Full 1594888078 artwork

Studio Berlin

"Studio Berlin" is KCRW Berlin's weekly current affairs show delving into recent events and how they affect people in Germany's capital and beyond. Once a week, hosts Sumi Somaskanda and Sylvia Cunningham talk to experts, journalists and policymakers to make sense of the news that matters.

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  • 21.10.2020
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    Germany vs. COVID-19, Round 2: Can we avoid another lockdown?

    As novel coronavirus cases skyrocket across Germany and Europe, we talk about what we've learned since the start of the pandemic. How can we best stop its spread, what are the new treatments and is a lockdown imminent or even wise?

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  • 14.10.2020
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    28:32
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    Is US President Donald Trump running out of time?

    This week, we measure the political climate in the U.S. in the lead up to the presidential election. With less than three weeks to go, what’s going on in the nation's capital? And what special role does the southern state of Georgia? We also explore how the next American president will shape politics on both sides of the Atlantic.

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  • 07.10.2020
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    28:19
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    Should children in Germany have more rights?

    A recent survey by the children’s charity Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk found a majority believe that children’s interests have been neglected during the coronavirus pandemic. Host Sylvia Cunningham unpacks these findings with Nina Ohlmeier from the German Children's Fund; 16-year-old Mathilda Gross who is a member of the Children's and Youth Council at the charity, and Dr. Stephan Gerbig, a researcher and policy adviser for the German Institute for Human Rights.

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  • 30.09.2020
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    What would you do with an extra 1,200 euros per month with no strings attached? (Rebroadcast)

    The debate over unconditional basic income is not a new one, but it has gotten more attention in the wake of the COVID-19 health crisis. Find out more about the arguments for and against. (This show originally aired on Sept. 2.)

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  • 23.09.2020
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    28:19
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    Can Europe reform its asylum and migration policies?

    Two weeks after a fire destroyed the overcrowded refugee camp Moria on the Greek island of Lesbos, asylum policy is high on the EU Commission's agenda. German Chancellor Angela Merkel's governing coalition agreed to take in 1,500 additional refugees from Greece, a decision hotly debated by the opposition in the German Bundestag. Some critics say the number's not nearly enough, while others say it's time for other EU member states to step up. Host Sylvia Cunningham discusses the current situation on the Greek island of Lesbos and German aid efforts.

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  • 16.09.2020
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    28:36
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    How connected are Germans really 30 years after reunification?

    On Oct. 3, 1990, less than a year after the fall of the Berlin Wall, East and West Germany were reunited. But the process of growing together brought trials and tribulations that sowed animosity between East and West Germans. Thirty years later, what does German unity look like? Host Sumi Somaskanda discusses the ups and downs of Germany's transformation.

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  • 09.09.2020
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    Conspiracies in Germany, vigilance in France — What are the latest coronavirus challenges?

    Cases of COVID-19 are rising and despite warnings from Berlin to remain alert, a growing number of Germans are pushing back against hygiene and social distancing rules even as their neighbors — the French — embrace those measures to try and avoid another lockdown. Host Sumi Somaskanda explores the subject.

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  • 02.09.2020
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    28:32
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    What would you do with a basic income of 1,200 euros per month with no strings attached?

    The debate over unconditional basic income is not a new one, but it has gotten more attention in the wake of the COVID-19 health crisis. A new long-term study on how society would change if people were to receive a basic income is underway in Germany. Host Sylvia Cunningham explores some of the arguments for and against.

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  • 26.08.2020
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    28:17
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    Should the word 'Rasse' (or 'race') be removed from Germany's constitution? (Rebroadcast)

    This week we revisit a controversial discussion that started earlier in the summer. Amid nationwide and international protests against racism, Germany's Green Party proposed to change Article 3 of the nation's Basic Law by removing "Rasse" - in English, "race" - from the text. Proponents of removing the word say it’s linked to Nazi ideology and this change is long overdue. Others say this move is too hasty and would actually harm people of color. Host Sylvia Cunningham finds out more.

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  • 19.08.2020
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    28:16
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    Debating Berlin's anti-discrimination law (rebroadcast)

    Back in June, Berlin passed a hotly debated anti-discrimination law. It is the first of its kind in Germany and allows victims to pursue legal remedies against state officials — including police — for discrimination related to race, gender, disability, sexual orientation and more. But is the new law the panacea its proponents claim or is it villainizing the police as the law's critics contend? Host Sumi Somaskanda explores the issue.

