You are here: Home » Tag Archives: germany (page 3)

Tag Archives: germany

Feed Subscription

Germany opens inquiry after train collision injures dozens

Authorities have said it is too early to speculate what caused the collision between a freight train and a passenger train near Düsseldorf. The driver of the train was praised, however, for preventing a worse crash. German authorities were investigating the cause of a train accident on Wednesday after dozens of people were injured in a collision near the city of Düsseldorf. Marcel Winter, a spokesman for the British-owned National Express railway, said it remained unclear why the passenger train traveling from Cologne to Krefeld struck a Deutsche Bahn cargo train on its way to Rotterdam on Tuesday night. Clean up crews were still on the scene on Wednesday afternoon, and Winter added that the line would remain closed until the debris was cleared away and the electrical overhead wires repaired. Repair work to the tracks is expected to take at least a few days. It emerged on Wednesday that the driver of the passenger train had slammed on the emergency brake as soon as he saw an obstacle on the tracks, avoiding a much more serious collision. "We were very lucky," said Winter. "It could have been much worse." Initial reports indicated that 50 people had been injured in the incident, but that number was later revised. Police said that nine of the 41 passengers wounded were seriously hurt, while the other 105 on the train were able to walk away unscathed. Later on Wednesday, an expert from Germany's Federal Railway Accident Investigation Board (BEU) said that "the passenger train should not have been allowed to drive on this particular track." BEU spokesman Gerd Münnich said that the cargo train was standing still and waiting for a signal to enter the station at Meerbusch when the collision occurred. Subsequent trains are not allowed to drive on to the same tracks when the train in front of them is stationary. Passengers remained calm, says witness The crash occurred around 7:30 pm local time (1830 UTC) in the small town of Meerbusch, in Germany's most populous state of North-Rhine Westphalia (NRW). The front car of the train was heavily damaged, but the rest of the train was largely unaffected. The fire department was able to rescue the last of the passengers at around 9:15 pm, after initially being unable to reach the site due to damaged high-voltage wires. Passenger Lukas Kehler, 19, told public broadcaster WDR that the crash had been loud and frightening, but that all on board had remained calm. "There was no sense of panic," he said. Images showed that there was moderate damage to the passenger train's front carriage, while the others appeared largely unaffected. Some of the cargo train carriages were thrown off the rails, however, as a result of the collision. Most train services in Germany are run by the partly-state owned Deutsche Bahn, but National Express has been operating some routes in NRW since 2015.

Authorities have said it is too early to speculate what caused the collision between a freight train and a passenger train near Düsseldorf. The driver of the train was praised, however, for preventing a worse crash. German authorities were investigating the cause of a train accident on Wednesday after dozens of people were injured in a collision near the city ... Read More »

