Kafkas Diasporasi http://kafkasdiasporasi.com/ Fri, 08 Oct 2021 21:52:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 http://kafkasdiasporasi.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/kafkas-diasporasi-icon-150x150.png Kafkas Diasporasi http://kafkasdiasporasi.com/ 32 32 Mara Fuchs; Volleying between Deutschland and Monticello | Sports http://kafkasdiasporasi.com/mara-fuchs-volleying-between-deutschland-and-monticello-sports/ http://kafkasdiasporasi.com/mara-fuchs-volleying-between-deutschland-and-monticello-sports/#respond Fri, 08 Oct 2021 21:52:00 +0000 http://kafkasdiasporasi.com/mara-fuchs-volleying-between-deutschland-and-monticello-sports/

German foreign student Mara Fuchs did not know her destination was Monticello, MN until she arrived.

She had wanted to come from abroad for a long time. She studied abroad for three years with her family at the age of nine. After that, she always wanted to go to another English speaking country. She chose America because she always saw movies about it and wanted to see what the spirit of high school was all about.

Last December she had her first meetings and filled out all her paperwork in the spring and after that it was just a game of waiting until Fuchs could find a foster family.

During a physical education class in Germany, she finally got the call: “I’ve been waiting for about two or three months. During my physical education lesson in Germany, I received an email saying that we had your host family and that I was like panicking. I was screaming at everyone, ”Fuchs said.

She didn’t know where she was going because she just wanted to make sure she had a good host family rather than choosing any state in the United States to stay.

Fuchs is a big fan of winter, so she was happy to arrive in the land of 10,000 lakes, known for its winters and snowy weather.

She video chatted with her foster family a few times before meeting them, and then flew on September 2 from Frankfurt to Chicago and Chicago to Minneapolis.

The international student struggled a bit to make the transition to the US at first, as many do, but has settled in well. She was nervous at first and felt overwhelmed the first few days.

“I went to Costco and was like oh wow, this store is so big, okay,” Fuchs said.

After that however, the excitement started to set in and felt better in a daily setting.

“It’s really good,” Fuchs said. “When you start making friends and they start inviting you to do things, it gets a lot easier,” she added.

One thing that helps is the lack of a language barrier as Fuchs speaks English. Fuchs cited Germany’s strong language program at the school as an explanation of why she is able to speak English effectively.

She also likes the difference in schools between Germany and Minnesota and thinks the school here is pretty cool because it feels like part of the Monticello community.

“In Germany, it’s just school. There is only the learning part and you do all your activities outside of school in clubs. Here, everything is very concentrated in the school. I like it because you have a more sense of community. You kind of identify with the school you’re from, so that’s really cool. And of course you have different sports that we don’t have, like soccer. We don’t have big football matches where everyone comes, ”Fuchs explained.

When you go to school abroad, it is mentioned that it will be like a roller coaster throughout the stay. You arrive and there is a feeling of excitement and then you realize that you have been away from home for a while. Then you feel like you’re on your feet again as you enjoy the time spent, and then come back down as you get ready to leave because you don’t want to.

Fuchs says that she’s still happy to be here, but that she’s starting to feel the first downward slope of being a bit homesick.

Her foster family, Mark and Kelli LaVoie, were great in helping her not to feel alone. Living with the LaVoie family has been an enjoyable experience as Fuchs continues to get to know the community. She also made friends who recently took her on a trip to Top Golf.

In Germany, Fuchs played field hockey and tennis and plays tennis for the Magic here in Monticello. She is very happy to play tennis here in Monticello. It was her very first tennis practice on her first day at school after arriving the day before.

Tennis is a little different here in Minnesota than in Germany. In Germany there are only four players in the children’s sections and six for the adults and you play both singles and doubles. Here there are four singles players, then six doubles players, so you don’t play both like you do in Germany.

In Germany they only play around four or five matches in their season and they also play on a different pitch. Monticello has a hard court while in Germany they play on red ash pitches. The courts there you can slide a lot more and you can’t do that much on the hard courts so you have to run a little more, something that Fuchs had to change a bit in his game when he got there.

Otherwise, technically speaking, everything else is pretty much the same. The notable difference that Fuchs explained was that here tennis players are taught a jump serve, which is not something she was taught in Germany.

While she’s nervous about the potential difference in competitive level, she’s settled down quite well playing mostly second doubles with teammate Katelyn Lindberg and is happy to play at college level.

Although she has played both singles and doubles in Germany, she says she is a team player and therefore enjoys playing doubles with Lindberg.

This pair played a key role in Monticello’s first-round sectional playoff against Robbinsdale Armstrong. With the teams tied 3-3, it was Fuchs and Lindberg who took the win by winning their match 7-5, 4-6, 6-2, which moved them to the next round against Orono.

Head tennis coach Katy Horgen really enjoys having Fuchs with him too, “Mara is a wonderful kid,” said Horgen. “She is a motivated, hard-working tennis player. It has been fun watching her get more aggressive at net this season, ”added Horgen.

She ended by saying: “Mara has added a competitive advantage to our team because she outperforms her opponents. It has been fun getting to know her and watching her grow as a tennis player.

She misses German cuisine, especially bread and other traditional German dishes, but she is also excited about the holidays ahead. They don’t have Thanksgiving and they celebrate Christmas a day earlier. Halloween is also not as important in Germany as it is in the United States.

Having played field hockey in Germany, Fuchs plans to try lacrosse in the spring because of their similarities, even though it’s a junior college, just so she can have that experience.

“I would love to play lacrosse in the spring because I think it’s kind of like tactics and stuff like that in field hockey and just because it’s not really big in Germany either, just to experience, ”Fuchs said.

She enjoys living in Monticello and looks forward to the rest of her time in the city before returning to Germany in a few months.

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Landmark global corporate tax deal finally finds agreement http://kafkasdiasporasi.com/landmark-global-corporate-tax-deal-finally-finds-agreement/ http://kafkasdiasporasi.com/landmark-global-corporate-tax-deal-finally-finds-agreement/#respond Fri, 08 Oct 2021 19:18:00 +0000 http://kafkasdiasporasi.com/landmark-global-corporate-tax-deal-finally-finds-agreement/
  • The deal will even be a playground for American workers – Biden
  • Ireland, Estonia and Hungary drop opposition to deal
  • Global deal ensures large corporations pay 15% minimum tax rate

PARIS, October 8 (Reuters) – A group of 136 countries on Friday set a minimum global tax rate of 15% for large corporations and sought to make it harder for them to avoid tax in a landmark deal which, according to US President Joe Biden, leveled the playing field.

