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Germany

Germany in Brief

More than 30 injured aboard Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt to Houston; further remains of the Berlin Wall may be protected; and German group in Chile investigated for alleged poor treatment of minors.

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One of the passengers from Lufthansa flight 440 makes a phone call after being treated.

Transatlantic flight hits heavy turbulence

More than 30 passengers aboard a Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt to Houston were injured on Wednesday evening when the airplane ran into severe turbulence over the American mainland. A Lufthansa spokeswoman said on Thursday the Airbus A-340 with 244 passengers and 14 board personnel ran unexpectedly into a rough air patch over the U.S. state of Arkansas. The plane however managed to land safely in Houston. Some of the injured were immediately taken to a hospital in Houston for treatment. Lufthansa has announced it will probe the exact reasons for the rough flight, but said turbulence could never be completely eliminated. Lufthansa added that was the reason it always advised passengers to fasten their seatbelts, not just during take-off and landing, but for the entire duration of the flight.

Remains of Berlin Wall to be protected

Nearly 14 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, further remnants of the former 43-kilometer-long symbol of the Cold War are expected to be placed under Germany’s monument protection law. A team of archaeologists, commissioned by the Berlin city authority, have now compiled a dossier with recommendations about which remains should be protected. The archaeologists came across traces of former signboards, lampposts, destroyed tank traps and boarded-up windows during their two-year research work, documenting the former border between east and west Berlin. Professor Leo Schmidt, who was involved in the research, has now demanded the "stony witnesses of the Cold War" should be preserved for coming generations. "Our documentation can serve as a basis for the discussion, whether the Berlin Wall should be included in a list of world heritage sites," he told news agency DPA. Large parts of the wall were hacked into pieces in the years immediately preceding German reunification in 1990 and sold as souvenirs. The last remaining large intact segments were placed under the monument protection act in 2000.

German group investigated for shipping kids abroad

A German organization that treats delinquent and troubled youth and sends them abroad for therapeutic stays, has come under investigation in Chile. The Life Jugendhilfe Projekt is believed to charge German families for sending their children, under 14 and speaking no Spanish, to poor households in Chile. A spokeswoman at Chile’s National Service for Minors, Carmen Andrade told news agency AFP, "we have quite a negative opinion of this institution because its work, of uprooting children and bringing them to a distant country, is absolutely unsatisfactory." AFP reported the organization paid poor Chilean families as much as $285 a month for lodging and boarding for the children, who are submitted to a rigorous discipline. Two years ago, Chilean officials sought court protection for a German child staying with a family south of Santiago after the family disowned him when it emerged the child had attempted to murder his mother in Germany with a knife. The German embassy in Chile said in a statement it had "sought detailed information repeatedly from Life on its activities in Chile and so has take those steps necessary to assure that this organization is operating within the law."

Compiled with material from wire reports