Sigmar Gabriel: To survive, the EU must become more assertive

جرمن وزیر خارجہ نے کہا ہے کہ یورپ کو اپنے مفادات اور اقدار کے تحفظ کے لیے زیادہ فیصلہ کن کردار ادا کرنا ہوگا اور اگر ضروری ہو تو امریکا کے خلاف بھی کھڑا ہونے سے گریز نہ کیا جائے۔ جرمن وزیر خارجہ زیگمار گابرئیل کا دارالحکومت برلن میں خارجہ پالیسی کی کانفرنس سے خطاب کرتے ہوئے کہنا تھا، ’’امریکا کا عالمی غلبہ اب آہستہ آہستہ تاریخ کا حصہ بنتا جا رہا ہے۔‘‘ ان کا خبردار کرتے ہوئے کہنا تھا کہ عالمی سطح پر پیدا ہونے والے خلا کو پُر نہ کرنا انتہائی خطرناک ثابت ہو سکتا ہے۔ جرمنوں کی نظر میں ٹرمپ شمالی کوریا اور روس سے زیادہ بڑا خطرہ زیگمار نے واضح کیا کہ امریکا اب بھی یورپ کا قریبی اتحادی رہے گا لیکن واشنگٹن کے ساتھ اختلافات پر بات کی جانی چاہیے اور اسے سرخ لائن عبور کرنے کی اجازت نہیں دی جانی چاہیے۔ جرمن وزیر خارجہ نے خاص طور پر روس کے خلاف امریکی پابندیوں کا حوالہ دیا، جس کی وجہ سے یورپ میں توانائی کی کمپنیوں کو مشکلات کا سامنا ہے۔ اسی طرح انہوں نے ایران کے ساتھ ہونے والے جوہری معاہدے کا دفاع کرتے ہوئے کہا کہ امریکی صدر کو یہ معاہدہ ختم کرنے کی اجازت نہیں دی جانی چاہیے۔ جرمن وزیر خارجہ نے امریکا کی مشرق وسطیٰ کے حوالے سے نئی پالیسی پر بھی تنقید کی۔ ان کا کہنا تھا اگر امریکا نے یروشلم کو اسرائیل کا دارالحکومت تسلیم کیا تو مشرق وسطیٰ میں ایک نیا تنازعہ سر اٹھا لے گا۔ ماحولیاتی معاہدہ، امریکا دنیا میں تنہائی کا شکار جرمنی اور امریکا کے مابین شدید اختلافات کا آغاز ڈونلڈ ٹرمپ کے صدر بننے کے بعد ہوا تھا۔ ٹرمپ نے صدر بنتے ہی جرمنی کے امریکا کے ساتھ ٹریڈ سرپلس پر تنقید کی تھی اور برلن حکومت کو نیٹو اتحاد کے لیے اضافی رقم ادا کرنے کا کہا تھا۔ اس کے بعد واشنگٹن اور برلن حکومت کے مابین اس وقت بھی اختلافات دیکھنے میں آئے تھے، جب امریکا نے پیرس عالمی ماحولیاتی معاہدے سے نکل جانے کا اعلان کیا تھا۔ جرمن وزیر خارجہ کے مطابق صدر ڈونلڈ ٹرمپ نے ’امریکا سب سے پہلے‘ کی پالیسی اپنا رکھی ہے اور اس وجہ سے عالمی سیاست میں اس کا کردار پہلے جیسا نہیں رہا۔ زیگمار کا زور دیتے ہوئے کہنا تھا کہ جرمنی کو اب امریکا پر اپنا انحصار کم سے کم کرنا ہوگا اور عالمی سیاست میں بھی اپنے کردار کو بڑھانا ہوگا۔

Sigmar Gabriel declared at a foreign policy forum that relations with the US will “never be the same” after Trump. He warned institutions like the EU and the UN that they were running the risk of becoming irrelevant. German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel offered a bleak view of international relations and Germany’s place in the new world order at the ... Read More »

Germany’s CDU/CSU want to review starting Syria deportations

German states led by parties in Angela Merkel's conservative Union have backed plans to begin deporting Syrians back to Syria starting in mid-2018. The proposal relates mainly to criminals and rejected asylum seekers. State interior ministers from the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), want to restart Syrian deportations in mid-2018, according to a report by the RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland (RND) newspaper group. The draft proposal from the CDU-led eastern state of Saxony is expected to be discussed at next week's conference of interior ministers in Leipzig in December. Ministers of different political parties representing all of Germany's federal states will be present. According to the RND, which has seen the document, the plan has the backing of all federal states run by Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU. A spokesman for German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, who will also attend the Leipzig meeting, said there was no way people would be sent back to Syria "today, tomorrow, or next week" because the security situation on the ground had not changed. Reassessing security in Syria A moratorium on sending Syrians back home, in place in Germany since 2012, expired in September this year. CDU/CSU lawmakers say they want to extend that deadline to June 30, 2018, after which time deportations could theoretically resume. That time frame has been rejected by interior ministers from the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD). Instead, they want the halt on deportations to continue until at least the end of 2018. "The Union-led interior ministries' demand is cynical in view of the futile situation and ongoing death and destruction in Syria," Lower Saxony's Interior Minister Boris Pistorius of the SPD told RND. He described the initiative as a "questionable" attempt to court the right. Read more: Syrian refugees in Germany contemplate return home At the upcoming conference, Germany's state ministers will discuss whether the federal government should undertake a full re-evaluation of the Syria's security situation. A spokesman for De Maiziere said the minister was open to such a review. "How we proceed will depend on the outcome of the assessment," Saxon Interior Minister Markus Ulbig told the German Press Agency, adding that the plan aimed specifically to allow "perpetrators and people who have committed serious crimes to be sent back." A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office was skeptical: "There is still a long way to go before there is peace and a settlement to resolve the conflict in Syria," she said. The German Embassy in Damascus, which had played a central role in evalutating Syria's security situation, has been closed since 2012. As a result, the government has relied upon information from Germany's diplomatic missions in Ankara, Turkey and Beirut, Lebanon, when assessing conditions in Syria. Read more: The dark side of Germany's deportation policy There are currently around 650,000 Syrian refugees living in Germany. Chancellor Merkel has been under pressure to bring those numbers down following the arrival of more than a million migrants — mainly from Syria and Afghanistan — since 2015. The war in Syria has killed around 400,000 people and displaced millions since 2011. Rival military campaigns supported by the United States and Russia have helped drive the militant group, "Islamic State" (IS), from its last strongholds in the country. However, UN-brokered peace talks aimed at ending the conflict have yet to reach a breakthrough. President Bashar Assad is determined to stay in power, while the opposition demands he step down. Read more: Two years since Germany opened its borders to refugees Controversial Afghanistan decision In October 2016, Germany and Afghanistan reached a deal on repatriating failed asylum seekers, with the first deportation flights heading to Kabul last December. A total of 128 people, mostly young men, have been sent back since then. The relocations were briefly suspended after a truck bomb attack in Kabul in May killed 150 people and wounded 300 others. The flights resumed in September. The decision sparked protests, with critics arguing Germany should not deport Afghans while the Taliban continues to step-up its attacks against civilians and security officials. Rights group Amnesty International warned European governments last month that a surge of failed Afghan asylum seekers "forcibly" returned are at risk of torture, kidnapping and death. Any future decision in Germany to resume deporting Syrian citizens is likely to be met with similar objections.

