Petition of the week: dim headlights, turn off music!

Grocery shopping is not much fun. For some, it’s pure stress – for autistic people, for example. Yet stores could do a lot about it.

For autistic people, supermarkets mean sensory overload; shopping usually ends with screaming, hitting, running away and knocking things over Photo: dpa

Katja Cragle’s four-year-old son Emil likes to go shopping. He often asks her about it. But shopping with him is not so easy. She always has to put him off or come up with excuses. Emil was diagnosed with autism last fall. "Taking him shopping basically ends in disaster," Cragle says over the phone. "It only takes about a minute, and he’s yelling, crying, hitting, knocking things over." The problem is supermarket sensory overload, which overwhelms people with autism: bright lights, too loud, too many people, too much clutter.

Constitutional court on “berlin advertising-free”: direct democracy sabotaged

There have been repeated complaints about the shameful handling of referendums. Now the Berlin Constitutional Court has read the Senate the riot act.

Advertising is everywhere in the city, usually far too much – but there is also some that is okay Photo: picture alliance/Paul Zinken/dpa

Stop your Sunday speeches about strengthening direct democracy! Stop pretending to value the engagement of your citizens!

Feature film “before the dawn”: the great powerlessness

Maria Schrader tells the love story between the exiled writer Stefan Zweig and Europe in a few exemplary excerpts.

Europe, where are you? Photo: X Verleih

You can almost smell the lush flowers on the dining table, around which servants scurry, busily polishing cutlery and straightening plates. Finally, the buzz of voices from the next room grows louder. The doors open and the gala dinner can begin.

New eu commission: european label swindle

Ursula von der Leyen has fulfilled too many wishes. Some of her candidates are completely unsuitable for the intended post.

Ursula von der Leyen presents her "dream team" Photo: ap

On paper, she looks good, the new EU Commission around Ursula von der Leyen. The first woman to head the powerful Brussels agency has fulfilled all the wishes EU leaders asked of her during the controversial nomination in July.

Dispute over broadcasting fees: culture war in saxony-anhalt

The fee dispute is not about 86 cents. The AfD and the right wing of the CDU want to weaken a supposedly left-green broadcasting.

Cover letter of the dispute Photo: Hendrik Schmidt/dpa

It’s not about the 86 cents. CDU Secretary General Paul Ziemiak is setting a false trail when he describes the coalition crisis in Saxony-Anhalt as a dispute over a "sober factual issue." What is really at stake was clearly stated in an interview by the ousted Interior Minister Holger Stahlknecht. The right wing of the state CDU is fighting back against the alleged moral apostasy of an intellectual, naturally left-green minority, against gender language and political correctness.

New album from beyonce: perfection makes you sick

The queen is back. Beyonce Knowles released an album last Friday – which has sold more than 828,000 copies so far.

Feminism and self-promotion: Beyonce at the Super Bowl in February 2013. image: dpa

Overnight, Beyonce Knowles released an album – without interviews, without promotion. The industry makes the product and we, the listeners, produce the hype for free. "Beyonce" sold 828,000 copies in the first three days.

Rescue plan for insects: “we must act now”.

More diversity in the fields and less pesticides: with this plan, more than 70 researchers want to save the insects.

This busy little bee is to be saved Photo: imago images /blickwinkel

Smaller arable land with more diversity and fewer pesticides: this is how more than 70 international researchers want to save insects. "It’s not too late, but we have to act now," explains Viola Clausnitzer, a scientist at the Senckenberg Museum of Natural History in Gorlitz.

Annoying wannabe environmentalists: the knights of the cloth bags

Facebook is to blame! Eco-hipsters – know-it-alls who think they’re the only ones protecting the environment. But they are one thing above all: opportunists.

Popular with eco-hipsters: cloth bags with imprints. Photo: imago/robert fishman

As a woman, you’re always confronted with slut-shaming. That’s when others are bothered by the fact that a woman gets involved in a relationship "too early," has one-night stands or – heaven forbid – wears skirts that are too short, and then they talk about it as if it’s none of anyone’s damn business. It’s a familiar story. A rather new and apparently very widespread variant of shaming in Berlin is eco-shaming.

Obituary of musician tony conrad: he loved long durations

Master of drones and flickering: U.S. musician, filmmaker and artist Tony Conrad is dead.

Always in a hat: multimedia artist Tony Conrad Photo: CC

He was a giant who liked to wear a hat on his head. His work is also gigantic, unparalleled in its versatility and effectiveness. Tony Conrad was a composer, musician, filmmaker, performance and video artist. His work oscillated effortlessly between highly academic work and experimental pop.

Nehm di nix vor, denn sleit di nix fehl: a terminal will come

Bremen Senate is not irritated by critical questions: The offshore terminal is to come. BUND wants to take legal action against port construction.

Components for the Alpha Ventus offshore wind farm being shipped. Photo: Ingo Wagner (dpa)

"Only an offshore terminal can justify the major intervention in nature," Green environmentalist Anne Schierenbeck stressed in the parliamentary debate on the planned offshore terminal in Bremerhaven (OTB). This must become a "port for renewable energies," she said. Of course there are risks, she said: "We all don’t know what the future holds," but it’s also clear: "The energy turnaround is coming, and the expansion is only just getting underway."