The deal aims to end a four-decade “race to the bottom” by setting a floor for countries that have sought to attract investment and jobs by taxing multinational companies lightly, allowing them to seek lower rates. low taxation.

Negotiations have been going on for four years and while the costs of the coronavirus pandemic have given them added momentum in recent months, a deal was not reached until Ireland, Estonia and Hungary dropped their opposition and have registered.

In addition, the agreed 15% floor is well below a corporate tax rate that averages around 23.5% in industrialized countries.

“The establishment, for the first time in history, of a strong global minimum tax will finally be a level playing field for American workers and taxpayers, as well as the rest of the world,” Biden said in a statement.

The deal aims to prevent large companies from making profits in low-tax countries like Ireland regardless of where their customers are located, an issue that has become increasingly urgent with the growth of businesses. giants of “Big Tech” who can easily do business across borders.

Of the 140 countries involved, 136 supported the agreement, with Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan and Sri Lanka abstaining for now.

The Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which is leading the talks, said the deal would cover 90% of the global economy.

“We have taken another important step towards more tax justice,” German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said in a statement sent to Reuters.

“We now have a clear path to a fairer tax system, where the world’s big players pay their fair share wherever they do business,” said his British counterpart Rishi Sunak.

But with the ink barely dry, some countries were already worried about the deal’s implementation.

Switzerland’s finance ministry demanded in a statement that the interests of small economies be taken into account and said the implementation date of 2023 was impossible, while Poland, which worries about the impact on foreign investors said she would continue to work on the deal.


At the heart of the deal is a minimum corporate tax rate of 15% and allows governments to tax a larger share of the profits of foreign multinationals. Read more

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen hailed it as a victory for American families as well as international businesses.

“We have turned tireless negotiations into decades of increased prosperity – both for America and for the world. Today’s agreement represents a unique achievement for economic diplomacy,” Yellen said in a statement.

The OECD said the minimum rate would allow countries to collect around $ 150 billion in new income per year, while taxing rights on more than $ 125 billion in profits would shift to countries where large multinationals earn. their income.

Ireland, Estonia and Hungary, all low-tax countries, dropped their objections this week as a compromise emerged on a minimum rate deduction for multinationals with actual physical business activities abroad.

Reuters Charts


But some developing countries seeking a higher minimum tax rate say their interest was set aside to meet the interests of richer countries like Ireland, which had refused to sign a deal with a rate. minimum tax greater than 15%.

Argentina’s Economy Minister Martin Guzman said on Thursday that the proposals forced developing countries to choose between “something bad and something worse.”

While Kenya, Nigeria and Sri Lanka did not back a previous version of the deal, Pakistan’s abstention came as a surprise, an official briefed on the talks said. India also had qualms until the last minute, but ultimately backed the deal, they added.

There was also discontent among some campaign groups such as Oxfam who said the deal would not end tax havens.

“The tax devil is in the details, including a complex web of exemptions,” said Susana Ruiz, Oxfam’s tax policy officer.

“At the last minute, a colossal 10-year grace period was applied to the 15% global corporation tax, and further loopholes leave it virtually bite-free,” Ruiz added in a statement.

Companies with real assets and a payroll in a country can ensure that a portion of their income avoids the new minimum tax rate. The level of the exemption decreases over a 10-year period.

The OECD said the deal would then be submitted to the Group of 20 economic powers for formal approval at a meeting of finance ministers in Washington on October 13, and then at a summit of G20 leaders at the end of the year. months in Rome for final approval. .

Questions remain about the position of the United States, which depends in part on negotiations on national tax reform in Congress.

Countries that back the deal are supposed to put it in their law books next year so it can go into effect from 2023, which many officials say is extremely strict.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Paris would use its presidency of the European Union in the first half of 2022 to translate the deal into law in the bloc of 27 countries.

Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Additional reporting by Christian Kraemer in Berlin, Elizabeth Piper and Mark John in London and David Lawder in Washington; Editing by Catherine Evans and Alexander Smith

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Bertelsmann: The Blue Sofa returns live in Hall 3.1 for the Frankfurt Book Fair http://kafkasdiasporasi.com/bertelsmann-the-blue-sofa-returns-live-in-hall-3-1-for-the-frankfurt-book-fair/ http://kafkasdiasporasi.com/bertelsmann-the-blue-sofa-returns-live-in-hall-3-1-for-the-frankfurt-book-fair/#respond Fri, 08 Oct 2021 08:22:11 +0000 http://kafkasdiasporasi.com/bertelsmann-the-blue-sofa-returns-live-in-hall-3-1-for-the-frankfurt-book-fair/

Press release | Frankfurt am Main, 08/10/2021

The Blue Sofa returns live in Hall 3.1 for the Frankfurt Book Fair

Famous Authors: Tsitsi Dangarembga, Peace Prize Laureate, Elke Heidenreich, Roland Kaiser, Carolin Kebekus, Sven Regener, Sasha Marianna Salzmann, Edgar Selge, Alvaro Soler, Sönke Wortmann and many more

After the last three book fairs had to be moved from Leipzig and Frankfurt to the internet due to the pandemic, the motto of the Frankfurt Book Fair 2021 is “Re: connect – Welcome back to Frankfurt”. A varied program and elaborate hygiene concepts are designed to make literature once again a living experience.

Big subjects, big names and news on the Blue Sofa

The Blue Sofa hosted by Bertelsmann, ZDF, Deutschlandfunk Kultur and 3sat is also returning to its usual location in exhibition hall 3.1. H + D 23 with a vast live program. With a lineup of 61 writers, the Authors’ Forum offers a wide range of events for all listening and reading tastes. Those who stay at home can watch all of the lectures live from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily during the five days of the fair (Wednesday October 20 to Sunday October 24, 2021).