German states led by parties in Angela Merkel’s conservative Union have backed plans to begin deporting Syrians back to Syria starting in mid-2018. The proposal relates mainly to criminals and rejected asylum seekers. State interior ministers from the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), want to restart Syrian deportations in mid-2018, ... Read More »

Germany’s EU bill to rise by 16 percent post-Brexit: report

Germany will need to pay an extra €3.8 billion into the EU's coffers once Britain leaves the bloc. A new report, which is likely to rile German taxpayers, suggests France and Italy will face much lower budget hikes. Germany is being threatened with significantly higher contributions to the European Union's budget when Britain completes its departure from the bloc in 2019. The Funke-Mediengruppe newspapers on Friday cited a report by the European Parliament, suggesting that the Berlin government would suddenly be on the hook for an extra €3.8 billion ($4.2 billion), a rise of 16 percent. In 2016, Germany's net contribution — minus EU monies returned to fund projects in the country — amounted to €15.6 billion. By comparison, France would face an additional €1.2 billion per annum bill on top of its €5-6-billion net contribution, and Italy would pay an extra €1 billion. "Brexit does not just increase the financial burden for the EU-27, but also changes the distribution of that burden," the newspaper group cited the report as saying. Read more: 50 London banks in talks for post-Brexit move Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden currently benefit from reduced payments due to Britain's EU membership, it said. Britain is currently the second largest net contributor to the EU after Germany; its departure is expected to leave a €10.2-billion hole in the EU's finances. EU austerity needed? The EU study says discussions are underway about whether cuts should be made to the EU budget or whether new revenue sources can be opened up, including taxes. The budget gap revelations come as British negotiators meet with their EU counterparts in Brussels for the sixth round on Brexit talks, in an attempt to settle the country's financial obligations to the bloc. The EU has set a figure of €60 billion, while British officials have, to date, offered just €23 billion. On Thursday, the Financial Times cited an anonymous EU diplomat as saying that the UK government had been given a three week deadline to improve its offer. At stake is Britain's future trade deal with the EU, which Brussels has refused to discuss until the financial settlement has been finalized. Meanwhile, Germany's largest industry group BDI said on Friday that it would be impossible to reach a comprehensive deal on future economic relations between the EU and Britain within the two-year deadline. In doing so, it added its voice to growing calls for a transitional arrangement where Britain remains in the EU's single market and customs union for a longer period. Read more: Brexit: Why people are increasingly talking about the 'Norway model' The group last month told German firms in the UK to prepare for the possibility of a so-called hard Brexit, where Britain quits the bloc without a trade deal. BDI Managing Director Joachim Lang is due to meet British Prime Minister Theresa May in London on Monday. Despite talking up the possibilities of a transitional arrangement in recent months, Britain on Friday said it planned to enshrine its EU leaving date, March 29, 2019 into the Brexit law, which is currently being studied by parliament.

