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25 arrested in Germany for plotting to overthrow state

Along with detentions in Germany, prosecutors said one person was detained in the Austrian town of Kitzbhel and another in Perugia in Italy…reports Asian Lite News

Twenty-five people, including a 71-year-old German aristocrat, a retired military commander and former MP for the far-right Alternative fur Deutschland (AfD), have been detained in Germany on suspicion of a terrorist plan to overthrow the state and renegotiate the countrys post-second world war settlement, according to a media report.

Thousands of police carried out a series of raids across Germany on Wednesday morning in connection with the far-right ring, The Guardian reported.

Federal prosecutors said 3,000 officers conducted searches at 130 sites in 11 of Germany’s 16 states against the group, whose members, it said, adhered to a “conglomerate of conspiracy theories”, including the QAnon cult and the so-called Reich Citizens movement, the report said.

Prosecutors said 22 German citizens were detained on suspicion of “membership in a terrorist organisation”. Three other detainees, including a female Russian citizen, were suspected of supporting the organisation, they said, The Guardian reported.

Der Spiegel reported that locations searched included the barracks of Germany’s special forces unit KSK, in the south-western town of Calw. The unit has in the past been scrutinised over alleged far-right involvement by some soldiers. Federal prosecutors declined to confirm or deny that the barracks was searched.

Along with detentions in Germany, prosecutors said one person was detained in the Austrian town of Kitzbhel and another in Perugia in Italy.

German media have identified as the group’s ringleaders Heinrich XIII, 71, a descendant of the noble family that used to rule over parts of eastern Germany in the 12th century, and a former senior field officer at the German army’s paratrooper battalion named only as Rudiger von P.

Last year, the pair founded a “terrorist organisation with the goal of overturning the existing state order in Germany and replacing it with their own form of state, which was already in the course of being founded”, with Rdiger von P in charge of planning the military coup and Heinrich XIII mapping out Germany’s future political order, The Guardian reported.

The group had even started to nominate ministers for a transitional post-coup government, reported the newspaper Die Zeit, in which one of the suspects, the former AfD MP Birgit Malsack-Winkemann, 58, was to be federal minister for justice.

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Jaishankar expresses concern over Indian baby in German foster care

The couple has sought Indian government’s help in repatriation of their child who has been living in a foster care in Germany for over 14 months…reports Asian Lite News

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Monday said he has raised the issue of an Indian baby living in foster care in Berlin in his discussions with visiting German counterpart Annalena Baerbock.

The German authorities had taken one-and-a-half year old Ariha Shah under their care, alleging sexual harrasment by the child’s parents.

“A specific issue, which came up… This relates to a child called Ariha Shah. We have concerns that the child should be in a linguistic, religious, cultural and social environment. This is her right,” Jaishankar said addressing a joint press conference with Baerbock.

The couple has sought Indian government’s help in repatriation of their child who has been living in a foster care in Germany for over 14 months.

They said Ariha’s grandmother hurt her by accident in September last year after which they took her to the hospital, where the German authorities accused them of sex assault, and took away the child under Child Protection Rights.

Ariha then was only seven months-old, according to the parents.

The Berlin-based couple informed that a criminal probe was closed without charges in February, but they still haven’t got their child back.

To add on to their woes, Berlin Child Services has filed a civil custody case calling for termination of their parental rights.

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar meets Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany Annalena Baerbock in New Delhi on Monday, December 05, 2022. (Photo:IANS/Twitter)

“Our embassy is pursuing the matter with German authorities,” Jaishankar said.

Earlier, the Ministry of External Affairs said that they have been “intervening and engaging with the German authorities on the “sensitive” matter for over a year, since September 2021″.

Philipp Ackermann, the German ambassador to India, said last week that they are aware of the gravity of the issue, and have taken note of the Indian government’s concern in the case.

