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Found 24 results

  1. It's that time of the year again when beer drinkers unite to make merry and chug down beer like the world and their lives depended on it. Oktoberfest—the German beer festival—is one of the most popular festivals in the world, thanks to its connection to beer, the drink that most men love. © Pexels And it goes just as well for Indians, too. Over the past few years, celebrating beer and beer drinkers during this time has become a tradition in most metropolitan cities of the country. Cafés, bars and pubs across the country come up with new and innovative ideas to attract beer lovers to chug to glory. “The fact that Oktoberfest comes at a time in India where people are wrapped up in festive vibes and celebrations are at large. Good food, beer and happiness are what the fest is all about; especially in metropolitan cities where we see an amalgamation of different cultures. It serves as a very good time for restaurants to roll out promotional activities, special deals and offers to attract the crowd with interactive concepts,” says Priyank Sukhija, Owner, CEO and MD of First Fiddle Restaurants Pvt. Ltd. We decided to talk to a few of these bar and pub owners about the importance of Oktoberfest in India and listed out some of the best places to enjoy your beer, this Oktoberfest. Prost! © Express UK “As Indians, we just need a reason to celebrate. So, with the love for beer as a beverage accompanied with scrumptious food in a country like ours, we could celebrate it every day. Oktoberfest just gives us a good enough reason to legitimize our obsession with beer,” says Arjun Raj Kher, Business Head, Hitchki, Powai. “India's tropical weather is actually what also makes it a perfect destination for beer lovers. And for us, October marks the start of festive season which gives us all the more reason to drink,” quips Dhairya Sethi, Owner of Branch. © Unsplash “The young Indian is a global citizen, and youngsters need no prodding to celebrate another occasion to have a good time! Oktoberfest is as good a reason as any to pull out the stops, have a premium dining experience, and join in on global conversations,” Ashish Thadani, CEO, TI Absolute Concepts (Ciclo Café) seconds. “When it comes to drinking beer, the growth rates in India are very healthy thanks to young and increasingly affluent consumers, as well as changing cultural attitudes,” Thadani further explains. Jaspreet Maadaan, Owner, The Classroom, in Gurgaon agrees and informs that the venue sees a distinctive increase of customers by a good 20 to 30 percent. © Pexels “Oktoberfest is now pretty much a worldwide celebration of everything brewed, the heart of which of course, lies in the German tradition and love for beer. It's mostly a great time for pubs and bars in Delhi, the weather demands a fantastic cold brew, the festive season is hanging around and everyone wants a piece of the world's most popular beer festival closer to home,” quips Rachit Goel, owner of the newly opened Bar Cat, in South Extension-II, New Delhi. “Indian bars and pubs mostly though make it a discount-based drinking session of beer, rather than a community drinking experience and I think that's what is essentially missing in the F&B industry in the country. Discount driven events don't have a heart and soul, and you can call it Oktoberfest or what you like, but the fun of it is not in the name but the concept,” he further opines. © Beer-y Sausages & Crusty Pretzel at The Irish House Mr. Sanju Arora, General Manager, The Irish House tells us that the venue sees an increase of approximately 10-15% in their footfall during Oktoberfest. “There's a great amount of planning and effort that we put into curating a great ‘German' experience for our guests at all our outposts across India. We take care of all aspects to recreate the same vibe – right from themed décor, photo booths, special food menu, drinking games, live band performances, and of course, lots of beer with great deals on a range of domestic as well as international brands (both, bottled and craft varieties). We also do our bit to promote safe drinking through partnerships with popular cab service brands. We go all out to bring the best of the biggest worldwide beer drinking fest and try to keep it quite authentic – the décor (similar to the traditional white and blue draped tents with lights); hanging gingerbread hearts; our servers wearing suspenders & caps; German dishes like pretzels, kartoffelpuffer, apple strudel, sausages, etc; maximum variety of draught beer (both local craft brews and international brands); fun drinking games; and even live band performances paying tribute to popular German rock bands,” Arora elaborates. © Kaitlyn's Beer Garden, Mumbai Another prominent venue that goes all out during this time of year is The Beer Café which is the country's largest alco-beverage chain. TBC comes up with they like to call the ‘Okotbrewfest'—an innovative spin-off for the German beer festival. Under this annual initiative, The Beer Café makes the largest collection of authentic German beers and cuisines available to its patrons in India—Delhi, Gurugram, Mumbai, and Pune—between September 16 and October 31. Premium brews such as Eichbaum, Erdinger Weissbier, Erdinger Dunkel, Schneider Weisse, and Hofbräu Weisse are made available across cities, as are authentic German cuisine such as bratwurst, krakauer, and bockwurst sausage platters. Rahul Singh, Founder & CEO, The Beer Café, says, “When it comes to beer, nobody does it quite like the Germans do. Why, they've even got an entire festival dedicated to it! It is to recreate the spirit of Oktoberfest for Indian beerophiles that we have decided to celebrate our own Oktobrewfest. We will be serving premium German brews and authentic Deutsche cuisine across all outlets in select locations. Moreover, through in-store collaterals, we are giving our patrons a chance to really immerse themselves in the beery festive fervour without having to go all the way to Germany!” © The Classroom “India being a new beer drinking country with people ready to explore new tastes and flavors in both Food and Beverage, Oktoberfest brings in great opportunity for many to enjoy and experience Global cuisine with varieties of Wheat, Lager, Klosch, Ale and delicacies from Bavarian, Thuringian and Lower Saxon Cuisines of Germany,” reasons Hukum