Germany will need to pay an extra €3.8 billion into the EU’s coffers once Britain leaves the bloc. A new report, which is likely to rile German taxpayers, suggests France and Italy will face much lower budget hikes. Germany is being threatened with significantly higher contributions to the European Union’s budget when Britain completes its departure from the bloc in ... Read More »

COP23: Fake Donald Trump marches in Carnival-themed climate protests in Bonn

With anti-nuclear banners, polar bear costumes and Carnival-style floats, thousands of protesters took to the streets in Bonn to urge governments to do more to combat climate change. A fake Donald Trump, the devil and a crew of buccaneering pirates were among thousands of environmental activists who hit the soggy streets of Bonn on Saturday to cast out coal, oil and nuclear energy — the "evil spirits of climate change." "Climate change doesn't react to nice words — only to deeds," Dagmar Paternoga from Attac Germany, a network critical of globalization, told DW. "We demand an end to coal, an end to fossil fuels, [more] renewable energy and we're also demanding a mobility transition." No Climate Change, the group leading the demonstration, said some 2,000 people from Germany and around the world marched from downtown Bonn toward the site where the climate conference is taking place near the United Nations headquarters. A subsequent climate protest took place in the city center. They both wanted to grab the attention of COP23 climate conference attendees gathered in the western German city. Thousands of delegates from over 190 countries are taking part in the Fiji-hosted climate conference, which runs until November 17. "We have to put pressure on politicians and negotiators at the COP so that they will make concrete targets and binding agreements," said Paternoga over the music and drums from the colorful anti-fossil fuel and nuclear protest. Parties to the Paris Agreement have set non-binding national targets to cut emissions and are now hammering out the details of how they can monitor and compare progress ahead of the COP24 set to take place in Poland in 2018. If delegates fail to reach a decision, it will be difficult to keep global average warming under 2 degrees Celsius (35 degrees Fahrenheit), say observers. Protest with Carnival flair The protest kicked off in Bonn city center at 11.11a.m. local time (1011 UTC) to coincide with the start of the Carnival season celebrated mainly in western Germany. To mark the day, people don fancy dress costumes and party on the streets of cities like Cologne. Puppets representing Earth and the "bad ghosts of coal and nuclear energy" fought it out on the streets of Bonn. Unicorns demanded "candy instead of coal" and passed out candies to the crowd. Others dressed as characters from dystopian movies and films, such as Imperator Furiosa play by Charlize Theron in "Mad Max Fury Road." In another nod to Carnival celebrations, large floats accompanied the activists, including a ghost-pirate ship afloat on a sea of nuclear waste. Germany is set to shut all its nuclear power plants by 2022 but disputes remain over how to safely store the waste. Other countries, like India, want to use nuclear power alongside renewables as an alternative to fossil fuels. "There is a big fear that there are a lot of nations that want to fight climate change with nuclear power and we are here because we know what nuclear power does to the earth and to the people," said attendee Martin Donat, who was dressed as a rusting barrel of nuclear waste. Trump wants to pollute On one float, an activist dressed as US President Donald Trump was driven through the streets by a fleet of polar bears in a Volkswagen convertible — the German automaker has admitted to cheating on diesel emissions tests worldwide. A tipped-over, smoking model of the Statue of Liberty was dragged behind the troupe. Jens Galschiot, the art-activist from Denmark behind the float, said it was important for artists to represent what is going on in the world with climate change and to build a bridge between scientists and ordinary citizens. But Galschiot’s main criticism was aimed at the Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement. "Trump is perhaps most extremely saying we want to pollute, we want to consume. He doesn’t care about the whole world. This is the reason we have Trump with us," Galschiot, who was dressed as a polar bear, told DW. An end to coal Activists from countries like the Philippines and India joined the protest to demand more financial support from industrialized nations in adapting to climate change. Those from Germany said the country had to turn its back on coal. "We're of the opinion that Germany is doing too little to protect the climate," Uwe Lipke from environmental group BUND, told DW. "We would like Ms Merkel [Germany’s Chancellor] to push the winding down of coal." Germany is seen as a leader in the fight against climate change and renewable energy but has not yet set a date for phasing out of coal, which emits large amounts of CO2 when burned. Coal makes up around 40 percent of the country's energy mix. As a result, it will likely miss its ambitious 2020 target of reducing CO2 emissions 40 percent compared to 1990 levels, according to government calculations given to German paper Süddeutsche Zeitung. Unless industrialized states, in particular, phase out coal, environmentalists and scientists say it will be difficult to meet the Paris objectives and avoid catastrophic climate change. Those at the demonstration worried global leaders might not be up to the task, but remained hopeful. "What really concerns people is that the protecting of the climate won’t get better, that politicians will fail," said Paternoga from Attac. "I personally would like for my grandchildren to be able to still live on this Earth." Louise Osborne, Patrick Große and Rebecca Staudenmaier contributed to this report.

