Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Inside Politics in Germany and the September General Elections

A woman holds her German citizenship papers after she has been nationalised at the Britz Estate in Berlin July 16, 2013. After decades of tending to depict the millions of residents of Turkish origin in Germany as a drag on society, policymakers are now courting foreigners and learning to be more inclusive. With elections approaching in September, the changing attitudes are reflected in the rhetoric of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives. Image: Thomas Peters/Reuters



Karamba Diaby, a German Social Democratic Party candidate talks with citizen Heidi Juergens during an election campaign in Halle , central Germany, Thursday, July 25, 2013. He was born in Senegal and moved to the former GDR to study at the University of Leipzig. Diaby, now 51, is campaigning for a Bundestag seat to become the country's first black member of Parliament. Image: Jon Meyer/Associated Press



German Chancellor Angela Merkel (C) and State Premiers Reiner Haseloff of Saxony-Anhalt (R) talk to residents during a visit to the village of Fischbeck damaged during the recent flood by the river Elbe, north of Magdeburg July 23, 2013. During the flood in June tens of thousands of people were forced to leave their homes. Image: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters



Weighing in on a debate that could influence September's federal election, Germany's president Joachim Gauck said whistleblowers like U.S. fugitive Edward Snowden deserved respect for defending freedom. Gauck words struck a very different tone from that of Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has assured Washington that Berlin would not shelter Snowden. Former U.S. security contractor Edward Snowden would not face the death penalty or be tortured and would have all the protections of the U.S. civilian court system if he were sent home, the chief U.S. prosecutor wrote in a letter to his Russian counterpart this week. The influential women-in-politics group EMILY's List will tell supporters that as far as sexting New York mayoral hopeful Anthony Weiner is concerned, "It's time to end this.""New Yorkers deserve better than the circus their mayoral race has turned into.
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