BERLIN, December 16 -- For months proponents of the UN Migration Pact told us that the pact was non-binding.
The response to the many citizens of nation states worldwide having signed country specific petitions was that it was non-binding so there was nothing to worry about, it was going to be good. The immensely opposed and disastrous document declares unlimited migration to be treated as a human right, thereby deprecating the term ‘illegal migrants’, and criminalises any criticism of migration as hate speech.
The points that raised alarm for most was that it seeks to eliminate all forms of dissent. Media organisations for example, should they criticise anything to do with migration would lose access to state funding. People would be labelled as racists or guilty of hate speech which will now be criminalised. This pact will literally erase our borders. The question I’ve been asking is if the countries that refused to sign, are they still bound to it being members of the UN. Most people were of the mind that it would only affect the signatories. Now we know. In a frank exchange with Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, Mr. Hebner of the AfD drew out an admission that it is, in fact, legally binding. As well, that it will be adopted as rule for all UN Member states once enacted.
Mr. Hebner asks: “You can see for yourself clearly that during the conference, the spokesperson for Morocco emphasised that the agreement was legally binding. He said clearly, in a literal sense, that there is a corresponding legal bond for all nations taking part as well as an obligation of implementation. You and your delegation did not raise a single word of objection to that statement but idly accepted it. I would like to emphasise that the parliamentary motion was not presented at the conference. “
Ms. Merkel’s response not only confirmed what we at Voice of Europe have been suspecting all along, the claim it is indeed binding, but that once voted and accepted it will be valid for all:
“So then, during the UN General Assembly next week, the pact will once again be up for debate and a decision will be made on whether to accept it. At this time, a member state can demand a vote. When two-thirds of the represented countries agree then it is valid for all. That’s how majority decision-making works.”
BERLIN, December 15 -- The discovery of an East German secret police ID card wouldn't normally attract much attention, but things get a lot more interesting when it's Vladimir Putin's.
Issued in 1985, the document belonged to the then mid-ranking Soviet officer, now the President of Russia. At the time, Putin worked for the KGB spy service as a liaison with the East German State Security Service (Staatssicherheitsdienst), nicknamed the "Stasi." From 1985 to 1990, Putin was stationed in Dresden, East Germany. The German newspaper Bild says the ID card found in the archives proves Putin was working for the Stasi, but the Stasi Records Agency (BStU) says it served a purely practical purpose. Spokeswoman Dagmar Hovestädt told CNN via telephone that Putin would have used the ID card to access Stasi facilities. He served in East Germany as a liaison officer, said Hovestädt, facilitating consultation between friendly intelligence services.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the discovery of the ID card is not entirely unexpected. "As is well known at the time when the Soviet Union existed, the KGB and the Stasi were partner intelligence agencies, so you probably can't rule out an exchange of such identity cards," he said, according to Reuters. The ID card includes a monochrome photograph of a young Putin wearing a tie, as well as stamps that date to the last few months of 1989.Around this time, pro-democracy protests were shaking the communist regime and ultimately resulted in its collapse as East and West Germany reunified after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
After Putin returned to Russia, he rose to become head of the FSB, the Russian spy service that succeeded the KGB, before becoming the Russian Federation's second democratically elected President in 2000 after Boris Yeltsin.
NUREMBERG, December 14 -- Three women had to undergo emergency surgery in the Bavarian city after suffering severe knife wounds in separate attacks. Police said they could be searching for a single assailant.
Three women suffered life-threatening injuries in separate knife attacks in the southern German city of Nuremberg on Thursday evening. Police said they are investigating the incidents and could not rule out a single perpetrator. The attacks took place between 7.20 p.m. local time (1830 UTC) and midnight in the city's St. Johannis district.
All three women — ages 56, 34 and 26 — underwent emergency surgery after arriving in nearby hospitals. Their condition remains unknown. Police said the victims had given slightly different descriptions of their attackers. The suspect is believed to be between 25 and 30 years old, heavy set and around 175 to 180 centimeters (69 to 71 inches) tall.
AMSTERDAM, December 13 -- Nicolas Tagliafico scored a stoppage-time equalizer as Ajax salvaged a thrilling 3-3 draw against Bayern Munich that saw the German side top Champions League Group E.