Literary figures such as Julia Franck, Daniela Krien, Gert Loschütz, Eva Menasse, Fridolin Schley, Daniel Schreiber, Emine Sevgi Özdamar and Sasha Marianna Salzmann meet popular non-fiction writers such as Peter Wohlleben, Per Leo, Steffen Mau, Armin Nassehi and Uwe Wittstock. Well-known comedians, including Carolin Kebekus, Florian Schroeder, and Bülent Ceylon and famous authors such as Elke Heidenreich, Sönke Wortmann, Edgar Selge, Sven Regener, Roland Kaiser, Alvaro Soler, Annabelle Mandeng and the extreme german sailor Boris Hermann will also take place on the famous literary sofa.

Likewise, a number of laureates will once again be seated on the blue sofa at this year’s show: the current Peace Prize winner Tsitsi Dangarembga, the winner of the German Book Prize and the finalists of the Swiss Book Prize. The Aspekte Literature Prize will be awarded live on the Blue Sofa at 11 a.m. on Thursday, October 21.

Hot topics are discussed daily in the “Die Blaue Stunde” (L’Heure Bleue) discussion format: Wednesdays, Daniela schwarzer,Martin klingst, and Joachim scholtyseck explain how transatlantic relations are evolving. Thusday, Beate Küpper, professor of social work, Klaus Zierer, school education teacher and historian MaltaThiessen talk about their vision of society in times of coronavirus. Friday, Ursula Weidenfeld, Ralph Bollmann, and Stephane Lamby discuss “Germany after Merkel”. And on Saturday, Mona Ameziane, Annabelle Mandeng, and Dilek Güngör answer the question “How do you write about identity?” ” After, Tanja Weber, Eberhard Michaely and Up to Raether talk about murder and other crimes at the age-old “Krimi-SpeedDating” (crime speed dating) event. In the Sunday Causeries, international authors will focus on literature: representing the motto of the host country Canada “Puralité singulière – Singulier Pluriel”, Indigenous author and journalist Paul Seesequasis, the French-speaking writer Catherine mavrikakis and the English-speaking poet MichaelCrummy will talk about their latest works which have been translated into German. Then the finalists of the Swiss Book PrizeVeronika Sutter, Thomas Duarte and Michel Hugentobler will make an appearance on the blue sofa.

What does the blue sofa mean and what do the books look like?

In the run-up to the Frankfurt Book Fair, Bertelsmann interviewed around 80 renowned and newcomer authors about their current work, their favorite books, the meaning of the blue sofa, and the “sound” they most associate with their latest. works.

While for Tsitsi Dangarembga, a place on the Blue Sofa is a “welcome recognition of my work”, for Klaus Pohl it is “a place in paradise”. Mikael krogerus and Roman Tschäppeler state that this is the only place “where you can sit down”. Elke Heidenreich, a literary expert, considers a couch “ultimately still the best place to read.” Steffen Mau likes to “talk about books in order to read books”, and for Sasha Marianna Salzmann, it’s a call to, “Wear your best hoodie!” ” Jan Feddersen characterizes the iconic sofa as “the place to be” because “it will once again be the smartest place to be in the book fair”. Only to Sönke Wortmann, which has not yet debuted on the Blue Sofa, does that mean “nothing yet – but that could change soon …”.

Literature and music grow together in newsletters and podcasts: authors talk and write to their favorite music, and musicians recommend books. So, in anticipation of the Frankfurt Book Fair, the question was: what does the soundtrack of this autumn book look like? Bertelsmann asked some 80 authors what song they have in mind when they think of their latest books. Interviewees cited a wide range of music, from Richard Wagner to Benny Goodman, which the Blue Sofa team compiled into a six-and-a-half-hour playlist. To hear the sound of “Das Blaue Sofa | Sound zur # FBM21”, those interested can access the playlist on Spotify and YouTube Music.

The responses of all the authors interviewed are worth reading and can be found on the Instagram channel das_blaue_sofa and on the author pages of das-blaue-sofa.de.

The Blue Sofa live at Open Books in Frankfurt

For ten years, the traditional opening of the Open Books reading festival has taken place on the eve of the fair with a literary gala on the Blue Sofa – including the first public appearance of the winner of the German Book Prize. Besides, Gert Loschütz, Sasha Marianna Salzmann, and By Lion are expected at the Open Books event on the iconic sofa. (October 19, 2021 | German National Library | from 8:00 p.m.)

The blue sofa on TV, radio and online

  • Book lovers and readers can participate in the livestream at das-blaue-sofa.de.

  • Daily on Deutschlandfunk Kultur (radio) and online at: das-blaue-sofa.de, dasblauesofa.zdf.de, deutschlandfunkkultur.de and 3sat.de/buchmesse.

  • On Deutschlandfunk Kultur, listen to a wide selection of “Das Blaue Sofa” conversations on Sunday, October 24, from 12:00 am to 7:00 am

  • On Sunday 24 October from 11:30 am, 3sat will broadcast a 90-minute summary of the interventions of the Frankfurt Book Fair 2021, under the title “Das Blaue Sofa”.

  • ZDF will broadcast “The Long Night of the Blue Sofa” for three hours on Sunday, October 24, from 12:35 am (after midnight)

About Bertelsmann
Bertelsmann is a media, services and education company operating in approximately 50 countries around the world. It includes broadcaster RTL Group, trade book publisher Penguin Random House, magazine publisher Gruner + Jahr, music company BMG, service provider Arvato, Bertelsmann Printing Group, Bertelsmann Education Group and Bertelsmann Investments. , an international network of funds. The company has around 130,000 employees and generated sales of 17.3 billion euros in fiscal year 2020. Bertelsmann is synonymous with creativity and entrepreneurship. This combination promotes first-class multimedia content and innovative service solutions that inspire customers around the world. Bertelsmann aspires to achieve climate neutrality by 2030. In 2021, Bertelsmann commemorates the 100th birthday of Reinhard Mohn, founder of the Group after the war and long-time Chairman and CEO.

About the blue sofa
The Blue Sofa is the authors’ forum jointly organized by Bertelsmann, ZDF, Deutschlandfunk Kultur and 3sat. It became an institution at the Frankfurt and Leipzig book fairs. The Blue Sofa Berlin celebrated its premiere in 2005. In 2011, the Frankfurt Open Books Reading Festival opened for the first time with a Blue Sofa Authors’ Gala. Since the Leipzig Book Fair in 2000, the Blue Sofa has served as the setting for more than 3,000 conversations with authors including Nobel Prize winners Svetlana Alexievich, Mikhail Gorbachev, Günter Grass, Herta Müller, Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard, Orhan Pamuk, Joseph Stiglitz, Olga Tokarczuk, Mario Vargas Llosa and Mo Yan.

