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Ultra-fit Brit sets Berlin race record

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Ultra runner Mark Perkins – the fastest man round the 160km courseBritish runner Mark Perkins, set a new record for an ultramarathon that traces the 160 kilometres (100 miles) along which the Berlin Wall once stood, organisers said on Sunday.

Perkins crossed the finish line in just 13 hours, six minutes and 52 seconds – nearly three hours better than the last best time.

Some 300 runners from around the world took part in the event blending extreme sport and historic pilgrimage, which this year marked 25 years since the Wall was torn down.

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Giant Lenin head reported missing

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Weighing in at 3.5 tons, the head of the Lenin statue that once was a focal point in East Berlin has been reported missingWhere is the 3.5-ton head of former Russian leader Vladimir Lenin? That’s the question Berliners are asking this week. The answer? Lost in a forest, apparently. 

The giant head, made of Ukrainian red granite, was part of a statue that stood some 62 feet tall in East Berlin’s Lenin Square before it was broken into 129 pieces and buried in a forest after the fall of the Soviet Union. It was to be a focal point of an exhibition in Berlin next year.

Due to open next spring, ‘Unveiled. Berlin and its Monuments’ will incorporate 100 original exhibits dating to the era of the Kaiser’s Empire, the Weimar Republic, the National Socialist period and the former East Germany.

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‘Ghost drivers’ warning system planned

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GN-GD1Forewarned is forearmed in a country with no speed limits on some autobahns, where errant drivers often race in the wrong direction. The government says it will fit an electronic alert system on dangerous stretches of the Autobahn.

Last year, 2,200 so-called ghost drivers (Geisterfahrer) did just this, causing road accidents in which 22 people died, according to the German automobile association ADAC.

The Transport Ministry is now selecting an electronic system that will warn drivers through visual and acoustic means of an imminent threat, the Passauer Neue Press newspaper reported on Monday.

Variants are currently being tested on a digital mock-up highway before the ministry announces its choice later in the year, a spokesman told the paper.

He did not specify the exact functions of the system or its anticipated cost, but it will replace the existing countermeasures which are plain yellow signs telling errant drivers “Stop – Wrong”.

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