BERLIN (GN): Berlin is freezing the rents of 1.5 million apartments for the next five years starting this Sunday in a controversial move to control the exploding costs that have forced many to move outside Germany’s capital city. Berlin is the first German city to influence the rental prices so directly and the law has been both celebrated as a step toward more fairness by its supporters and ripped apart as a socialist method by critics. “It is correct that Berlin tries to stop the spiraling rent costs,” Ulrich Ropertz, the head of the German Tenants Association, told German news agency dpa. “The federal legislature has missed the opportunity to pass effective measures in recent years.” Only a minority of Berliners own their homes or apartments — as in the rest of the country, the majority of people traditionally rent their homes. The German capital had been a low-rent mecca after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 opened the gates to the economically depressed former communist east of the city.

Sanders projected to win Nevada Democratic caucuses

WASHINGTON (Xinhua): With votes still being counted, Bernie Sanders, U.S. senator from the state of Vermont and a Democratic presidential candidate, obtained 47.1 percent of the county delegates on Saturday and was declared by U.S. media winner of the Democratic caucuses in the state of Nevada. “In Nevada we have just put together a multigenerational, multiracial coalition which is going to not only win in Nevada, it’s going to sweep this country,” a victorious Sanders told a crowd of supporters in San Antonio, Texas, expressing confidence that he will win the vote seeking Democratic nomination. Sanders, who also ranks first among Democratic candidates in national polls, held on to the lead in Nevada as 22 percent of the precincts reported county delegate votes, which are calculated based on two rounds of popular voting. Former Vice President Joe Biden came in second with 23.3 percent. Once the front-runner in the Democratic field, Biden suffered disappointing results in the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. Though losing Nevada again, he seemed to be in a good mood when addressing supporters in Las Vegas. “You all did it for me, You all did it,” said the 77-year-old. “Now we’re going on to South Carolina and winning and then we’re going to take this back.” South Carolina is considered a watershed the former vice president cannot afford to lose.