Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan in 1998. Tunisian national Sami Aidoudi has consistently denied having any contact with the al-Qaeda founder. File Photograph: AP

Tunisian Sami Aidoudi says he was ‘kidnapped’ by Germany and faces torture at home

German chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Monday. A remark by  regional governor Daniel Günther  forced her to act swiftly. Photograph: Adam Berry/AFP/Getty Images

The Left Party has spent almost three decades on Bundestag opposition benches

German chancellor Angela Merkel and Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez at a press conference in southern Spain. Photograph: A Carrasco Ragel/EPA

Chancellor wants ‘fairer’ burden-sharing to more evenly distribute refugees in Europe

 A dried-out portion of the Elbe riverbed that under normal conditions would be submerged under water, during hot weather in Magdeburg, Germany. Shrinking rivers are exposing munitions left over from the second World War. Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Farmers at wits’ end with crops that have struggled to grow since last substantial rain in May

Supporters of the German Anti-immigration party Alternative for Germany (AfD) protest  in May 2018: the party is the subject of a very critical book.  Photograph: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

Franziska Schreiber’s exposé claims party plays on fears in drift towards extremism

CDU party secretary general Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer speaks with  chancellor and leader of the party Angela Merkel. Photograph: Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images

Berlin Letter: Military or civil service was abolished in 2011 – and some want it back

German chancellor Angela Merkel and husband Joachim Sauer (in white) enjoy the music of Richard Wagner in Bayreuth, southern Germany. Photograph: Matthias Balk

Chancellor’s break from predictable vacation pattern sparks rash of speculation

German interior minister Horst Seehofer: rejects media claims Bavaria’s new centralised migration facilities are “concentration camps”. Photograph: Hannibal Hanschke

Stability coming under pressure of hard right- and left-wing movements

Römerberg square in Frankfurt, where reconstructed medieval houses and buildings complementary to the historical streetscape replaced a 1970s block. Photograph: Horacio Villalobos/Corbis via Getty Images

Frankfurt Letter: ‘New old town’ installed as urban regeneration threatens communities

Angela Merkel and  Donald Trump at a Nato  summit  in Brussels on  July 11th.  Many are asking why has Germany become the president’s public enemy number one? Photograph: Bloomberg

The US has not invented new problems but has pointed out inconsistencies in Germany’s trade, foreign and defence policies

Asylum seekers at the reception and deportation centre for refugees in Regensburg in Bavaria. Photograph: Lukas Barth-Tuttas/EPA

Agencies based in ‘anchor centres’ to take hardline approach, state premier says

Dried sunflowers are pictured in a field in eastern Germany. Photograph: Tobias Schwarz/AFP/Getty Images

Germany may face crop shortfalls as farming body warns of ‘worst harvest of the century’

Members of the Jewish community in Vienna sense a growing hostility in their city, with three orthodox Jewish men attacked on a street last month. Photo by Josef Polleross/ASAblanca via Getty Images

Proposal by regional leader of far-right Freedom Party condemned by Jewish groups

Mesut Özil meeting the president of Turkey  Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Londaon last may. Photograph: AFP Skayhan Ozer/AFP/Getty Images

Arsenal star’s shock retirement from international football has Germany talking about race and identity in an era of rising nation(...)

Participants wear “Stop transphobia” stickers at Berlin’s annual Christopher Street Day gay pride parade on July 22nd, 2017. Photograph: John MacDougall

As city stages pride march, fears mount that tolerance is yielding to violence and unease

Anne Sofie von Otter. Her husband, Benny Fredriksson, took his life after Sweden’s Aftonbladet newspaper printed anonymous accusations against him. Photograph: Brill/ullstein bild via Getty Images

Anne Sofie von Otter blames her country’s cultural herd mentality for husband’s suicide

Beate Zschäpe stands beside her lawyer Mathias Grasen as Judge Manfred Goetze delivers a guilty verdict in her trial on 10 counts of murder and 34 counts of attempted murder in Munich on Wednesday. Photograph: Peter Kneffel/via AP

Beate Zschäpe sentenced in case that exposed police racism and staggering incompetence

Three young Germans stage a show of solidarity with Jewish people after a spate of anti-Semitic assaults in April. Photograph: Gregor Fischer/AFP/Getty Images

Ten detained after Jewish man from Syria wearing Star of David is beaten up in Berlin

German interior minister and leader of the CSU, Horst Seehofer. Photograph: Axel Schmidt/Reuters

Horst Seehofer warned European Commission of security risks posed by its Brexit stance

