BERLIN (Reuters) – Angela Merkel embarks on a tricky visit to Turkey on Sunday looking increasingly isolated in her personal opposition to its European Union entry bid and facing charges from Ankara that Germany is soft on Kurdish militants.
Her two-day visit occurs at a sensitive moment – a change of president in France is bringing new momentum to Turkey’s EU membership application, just as Ankara finds itself forced to re-engage more actively with the West as the conflict raging in Syria badly strains ties with its eastern neighbours.
BERLIN/ROME (Reuters) – Catholics reacted with shock on Monday to the first papal abdication since the Middle Ages, although the mood among many was one of respect rather than the outpouring of emotion which greeted the death of his beloved predecessor John Paul II.
In Germany, the pope’s home country, where eight years ago the election of the first German pope in more than 1,000 years was greeted with the headline “We are Pope!”, there was surprise but little overt emotion.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Two adolescents’ experiences of reading the French 18th century novel ‘The Nun’ lie at the heart of new film of Denis Diderot’s book, in which a teenage girl is sent to a convent and browbeaten into taking the veil.
The first is that of director Guillaume Nicloux himself, who read the book as a youngster just as he was embarking on his own personal rebellion after a religious education. The second is that of his teenage daughter, who convinced him the story of Sister Suzanne’s struggle still resonated in the modern world.
BERLIN, Feb 8 (Reuters) – Germany’s trade surplus was the
second highest in more than 60 years in 2012, pointing to an
underlying resilience in Europe’s largest economy, although both
imports and exports disappointed in the last month of the year.
Exports rose just 0.3 percent in December from November,
compared with a forecast rise of 1.3 percent, and imports fell
1.3 percent against expectations for a rise of 1.4 percent
MUNICH (Reuters) – Iran said on Sunday it was open to a U.S. offer of direct talks on its nuclear program and that six world powers had suggested a new round of nuclear negotiations this month, but without committing itself to either proposal.
Diplomatic efforts to resolve a dispute over Iran’s nuclear program, which Tehran says is peaceful but the West suspects is intended to give Iran the capability to build a nuclear bomb, have been all but deadlocked for years, while Iran has continued to announce advances in the program.
MUNICH, Germany (Reuters) – Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Sunday an attack on a Syrian arms complex showed Israel was serious about preventing the flow of heavy weapons into Lebanon, appearing to acknowledge for the first time that Israel carried out the strike.
Israel has maintained official silence over Wednesday’s raid, which Syria said targeted a military research center north-west of Damascus.
MUNICH, Feb 3 (Reuters) – The United States is enjoying an
energy bonanza thanks to shale gas, making it a magnet for
industry, reducing import dependence and challenging Europe as
it battles to dig itself out of recession, energy officials say.
Panelists at a weekend security conference in Munich warned
Europe must develop a strategy on how to tap its own resources
in order to keep energy costs competitive, or risk seeing
power-intensive industries locate elsewhere.
CAIRO/BERLIN (Reuters) – Egyptian authorities scaled back a curfew imposed by President Mohamed Mursi, and the Islamist leader cut short a visit to Europe on Wednesday to deal with the deadliest violence in the seven months since he took power.
Two more protesters were shot dead before dawn near Cairo’s central Tahrir Square on Wednesday, a day after the army chief warned that the state was on the brink of collapse if Mursi’s opponents and supporters did not end street battles.
CAIRO/BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Egypt’s Islamist president on Wednesday to open a dialogue with all political forces in the crisis-ridden Arab country after a week of violence that has killed more than 50 people.
President Mohamed Mursi flew to Germany to try to convince Europe of his democratic credentials, but in a sign of the political tensions back home, he restricted his trip to a few hours and cancelled a planned Paris leg.
CAIRO/BERLIN (Reuters) – Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi flew to Germany on Wednesday to convince Europe of his democratic credentials, leaving behind a country in crisis after a wave of violence that has killed more than 50 people.
The Egyptian army chief warned on Tuesday that the state was on the brink of collapse if political factions did not end the street battles that have resumed two years after the revolt that toppled long-serving autocrat Hosni Mubarak.