1. Whoever builds, trusts

A house is like your smartphone: there are always new updates. The only difference is that a property is usually not software, but much more expensive hardware: roof patch. Insulation update. And do you already have the new heater, version 16.1.1?

At today's major construction summit in the Federal Chancellery, Prime Minister Olaf Scholz discussed precisely this with Minister Klara Geywitz and representatives of more than 30 associations and societies: Whoever builds today – does he have to start modernising again tomorrow because the legal situation is changing? And how does Germany manage to create significantly more living space?

As a reminder, Klara Geywitz once set out with the goal of building 400,000 new apartments a year. Reality check: In 2022, there were just 250,000. And this year, too, things don't look any better. On the contrary: inflation, shortage of skilled workers and, well, little planning security for companies and private individuals, see above.

The chancellor must make housing construction a top priority, demand industry representatives such as Aygül Özkan. After all, the summit has already had an effect. The strict EH-40 energy efficiency standard for new buildings is suspended. There should also be no obligation to restructure at EU level. And more Germans should be able to benefit from cheap real estate loans, even with higher incomes. Is that enough?

Probably not, says my colleague Henning Jauernig: "It's far too hesitant, too much small-small," he writes in his commentary on the summit. Scholz had sent the right signal with his own Ministry of Construction. But for the issue of tenancy law, Justice Minister Buschmann of the FDP is responsible. "The chancellor must finally put pressure on Buschmann to at least lower the capping limits, as agreed in the coalition agreement," Henning writes. "In tense situations, rents are likely to rise by only eleven percent instead of 15 percent."

  • Read the full text here: "The Chancellor must make housing a top priority"

And here is news and background information on the war in Ukraine:

  • Canadian House of Commons Speaker apologizes for honoring a Ukrainian: After Volodymyr Zelensky's speech in Canada, there was applause for a Ukrainian veteran who had been invited by the speaker of the lower house. However, the man served in the Waffen-SS.

  • This is how much Russia earns from oil despite sanctions: Russian crude oil supplies and revenues continue to flow despite price caps and other sanctions. A new evaluation shows how the regime in Moscow is particularly earning.

  • The masterminds (eps. 4): Oligarchs, a Ukrainian secret service, or even the president himself? We take a look at possible masterminds behind the pipeline explosion and hear about the explosive consequences of these traces.

  • Here you will find all the latest developments on the war in Ukraine: The news update

2. Showdown for the summit

Zoom Image

Reinhold Messner

Photo: Joern Haufe / dapd / ddp

It's about five meters. Difference in altitude, mind you, is often the deciding factor in the great triumph in the Alps. Or defeat. This is also the case in this spectacular case: Reinhold Messner, exceptional mountaineer and the first person to have climbed all 14 eight-thousanders in the world (and without oxygen equipment), these two records are now being revoked. "Legacy" is now at Guinness, "obsolete". Why? The Himalayan expert Eberhard Jurgalski from Lörrach has shown with geodata calculations that some peaks had probably been misidentified. This means that Messner and other mountaineers have apparently finished their climbing tours below the actual summit. For example, at Annapurna: "Messner was at one point 65 meters in front of and five meters below the summit," says Jurgalski.

How does Messner react? Sharp as a demolition edge: "He has no idea. He's not an expert. He just mixed up the mountain. Of course, we have arrived at the summit," Messner said in a dpa interview. The decision did not come as a surprise," says my colleague Gerhard Pfeil, who got the ball rolling with his story about a year ago. The reassessment by Jurgalski's table reflects the state of the art," says Gerhard. He is not interested in diminishing the achievements of mountaineers." Is the drama over? Or is it just getting started?

  • Read more here: When five meters of altitude are missing

3. First the oil, then the morality

»Peak Oil« sounds like a fancy olive oil brand from celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. But this means that the peak of global oil demand has been reached. This is good news, because from "peak oil" onwards, the extraction of fossil fuels is going downhill. And less oil means less CO2 in the atmosphere.

When will the time come? The head of the International Energy Agency thinks it will take place before the end of this decade. The world is "on the threshold of a historic turning point," says IEA Director Fatih Birol. And not only that: With "Peak Oil" we would also experience "Peak Gas" and "Peak Coal". The slow but sure end of the fossil age?

My colleague Marco Evers from the science team is a bit more skeptical. In his analysis, Marco describes the different scenarios that circulate – depending on who you ask (and who pays for the study). Researchers from the Exxon Group, for example, predict that oil will still be the most important energy source in 2050. Surprise. But a little hope is quite justified, says Marco: "Soon the demand for oil and gas will fall, and that is very, very desirable. But it's mostly because solar and wind energy have become so cheap. Not because our climate policy suddenly ignites. We need to do much more to leave our children a livable planet."