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Bertelsmann SE & Co KGaA published this content on 08 October 2021 and is solely responsible for the information it contains. Distributed by Public, unedited and unmodified, on 08 October 2021 08:21:06 AM UTC.

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Tanzanian Abdulrazak Gurnah receives the Nobel Prize for Literature http://kafkasdiasporasi.com/tanzanian-abdulrazak-gurnah-receives-the-nobel-prize-for-literature/ http://kafkasdiasporasi.com/tanzanian-abdulrazak-gurnah-receives-the-nobel-prize-for-literature/#respond Thu, 07 Oct 2021 14:36:00 +0000 http://kafkasdiasporasi.com/tanzanian-abdulrazak-gurnah-receives-the-nobel-prize-for-literature/

STOCKHOLM (AP) – UK-based Tanzanian writer Abdulrazak Gurnah, whose experience of crossing continents and cultures has fed his novels on the impact of migration on individuals and societies, won on Thursday the Nobel Prize for Literature.

The Swedish Academy said the award was in recognition of Gurnah’s “uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the plight of the refugee.”

Gurnah, who recently retired as professor of postcolonial literatures at the University of Kent, got the call from the Swedish Academy in the kitchen of his home in the south-east of England – and has at first thought it was a prank.

He said he was “surprised and humbled” by the price.

Gurnah said the themes of migration and displacement he explored “are things that are with us every day” – even more now than when he came to Britain in the 1960s.

“People are dying, people are injured all over the world. We have to deal with these issues in the kindest way, ”he said.

“It is still dark that the Academy has chosen to highlight these themes which are present throughout my work, it is important to approach them and talk about them.”

Born in 1948 on the island of Zanzibar, now part of Tanzania, Gurnah moved to Britain as a teenage refugee in 1968, fleeing a repressive regime that persecuted the Arab-Muslim community to which he belonged.

He said he “stumbled upon” writing after arriving in England as a way to explore both loss and liberation from the emigrant experience.

Gurnah is the author of 10 novels, including “Memory of Departure”, “Pilgrims Way”, “Paradise” – shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1994 – “By the Sea”, “Desertion” and “Afterlives”. Many of his works explore what he called “one of the stories of our time”: the profound impact of migration on both uprooted people and the places where they settle.

Gurnah, whose mother tongue is Swahili but who writes in English, is only the sixth African-born author to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature, dominated by European and North American writers since his founding in 1901.

Nigerian writer Wole Soyinka, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986, welcomed Africa’s last Nobel Laureate as proof that “the arts – and literature in particular – are booming, a strong flag waved above the depressing realities “in” a continent in permanent work.

Anders Olsson, chairman of the Nobel Committee for Literature, called Gurnah “one of the world’s foremost postcolonial writers”.

“His work gives us a vivid and very precise picture of another Africa less known to many readers, a coastal area in and around the Indian Ocean marked by slavery and changing forms of repression under different regimes and powers. colonial: Portuguese, Indian, Arabs, Germans and British, ”said Olsson.

He said that the characters in Gurnah “find themselves in the chasm between cultures … between the life left behind and the life to come, confronting racism and prejudice, but also forcing themselves to silence the truth or reinvent a biography. to avoid any conflict with reality “.

Luca Prono said on the British Council website that in Gurnah’s work “identity is a matter of constant change”. The scholar said that the characters in Gurnah “disrupt the fixed identities of the people they meet in the environments to which they migrate.”

News of the award was greeted with enthusiasm in Zanzibar, where many remembered Gurnah and her family – although few actually read her books.

Gurnah’s books are not compulsory to read in schools there and “are hardly available,” said local Education Minister Simai Mohammed Said, whose wife is Gurnah’s niece. But, he added, “a son from Zanzibar brought so much pride.”

“The reaction is fantastic. Many are happy but many do not know him, although the young people are proud that he is Zanzibar, ”said Farid Himid, who described himself as a local historian whose father had taught the Quran to young Gurnah. “I haven’t had the chance to read any of his books, but my family has mentioned them.”

Gurnah didn’t travel to Zanzibar often, he said, but he suddenly became the topic of conversation for young people in the semi-autonomous island region.

“And a lot of older people are very, very happy. Me too, as Zanzibar. It’s a new step in getting people to re-read books, since the Internet has taken over.

The prestigious award is accompanied by a gold medal and 10 million Swedish kronor (over $ 1.14 million). The money comes from a bequest left by the creator of the prize, the Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel, who died in 1895.

Last year’s prize went to American poet Louise Glück. Glück was a popular choice after several years of controversy. In 2018, the award was postponed after allegations of sexual abuse rocked the Swedish Academy, the secret body that chooses the winners. The awarding of the 2019 prize to Austrian writer Peter Handke sparked protests because of his strong support for the Serbs during the Balkan wars of the 1990s.

On Monday, the Nobel Committee awarded the Physiology or Medicine Prize to Americans David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian for their findings on how the human body perceives temperature and touch it.

The Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded Tuesday to three scientists whose work has tidied up an apparent mess, helping to explain and predict the complex forces of nature, including expanding our understanding of climate change.

Benjamin List and David WC MacMillan were named Nobel laureates in chemistry on Wednesday for finding a simpler and greener way to build molecules that can be used to make compounds, including drugs and pesticides.

Still to come are awards for outstanding work in the fields of peace and economics.


Lawless reported from London and Anna from Nairobi, Kenya. Associated Press editors Danica Kirka in London, Chinedu Asadu in Lagos, Nigeria. and Frank Jordans in Berlin contributed to it.


Read more articles on past and present Nobel Prizes from The Associated Press at https://www.apnews.com/NobelPrizes

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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DeepMind becomes profitable and more involved in Google business – TechTalks http://kafkasdiasporasi.com/deepmind-becomes-profitable-and-more-involved-in-google-business-techtalks/ http://kafkasdiasporasi.com/deepmind-becomes-profitable-and-more-involved-in-google-business-techtalks/#respond Thu, 07 Oct 2021 13:00:00 +0000 http://kafkasdiasporasi.com/deepmind-becomes-profitable-and-more-involved-in-google-business-techtalks/

This article is part of our series exploring the business of artificial intelligence

DeepMind, the UK-based AI lab that seeks to develop general artificial intelligence, has finally become profitable, according to the company’s latest financial report.

