Last Friday it emerged that, in July 2016, Volkswagen told European Commission competition investigators of secret meetings with its German competitors, dating back 14 years, to discuss production and components, including elements related to the diesel emissions scandal

If EU competition law is found to be breached the companies could face fines of up to 10% of turnover

1996: British soldiers walk to a police van that hides partly a pickup truck in front of a side entrance to the Osnabrück British Quebec barracks after a mortar attack. Photograph: Joerg Sarbach/AP/File

James Corry appears at first day of trial over attack on army base in western Germany

Demonstrators gather in Wroclaw, Poland, to protest against judicial reforms that many fear will require incoming judges to be loyal to the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party. Photograph: Mieczyslaw Michalak/Agencja Gazeta/Reuters

Polish cabinet vows to continue with radical reform plan despite opposition from EU

Former Polish president Lech Walesa at a protest against supreme court legislation in Gdansk. Photograph: Renata Dabrowska/Agencja Gazeta

Controversial Bill was aimed at extending government powers over court appointments

People demonstrate in front of the presidential palace in Warsaw on Monday. Photograph: Janek Skarzynski/AFP/Getty Images

Reform laws passed by parliament triggered nationwide demonstrations

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German car maker Volkswagen: reports of secret meetings being held between managers of VW and its competitors BMW and Daimler. Photograph:  Paul J Richards/AFP/Getty images

Collusion to fix prices of diesel-emissions systems goes back to 1990s, says ‘Der Spiegel’

Polish prime minister Beata Szydlo: her ruling party has mounted a long-term campaign against existing judges. Photograph: Jacek Turczyk/EPA

Critics say new law increases political influence of ruling party over new judges

German Advocate General Juliane Kokott has told the European Court of Justice that Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner was wrong  to say  accountancy trainee Peter Nowak had no right to access the script of a failed exam. Photograph: John Thys/AFP/Getty Images

Advocate General tells European court that exam scripts do constitute ‘personal data’

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the chairman of the ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS), attends a parliamentary session in Warsaw, Poland. Photograph: Agencja Gazeta/Slawomir Kaminski/via Reuters

Jaroslaw Kaczynski makes emotional intervention in judicial dispute amid EU warning

German minister for justice Heiko Maas: last two years have  seen a tripling of hate speech and other criminal content on social media platforms. Photograph: Steffi Loos/AFP/Getty Images

Law compels social media to remove abusive material within 24 hours or face €50m fines

The sign in the window of a hairdresser’s shop in Zwickau, eastern Germany, that sparked abuse and calls to boycott the salon.

Xenophobes criticise hairdresser branch over barber who cannot cut women’s hair

Thousands gather   outside   the Supreme Court building in Warsaw, Poland to protest against changes in the judicial law and the supreme court. Photograph:  EPA/Jacek Turczyk

Berlin says court reform is unacceptable political ‘intervention’ in judiciary independence

Soulé: “It’s so inspiring to be in Berlin. There’s such a buzz here”

Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh, New Jackson, Tom Adams and Soulé among well-received acts

A woman walks past Mercedes cars at a dealership in Berlin on July 13th. German media say  Daimler AG possibly installed emissions cheating software into a million Mercedes vehicles. Photograph: Getty

Concern for millions of jobs as VW emissions scandal turns into industry-wide meltdown

German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble: Berlin’s contribution to Greece and direct bilateral loans to Athens have generated a windfall. Photograph: François Lenoir/Reuters

Opposition politicians say it may be legal to earn Greek money but is morally dubious

James Corry accused of involvement in 1996 assault on British army base in Osnabrück

A group of German academics studied almost 6,000 WhatsApp messages found on a phone, seized last year by police from its owner, who was involved in a terror attack last year. Photograph: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

Academic study of Jihadist phone exchanges suggest little knowledge of Koran

German chancellor Angela Merkel thanks members of German law enforcement and emergency services at the conclusion of the G20 summit in Hamburg. Photograph: Sean Gallup/EPA

US president isolated as G20 reiterates support for multilateral globalised trade

US president Donald Trump at the G20 summit in Hamburg. Photograph: Markus Schreiber/AFP/Getty Images

Trump isolated on climate change as group issues dissenting conclusions for first time

President Donald Trump and German chancellor Angela Merkel on the second day of the G20 summit  in Hamburg. Photograph:Ukas Michael/Pool/Getty Images