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  • 12.08.2020
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    28:34
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    Back to school amid the pandemic - how is Berlin keeping students and teachers safe?

    Berlin schools reopened this week amid fears of a second COVID-19 wave, with about 370,000 students returning to the classroom.

    What measures are in place to minimize the risk of coronavirus outbreaks, and how are students, teachers and parents adapting to the "new normal"?

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  • 05.08.2020
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    28:35
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    How has the COVID-19 crisis impacted climate change policies and the environment?

    With the COVID-19 health crisis still at the top of Germany's agenda, have climate change policies fallen to the wayside? Or has the pandemic provided a test run in crisis management?

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  • 29.07.2020
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    27:52
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    A closer look at a series of death threats sent to politicians and other prominent figures in Germany

    German authorities are investigating a series of death threats sent via email to politicians and other prominent figures.

    The threats were signed with the name NSU 2.0, a reference to a neo-Nazi terrorist group. Investigators found that some of the cases of these threats involved data accessed from police computers in the state of Hesse. Host Sumi Somaskanda discusses the latest developments.

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  • 22.07.2020
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    28:28
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    Is the party over?

    Berlin lifted more pandemic restrictions this week, but the city's clubs remain closed for the foreseeable future. What does that mean for Berlin's iconic clubbing culture and the city's reputation? Host Sumi Somaskanda examines the future of the scene.

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  • 15.07.2020
    21 MB
    28:16
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    Should the word 'rasse' (or 'race') be removed from Germany's constitution

    In the wake of nationwide and international protests against racism, Germany’s Green Party wants to change Article 3 of the nation’s Basic Law by removing “Rasse” – in English, “race” – from the text. The conversation is not new, but controversial. Proponents of removing the word say it’s linked to Nazi ideology and this change is long overdue. Others say this move is too hasty and would actually harm people of color. Host Sylvia Cunningham finds out more.

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  • 08.07.2020
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    28:29
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    What would Donald Trump's withdrawal of 9,500 U.S. troops do to NATO and Europe?

    President Trump’s announcement of a drawdown of American forces from Germany caught German leaders, NATO, and the U.S. Congress by surprise. There’s a bipartisan effort to prevent the White House from following through. What are the chances the U.S. troops will be moved and what’s at stake for American ties with Germany? Host Sumi Somaskanda finds out more.

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  • 01.07.2020
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    Is Germany's 'Corona-Warn-App' a success?

    More than 14 million people have downloaded Germany’s COVID-19 contact tracing app. Before its launch last month, the German government project came under fire over data security and privacy concerns. So does it work? What are users saying? And what questions about the app still need to be answered? Studio Berlin host Sylvia Cunningham breaks down the pros and cons of the “Corona-Warn-App.”

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  • 24.06.2020
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    28:31
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    Will Germany's EU Council presidency move Europe forward

    Germany takes the helm of the EU Council on July 1. The presidency comes at a crucial time as Europe grapples with recovery measures to handle the unprecedented health and economic crisis. What are the expectations and challenges ahead? And what are the other topics on Germany’s agenda during its six-month presidency? Host Sylvia Cunningham finds out more.

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  • 17.06.2020
    21 MB
    28:09
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    Debating Berlin's new anti-discrimination law

    Berlin passed a hotly debated anti-discrimination law this month, the first of its kind in Germany, that allows victims to pursue legal remedies against state officials — including police — for discrimination related to race, gender, disability, sexual orientation and more. But is the new law the panacea its proponents claim or will it lead to a villainization of the police as the law’s critics contend? Host Sumi Somaskanda finds out more.

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  • 10.06.2020
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    28:22
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    Will the worldwide 'Black Lives Matter' protests open a new dialogue on racism in Germany and Europe?

    Host Sumi Somaskanda delves into modern-day discrimination in Germany and its history of racial injustice.

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  • 27.05.2020
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    28:20
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    Soccer is back in Germany, should other countries follow suit?

    The Bundesliga resumed this month with soccer teams playing to empty stadiums. It’s the first major sports league in the world to restart amid the coronavirus health crisis. But is this a manageable solution in the pandemic era for soccer and other sports? And how are fans reacting to the so-called “ghost games”? Host Erik Kirschbaum finds out more.

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  • 20.05.2020
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    28:29
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    How has the pandemic changed Berlin gastronomy, and who are the people protesting COVID-19 measures?

