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Eight charged in Germany over banana box cocaine smuggling

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Prosecutors have charged eight men with involvement in the ring, said to have been one of the biggest of its kind in German history. New Zealand police seize 190kg of cocaine hidden among bananas in country’s largest ever drug bust The men are believed to be part of a wider network still thought to be in operation, which was responsible ... Read More »

France makes Germany sweat before striking deal on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline

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Paris has settled on a compromise with Berlin, allowing Germany to remain the key negotiator with Russia on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Europe. The agreement follows the announcement by the French Foreign Ministry on Thursday that it would support the EU’s oversight of new offshore energy pipelines. The move could have derailed the undersea pipeline plans between ... Read More »

France, Germany announce first deals for future warplanes

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PARIS: France and Germany on Wednesday announced a 65 million euro ($74 million) contract financed equally by both countries over two years as the first act of the joint program to design a next-generation combat jet system. Dassault Aviation and Airbus will build the system which is expected to be operational from 2040 with a view to replacing over time ... Read More »

Top German conservative hints at slower coal phase-out in nod to party right

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BERLIN: Germany’s phasing out of coal-fired power stations could be delayed beyond 2038 if the deadline creates problems for the security of electricity supply, a senior legislator in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party said. The phase-out, proposed last Saturday by a commission tasked with mapping out Germany’s transition to a more environmentally friendly low-carbon economy, drew criticism from some in industry ... Read More »

Germany, France, Britain to launch mechanism for trade with Iran

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PARIS/BERLIN: Germany, France and Britain have officially set up a European mechanism to facilitate non-dollar trade with Iran and circumvent US sanctions, two diplomats said on Thursday. The EU has been preparing the system, in effect a clearing house that avoids monetary transfers in dollars between the EU and Iran for months although it is unlikely to become operational for ... Read More »

German navy to withdraw from EU anti-human smuggling op

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Germany is planning to suspend its participation in the EU’s anti-smuggling mission over growing differences between the EU and Italy, local media reported. Military inspector general Eberhard Zorn informed the country’s parliament that the navy would no longer deploy ships in the Mediterranean Sea as part of Operation Sophia as of next month, reported German daily Suddeutsche Zeitung. Italy, which ... Read More »

Germany, China pledge to open markets, deepen financial cooperation

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BEIJING: Germany and China signed agreements to strengthen coordination in banking, finance and capital markets, and pledged to further open market access and deepen cooperation to broaden economic ties. The agreements were reached after a two-day visit to Beijing by German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz for talks with Vice Premier Liu He, who is President Xi Jinping’s top economic adviser. ... Read More »

Germany arrests Afghan dual national on suspicion of spying for Iran

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BERLIN: A 50-year-old Afghan-German dual national who worked for the German military was detained on Tuesday on suspicion of passing data to an Iranian intelligence agency, Germany’s federal prosecutor’s office said on Tuesday. The suspect, identified only as Abdul Hamid S., went before a judge on Tuesday, who ordered him to remain in custody while the investigation continued. “Abdul Hamid ... Read More »

Audits reveal Deutsche Bank’s links to tax trade scandal

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There are “lots of indications” that some managers discussed “the reputational risks” of Deutsche Bank’s involvement in a share-trading scheme that is the subject of Germany’s biggest post-war fraud investigation, according to a conclusion in one of five internal audits. The bank issued tax certificates for withholding tax that had never been deducted and made loans to clients to allow ... Read More »

Germany gives nod to $8 billion tunnel link to Denmark

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COPENHAGEN: German authorities on gave their approval to an $8 billion rail and road tunnel linking Denmark and Germany, despite environmental objections. The 19 km (11.8 mile) Fehmarnbelt link, connecting the Danish island of Lolland to the island of Fehmarn on the German side, was due to be completed in 2024, but has been delayed by environmental protests in Germany. ... Read More »

Germany to bar Iran’s US-sanctioned Mahan Air: Bild

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BERLIN: Germany is to ban flights in and out of the country by Iran’s Mahan Air, which is under US sanctions over allegations it ferries troops and supplies into Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad, a newspaper. Bild said the German government had taken the decision to stop Mahan Air from operating its flights to Dusseldorf and Munich after ... Read More »

Top Democratic lawmakers seek probe into Deutsche Bank controls

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Two top Democratic US senators called for the Senate to open an investigation into Germany’s Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) over its compliance with US anti-money laundering and bank secrecy laws. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Chris Van Hollen said in a statement that they had written to the chair of the Senate Banking Committee asking for the probe in light of investigations ... Read More »

EU opens $22 billion Vodafone, Liberty Global deal inquiry

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BRUSSELS: Vodafone’s (VOD.L) purchase of Liberty Global’s (LBTYA.O) assets in Germany and east Europe may damage competition in Germany and the Czech Republic, EU antitrust regulators said, as they opened a full-scale probe into the $21.8 billion deal. The deal between the world’s second-largest mobile operator and U.S. cable pioneer John Malone’s Liberty would enable Vodafone to compete more effectively ... Read More »

Lower drug sales potential at Bayer underscores need for deals

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FRANKFURT: Germany’s Bayer which acquired seed company Monsanto this year, reduced its combined sales estimate for its most promising experimental drugs, acknowledging it needs to do more to replenish the development pipeline. At its capital markets day in London on Wednesday, it said the tally of peak sales potential of its five most promising drugs was more than 3.75 billion ... Read More »

Germany Arrests Russian for Smuggling 12 Million Cigarettes

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Berlin (AP): German police say they have arrested a Russian man suspected of smuggling some 12 million cigarettes into the country over two years. Federal police say the 43-year-old, who was not identified, was detained in the northern port city of Kiel during a routine check. They said in a statement that he is accused of smuggling the cigarettes into ... Read More »

German health minister calls for faster adoption of biosimilar drugs

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FRANKFURT: Germany’s health minister Jens Spahn has called for faster adoption of cheaper copies of biotech drugs to treat cancer and autoimmune diseases to reign in rising public healthcare costs. “Where there is a more affordable alternative at the same quality, we have to use it,” Spahn, who is vying to succeed German Chancellor Angela Merkel as leader of the ... Read More »

German police smash people-smuggling ring

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Authorities allege that a number of Indian nationals sought residency in Germany using falsified Greek visas and fake marriage certificates claiming they had Romanian brides. The key suspect faces serious charges. German federal police arrested the alleged head of a human-trafficking ring in the western city of Essen. The 21-year-old Indian national faces charges of running a commercially sized people-smuggling ... Read More »

Albania arrests 27, targets gangs smuggling drugs to Germany

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Albanian police arrested 27 people and seized narcotics and weapons on Sunday during a crackdown on gangs smuggling heroin into Germany, authorities said. More than 1,500 officers raided properties across the country, which has promised to boost its crime-fighting efforts as part of its bid to join the European Union. Days earlier, police raided a heroin lab in the mountainous ... Read More »

‘Germany WANT Brexit deal’ Berlin business starting to ‘believe’ no deal is possible

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Theresa May travelled to Brussels to discuss the state of Brexit negotiations with fellow EU leaders. Mrs May, who has vowed to stick by her controversial Brexit blueprint, insisted before the meeting that a Brexit deal was still possible. Speaking before the meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke positively about a Brexit deal being agreed soon, despite preparing her country ... Read More »

Police raid migrant smuggling network with connections to far-right

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800 police officers searched buildings in northern and central Germany where several suspects are said to have smuggled foreigners into Germany with fake documents. Some suspects are alleged to be connected to the alt-right Reichsbürger movement. With 800 officers, the federal police searched apartments and offices in more than a dozen locations in northern and central Germany on Monday, including ... Read More »