Since its acquisition by Google (now Alphabet Inc.) in 2014, DeepMind has struggled to break even with its growing spending. And now, he’s finally giving his parent company and shareholders encouraging signs that he’s earned his place among Alphabet’s constellation of profitable businesses.

This could be wonderful news for the AI ​​lab, which has bled significant amounts of money throughout its life.

But the financial report is also surrounded by vagueness that suggests that while DeepMind did find its way to profitability, it did so in a way that makes it inextricably linked to Google’s products and business model.

A turnover multiplied by three

DeepMind 2016-2020 results
Profits from DeepMind (2016-2020)

According to the DeepMind file, he raked in £ 826million in revenue in 2020, more than three times the £ 265million deposited in 2019. Over the same period, his spending increased slightly to $ 717million. from £ 780 million. The company ended the year with a profit of £ 44million, compared to a loss of £ 477million in 2019.

The dossier does not provide many details on DeepMind’s sources of revenue, except for a paragraph that says: “The company generates revenue through a service agreement with another company in the group for the provision of services. research and development. “

DeepMind does not sell products or services directly to consumers and businesses. Its customers are Alphabet and its subsidiaries. It is not clear which of DeepMind’s companies caused the increase in its revenues.

A source who spoke to CNBC said that DeepMind’s sudden increase in revenue could be “creative accounting.” Basically, this means that, since Alphabet and its subsidiaries are the only customers of DeepMind, it could arbitrarily change the price of its services to make it appear as if it is becoming profitable. DeepMind has not commented on the claim.

Sell ​​reinforcement learning

deep reinforcement learning

DeepMind’s main area of ​​interest is deep reinforcement learning, a branch of machine learning that is very useful in scientific research. DeepMind and other AI labs have used Deep RL to master complicated games, train robotic hands, predict protein structures, and simulate autonomous driving. Scientists at DeepMind believe that advances in reinforcement learning will eventually lead to the development of AGI.

But research on deep reinforcement learning is also very expensive, and its commercial applications are limited. Unlike other deep learning systems, such as image classifiers and speech recognition systems, which can be directly ported and integrated into new applications, deep reinforcement learning models often need to be trained. in the environment where they will be used. This imposes technical and financial costs that many organizations cannot afford.

Another problem is that the type of research DeepMind is engaged in does not directly translate into profitable business models. Take, for example, AlphaStar, the reinforcement learning system that mastered the real-time strategy game StarCraft 2. It’s an impressive scientific feat costing millions of dollars (which was likely subsidized by Google, which owns vast cloud computing resources). But it has little use in applied AI without being reused (to the tune of millions more).

Alphabet has adapted DeepMind’s RL technology in some of its operations, such as reducing power consumption in Google’s data centers and developing technology from Waymo, Alphabet’s autonomous driving company. But while we don’t know the details of how the technology is applied, I guess Alphabet is outsourcing some of its applied AI tasks to DeepMind rather than integrating the technology from the AI ​​lab directly into it. his products.

In fact, a separate division of DeepMind is engaged in applied AI projects for Google and Alphabet, but this effort is not directly related to the AGI research carried out by the main laboratory DeepMind.

The costs of AI talent and research

artificial intelligence reproducing the human brain

As big tech companies like Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple show interest in deep learning, hiring AI talent has become an arms race that has driven researchers’ salaries up. Top AI researchers can easily earn seven-figure salaries at large tech companies, making it difficult for academic institutions and nonprofit research labs to retain their talent.

In 2020, DeepMind paid £ 467million in personnel costs, almost two-thirds of its total expenses. The company has around 1,000 employees, a small percentage of which are highly paid scientists, researchers and engineers.

The rising costs of AI research and talent will present DeepMind with heightened challenges as it moves forward. It will depend on Google to fund its operations and subsidize the costs of its research.

Meanwhile, as a subsidiary of a publicly traded company, it will be scrutinized to determine the profitability of its technology. And for now, its only source of profit is Alphabet, so it will become more and more dependent on the purchase of its services by Google. This in turn may push DeepMind to direct its research into areas that can quickly turn into profitable businesses, which is not necessarily in line with its scientific goals.

For a company that pursues the long-term dream of general artificial intelligence and whose stated mission is to “advance science and benefit mankind,” the distractions of short-term profits and additional gains can be sidelined. ‘prove to be harmful.

The closest example I can find for the job that companies like DeepMind and its near-rival OpenAI are is Bell Labs, AT&T’s former research group. Bell Labs was a subsidiary of a very large for-profit company, but its work was unrelated to next quarter profit targets or shareholder incentives. Although generously rewarded for their work, its scientists were motivated by scientific curiosity, not money. They were looking for foundational ideas that pushed the boundaries of science, creating innovations that would not pay off for years and decades to come. And that’s how Bell Labs became the birthplace of some of the ideas and technologies that changed the twentieth century, including transistors, satellites, lasers, fiber optics, cell phones, and information theory. . Bell Labs had the freedom to discover and innovate.

For now, Alphabet has proven to be a patient owner of DeepMind. He gave up £ 1.1bn debt in 2019 and helped DeepMind report positive profits in 2020. It remains to be seen whether Alphabet will remain generous and true to DeepMind’s mission for the long term – and it does. is a long term. But if Alphabet’s patience runs out, DeepMind will find itself without clients, without funding, and without fierce competition from tech giants who will want to poach its talented scientists to achieve fundamentally different goals.

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Latest updates: Pfizer seeks US approval to use Covid jab on children aged 5 to 12 http://kafkasdiasporasi.com/latest-updates-pfizer-seeks-us-approval-to-use-covid-jab-on-children-aged-5-to-12/ http://kafkasdiasporasi.com/latest-updates-pfizer-seeks-us-approval-to-use-covid-jab-on-children-aged-5-to-12/#respond Thu, 07 Oct 2021 12:45:52 +0000 http://kafkasdiasporasi.com/latest-updates-pfizer-seeks-us-approval-to-use-covid-jab-on-children-aged-5-to-12/

UK house prices recorded the biggest monthly increase in more than 14 years in September as stamp duty cuts ended as the ‘race for space’ pushed buyers to look beyond from London.

Average home prices rose 1.7 percent last month from August, the fastest monthly gain since February 2007, according to data from mortgage provider Halifax.