In a game that featured four goals after the 82nd minute, two red cards and two penalties, substitute Kingsley Coman looked to have grabbed a winner for Bayern in the 90th before defender Tagliafico tapped in the equalizer five minutes into stoppage time. Robert Lewandowski scored twice for Bayern, including an equalizer for 2-2 in the 87th.
"It was a great match, I want to congratulate both teams for reaching the next round," Bayern coach Niko Kovac said. The two teams were already assured of progressing to the round of 16 before the match at Johan Cruyff Arena and Bayern needed only a draw to ensure top spot in the group, while Ajax needed to win. With group victory at stake, the two teams put on a memorable show. "This is why fans come to the stadium, why football is such a great sport on television," Ajax cocach Erik ten Hag said. "My team and Bayern provided a true spectacle."
Topping the group means Bayern will avoid other group winners, including Barcelona, Manchester City and Real Madrid in the next round. But Kovac said plenty of good teams finished second, including the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham. Lewandowski put five-time European champion Bayern ahead in the 13th minute and levelled with an 87th-minute penalty after Tadic had scored twice to put Ajax in front. Coman calmly fired the ball past Andre Onana in the 90th, before Tagliafico's equalizer.
"It's a terrible waste we weren't able to get the win," Ten Hag said. Lewandoski's brace took his tally in this season's Champions League to a competition-leading eight goals, two ahead of Lionel Messi. Tadic's goals took him to five in the competition this season. By the time Tadic put Ajax 2-1 in front in the 82nd minute, both teams had been reduced to 10 men after referee Clement Turpin showed Maximilian Woeber a straight red card for a foul on Leon Goretzka in the 67th minute and dismissed Thomas Mueller eight minutes later for a clumsy challenge on Tagliafico.
Both teams were unbeaten in the Champions League and had conceded only two goals going into their last match. Ajax held Bayern to a 1-1 draw when they met in October in Munich.
BERLIN, December 8 -- The Christian Democrats have chosen Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer to lead the CDU into its next phase.
DW traces the unlikely rise of a conservative with a very long name from one of the most provincial parts of Germany. The story of the new chairwoman of the Christian Democrats (CDU), Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, reads like an object lesson in how important it is in politics to be in the right place at the right time.Two years ago, AKK — as she's known for short — was the well-respected state premier of the tiny southwestern state of Saarland who was looking at a tough battle for re-election. Fast-forward 24 months and she's replacing her mentor Angela Merkel at the head of Germany's biggest, traditionally male-dominated, party. At the party conference in Hamburg on Friday, Kramp-Karrenbauer portrayed herself as the candidate of unity and continuity.
"There is no conservative or liberal union," she said. "There is only one CDU."
Kramp-Karrenbauer's star began to ascend in March 2017, when she led the CDU to a surprisingly easy victory in the state election with 40.7 percent of the vote. At the time, Social Democratic chancellor candidate Martin Schulz was riding high in public opinion polls. It was AKK who first diverted what was then known as the "Schulz train" firmly off the rails. Almost overnight, Kramp-Karrenbauer became a national political player. It was an unlikely rise for a politician who had long seemed destined to remain a regional leader.
MAINZ, November 30 -- German leader Angela Merkel will miss the opening of the G-20 summit in Argentina — including a scheduled meeting with President Donald Trump — after her government plane suffered what she called a "serious malfunction.”
The chancellor, along with her delegation of officials and journalists, made an unscheduled landing at Cologne-Bonn airport after the Airbus A340 lost communications about 60 minutes into its 15-hour flight from Berlin.
Merkel and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz resumed their travel to Buenos Aires on Friday aboard a commercial flight but the delay means they are due to arrive after world leaders begin discussions.
She had been scheduled to hold bilateral talks with Trump, President Xi Jinping of China and the Argentinian president. “We do not know yet whether these meetings can possibly be rescheduled for a later time,” a German government spokesman said.
A spokesman for the country's Defense Ministry said the aircraft, named after former chancellor Konrad Adenauer, experienced a "complete loss of its communication system.”
There is “no evidence of a criminal background in this incident" but a thorough investigation is underway, the spokesman said.
