The G20 summit of 20 leading world economies begins on Friday in Hamburg. Anti-capitalist demonstrators have already gathered in the city, and not all have peaceful intentions, police warn.

The first warning signs that there would be trouble ahead at the G20 came on Sunday evening, when police broke up an unauthorized protest camp. In the resulting fracas, protesters threw paint balloons at officers and police responded with pepper spray. Demonstrators claim that several people were injured.

On Tuesday night, there was more trouble as police used water cannon and pepper spray to break up several demonstrations across the city.

But these disputes are likely to just be the initial skirmishes before the battle lines are fully drawn. On Thursday the potentially violent "Welcome to Hell" protest is being held. Organizers have warned that activists will seek to block access to the summit venue and, as usual, "reserve for themselves the option of militant resistance" against police.

Critics have asked why Hamburg was chosen as the venue for the summit, which along with the smaller G7 is often the focus of anti-capitalist ire.

Hamburg, like Berlin, is known for having a resilient far-left scene. The choice of location in Hamburg is also a potential spark to the dry gun powder. The G20 venue is right next to the Sternschanze district, the Hamburg neighbourhood most synonymous with the left-wing squatter movement,

According to Hamburg police figures released in the build-up to the summit, 1,090 left-wing extremists live in Germany’s second largest city, 620 of whom are considered potentially violent.

Police are expecting up to 8,000 potentially violent extremists at the event. City authorities have said demonstrators are plotting “the biggest black bloc of all time”, referring to the anarchist-associated movement that often sparks riots at major demonstrations.

In response to the threat of violence, Hamburg has banned rallies from the inner city and along access roads to the airport, forcing marchers into harbourside areas of St Pauli and Altona, away from the G20.

A report by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) released on Monday showed that the radical left scene in Germany in growing to a size never previously witnessed. The internal intelligence agency categorizes 28,500 people as being part of the radical left, an increase of seven percent in a year.

If protests do turn violent, it certainly wouldn’t be the first time that a left-wing demo has spiralled out of control in recent German history.

When the G8 summit was held at Heiligendamm in 2007, black bloc activists turned on police and left over 400 of them injured. A NATO summit held in Baden-Württemberg and France was also accompanied by violence in 2009, with rioters setting fire to buildings, rubbish bins and attacking private property.

In 2015, at a demonstration against the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, police were partially overwhelmed by the scale of the violence. As many as 130 officers were injured and much of the city centre was choked by smoke as rioters set light to vehicles and rubbish bins.

Islamist threat

It isn’t just the far left who are represented in large numbers in Hamburg. City police claim there are 330 far-right extremists in the city and 640 Salafists, 310 of whom are considered potentially dangerous.

The BfV say that nationwide, both of these groups have grown in size and affinity for violence over the last 12 months.

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“We need to assume that more terror attacks by lone wolves or terror commandos could happen in Germany,” Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière said on Monday.

The city says that it won't be taking any chances at the G20, with soldiers, the navy and the air force supporting the police in securing the city. Authorities say they must protect leaders, some 10,000 delegates and almost 5,000 media workers from both the threat of a terrorist attack and violent street protests.

I am the daughter of the well-known Nigerian human rights activist Comrade Oladipo Ola-Oni. My family originated from Ibadan, Nigeria, and I have been living in Germany since 1992.

In Nigeria I was motivated by the way my best friend spoke the German language. It fascinated me. I developed so much affection for it that my dad applied for me to attend a higher education institution here.  I later came to Germany to study German language and social sciences.

Fortunately, I had a student visa. This made it easier for me to move around to discover things.

When things moved on, I worked for Delta Airlines.  But after a while I became a social worker at the Rathaus Berlin-Charlottenburg. I later worked at the Bavaria old people’s home, also in Berlin-Charlottenburg. But I stopped the job after getting married. I wanted enough time for my kids.

However, I later joined the theatre group Shakunle and performed the lead role in Atinuke-the Beauty Queen of Oyo Empire. Owing to its success, we performed in most theatres in Berlin. I was really inspired by this and also discovered my talent for educational choreography and stories.

So I wrote my own script, Tears of Blood. This is a play that was chosen and acted for the Black History Month 2008 at Kulturwerkstatt in Berlin. It depicts the horrible pain women had to go through to be circumcised and our aim was to protest against this practice.

I am the founder of the Afro Tan Edutainment group. It is a group that unites Black women and girls and we gather once a week to dance.

Generally, Germany is a country that provides the best opportunity so long as one can integrate into the system and speak the language. So far, I have enjoyed my stay in Germany because I have been able to implement my ideas as soon as I have been inspired to do so.

My general advice to most Africans is to aim higher than doing mostly odd jobs. They should try to learn the language and aspire to a better standard of living. They should try to visit tourist attractions with their kids. They need to plan and save to travel once a year round Europe with the family. This can help their state of mind.

