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Mar 13, 2014

Book Talk: Small, smart moves the key to “50 Shades” of success

BERLIN, March 13 (Reuters) – What do the fall of the Berlin
Wall, 90 million copies of the erotic novel “Fifty Shades of
Grey” and the accidental success of the online photo-sharing
service Flickr have in common?

A new e-book argues that they managed to harness pent-up
energy, luck, creativity and other phenomena to get “outsized
results”, and that entrepreneurs or activists can emulate this
with a strategy called “Scaling” – the book’s title.

Feb 18, 2014

Merkel urges patience with Swiss after immigration vote

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned on Tuesday against rushing to retaliate against Switzerland for its vote to curb immigration, saying Europe’s own interests were best served by waiting to see how the Swiss implement the referendum result.

“It can’t be that because one side did something in one specific area that the other side says nothing works in other areas,” Merkel said after talks with Swiss President Didier Burkhalter, who is also the country’s foreign minister.

Feb 13, 2014

Chinese directors master Nordic noir, shoot-’em-up Western

BERLIN, Feb 13 (Reuters) – An overweight detective with a
drinking problem and a fresh divorce stumbles through the snow
to catch a killer armed with ice-skates, showing China has no
need to envy the Nordics when it comes to crime in a cold
climate.

A city lawyer rides through the desert on horseback with a
satellite navigator to rescue a girl from a deadly smuggler. Not
Arizona but China again, showing it may have something to teach
Quentin Tarantino when it comes to spaghetti Westerns.

Feb 11, 2014

Monster or god? Nick Cave explores rock performance in new film

BERLIN, Feb 11 (Reuters) – Australian singer-songwriter Nick
Cave – who has conjured up so much horror, lust and murder as
well as haunting love songs in three decades fronting “The Bad
Seeds” – worries that technology could destroy the mystique of
live rock performance.

The 56-year-old cult musician, scriptwriter and novelist,
presenting his latest cinema project – “20,000 Days on Earth” -
at the Berlin Film Festival, said in an interview on Tuesday
that live music should be a “transformative” experience.

Feb 5, 2014

Germany to abstain in EU vote on new GMO maize

HAMBURG/BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany intends to abstain in a European Union vote on the cultivation of a new type of genetically modified maize, a government spokesman said on Wednesday.

Some German opposition politicians said an abstention could lead to the European Commission giving a green light for the maize to be farmed, but diplomats in Brussels said Germany’s move might not be enough to ensure EU approval.

Feb 4, 2014

Erdogan struggles with Merkel’s scepticism on Turkish EU bid

BERLIN, Feb 4 (Reuters) – Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip
Erdogan urged Angela Merkel to throw Germany’s full weight
behind his country’s bid to join the European Union but there
was no sign the chancellor had been swayed from her sceptical
stance on Turkish membership.

In a visit to Berlin overshadowed by EU concerns about his
crackdown on the judiciary and police whom he accuses of forming
part of a “parallel state”, Erdogan complained that German
support was “not currently adequate”.

Feb 2, 2014

Germany promises more engagement – but not on the battlefield

MUNICH, Feb 2 (Reuters) – Germany’s U.S. and European allies
welcome Berlin’s promise of a more robust foreign and security
policy, but with no appetite at home for troops to fight, it may
mean little more than extra logistical help and tougher
rhetoric.

At this year’s security conference in Munich, where 11 years
ago pacifist-turned-foreign minister Joschka Fischer told U.S.
defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld “excuse me, I am not
convinced” about the war in Iraq, Germany promised its knee-jerk
reaction would no longer be a ‘no’ to overseas missions.

Feb 2, 2014

Ukrainian opposition buoyed by wave of Western support

MUNICH (Reuters) – The opposing sides of Ukraine’s political crisis put their cases to world powers on Saturday, with the opposition buoyed by pledges of support from the West while Ukraine’s foreign minister accused Europe of forcing Kiev into a strategic choice.

Meanwhile the United States and Europe, which held private meetings with the opposition, exchanged angry words with Russia, accusing it of exactly the same thing – strong-arming Kiev into an unpopular alliance.

Feb 1, 2014

West and Russia accuse each other of ‘coercing’ Ukraine

MUNICH (Reuters) – The United States and Europe exchanged angry words with Russia on Saturday in a tug-of-war over Ukraine, with U.S., EU and NATO leaders saying Moscow must not strong-arm Kiev into an unpopular alliance.

At conference in Munich where Western diplomats met leaders of the Ukrainian opposition, United States Secreatary of State John Kerry said the protesters believe “their futures do not have to lie with one country alone, and certainly not coerced”.

Jan 31, 2014

Kerry asks Russia to pressure Syria on faster chemical arms removal

MUNICH (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry asked Russia’s foreign minister on Friday to put pressure on the Syrian government to accelerate the removal of chemical weapons, which Kerry said is not happening quickly enough.

Kerry met Russia’s Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference to discuss what Washington considered to be “unacceptable” progress in moving Syrian chemical weapons, said a senior U.S. State Department official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

    • About Stephen

      "I moved to Berlin to run our German political, economic and general news file in 2010 after nearly four years as chief correspondent in Rome covering Berlusconi, the L'Aquila earthquake, G8 summit and Vatican. I was Nordic and Baltic bureau chief for 3-1/2 years and bureau chief of southern Latin America, based in Buenos Aires, for eight years including the Argentine collapse in 2001/2002. My first assignments for Reuters were in Spain, Portugal and our HQ in London. Before Reuters I worked for the Financial Times Group."
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