Stories about Angela Merkel

As a German, I am offended by Imran Khan’s comparison of Modi to Hitler

I wholeheartedly understand Imran Khan’s anger in light of India’s decision to revoke Article 370 in occupied Kashmir and plunge the region into chaos. After all, Imran had been advocating vociferously for increased dialogue between India and Pakistan, yet Narendra Modi‘s government did not reciprocate the sentiment. While Modi’s actions in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) undoubtedly deserve to be condemned by the international community, I feel that comparing the Indian prime minister to Adolf Hitler is rather extreme and unnecessary. As a German whose grandparents witnessed the barbaric acts unleashed by Hitler, and as someone who was made to study ...

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Some fall and some rise, and 2017 proved just that

Another year has come and gone, while another approaches very soon. This year was quite eventful for Pakistan where China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects gathered steam, a sitting prime minister got ousted, international cricket teams came to Pakistan, and right-wingers took over the Faizabad interchange. Interestingly, this past year also witnessed the rise of anti-immigration sentiment in Europe, record-breaking hurricanes in the US, and the rise of a modern, reformist crown successor in Saudi Arabia. More specifically, following is a list of notable events of this past year: America’s new president New York real estate billionaire, Donald Trump, was inaugurated as the 45th President of ...

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Are the German election results and the Catalonia referendum a wake up call for the EU?

Major political decisions of Spain’s Catalonia region and Germany’s former Prussia, (lately East Germany), are influenced by their history despite their distinct means and objectives. Both are trying to shape a future perceived to be compatible with the historical perspective of their self-image. While many Catalonians seek independence from Spain, Germany happily reunited in 1990 and is now seeing its political power balance imperceptibly mutating. In the long-term, both can stoke a crisis of unity within sovereign member states and the European Union (EU). Catalonian demands for independence will encourage simmering independence movements in Spain, Belgium, the United Kingdom, France and ...

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Can Islam and democracy coexist in today’s world?

Germany has given its verdict and elected Angela Merkel for the fourth consecutive term. Her victory has relieved many as her popularity took a nosedive after her brave decision to take in refugees in 2015. However, at the same time, the reduced margin of her victory has also raised alarms. The German far-right party, Alternative for Germany (AfD), has accumulated 13% of the total votes, becoming the first such party to win so many seats in more than 50 years. The improvement in its vote tally is remarkable, given the fact that it only won 4.7% of the total votes in the 2013 elections, narrowly missing the ...

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When the pot met the kettle: How Modi made India a lackey to the US

Finally, the pot and the kettle met, shook hands and hugged each other. Analysts world over are still debating possible gains and losses of a meeting between two unique characters of world politics today – Donald Trump and Narendra Modi. They represent two very vibrant democracies of the world but they are not recognised as the real faces of their multi-cultural nations. They are treated more as aberrations of history, a mistake of time rather than a true face of the era and people they got their mandate from. They both defy the norms of Greek and Shakespearean tragedy. Their past sins and acts are not holding them back from achieving ...

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Pulling out of the Paris climate agreement may be Donald Trump’s only success story

In the cold and grey Washington, the news cycle has been eternally hot lately. The fire refuses to simmer down. The breathtaking pace at which events occur makes it tough to keep up with the war of words from the movers and shakers in a town where, post November 9, 2016, things have been constantly on the edge. While it is safe to say that all politicians are born actors and blatant liars, Donald Trump’s White House has legitimised the art of lying and given an official seal of approval to “alternative facts” – a term that essentially masks any untrue statement ...

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So far so bad: 100 days of Donald Trump made America great again

Against all odds, US President Donald J Trump has completed 100 days of office. While the US president’s tenure so far has been tumultuous, with protest after protest erupting across the country, Trump has also baffled the United States and the rest of the world with his conflicting, sometimes bizarre views and methods.  To his credit, Trump has provided much comic relief — especially on the internet — with his, let’s just say, unconventional methods (there is madness in them, yes). From announcing foreign policy on Twitter to labelling every news outlet as “fake news”, the leader of the free world has gone about making America great ...

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If oil rich Arab countries can support the Palestinians, why not the Rohingya refugees?

A 2015 Amnesty report declared the stateless Rohingya of Burma to be the most persecuted refugees in the world. Their Burmese majority tormenters are trapped between a forgiveness shortfall and a surfeit of rancour at the abortive Rohingya attempt to be annexed by East Pakistan in 1948 followed by an armed insurgency seeking autonomy or independence.  Reprisals have devastated the civilian population. There are currently 140,000 Rohingya refugees mired in squalor in Bangladesh, India and Thailand in the latest phase of their on-going exodus. Archbishop Desmond Tutu has called the violence against the Rohingya a “slow genocide”. On November 30th, France 24 broadcasted that a concerted crackdown from ...

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Big Brother is watching

Nowadays recording devices, hidden cameras, satellites, and web giants like Facebook and Google collect all sorts of information on tech-users. But, historically, a state of surveillance has always existed. Long before CCTV cameras, bugging devices, and online data collection became the century’s norm, societies were dealing with purloined letters opened before delivery, spies from foreign lands, and good ol’ fashioned eavesdroppers behind closed doors. Historian David Kahn, writing on human privacy (or the lack thereof), notes how, “…centuries ago, people in England, France and German states fought for the right to send letters without their being opened by the ‘black chambers’ ...

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Theresa May and the Cutthroat Conservatives

“Brexit means Brexit, and we’re going to make a success of it,” Theresa May said on Monday, when she became the new leader of the Conservative Party — and therefore Britain’s new prime minister. It was the one discordant note in an otherwise clear, wide-ranging speech. So Brexit means Brexit. But what does that mean? In the June 23rd referendum on Britain’s membership in the European Union, 52% of voters expressed a desire to leave, having been given precious few details of what exactly that entailed or how it might be achieved. Some 48% voted not to leave at all. Negotiating a deal ...

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