A 41-year-old British man has requested asylum at Munich airport, saying that he no longer wanted to be a subject of the Queen, police reported on Friday.

After disembarking from his plane from Britain, the man told border police that he wanted to become a German. He explained that his life was in danger in the UK.

The reason he believed he faced persecution had nothing to do with political changes involved in Britain’s decision to leave the EU, but rather because he faced jail back home.

Police officers at the airport got in touch with their colleagues in London, who informed them that the man had been arrested over a fight in June and had been released on bail shortly after.
The officers gave the man the address of the Office for Migration and Refugees in Munich and sent him on his way.

Police in Hamburg have confirmed the arrest of a man on suspicion of killing at least one person and injuring four others in a supermarket in the city on Friday, July 28th, 2017.

Die Welt reports that the man entered the shop in the Barmbek district shortly after 3pm and attacked people at random with a knife, killing one and injuring four others. He then fled the scene, but witnesses gave chase and overpowered the man, who was slightly injured. He was arrested shortly afterwards.

“After the attack he fled from the shop. Eye witnesses followed him out and were able to inform the police. Shortly afterwards officers arrested the suspect on the street in the vicinity of the shop,” a police spokesperson told Die Welt.

Police report that one of the four injured people was hurt seriously.

German daily Bild published a picture of the attacker in the back of a police car with a white, blood-soaked bag over his head, and reported that he cried "Allahu Akbar" (God is Greatest) in the supermarket. The suspect has not yet been identified.

This account was not immediately confirmed by police.

"It was definitely a sole attacker. The first reports about a possible motive of a robbery have not been confirmed," Hamburg police tweeted.

One man, captured in the video below, told German media that he saw the man holding a knife and heard him shout "Allahu Akbar"

Police have blocked off the area, in the northeast of the port city, Germany's second largest and host of the G20 summit of world leaders in early July.

Anti-terror police have also been deployed to the scene, according to Bild.

High alert

Germany has been on high alert about the threat of a jihadist attack, especially since last December's truck rampage through a Berlin Christmas market that claimed 12 lives.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the carnage in which a Tunisian rejected asylum seeker and ex-convict, Anis Amri, 24, ploughed the stolen truck through a crowd.

It was Germany's deadliest attack by Islamic militants, but not the first.

In 2016, the Isis terror group also claimed a bomb attack in the southern city of Ansbach which wounded 15 people and killed the Syrian attacker, and an Afghan man's axe rampage on a train in Bavaria that wounded five, before the perpetrator was shot dead by police.

In both of these cases, the attackers had been asylum seekers. But prosecutors think they were radicalised in Germany and not deployed from abroad to commit the attacks, like the jihadists behind the November 2015 Paris attacks were.

Masked gangs roamed the streets of Hamburg burning cars and looting shops on Thursday and Friday. But many people are pointing the finger of blame at the police.
Since Thursday evening violent mobs have marched down Hamburg streets, smashing shop windows, and setting cars alight.

Video footage recorded on Friday morning showing smoke-filled streets strewn with burned out vehicles and smouldering debris led to inevitable comparisons with a war zone.
By Friday evening rioters had taken to plundering drug stores and supermarkets in the left-wing Schanzenviertel neighbourhood. The owner of one drug store estimated the damage to his premises in the hundreds of thousands of euros.

This is not the first time this type of destruction from left-wing demonstrators has been seen in Germany in recent years.

When the G8 summit was held at Heiligendamm in 2007, black bloc activists turned on police and left over 400 officers injured. A NATO summit held in Baden-Württemberg and France in 2009 was also accompanied by violence, with rioters setting fire to buildings and rubbish bins, and attacking private property.

In 2015, at a demonstration against the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, police were partially overwhelmed by the scale of the violence. As many as 130 officers were injured and much of the city centre was choked by smoke as rioters set light to vehicles and rubbish bins.

In other words, history tells us that the far left are fairly partial to smashing up things that do not belong to them.

But it is not only the black bloc, a loose grouping of anarchists associated with violence and rioting in Germany since the 1980s, that has been blamed for the destruction.

As soon as the violence began, politicians, journalists and members of the public started accusing the police and Hamburg city authorities of sharing the responsibility.

The Süddeustche Zeitung, one of the leading liberal newspapers in Germany, wrote that “it seemed like the police chiefs wanted a fight.”

Meanwhile Ulla Jelpke, a leading member of Die Linke (the Left Party), who attended Thursday’s “Welcome to Hell” demonstration, claimed that police were "clearly responsible" for the violence.

On Thursday evening police told around 1,000 masked marchers at the 12,000-strong Welcome to Hell demo to show their faces. When many of them refused, police intervened to try and separate them from the rest of the crowd, thus sparking the violent reactions.

In Germany it is illegal to cover your face at a protest. Looking at the pictures of marauding masked anarchists from the past 48 hours, it is not hard to see why.

