Summer break has begun in Germany. Wherever you are, enjoy your time in the sun! In case you’re stuck inside (or using a handheld device instead of just relaxing in the park), here are some links:
- One of my favorite web comics has an episode on how to reform voting disctricts; it involves strict rules, is based on incentives and public scrutiny, and leaves little room for corruption.
- The forecasting competition in which I take part (Good Judgment Project) is about to kick off season 3. I plan to cover the next steps here on the blog, in particular because I have now been promoted to “super forecaster” status. Please consider reading part 1 and part 2 of my coverage so far.
- Edward Snowden’s fate is still undecided and the news about U.S./UK surveillance will probably keep going. For Germany, there is a new angle to the whole story in the aftermath of interior minister Friedrich’s visit to Washington: “many were critical of his trip, saying he was given little information and came across like an obedient school boy” (SPIEGEL).
- Friedrich is now under fire for suggesting that several terrorist attacks on German soil have been avoided thanks to PRISM; a statement that was not backed up by facts. He also neatly summarized the ‘let’s give up civil liberties for counter-terrorism’ logic: “The noble intention of saving lives in Germany justifies working with our American friends and partners …” (my translation; via law blog)
- Chancellor Merkel, on the other, is extremely careful not to say anything at all in her recent interviews on the topic.
- Speaking of domestic politics: Our colleagues at Hertie School have set up a very promising blog covering the German federal election. We will try to get in touch with them and address some more foreign policy issues here!