With anti-nuclear banners, polar bear costumes and Carnival-style floats, thousands of protesters took to the streets in Bonn to urge governments to do more to combat climate change. A fake Donald Trump, the devil and a crew of buccaneering pirates were among thousands of environmental activists who hit the soggy streets of Bonn on Saturday to cast out coal, oil ... Read More »

Paradise Papers expose tax schemes of global elite

Reporters have unveiled some 13.4 million secret documents detailing evidence of tax avoidance among high-ranking politicians and the super wealthy. Some in US President Donald Trump's cabinet have been implicated. Some 400 reporters from 67 countries have scoured 13.4 million secret documents and uncovered tax-avoidance techniques used by the super rich and high-ranking politicians, German media reported on Sunday. The leaked data was obtained by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, which said that the majority of the documents stem from offshore law firm Appleby, which was founded in Bermuda but has offices in several other locations. The company reported last month that it had been hacked. Read more: Paradise Papers — what you need to know The documents, dubbed the Paradise Papers, appear to show ties between members of US President Donald Trump's cabinet and Russian firms. Shrinking taxes The documents also show that by using shell companies, corporations such as Nike, Apple, Uber and Facebook are able to shrink their taxes to low rates. Rock star Bono, as well as British Queen Elizabeth II's private estate, has also been involved in offshore funds, Süddeutsche Zeitung reported. Over 120 politicians from 47 countries are involved in the tax-avoidance schemes, the paper reported. Economist Gabriel Zucman told the Süddeutsche Zeitung that the global elite have parked an estimated 7.9 trillion euros ($9.1 trillion) in offshore tax havens. The data was published by a number of news organizations in cooperation with the US-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). Read more: Panama Papers: Ex-PM Nawaz Sharif faces graft charges in Pakistan Trump's Cabinet and Russian links The leaks expose US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, alleging links with Russian President Vladimir Putin's closest allies. "Billionaire Wilbur Ross makes money from business with Russia. That he sits in US President Donald Trump's cabinet does not appear to change that," the Süddeutsche Zeitung said in its report. Ross is reportedly a major shareholder in an ocean freight company called Navigator, which has contracted more than $68 million through transactions with Russian energy group Sibur since 2014. Read more: What indictments of former Trump campaign officials mean for the president In turn, Sibur's biggest shareholders include Putin-ally Leonid Mikhelson, who controls another energy company sanctioned by the US Treasury for its close ties to the Russian president. Sibur's two other owners include Gennady Timchenko, who is also sanctioned by the US government for his ties to Putin, and Kirill Shamalov, who is married to Putin's youngest daughter. In addition to Ross, Süddeutsche Zeitung reported that over a dozen Trump advisers, cabinet members and campaign donors appear in the leaked data. German ex-chancellor implicated Data from the Paradise Papers shows that former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder had a management role at an offshore company. In 2009, he was part of a so-called "independent supervisory board" of the Russian-British energy company TNK-BP, the documents show. The joint venture by Britain's BP and Russia's Alfa-Group was based, like many other oil joint-ventures, in the British Virgin Islands. Schröder and two others on the board contacted Appleby "about certain procedural company affairs under the laws of the British Virgin Islands," according to an email from a London-based lawyer in October 2011. Appleby declined to offer their services due to a conflict of interest with another client. Read more: The Rosneft seat and Gerhard Schröder's Kremlin credentials In December 2011, Schröder stepped down from his post on the board. In 2013, TNK-PB was taken over by Russian oil giant Rosneft — Schröder was appointed chairman of Rosneft's supervisory board a few weeks ago. Several German companies also had dealings with Appleby, including car rental service Sixt, Deutsche Post (DHL), Siemens, Allianz and Deutsche Bank. Panama Papers — the sequel The Süddeutsche Zeitung was also involved in exposing the so-called Panama Papers leak last year. The papers were initially leaked to the Süddeutsche Zeitung last year. The Panama Papers consist of some 11.5 million leaked documents implicating individuals stashing their wealth in offshore tax havens. The documents revealed how Mossack Fonseca had created some 200,000 shell companies and listed the names of individuals, including politicians, celebrities and athletes, who had hidden their wealth in those companies.

