BONN---Dismantling a cardinal principle of postwar Germany's protection of
individual privacy, Parliaraent on Friday approved a law that would permit
the police to bug private homes for the first time since the Nazi era.
Previously, the authorities were able to tap telephones in exceptional
circumstances relating to crime and terrorism, officials at the Justice
Ministry said, and to use listening devices to monitor such emergencies as
hostage-taking. But the constitution guaranteed the inviolability of
private hornes from all forms of eavesdropping including long-range or
concealed electronic devices.
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BERLIN—Perhaps no other Western democracy is as highly regulated as
Germany. The nation's voluminous legal code prescribes socially acceptable
norms for almost every aspect of life. There are laws that dictate what
names you may bestow on your children, what kind of waste you are allowed
to produce and how much per week, and what times of the day you are
permitted to wash the car or mow the lawn.
But when it comes to controlling behavior that may jeopardize public health
and safety, German laws can be curiously lax. Foreigners are often amazed
by the absence of speed limits on freeways, where a frenzied parade of
Porsche, MercedesBenz and BMW automobiles roar recklessly down the pike at
speeds of 150 mph. The antispeedlimit lobby proudly trumpets the slogan,
"Freie Fahrt fur Freie Buerger," which roughly translates as "Full Speed
Ahead for Free People."
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Indictments near for former E. Germany coaches, doctors who gave drugs to
By PAUL GEITNER Associated Press
HAMBURG, Germany She was 5 years old when she learned to swim, and won
her first competition a year later. Then came the special sport school, and
later the candy boxes filled with brightly colored pills instead of
"Every athlete had his box, with his name on it, and these tablets were
inside, a small handful," recalled former East German swimmer Catherine
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by Sheryl Oring 12:09pm 25.Aug.97.PDT Last year, Petra Namyslo and a
few friends tossed around an idea: They wanted to organize a
demonstration for the legalization of marijuana.
"We met each other at the Hemp Museum [in Berlin],"
said Namyslo, a 42yearold former secretary. "We
built the museum up together and we decided to try
this too, to try to join people together from all
Last week, in a oneroom office in a workingclass neighborhood of
eastern Berlin, Namyslo and three others hammered out final logistics
for an event they called the Hemp Parade. No one knew quite what to
expect. More than 100 market spaces had been leased, Namyslo said
with a bit of surprise. But who knew how many people would show?
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LUXEMBURG. The government of the Grand Duchy wants to relax its
hitherto strict punishment for drug consumers, according to the
Minister of Justice Marc Fischbach und the Minister of Health Johny
Lahure yesterday. The proposal states that in the future consumers of
soft drugs will only receive a fine of up to 5000 Marks instead of a
prison sentence. Whoever consumes hard drugs is, however, still
threatened with jail, but the maximum sentence of three years is to
be reduced to one year. It is also new that harmreduction measures
such as needle exchange and methadoneprograms will receive a legal
basis for the first time. Further planned as pilot projects are both
"Fixerstuben" and the controlled distribution of heroin to heavily
addicted persons. The present drug law is already 24 years old and
recently has been increasingly criticized.