Taxpayers’ Alliance issues annual Black Book on local government spending
This year the Taxpayers’ Alliance (BdS) has focused on unprofitable businesses run by local governments in its annual Black Book of government waste – and found space to name and shame some of the biggest money sinkholes in Germany.
“Despite new tax income records, all levels of government complain about funding shortages,” Reiner Holznagel, president of the BdS wrote in the introduction to the book. “But the topic of waste plays no role at all.
330kg of heroin found in pickles
ESSEN. Police in North Rhine-Westphalia seized a truck containing 330kg of heroin being smuggled in with a 23-tonne shipment of pickled garlic and cucumbers, officials in Essen announced last Thursday.
Divided into 1.3 million doses, the heroin is estimated to have a street value of €50 million and is the biggest single haul of heroin in Germany to date.
The shipment was discovered on September 22 in a truck that had travelled to Germany from Iran.
Two Syrian brothers, aged 30 and 35, suspected of owning businesses that were fronts for the import of heroin into Germany, were arrested last month. Their information led to the arrest of a Dutch man in Belgium and the eventual seizure of the truck.
The Criminal Investigation Division (BKA) believe that a Syrian-Iraqi drug ring has been smuggling large volumes of heroin into Western Europe, hidden in vegetable shipments, for years.
Gunther Holtorf returns home following an epic 900,000 km journey around the globe
Gunther Holtorf left Bavaria in 1989 in his blue four-by-four Mercedes called Otto on an 18-month tour of Africa. Now, 26 years later, he has returned home after travelling 900,000 kilometres and visiting 215 countries.
Together with his fourth wife Christine whom Gunther met in 1989, the couple travelled for 22 years, often accompanied by Christine’s son Martin.
In 2010 shortly before Christine died of cancer she made Holtorf promise her that he would complete the world tour in her memory.
Holtorf can’t remember when the idea of travelling the world came to them, but they knew that they wanted to make it into the Guinness Book of Records.
They continued on through North America, Asia, Australia and all the countries of Europe. But places closer to home weren’t the main goal, Holtorf told Stern.