Compared to the same month last year, house prices rose 7.4%, an acceleration from 7.2% the month before, pushing the average home to just over 267,500 £, the highest on record.

September’s price spike “shows that the pandemic boom is still alive and well,” said Jonathan Hopper, managing director of Garrington Property Finders.

The end of the stamp duty holidays in England and homebuyers’ desire to close deals quickly may have played a role in those numbers, said Russell Galley, chief executive of Halifax.

The rapid rise reflects other factors, as most of the mortgages agreed in September would not have been concluded before the tax break expires, he added.

From October, the thresholds at which buyers in England and Northern Ireland could avoid paying stamp duty will drop from £ 250,000 to £ 125,000, the level before July 2020, when the tax holiday was cut. introduced to stimulate the housing market after the first nationwide foreclosure. Until July 1, the threshold was £ 500,000.

“The ‘space race’ as people changed their preferences and lifestyle choices has undoubtedly had a major impact,” said Galley. Apartment prices rose 6.1%, compared to 8.9% for semi-detached properties and 8.8% for single-family homes.

Greater London remains the outlier, growing only 1% annually, and was once again the only region or nation to record a drop in house prices in the last rolling three-month period.

“The driving force [of the price rise] Now are the old-fashioned market fundamentals and the chronic imbalance of supply and demand, ”Hopper said.

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Germany moves closer to government led by Scholz – Expat Guide to Germany http://kafkasdiasporasi.com/germany-moves-closer-to-government-led-by-scholz-expat-guide-to-germany/ http://kafkasdiasporasi.com/germany-moves-closer-to-government-led-by-scholz-expat-guide-to-germany/#respond Thu, 07 Oct 2021 10:46:24 +0000 http://kafkasdiasporasi.com/germany-moves-closer-to-government-led-by-scholz-expat-guide-to-germany/

Germany has moved closer to a government led by Olaf Scholz after the Greens and the liberal FDP party announced on Wednesday that they would attempt a three-way rapprochement with its Social Democrats while avoiding Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives .

The two-party ruling brings the CDU-CSU bloc closer to the opposition, a major change for the country after 16 years of Merkel’s center-right government.

The political upheaval in Europe’s largest economy was sparked by the September 26 general election which Scholz’s party won with 25.7%, followed by Merkel’s CDU-CSU alliance with 24.1%.

For either party to lead the next German government, it would need the support of the center-left Greens and the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP), who placed third and fourth.

“The voters gave us the mandate to build a government together,” Scholz told reporters.

The first three-way talks between the SPD, the FDP and the Greens will take place on Thursday.

Besieged CDU leader Armin Laschet, who led the Tories to their worst election result ever, insisted he still had a chance at the top job.

The Tories “respect the decision” of the two kingmaking parties, Laschet said, but added that the CDU-CSU is “still ready to hold talks”.

Markus Soeder, who heads the CDU’s sister party CSU, gave a darker assessment, saying the possibility of a CDU-CSU government was essentially “rejected”.

The conservative bloc must now prepare for a stint in the opposition after four coalitions led by Merkel, he said.

“It will change our country,” Soeder said.

Recent surveys suggest that most Germans want Scholz, who is also finance minister and vice-chancellor, to become the next leader of Europe’s biggest economy.

– ‘Building bridges’ –

Green co-leader Annalena Baerbock said that after preliminary talks with the SPD and CDU-CSU, the Greens “felt it made sense” to focus on a Social Democrat-led rapprochement.

Baerbock said Germany faced “great challenges” and needed a “fresh start”.

“This country cannot afford a long standstill,” she said.

FDP leader Christian Lindner said his party had accepted the Greens’ proposal to move quickly to formal exploratory coalition talks with the SPD.

There would be “no side talks” with the Conservatives, he said.

The Greens and the FDP are not natural allies, differing on key issues such as taxation, climate protection and public spending.

But both parties have said they want to “build bridges” to govern.

All parties are anxious to avoid a repeat of the consequences of the 2017 election, when the FDP dramatically withdrew from coalition talks with the Tories and Greens and it took months for a new government is taking shape.

– “It is not done” –

A rapprochement of the SPD, the Greens and the FDP, which would be a first in Germany, has been dubbed a constellation of “traffic lights” after the red, green and yellow colors of the parties.

Green co-leader Robert Habeck said while the party shared some commonalities with the Conservatives, there were also “important differences”.

Informal talks over the past few days have revealed “more overlap” with the social democrats, he said, notably on climate protection, social justice and European integration.

Wednesday’s developments are likely to put more pressure on Laschet, whose political future is at stake.

Goof-prone Laschet, once seen as a shoo-in for the chancellery, has fallen out of favor with voters after being caught laughing during a tribute to victims of the deadly floods in Germany in July.

The FDP, however, threw a lifeline to Laschet by suggesting that the Tories were still in the running if the “traffic light” talks failed.

Lindner of the FDP said that a coalition with the CDU-CSU and the Greens – dubbed the “Jamaica” alliance because the party colors match that country’s flag – “remains a viable option for us”.

The FDP once served as a junior partner in a conservative-led government, and they share an aversion to tax hikes, red tape, and a loosening of tough German debt rules.

Habeck des Verts also warned that “nothing is done yet”.

Merkel herself is retiring from politics, although she will remain on an interim basis throughout the coalition bargaining.

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More and more routes but little knowledge about http://kafkasdiasporasi.com/more-and-more-routes-but-little-knowledge-about/ http://kafkasdiasporasi.com/more-and-more-routes-but-little-knowledge-about/#respond Thu, 07 Oct 2021 02:03:23 +0000 http://kafkasdiasporasi.com/more-and-more-routes-but-little-knowledge-about/

image: Research on traffic accidents currently focuses mainly on carnivorous mammals, ungulates, marsupials and turtles.
seen Following

Credits: Pixabay

In their meta-study, Spanish scientists reviewed more than a thousand studies on the effects of road networks on wildlife. They found that existing data is limited to high-income countries and only a few species groups, while particularly species-rich regions such as Southeast Asia, South America, and Africa central are barely covered. In addition, the species spectrum is shown here only in a fragmentary way. 90 percent of the data covers large mammals, mainly bears, deer and antelopes, but also kangaroos, koalas and turtles. Only two percent of the species recorded were those considered threatened by trafficking in the IUCN Red List.

