People in the News
German-born internet millionaire Kim Dotcom is fighting to avoid a lengthy jail sentence in the United States.
Mr. Dotcom, born Kim Schmitz, is currently living in New Zealand and contesting extradition to the United States on charges of copyright infringement for the filesharing website he ran until 2012.
Earlier this year, a New Zealand court decided Mr. Dotcom should stand trial in the United States for copyright infringement, racketeering and money laundering. His site Megaupload offered cloud services, similar to Dropbox.
On Monday, the first day of the extradition appeal, Mr. Dotcom's lawyer called for live transmission to the court in New Zealand as that was the only way he could be assured a fair trial. He also said the case should be broadcast on YouTube because it is of public and international interest.
Mr. Dotcom, who is known for his media presence, posing by jets, yachts and luxury limos, may be looking at a dramatic change in lifestyle and years in prison if the court in New Zealand upholds the previous finding. Lawyers in the United States believe that Mr. Dotcom’s site led to the theft of files and loss of income for movie studios and music labels amounting to $500 million while enabling him to earn $175 million.
The appeal hearing started in Auckland on Monday and is expected to last eight weeks.
Stephan Patrick Tahy
The Italian Job
Stephen Patrick Tahy likely marked his new post at Italian appliance maker De'Longhi with a coffee. He is the new leader of the company's Germany business after leaving Mattel, the producer of Barbie dolls and other toys.
His job is to drive growth, and his time as a manager at Mattel may come in handy. De'Longhi is a family-owned business based in Treviso, Italy, that originally started out in 1902 as a maker of industrial parts. The company is now famous for its design and has won awards for its products which include the Artista Series espresso machines, the De'Longhi gelato maker and Pinguino portable air conditioner.
Mr. Tahy's predecessor Helmut Geltner made De'Longhi the market leader for fully automated coffee machines during his 14-year tenure as head of the business in Germany, despite tough competition from Jura and Philips.
Thanks to strong technology and competitive pricing, the Italian company powered ahead and acquired Braun from Procter & Gamble in 2012, a brand already strong in Germany.
Growth has now flattened out but Mr. Tahy believes in digital growth and he's ready to use other means including Facebook and Instagram. He also wants to build on the fact that cooking and healthy eating have become an established trend.
He's got more ideas up his sleeve, too, including a major ad campaign for Braun in a bid to win market share from Jura.
He’s settling in quickly at De'Longhi and at a recent Berlin trade fair he got right down to business, teaching a cookery course using the company’s own appliances.
Girl Charged in Hanover Stabbing
A 16-year-old girl has been charged with attempted murder after she stabbed a policeman in an attack motivated by Islamic State. She was also charged with committing grievous bodily harm and supporting a foreign terrorist group.
In February, the girl seriously wounded a policeman in Hanover’s main train station during a routine check before being stopped by another policeman.
According to prosecutors, the girl, a dual Moroccan-German citizen, was radicalized in 2015. She went to Istanbul in January and then made plans to travel to the part of Syria controlled by IS.
She was brought back to Germany by her mother but IS ordered her to carry out a martyrdom attack and she sought support in planning the act. She was 15 at the time.
A Syrian-German has been charged with knowing about her intentions but failing to report them.
Neapolitan Novels in German
The first of Elena Ferrante’s hugely successful series of novels about life in Naples is now available in German.
Ms. Ferrante is the author of many novels but the series of four describing two girls’ friendship in 1950s Naples shot her to fame.
Now, the first work in the series, “My Brilliant Friend,” is available in German. Her work is already translated into English, French, Dutch, Spanish and others and Time magazine voted her one of the 100 most influential people on the planet in 2016.
The other novels in the quartet include “The Story of a New Name,” ”Those Who Leave And Those Who Stay,” and “The Story of the Lost Child.”
The identity of the novelist however remains a mystery, as Elena Ferrante is a pseudonym. There has been some speculation that the author may be two people, or a man.
Some of Ms. Ferrante’s books have been made into movies, including “Days of Abandonment,” and “Nasty Love.” She has been nominated for the Man Booker International Prize and the Strega Prize, an Italian literary award.
Ms. Ferrante has said that "books, once they are written, have no need of their authors."