Nov 9, 2019

30 years of freedom: "East Germany opens borders"

Young people stick flowers in remains of the Berlin Wall during a commemoration ceremony on Saturday. Photo: Markus Schreiber/AP

Germany, on Saturday, celebrated the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, as President Frank-Walter Steinmeier expressed gratitude to Eastern European neighbors for encouraging a peaceful revolution, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: The wall separated the Communist-led East from the capitalist West in Berlin for about three decades. The wall "became a potent symbol of the Cold War ... followed a year later by the reunification of Germany in 1990," writes Reuters.

Photo: Peter Zimmermann/picture alliance via Getty Images

How it unfolded: Frieder Reimold of The Associated Press "settled in on Nov. 9, 1989, to watch a televised evening briefing by Guenter Schabowski, a member of the Communist country’s Politburo," AP recalls in a reminiscence.

  • "About an hour into the rambling news conference, Schabowski mentioned that East Germany was lifting restrictions on travel across its border into West Germany."
  • "Pressed on when the new regulations would take effect, he looked at his notes and stammered, 'As far as I know, this enters into force ... this is immediately, without delay.'"

The event was so impulsive that Reimold didn't realize the implications.

  • Reimold, then the Berlin bureau chief of AP's German service, "typed out what has become his iconic alert: 'DDR oeffnet Grenzen' — 'East Germany opens borders.'"

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In photos: Catastrophic wildfires rage across Australia

Smoke shrouds the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia's most populous city on Thursday. Photo: Cassie Trotter/Getty Images

Smoke from Australia's deadly wildfires blanketed the state capitals of Sydney and Adelaide as air quality exceeded "hazardous" levels on Thursday, the BBC reports.

Why it matters: Thousands of people have fled the fires. Per News.com.au, much of the country is on high fire alert, as blazes rage across all six of Australia's states. Six people have died in the bushfires in the eastern states of Queensland and New South Wales.

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U.K. and Germany host most illegal migrants among European countries

Migrants and refugees rescued near a Greek island. Photo: Angelos Tzortzinas/AFP via Getty Images

There were between 3.9 million to 4.8 million unauthorized immigrants living in Europe as of 2017, according to new analysis from Pew.

The flipside: The study shows virtually no illegal immigration to countries like Hungary and Poland, where political leaders have seized upon widespread antipathy to immigration.

Go deeperArrowNov 15, 2019