The rapid expansion of road networks poses major challenges for wildlife: on the one hand, many animals die directly from being struck by vehicles, and on the other hand, roads fragment the territory. For many species, this creates impassable barriers that make successful reproduction difficult.

In order to be able to introduce protective measures, it is important to complete the hitherto incomplete picture. Unstudied species such as primates, bats and invertebrates, which are also known to be affected by road networks, should be further considered in monitoring. The proportion of Red List species among those examined is still too low to understand the effect of road networks on threatened species. In addition, this infrastructure is developed to varying degrees in countries with different economic strengths. This makes it difficult to compare studies internationally.

“In order to fill knowledge gaps, future research, rather than being limited to recording wildlife-vehicle collisions, should examine how road mortality affects population dynamics,” suggests the first author, Dr Rafael Barrientos, postdoctoral researcher at UCM. “Additionally, more research needs to be done to determine whether the lack of connectivity and mitigation measures, such as green bridges, are affecting the survival of the population along the roads.”

The latest author, Professor Henrique Pereira, head of the “Biodiversity and Conservation” research group at iDiv and MLU, also sees a strong need to catch up: “Until now, the literature has been dominated by studies. empirical studies of animal mortality hot spots on roads. , but little attention has been paid to the systematic assessment of the contribution of roads to the high risk of species extinction. Now is the time to move beyond these empirical studies and use population models to assess the impact of roads on the risk of species extinction so that mitigation measures can target the species most. affected. “

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of any press releases posted on EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information via the EurekAlert system.

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Faces of the working class http://kafkasdiasporasi.com/faces-of-the-working-class/ http://kafkasdiasporasi.com/faces-of-the-working-class/#respond Thu, 07 Oct 2021 01:59:23 +0000 http://kafkasdiasporasi.com/faces-of-the-working-class/

The Light of Roses Gallery in Montreuil exhibits an exceptional collection of photographs brought together by the duo at the head of the place. Marion and Philippe Jacquier have collected over the past fifteen years touching images that show the common people working in factories at the dawn of the 20th century.

The black face of a “galibot” – nickname given to the young workers who once went down to the coal mines – these starving children portrayed in Germinal, these foremen with hard eyes who stretched themselves on endless chains of work … The photographs gathered by Marion and Philippe Jacquier shows to what extent these beings were exposed to the monsters of the machinery of yesteryear, to hostile bosses, such as “good enough to do everything”, “cheap brick” to use the words of a poem Aragonese.

But all of them have an attitude which gives off something strong, interesting or disturbing and which reminds us of the splendor of a face, this “place of the body where the personality is lodged, this most unique and irreplaceable part of the body. . “As the two founders of the gallery write and who add further:” The worker wears the marks of the work on his face, but at the same time his face, by its singularity and its mystery, constantly turns away from those -this. who wants to reduce it to an object. “

Indeed, as they explain in the presentation text of the exhibition, the workers were first photographed for the sole purpose of promoting the factory, to be used for advertising as decided by management. They probably did not have access to these images afterwards and were certainly not very autonomous in their poses. It was not until the end of the first half of the twentieth century that the use of photography became more democratic and that some workers themselves produced images, sometimes of their immediate environment, sometimes of strikes in which they participated, in particular with the rise of the Popular Front.

Small people

Exhibiting these images resonates today as a rehabilitation through history where once despised beings find a form of recognition. This is notably the work of the Lumière des Roses Gallery, which scans the archives of the world to find singular photographs, with evanescent and forgotten poetry, and to recount worlds of the past that have been underestimated by the official narrative. As was the case during the Rencontres de la photographie in Arles in 2019 where Marion and Philippe Jacquier designed an exhibition devoted to vagrants, the small people of Paris driven out by the rise in rents and forced to live on the fringes of the capital in unsanitary conditions. slums.

Faced with time, in the light of the past century, only the essential remains: the singularity of each expression that says something profound about man. As Baptiste mimics it in the film Les Enfants du Paradis, on the most destitute who can only afford seats very high up in the theater, the spectators furthest from the stage: “They are very small, but they have many big dreams ”.

Jean-Baptiste Gauvin

Faces of the working class

photographs 1880-1940

Exhibition from October 13, 2021 to January 29, 2022

Opening on the weekend of October 9 to 10, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Light of Roses Gallery

12-14 rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau 93100 Montreuil

Tel 01 48 70 02 02 – mob 06 11 49 52 27

Wednesday to Saturday 2 pm-7pm


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Catholics debate same-sex marriage and the priesthood. http://kafkasdiasporasi.com/catholics-debate-same-sex-marriage-and-the-priesthood/ http://kafkasdiasporasi.com/catholics-debate-same-sex-marriage-and-the-priesthood/#respond Wed, 06 Oct 2021 19:17:00 +0000 http://kafkasdiasporasi.com/catholics-debate-same-sex-marriage-and-the-priesthood/

Ahead of a landmark meeting of 230 Catholic leaders and lay people in Germany last week, Renardo Schlegelmilch, editor-in-chief of the country’s largest Catholic radio station, tried to reassure anxious conservatives and dampen the hopes of aspiring reformers in the country. ‘church. Big ideas for debate – same-sex marriage, ordination of women, married priests – had sparked speculation that the German Catholic Church was on the verge of going rogue.

“So will Germany really abolish celibacy and ordain women priests?” No, of course not, ”he wrote on September 17 in the National Catholic Reporter. “And no one who goes through the process thinks that. … Some say that Germany must pave the way for a progressive church – and do it on its own in the worst case. However, for the most part, opinions will not win the majority.

“To be honest, I’m pessimistic here,” he added. “The factions have their strongest opinions. … All they can agree on will be a compromise that will seem calming to everyone involved but will not change anything in the long run.

After the meeting, Schlegelmilch admitted that he may have underestimated how eager his fellow Catholics were to disrupt the status quo. “I wrote that all the fears that there is a schism, that people are trying to fundamentally change the church, didn’t really have any roots in reality,” he said in an interview on Monday. . “But this week we saw that out of the 200 delegates, there were only 25 to 30 who voted against these ideas, ideas like letting the people of the diocese elect the bishop.

The assembly was part of what is called the “Synodal Path,” a bottom-up, multi-year process to examine issues in the church across the country. For three days, participants sat in non-hierarchical alphabetical order to discuss 13 proposed documents. Last week’s forum was one of five to deal with hot topics: power structures, sexual morality, the modern priesthood, and the role of women in the church. The German bishops promised the public that the whole affair would end with a series of “binding” votes.

