Alexandra's Feed
May 6, 2012

Merkel’s party in dead heat in state vote

BERLIN (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives stood neck-and-neck with the rival Social Democrats (SPD) in an election in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein, projections showed on Sunday, pointing to weeks of tough coalition talks to form a government.

German TV network ARD projected Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) on 30.6 percent, their worst result in the state since 1950, and the SPD on 29.9 percent based on exit polls after the voting stations closed at 6 p.m. (1600 GMT). The result would give both parties 22 seats in the 69-seat assembly.

May 5, 2012

Merkel’s party set for photo finish in state vote

BERLIN, May 6 (Reuters) – Angela Merkel’s conservatives face
a photo-finish state vote in Germany’s north on Sunday, knowing
that losing power in Schleswig-Holstein could give vital
momentum to the opposition and dent the chancellor’s 2013
re-election hopes.

Merkel’s resolute stance through the dramas of the euro zone
crisis has left her personal popularity intact. But her national
centre-right coalition is in jeopardy after a slump in public
support for her junior coalition partners, the Free Democrats
(FDP), due to their infighting and prickly leaders.

May 4, 2012

Russia talk of pre-emptive strike unjustified

BERLIN (Reuters) – A Kremlin threat to launch pre-emptive strikes on a planned NATO missile defence system in Europe is unjustified as the system poses no threat to Russia’s security, the head of the Atlantic alliance said on Friday.

NATO has long insisted that the anti-missile shield it is developing is aimed at protecting member states from a possible Iranian attack, but Russia says it fears the system could undermine the effectiveness of its own nuclear arsenal.

May 4, 2012

NATO: Russia talk of pre-emptive strike unjustified

BERLIN (Reuters) – A Kremlin threat to launch pre-emptive strikes on a planned NATO missile defense system in Europe is unjustified as the system poses no threat to Russia’s security, the head of the Atlantic alliance said on Friday.

NATO has long insisted that the anti-missile shield it is developing is aimed at protecting member states from a possible Iranian attack, but Russia fears the system could undermine the effectiveness of its own nuclear arsenal.

May 4, 2012

Russia talk of pre-emptive strike unjustified: NATO

BERLIN (Reuters) – A Kremlin threat to launch pre-emptive strikes on a planned NATO missile defence system in Europe is unjustified as the system poses no threat to Russia’s security, the head of the Atlantic alliance said on Friday.

NATO has long insisted that the anti-missile shield it is developing is aimed at protecting member states from a possible Iranian attack, but Russia fears the system could undermine the effectiveness of its own nuclear arsenal.

May 3, 2012

North German cliffhanger holds clues to Merkel’s fate

BERLIN (Reuters) – Angela Merkel’s conservatives face a struggle to retain power in Germany’s windswept north this Sunday, knowing a defeat in Schleswig-Holstein’s state election could give vital momentum to the opposition and dent the chancellor’s 2013 re-election hopes.

Merkel’s calm, resolute stance through the dramas of the euro zone crisis has left her personal popularity intact. But her national centre-right coalition is in jeopardy after a slump in public support for her junior coalition partners, the Free Democrats (FDP), due to their infighting and crotchety leaders.

Apr 24, 2012

Sanctions pull rug from under Persian carpet trade

HAMBURG, April 24 (Reuters) – Business could not get much
worse for the Persian carpet dealers who over the past
half-century have turned Hamburg’s historic red-brick warehouses
into an unlikely centre of the global oriental rug trade.

U.S. sanctions forbidding the import of Iranian-made carpets
into the United States, even from third countries, have deprived
the rug sellers of one of their largest markets at a time when
sales are already depressed. New sanctions on payments to and
from Iran have only made life harder.

Apr 14, 2012

World powers seek to ease nuclear deadlock with Iran

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Iran and six world powers began rare talks on Saturday to try to halt a downward diplomatic spiral over Tehran’s nuclear program and ease fears of a new Middle East war.

The talks, in Istanbul, the first between Iran and the six powers in 15 months, are unlikely to yield any major breakthrough but Western diplomats hope to see readiness from Tehran to start to discuss issues of substance.

Apr 12, 2012

Turkey arrests former military leaders over 1997 coup

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkish prosecutors ordered the arrest on Thursday of four ex-generals and dozens of officers on charges of plotting the 1997 overthrow of the government of Necmettin Erbakan, the Islamist leader who paved the way for Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan.

The arrest warrants are the latest in a series of direct challenges to Turkey’s military, who for decades considered it their right to interfere in political affairs, and who toppled four governments they felt threatened Turkey’s secular order.

Mar 25, 2012

Merkel’s CDU wins in German state but allies out

BERLIN, March 25 (Reuters) – Angela Merkel’s conservatives
won Sunday’s election in the tiny state of Saarland but her Free
Democrat (FDP) allies crashed out of the local assembly with
just 1.2 percent, continuing a dismal run which has weakened her
centre-right German government.

The chancellor’s Christian Democrats (CDU) won the state
election and will seek a so-called “Grand Coalition” with the
second-placed Social Democrats (SPD), a trend which may be
repeated in national elections next year.