Shekhawat, Mixologist, Radisson Blu Atria Bengaluru. “In, general, the consumption of beer is high during Oktoberfest from September, 16th to October, 4th for the Radisson Bengaluru property. “We have tried creating an ambience by getting some really authentic Bavarian delicious like cheese hedgehog, Sauerkraut and potato, chorizo and mushroom tapas and so on, paired with wheat/lager beers. We gear up in suspenders and Alpine hats along with melodious German music,” Shekhawat says. © Pexels At Kaitlyn's Beer Garden, in Bandra, Mumbai, the Oktoberfest enjoys an almost legendary status worldwide and more and more in India. Several pubs and microbreweries are trying to recreate the magic of the fest, by offering special menus, music, a Bavarian setup and thousands of liters of beer. The traffic especially on weekends are a full house. In India, it also depends on how the restobars promote their offers on beer and food for the weekdays as well as the weekends. Navin Mittal, Founder & Partner, Gateway Brewing Co. tells us, “Last year, we brewed two additional German-style beers apart from our flagship German style White Zen (hefeweizen) and German style Doppelganger (dunkelweizen). Both these, along with the Vienna Style Lager and Oktoberfest Lager, sold out very quickly at our client bars and restaurants across Mumbai and Pune. So much so that we hoped we had brewed a lot more. If last year is an indicator of the interest in Oktoberfest, we anticipate immense excitement this year as well. We are not only brewing the Vienna Style Lager and Oktoberfest Lager again this year but are also supplying to the IGCC Octoberfest event that is being held early this year in October. In addition to this, we are celebrating Oktoberfest at the Gateway Taproom, in BKC, Mumbai and while not an Indian festival, it is loved by one and all.” © Pexels “India does not have its own drink fests, apart from some annual wine festivals which are now becoming a ritual. Oktoberfest therefore, is a drink pilgrimage for us. With Indians travelling more, exposure from all media channels and easy availability of beers have together contributed to making Oktoberfest global as much as it is German,” explains Ajit Balgi founder of The Happy High is a wine, beverage & food consulting and experiences firm which curates wine dinners, whiskey degustation, and more bespoke events. © The Oktoberfest Trip Even a city like Chennai, being laced with numerous German companies like Daimler, Bosh, B-Braun Medical and Durr India, their strong presence allows for the German expats and employees to join in and commemorate the festival; their place of choice being majorly Leather Bar, at The Park Chennai. Keeping in mind the festive spirit of the festival, the décor of the bar is themed around Oktoberfest. The Leather Bar also has a Dirndll dress photo booth where guests can pose with beer that's served only in the beer mugs during this festival. The festival sees chefs curating authentic Bavarian Fare like Spiedine, Lockig Currywurest, Hühnchen Bratwurst and Apple Strudel. © Loaded Kartoffelpuffer at The Irish House Oktoberfest is easily as popular as the Navratras, Pujo and Diwali celebrations in the country with people even combining the festivals. It does make for a very cosmopolitan feel in the country, no doubt. And the hype around the beer festival is only increasing with time, as more homegrown beer labels sprout; not to mention the many restobars and pubs opening up and giving ready consumers something new to try almost instantly. What's not to love, I guess? Just fetch yourself a beer of your choice and celebrate the German spirit! © Tomatina at Hitchki, Powai
  2. RAWALPINDI: German Ambassador to Pakistan Martin Kobler Thursday met Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa at the General Headquarters GHQ, according to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). The two figures discussed affairs of mutual interest including security situation, the ISPR said in a statement. On the occasion, Ambassador Kobler said that Germany is grateful to Pakistan for its fight against terrorism, the statement read. He assured of his continued efforts in improving bilateral ties between the two countries, it added.
  3. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during the 39th Mukhtars Meeting, at Presidential Complex in Ankara, August 22, 2017. AFP/Adem Altan BERLIN: Germany's foreign and justice ministers warned Tuesday that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was using "propaganda" to divide their country's three-million-strong ethnic Turkish community. In a tough-worded commentary published amid a raging bilateral row, they warned that Germany's democratic culture was at threat from the "radicalisation" of Erdogan's politics, spreading through state-backed mosques and groups. "We must be careful Muslim communities in Germany do not fall under the sway of President Erdogan," Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Justice Minister Heiko Maas wrote. "The slow dissolution of the separation of religion and state taking place in Turkey is poison for democracy," they said. "Erdogan's rhetoric about enemies and his defamation of people who oppose him as 'infidels' or 'traitors' is a threat to the democratic culture of Germany." "Our country must protect the people who oppose Erdogan's cultural battle and propaganda," they added. Relations between Berlin and Ankara have deteriorated sharply, particularly since a failed coup against Erdogan over a year ago and a subsequent mass crackdown on its suspected plotters. Among the alleged state enemies and terrorist supporters behind bars in Turkey are several German or dual Turkish-German citizens, including journalists and rights workers. Erdogan has charged that Germany is sheltering Kurdish militants, coup plotters and terrorists, but also personally attacked Gabriel in recent days. And he has urged ethnic Turks in Germany to vote in September 24 elections against Merkel's conservatives and their coalition partners the Social Democrats, the party of Gabriel and Maas. The escalating tensions have split the Turkish community in Europe's top economy, the largest diaspora abroad, which is a legacy of Germany's "guest worker" programme of the 1960s and 70s. The two ministers warned in their Spiegel Online commentary that Erdogan's "dangerous ideologies must not be imported to Germany via certain mosques."
