"Suddenly there was a hand on my bottom . . ." was the rather atypical headline that ran in Germany's ordinarily conservative daily newspaper Die Welt on January 4. It described a riot-like series of sexual assaults and robberies carried out on New Year's Eve in the center of Cologne on the Domplatz, the plaza between the city's train station and its world-famous cathedral. The assailants were mostly described as Arab-looking. Thus far 120 victims have filed criminal complaints, two of them for rape. Descriptions of the assaults have appeared in newspapers across Germany. The stories are varied and shocking. ("They made a kind of wall around us," one of two high-school girls surrounded by a gang of youthsRead more
In naming German chancellor Angela Merkel its "person of the year," Time has made a bold departure from tradition. Often as not, the magazine gives the honor to a vague collectivity: "the Peacemakers," "the Whistleblowers," "The American Soldier," "the Good Samaritans," the "Ebola fighters," "the Protester," and even—at its nadir of editorial inspiration in 2006—"You." And even that was an improvement on its practice of the 1980s, when Time conferred its honors on inanimate objects ("the Computer," "the Endangered Earth").
Merkel, by contrast, is actually a person. She actually did a great deal of importance this past year. She forced a plan on recalcitrant Greeks to resolve the crisis of Europe's single currency,Read more
Until mid-September, the half-million migrants who had been marching northwards into central Europe seemed like the Old World equivalent of Hurricane Sandy survivors. Families uprooted by the war in Syria were seeking safety, according to this view of things. It was sad to see little girls sleeping by the side of the road, but inspiring to see European volunteers, with their clipboards and their bags of snacks, their water bottles and Port-a-Potties, showing such compassion and logistical expertise.Read more
The German chancellor bestrides Europe like a colossus. She sets economic policy for the 18-nation eurozone. She says “If the euro goes, Europe goes”, by which she means that the currency’s value favors German exports to her eurozone partners, and makes it more difficult for them to sell their olives, wine and cars in Germany.Read more
German chancellor Angela Merkel has cautioned that the adventurism of Russian president Vladimir Putin would not remain limited to Ukraine, or even to other countries bordering on Russia. Since Russia seized Crimea in February-March 2014, Putin’s provocative campaign has included imposition of phantom “governments” in two areas of eastern Ukraine, Luhansk and Donetsk, and , Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, which are members of NATO.Read more
German chancellor Angela Merkel is in Israel visiting Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. This photo, apparently taken by photographer Marc Israel Sellem of the Jerusalem Post is making waves:
As Jerusalem Post report Ben Hartman notes on Twitter:
President Obama and German chancellor Angela Merkel spoke on the phone about the violence in Ukraine. The two leaders agreed "to stay in close touch in the days ahead," according to a White House read-out of the call.Read more
One of the European parliament’s most influential members, the German Christian Democrat Elmar Brok, has declared that Standard & Poor’s decision to downgrade the credit ratings of nine eurozone member states is part of a “currency war” being waged by the United States against the euro and Europe itself.Read more
The issue of nuclear power will be front and center when German chancellor Angela Merkel visits Washington this week. Consider the front-page story in the May 31 Washington Post: “Germany to shut down nuclear plants by 2022: Decision in aftermath of crisis in Japan is a turnaround for Merkel.” The headline was striking. It also didn’t make any sense.Read more
Berlin—Since President Obama ordered the special forces strike that killed mass murderer Osama Bin Laden earlier this month, the German government has grown increasingly reluctant to help Washington find terrorists who are fighting U.S. and allied troops in Afghanistan and Pakistan.Read more
Berlin—Many European reactions to the recent murders by radical Islamists of pro- Palestinian Israeli filmmaker Juliano Mer-Khamis and Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni replicate the typical recurrence of the same: Shift the blame to Israel in an a priori fashion without delving into existing empirical evidence.Read more
Only hours before German chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed Israel prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Berlin on Thursday, her government did a deal worth billions with the greatest threat to Israel’s existence.Read more
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