German weekly Der Spiegel says the Tunisian man who carried out a deadly truck attack on a Berlin Christmas market in 2016 was part of a Europe-wide network of Islamic extremists.

Spiegel reported Friday that Anis Amri , who died in a shootout with Italian police days after the rampage, had contacts to Islamic State supporters including extremists tied to the 2015 attacks in Paris.

It cited documents from the German Federal Prosecutors Office and federal police drawing on recordings made of prison conversations involving Frenchman Clement Baur, who was arrested in 2017 for planning an attack during the country’s presidential election.

According to the report, Baur said Amri was part of a plan to stage simultaneous attacks in Europe and that he was fascinated by the 2016 Nice truck attack.

Source: Fox News World

Authorities in eastern Germany are canceling plans for traditional Easter bonfires because warm, dry weather has increased the risk of wildfires.

Firefighters managed to control a forest fire in Koenigs Wusterhausen near Berlin early Friday, one of several in the eastern state of Brandenburg in recent days.

Germany saw several large-scale wildfires last summer, which was exceptionally long and hot. Experts say climate change could make such blazes more likely in the country in future.

The government plans to pass a package of measures this year to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and curb global warming.

Environment Minister Svenja Schulze told weekly Der Spiegel in an interview Friday that the measures could include a carbon tax, with the revenues redistributed to citizens in some other form, as in neighboring Switzerland.

Source: Fox News World

Austrian leader Sebastian Kurz says his thoughts are with the friends and families of two top climbers missing in Canada along with an American.

The Austrian chancellor on Friday described David Lama und Hansjörg Auer as “two of the best-known and best extreme climbers … of our country.”

Lama, Auer and American climber Jess Roskelley have been missing in Alberta’s Banff National Park since Wednesday and are presumed dead after an avalanche.

Kurz said Lama and Auer had “shaped the international climbing and alpinist scene in recent years with many achievements.”

Lama, the son of a Nepalese mountain guide and an Austrian woman, was feted for achieving the first free ascent of the Compressor Route of the Cerro Torre, one of the most striking peaks in the Andes.

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A former Nazi guard has been charged with 5,230 counts of accessory to murder at the Stutthof concentration camp during the final months of World War II, German prosecutors said Thursday.

Prosecutors in the northern city of Hamburg said Thursday that the 92-year-old suspect, whose name they didn’t release, is accused of assisting in the “malicious and cruel” killing of mainly Jewish inmates through his work as an SS guard at the camp between August 1944 and April 1945.

Prosecutors said the man, who was aged 17-18 at the time and would therefore be tried as a juvenile, was “a little wheel in the machinery of murder” which saw thousands of people shot dead, poisoned or starved toward the end of the war.

German daily Die Welt reported that the suspect, who it identified as Bruno Dey, acknowledged to investigators he was aware of the camp’s gas chambers and saw bodies taken to the crematoriums, but denied being a supporter of Nazi ideology and expressed regret for the fate of Jews.

German prosecutors have charged a number of aging former concentration camp guards in recent years. There have been some convictions but in several cases the defendants’ poor health has prevented them going on trial.

Source: Fox News World

A German teenager has gone on trial for the fatal strangling of another boy who allegedly refused his advances.

German news agency dpa reported that the trial opened on Thursday with the defendant’s lawyer reading a statement in which the 15-year-old acknowledged responsibility for the 16-year-old victim’s death.

Prosecutors accuse the teen of strangling the older but weaker boy after they agreed to meet in a wooded area last October.

The killing prompted widespread shock in Germany.

The teenager on trial hasn’t been named due to his age. He faces a prison sentence of up to 10 years if he is convicted of manslaughter. A verdict is expected in June.

Source: Fox News World

The chief executive of ABB is stepping down as the Swiss engineering company undergoes a major overhaul.

The company said Wednesday that Ulrich Spiesshofer had agreed with the board of directors to relinquish with immediate effect the role he’s held since 2013.

Board chairman Peter Voser, a former CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, is taking over as interim chief executive.

Investors have been pressing ABB, which specializes in automation and factory robots, to increase its margins in recent years.

Source: Fox News World

A German court says the former head of a Rwandan rebel group has died in prison while awaiting retrial on war crimes charges.

Ignace Murwanashyaka, the former president of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, was convicted by a Stuttgart court in 2015 of leading a terrorist organization and four counts of being an accessory to war crimes in eastern Congo in 2009.

The conviction was overturned last year and a retrial was pending.

The court said Wednesday that Murwanashyaka’s health deteriorated suddenly on April 11. He died in a hospital.

The FDLR is made up mostly of Hutu refugees from Rwanda who took shelter in neighboring Congo after the 1994 genocide in which over 800,000 people were killed, most of them ethnic Tutsis but also moderate Hutus.

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A 19-year-old male giant panda has arrived at Vienna’s Schoenbrunn zoo, more than two years after his predecessor died.

Yuan Yuan, who arrived on Tuesday evening, was chosen as a partner for Yang Yang, the zoo’s 18-year-old female panda. The zoo said Wednesday that he will be introduced to the public at the end of May once he is out of quarantine.

Schoenbrunn has been home to pandas since 2003, when Yang Yang and male Long Hui arrived. China lends the rare bears to other countries as a sign of goodwill in what is known as “panda diplomacy.”

Long Hui died in December 2016 while undergoing an examination for a tumor, which zoo officials said was malignant and inoperable. He had fathered twins months earlier.

Source: Fox News World

German authorities have arrested a man suspected of joining the Islamic State group in Syria and later helping send another new recruit for IS from Germany to Syria.

Federal prosecutors said the 28-year-old German national, identified only as Volkan L. in line with German privacy rules, was arrested in Hamburg on Wednesday. He is suspected of membership in a foreign terrorist organization.

Prosecutors say that he traveled to Syria in November 2013 to join IS and underwent military training. They say he returned to Germany in March 2014 and turned his attention to finding new recruits.

He is accused of helping organize travel to Syria for one such person in summer 2014, acting as a go-between between the recruit and an IS member in Syria.

Source: Fox News World

A German comedian has lost a court case against Chancellor Angela Merkel’s description of a crude poem he wrote about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as “deliberately hurtful.”

Amid tensions with Turkey over a TV satire poking fun at Erdogan, Jan Boehmermann read the poem on television in 2016 to illustrate something he said wouldn’t be allowed in Germany.

Merkel’s spokesman said she considered the poem “deliberately hurtful,” which Merkel later said was a mistake. Prosecutors dropped an investigation of Boehmermann for lack of evidence of any crime.

Berlin’s administrative court on Tuesday rejected Boehmermann’s bid to ban the government from repeating Merkel’s assessment, since it was clear that wouldn’t happen. It also found Merkel’s comments weren’t unlawful and didn’t constitute “prejudgement” of the case against Boehmermann.

Source: Fox News World

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