  4. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey and Chairman of the Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), greets an audience in the Sincan district of Ankara, August 14, 2017. AFP/Adem Altan ISTANBUL: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Friday urged ethnic Turks in Germany to reject its main parties in upcoming elections, prompting a sharp warning from Berlin to stop the "unprecedented" meddling. Erdogan called on ethnic Turks to ignore Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and their partners in the grand ruling coalition, the Social Democratic Party (SPD). They should also reject the Greens, he said, branding all three parties "enemies of Turkey". The president's attack ? one of his strongest-ever tirades against any EU state ? escalated an already intensifying diplomatic crisis between two NATO allies with longstanding historical links. Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel of the SPD was quick to react, condemning Erdogan's comments as an "unprecedented act of interference". Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said on Twitter: "We expect foreign governments to not interfere in our internal affairs." Erdogan issued his call in televised comments to reporters in Istanbul after Friday prayers. "I tell all my kinsmen in Germany... not to vote for them. Neither the Christian Democrats nor the SPD nor the Greens. They are all enemies of Turkey," he said. He accused the SPD and CDU of playing a game of "the more you beat up Turkey, the more votes you get" during the election campaign. "You need to support political parties there now which do not display enmity to Turkey," he said. 'Teach a lesson' Erdogan did not make it clear which German political party he would like people to support in the polls for the Bundestag on September 24. But he said he expected voters of Turkish origin to "teach a lesson to the parties which are disrespectful to Turkey" when they cast their votes in a "struggle for honour". Tensions have spiralled between Germany and Turkey in recent months. Berlin has lambasted Ankara over the magnitude of the crackdown that followed last year's failed coup, which has seen several German citizens arrested, including journalists. Ankara meanwhile has accused Berlin of failing to extradite suspected Kurdish militants and coup plotters who have taken refuge there. Turkish German journalist Deniz Yucel, the Istanbul correspondent of the Die Welt daily, has been held in jail in Turkey since February ahead of trial on terror charges. German journalist Mesale Tolu has been held on similar charges since May, while activist Peter Steudtner was arrested in a July raid. According to German foreign ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer, there are 10 Germans, including dual nationals, in custody in Turkey. Gabriel's SPD ? whose candidate for the chancellorship is ex-EU parliament speaker Martin Schulz ? and Merkel's CDU are rivals in the election. But they have been in broad agreement on the policy regarding Turkey within the coalition. The opposition Greens meanwhile have pushed for an even tougher line against Ankara. The Greens' co-leader Cem Ozdemir, who is himself of Turkish origin, said Erdogan's comments showed that people who support democracy and oppose repression and corruption in Turkey are "quite simply considered to be traitors and enemies". 'Lost all proportion' Erdogan said it was not Turkey's responsibility to reduce the tension as Germany was to blame, even accusing Berlin of being out of step with EU membership requirements. But Gabriel denounced his comments as "an unprecedented act of interference in the sovereignty of our country". Erdogan was seeking to incite people in Germany against each other, he said. The SPD's Schulz meanwhile, said Erdogan had "lost all sense of proportion" in a tweet. "And all the more we stand on the side of all those who are struggling for a free and democratic Turkey," he added. There are an estimated three million people of Turkish origin in Germany. Many of them came, or are the descendants of those who came, to West Germany as Gastarbeiter (guest workers) from the 1960s, to make up for a postwar labour shortage. Analysts say that some 1.2 million people of Turkish origin will have the right to vote in the September polls as German citizens. In the past, Turkish-origin Germans have inclined to the left, with most voting for the SPD. But Erdogan is also popular with Turks living in Germany, and 59 percent of the votes cast by Turkish citizens resident in Germany went to his ruling party in November 2015 parliamentary polls.
  5. German Family Minister Katarina Barley arrives for the weekly cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, June 7, 2017. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke/Files A government minister on Tuesday blasted German companies for failing to add more women to their management boards, suggesting the government could impose quotas unless firms acted to boost the current rate of 6 percent. Family Minister Katarina Barley, a Social Democrat (SPD), told the RND newspaper chain it was unacceptable that companies had failed to increase the percentage of women in leadership roles after years of promises. "I give industry one more year to take care of the issue itself. If nothing has happened by then, we'll have to take legislative action," Barley told the newspapers in an interview to be published Wednesday. "In many management boards, nothing has happened. Only 6 percent of directors are women. That can't continue," she said. Barley is due to present a report to Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet about the representation of women in leadership positions on Wednesday. She said she had "no problem with an obligatory quota for women on management boards", noting that years of pledges had not changed the situation and many companies had a target of zero. Under German law, women must comprise 30 percent of the supervisory boards of large companies. But there is no law governing the makeup of management boards. Barley's Social Democrats are now the junior partner to Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives in a "grand coalition," but both parties hope to forge alliances with other small parties and lead the country after a parliamentary election on Sept. 24. The latest Insa poll showed Merkel's conservatives with 37 percent support, the SPD with 25 percent, and the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party with 10 percent. Both the pro-business Free Democrats and the far-left Left party had 9 percent support, while the pro-environment Greens were at 3 percent.
  6. Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah meeting German Navy authorities - (Picture Courtesy: Pak Navy) Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah during his visit to Germany visited Naval academy and Naval submarine base, informed a statement issued by Pakistan Navy. The naval chief also had a meeting with Commandant German Naval Academy in which matters of mutual interests were discussed. Admiral Zakaullah also visited submarine training centre at Keroman Submarine Base. The statement added that the visit would further strengthen and expand defence cooperation between the two countries.