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India, Germany ink deal on migration, mobility

During the two-day inaugural visit, cooperation in the energy transition away from oil, coal and gas will also play a role…reports Asian Lite News

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar signed an agreement on the comprehensive migration and mobility partnership with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock in New Delhi on Monday.

Jaishankar welcomed visiting German Foreign Minister who began her two-day India visit today.
The German foreign minister landed in Delhi earlier today. During her visit, she will be discussing cooperation on the transition to renewable energy and India’s relationship with Russia and China.

“A warm welcome to German Foreign Minister @ABaerbock as she arrives in New Delhi on her first official visit. An opportunity to exchange views on regional and global developments and review the progress achieved in the India-Germany Strategic Partnership,” Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in a tweet.

During the two-day inaugural visit, cooperation in the energy transition away from oil, coal and gas will also play a role. Earlier today, Baerbock visited Rajghat in the national capital and paid her respects to Mahatma Gandhi.

On Friday, the German Federal Foreign Office said Baerbock will visit projects for renewable energies and sustainability in the rural surroundings of the capital New Delhi.

In Baerbock’s talks with her counterpart Jaishankar, India’s relationship with China is likely to be in focus in addition to discussions on Russia-Ukraine war and its consequences.

Lauding the constructive role played by India at the recently concluded G20 summit in Bali, Baerbock earlier credited New Delhi for the clearer positioning of the Group of Twenty (G20) on the ongoing war in Ukraine.

She made these remarks ahead of her trip to New Delhi against the backdrop of the global consequences of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

“At the G20 summit in Bali (Indonesia), India showed that it is ready to play its role globally,” the German foreign minister said in her departure statement. “The clearer positioning of the G20 against the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine is ultimately also thanks to India.

“As an emerging economic power and a solid democracy, India is both a role model and a bridge for many countries in the world, despite all the internal social challenges. And a natural partner of Germany,” she added. (ANI)

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German FM due in India for bilateral talks

“I think it’s safe to say that the Chancellor is planning a bilateral visit to India next year. We have to compare agendas,” Ackermann said at a press conference…reports Asian Lite News

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock will visit India from December 5-6, Ministry of External Affairs official spokesperson Arindam Bagchi today announced.

“The second announcement that I had was on the visit of the Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany to India. Her Excellency Ms Annalena Baerbock will pay an official visit to India from 5-6 December,” Bagchi said in a press briefing. Bagchi said that Baerbock will hold a meeting with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in New Delhi. Speaking at a press briefing, Bagchi said, “During her stay in Delhi, she will be hosted by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar for bilateral talks on 5 December. They will of course hold discussions on bilateral issues as well as regional and global issues of mutual interest.”

Bagchi noted that India and Germany marked 70 years of diplomatic ties in 2021. He said, “As strategic partners, India and Germany have had a longstanding relationship underpinned by common values and shared goals. In fact in 2021, we commemorated 70 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations.”

Highlighting ties between Germany and India, Bagchi said, “This year, we have had several high-level engagements between two countries including Prime Minister’s visit to Berlin for the 6th India-Germany intergovernmental consultations and then subsequently, Prime Minister again went to Germany to Schloss Elmau as India was a partner country at the G7 meeting at the invitation of Chancellor Scholz. We look forward to the visit of the Foreign Minister of Germany.”

Earlier on November 30, German ambassador to India, Philipp Ackermann said that Chancellor Olaf Scholz is planning a bilateral visit to India next year. He made the remarks in a press conference on Wednesday.

“I think it’s safe to say that the Chancellor is planning a bilateral visit to India next year. We have to compare agendas,” Ackermann said at a press conference.

Ackermann also responded when asked whether the Chancellor could come twice to India, one for the G20 summit and the other time for a bilateral meeting.”The Prime Minister (Modi) came twice to Germany, why shouldn’t Chancellor come twice? India is a great place. I would even say come thrice to India,” Ackermann said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also met German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali recently. (ANI)

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German Chancellor may visit India twice in 2023

The German Chancellor, during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Germany in May, had announced support of at least 10 billion euros by 2030 under GSDP…reports Asian Lite News

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is likely to visit India twice next year as the two countries look to strengthen bilateral relations with an emphasis on green and sustainable development.

