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LIVING IN GERMANY

SPD crowns Schulz as candidate for German chancellor

Members of centre-left SPD have confirmed Martin Schulz as the party’s new leader and candidate to challenge Chancellor Angela Merkel in Germany’s federal election in September.Schulz, the former president of the European Parliament, was unanimously chosen by delegates at the party’s congress in Berlin on Sunday.“I want to be the next chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany,” he told …

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Parents in Germany told to destroy talking toy ‘My Friend Cayla’

Germany’s Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur), which oversees telecommunications in the country, has recommended the destruction of the Cayla dolls after experts revealed they can be hacked.Researchers say hackers can use an unsecure Bluetooth device embedded in the toy to listen and talk to the child playing with it, posing a potential danger to the child.In the past few weeks, the …

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Rates of serious diseases jump 50 per cent in Berlin

The number of cases of severe diseases in Germany’s capital jumped from 13,418 in 2010 to 20,165 in 2016 the State Office for Health and Social Affairs confirmed to Deutsche Welle on Friday, reports Alistair Walsh.Health department figures published by regional daily “Berliner Morgenpost” and confirmed by the department, showed cases of diseases which doctors are legally obliged to report to …

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New online portal for migrants and refugees in Germany goes live

It’s always easier and more convenient to enjoy a new country when you have a tour guide.You hardly miss your way going around since you are led by an experienced person who knows the nooks and crannies of the place.This is exactly what an association of journalists called “Neue deutsche Medienmacher” (New German Media Professionals) would like to be for …

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Merkel to face German voters on 24 September; federalgovernment sets election date

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government Wednesday [18 January] set 24 September as the date for a general election in which she will seek a fourth term, facing populist headwinds over a record migrant influx.The date, adopted by Merkel’s right-left coalition cabinet, must still be formally approved by President Joachim Gauck.But the decision fires the starting gun for an election campaign …

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‘People’s traitor’ named Germany’s worst word of 2016

A panel of German language experts has chosen “Volksverraeter” (traitor to the people) as the worst word of 2016, saying the term often used by right-wing activists to insult mainstream politicians had Nazi connotations.The six-member jury described the word as a “relic of dictatorships, including that of the Nazis”.“Used as a reproach against politicians, the word is both un-nuanced and …

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Sharp drop in migrant arrivals in Germany

The number of asylum seekers arriving in Germany last year has dropped by two-thirds to about 280,000. Berlin said the decrease signals that measures to reduce migration are working.Some 280,000 migrants arrived in Germany last year, a stark reversal in numbers after the country received nearly 890,000 refugees during the 2015 migration crisis, according to year-end government figures released on …

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Official Public Holidays in Germany in 2017

Here is a list of public holidays in Germany in 2017, plus regional holidays, daylight savings, school holidays, Mother’s and Father’s Days and other important dates in the German calendar.There are nine official German public holidays that are celebrated nationally each year, plus regional holidays that are only celebrated in certain Federal States. This means that some states have more …

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Important New Laws and Regulations taking effect in Germany in 2017 that you should know!

As we enter the New Year, many new laws and regulations take effect in Germany. Some of them are very important changes, such as no more cell phone roaming charges in the EU, while others don’t make a big difference (for example, a modest minimum wage increase). Sola Jolaoso and Vivian Asamoah take us through the changes that we should …

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New government report reveals challenges facing migrants in Germany

The refugee crisis has made integration in Germany more difficult. And Syrian refugees are the least of the country’s problems, reveals the new Integration Report of the Federal Integration Commissioner.The number of people arriving in Germany from other countries has increased in recent years. More than two million people came to Germany in 2015, and nearly one million left the …

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‘Love expert’ teaches new migrants how to approach German women

Horst Wenzel, dubbed ‘Germany’s number one love expert’, has been volunteering his services to teach new migrants how to flirt and approach women.The 27-year-old, who makes his living teaching wealthy but shy German men, has recently decided to offer his advice to young Syrian and Iraqi refugees in Dortmund, most of them from Middle Eastern countries, such as Iraq and …

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African Youth Education Awards ceremony holds in Hamburg

The youth empowerment initiative to promote educational achievement in the African community in Germany holds its annual award ceremony in Hamburg on 15 October 2016 in the historic building of the city’s Chamber of Commerce.The annual African Youth Education (AYE) Awards aim to motivate young people of African origin in Germany to seek excellence in school. The scheme was initiated …

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