday still trying to figure out why a man and woman killed by a train on Christmas Eve were standing on railway tracks - and who they were. 

The pair were on the tracks at the Diedorf station near Augsburg when a train pulled in at speed and the driver was unable to stop in time to avoid hitting them. 

Mystery surrounds the identity of the pair - and their relationship to each other, a police spokesman said on Wednesday. A forensic examination was expected to offer some answers on Thursday. 

The IC train travelling between Municha nd Karlsruhe hit the pair despite the driver slamming on the emergency brake - he was only able to bring the train to a halt around 500 metres down the tracks. 

The track between Augsburg and Ulm was shut for several hours. 

DAPD/The Local/jcw

Berlin fire fighters called on Monday to an underground garage put out a blaze only to find a 30-metre-long tunnel leading to the vaults of a nearby bank - which had been emptied.


The fire, which police believe was begun by the thieves in an attempt to erase any evidence and cause a distraction while they robbed the bank, broke out at around 6:15 am theTagesspiegel regional paper reported.

The thieves had smashed through reinforced concrete to dig their tunnel, meaning they must have had access to heavy duty equipment.

Police were still examining the scene in the Steglitz area of the capital on Monday afternoon and are yet to have found any clues pointing to suspects, despite thorough questioning of people living in the area.

Exactly how much money was stolen from the Volksbank branch has not been revealed and police said they had no idea where the ground excavated from the tunnel had ended up.

A similar incident took place in the southern part of Berlin in 1995, when an 11-strong gang tunnelled into a bank in Zehlendorf and took 16 hostages as well as several million euros.

The Local/jcw

Discount supermarket chain Lidl has been fined €1.5 million for leaving dangerous, Listeria-contaminated cheese on sale for too long. One person died after eating the cheese and three more became ill

 

Lidl did not act fast enough in 2009 when the Listeria bacteria were discovered in its Harz cheese, a product of Austrian company Prolactal, said Heilbronn Administrative Court on Tuesday.

The state prosecutor said four customers fell ill with listeriosis after eating the cheese, one of whom later died as a result of the food poisoning.

Listeria is a bacterium - usually eliminated in the pasteurization process - which causes serious infections in humans and can be life-threatening for people suffering from other illnesses, pregnant mothers or new born children.

On hearing that the bacteria had been found in the product, Lidl said it had asked Prolactal for an inspection - and received negative test results. The supermarket removed the cheese from its shelves but failed to recall the product until Austrian authorities issued a warning in late January 2010.

The court ruled that Lidl should have not only withdrawn the product earlier - by the end of 2009 at the latest - but also should have issued an immediate recall, and fined the supermarket €1.5 million for failing to meet its legal obligations.

Four company employees were also singled out to pay fines of between €27,000 and €58,500. However, the court found that Lidl did not bear any legal or criminal responsibility for the illnesses or death caused by the food poisoning.

A Lidl spokesman said the company had at all times met its inspection obligations, but admitted that the reaction had been too slow and accepted Tuesday's court ruling.

"Lidl Germany accepts the court's decision and regrets that the results of the routine inspections carried out three years ago on the product were not correctly interpreted," said a spokesman.

The ruling came on the same day as Irish authorities said they had found horse meat in burgers sold in several supermarkets in Ireland and Britain - including German discount supermarkets Lidl and Aldi.

DPA/The Local/jlb

At least a million people peacefully rang in 2013 at Germany’s largest New Year’s party in Berlin on Monday night.


Organizers of the two-kilometre-long celebration in front of the German capital’s icon Brandenburg Gate said they had broken the million mark of revelers. Entrances to the party zone in Berlin’s centre were closed hours before the turn of the year due to the huge turnout.

Drawn by a 15-minute fireworks display with more than 6,000 rockets at midnight, visitors also came to see an international lineup of musical acts including The Pet Shop Boys. The large crowd also hopped to the horsey dance made famous by 2012’s suprise South Korean pop hit “Gangnam Style.”

The police said the gathering remained largely peaceful without major incidents.

Across Germany, revelers gathered to say goodbye to the old year and hello to the new one. From Cologne to Munich, hundreds of thousands watched the sky light up at midnight over the country.

Germans spent an estimated €115 million on fireworks, according to the Der Tagesspiegel newspaper.

DAPD/The Local/mry

More Articles ...