 German border police check cars at the control station Schwarzbach on the motorway between Salzburg and Munich. Photograph: EPA/Kerstin Joensson

Berlin's questioning of the principle of free movement in Europe will have a huge fallout

German interior minister Horst Seehofer and German chancellor Angela Merkel at a cabinet meeting in Berlin. Photograph: Axel Schmidt/Reuters

Compromise does away with ‘transit centres’ and seeks to avoid undermining Schengen

Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban and German chancellor Angela Merkel: Asked about policy to criminalise people deemed to have aided illegal immigration, Mr Orban said his country pursued “humane” policies. Photograph: Clemens Bilan/EPA

PM claims Hungary being misunderstood in efforts to protect Europe and Schengen zone

Leader of the Social Democratic Party Andrea Nahles speaking in the Bundestag in Berlin on Wednesday. Photograph:  Hayoung Jeon/EPA

Merkel’s coalition partner rejects ‘asylum seekers behind guarded fences’ in heated Bundestag debate

Polish supreme court president Malgorzata Gersdorf walks to the court building, surrounded by supporters, in Warsaw on Wednesday. Photograph: Maciej Jazwiecki/Agencja Gazeta via Reuters

Court president Malgorzata Gersdorf goes to work in defiance of judicial reforms

 German chancellor Angela Merkel arrives for a party leadership meeting at the CDU headquarters in Berlin on Monday. Photograph: Michael Kappeler/AFP/Getty Images

Chancellor’s legacy tied forever to refugee hand she played on principled hunch

Austria’s chancellor Sebastian Kurz: will “not sign any treaties with Germany to Austria’s detriment”. Photograph: Georg Hochmuth/AFP/Getty

Berlin asylum control prompts Austria, Italy and Czech Republic to talk of tighter borders

 German interior minister Horst Seehofer: had threatened to resign unless Angela  Merkel agreed to tighter national border checks. Photograph: Alexander Becher/EPA

Vienna rejects proposal to pass asylum seekers back over Austrian border

German chancellor and CDU leader Angela Merkel and German interior minister and leader of the Bavarian CSU  Horst Seehofer sit side by side after yesterday’s agreement. Photograph: Getty Images

What Angela Merkel has proposed in an 11th-hour agreement

German interior minister and leader of the Bavarian CSU Horst Seehofer. Photograph: John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images

Everything at stake for Merkel unless she can tame her Bavarian political allies the CSU

German Chancellor Angela Merkel leaves after a party leadership meeting at the CDU headquarters in Berlin. Photograph: Omer Messinger/AFP/Getty Images

Germany’s interior minister offered to resign over EU deal to tackle immigration

“She’s wrecked”: German chancellor Angela Merkel. Photograph: Axel Schmidt/Reuters

Never-ending crises take toll on Merkel as gloss comes off football team and economy

German chancellor and leader of the Christian Democratic Union Angela Merkel and party members at a leadership meeting at the CDU headquarters in Berlin. Photograph:  John Macdougall/AFP/Getty Images

CSU yet to accept EU proposals while minister pledges to begin turning back migrants

Refugees wait for a special train in Freilassing, southern Germany, in September 2015 after they were taken off express trains from Hungary and Austria. Photograph: Christof Stache/AFP/Getty Images

High-stakes stand-off in Berlin as Merkel’s Bavarian allies decide on support for EU deal

German chancellor Angela Merkel arrives at an European Union summit in Brussels, Belgium on Thursday. Photograph:  Virginia Mayo/Pool via REUTERS

Even if German chancellor gets a reprieve on Sunday, her political obituary is written

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, French president Emmanuel Macron, Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban and German chancellor Angela Merkel at an EU summit   breakfast meeting in Brussels. Photograph: Virginia Mayo/AP

EU members at summit agree on processing centres for refugees and to bolster Frontex

 Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel: believes the refugee crisis can only be solved through European co-operation.   Photograph: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

ZDF finds 61% of Germans expect chancellor to beat challenge from Bavarian allies

Austria’s president Alexander Van der Bellen (right), Belarus’ president Alexander Lukashenko (centre) and German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier  at the former Nazi Maly Trostenets death camp  outside Minsk. Photograph:  Getty Images

Steinmeier in Belarus to attend opening of memorial at Maly Trostenets camp where 60,000 Jews died

German chancellor Angela Merkel after her speech to the German Bundestag in Berlin. Photograph: Clemens Bilan/EPA

German chancellor under increasing pressure to secure comprehensive EU-wide deal

Chancellor Angela Merkel and Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez  in Berlin, June 26th.  Photograph: Reuters/Hannibal Hanschke

