Quote of the day
A bright star
Stephen Hawking, the world-famous theoretical physicist who inspired generations with his musings on the universe and his ability to overcome personal adversity, died early Wednesday. Mr. Hawking was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a neuromuscular wasting disease, in 1963, and though the disease eventually paralysed him almost completely, it did nothing to stop him from pioneering research on gravity and black holes. In 2007, he took part in a zero-gravity flight in part, he said, "to show that people need not be limited by physical handicaps as long as they are not disabled in spirit.”
Person of the day
The long coronation
Angela Merkel was sworn in for her fourth term as chancellor today, nearly six months after elections. In a Bundestag vote this morning, 364 parliamentarians voted in favor of Ms. Merkel while 315 voted against her. She begins her term in a weakened position following historically poor election results for both her own conservative union and her center-left SPD coalition partners. In a press conference on Monday, Ms. Merkel emphasized the need to secure European borders and address migration, an issue which propelled the rise of the far right in the last election. Source:
Graph of the day
In the fast lane
China has become the most important automobile market in the world, with the annual number of new cars sold in China having tripled over the last decade alone. Over the same period, Europe's market shrank slightly. Already, one out of every four new cars produced in the world is made in China, in part by German and US companies working with Chinese manufacturers. Chinese customers buy about one-third of all cars sold by German companies, and that fraction promises to grow further as new car sales in the country are projected to continue to rise steeply.
Number of the day
Not a good deal for everyone
A deal between utility giants RWE and E.ON promises to remake Germany's energy sector, but not everyone is happy about it. The plan to break up the renewables and energy retail group Innogy, currently owned by RWE, and split the assets will mean the elimination of up to 5,000 jobs. Union officials have demanded that the cutbacks be implemented in a socially responsible fashion without enforced redundancies.