    Restaurants and cafes are back open in Berlin, but how has the pandemic changed the experience of dining out? And protests against coronavirus-related restrictions, so-called “hygiene demonstrations,” are gaining attention across the country. Who are these protesters and what are they asking for? Host Sylvia Cunningham finds out more.

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  • 13.05.2020
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    28:23
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    What are the options for leisure travel in the time of COVID-19?

    It’s high time to book that summer vacation, but what options for leisure travel are there in the time of a pandemic? Is it even safe to travel domestically or internationally? And what will happen to tourism in Berlin? Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson explores these questions and more.

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  • 06.05.2020
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    How will the COVID-19 pandemic change Europe's relationship with Beijing?

    Lawmakers from across the European Union are urging transparency from China, with growing calls for an investigation into the origin of the coronavirus. How will the COVID-19 pandemic change Europe and Germany’s relationship with Beijing? And among the many challenges to globalization, is this pandemic the biggest? Host Sumi Somaskanda finds out more.

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  • 29.04.2020
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    28:29
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    How much should Germany rely on contact tracing apps in the fight to contain COVID-19?

    Developers worldwide are working on contact tracing apps that track the spread of the coronavirus through Bluetooth technology – that means, if you’ve come into contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19, you’ll be notified. But how much do these apps actually help, and how much privacy do users have to give up? Host Sylvia Cunningham finds out more.

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  • 22.04.2020
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    28:26
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    Is loosening restrictions the right way out of the COVID-19 crisis?

    This week Germany is trying to restart part of its economy and public life, but is loosening restrictions the right way out of the COVID-19 crisis? Host Sumi Somaskanda examines Germany’s plan for a gradual return to normality and takes an in-depth look into the medical effort to contain the coronavirus.

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  • 15.04.2020
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    27:30
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    How are asylum-seekers in the EU faring during the coronavirus pandemic?

    Few leaders in EU states agree on what should happen to people who flee to Europe to escape war and poverty. Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson explores this sensitive topic.

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  • 08.04.2020
    21 MB
    28:24
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    Faith leaders on celebrating a holy month during lockdown and the mental health ramifications of the pandemic

    This April is a holy month for Christians, Jews and Muslims that would normally be one in which families and friends gather and people get together to pray. But how can the faithful observe their respective holidays given the COVID-19 pandemic? Also, what toll are the bans, closures and increasing isolation taking mentally on all of us? Host Sylvia Cunningham finds out more.

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  • 01.04.2020
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    28:28
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    Will the historic aid package protect Germany's economy during the COVID-19 crisis?

    Germany has abandoned its balanced budget to soften the blow the pandemic is delivering to the economy. Will this historic aid package get Germany through the crisis? And what is happening on the European level? Host Sumi Somaskanda finds out more about the relief efforts.

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  • 24.03.2020
    17 MB
    23:57
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    Does Germany deserve the accolades it's receiving for its handling of COVID-19?

    German Chancellor Merkel has called the coronavirus pandemic the biggest challenge to her nation since World War II and is receiving praise around the world for her government’s handling of the crisis. But is that praise deserved? Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson explores that question and the impact of COVID-19 on Berlin, Germany and the EU.

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  • 21.03.2020
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    Pedaling toward a paradigm shift?

    In the first six weeks of 2020, five cyclists were killed in road traffic in Berlin, propelling cycling advocates to demand more protection for people on their bikes. In this episode, host Sylvia Cunningham takes a closer look at the city’s cycling infrastructure and Berlin’s mobility law. When the law came into effect in 2018, it was meant to mark a “paradigm shift” in the city’s transport policies. So where are we now?

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  • 14.03.2020
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    Lockdowns, travel bans and cancellations - what's being done to contain COVID-19?

    The COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly changing our lives. This week, host Sylvia Cunningham looks at where we are in this health crisis and what measures are being taken to slow down the spread of the coronavirus.

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  • 07.03.2020
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    Facing the gender pay gap in Germany

    Despite laws to close the gender pay gap, Germany’s gap remains one of the largest among all EU countries. As Berlin celebrates the second official International Women’s Day, host Nikki Motson takes a look at how far Germany has come and speaks with Berlin women who are working for greater gender equality.

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  • 29.02.2020
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    How will the 'mietendeckel' affect Berlin renters and landlords?

    Berlin’s five-year rent freeze came into effect last Sunday. Will it lead to positive changes for Berlin’s renters, or will it slow down housing construction and scare away new investors? Host Erik Kirschbaum takes a closer look.