“The Chancellor is planning a bilateral visit to India next year…. I am very confident he will come for a bilateral visit before the G-20 Summit, German Ambassador to India Philipp Ackermann told reporters here.

Ackermann said Germany and India have finalised 22 projects covering transition to renewable energy, climate resilient urban development and sustainable use of natural resources totalling one billion euros for the next year under the green and sustainable development partnership (GSDP).

The German Chancellor, during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Germany in May, had announced support of at least 10 billion euros by 2030 under GSDP.

A large part of the support will be in the form of credit lines from KfW Development Bank with interest rates ranging from 2.7 per cent to 3.2 per cent, he said.

“All new joint ventures in India will help cut greenhouse gas emissions or help adapt to climate change. In this way, the focal points of bilateral development cooperation with India will be consistently continued and further expanded in the coming years,” Ackermann said.

The projects finalised with the Finance Ministry on Tuesday are in Meghalaya, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan, he said, adding that Germany was keen on covering the whole country.

Asked about India’s G-20 Presidency, Ackermann termed the fight against climate change “one of the most urgent problems” on the political agenda and it reflected in the issues listed out by New Delhi for the year ahead.

India formally assumes the G-20 Presidency on Thursday.

“Germany will do everything to support India when it comes to making this a common effort of the G-20 countries. We are pleased that India puts this climate change very high on the agenda, Ackermann said.

The German envoy said dealing with Russia will be one of the most difficult issues during the G-20 presidency. “We have to see that this (Ukraine) conflict will remain with the G-20 in the years and the months to come. I am not a fortune teller, I don’t know what will happen next September. I am not overly confident that in two week’s time this conflict will stop. I don’t think so. I think this conflict will remain with us for a long time,” he said.

Ackermann said India has very good relations with all sides, including Russia, which can be helpful in this conflict.

“If you want to come in as a mediator, you must know the moment when you have to come in. India has very experienced and skilful diplomats, I think Indians would seize the moment if they knew there was a chance for mediation, he said.

Prime Minister Modi had visited Germany in May for bilateral talks with the German Chancellor and followed it up with another visit in June for the G-7 Summit. Germany, which holds the G-7 Presidency, had invited India as a partner country for the summit.

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‘European industry undergoing historic transformation’

While the EU aims to become climate neutral by 2050, Germany is seeking to reach this target five years earlier, in 2045…reports Asian Lite News

The industrial landscape in Germany and the European Union (EU) is undergoing a “historic transformation”, Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck said at an industry conference.

Industrial companies in Europe are facing multiple “mammoth tasks”. These include the digital transformation, the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and the changing geopolitical environment as well as demographic change, the minister was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck.(photo:wikipedia)

The ongoing pandemic is still causing supply chain disruptions and material shortages worldwide. If the German industry had been able to process all orders, gross domestic product (GDP) in Europe’s largest economy would have been 1.2 per cent higher in 2021 and even 1.5 per cent higher after the first six months of this year, according to a study published on Monday by the Macroeconomic Policy Institute (IMK).

Ecological transformation is another vital element of the current changes, according to Habeck. “We want to achieve the European and national climate targets with the help of an efficient and competitive industry,” Habeck stressed.

While the EU aims to become climate neutral by 2050, Germany is seeking to reach this target five years earlier, in 2045.

“There is an urgent need to make the path to climate neutrality resilient and couple it with a growth strategy,” Siegfried Russwurm, president of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), said at Tuesday’s conference.

Last year, businesses in Germany made climate protection-related investments worth 55 billion euros ($57 billion), according to a recent survey by the state-owned promotional bank KfW. In the coming years, however, companies have to more than double their current investments to meet the country’s climate targets.

