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Angela Merkel Tag

Days after U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to walk away from the Iran nuclear deal, Germany has joined hands with its arch-rival Russia in order to rescue the troubled agreement. As part of a diplomatic campaign to rally support for the agreement, German Chancellor Angela Merkel dispatched Foreign Minister Heiko Maas to Moscow on Tuesday. "Iran deal crisis triggers rare show of unity between Moscow and Berlin," commented Germany's state-run DW News. "Both Germany and Russia believe the deal should remain in force," the broadcaster added.

Following President Donald Trump's decision to no longer abide by the Iran nuclear deal, the U.S. ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, has urged the German businesses to stop trading with the Islamic Republic of Iran. "US sanctions will target critical sectors of Iran’s economy. German companies doing business in Iran should wind down operations immediately," Grenell tweeted on Tuesday.

According to German media reports, Osama bin Laden's former bodyguard has been drawing huge welfare payments for the past several years after the 42-year-old Tunisian man and his family received permanent asylum in the country. German authorities made these revelations following a formal request for information submitted by the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. German immigration authorities are refusing to deport the former Al Qaeda henchman, identified as Sami A., back to Tunisia, citing "the considerable likelihood" of "torture and inhumane or degrading treatment," German newspaper BILD reported. German security services classify Sami A. as a "security risk" due to his past links and current activities, German broadcaster Deutsche Welle revealed. Another German newspaper described him as a "key figure in German Islamist scene."

Ahead of Chancellor Angela Merkel's one-day visit to Washington scheduled for Friday, German media have complained about the lack of ceremonial pomp accorded to the visiting leader. German media outlets were incensed by the fact that French President Emmanuel Macron, who is also touring the US this week, was receiving an preferential treatment from the White House. Germany, given its economic strength, considers itself a bigger player in Europe than France.

German police launched an investigation into an antisemitic attack after a video of the incident surfaced on the internet today. On Monday evening, a group of Arabic speaking men verbally insulted two youth wearing kippa, the traditional Jewish skullcap. One of the attackers can be seen using a belt to attack the victim while screaming insults in Arabic. Media reports later identified at least one of the victims as an Israeli Arab "who didn't believe Germany was antisemitic." He told German broadcaster DW News that it was a gift from a Jewis friend who warned him against wearing it in Germany out of safety concerns. "It was an experience for me to wear the kippa yesterday and go out," he added.

Despite German mainstream media and TV channels cheerleading Chancellor Angela Merkel's open door migrant policy, a new survey shows that the majority of Germans are aware of the deteriorating law and order situation across the country. According to a poll commissioned by Germany's largest circulation newspaper BILD, 51 percent of the Germans agreed that "there are places in the country so lawless, even police won't venture there." The nationwide opinion poll once again highlighted the role of Arab and Turkish crime gangs operating in German inner cities. According to German media reports, several large-scale clashes and turf wars took place between Iraqi, Turkish, and Lebanese gangs in various cities in past weeks alone. Some 77 percent of the respondents wanted police to "crack down harder" on these foreign crime gangs, the BILD survey revealed.

The debate over surging Islamization in Germany has created a serious rift within Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian-Conservative alliance. Merkel's Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), launched scathing attack on the growing influence of Islam in German society Islam "doesn't culturally shape our country" and "it should not" be culturally influential in Germany, Alexander Dobrindt, the head of the CSU parliamentary party, said in a newspaper interview. In a rare display of backbone by a leading German politician, Dobrindt asserted the superiority of West's "Judeo-Christian heritage," saying "[N]o Islamic country on earth has developed a comparable democratic culture like the ones we know in Christian countries."

Prime Minister Viktor Orban's landslide victory in Hungary's general election has rattled the European political establishment. The three-time Prime Minister secured almost half of the vote and a two-thirds majority in the national parliament. "Dear friends, there's a big battle behind us, we secured a historic victory—we got a chance, we created a chance for us to defend Hungary," Prime Minister Orban told his supporters on Sunday night.

Barely a month into her fourth term as German Chancellor, Angela Merkel is facing an open rebellion within her party. Around 100 politicians belonging to her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party Christian Social Union (CSU) have published a list of demands urging the Merkel-led conservative alliance to return to its Christian values.

The German Interior Ministry has reported a significant rise in the number of Islamist extremists living in the country. Officially classified as Salafists, or radicalized Muslims, their number has crossed 11,000 for the first time. Five years ago the intelligence agencies had placed their number at 5,500—almost half of the present size. Those figures have been on an upward swing since German Chancellor Angela Merkel opened the country's borders to migrants in the autumn of 2015.

While the German police struggle to take back control of their streets, the Merkel government has been "concerned by the situation in Gaza." The German Foreign Ministry called for "resumption of negotiations to find a solution that would be suitable to all people between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea." This week, two large-scale riots took place in Hamborn district of Duisburg, a small town some 50-minute ride from the north-western German city of Cologne.

With Germany still struggling with the endless migrant influx, yet another German city has imposed a ban on refugee intake. Pirmasens in southwestern Germany became the latest town to block new migrants from moving in, German newspapers reported on Wednesday. German cities of Cuttbuss, Salzgitter, Delmenhorst, and Wilhelmshaven have also placed similar restrictions in the recent months.
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