Germany bans far-right, pro-Nazi group, police raid homes

Germany bans far-right, pro-Nazi group, police raid homes
Anti-facists protest against a rally of the anti-immigrant Pegida movement (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident) on October 26, 2020, marking the 6th anniversary of their founding, in Dresden, eastern Germany. (File/AFP)
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Updated 01 December 2020

Germany bans far-right, pro-Nazi group, police raid homes

Germany bans far-right, pro-Nazi group, police raid homes
  • The homes of 13 members of the far-right group Wolfbrigade 44 were searched in Hesse
  • The group’s goal is to re-establish a Nazi dictatorship, according to security officials

BERLIN: Police raided homes in three German states early Tuesday after the German government banned a far-right group, a spokesman for the interior ministry said.
The homes of 13 members of the far-right group Wolfbrigade 44 were searched in Hesse, Mecklenburg West-Pomerania and North Rhine-Westphalia to confiscate the group’s funds and far-right propaganda material, the German news agency dpa reported.
“Whoever fights against the basic values of our free society will get to feel the resolute reaction of our government,” Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said, according to his spokesman, Steve Alter.
The group’s goal is to re-establish a Nazi dictatorship, according to security officials. The 44 in their name stands for the fourth letter in the alphabet, DD, and is an abbreviation for Division Dirlewanger. Oskar Dirlewanger was a known Nazi war criminal and commander of a Nazi SS special unit.
The far-right group was founded in 2016. It is known for possessing illegal weapons and members have participated in far-right protests.
Earlier this year, the German government banned other far-right groups including the Combat 18 and the Nordadler, dpa reported.


Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit reaches space on 2nd try

Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit reaches space on 2nd try
A view of Richard Branson's Virgin Orbit, with a rocket underneath the wing of a modified Boeing 747 jetliner, during test launch of its high-altitude launch system for satellites from Mojave, California, U.S. January 17, 2021. (REUTERS)
Updated 18 January 2021

Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit reaches space on 2nd try

Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit reaches space on 2nd try
  • The rocket’s upper stage coasted for a period, reignited to circularize the orbit and then deployed the nine CubeSats

LOS ANGELES: Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit reached space on Sunday, eight months after the first demonstration flight of its air-launched rocket system failed, the company said.
A 70-foot-long (21.34-meter-long) LauncherOne rocket was released from beneath the wing of a Boeing 747 carrier aircraft off the coast of Southern California, ignited moments later and soared toward space.
The two-stage rocket carried a cluster of very small satellites known as CubeSats developed and built as part of a NASA educational program involving US universities.
The launch occurred after the Boeing 747-400 took off from Mojave Air and Space Port in the desert north of Los Angeles and flew out over the Pacific Ocean to a drop point beyond the Channel Islands.
“According to telemetry, LauncherOne has reached orbit!” Virgin Orbit tweeted later. “Everyone on the team who is not in mission control right now is going absolutely bonkers.”
The rocket’s upper stage coasted for a period, reignited to circularize the orbit and then deployed the nine CubeSats.
The flight developments were announced on social media. The launch was not publicly livestreamed.
Virgin Orbit, based in Long Beach, California, is part of a wave of companies targeting the launch market for increasingly capable small satellites, which may range in sizes comparable to a toaster on up to a home refrigerator.
Competitor Rocket Lab, also headquartered in Long Beach, has deployed 96 payloads in 17 launches of its Electron rocket from a site in New Zealand. Another of its rockets was nearing launch Sunday.
Virgin Orbit touts the flexibility of its capability to begin its missions by using airports around the globe.
Virgin Orbit attempted its first demonstration launch in May 2020.
The rocket was released and ignited but only briefly flew under power before it stopped thrusting. The lost payload was only a test satellite.
The company later said an investigation determined there was a breach in a high-pressure line carrying cryogenic liquid oxygen to the first-stage combustion chamber.
Virgin Orbit is separate from Virgin Galactic, the company founded by Branson to carry passengers on suborbital hops in which they will experience the sensations and sights of spaceflight.
Virgin Galactic expects to begin commercial operations this year in southern New Mexico.