Reporters have unveiled some 13.4 million secret documents detailing evidence of tax avoidance among high-ranking politicians and the super wealthy. Some in US President Donald Trump’s cabinet have been implicated. Some 400 reporters from 67 countries have scoured 13.4 million secret documents and uncovered tax-avoidance techniques used by the super rich and high-ranking politicians, German media reported on Sunday. The ... Read More »

Turkey frees German jailed for ‘political reasons’

Another German national who had been held in Turkey for "political reasons" has been released from jail, the German Foreign Ministry said. Nine German citizens still remain behind bars in Turkey amid diplomatic tensions. The German Foreign Ministry announced on Friday that authorities in Turkey released another German national from jail. Spokesman Rainer Breul said that the person had been held for "political reasons" and that he or she is not permitted to leave Turkey at this time. Read more: Academics flee Turkey for Germany as Erdogan targets teachers The freed detainee asked authorities not to release his or her identity, but the foreign ministry spokesman said that he or she had been released on October 22. Breul noted that nine other German citizens are still in custody in Turkey. The only detainees who have been named are Die Welt newspaper correspondent Deniz Yücel and journalist Mesale Tolu. German-Turkish relations have sharply declined in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt in July 2016 against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that saw a wave of arrests. Read more: Can Merkel push the EU toward a new Turkey policy? Last week, Turkey released human rights activist Peter Steudtner and seven other activists pending a verdict in their trail for allegedly supporting a terrorist organization. Steudtner has since returned to Germany.

Another German national who had been held in Turkey for “political reasons” has been released from jail, the German Foreign Ministry said. Nine German citizens still remain behind bars in Turkey amid diplomatic tensions. The German Foreign Ministry announced on Friday that authorities in Turkey released another German national from jail. Spokesman Rainer Breul said that the person had been ... Read More »

German police detain Syrian for ‘preparing’ explosives attack

A 19-year-old Syrian has been detained on suspicion of planning to carry out a terror attack in Germany. The man was ready to carry out the attack using highly explosive materials, according to prosecutors. A Syrian man suspected of planning a terror attack was detained in the northern German city of Schwerin, the Federal Prosecutor's Office said on Tuesday in a statement. The suspect, identified as 19-year-old Yamen A., was taken into police custody. Prosecutors said in a statement that the teen is "strongly suspected of having planned an Islamist-motivated attack" that involved "highly explosive" materials. Authorities added that Yamen A. had already "concretely prepared" the attack. Read more: Preventing terrorism: What powers do German security forces have? In July this year, the suspect made the decision to detonate an explosive device in Germany "in order to kill and injure as many people as possible," the statement read. Yamen A. then began to procure components to make an explosive device, including chemicals. It was not initially clear whether the suspect had selected a location to carry out the attack, prosecutors said. They added that there are no signs that Yamen A. was connected to any terrorist organizations. German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said the suspect's arrest prevented a "serious terror attack in Germany." He noted that the arrest occurred "at the right time — late enough to secure evidence and at the same time early enough to reliably avert danger." De Maizeire said that the terror threat posed by Islamic extremists in Germany and Europe remains "unchanged at a high level." Apartments searched in Hamburg and Schwerin The man's apartment as well as the apartments of others not yet suspected of involvement in planning the attack have been searched in Schwerin and the city of Hamburg. Prosecutors were set to give a press conference later on Tuesday. Read more: Masoud's list revisited — 'IS' victim turns terrorist hunter in Germany Germany was hit by several attacks in 2016, including one in December where a Tunisian man drove a stolen truck into a crowded Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 people. Last July, a 27-year-old Syrian refugee detonated an explosive device outside a music festival in the southern German town of Ansbach, killing himself and wounding 15 people.