BERLIN, November 30 -- German investigators are checking whether there was any criminal cause behind the malfunction of a plane carrying Chancellor Angela Merkel to the G20 summit in Argentina.
Merkel was on her way from Germany to the summit when the government's Airbus A340 made an unscheduled but safe landing at Cologne-Bonn airport late on Thursday. Merkel called the incident a "serious malfunction". She and German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz were due to resume their travel to Buenos Aires early on Friday, but they will arrive after G20 leaders start their discussions.
Rheinische Post, citing security sources, said the government was checking whether the incident had a "criminal background", though the sources added that investigators would typically look "in all directions" after such an incident.
Der Spiegel magazine said the government plane's entire communication system malfunctioned, constituting a serious emergency, with the crew forced to plan the landing using an on-board satellite phone. Last night, a plane carrying the German Chancellor to the Group of 20 meeting in Argentina has been forced to make an unscheduled landing after developing technical problems.
The German news agency dpa reported that the government Airbus, which was en route to Buenos Aires, turned around over the Netherlands about an hour into the flight. It says the aircraft landed safely in Cologne in western Germany. It is understood that German government aircraft will carry the two officials to Madrid today, where they will switch to a commercial flight for the final leg, sources said.
BERLIN, November 27 -- Mick Schumacher, the teenage son of ex-Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher, will race in Formula Two next season, ending speculation he might skip F2 and step up to F1 in 2019.
"For me, this is a logical step, because I want to continue to improve my technical experience and driving skills" the 19-year-old said in a press release issued by his Italian team Prema Racing.
The confirmation pours cold water on speculation he would leap up to F1 in 2019 after winning the European Formula Three title last month, but he has made no secret that he one day wants to race in the top tier.
After dominating the second half of the F3 season by claiming five straight wins, Schumacher's title win meant he qualified for a FIA 'super licence' - a prerequisite for the jump to Formula One.
Bearing one of the most famous names in motorsports is not always easy for the German, who started out racing as "Mick Betsch", using his mother Corinna's maiden name to avoid bringing attention to himself.
World champion Lewis Hamilton has already said he is "100 percent certain that there will be another Schumacher in F1" and backs him to follow in the footsteps of his father, who won seven F1 titles.
"I have no problem being compared to my dad, because my dad is the best - that's why he's my role model," Mick Schumacher said in an RTL documentary. "Even other world champions compare themselves with my dad." However, his father's condition remains a mystery as the fifth anniversary approaches of his skiing accident.
Michael Schumacher, 49, has not been seen in public since suffering head injuries during a accident on December 29, 2013 while skiing with Mick and his condition is a secret closely guarded by his family.
When the Arado Ar-234 Blitz jet bomber first appeared in the skies of Europe, most Allied airmen did not know what it was. Many had never heard of jet engines, let alone a jet bomber. Fewer still knew that the Ar-234 was a shining star in Adolf Hitler’s constellation of wonder weapons, the super-secret and super-technology arsenal that the Führer hoped would reverse the Reich’s declining fortunes.
The Allies First Glimpse at the Arado 234 Blitz
Hitler certainly never asked for an opinion from Don Bryan. At high altitude east of the Rhine bridgehead on March 14, 1945, American fighter pilot Captain Bryan was on his way home from a bomber escort mission when he spotted an Ar-234 making a bombing run on the pontoon bridge at Remagen.
At this juncture, the American fighter pilot may have known more about Hitler’s secret jet than anyone else on the Allied side. While most Allied pilots never even glimpsed one, this was Bryan’s fourth encounter with an Arado. In December 1944, he became, he asserted, the first Allied pilot ever to see one in the air.
After studying drawings of the jet in a Group Intelligence document, Bryan spotted Ar-234s on two more occasions later that month. During his third sighting, the Luftwaffe warplane crossed his flight path beneath him, flying from left to right. Bryan went after the Arado, but it pulled away. That was when he realized that while his North American P-51 Mustang fighter was fast, the Ar-234 was almost 100 miles per hour faster. “I’m not letting one get away from me again,” Bryan thought out loud.