Merkel’s CSU coalition partner threatens to close borders in days to asylum seekers

German chancellor Angela Merkel: Forsa poll shows 71 per cent of Germans – and 68 per cent of Bavarians – support her push for a European solution to the refugee crisis ahead of the CSU push for national solutions. Photograph: Eric Vidal/Reuters

Observers suggest CSU demands on German chancellor may be running out of steam

Former FBI director James Comey  backstage before a panel discussion about his book “A Higher Loyalty” earlier this week in Berlin. Photographs:  Carsten Koall/Getty Images

The former FBI director on Donald Trump, the 2016 US election, and history’s verdict

German chancellor Angela Merkel: if she fired interior minister Horst Seehofer, she would  collapse her fourth-term coalition after little more than 100 days.  Photograph; Christian Bruna

Row about asylum seekers sharpens between CDU and centre-right Bavarian allies CSU

Nina Hynes: ‘Our sense of worth became about how much we were earning, as opposed to valuing a piece of music or art on its own merits.’

Craw festival in Berlin will explore solutions to Ireland’s social problems

German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Emmanuel Macron: Mr Macron envisions a €300 billion fund but Dr Merkel one of only “low double-digits”. Photograph: Michele Tantussi/Getty

Despite vast differences on capacity of fund, Macron remains ‘pragmatic’ about numbers

Students at the Globe Business College in Munich. While Globe attracts students from all over the world many have gone on to study in Ireland

Set up in 2006 by Dubliner Susan Walsh, the Globe Business College in Munich is fostering Irish-Bavarian business relations

 Prime Minister of Italy Giuseppe Conte shakes hands with German chancellor Angela Merkel: exploration of a bilateral refugee deal. Photograph: Clemens Bilan

Emmanuel Macron to arrive in Berlin on Tuesday for latest round of crisis diplomacy

US president Donald Trump concludes his remarks at a meeting of the National Space Council at the White House in Washington, on Monday. Photograph:  Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Comments come amid heavy criticism over intensifying child separation row

German chancellor Angela Merkel: CDU conservatives opposed to her  refugee policies have welcomed the pressure on her from Horst Seehofer. Photograph: Christian Bruna

Chancellor denies CDU allies in Bavaria blackmailing her to back tougher asylum rules

Audi chief executive Rupert Stadler was arrested on Monday for his alleged role in the Volkswagen Group’s diesel cheating scandal

VW has backed and promoted Rupert Stadler despite calls for his resignation

Jaroslaw Kaczynski in July 2017. Mr Kaczynski was released from hospital earlier this month after more than a month in treatment, according to the health minister.  Photograph: Agencja Gazeta/Slawomir Kaminski/via Reuters

Jaroslaw Kaczynski last seen in public in April and was said to be suffering from arthritis in knee

 German chancellor Angela Merkel and  interior minister Horst Seehofer. If Mr Seehofer pushes through his tighter asylum rules as promised on Monday that will force Dr Merkel to fire him

The border question in Germany remains unresolved since the refugee crisis

On Monday, federal interior minister Horst Seehofer from Bavaria (above) will present a new migration plan to close German borders to asylum-seekers arriving from other EU countries. File photograph: Clemens Bilan/EPA

Minister to present new plan to close borders to asylum-seekers arriving from EU countries

Craw is a new arts and performance festival launching this month in Berlin. Photograph:  Turlach O Broin

Arts event in Neukölln is about ‘clearing up our own backyard as emigrants’

Angela Merkel’s coalition is at risk after clashes with her interior minister, Horst Seehofer over Germany’s refugee policy. Photograph: Carsten Koall/Getty Images

Analysis: Hostility to Merkel’s open-door policy has put wind in the sails of CSU

German chancellor Angela Merkel and  leader of the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU) Horst Seehofer: Mr Seehofer has the backing of his party to push through his plan on Monday, which would force Dr Merkel to sack him. Photograph:  Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images

Fake news tweet causes palpitations in Berlin as hectic weekend of shuttle diplomacy looms

Volkswagen faces up to €10 billion in civil suits brought by shareholders who accuse the company of failing to inform them in a timely manner of looming problems in the company.