  7. A Kurdish Iraqi man armed with an M16 automatic rifle opened fire in a packed nightclub in southern Germany early Sunday after a dispute there, killing a bouncer and wounding four people before being shot by police. The 34-year-old attacker "was critically injured in a shootout with police officers as he left the disco, and later succumbed to his wounds in hospital," police said in a statement. "Nothing suggest that there could have been a terror background" to the attack at the club, said prosecutor Johannes-Georg Roth.suggest that there could have been a terror background" to the attack at the club, said prosecutor Johannes-Georg Roth. "Rather, everything points to a personal dispute that had escalated in an unspeakable manner," he added. The foreign gunman had been living in Germany since 1991, having obtained asylum status. He was the son-in-law of the owner of the nightclub called "Grey", and was known to police for previous violations including grievous bodily harm."Grey", and was known to police for previous violations including grievous bodily harm. Investigators piecing together the assault said the man had initially left the site after a "fight with an employee at the disco" and gone home to pick up the US-made M16 rifle. "He came back and shot dead the bouncer at the entrance area of the disco," recounted Roth, adding that the attacker sprayed the area with bullets. He then engaged in a shoot-out with police before being shot. One officer injured in the exchange of fire only escaped alive thanks to the titanium helmet he was wearing, added police. Officials saluted the bravery of the officers, saying their actions likely saved more lives as the "many magazines were found" at the site. 'Club was jam-packed' Officers began receiving emergency calls from terrified clubbers at around 4:30 am (0230 GMT) as the man began shooting in the nightclub heaving with "several hundred" people, said police. An unnamed clubber was quoted by Suedkurier daily that he was in the washroom when someone came in and closed the toilet door saying there was shooting. "I didn't believe it and went out. But I heard shots and quickly ran back to the toilet and closed the door with another person. With us was a bouncer who was shot and he was bandaging the wound with a belt," said the witness. A bartender then opened the emergency exit door, allowing revellers to flee, he said, adding that he saw another person with a wound in the leg lying on the grass by the parking lot. "I just shouted at everyone to run and when we were in the parking lot, we heard shots again," he said. The shooting in Constance, which borders Switzerland, came just two days after Germany was shaken by a knife attack in the northern port city of Hamburg. A 26-year-old Palestinian had killed one and injured six in an assault at a supermarket. Germany has been on high alert about the threat of a militant attack, especially since last December's truck rampage through a Berlin Christmas market that claimed 12 lives. But it has also been hit by other assaults unrelated to the militant threat. Among the deadliest in recent years is a Munich shopping mall rampage last June by 18-year-old German-Iranian man which left 10 people dead including the gunman himself.
  8. A man walks in front of an ambulance arriving at El Salam Hospital after an Egyptian man stabbed two German tourists to death and wounded four others at the beach of the Zahabia hotel, in Hurghada, south of the capital Cairo, Egypt, July 14, 2017. REUTERS/Mohamed Aly CAIRO: An Egyptian man stabbed two German tourists to death and wounded four others on Friday at a popular seaside vacation spot on the Red Sea, after apparently searching out foreigners to attack, officials and witnesses said. The knifeman killed the two German women and wounded two other tourists at the Zahabia hotel in Hurghada, then swam to a neighbouring beach to attack at least two more people at the Sunny Days El Palacio resort before being caught by staff and arrested, officials and security sources said. It was the first major attack on foreign tourists since a similar assault on the same resort more than a year ago and comes as Egypt struggles to revive a tourism industry hurt by security threats and years of political upheaval. "He had a knife with him and stabbed each of them three times in the chest. They died on the beach," Saud Abdelaziz ? the security manager at the El Palacio hotel ? told Reuters. "He jumped a wall between the hotels and swam to the other beach," he added.
  9. BERLIN: German firms have lost millions of euros to organised crime in a scam dubbed "CEO Fraud" that uses faked memos from top executives to entice accounting personnel to transfer funds, Germany's federal cyber agency said on Monday. The BSI agency said officials investigating the new scam had secured a list of 5,000 potential targets and were notifying those individuals. Organised criminals were using the information they gleaned from social media networks, public company websites, job sites and even calls to the companies to fake the contact information for chief executives and other top executives. BSI said the Federal Criminal Police Office estimated that the scam had already cost firms millions of euros in recent months. The scam targets personnel in the accounting and auditing departments of a company who were authorised to transfer funds, often using time pressure and warnings about an alleged "secret project" to manipulate them to carry out the bogus orders. BSI President Arne Schoenbohm urged companies who had fallen prey to the scam to cancel the transactions and notify police. He also urged companies to warn all those authorised to carry out financial transactions about the scam. BSI did not identify affected companies.
  10. Police arrest a demonstrator during the "Welcome to Hell" rally against the G20 summit in Hamburg, northern Germany on July 6, 2017. ? AFP HAMBURG: German police and protestors clashed Thursday at an anti-G20 march in Hamburg, with police using water cannon and tear gas to clear a hardcore of masked anti-capitalist demonstrators, AFP reporters said. Protestors threw stones, firecrackers and bottles at police. Riot police in helmets charged in order to disperse a group of around 1,000 hard-left protestors wearing black hooded tops and masks. The protest march has been called off after clashes, police said.