Meeting ends ‘19 against 1’ on climate protections with fears of trade war on steel

A man works outside a shop that was looted during demonstrations at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. Photograph: REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

Protesters torched cars and smashed windows before police restored order

A sculpted relief shows Martin Luther on a wall in the Stadtkirche Sankt Marien church in Wittenberg, where he preached. Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Wittenberg is spending €50m to mark the theologian’s protest 500 years ago

Russian president Vladimir Putin and US president Donald Trump meet on Friday on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg. Photograph: Michael Klimentyev/EPA

White House disputes Russian version of events during Trump-Putin meeting

German chancellor Angela Merkel welcomes Senegalese president Macky Sall to the G20 summit in Hamburg. Photograph: Clemens Bilan/EPA

Germany bills deal ‘trade not aid’, but analysts predict private sector exploitation

French president Emmanuel Macron, German chancellor angela merkel and us president Donald Trump confer at the start of the first working session of the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, yesterday. Photograph: John Macdougall/Pool/The New York Times

German chancellor seeks to anchor a deal to hold the post-cold world order together

Donald Trump during a meeting with Vladimir Putin at the G-20 summit in Hamburg, on Friday. At right is US secretary of state Rex Tillerson. Photograph: Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

Tillerson says US president pressed Russian leader over election interference claim

Police use water canon while demonstrators block a street during protests against the G-20 summit in Hamburg on Friday. Photograph: AP

Anti-capitalist protesters set fire to cars, barricades, rubbish bins and wooden pallets

US president Donald Trump and Russia’s president Vladimir Putin during a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Merkel urges open, conciliatory talks to ‘allay fears and anxieties’ of people around world

A protester throws an object into a fire at ‘Schanzenviertel’ quarter close to ‘Rote Flora’ building ahead of the G20 summit in Hamburg. Photograph: EPA

Donald Trump to meet Vladimir Putin as summit agenda filled with global issues

German chancellor Angela Merkel meets US president Donald Trump on the eve of the G20 summit, in Hamburg, Germany. Photograph: Michael Kappeler/Reuters

US president demands action on North Korea and criticises Russia before Hamburg event

US president Donald Trump speaks at Krasinski Square in Warsaw, Poland, on Thursday.  Photograph: Stephen Crowley/New York Times

US president uses speech in Poland to appeal for Western unity in the face of ‘dire threats’

Protesters  demonstrate on the Alster river ahead of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. Photograph: John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images

Europe’s Future: Hamburg summit comes amid Trump chaos and Russian aggression

German chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese president Xi Jinping attend a welcome ceremony for Chinese panda bears at the zoo in Berlin. Photograph: Axel Schmidt/Reuters

Germany’s warm welcome for Xi Jinping comes ahead of meeting with Donald Trump

A full-scale replica of Adolf Hitler’s office inside the so-called Führerbunker.  Photograph: Tobias Schwarz/AFP/Getty Images

Only a dirty blouse got between Johanna Ruf (88) and a meeting with the Nazi dictator

Finland’s foreign minister Timo Soini (third from left) with prime minister Juha Sipilae:  “What has happened in Ukraine has had a negative impact on the security situation in Europe and the Baltic Sea . . .” Photograph: Timo Heikkala/AFP/Getty

Timo Soini says post-Brexit EU can only survive if it prioritises citizens’ concerns

Forensic experts work at the scene where a tour bus burst into flames following a collision with a trailer truck on the highway A9 near Münchberg, southern Germany. Photogaph: Nicolas Armer/AFP/Getty

German investigators say bus may have already caught fire before collision with lorry

Parliamentarians including chancellor Angela Merkel prepare to vote at the Bundestag on a new law to legalise gay marriage in Germany. Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Bundestag approves same-sex marriage as chancellor appeases party conservatives

What has the EU done for us, apart from decades of peace, freedom to work, travel, trade and study across the continent? And don't(...)