Fine is largest ever imposed in Germany

The German flag flies in front of the Bundesbank HQ in Frankfurt. The pressing issue for Ireland in Germany is credibility. Photograph: Ralph Orlowski/Bloomberg

If Ireland is serious about Germany it will take it seriously, and on its terms

German Chancellor Angela Merkel leaves the Reichstag housing the Bundestag  after a meeting with the leadership of her conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party on Wednesday  in Berlin. Photograph:  Michael Kappeler/AFP/Getty

Chancellor’s Bavarian allies defy her attempts to broker a compromise

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney: “Our bilateral relationship with Germany is, was and will be of utmost important to us,” he said at Berlin’s Humboldt University.   Photograph: Katia Christodoulou

Tánaiste says Germany’s history of division gives it insight into Irish Brexit concerns

Chancellor Angela Merkel attends the German government’s integration summit in  Berlin on Wednesday. Photograph: Jens Buttner/AFP/Getty Images

At least 10 CDU MPs speak out against chancellor in favour of tougher asylum rules

 Tánaiste Simon Coveney: “Internal challenges of British politics are not a matter for me.” Photograph:   Cyril Byrne

Tánaiste warns London not to let internal cabinet politics stymie Brexit talks progress

A weekend poll for ‘Bild’ suggested public opinion has finally tipped against the Angela Merkel on the refugee question. Photograph: Michael Sohn/AP Photo

Under pressure both at home and abroad, Angela Merkel needs stable partners

 German chancellor Angela Merkel  and US president Donald Trump at  the G7 summit in Charlevoix, Canada on Friday. Photograph:  Clemens Bilan/EPA

US president’s torpedoing of G7 summit on Twitter was ‘sobering and a bit depressing’

President Michael D Higgins at the James Joyce grave in Fluntern cemetery, Zurich. Photograph: Maxwell’s

‘You started quite a while ago when enthusiasm for Joyce was not as strong as now’

Michael D Higgins addressing the International Labour Conference in Geneva, Switzerland. Photograph: Maxwell’s

President warns against ‘uncritical pursuit of globalisation’ and ‘Davos’ capitalism

 German chancellor Angela Merkel arrives for a question and answer session at the German Bundestag in Berlin, Germany.  Photograph: EPA/Clemens  Bilan

German chancellor warns of deterioration in Europe’s relationship with US

German chancellor Angela Merkel talks to German national soccer players at Eppan, Italy. Photograph: Guido Bergmann/EPA

Chancellor caution in response to Emmanuel Macron’s desire for radical leap forward

German chancellor Angela Merkel: insisted the EU needed a harmonised asylum system with unified standards. Photograph: Tobias Schwarz/AFP/Getty Images

Government accused of corruption after 1,200 non-qualifying refugees granted asylum

De-Cix had argued that diverting copies of all fibre-optic communications on to BND servers was unlawful because German citizens’ communications were also saved

De-Cix sued BND and interior ministry over spying on 1,200 communication lines

A flodded area at the zoo in Lünebach, southwestern Germany, pictured on Friday. Photograph: Oliver Berg/AFP/Getty Images

Bear shot in Lünebach zoo after fleeing rising water but ‘missing’ big cats found in own enclosures

Has Bavaria’s new state premier, Markus Söder – a star pupil of the cute hoor school of politics – miscalculated? Photograph: Ivan Alvarado/Reuters

Move seen as masterstroke in polarising politics as state’s secularists seethe

Women in niqab at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen, Denmark, after the Danish parliament banned the wearing of face veils in public.

The fine for violating the ban on face coverings is 1,000 kroner (€134) for the first offence

 Traffic signs which ban diesel cars are installed by workers at the Max-Brauer Allee in downtown Hamburg.Photograph: Reuters

Move follows court ruling that cities breaching EU air quality limits must take action

 The grounds of the BND  in Berlin.  A former intelligence chief has warned that without telecommunication surveillance in Frankfurt and elsewhere the BND could “close up shop”. Photograph: Getty Images

De-Cix says BND taps at Frankfurt hub are illegal as they capture domestic communications

German interior minister Horst Seehofer: has announced plans to streamline asylum applications and collect new arrivals in so-called “anchor” centres. Photograph: Hannibal Hanschke

Chancellor gives address 25 years after neo-Nazi arson killings of Turkish-Germans

Rudi Dutschke gives a speech at an anti-Vietnam war congress in 1968. Photograph: Getty Images

Rudi Dutschke led the student revolt in West Germany, but after an assassination attempt, he and his wife Gretchen found solace in(...)

