As Cologne gears up for Carnival, there's not only excitement in the air. There's actually quite a bit of anxiety, with memories of the New Year's Eve sexual assaults fresh in people's minds. But will it affect the festivities?
There has been a sharp rise in the number of sexual assaults reported in Bavaria this year and many of the accused offenders are foreigners. But are the numbers plausible? Experts say no.
Cologne fans will be hoping that Thursday night's 5-2 victory over BATE Borisov can kick-start a disappointing season. DW's Matt Ford was at the RheinEnergieStadion and saw how rapidily the mood can change in football.
Cologne police have increased security measures for New Year's celebrations after last year's sexual assaults. Authorities have also taken additional precautions in the wake of last week's terror attack in Berlin.
A state parliamentary inquiry has found police did not intervene fast enough in the 2015 New Year's Eve attacks. According to the report, officers could have prevented hundreds of alleged robberies and sexual assaults.
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