Germany’s deputy finance minister, Jens Spahn listens to the debate in the Bundestag on Friday on legalising same-sex marriage. Photograph: Oliver Lang/EPA

Rising CDU star Jens Spahn wary of treaty change and hostile to open-door migration

 Members of the Green Party around Volker Beck (centre) celebrate after the vote on legalising same-sex marriages, at the German parliament (Bundestag) in Berlin on Friday. Photograph: EPA

‘To be honest, Frau Merkel: thanks for nothing’, opposition deputy shouts to chancellor

German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Emmanuel  Macron: Dr Merkel said  Brexit challenges would not hinder G20 leaders from Europe presenting a united front. Photograph: Michele Tantussi/Getty Images

German chancellor says Europe determined to make a success of Paris climate agreement

The entrance of a former barracks ground in Bad Segeberg, near Hamburg.   Photograph: Bodo Marks/AFP/Getty Images

Officers brought in to aid G20 summit set up suspended over ‘inappropriate behaviour ’

German chancellor Angela Merkel flung open the door to marriage equality in Germany without revealing where she stood. Photograph: Alexander Koerner/Getty Images

Angela Merkel softens opposition and promises free vote in parliament

SPD leader Martin Schulz: directed his attack at German chancellor Angela Merkel’s political style. Photograph: Sascha Schuermann/AFP/Getty Images

SPD leader accused of defensiveness as party lags chancellor’s CDU by 15 points in polls

Büsingen, Germany’s one and only enclave, surrounded on all sides by Switzerland.

Residents in enclave of Büsingen live a hybrid life, and often feel misunderstood

Walter Kohl, son of former German chancellor Helmut Kohl arrives at his fathers home in Oggersheim, Germany: Only after  negotiating with police officers and the former chancellor’s widow, Maike, was he allowed inside. Photograph: Ralph Orlowski/Reuters

Sons accuse stepmother of shutting them out in last years of ‘unity chancellor’s’ life

German-Turkish lawyer, author and activist Seyran Ates (standing) prepares the prayer area ahead of inaugural Friday prayers at the Ibn Rushd-Goethe-mosque in Berlin. Photograph:  John MacDougall/AFP/Getty

Lawyer, women’s activist and Muslim Seyran Ates creates a new, inclusive place of prayer

German Chancellor Helmut Kohl gestures during an electoral rally in Erfurt for first free elections in East Germany in  February 1990. Photograph: Michael Urban/Reuters

Obituary: Helmut Kohl – Born: April 3rd, 1930. Died: June 16th, 2017

 Helmut Kohl in 2000. “We mourn,” Kohl’s Christian Democratic Union party (CDU) tweeted with a picture of the former chancellor. Photograph:  Attila Kisbenedek/EPA

Country’s longest-serving postwar chancellor was driving force behind the euro

The men gathered around a green wooden bench in Schönleinstrasse train station where one lit a tissue and laid it near the head of the sleeping man. Photograph: Meißner/ullstein bild via Getty Images

One man sentenced to almost three years in jail after attack in station on Christmas Eve

Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto and German chancellor Angela Merkel during a meeting with businessmen at the Interactive Museum of Economics in Mexico City. Photograph: Pedro Pardo/AFP/Getty Images

German chancellor welcomed as world’s ‘most important politician’ during Mexico visit

A German dandyhorse bicycle dating from 1817. Image: 200jahre-fahrrad.de

On June 12th 1817, a German inventor had a spin around Mannheim on his ‘dandyhorse’

Austrian foreign minister Sebastian Kurz is controlled where other Austrian politicians are laconic, and studiously informal  in a title-obsessed country. Photograph: Vyacheslav Prokofyev

Sebastian Kurz’s stellar rise and distinctive style ensure every debate revolves around him

October 1961: a car is driven, between US tanks, through  Checkpoint Charlie crossing point, the only one in the Berlin Wall  used only by diplomats and foreigners. Photograph: /AFP/Getty Images

Aged between six month and 81 years, all died while fleeing from East to West Germany

The Humboldt Forum. Photograph: John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images

Row erupts over suitability of Christian symbol on centre with multicultural mission

German chancellor Angela Merkel: got a number of digs in at the US president in a statement on Friday. Photograph: Michele Tantussi/Getty Images

Merkel looks to other partnerships as the US becomes undependable on key issues

Paris Agreement: Donald Trump departs after announcing the United States’ withdrawal from the climate-change accord. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Top polluter China says it still backs global climate-change accord

German chancellor Angela Merkel gives a statement to the media on Friday in reaction to US president Donald Trump’s announcement that he will pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord. Photograph: Michele Tantussi/Getty Images

German chancellor calls on all ‘who care about the future of our planet’ to work together

Benno Ohnesorg after being shot. Photograph: Henschel/Ullstein Bild via Getty Images

The 26-year-old West German demonstrator was shot dead by a police officer 50 years ago

