Money Matters - Simplified


EU court shakes up German gambling market

Luzembourg -- The European Court of Justice said Germany's tight controls on gambling give the state an "unjustifiable" monopoly in the gaming businesses.

EUobserver reported Thursday that the court judged the 2008 German law that permits only state-run companies to run lotteries and other forms of gambling was "contrary to the fundamental freedoms of the European Union."

The German law was challenged by eight online gambling companies in various regional courts, which passed the decision onto the top EU court.

Sigrid Ligne, head of the European Gaming and Betting Association, said the decision "signals the end of the German online gaming ban."

No jail time for pop star in HIV case

Darmstadt, Germany -- German pop star Nadja Benaissa, who was found guilty of infecting a former sexual partner with the HIV virus, has received a two-year suspended sentence.

Benaissa, 28, was convicted in a German court of causing bodily harm to a man who contracted the virus, and of two counts of attempted bodily harm to two others.
The recording artist faced as much as 10 years in prison, but received the suspended sentence Thursday, the BBC said. She was ordered to perform 300 hours of community service.

The No Angels singer has admitted having unprotected sex with the three men and failing to disclose her HIV status. However, she denied deliberately infecting anyone and apologized during the trial for her actions.

Japanese man swims Fehmarn Belt Strait

Tokyo -- A Tokyo man became eighth person to swim the 15-mile Fehmarn Belt Strait between Germany and Denmark and said he was glad to "come home alive."

Yasutaka Kurokawa, 40, swam Aug. 15 from Germany's Fehmarn Island to Denmark's Lolland Island with three judges and a friend following in a boat, The Yomiuri Shimbun reported Monday.

He was the first person from Japan to swim the strait.

"It was really cold. I'm glad I've come home alive. I felt several times that it was beyond the limits of my ability. I'd like to thank the people who supported me," Kurokawa said.

Kurokawa said the stim took a total 6 hours and 24 minutes.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

Germany tries to love 'ugly' architecture

Berlin -- Some architects in Germany say the country has many ugly buildings that should be embraced and appreciated rather than demolished.

In the frantic rush of construction that swept the country to rebuild after the destruction of World War II, plenty of architectural "missteps" were made as boxy concrete eyesores went up in cities everywhere, Der Spiegel reported Friday.

Getting rid of them all would amount to a vast, and expensive, re-reconstruction project.

As an alternative, many architects suggest, it may be time to admit that ugliness has its virtues -- and time to begin recognizing that fact.

German singer accused of concealing HIV status, infecting one

A 28-year-old singer, Nadja Benaissa, has admitted before the District Court of Darmstadt that she had unprotected sex with several partners without cautioning them that she was HIV-positive.

Melzer, Golubev through to German final

Hamburg, Germany -- Austria's Jurgen Melzer and Andrey Golubev of Kazakhstan will match up for the German Open championship after both took semifinal wins Saturday.

No. 3 seed Melzer dispatched Andreas Seppi of Italy 6-4, 6-2 in one semifinal while Golubev outlasted Germany's Florian Mayer, 7-6 (8-6), 6-4 in the other.

With his victory, Melzer advances to his first final of 2010. He has reached three other semifinals where he has lost, including in Zagreb, Dubai and at the French Open, where he made a surprising run but was downed by Rafael Nadal.

Melzer also reached the fourth round at Wimbledon before losing to Roger Federer.

Melzer is last seed left in German Open

Hamburg, Germany -- No. 3-seeded Jurgen Melzer took a straight-set win Friday in quarterfinals play at the German Open tennis tournament.

Melzer dumped Potito Starace 6-4, 6-1 on the strength of five service breaks. Melzer lost only 12 points -- two on serve -- in the second set.

He is the only seeded player left in the field for Saturday's semifinals as No. 6-seeded Juan Carlos Ferrero and seventh-seeded Thomaz Bellucci were ousted in three-set matches. Ferrero fell to Florian Mayer 6-7 (3-7), 6-2, 6-3 while Bellucci lost to Andreas Seppi 7-6 (7-0), 5-7, 7-5.

The fourth quarterfinal Friday saw Andrey Golubev take out Denis Istomin 6-4, 6-1, winning 58 percent of the points in the match.

Golubev beats German Open No. 1 seed

Hamburg, Germany -- Andrey Golubev defeated top-seeded Nikolay Davydenko in straight sets Thursday during third-round play of the German Open tennis tournament.

Golubev won 73 percent of the points when he got his first serve in during his 6-4, 6-4 win over Davydenko. Golubev was particularly effective in the first set when he dropped only six points in five service games.

He advances to the quarterfinals against Denis Istomin, whose 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) win over Julian Reister took move than 2 hours. Istomin had 11 aces and has 28 aces in his three matches in Hamburg.

Third-seeded Jurgen Melzer topped Jeremy Chardy 7-5, 7-6 (7-4) while Potito Starace earned a Friday quarterfinal slot against Melzer with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Pere Riba.

Davydenko wins German Open second-rounder

Hamburg, Germany -- No. 1-seed Nikolay Davydenko breezed through a second-round victory Tuesday at that German Open tennis tournament.

Davydenko defeated Florent Serra 6-3, 6-1 in less than an hour. Davydenko didn't face a break point and lost a mere nine points -- three on double faults -- over eight service games.

Sixth-seeded Juan Carlos Ferrero also advanced to the third round, beating Jan Hajek 7-6 (7-4), 6-1 while losing only 13 points in the second set, but three seeded players were beaten.

After concert-stopping fall, Pink is back on stage

She kept her promise. After a frightening fall during a concert in Nuremberg, Germany, Thursday night which caused Pink to end the show abruptly, the 30-year-old singer was back onstage the next day.