  11. People celebrate as they attend a rally in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on June 30, 2017.?AFP photo Germany's parliament backed the legalisation of same-*** marriage on Friday in a historic vote hailed by gay activists and leftist parties but criticised by some in Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling conservative bloc and by the Catholic Church. The move brings Germany into line with many other European nations including France, Britain and Spain and follows Merkel's surprise decision this week to allow her lawmakers to follow their own conscience rather than the party line on the issue. Merkel, daughter of a Protestant pastor, voted against the bill. Hundreds of gay activists, some with painted faces, celebrated outside the Bundestag lower house of parliament after the vote, waving rainbow flags and placards that read "Marriage for all ? make love for all". Earlier this year, parliament agreed to grant compensation to thousands of gay men jailed under a 19th century law that was strengthened by the Nazis and only dropped in 1969 when homosexuality was decriminalised in West Germany. Merkel, who is seeking a fourth term in a national election on Sept.24, said she had voted against the bill because she believed that marriage, as defined under German law, was between a man and a woman. But she said her decision was a personal one, adding that she had become convinced in recent years that same-*** couples should be allowed to adopt children. "I hope that the vote today not only promotes respect between the different opinions but also brings more social cohesion and peace," she said. CRITICISM Lawmakers voted by 393 votes in favour of same-*** marriage to 226 against, with four abstentions. Merkel's announcement on Monday that she would allow lawmakers to vote on same-*** marriage according to their individual conscience drew the ire of some in her traditionally Catholic conservative bloc. Erika Steinbach, an independent lawmaker who quit Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in protest over her open-door policy towards asylum seekers, accused the chancellor of betraying the party's values in a clumsy attempt to defuse the politically sensitive issue before the September election. "It runs against the CDU's own party programme, which sees marriage as being between a man and a woman, so CDU decisions are clearly not worth the paper they are written on. It would be hard to exaggerate how excruciating this is," said Steinbach. To Merkel?s right, the anti-Islam Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which opposed marriage equality, accused her of "abandoning the last conservative nuances her party had". The Catholic Church said it regretted the decision. "An appreciation of same-*** cohabitation can also be expressed by a different institutional design," said Archbishop Heiner Kochof of Berlin. Political analysts say the issue will likely have faded from voters' minds by the time the September election comes around. The vote marks a rare victory for Merkel's Social Democrat (SPD) coalition partners, who are trailing the conservatives in opinion polls. They had seized on Merkel's comments on Monday to say they would push for an early vote before parliament's summer recess. SPD General Secretary Hubertus Heil accused Merkel of political cowardice over her decision to make the issue a matter of private conscience. "After 17 years with her at the top, the CDU has become cowardly," he told RND news. "Hers is a politics of no conviction." The same-*** bill, which had the backing of the opposition Greens and the far-left Linke party, will likely be signed into law by President Frank-Walter Steinmeier some time after July 7.
  12. A still image taken from video shows people leaving the open-air weekend 'Rock am Ring' concert near the Nürburgring racetrack in Nurburg, Germany June 2, 2017. Instagram/@ZUZIA93/via Reuters TV German police temporarily stopped an open-air weekend "Rock am Ring" concert near the Nürburgring race track on Friday due to a possible terrorist threat. "Due to a terror danger situation, we told the organiser to temporarily stop the concert as a precaution," police in the nearby town of Koblenz said in a statement. Der Spiegel magazine said that all those attending were asked to leave the concert and head to nearby camping grounds "in a controlled and orderly fashion". "The organiser of Rock am Ring, working closely with the security authorities, have ended ahead of schedule the festival today," the police said. "The background to this was a concrete warning that made it impossible to rule out a terror threat." Man, 19, arrested in connection with Manchester attack, bringing total to 15: GM Police The arrest was made during a raid in the Gorton area of Manchester on "We cannot provide any further details on the background information," the statement added. The suicide bombing at a pop concert in Manchester, England, on May 26 led to changes in the security planning for the German concert and the number of security officials was increased substantially to 1,200, the police said. "We take all tips and suspicious incidents extremely seriously and investigate closely," they added. Last year, the third and final day of the "Rock am Ring" was cancelled after lightning strikes injured 80 people, some seriously.
  13. German-born Hollywood star Diane Kruger cast her glamorous image and returned to her roots to win best actress at the Cannes film festival Sunday. Kruger, best known from blockbusters such as "Troy" and "Inglourious Basterds", plays a woman who loses her husband and son in a neo-Nazi bomb attack in "In the Fade" (Aus dem Nichts) by acclaimed German-Turkish director Fatih Akin. Variety praised her "powerhouse performance" as the distraught tattooed and drug-taking Katja who fights for justice and ultimately vengeance for her family. Kruger said the emotional demands of the role were "terrible... The film almost killed me. It was terrible to live with, really upsetting." "I haven't worked since... I haven't read a script since. The film really changed me, it changed my life," she told reporters at Cannes. Akin wrote the screenplay based on one of Germany's biggest post-war scandals: the discovery in 2011 of a group calling itself the National Socialist Underground (NSU) which carried out a series of undetected racist murders over the course of a decade. Akin told German media that he long wanted to work with Kruger, who had called the man behind hits such "Head-On" and "The Edge of Heaven" her favourite German director. The former model, now 40, is a regular front-row guest at the Paris fashion week shows, and went without makeup on set in Hamburg. Born Diane Heidkrueger in what was then West Germany, the statuesque beauty left home as a teenager for Paris, quickly landing catwalk jobs for Marc Jacobs and Dolce and Gabbana and print ad campaigns for Yves Saint Laurent and Chanel while polishing her English and French skills. Style and moral fortitude Hollywood soon beckoned, however, and she got her break as Helen in Wolfgang Petersen's 2004 swords-and-sandals epic "Troy" co-starring with Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom. Kruger went on to star as German actress turned Allied spy Bridget von Hammersmark in Quentin Tarantino's Nazi-bashing "Inglourious Basterds", which competed for the Palme d'Or in Cannes in 2009. She won plaudits for the role, in which she channelled Marlene Dietrich with a blend of Teutonic glamour and moral fortitude in wartime. Her CV includes diverse roles in films such as the time-travel adventure "National Treasure: Book of Secrets" with Nicolas Cage and as the wife of a South African prison guard who befriends Nelson Mandela in "Goodbye Bafana". And she played a US homicide cop in the FX series "The Bridge" set in the drug violence-torn border city of Ciudad Juarez. Kruger has also shown off her French on screen in films such as "Farewell, My Queen" by Benoit Jacquot, an erotically and politically charged drama about a lovelorn Marie Antoinette on the eve of the French Revolution. After its screening at the Berlin film festival in 2012, Kruger brushed aside a question on whether she was playing cinema's first "lesbian Marie Antoinette" but said she could identify with her as a foreign-born woman living in a world of splendour. "Some think she was a poor little party girl that was put in a situation that she was just overwhelmed by," she said, perhaps recalling Sofia Coppola's much-maligned "Marie Antoinette". "Others think she was a terrible queen and spoiled rotten. I was trying to not judge her... I could relate to her as a woman." Kruger is at home on the festival circuit and holds the rare honour of having served on the juries at Berlin, Venice and Cannes.