Facebook has made some changes to its “in memoriam” feature, giving a named third party access to their account after their death – but that third party’s rights are limited. Photograph: Dado Ruvic/Reuters

Couple in Berlin who were seeking clues to 15-year-old daughter’s death lose case

Speaking in Berlin, Dr Joachim Pfeiffer said he hoped  border controls and customs checkpoints could be avoided, but this would require major concession by London. Photograph: Maxwells

CDU spokesman says UK would have to make major concessions

“A significant number of young people had problems to control their own internet use in a self-determined way,” the study by the German federal drug agency said.   Photograph: istockphoto

Study of 6,000 children links phone dependency to health and behavioural problems

German chancellor Angela Merkel at an election campaign event of the German Christian Social Union. Photograph: Christian Bruna/EPA

Chancellor puts EU at the heart of upcoming German election with unusual frankness

Jens Weidmann became the youngest ever Bundesbank president in 2011. Photograph: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images

Merkel’s former adviser says return to normal monetary policy must not be delayed

Sebastian Kurz, right: the Austrian foreign minister effectively pulled the plug on Vienna’s unhappy grand coalition on Friday. Photograph: Inga Kjer/Photothek via Getty Images

Conservative wunderkind Sebastian Kurz (30) tipped to be country’s next leader

 Martin Schulz, leader of the German Social Democrats (SPD), greets supporters during his SPD campaign prior state elections in North Rhine-Westphalia. Photograph: Maja Hitij/Getty Images

Vote in North Rhine-Westphalia is central to chancellor’s hopes for fourth term

Equal parts kiosk, convenience store and drop-in centre, Duisburg’s Bunkerbude is perhaps the state’s most unique Trinkhalle. Photograph: Derek Scally

Sunday’s election in the country’s most populous state will throw up clues for Merkel’s future

German chancellor Angela Merkel. “I haven’t the least doubt that we will work well together,” said Merkel after Macron’s   election victory

German patience is wearing thin after 12 years of talking by French leaders

Angela Merkel  visits a confectionary business in northern Germany: The SPD and Greens’ weaknesses, when combined, have dampened hopes the chancellor’s third term will be her last.  Photograph: Carsten Rehder/dpa via AP

Merkel’s CDU in first place, outgoing coalition down over five points, exit polls show

Permanent gigglers – those who laugh more than 30 times a day – are a rare breed in Germany: just seven per cent, according to the survey by Schwenninger health insurer.

Study ahead of World Laughter Day shows Germans most amused by others’ bad luck

German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen speaking with the inspector general of the German Bundeswehr, Volker Wieker (right) and inspector Heer General Joerg Vollmeer (left), during a visit to the  Illkirch-Graffenstaden base, eastern France. Photograph: Frederick Florin/AFP/Getty Images

Bundeswehr closes ranks after Von der Leyen criticises leadership over extremist soldier

Russian president Vladimir Putin and German chancellor Angela Merkel shake hands during a joint news conference following their talks in Sochi on Tuesday. Photograph:  Alexander Zemlianichenko/Reuters

German chancellor discusses anti-gay crackdown, Syria and Ukraine during Sochi talks

Diesel cars and SUVs had almost 66 per cent market share in western Europe six years ago, but that has now dipped to around 50 per cent.  Photograph: Reuters

German government accused of protecting car industry over citizens’ health

The bridges across the  Rhine river connecting Strasbourg with Kehl, Germany. Photograph: Frederick Florin/AFP/Getty Images

Difference in economic performance is reflected in a difference in public attitudes

Former German chancellor Helmut Kohl raises a toast with current chancellor Angela Merkel after a ceremony in 2010 to mark the  20th anniversary of  German unification. Photograph: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

Journalist published recordings containing disparaging comments about Angela Merkel

A refugee facility in the Bavarian town of Erding, to where a German soldier suspected of planning a terrorist attack was assigned, while allegedly posing as an asylum-seeker. Photograph: Armin Weigel/EPA

Suspect claimed to be Syrian refugee and was granted asylum despite speaking no Arabic

German chancellor Angela Merkel: there are too many challenges in the world for the UK to expect the EU to be solely preoccupied with Brexit and UK concerns. Photograph: Clemens Bilan/EPA

Berlin confident co-operation between 27 states will hold in years of discussion ahead

Angela Merkel emphasised the EU’s stance that talks on the UK’s departure terms must precede the crafting of a new trade relationship. Photograph: EPA/Stephanie Lecocq