The private sector has made a “good start, but more needs to happen”, KfW chief economist Fritzi Koehler-Geib said in a statement. The current energy crisis is an incentive to switch to renewable energy due to high prices. Extreme uncertainties, however, are an obstacle to investment plans.

After peaking in October, inflation in Germany slipped back to 10 per cent in November, according to preliminary figures published by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). Energy prices were still up 38 percent year-on-year and continued to have a “substantial impact on the inflation rate”. (1 euro = $1.04)

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German firm Hama forays into India

With over 18,000 products, Hama offers a diverse range in over 70 countries….reports Asian Lite News

German electronic accessories manufacturer Hama on Monday announced its foray into the Indian market by forging partnerships with key distributors, retailers and ecommerce giants in the country.

Hama, manufacturer in various categories like gaming, computers, mobility, photo, video, audio, and multimedia, has signed pacts with Supertron Electronics Pvt Ltd., Creative Newtech Ltd and Limonics Distribution for pan-India distribution.

It has also partnered with e-tailers like Amazon and retailers such as Croma and Apple Premium Resellers like Maple to reach out to millions of users in the country.

“Soon, we will be celebrating 100 years in the electronics accessories business, and there is no better way to bring in our celebrations than by launching in India,” said Priyam G Agrawal, Country Head, Hama.

The company, which has a turnover of more than 550 million euros, entered India earlier this year and plans to launch over 300 products with the promise of premium German quality at an affordable price.

With over 18,000 products, Hama offers a diverse range in over 70 countries.

The accessories include gaming mice and headphones, multiport hubs, multi-device wireless mice, mobile accessories including Apple-certified accessories for iPhones and iPads, HDMI cables, binoculars, camera trolley bags, and tripods.

“Hama is dedicated to serving the Indian consumer with the same determination, diligence, and service that it has been providing to the German and European markets for more than 99 years now,” said Agrawal.

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Germany relaxes Schengen visa rules for Indians

This visa is issued in the form of a sticker affixed to the passport of the traveller…reports Asian Lite News

Bringing a cheer to Indians, Germany has relaxed its Schengen visa appointment rules with the country centralising its short-term visa processing at its centre in Mumbai.

“As a result of centralisation of Schengen visa (short term visa) processing in German Visa Centre Mumbai, we are pleased to inform about… relaxation regarding appointment bookings,” the German embassy said in a statement.

A short-stay Schengen visa allows one to visit Germany and other Schengen countries for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period.

This visa is issued in the form of a sticker affixed to the passport of the traveller.

“Appointments can be booked and Schengen visa applications can be submitted in all Visa Application Centres run by VFS Global all over India, regardless of your place of residence,” the Mission statement read.

“If the Application Centre closest to your home town is already fully booked, please feel free to check for available appointment slots in one of the other major Indian cities,” it added.

The relaxation, however, does not apply to applications for national visas (D-visa category) such as student, employment or family reunion visas, the embassy stated.

A Schengen visa application form may be submitted three months prior to the intended travel date.

The German Schengen Visa costs 80 euros (Rs 6,700) for adults and 40 euros for minors, while work permits (or visas) cost 75 euros.

Visa fee is waived for children under six years of age.

Earlier this year, the German National Tourist Office (GNTO) observed a 214 per cent year on year increase in Indian tourists arriving in Germany.

It said that the country accounted for 9 per cent of European trips of Indians, adding that 55 per cent of Indians visit Germany for leisure while 38 per cent travel for business.

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Germany: Randhawa becomes first representative of Indian community

Randhawa has been closely associated with the Indian community and has been carrying their voice to the CDU leadership on some core issues affecting the community….reports Asian Lite News

Gurdeep Singh Randhawa, an Indian origin German national, has been appointed to the Thuringia state Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party Presidium.

