At least three people died Saturday when a vehicle ploughed into busy cafe and restaurant terraces in the German city of Muenster before the driver shot himself dead. Images on social media showed smashed and upturned tables and chairs strewn accross the pavement outside an eaterie in the centre of the picturesque medieval city. At least 20 people were injured, six of them seriously, according to police, while media reports said the driver had been behind the wheel of a delivery van. A police spokeswoman in the western city, Vanessa Arlt, told AFP that the driver of the vehicle "shot himself". "The perpetrator drove into several cafe and restaurant terraces in a major square in the centre of Muenster," Arlt added. Police spokesman, Andreas Bode, said it was "too soon" to call the incident a deliberate attack. According to the online edition of the Spiegel magazine, German authorities were "assuming" the incident was an attack, though there was no immediate official confirmation of a … [Read more...] about At least 3 dead after vehicle smashes into diners in Germany
It was a tense twenty-four hours and at the end, the possibility of a deal. German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrat (CDU) party has decided on a coalition blueprint with the social democrats. Speaking at a press conference Merkel said; “Of course part of the deal is the control and organisation of migration, asylum and integration. This was part of a difficult discussion and there are the different tasks that the State and the regions and the cities have to fulfill. We know that the people do not care which part of the administration is in charge, but they want the country to work.” Germany's acceptance of refugees has been a key part of the deal. The number allowed to enter the country has been set at 220,000 per year. Martin Schulz, the leader of the Social Democrats (SPD) said the parties needed to work together to strengthen Europe. “The agreement is also a German answer to the proposals made in Paris or by the commission in Brussels. We have … [Read more...] about Could Germany have a deal?
IG Metall aren't just asking for a pay rise but also demanding the right for workers to temporarily switch to a 28-hour week to care for children or elderly relatives. Employers say such a drastic change would be illegal and have threatened to go to court to stop the industrial action. If the two sides can't agree on the terms of the negotiation by late January, the stage could be set for longer, more damaging walkouts. So-called "warning strikes" are a familiar feature of the annual collective bargaining process, with workers downing tools for a few hours to demonstrate at factory gates and in town squares. But there has been no nationwide, open-ended strike in Germany since 2003. IG Metall expects up to 700,000 to participate in the ritual, running for at least a week from Monday. Strikes will stretch from Germany's "rust belt" in western North Rhine-Westphalia state to Brandenburg, Saxony and Berlin in the former communist east and the hyper-modern car factories of … [Read more...] about Metalworkers start strikes for pay rise and 28-hour work week
German chancellor Angela Merkel has agreed to fresh talks to form a new government in a bid to end the political crisis in Europe's largest economy. Merkel launched her latest round of coalition talks on Sunday (7 January), more than three months after Germany's election, which saw the three main parties lose ground and the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party make unprecedented gains. The German chancellor is facing mounting pressure to form a coalition, after talks with the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) and the Greens fell apart in November. Merkel must now convince the centre-left Social Democrats (SDP) leaders that they have enough in common with her centre-right party and the right ot centre Christian Democrats (CDU), to start formal at the end of five days of talks this week. If successful more formal negotiations are expected to take weeks. Many see the latest round of talks as Merkel's final chance to form a stable coalition government. Some see this as the … [Read more...] about Merkel upbeat over fresh coalition talks to end Germany’s political crisis
GOOGLE is profiting from the plight of desperate people seeking treatment for addictive diseases, it has been reported.The search giant is charging middlemen - known as referral agents - up to £200 every time someone visits their website via search page ads.According to The Sunday Times, these agents act as "advice helplines" but actually receive as much as £20,000 a month commission by referring addicts to clinics.The practice is against the law in several US states, but is legal in the UK.The paper reported that the huge commissions paid to the referral agents has been blamed for increasing costs of private care.MP Sarah Wollaston said: "The level of payments for these referral agents via promoted links cannot be justified in my view especially as those desperate to tackle their addictions are unknowingly picking up the bill."One business owner was reported to have said he was spending £350,000 on Google advertising, to ensure addicts visited his helpline … [Read more...] about Google ‘profits from plight of desperate addicts by charging advertisers secretly working for private clinics’