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CRIME

Man beats bus driver over ‘driving style’

A 40-year-old Dortmund man repeatedly punched a public bus driver late on Wednesday because he didn’t like his “driving style,” police reported on Thursday.

Man beats bus driver over 'driving style'
Just try finding a photo of a bus that hasn't crashed. Photo: DPA

The passenger apparently did not agree with the driver’s command of the bus on the city’s Lütgendortmunder Straße and immediately began punching and shouting at him, witnesses on the bus reported. Despite the beating, the 37-year-old driver managed to safely guide the bus to a parking spot, where emergency workers transported him to a nearby hospital. None of the passengers were injured.

The angry bus passenger from Lünen now faces assault and interfering with traffic charges, police in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia said. But he was allowed to go home after police concluded their investigation.

WEATHER

Damaged freighter blocks traffic at drought-hit Rhine

A stranded cargo ship caused traffic to be halted Wednesday at the Rhine river in western Germany after suffering a technical fault, authorities said, at a time when water transport was already ailing from a drought.

Damaged freighter blocks traffic at drought-hit Rhine

The vessel is stuck at St. Goar and Oberwesel, in between the cities of Mainz and Koblenz, water police said, adding that they were expecting to clear the stricken ship within the day.

The machine damage came as water levels in the Rhine had dropped to critical points at several locations, including at nearby Kaub — a known bottleneck for shipping where the river runs narrow and shallow.

The gauge at Kaub stood at 34 cm (13 inches) on Wednesday, well below the 40-cm reference point.

While vessels are still able to navigate at low water levels, they are forced to reduce their loads to avoid the risk of running aground.

About four percent of freight is transported on waterways in Germany, including on the Rhine, which originates in Switzerland and runs through several countries including France and Germany before flowing into the sea in the Netherlands.

READ ALSO: How the Rhine’s low water levels are impacting Germany

Transport on the Rhine has gained significance in recent months because among cargo moved on the river is coal, now all the more necessary as Germany seeks to wean itself off Russian gas.

Germany’s biggest companies have already warned that major disruptions to river traffic could deal another blow to an economy already beset by logistical difficulties.

The 2018 drought, which saw the benchmark depth of the Rhine in Kaub drop to 25 cm in October, shrank German GDP by 0.2 percent that year, according to Deutsche Bank Research.

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