Randhawa has been an active member of the CDU and has served in the party for several years now. His commitment to the party and hard work has been recognised by the CDU leadership and in August 2022, he was elected as the first representative of the Indian community in Germany. This was the first time that an Indian has been appointed to any state Presidium in Germany by the CDU.

Randhawa was earlier elected as the counsellor from Amt Wachsenburg and Presidium member of CDU from district Ilm. He has been closely associated with the Indian community and has been carrying their voice to the CDU leadership on some core issues affecting the community.

In a way this development ensures that the Indian community has direct presence in state parliament affairs of CDU in Thuringia state. With the latest appointment of Randhawa, the Indian community in Thuringia state would have more visibility in terms of connecting with the powerful CDU leadership.

In a brief message after his appointment, Randhawa mentioned that his appointment was the recognition of the role that Indians have played in building the German economy and society over the years. He said that he wanted to set an example for young Indian origin Germans to contribute towards building a strong Germany and also a healthy and robust Indo-German relations.

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Japan stun 4-time champions Germany 2-1 in group E

Manuel Neuer’s goal on more than one occasion, pulled level with 15 minutes remaining through substitute Ritsu Doan’s opportunistic close-range finish…reports Asian Lite News

Japan made a scintillating comeback to create a massive upset against Germany, defeating the four-time champions 2-1 in the group E match of the FIFA World Cup at the Khalifa International Stadium on Wednesday.

Germany were leading at the end of the first half but Japan scaled up their game in the second half, scoring in the 75th minute through Ritsu Doan and in the 83rd minute through Takuma Asano.

Takuma Asano was brought in as a substitution in the 57th minute and proved his mettle in the match as Japanese supporters yelled and cheered from the stands. The second half saw the Japanese players come with a new fervour, zeal and confidence as they dominated the ball possession and made constant runs to the German box.

Gundogan, who had scored for Germany through the penalty kick in the first half, continued his good form and came very close to scoring in the 60th minute but his the ball ricocheted off the goalpost to huge disappointment of German fans.

Germany ended with superior ball possession and shots on goal but piercing attacks by Japanese team left them vulnerable.

With this win, Japan has got to the top of the table in Group E which also features Germany, Costa Rica and Spain.

Germany were leading Japan 1-0 at half-time after Ilkay Gundogan scored via penalty kick in the group E match at the Khalifa International Stadium on Wednesday.

Japan goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda failed to prevent a goal in the 32nd minute of the match. Gundogan netted the ball straight into the goal through a penalty kick to give Germany 1-0 lead.

The four-time FIFA champions wasted no time and came out all guns blazing as they went deep inside the Japanese box in the second minute of the game and looked threatening from the beginning.

Daizen Maeda challenged German Antonio Rudiger to dribble the ball past him but the centre-back was alert and cut the Japanese’ run short.

Maeda was in the reckoning once again in the 8th minute as he made a brilliant run to get to the ball perfectly and score, only to be called off-side.

There was a constant struggle between the sides for possession. Japan also had the advantage for some time.

Germany came close to scoring in the 16th minute with a superb corner kick from Joshua Walter Kimmich that was headed just a few inches wide by Rudiger.

A free-kick was given to Germany as Thomas Muller was brought down by Takefusa Kubo in the 18th minute but the Germans failed to score off it.

Gundogan troubled the Japan team with his brilliant football skill as he managed to constantly find vacant spaces in the field.

The German finally scored via a penalty to give Germany a one-goal lead over Japan.

Japanese players seemed a bit demotivated after trailing and faltered with the ball, giving possession to the German players in the first half.

Germany almost took a 2-0 lead in the closing minutes of the first half after Kai Havertz found the back of the net but was called off-side.

The result of the match was similar to that on Tuesday when Saudi Arabia had shocked fancied Argentina 2-1.

Japan caused an upset much similar to the match between Saudi Arabia and Argentina on Tuesday.

Both Japan and Saudi Arabia came from behind to clinch famous victories against their fancied rivals. (ANI)

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