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CRIME

Driver naps while drunk passenger steers on Autobahn

Drive-time became sleepy-time for one Frenchman on Germany's Autobahn until an off-duty police officer caught him napping while his inebriated passenger steered the car, police said on Monday.

Driver naps while drunk passenger steers on Autobahn
A good place to nap? Autobahn 5 near Karlsruhe. Photo: DPA

The off-duty officer was driving to work near the town of Bruchsal-Büchenau on the A5 in the southwestern German state of Baden-Württemberg when he saw the driver of a Renault with French license plates sleeping openly, his head lolling against the window as his companion in the front passenger seat steered the car at a speed of about 110 kilometres (68 miles) per hour, Karlsruhe police said.

The officer – who was not in uniform – followed the car, honking his horn repeatedly as the driver slept.

More than nine kilometres later, after his copilot swerved wildly while changing lanes, the driver awoke and accelerated to about 160 kilometres per hour, according to the officer’s report.

Police intercepted the car just north of the city of Karlsruhe.

The passenger, also a French national, was under the influence of heroin and had a blood alcohol content of nearly 0.05 percent, police said. He being investigated on suspicion of driving while drunk, under the influence of drugs and without a driver’s license.

The sleeping driver was sober and is not being charged, according to the police.

GERMANY AND ISRAEL

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

The German government says it is in talks over further compensation for victims of the attack on the Munich Olympics, as the 50th anniversary of the atrocity approaches.

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

Ahead of the commemoration in September, relatives of the Israelis killed have indicated they are unhappy with what Germany is offering.

“Conversations based on trust are taking place with representatives of the victims’ families,” a German interior ministry spokesman told AFP when asked about the negotiations.

He did not specify who would benefit or how much money had been earmarked, saying only that any package would “again” be financed by the federal government, the state of Bavaria and the city of Munich.

On September 5th, 1972, eight gunmen broke into the Israeli team’s flat at the Olympic village, shooting dead two and taking nine Israelis hostage, threatening to kill them unless 232 Palestinian prisoners were released.

West German police responded with a bungled rescue operation in which all nine hostages were killed, along with five of the eight hostage-takers and a police officer.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists  held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Horst Ossingert

The spokeswoman for the victims’ families, Ankie Spitzer, told the German media group RND that the amount currently on the table was “insulting” and threatened a boycott of this year’s commemorations.

She said Berlin was offering a total of €10 million including around €4.5 million already provided in compensation between 1972 and 2002 — an amount she said did not correspond to international standards. 

“We are angry and disappointed,” said Spitzer, the widow of fencing coach Andre Spitzer who was killed in the attack. “We never wanted to talk publicly about money but now we are forced to.”

RND reported that the German and Israeli governments would like to see an accord by August 15th.

The interior ministry spokesman said that beyond compensation, Germany intended to use the anniversary for fresh “historical appraisal, remembrance and recognition”.

He said this would include the formation of a commission of German and Israeli historians to “comprehensively” establish what happened “from the perspective of the year 2022”.

This would lead to “an offer of further acts of acknowledgement of the relatives of the victims of the attack” and the “grave consequences” they suffered.

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