Blocks of ice placed by activist group Reconquista Internet in front of the AfD headquarters in Berlin: they contain copies of Germany’s Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany. Photograph: Filip Singer

Dozens of cultural and political associations plan to counter-protest at right-wing AfD

Austrian lawyer and privacy activist Max Schrems displays his Facebook account’s updated terms page.  Photograph: Heinz-Peter Bader/Reuters

Facebook and Google face legal challenges based on GDPR

Privacy campaigner Max Schrems  accused the tech giants of ‘coercing’ users to accept data policies

European data protection bodies vow to work with Irish colleagues on complaints

Allgaeu airport in Memmingen: passengers with children await check-in or departure. Photograph:  EyesWideOpen/Getty

Pursuit of cheaper travel outside school holidays may land parents with steep fines

Supporters of  German anti-immigration party Alternative for Germany (AfD) in Berlin on May 9th. Photograph: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

Wagenknecht and Lafontaine woo AfD working-class voters with #fairLand

GDPR  is a new EU regulation that updates and harmonises how data is gathered, processed, stored and used across the bloc

The General Data Protection Regulation is a 99-chapter piece of legislation that returns to people control of their personal data

The “Wave Gothic Meet-Up” – held over the Pentecost weekend – has been a fixture in the Leipzig calendar since just after German unification

‘Wave Gothic Meet-Up’ is a good-natured celebration of decay, decadence and death

Russian president Vladimir Putin  shakes hands with German chancellor Angela Merkel  during their meeting in Sochi on Friday. Photograph: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images

First thaw in relations frosty since Russia’s annexation of Crimea and Ukraine conflict

The first United Nations World Bee Day will be held on May 20th. Photograph: Reuters/Yves Herman

Ruling follows growing debate about the consequences of chemical use in farming

The co-chairpersons of the right-wing populist ‘Alternative for Germany’ (AfD) party’s parliamentary group, Alice Weidel  and Alexander Garland (front row), and others in the German ‘Bundestag’ parliament, in Berlin. Photograph: Hayoung Jeon/EPA

Merkel ignores Weidel’s criticism, saying Germany’s budgets reflect sustainable politics for future generations

European commissioner for justice, consumers and gender equality Vera Jourová: due to attempts to influence elections via social media,  “People do not have a chance to have a free choice because they are objects of manipulation.” Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty

Vera Jourová says countries must ensure laws facilitate ‘free political choices of people’

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets Arsenal and Germany star Mesut Özil in London. Photograph: Kayhan Ozer/Presidential Palace/Handout via Reuters

Özil and Gündogan pose with Turkish president reigniting debate about integration

A participant of the ‘Berlin wears a kippa’ movement. Photograph:  AFP/ Getty Images

Germany needs a booster injection for its ‘never again’ vaccine against the anti-Semitic virus

Bavarian state premier Markus Soeder hangs a cross in the entrance area of the state chancellery last Tuesday. Photograph:  Peter Kneffel/AFP/Getty Images

State premier Söder orders ministries and public offices to display a cross in entrance halls

Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel and US president Donald Trump during their fraught meeting in  Washington, in March 2017. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst

German chancellor has many topics to get through with a US president known for short attention span

Social Democratic Party’s Andrea Nahles is applauded: has been warned not to allow the party return to “artificial calm”. Photograph: Daniel Roland/AFP/Getty

Andrea Nahles has softened leftist tone since serving as minister under Angela Merkel

Angela Merkel, who said the German state would do “everything” for the security of Jews and people of Jewish origin in Germany. Photograph: John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images

Recording artists handing back Echo prizes following win by controversial rap duo

  Andrea Nahles  after she was elected SPD  leader in Wiesbaden, Germany.  Photograph: EPA/Clemens Bilan

One-third of SPD delegates decline to back candidacy of Andrea Nahles for leader

Facebook’s European headquarters in the Dublin docklands. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Irish data watchdog's approach is under scrutiny after recent revelations

Russian president Vladimir Putin and German chancellor Angela Merkel.  Merkel has announced plans to meet Putin ‘in the foreseeable future’. Photograph: Getty Images

Berlin is struggling to align its culture of restraint with its changing place in the world

A demonstration in Berlin in support of the victims of anti-Semitism. Photograph:  Lorena de la Cuesta/SOPA Images/ LightRocket via Getty Images

Many Jews in Germany fear intolerance among refugees and a resurgent native anti-Semitism

French president Emmanuel Macron and German chancellor Angela Merkel: Dr Merkel says she backs the idea of a common deposit insurance “not in the immediate, but the distant future”. Photograph: Carsten Koall

Paris and Berlin visions of European Union at odds over emphasis on euro zone

Caroline Staunton: ‘‘There’s nothing supernatural about opera, it just takes an awful lot of hard work’. Photographer: Adam Berry

Dundrum native Caroline Staunton has watched Ireland’s opera revival and is now contributing to the ambitious new Irish National O(...)

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