The idea that city authorities were somehow ultimately culpable also seemed to be shared by many Hamburg residents.

The Local has spoken to several locals who said the city almost brought the vandalism and violence against police upon itself, due to the summit's location at the Hamburg Messe being right next to several areas notorious for the left-wing scene.

"The mayor is responsible. He should have thought about whether it was right to have the G20 in Hamburg," one man, whose shop window had been smashed in, said.

It is fair to say that if this level of violence had been carried out by the far right or Islamists, the other two main extremist groups in Germany, the response would have been very different.

Two ugly incidents that recently took place in Germany shed an interesting light on this hypocrisy.

In October last year Germany held annual reuinification celebrations in Dresden, a city associated with the far right. When Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived at the celebrations she was jeered by right-wing protesters, who shouted “get out” at her. Merkel is hated by the far-right in Germany for her liberal refugee policy.
The incident caused a public outcry, with liberal commentators wringing their hands over the backward politics that still prevails in Dresden and other parts of eastern Germany. No one dared suggest it was the fault of authorities for holding the celebrations in a right-wing city – that would have been as good as admitting the surrender of democratic values to a mob.

At the start of that year hundreds of women reported being sexually assaulted by groups of North African men in Cologne.

That time city authorities were widely criticized for how they dealt with the violence. Later investigations showed that the police were too thinly spread to be able to stop the crimes, which emerged from a group of around 2,000 men in the vicinity of the central train station.

But no one suggested that the police were responsible for the violence. There was a clear understanding that while the police may have failed in their duty to protect, when an individual commits a crime he or she carries the sole blame for their own actions.

When it comes to left-wing violence, however, the rules change. Of course, the reasons are obvious. The rioters take on the mantle of causes many liberals believe in.

But it is the duty of objective journalism to apply standards consistently. And the left in general only make themselves look stupid when they try and relativize violence that any sane person can see first and foremost hits innocent, uninvolved people.

A new report by consumer watchdog Stiftung Warentest shows that housing prices rose even more rapidly in 2016 than in recent years, posing a problem for people looking to buy a home.

On average, housing prices rose by seven percent between the beginning and end of 2016, an uptick in an upward trend in property costs witnessed over the past few years, the study released on Tuesday showed.

Stiftung Warentest researched housing prices in 115 German towns and cities and came to the conclusion that Berlin and Munich saw the biggest hikes in prices during 2016, at 11 percent each.

Overall, properties were most expensive in Munich, where a square metre of a well-equipped apartment in one of the city’s most desirable neighbourhoods cost on average €9,525 at the end of 2016. That meant that property buyers were paying close to €1 million for a 100-square-metre flat in a top location in the Bavarian capital.

By comparison, in Berlin a well-equipped apartment in a highly desirable location cost on average €5,550 per square metre at the end of 2016.

At the other end of the scale, a basically-equipped flat in an undesirable location in Munich cost €4,680 per square metre, meaning an outlay of close to half a million euros for a 100-square-metre apartment.

People buying property in Hamburg should also brace themselves for eye-watering prices. A well-equipped flat in a good location there cost on average €7,455 per square metre. Frankfurt was slightly more affordable, at €6,485 per square metre.

More and more economists are warning that the housing market in Germany is inflated, as low interest rates have encouraged people to borrow money on the cheap to invest in property, the report notes.

The German Federal Bank warns that housing prices in 2016 were between 15 and 30 percent overvalued. Meanwhile Harald Simons from the research institute Empirica said that “housing prices in the biggest cities have reached a level that simply can’t be justified anymore.”

“There is no sign of a turnaround in the trend yet. But anyone who is buying a home at the moment should take the critical voices seriously. If you buy at the current high prices, you are taking on the risk that the value of the property will drop, even if only temporarily,” Stiftung Warentest notes.

The report also looked into rental prices, and there wasn’t much good news on that front either - especially for residents of Munich.

Rents rose by 6.4 percent in Munich during 2016, followed by Berlin in second where new rental contracts were 6 percent higher at the end of the year than at the end of 2016.

The case is becoming more and more bizarre: An unknown killer kidnapped a West African prostitute who worked in Hamburg, dismembered the corpse and distributed the parts all over the city.

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Body parts of the lady appeared in the last few days in Hamburg waters. On Sunday, August 13th, 2017, divers discovered what supposedly is more pieces of the Lady from Equitorial Guinea but now it turns out these are not parts of the body.

A Police spokesman said "On Sunday afternoon, the police divers had allegedly again found corpses, which apparently came from the missing 48-year-old prostitute "Lucy".

Then In the evening the report from the medical team stated that the parts were not from the corpses of Lucy, according to a spokesman. The origin of the pieces have not been clarified. It is possible that they are "parts of an animal".

The investigation is still on going and the search for both the killer and the rest of Lucy's body parts are in progress.

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