GA-English on Sunday

News briefs for Bonn and the region

Unwetter in Krefeld: Nach einer Unwetterfront mit Hagelschauern liegen Blätter und Hagelkörner auf der Straße und dem Seitenstreifen.

Debris in the street following storms with heavy hail in Krefeld.

BONN AND REGION. Saturday brought heavy thunderstorms to the region, security is increased at Cologne/Bonn airport as a precaution, Flixbus says it plans a carpooling service, and a Bonn IT security firm says computer security specialists are in short supply. The most popular names for babies in Bonn are also in this news brief on Sunday.

Heavy thunderstorms hit NRW

ESSEN. Heavy thunderstorms swept across NRW on Saturday.  In Düsseldorf, the "largest fair on the Rhine" had to shut down for some time. The fairgrounds were cleared out at around 3:30pm. "Safety comes first", said a fair spokesperson. The fair was opened again around 7 pm. On Saturday afternoon, the German Weather Service had issued storm warnings for large parts of North Rhine-Westphalia, indicating that severe damage to buildings was possible and that trees could become uprooted.

The Rhein-Sieg district and the districts of Ahrweiler and Neuwied experienced violent thunderstorms with heavy rain and hail.  Initially, there were no reports of any major damage. In Mönchengladbach, streets were flooded, roofs damaged or blown away, trees overturned and branches ripped off, as the city reported in the evening.  Some roads were impassable due to water accumulation. But tens of thousands of visitors to the music event "Parookaville" in Weeze on the Lower Rhine were lucky. Although it rained heavily at times, the concerts on the ten stages could take place without interruption until late afternoon.

(Orig. text: dpa / general-anzeiger-bonn.de)

 

Security stepped up at Cologne/Bonn airport after hole found in outer fence

COLOGNE. On Saturday morning, an airport security patrol discovered a hole in the north-western area of the outer fence of Cologne/Bonn Airport and immediately sealed it off again. Numerous safety measures were taken as a result.

All outgoing flights were checked manually before departures, which occasionally led to delays. The entire airport site was searched with sniffer dogs and helicopters, but nothing was found. In addition, the airport service was supported by officers of the Federal Police Cologne Central Station and customs officers. No unauthorized persons were found during the search, but the airport grounds are still under increased surveillance.

(Orig. text: general-anzeiger-bonn.de)

 

Flixbus to start carpool service

BERLIN. Flixbus wants to get a foot in the carpooling market. There are plans to launch “Flixcar” in Europe in 2020, as the transportation company Flixmobility announced. It is still unclear in which countries Flixcar will be used. The concept is that Flixmobility will manage an online platform where drivers can offer to take along riders when they have open spots in their cars.  The service is expected to be offered free of charge.

This means the transportation provider is once again expanding its range of offers. It started with long-distance bus trips and now also offers long-distance train trips on individual routes in Germany via the Flixtrain brand.

(Orig. text: dpa)

 

Bonn IT firm grows but laments lack of computer security specialists

BONN. When Waldemar Zgrzebski talks about his work, the word "security" is often used. It is not unusual for the Bonn-based IT systems firm Bechtle to receive calls when nothing is safe anymore, when hackers try to paralyze entire computer systems or steal secret data. The IT experts from Bonn jump in and try to save what can still be saved. “We are in a constant race against hackers," he says. Hacker attacks on companies have occurred millions of times in Germany, a few times it is espionage and often the hackers want ransom money.

Zgrzebski warns: "Spying on people on the internet is much easier than in person. People often don't even know who is on the internet with what intentions." It means that profits have gone up by 18.8 percent to 176 million euros for Bechtle.  It employs 402 people, including 28 trainees and 24 students and is present in 14 European countries.

But Zgrzebski says the "shortage of IT specialists on the labor market is the greatest obstacle to growth for both the Bonn-based company and the industry as a whole. We need more people to deal with digitization." Bechtle has been working with the Bonn/Rhine-Sieg University of Applied Sciences for years, helping out students who conduct research with the company, offering them scholarships or even jobs.

(Orig. text: Frank Rintelmann)

 

Most popular first names and marriage statistics in Bonn

BONN.  In the first half of 2019, the Bonn registry bureau recorded 589 marriages, 3,209 births and 2,426 deaths. Of the 3,209 babies, 3,140 were born in Bonn, 69 abroad. The city of Bonn released the information on Thursday.

Up to now, the most popular names for girls have been Marie (73), Sophie (47), Maria (34), Emilia (27), Charlotte (22) and Anna (20). For boys, the most popular names in the last six months have been Felix (35), Paul (31), Noah (24) as well as Alexander, Elias and Maximilian (23 each). 1,755 children received only one first name, 1,124 two first names, 157 three first names, and 11 children were notarized with more than three first names.

In the same period of time, 1,040 marriage applications were processed, 31 were same-sex marriages.  The most popular marriage month, as in the previous year, was June with 166 wedding ceremonies.

(Orig. text: Laura Hessler)

(Translations: ck)