Chancellor warns good results for EU and Ireland hinge on unity of remaining members

German chancellor Angela Merkel, who is seeking re-election. Photograph: Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters

Country’s trade surplus also on course to fall as economy ‘remains on growth path’

Pensioners ride bicycles along a street at Museum Island in Berlin. Photograph:  Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Berlin Letter: ‘Cycle Law’ to overhaul bike infrastructure and mark shift in city’s priorities

Ivanka Trump,  Chrystia Freeland, Christine Lagarde,  Angela Merkel,  Miriam Meckel and Queen Máxima  at the G20 women’s conference in Berlin. Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Merkel and Trump meeting at G20 ‘women’s summit’ seen as soft diplomacy coup

Ivanka Trump and Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel wait for a meeting with US president Donald Trump and business leaders at the White House on March 17th. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

German chancellor invites US ‘first daughter’ to Berlin for Women20 summit

 Alice Weidel and Alexander Gauland who were elected as the leading duo for AfD in the German general election. Photograph: Sascha Schuermann/Getty

AfD selects leaders from western and eastern wings to head general election challenge

Frauke Petry, chairwoman of the anti-immigration party Alternative for Germany (AfD), photographed in   March  2016. File photograph: Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters

Frauke Petry shocks right-wing party by saying she does not wish to lead election battle

German interior minister Thomas de Maiziere said the financial motive would be ‘particularly revolting’. Photograph: Tobias Schwartz/AFP/Getty Images

Police believe three-fold explosion targeting bus not prompted by God, but mammon

The damaged bus of German first division Bundesliga football club Borussia Dortmund after an explosion on April 11th. Photograph: AFP

German-Russian man arrested over bomb attack on Borussia Dortmund team bus

 Cristiano Ronaldo in action for Real Madrid in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.   Photograph: Christof Stache/AFP/Getty Images

Der Spiegel report on an alleged encounter between footballer and woman in Las Vegas hotel in 2009

US artist Ryan Mendoza stands in Berlin next to the reassembled former house of Rosa Parks. Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty

Artist Ryan Mendoza moved US civil rights heroine’s home to restore its dignity

Verboten – for now. Photograph: iStock

A survey shows a slim majority in favour of retaining ban – but is the dam breaking?

A message displayed in support of Borussia Dortmund’s Marc Bartra, who was injured in the attack on the team bus on Tuesday night, during the club’s rescheduled game with Monaco on Wednesday.  Photograph: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

Man held over links to Isis but search continues for suspects in attack on team bus

A festival-goer leaves a toilet at the Roskilde festival in Denmark. Photograph: REBEL Media/WireImage

60,000 bottles of ‘Pisner’ beer made using urine collected from Roskilde festival-goers

Borussia Dortmund’s team busafter it was hit by three explosions in Dortmund, Germany, on Tuesday. Photograph: Friedemann Vogel/EPA

Police study letters found at scene of Borussia Dortmund team bus explosions

A woman casts her vote in the Turkish consulate general Cologne for the Turkish constitutional referendum. Photograph: Sascha Steinbach

‘No’ voters afraid to express views on Erdogan as 1.4m voters in Germany eligible to vote

Germany’s Social Democratic Party leader Martin Schulz, who aims to unseat Angela Merkel as chancellor in an election this year. Photograph: Steffi Loos/Getty Images

SPD leader says party can win over younger voters shaken by Trump’s election and Brexit

“Dr Merkel doesn’t have to wave a big stick. German unity between business and politics is based on the realisation…that the integrity of the internal market is even more important than the important relationship to our third largest market, the United Kingdom”

UK exit may boost attractiveness of Ireland as English-language base for German firms

Cyber attack: there have been almost 300,000 attacks on Bundeswehr IT systems so far in 2017.

Germany has appointed its first cyber general to combat the threat of global online attack

 Enda Kenny and German leader Angela Merkel in Berlin on Thursday. The Taoiseach said Dr Merkel  was  aware of Irish concerns to ensure a “seamless Border” as part of talks on a future EU-UK trading relationship

Kenny says Merkel aware of Ireland’s wish to balance EU membership with close UK ties

German chancellor Angela Merkel and Taoiseach Enda Kenny at a news conference in Berlin, Germany. Mr Kenny thanked Dr Merkel for her “deep understanding” of Ireland’s concerns. Photograph: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

Chancellor says Germany will help Ireland meet its specific concerns in upcoming talks

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