  14. File photo- Reuters A person in Germany treated with Roche Holding AG?s new multiple sclerosis drug Ocrevus has been diagnosed with an often-deadly brain infection after switching from another medication earlier this year, the Swiss drugmaker said on Wednesday. Roche said it was investigating a case of Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML) in a patient previously being treated for three years with Biogen Inc?s Tysabri and who had received a single dose of Ocrevus in February. Roche is trying to determine the source of the illness but MS drugs that suppress the immune system can increase the risk of serious infections. Ocrevus was approved in the United States in March. Roche said the case of the rare brain disease that is usually fatal or disabling was reported as a carry-over from Tysabri, also known as natalizumab, by the physician who had been treating the patient. Biogen issued a statement that made no mention of the possible Tysabri connection to the case. "Biogen is aware that a patient taking Ocrevus has been diagnosed with PML, and we are currently assessing the information to confirm the reported PML," Biogen spokesman Matt Fearer said in a statement. He added that there are many unknowns around the safety of long-lasting drugs of this type "including occurrence and management of opportunistic infections." Ocrevus is an integral part of Roche?s strategy to replace revenue from older blockbuster cancer medicines Rituxan, Avastin and Herceptin whose patents are expiring, leaving them increasingly exposed to cheaper versions called biosimilars. "Patient safety is Roche?s highest priority and we are gathering more details about the case and the patient?s history," Roche said. "We will continue to share information with healthcare providers and global health authorities as we know more." The patient who developed PML had previously tested positive for John Cunningham virus, a common virus that is normally harmless but which can lead to the brain disease in MS patients who have weakened immune systems. Dozens of patients undergoing treatment with Tysabri have been diagnosed with PML. Use of the drug was temporarily halted a decade ago, but resumed after patients for whom the medication was effective demanded its return and regulators added restrictions to its use. Roche has said no PML cases emerged during its trials of Ocrevus, but the company included warnings to patients taking the medication that there was a risk they could get the disease.
  15. FRANKFURT: German industrial conglomerate Siemens on Thursday said it would slash 1,700 jobs in Germany in the coming years as part of a restructuring and efficiency drive. The sprawling engineering giant also said that it would transfer a further 1,000 jobs to supplier companies or to other units within the group. Siemens, which manufactures a wide range of products -- from gas and wind turbines to trains and medical equipment -- said the job cuts were part of an efficiency drive across a number of different divisions. The group´s IT department would bear the brunt of the cuts, with 1,350 posts to go over the next three years. But its "digital factory" and "mobility" divisions would also be affected. Munich-based Siemens said it would help employees concerned to apply for other positions in the group, which plans to hire around 9,000 people in Germany over the same period. In its 2016 annual report, Siemens said that it employs around 350,000 people worldwide.
  16. BERLIN: A German soldier who led a "double life" pretending to be a Syrian refugee has been arrested on suspicion he planned a gun attack with racist motives, prosecutors said Thursday. The 28-year-old suspect, who was not identified, was thought to have a "xenophobic background", they said. The Die Welt daily reported he may have plotted to pin the blame for an attack on foreigners. The case involved a joint police operation across Germany, France and Austria with raids on 16 locations, prosecutors in Frankfurt said in a statement. Police arrested the soldier -- a lieutenant usually stationed on a Franco-German military base near Strasbourg -- in the southern German city of Hammelburg on Wednesday. The same day they also arrested a second German man, a 24-year-old student and alleged co-conspirator in possession of flares and other objects that breach weapons and explosives laws. The lieutenant had been temporarily detained by Austrian police in February at Vienna airport when he tried to retrieve a loaded, unregistered handgun he had hidden in a toilet there a few days earlier. This sparked an investigation that threw up an even bigger surprise: the suspect had in December 2015 created a false identity as a Syrian refugee. He led "a double life", said a prosecution spokeswoman about what she called an unprecedented and "extraordinary" case. 'Blame refugees' He had registered himself at a refugee shelter in the central German state of Hesse and later even launched a request for political asylum in Bavaria state, said the prosecution statement. Te request was accepted, even though the man speaks no Arabic. He was allotted a place in the refugee home and has since January 2016 received monthly financial payments under this false identity, the prosecutors said. "These findings, and indications of a xenophobic background of the Bundeswehr soldier, suggest that the accused was planning a serious crime endangering state security with the weapon that was earlier deposited at Vienna airport," said the statement. Security services in the sweeping cross-border raids targeting contacts of the two men confiscated mobile phones, laptops and written materials, said the statement. There was evidence the 24-year-old student shared anti-foreigner views, including text messages between the two suspects, who both hailed from Offenbach near Frankfurt. Green party lawmaker Irene Mihalic called for an investigation into whether "in far-right circles, attacks are being planned specifically in order to blame them on refugees". The case recalled the bizarre suspected plot behind an April 11 explosives attack against the bus of the Borussia Dortmund football team, which wounded one player and a police officer. A German-Russian suspect allegedly staged the attack, with a fake radical claim of responsibility, in a bid to profit from a resulting plunge in the club's stock value. Germany has taken in more than one million asylum seekers since 2015, many from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, sparking an anti-foreigner backlash and a spate of racist hate crimes.
