License reminder: Focus has an informative piece on German licenses. The EU wrote up a regulation (yeah, one of thousands)....that mandate that drivers licenses must have a period of issue and then be re-issued. For those who had a license issued before 1999....you have a four-year period to get yours updated. It appears that every fifteen years....you will have to update your German license now. It used to be....when you were issued one, it was good for eternity (folks with licenses going back to the 1930s were still good).
UK election: What you can generally say is that Labour did a lot better than people expected from 100 days ago. May (from the Conservative Party)? She might stay around but she's weaker than you'd think. May was simply a position-holder after Cameron and one might suspect that whoever comes after May....will only be there till the BREXIT episode is finished, and you get another election (20 months away probably). For Labour? There are still a fair number of old-time Labour voters who aren't that happy with Corbyn. At best, I think he's got two years left before the Party agrees to replace him.
Polling update in Germany: Long piece by ARD which talks on the Merkel gains. Most recent poll now puts FDP at 10-percent. It'll be a CDU-CSU-FDP coalition coming out of this election in September (most likely). Shocker is the amount of 'fall' that Schulz has seen since early January (SPD at 23-percent currently, and may fall to 20-percent).
Deportee report: ARD did a short report on the current number of asylum-application failures and those on the waiting list to deport. Current number projected by the government is at 62,000....spread across 16 states. Approximately 150,000 additional folks are on a list of 'toleration'....meaning there are issues or problems with their application or their deportee status (missing paperwork, lacking a passport, etc). The common countries from this group? Afghanistan, Russia, India, and Pakistan. The one interesting tidbit in this report is the last paragraph.....a commercial company is paid as a consultant now for BamF (the immigration agency). Reason for the hiring? This goes back to two years ago and the lack of innovation or bulky processes that the BamF folks were accepting as 'normal'. This commercial company is paid for their services to analyze and suggest improvement.
Upgraded cop equipment: Various states in Germany are in the process of improving cop equipment. This BR report centers on Bavarian upgrades.....new vests and helmets for the cops. The one negative is that it's almost 20 kg (44 lbs). For 160 lb cops....this will be a serious issue wearing them. My guess is that it'll remain in the trunk of each car unless a situation arises where they need them.