English editions:
Germany, 2014

German police on Monday investigated six private security guards accused of assaulting and humiliating asylum seekers in a refugee centre in ways that drew comparisons to violence against Guantanamo Bay prisoners. Police also questioned hundreds of fellow refugees after shocking photo and video footage emerged, including an image showing a security guard pinning a handcuffed Algerian man to the floor with his boot on the man's neck.

A solution must be found to the Ukraine crisis that does not hurt Russia and which the Ukrainian people must choose for themselves, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Sunday. "I want to find a way that doesn't harm Russia," Merkel told German ARD public television in her traditional summer interview.

The German Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit Kiev on Saturday to hold discussions with Ukrainian President Poroshenko over the crisis in his country. Merkel on Friday spoke to Russian President Putin baout possible paths to a ceasfire in eastern Ukraine. VoR's Tim Walklate reports.

The foreign ministers of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France made "some progress" during Sunday’s talks on the settlement of the Ukrainian conflict, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday. The four discussed international efforts towards the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis, the ministry said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his concern regarding the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine during a telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as the two leaders sought ways to de-escalate tensions, the Kremlin’s press service said on Saturday.

Official Eurostat figures, released on Thursday, show that growth in the Eurozone has flat-lined in the second quarter of the year. France and Germany - the economic bloc's two biggest economies - both performed less well than expected. VoR's Simon Parker spoke to Christian Schulz, a senior economist at the German Berenberg bank

New figures show that German investor confidence is plunging to the lowest level since December 2012. Analysts suggest the drop is down to renewed tensions over Ukraine. VoR's Brendan Cole spoke to Jeremy Cook, from World First, a UK-based foreign exchange company.

The UK declared war on Germany on August 4, 1914, 100 years ago. The war broke out on July 28 that year when Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. A series of services will be held across the UK, attended by senior royals and government officials. Individuals and companies are invited to join the Lights Out remembrance by switching off lights in buildings between 10pm and 11pm.

The German government is considering stepping up its counter-espionage activity against Britain and the United States in light of allegations of widespread surveillance in Germany by US agents. Robert Mudge, an editor at the German news agency Deutsche Welle, gave VoR the latest on the situation.

The British Prime Minister has again insisted that western countries should step up “with further hard-hitting economic sanctions” against Russia. Europe's major capitals, however, are wary of any radical steps and have accused the UK of hypocrisy.

The European Commission said on Wednesday that low-fare airline Ryanair must repay about €9.6 million in illegal state aid it received for its operations in several French regional airports. The Commission, the European Union's executive arm, said Ryanair would have to repay €868,000 in relation to rebates and marketing arrangements negotiated at Angouleme airport in central France.

New figures suggest UK’s economy will grow by just over three percent in 2014, making it the fastest growing major economy this year. But there will be reservations about what a rising GDP actually means for the majority of Britons. And although the forecast is better than many analysts had predicted, there are doubts about the long-term sustainability of any recovery. VoR’s Flora Neve has this report.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel turned 60 on July 17. Born Angela Dorothea Kasner in Hamburg, she grew up in a small town near East Berlin, where her father served as a Lutheran pastor. Merkel earned a doctorate in physics and worked as a researcher at a scientific academy in Berlin. Her political career began in 1989 with the fall of the Berlin Wall. She became the first woman to lead the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the first post-reunification chancellor to hail from the former East Germany.

German politicians say they are considering using typewriters to create sensitive documents in the wake of a US surveillance scandal. VoR's Brendan Cole spoke to Professor Anthony Glees at the Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies at the University of Buckingham, about security in the post-Snowden era.


Germany became the first European side to win a World Cup on Latin American soil in Sunday's final against Argentina whose captain Lionel Messi was out to emulate the great Diego Maradona. In the end, it went to extra time and the winning goal was scored by Mario Götze.

An announcement from Berlin that Germany has asked a CIA official to leave the country has increased diplomatic tensions with the US. It's the second incident involving so-called 'spying' on Germany by American operatives after a German was arrested on suspicion of selling information to the US last week. VoR's Tim Ecott spoke to Tom Bristow, editor of www.thelocal.de.

The German government is considering scrapping an anti-spying agreement it has held with the United States since 1945. It comes in response to a scandal over a 'double agent' which has once again soured the relationship between Berlin and Washington following revelations last year that the US had bugged Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone.  VoR’s Simon Parker reports.

Brazil's World Cup dream was smashed into oblivion as majestic Germany ran riot to win an extraordinary semi-final 7-1 and send the South American hosts crashing to their worst ever defeat in their 100-year footballing history.

European leaders meeting in Brussels have confirmed the former Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker as the next President of the European Commission, despite opposition from British Prime Minister David Cameron, who said he is "not the right person." VoR’s Tim Walklate spoke to Benjamin Fox of euobserver.com, an online magazine specialising in European affairs.

Britain will begin this year to import gas from Russia under a formal contract for the first time. The country's biggest utility Centrica signed a deal in 2012 with Russian state-controlled Gazprom to import 2.4 billion cubic metres of gas over a period of three years, and the supplies will begin flowing in October.

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