  17. PARIS: The German parliament followed several other European countries that have banned veils, totally or partially. On Thursday, the parliamentarians voted on a partial ban on "covering the face". The text does not specifically mention the full Islamic veil but was clearly drawn with the burqa in mind. In December 2016, Chancellor Angela Merkel had said that full veil must be banned wherever it was legally possible. According to the legislation, civil servants and officials, including judges and soldiers, must have their faces uncovered. The law, which must also go for approval by the upper house of the parliament, also says people can also be required to remove facial coverings in order to match them with their identity papers. France was the first European country to ban the full-face veil in public spaces with a law that took effect in April 2011. The European Court of Human Rights upheld the burqa ban in 2014, rejecting arguments that outlawing full-face veils breached religious freedom. The law has resulted in around 1,600 arrests since it came into force, and violations can result in fines of up to 150 euros. Austria´s chancellor Christian Kern had said in January he will seek to ban full-face veils in public. In Belgium, the wearing of the full veil is governed by a June 1, 2011 law prohibiting "appearing in places accessible to the public with a face masked or hidden, in whole or in part, in such a way as to be unidentifiable". Violations can result in fines and/or up to seven days in jail. In Britain, there is no law restricting the wearing of garments for religious reasons. However in March 2007, the education ministry published directives allowing directors of public establishments and denominational schools to ban the veil. In September 2016, Bulgarian lawmakers approved a law that bans wearing in public clothing that partially or completely covers the face, with exceptions for health or professional reasons. In Italy, a 1975 law aimed at protecting public order makes it illegal to cover one´s face in public places, but courts have systematically thrown out local moves to use the ban to outlaw the full-face veil. Two regions held by the anti-immigrant Northern League, Lombardy and Venetia, have banned the burqa and full face veil in hospitals and public places. In Netherlands, legislation passed by the lower house in November 2016 and currently being examined by the Senate would ban the wearing of burqas, helmets and face masks on public transport as well as schools, hospitals, and government buildings. Violations would result in a fine of up to 405 euros. In Norway, the government said in October 2016 it was seeking regulations prohibiting the full-face veil in schools and universities. The Scandinavian neighbours, Denmark and Sweden, have allowed schools, administrations and companies to decide the issue for themselves, while there is no ban in Finland. Moreover, Switzerland´s upper house earlier in 2017 voted against a draft bill on a nationwide burqa ban. In the southern Ticino region, however, the burqa has been forbidden since July 1, 2016 and violators face a minimum fine of 100 Swiss francs ($95). A group of private individuals is currently seeking signatures to force a national referendum on the issue. Three other countries that have not banned the burqa are among those closest to the Middle East or North Africa – Greece, Portugal and Spain.
  18. BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday it was "regrettable" that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denied her foreign minister a meeting after the diplomat held talks with rights groups. Merkel´s spokesman said that talks with non-governmental organisations were common during foreign travel and should not set off a rift between allies. "The chancellor finds it regrettable that a meeting between Foreign Minister (Sigmar) Gabriel and Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Netanyahu did not take place," he told reporters at a regular government briefing. "It should not be problematic for foreign visitors to meet with critical representatives of civil society." Netanyahu called off the planned meeting Tuesday with Gabriel after the German diplomat decided to go ahead with talks with Israeli rights groups Breaking The Silence and B´Tselem. Netanyahu´s rare move marked an affront against one of Israel´s closest international partners. Due to its historical responsibility as the perpetrator of the Holocaust that killed six million Jews, Germany has not only been a staunch ally of Israel but has also been cautious about openly criticising the Jewish state. But Netanyahu -- Israel´s most right-wing leader to date -- has irked Berlin by pressing on with settlement building in the Palestinian territories despite repeated warnings from world powers that it would harm any prospects of peace. Merkel had already in February postponed annual bilateral consultations after her government questioned Israel´s commitment to a two-state solution in the Middle East.
  19. Germany's BND foreign intelligence agency spied on the Interpol international police agency for years and on the group's country liaison offices in dozens of countries such as Austria, Greece and the United States, a German magazine said. No comment was immediately available from the BND, Interpol or Europol. Der Spiegel magazine, citing documents it had seen, said the BND had added the email addresses, phone numbers and fax numbers of the police investigators to its sector surveillance list. In addition, the German spy agency also monitored the Europol police agency Europol which is based in The Hague, the magazine said. Der Spiegel reported in February that the BND also spied on the phones, faxes and emails of several news organizations, including the New York Times and Reuters. The BND's activities have come under intense scrutiny during a German parliamentary investigation into allegations that the US National Security Agency conducted mass surveillance outside of the United States, including a cellphone used by Chancellor Angela Merkel. Konstantin von Notz, a Greens party member who serves on the investigative committee, described the latest report about the BND's spying activities as "scandalous and unfathomable". Overseas voters kick off crucial French presidential election "We now know that parliaments, various companies and even journalists and publishers have been targeted, as well as allied countries," von Notz said in a statement. He said the latest reports showed how ineffective parliamentary controls had been thus far, despite new legislation aimed at reforming the BND. "It represents a danger to our rule of law," he said.
  20. What would you do if I told you that private jets could be a thing of reality for everyone? Okay, maybe not everyone, but more than just the select few… Lilium Aviation, a German startup company has just conducted a successful flight test on for what they’re calling their vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft. Smaller than regular aircrafts and a lot like cars, the aircraft is being developed for personal use by regular people, just like cars. The aircraft, takes off vertically and so, does not require a long runway—which means a nicely spread lawn, or a farmhouse space would probably do just fine. Lilium Aviation The aircraft gets a range of more than 300 km with a maximum cruising speed of 300 km/h and runs on electric energy. It produces less noise than a regular motorcycle. The prototype vehicle is a two-seater. However, Lilium plans on working on a five-seat version that will work as an air-taxi service system. Lilium Aviation Speaking about the breakthrough, as well as the aircraft, Daniel Wiegand, CEO nad Co-Founder, Lilium Aviation, said, “Seeing the Lilium Jet take to the sky and performing sophisticated manoeuvres with apparent ease is a testament to the skill and perseverance of our amazing team. We have solved some of the toughest engineering challenges in aviation to get to this point. The successful test flight programme shows that our ground-breaking technical design works exactly as we envisioned. We can now turn our focus to designing the five-seater production aircraft."