  • Read more here: First comes the oil, then the morality

What else is important today

  • China emphasizes claim to atoll, Philippines wants to break down barrier: Several states claim certain areas in the South China Sea for themselves. China is now trying to create facts – by means of a floating barrier. The Philippines doesn't want to put up with that.

  • Vučić and Kurti attack each other after an exchange of fire in front of Banjska Monastery: 30 armed Serbs entrenched themselves in a monastery in northern Kosovo on Sunday. Earlier, a policeman had died from gunfire. Kosovo's Prime Minister Kurti speaks of "terrorist attacks". Belgrade is outraged.

  • Lego doesn't want to produce bricks from recycled plastic bottles: Actually, the toy manufacturer Lego wanted to produce its building blocks from old PET bottles in the future. Now the company has abandoned the plans with a surprising reason – and is looking for alternatives.

  • Mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro is dead: He was on the run for 30 years, at the beginning of 2023 he was arrested: Matteo Messina Denaro died after a serious battle with cancer. The Mafioso was probably partly responsible for dozens of murders.

My favorite story today:

I live in a part of Hamburg where there is often a deer in the front yard at night. The sidewalks are often unpaved and lanterns are rare – which has the nice side effect that the starry sky appears particularly bright. I almost always see the Big Dipper, Northern Lights, like this day in Schleswig-Holstein, not yet – but hey, I have hope.

However, I will never be able to see Neptune, the outermost planet of our solar system, with the naked eye, clearly too far away. So I read about him: My colleague Olaf Stampf, with whom I like to talk shop about astronomy (although he understands much more about it than I do), has written about the most mysterious of our eight planets.

"Since its discovery in 1846, there have been many assumptions and little tangible knowledge about the icy gas ball, which is four times the size of the Earth," says Olaf. This could now change: The New Horizons probe and the Hubble Space Telescope have been targeting the ice globe together since the beginning of September. What do you think they will see? "I am particularly fascinated by the extreme weather on Neptune," Olaf writes to me. "It's probably raining diamonds from the sky there. It's astonishing that Elon Musk hasn't been planning a mission there for a long time."

  • Read the full story here: The magic of the ice clouds

What we recommend today at SPIEGEL+

  • High-ranking Bundeswehr general suspended after sexual allegations: Ironically, the commander of the Center for Inner Leadership in the Bundeswehr is said to have behaved abusively towards a soldier, according to SPIEGEL information – and has now been relieved of his duties.

  • Our schools don't have enough math teachers. But that could be changed: state politicians are struggling with a serious shortage of math teachers. How can the gap be closed? Researchers recommend two fundamental changes in education and occupation.

  • Who is NFL star Travis Kelce: When Travis Kelce catches a touchdown, even the biggest pop star in the world cheers. About a professional football player who was once looking for a new girlfriend via casting show – and now hangs out with Taylor Swift.

  • "That's what makes him so damn dangerous": Jan P. admits to killing 14-year-old Ayleen. Why he did that, he remains silent in the trial. How is he to be punished?

What is less important today

That was Swift: Pop megastar Taylor Swift (33) has attended a game of NFL star Michael Kelce (also 33): It's me, hi, could you maybe move something? Photos show her next to Kelce's mother, Donna, in the stands. Is it a real love story or is it all just for show? After all, it is said that the two left the stadium together – after the victory of Kelce's Kansas City Chiefs. His teammates see the rumors, well, pragmatically: "I'm not a big Swifty fan," said Kansas guard Trey Smith. "But maybe it's a good luck charm."

Mini concave mirror

Here you will find the whole concave mirror.

Cartoon of the Day

And tonight?

Mood! Whether it's Spotify bot or vinyl, turn it up loud and go. Works better than any primal scream therapy and if the neighbors knock – please join, everything from two is a band. "When a soprano sings the high C, a note with 1048 vibrations per second, it is an incredible biomechanical achievement," says Gerrit Wohlt, an ENT specialist and specialist in voice medicine. My colleague Isabel Barragán interviewed him for her story about typical diseases in singers.

How vulnerable their main instrument is – vocal folds, larynx or trachea – is still far too rarely talked about in the scene, says Wohlt. It covers opera stars, but also rock, pop and heavy metal singers. And notices immediately when something is wrong, well, right. To Isabel, who was still a little ailing three weeks after a cold, Wohlt said on the first phone call: "In your voice, I noticed right in the first sentence: There's a slight veil on it."

Have a nice evening.


Yours, Jens Radü, Chief of Staff