Stretch, grab a late afternoon cup of caffeine and get caught up on the most important news of the day with our Coffee Break news letter. These are the stories that will fill you in on the world thats spinning outside of your office window - at the moment that you get a chance to take a breath.
Sign up now to save time and stay informed!

Coverup of Mass Molestations on New Year's Eve in Cologne Draws Ire

Oh, how the German authorities wanted to bury this story. But when nearly a hundred women reported sexual molestation by a crowd of Arabs numbering nearly 1,000 during the Silvester celebrations in the heart of Cologne, the news got out:

Some 1,000 men are alleged to have carried out dozens of sexual crimes on New Year's Eve in the city of Cologne. That these crimes occured in the city's most famous square has left local authorities reeling.

Police in the western German city of Cologne responded on Monday to outrage over a string of sexual crimes over New Year's Eve. According to police, the series of assaults in one of the city's busiest thoroughfares represented a "completely new dimension of crime."

Some 90 criminal complaints, including one allegation of rape, have been brought to the Cologne police department after women said they were molested by a crowd of men who had gathered in the city's famous square between its central train station and towering Gothic cathedral. Authorities expect more victims to come forward in the next few days.

City police chief Wolfgang Albers said the crowd was composed of up to 1,000 heavily intoxicated men who gave the appearance of being "Arab or North African" in background.

The police chief told German news agency DPA that the incidents represented "an intolerable situation" for Cologne. His department has already assembled a task force to deal with the matter.

I don't think task forces are going to be much help in solving this situation. Sources in Cologne tell me that the men were not "migrants" or "refugees" but locals. Think about that. Meanwhile, Cologne's mayor is stamping her foot:

"The mayor cannot and will not accept that a lawless zone develops here," mayor Henriette Reker's spokesman said ahead of a crisis meeting with city and federal police on Tuesday. Authorities have been scrambling to react to complaints of sexual violence, rape and theft made by young women who traveled to the area around Cologne's main train station and cathedral to celebrate new year.

"We won't accept the appalling attacks on women. All the perpetrators must be held to account," Justice Minister Heiko Maas tweeted on Tuesday morning.

Police and German national media have been accused of a cover-up after it took days to clarify that the perpetrators were a large crowd of around 1,000 men "who from appearance were largely from the north African or Arab world" as police chief Wolfgang Albers said on Monday.

Reker will be anxious to get the situation in her city under control in the coming weeks as hundreds of thousands are expected to travel to Cologne for carnival celebrations in early February.

Carnival, or Fasching, is a very big deal in Cologne, and the authorities obviously can't have a thousand rampaging Arabs molesting the visitors. But that's what happens when an ethnically relatively homogeneous society like Germany's decides that vibrant diversity should be the politically correct order of the day.

The poor Germans have no idea what they're in for:

Some women reported being encircled by large groups of men who had “fingers on every orifice.” One report claimed a woman was raped. The several day delay of confirmation of the attacks from officials roused suspicions of a cover-up. Anabel Schunke wrote on Huffington Post’s German language site Monday accusing police officials and public media outlets of covering up the issue entirely.

The attacks appeared to be coordinated, according to a report by German news outlet The Local. One group of men allegedly threw firecrackers into a large gathering of people celebrating near a famous cathedral located in the heart of Cologne, while another group of men allegedly began sexually assaulting and robbing women while the crowds were distracted by the firecrackers. It is not confirmed, however, the two groups were working together.

Five arrests were made in response to the allegations, however it is unclear if anyone was charged.

Of course it is. Deliberately so. But make no mistake: this is a very big deal in Germany, and perhaps the first step in having the scales fall from German eyes as to the nature of the domestic threat. And where, one might ask, were the German men when this was happening? And by "German," I mean real Germans, not passport-holders.