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The United States and Germany are among the most successful countries and cultures in the world. They have the largest and fourth-largest economies, great companies, and great talents. Clearly, they must be doing a lot right. And yet, so much can go wrong when Germans and Americans meet and do business together, as I know from my years as an American consultant living in Germany. It helps for each side to understand where the other is coming from.

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If you want to upgrade your brain, one of the best things you can do is learn a foreign language or pick up a musical instrument. We’ve known for quite a while that musicians and bilinguals have a better working memory — this means that they’re generally better at keeping things in mind, such as remembering a phone number, recalling a list of instructions, or doing mental math — but researchers aren’t really sure why this is the case. Now, a new study might finally answer that question.

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Housing shortages have become a serious issue in many German cities, where there is a shortfall around 2 million affordable apartments. A new study shows that the problem is hitting low-earners hard. For weeks now, Germany has been debating its so-called Hartz IV welfare payments for the long term unemployed and the question as to whether the 416 euros a month (plus allowances) paid under the program is enough to live on.

Photo credit: Dietrich

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The Bavarians want crosses in public buildings, German Jews want to be able to wear kippas in public without being attacked and Muslims would like more understanding for the headscarf. Germany's search for identity has turned religious.

And religion, something that had long since seemed to have lost its importance in Germany, is at the forefront. Once again, religions are playing a powerful role in the world - and it is a development that is making itself felt in even the most bucolic of German neighborhoods.

Photo credit: Omri Gadol

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“Car nation” Germany has surprised neighbours with a radical proposal to reduce road traffic by making public transport free, as Berlin scrambles to meet EU air pollution targets and avoid big fines.

The move comes just over two years after Volkswagen’s devastating “dieselgate” emissions cheating scandal unleashed a wave of anger at the auto industry, a keystone of German prosperity.

Photo credit: Alamy Stock Photo

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When Helga Weyhe began work at her beloved bookshop, the Red Army was on the march towards her east German town, Hitler still clung to power and Sartre had just published "No Exit".

Fast-forward more than seven decades and the remarkably spry 95-year-old, Germany's oldest bookseller, swats away any talk of retirement, or even slowing down. Still staffing the store six days a week, Weyhe said books got her through two dictatorships and would see her through her last chapter too.

Photo: John MacDougall / AFP

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There was a time when bilingualism was regarded suspiciously. But experts point out far more benefits than disadvantages for children raised with more than one language.

“Multilingualism is not a deficit, but an enrichment,” Claudia Maria Riehl, director of the German as a Foreign Language Institute at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich told the Goethe Institute in an interview.

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Nearly 550 UNG students turn their tassel and become college grads this summer

Almost 550 University of North Georgia (UNG) students with an associate, bachelor's or master's degree or certificate were released into the real world as their college careers came to an end during the 2017 summer commencement ceremonies.

For two UNG graduates, their post-graduate life will begin with them traveling the globe as Fulbright Scholars. Mitchell Fariss and Anita Renfroe were two of the nine UNG students selected earlier this year as finalists for the program, which offers research, study and teaching opportunities in more than 160 countries to recent graduates and graduate students.

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Credit: UNG Newsroom

Question: Who made that giant car sculpture in Midtown?

For the past three years or so, thousands of people a day passed Rockspinner, a 22,000-pound granite boulder that rested on a spinning base at the intersection of Peachtree and 10th Street.

But that installation was replaced last week with something new and, if you can believe it, heavier.

Autoeater, a 16-ton marble sculpture with a car sticking out of it, has taken the rock’s place.

The towering monument was installed just in time for thousands of runners and spectators passing by during the AJC Peachtree Road Race on Tuesday.

Surely they’ll look on in awe and wonder: Where did this thing come from?

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Credit: Becca J. G. Godwin, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

With over 100 million records sold, Billy Joel is one of America’s most popular music icons, but few of his fans know about his family’s escape from Nazi Germany.

To help bridge the gap, the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, in partnership with the Atlanta-Nuremberg Sister Cities Committee and the Goethe-Zentrum German Cultural Center Atlanta, held an evening of entertainment and dialogue April 6 to highlight the Joel family’s tumultuous past.

The tribute act Billy and the Joels livened the night, with pianist Werner Kandzora and singer Stefan Angele performing classics such as “Piano Man” and “Just the Way You Are.” Nuremberg journalist and author Steffen Radmaier read excerpts from his book about the family history.

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Credit: Sarah Moosazedeh, Atlanta Jewish Times