A 19-year-old Syrian has been detained on suspicion of planning to carry out a terror attack in Germany. The man was ready to carry out the attack using highly explosive materials, according to prosecutors. A Syrian man suspected of planning a terror attack was detained in the northern German city of Schwerin, the Federal Prosecutor’s Office said on Tuesday in ... Read More »

German conservatives launch ‘constructive’ coalition talks

Angela Merkel's conservative bloc has begun talks on forging a three-way coalition. During the negotiations, all parties will have to find common ground on a slew of divisive issues, from immigration to climate policy. Exploratory talks between Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU), its Bavaria-based Christian Social Union (CSU) allies and the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) kicked off on Wednesday. "Today was a first, very constructive, good discussion that will of, course, be followed by more discussions," Peter Tauber, CDU general secretary, told reporters following a two-hour closed-door meeting. Party officials from the FDP and CSU were similarly upbeat about the talks, which aim to build Germany's first national three-party government. 'A good feeling' After failing to secure a clear majority in Germany's September elections, Merkel's conservatives are hoping to govern in an alliance with the liberal FDP and the left-leaning Greens. Tauber said he had a "good feeling" about a meeting with the Greens later in the day. The FDP and the Greens will then hold talks separately on Thursday, with over 50 people from all parties set to gather for their first joint sit-down on Friday. If this week's exploratory talks go well, the parties will move into formal coalition negotiations. The prospective alliance has been dubbed a "Jamaica" coalition because the colors of the parties involved match the Caribbean country's flag. Read more: How long will Germany have to wait for a government? Jamaica is far away "Jamaica and Germany are 8,500 kilometers apart," Nicola Beer of the FDP told reporters after the first round of talks with the CDU/CSU on Wednesday. "I think today the first few meters of that journey have gone well." Merkel has acknowledged that the talks won't be easy. There are significant policy differences between staunch conservatives in the CDU/CSU, for example, and the left faction of the Greens. To avoid a deadlock in the negotiations, all sides will likely have to compromise on a range of thorny issues, including European Union reform, action on climate change, taxation and refugee policy. No government before 2018 A number of critics in the chancellor's own bloc have called for a shift to the right after September's election saw the conservatives suffer their worst result since 1949, while the far-right Alternative for Germany party made strong gains. CSU leader Horst Seehofer, who has been highly critical of Merkel's decision to open the borders to asylum seekers in 2015, reiterated Wednesday that limiting immigration was a "very, very important" goal. That's a position the Greens strongly disagree with. Greens negotiator Jürgen Trittin has warned of growing populist tendencies in the CDU/CSU bloc, saying that their hardline demands on the refugee issue would present "massive hurdles." The distribution of ministerial posts between the parties is also expected to be a tricky point of discussion. Most analysts say it's unlikely a new government will be formed before the end of the year.

Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc has begun talks on forging a three-way coalition. During the negotiations, all parties will have to find common ground on a slew of divisive issues, from immigration to climate policy. Exploratory talks between Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), its Bavaria-based Christian Social Union (CSU) allies and the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) kicked off on ... Read More »

German police search for suspects after high-speed train shot at near Frankfurt

German authorities have asked for help finding three men who used an air rifle to shoot at a high-speed passenger train near Frankfurt. Several of the train's windows were damaged, but no one was injured. Three suspects who shot at a high-speed Deutsche Bahn ICE train with an air rifle are still at large, a federal police spokesman said on Tuesday. Authorities have not yet been able to identify the men, and are asking witnesses to come forward with any possible clues. The men are being investigated for dangerous interference with railway traffic. Hidden in a wooded area outside of Frankfurt, the men shot at the passenger train with at least one air gun on Monday as the train was traveling on its way to the western city of Essen around 3:30 p.m. local time. Several windows on the train were damaged during the shooting, but none of the 400 passengers were wounded. Read more: Drunken train driver halted by German police "Fortunately, none of the windows were penetrated and no passengers were injured," a police spokesman told local public broadcaster Hessenschau on Monday. Following the air rifle assault, the damaged train is being inspected by forensic detectives for further clues. The results of their investigation should be ready by Thursday, a police spokesman told German news agency DPA.

German authorities have asked for help finding three men who used an air rifle to shoot at a high-speed passenger train near Frankfurt. Several of the train’s windows were damaged, but no one was injured. Three suspects who shot at a high-speed Deutsche Bahn ICE train with an air rifle are still at large, a federal police spokesman said on ... Read More »

Scroll To Top