None of these votes have yet taken place. But so far the tone of the discussion – and the votes to move some proposals to the next step – indicated more openness to radical change than many observers expected. The most surprising moment came when a slim majority voted to discuss, as one critical conservative publication put it, “whether the priesthood is really necessary.”

For many conservative Catholics, the German situation is proof of the danger of Pope Francis’ liberalizing pontificate and the logical end of his reform efforts: a seizure of power by the “radical progressives” who so despise tradition and doctrine that ‘they church the most key elements of his identity. For many progressives, this experimental process – and the wave of similar processes about to start in churches around the world – is their great hope of saving a deeply damaged institution.

In 2018, the Catholic Church in Germany released an explosive report that detailed thousands of cases of abuse and cover-up over the decades. In a country where Catholicism still exerts a profound influence on culture and society, the news hit particularly hard. (The report was one of the worst in Europe at the time; on Tuesday, a major investigation into the French church found that the country’s clergy had sexually assaulted some 330,000 children over the past 70 years.) Critics quickly rallied around the handling of the allegations. in the diocese of Cologne, in particular.

It was this crisis that prompted the German bishops to launch the “Synodal Way”, grasping the official support of the Pope to the concept of Church-wide debate. (Money also comes into play: In Germany, Catholics pay a mandatory tax on the church, which makes the church rich enough to invest resources in structures like these.) According to David Gibson, director of the church. Center on Religion and Culture at Fordham University, the German church is acting at an unusually good time for disgruntled Catholics to speak out. “This ‘fortress Catholicism’ promoted by John Paul II brought nothing but scandal and defections,” said Gibson. “So this is a really risky strategy, but one worth adopting.”

Although he made this spirit of open and free discussion a special emphasis of his pontificate, it has long been rumored that Francis privately laments how things are going in Germany. (Francis recently put a damper on some of this speculation: “I wouldn’t be too tragic,” Francois said in a Sept. 1 interview in which he admitted he found the Germans’ style disturbing. “He didn’t. there is no ill will in many bishops I have spoken with. ”) In 2019, Francis wrote a letter to German Catholics congratulating them on their courage but warning them against letting politics take over of the process. “When you allow Catholics to come together and debate things openly, that is not how the Catholic Church likes to run things,” said Gibson, who also said Francis knows and accepts them. risks. “It’s going to be a tough race. When there is such pent-up frustration in the church for so long, there is a danger in allowing those frustrations to express itself.

In March, in a move seen as a warning to the German church that is pushing the boundaries, the Pope decreed that Catholic clergy cannot bless same-sex marriages. Two months later, more than a hundred Catholic churches across the country responded in a coordinated protest by blessing same-sex couples, often in front of cameras. According to Schlegelmilch, American Catholics would probably not understand how out of step German Catholics feel from Rome on this issue. “In every city I’ve been to this year, rainbow flags were flying over churches,” he said. An international outcry ensued; conservative commentators in the United States have said the Germans are already “in schism” with the Church. (The term schism is often presented as a sort of bogeyman, Gibson said, but the historical resonance of Martin Luther and the Reformation gives this warning a real advantage to international observers.)

Impatience towards Francis worsened with his handling of the abuse crisis in Cologne. At the end of September, just days before the start of the assembly, the Vatican announced that it would allow the Archbishop of Cologne, accused of having mismanaged the abuse crisis, to resume his duties after a sabbatical leave. To calm the air before the assembly began, the bishops allotted an hour for the laity to discuss – and express their anger – the decision, even while the Archbishop was in the room.

The Catholic Church in Germany is still in a difficult position. If the “synodal path” is too careful, Catholic homosexuals, victims of abuse and young people crucial to the future of the church will give up hope of finding a place there. If they act too boldly, they risk finding themselves face to face with the Vatican and plunging the world church into yet another crisis.

According to Schlegelmilch, there are three options, none of which will change the church enough to appease the most disillusioned worshipers. One possibility is that the progressives will win the vote, but the Vatican and local conservative bishops will not implement the changes, making it “a lot of time, money, spent for nothing.” Another option is for the Conservatives to win the votes, ending all changes, with a similar result. But he thinks the most likely outcome is that the combined Germans find a compromise that won’t change much. He is waiting to see if it is possible to find, by consensus, reforms dramatic enough to quell some of the worst anger, but not dramatic enough to frighten the Vatican with threats of schism.

Many disenchanted Germans have already armed themselves for a resurgence of the status quo. Recommendations that only address local issues are unlikely to raise eyebrows; those who question the structural rules of the church (married priests) or actual doctrine (same-sex marriages or female priests) should be forwarded as an official request to the Vatican, which might just shut things down. So, unless the Germans want to break up and form their own church (they don’t), they face the limits of working within a monarchical system.

And there is also opposition in Germany. “Some German bishops fear that this will lead the Church to heresy in Germany,” said Thomas Rausch, professor emeritus of Catholic theology at Loyola Marymount University. Conservative critics expressed fears that participants will “abuse” the sexual abuse crisis to push for the most radical proposals possible. And even those who support the reforms balk at the most controversial measures. According to Schlegelmilch, shortly after the vote to discuss the priesthood, the conference president gave a press conference reframing it as an opportunity to “positively recall the reasoning once again why and where the position of the priestly ministry is in the midst of the people of God. “

But many others remain hopeful, in part because church leaders have taken the time to listen to controversial opinions and bold ideas for reform, something few Catholics are used to. The chairman of the conference, Bishop Georg Bätzing of Limburg, concluded the week’s work with a note of optimism. “Texts were debated which are not just texts but dreams put into words about how we want to change the church in Germany: a participatory church, just for the gender and walking on this path with the people of God “, did he declare.

Katharina Westerhorstmann, a theology professor at the Franciscan University of Steubenville who participated in the synod process, seemed to recognize the conflicting thoughts with which many walked away: a feeling that things were spinning a little out of control, but an appreciation for a church trying, really, to do something new. She expressed concern about going too far too fast without proper deliberation, but even then she said she was always ready to be convinced. “In the history of the church there have always been times when we have had to make strong decisions,” she said. “And if the time is right for massive changes, I’ll be open to follow, of course. But I want to be convinced that it is in fact the Lord who is calling us.