Article on the question as to the extent to which German armed forces should be allowed to become involved in dealing with the Iraq disaster.
The sufferings of the Sahara hostages.
Sahara hostages - is the German government susceptible to blackmail having bought the freedom of the hostages?
"No One Was Elected"
Interview with US Senator Richard Lugar about the situation in Iraq and the development of German-American relations:
"If the United States puts itself in a situation like the one in Iraq, then it must be clear that apart from combat troops we also need forces to handle the subsequent administration and guarantee the governability of the country. We weren't prepared for that, and certainly not for the fact that life is now being made so difficult for us there. ... Of course we hope that we can transfer part of the burden onto Iraqi shoulders as soon as possible, but we cannot count on that. Our 146,000 soldiers will certainly have to remain in the country for many months to come. ... I'm an old internationalist, you know. That's why I would welcome it if Chancellor Gerhard Schröder were to suggest a division of labour at his forthcoming meeting with George W. Bush: we Europeans will finish off the business in the Balkans, and remain involved in Afghanistan in the context of Nato. Meanwhile you set Iraq straight."
"The Americans Are Terrible"
Interview with Sheikh Naji Jabara al-Jaburi about the US occupying regime:
"The Americans show no consideration at all for laws and traditions. They break into our houses, smash doors, rummage through our wives' bedrooms. ... No one knows where Saddam is hiding. But certainly not here in this region which he feuded with. I think he's still somewhere near Baghdad. ...This so-called governing council doesn't speak for Iraq. Many of its members have come out of exile and are former thieves, highwaymen and swindlers with criminal records, who are now pushing their way into high positions. I don't know anyone who supports this club."
"Triangle of Terror"
Iraq: Attacks, assaults and raids - Baghdad is sinking in a swamp of chaos, every day the city is slipping out of the control of the US soldiers a little more. The attack on the United Nations gives terrorism on the Tigris a new quality: not just US soldiers, all Western foreigners are becoming targets. Baghdad is a city under siege, gunfire and explosions can be heard all the time. American patrols and tanks rush hectically through the metropolis on the Tigris. Plunderers and criminals add to the fear. Robberies take place in broad daylight in Tahrir Square, in the middle of the town, or on Saadun Boulevard. Every day the occupying powers suffer further losses, through attacks or accidents. Convoys, always accompanied by two Apache helicopters, move around as if in enemy terrain. This is depressingly reminiscent of the Soviet occupation in Afghanistan, an adventure in the Hindukush which ended after ten years, having cost 15,000 lives.
"Attacking through the Middle"
Brazil: In the face of increasing resistance, President Lula seems determined to free up the reform bottleneck in this country - a tightrope walk between the demands of the markets, and those of the poorest of the poor. His greatest political asset is his personal background, with which particularly the poorest are able to identify. It is his openness, his style of embracing and giving friendly punches, his humour and his compassion, which holds together the people, and as yet turns everyone he meets into a fan.
"Winning Makes You Stupid"
SPIEGEL in-depth interview with Günter Grass, 75, about the war in Iraq and the way his generation was shaped by World War II, about the erotic side of literature and his latest collection of lyrical poetry 'Letzte Tänze' (Last Dances):
"'Letzte Tänze' is in the plural. Once in a while, there's still a dance. At my age, the end is foreseeable. ... People born in 1927, like me, were still drafted into the army. ... Certainly the experience of the war and the end of the war were far-reaching for us, they dictated the subject matter to us more than to others. ... In the immediate post-war years, there was a craze for dancing, which people nowadays are unable to understand. It passed over easily into the erotic, though it didn't go very far. Not like the young people nowadays. The pill changed a lot. Back then it didn't go beyond wishing. ... It isn't nice to see how a large, overpowering country, has not learnt from its few defeats, such as the Vietnam War. And this lack of willingness to learn is certainly a reason why it is unable to react to current crises other than in the way we have just experienced. ... I have quite a deep distrust for autobiographies. If I saw a way of telling mine in variations, so to say, that would perhaps be appealing. But I actually prefer autobiographical matter in the encoded form of fiction, of a novel. 'Letzte Tänze' too contains a piece of my biography."
"Different from Day One"
SPIEGEL in-depth interview with English psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen about the difference between the female and the male brain, the influence of testosterone in the uterus, and autism as an extreme form of masculinity:
"Men think in systems, women grasp the world through empathy, in other words the art of putting yourself in the position of others. They do this because their brains are already programmed differently in the womb. For this reason I call the typical male brain an S brain, the typical female brain an E brain. ... The more testosterone that is present in a foetus's organism, the faster its right hemisphere develops at the expense of the left one. This could be a reason why girls usually start talking at a younger age, while boys more often suffer from speech disorders. ... We should assume that people have different abilities and accept this. If a person is more interested in technical systems, that does not mean he is inferior to someone else who forges a lot of social contacts. Both of them are full of interest - in different areas."
German capital: The construction of Berlin's Holocaust memorial has at last begun - and already the long controversial project is becoming a tourist attraction, though the disputes over it continue to rage. And it is indeed true that the years of passionate debate as to whether the genocide against the Jews could actually be represented in a suitable aesthetic form, let alone in the form of a monumental memorial in the heart of the capital, could give the impression that the debate itself was the true memorial: critical debate as a memorial to itself. The memorial with its 2753 stelae and its subterranean "Place of Information" is to be ceremoniously inaugurated on 8 May 2005, the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Nazi Germany.
"Fear of the Data Hiccup"
Physics: Measurements of time are getting out of step because the earth is turning more and more slowly - experts are already warning against turmoil in stock exchange computers and autopilots. Fortunately, physicists have long developed far more accurate clocks. They measure the radiation of caesium atoms, in which time ticks over with ruthless uniformity.
"Phoning in the Shower"
Clocks: In Japan, wristwatches are being turned into portable minicomputers - now you can even carry a mobile phone around your wrist. The Japanese with their passion for technology have been just waiting for the futuristic wristwatch-phone made by watchmaker Seiko for NTT Docomo, Nippon's largest mobile phone operator. It weighs 113 grams, looks like a rather bulky sports watch, and is called "Wristomo".
"Air as a Loudspeaker"
High-fidelity: Music and language which only seem to be produced in the head of the listener - a US physicist has built a device which projects sound waves to a pinpoint, like a spotlight. The eerie machine could revolutionise sound in cinemas, cars and concert halls. This creepy high-tech phenomenon is made possible by a technical trick which defeated Japanese acoustics experts in the 1980s, and which has so far been considered impossible to implement: a black disk contains small flat loudspeakers which emit ultrasound at precisely calculated frequencies. This itself is not audible to the human ear, but the ultrasound moves the air so violently that a sound is produced. This sound is only audible to listeners within a narrow beam, barely a meter wide.
Cars: Volkswagen is presenting the Golf V, its eternal rival Opel the new Astra - the companies' engineers are vying with each other for the best road-holding properties.