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CRIME

Woman arrested for burgling homes during funerals

Police have arrested a 50-year-old woman suspected of having a role in burgling mourners' homes while they were at their loved ones' funerals in the northwestern German city of Münster.

Woman arrested for burgling homes during funerals
Photo: DPA

In each of the break-ins, which started in March, the families’ addresses were listed in newspaper obituaries, police said.

Officers conducting surveillance caught the woman last Friday in the act of burgling a home which had been mentioned in an obituary, said police spokesman Jan Schabacker. The authorities continue to investigate.

“Survivors can protect against such events, by avoiding naming the addresses of those in mourning in obituaries,” Schabacker said in a statement.

He also said that homes should be monitored by someone trustworthy when they are empty and families should always avoid keeping large amounts of jewellery or cash at home.

The Local/mdm

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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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