  21. KARACHI/ISLAMABAD: Pakistan International Airlines’ (PIA) acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bernd Hildenbrand has been removed from his post, read a PIA notification issued Friday, however his name continues to remain on the Exit Control List (ECL). The German national is on the ECL pending an investigation by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) into corruption and illegal actions by him. The FIA is carrying out an investigation against Hildenbrand for leasing aircraft at inflated rates in comparison to prevailing market rates and for selling a PIA Airbus A310 aircraft to a German museum in violation of rules and regulations. Earlier on April 6, Hildenbrand had gone on a 15-day leave. He, however, cannot leave the country until his name is removed from the ECL. The notification further said that Chief Financial Office (CFO) Nayyar Hayat has been given the charge of acting CEO of the national flag-carrier.
  22. German police arrested a man on Friday suspected of detonating three bombs that targeted the Borussia Dortmund soccer team bus in the hope of sending the club's shares plummeting and making a profit on an investment, prosecutors said. In a statement, the federal chief prosecutor said the 28-year old man, a dual German and Russian national identified as Sergei V., had bought options on Borussia Dortmund's stock before the attack. The team bus was heading to the club's stadium for a Champions League match against AS Monaco on April 11 when the explosions went off, wounding Spanish defender Marc Bartra and delaying the match by a day. Prosecutors last week expressed doubts about the authenticity of three letters left at the site of the attack that suggested that militants had carried it out. The prosecutor's office said the suspect had bought 15,000 put options - contracts giving him the right to sell Borussia Dortmund's shares at a pre-determined price - on the day of the attack, using a consumer loan he had signed a week earlier. "If the shares of Borussia Dortmund had fallen massively, the profit would have been several times the initial investment," it said, adding that such a slump could have resulted if any players had been killed or seriously injured. In fact, the shares rose 1.8 percent on April 12, the day after the attack, and are up about 2 percent so far this year. Team hotel Police detained the suspect in the southwestern city of Tuebingen. He faces charges of attempted murder, inflicting serious bodily harm and causing an explosion, the prosecutor's office said. It said he had booked into the same hotel where the Dortmund team was staying, and the hotel's Internet IP address was used in the transaction to buy the share options. Der Spiegel magazine reported that the suspect received weapons training while completing then-mandatory service in the German military from April to December 2008. It said he was identified following a tip from an informant in the financial sector, and a notice of possible money laundering by comdirect bank AG, a unit of Commerzbank AG. Security is a hot issue in campaigning for Germany's federal election on Sept. 24, in which Chancellor Angela Merkel is seeking a fourth term. Borussia Dortmund's Chief Executive Hans-Joachim Watzke told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper he was talking to security experts including former staff of Germany's GSG9 special operations police unit with a view to creating a security unit. "We will spend a lot of money to improve the security situation of our team," said . He added that BVB was also considering whether it needed to introduce measures to restrict trading in its shares.
  23. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble issued a plea to the United States to remain engaged in the global economy and not to try to score gains at the expense of other countries. He also repeated a rejection of charges from Trump administration officials that Germany's trade surplus is a sign of unfair policies imposed in Berlin. "All of us have benefited greatly" from global integration and trade in recent decades, and Washington has been a leader in the process, the official said in a speech ahead of this week's semi-annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. The Trump administration's antagonistic protectionist rhetoric has created a tense atmosphere at the usually staid meetings of the IMF membership, and drawn a growing chorus from officials defending the global trading system, while acknowledging that some segments of society have not seen its benefits and have borne an unfair share of the costs. "Surely it's in America's own interest to ensure security and economic stability" in its trade partners, Schaeuble said. And while he said it is legitimate for a government to look out for its own interests, he warned Washington that "peace and prosperity in one country cannot come at the cost of peace and prosperity in another country." Trump economic officials have focused on attacking individual countries for their trade surplus with the United States rather than looking at global trade more broadly. Germany also will chair a gathering of the Group of 20 finance ministers and central bankers Friday, where currencies and trade are a regular part of the agenda. Schaeuble acknowledged that the relatively weak euro has helped German exports, as Trump administration officials have charged, but he blamed the low-interest rates and other extraordinary stimulus measures the European Central Bank has implemented to boost the euro area's sluggish economy. Having warned the ECB at the outset that such policies would boost German exports, "I do not now want to be criticised for the consequences," he said. Schaeuble said he has met with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and explained that Germany's trade surplus is the result of the high quality of the nation's exports, not protectionism, saying there are "no sensible measures" that would reduce the surplus. But he said he is glad to hear the ECB is beginning to discuss following the example of the US Federal Reserve in removing some of the stimulus, which can drive risky behaviour in financial markets in addition to influencing the value of the euro. He also said that global cooperation has put in place rules to try to prevent the behaviour that caused the crisis, warning that those lessons should not be forgotten.
  24. Recently, the Mumbai-London Jet Airways flight lost contact with the Air Traffic Control leaving the crew slightly worried about the safety of the 777-300ER aircraft. But the German Air Force came to the rescue of the Jet Airways flight 9W-118 as they escorted the plane for a brief period while flying over Cologne. Watch the incredible footage of the German Air Force fighter here: The video was captured by a British Airways plane and you can see the fighter jets scrambling to help the JA plane in the video. The JA pilots later informed that they communicated with the Eurofighters over the emergency frequencies and later safely reached London. “Jet Airways has duly reported the matter to the concerned authorities including the DGCA. As part of the standard process, the flight crew of 9W 118 has been de-rostered pending investigation,” an official statement from Jet Airways said.