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  • 22.02.2020
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    The Skilled Immigration Act

    A new law will go into effect on March 1: the Skilled Immigration Act. Why is Germany in need of skilled workers from non-EU countries and is Germany ready to welcome them? Host Sumi Somaskanda takes a closer look.

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  • 15.02.2020
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    What can we expect from Berlinale 2020?

    Following the appointment of new leadership, will 2020 be the start of a new era for Berlin’s International Film Festival? Host Monika Müller-Kroll discusses the program of the 70th edition of the Berlinale.

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  • 08.02.2020
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    What's next for Germany's troubled carmakers?

    What’s next for Germany’s troubled carmakers? Noah Barkin takes a closer look at the growing challenges for the German auto industry. There’s Brexit, renewed tariff threats from U.S. President Donald Trump, and Elon Musk’s announcement to build a Tesla factory just outside of Berlin.

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  • 01.02.2020
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    A closer look at Germany's abortion law

    It’s been almost a year since the German parliament voted to amend Paragraph 219a, regarding the advertisement of abortion services, in the country’s criminal code. What does this look like in practice, and what are abortion rights activists and opponents calling for in 2020? Host Sylvia Cunningham takes a closer look.

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  • 25.01.2020
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    Germany's debate over the future of agriculture

    Berlin’s Grüne Woche wraps up this weekend, reason enough to take a closer look at the debate over Germany’s agricultural future with host Monika Müller-Kroll.

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  • 18.01.2020
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    Unpacking the European Green Deal

    It’s being called Europe’s “man on the moon moment”: The European Green Deal is Europe’s ambitious plan to become the world’s first climate neutral continent. The deadline is 2050, and the price tag starts at 1 trillion euros. Host Nikki Motson dives into the details of the historic deal.

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  • 11.01.2020
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    What are the big challenges facing Germany in 2020?

    What are the big challenges facing Germany in 2020? Host Sumi Somaskanda discusses the crucial questions of German domestic and foreign policy.

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  • 14.12.2019
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    Can Klinsmann save Hertha?

    Hertha BSC has had a tough Bundesliga season so far, but there’s hope on the horizon. German soccer legend Jürgen Klinsmann took over as head coach in late November. Can he save Hertha? Studio Berlin host Erik Kirschbaum finds out more.

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  • 07.12.2019
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    What were the biggest news stories of 2019?

    As 2019 comes to a close, it’s time to look back at the important news stories that we’ve covered on Studio Berlin. Hosts Sumi Somaskanda, Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson and Erik Kirschbaum discuss some of the big news stories of 2019 that left a mark on Berlin.

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  • 30.11.2019
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    How secure are Berlin's Christmas markets?

    It is Christmas market season in Berlin, a favorite of residents and tourists alike. How safe are these markets three years after the attack at the Breitscheidplatz Christmas market? Studio Berlin host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson finds out more.

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  • 23.11.2019
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    Homelessness in Berlin and Germany

    Germany’s homeless population has increased by more than 4% over the previous year. What’s the reason behind it and what can authorities do to address the issue? Host Sumi Somaskanda takes a closer look at homelessness and poverty in Germany and Berlin.

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  • 16.11.2019
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    The debate over 5G, Huawei, and Germany's digital future

    Could it be one of the most important conversations of the modern era? Host Noah Barkin delves into the details of Germany’s 5G debate. Why all the fuss about Chinese company Huawei and it’s role in supplying parts of Germany’s 5G infrastructure?

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  • 09.11.2019
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    Building a new Germany after the fall of the Wall

    How have East and West Germany grown together 30 years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall? Host Erik Kirschbaum remembers the Fall of the Wall and discusses the making of a new Germany after 1989.

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  • 02.11.2019
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    Music and the fall of the Berlin Wall

    What was the soundtrack of the late ’80s, shortly before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall? Host Erik Kirschbaum explores the power of music and how it captured the spirit of freedom and united people in East and West Germany.

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  • 19.10.2019
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    As European migration rises again, what are the challenges ahead?

    Migration to Europe is rising again. In September alone, more than 12,000 refugees arrived in Greece. How is Europe tackling this challenge? And why can’t European countries seem to agree on a common approach to migration? Host Sumi Somaskanda finds out more.

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  • 12.10.2019
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    Election in Poland

    It’s election time in neighboring Poland this weekend. Polish voters will cast their ballots on Sunday for a new parliament. Studio Berlin host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson discusses the importance of the election and its impact on Europe.

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