The Bluenosed Bastards of Bodney
The usual soup over Germany has been transformed into brilliant sunshine on March 14. Eleven of the German jet bombers from flying unit KG 76 (Kampfgeschwader 76) were attacking the newly constructed floating engineer bridge south of the Ludendorff Bridge, which was the last traditional bridge standing on the Rhine when it was captured by soldiers of the U.S. 9th Armored Division on March 7, 1945.
Bryan, of the 352nd Fighter Group, the Bluenosed Bastards of Bodney, was an air ace and commander of the group’s 328th Squadron. Bryan saw the Arado pulling off the bridge and maneuvering into a tight turn to evade a formation of American Republic P-47 Thunderbolt fighters. This maneuver compromised the jet bomber’s strongest asset, its superior speed, and Bryan was able to position himself so the German would have to fly toward him.
Bryan dived at the bomber and fired a burst of .50-caliber gunfire that disabled its right engine. Now, Bryan was able to stay behind him and continue firing. “I don’t know what the hell was on his mind,” said Bryan in an interview, “but he should have gotten out of that airplane while he was high enough. I think he was afraid I would shoot at him in his parachute, which I would never do.”
The Arado pilot, Hauptmann (Captain) Hans Hirshberger, waited too long to jettison his roof hatch and attempt to escape from his cockpit. He went down with the aircraft. It was his first and only combat mission.
The Fastest Combat Aircraft of 1945
Able to reach a speed of 540 miles per hour, the Arado Ar-234 Blitz was the fastest combat aircraft in the world, slightly faster even than its cousin, the Messerschmitt Me-262 jet.
It was the world’s first operational jet bomber, and in many ways the most advanced of the Third Reich’s secret weapons. It was important enough that Hitler referred to it several times in staff meetings with his military leaders. Hitler was especially annoyed that Britain’s De Havilland Mosquito reconnaissance aircraft, constructed largely of wood, was speedy enough to zoom over Germany with near total impunity. The Führer often boasted to his staff that the Ar-234 jet was even faster than the prop-driven Mosquito.
The Ar-234 was a product of the German company Arado Flugzeugwerke. It was the Arado response to a 1940 German Air Ministry requirement for a fast reconnaissance aircraft. Walter Blume headed the Arado engineering team.
Blume had been a fighter ace during World War I with 28 aerial victories and had been gravely wounded on a combat mission. Blume could appear absent-minded at times, prickly at others, but he had studied aeronautical engineering for more than two decades and was up to date on the jet engines that some touted as the wave of the future. He was responsible for all of the key design features of the Ar-234, assisted by engineer Hans Rebeski and others.
On their drawing boards, they conceived an aircraft that was extraordinarily clean. It had smooth, flush-riveted exterior skin. It had rakish lines and eventually tricycle landing gear. Where most planes needed a bulge or a step for the cockpit windshield, the Ar-234 had a completely smooth, glass-covered nose in the manner of the American Boeing B-29 Superfortress heavy bomber. The engine arrangement was similar to that of the better-known Me-262, with long, deep-throated nacelles slung beneath the inboard portion of the wing.
The design was code-named the E370, and the new aircraft was built for a projected maximum speed of 485 miles per hour, which it eventually exceeded with ease. Its projected range of about 2,000 miles was a little less than what the Air Ministry wanted, but officials in Berlin liked the design and ordered two prototypes, known as the Ar-234 V1 and Ar-234 V2.
Designing the Ar-234
The success of the new plane would be dependent on the engine intended for it. The engine was the Jumo 004 axial-flow turbojet designed by a team headed by Dr. Anselm Franz of the Junkers aircraft company. It eventually became the world’s first jet powerplant to enter production and become operational. But early jet engines being developed by the Germans and the British, with the Americans lagging a distant third in jet engine development, were cantankerous, unreliable, and trouble prone.
Design work on the Ar-234 airplane went smoothly. The Junkers Jumo 004 turbojet engine was another matter. Tests that began in October 1940 were delayed by constant technical problems, including vibration of the compressor blades. Steel blades had to be developed to replace the original alloy blades. Still, early versions of the engine sputtered, smoked, and died. One blew up on a test bench. The vibration problems continued until a second overhaul was made of the stator blade design. These and other problems delayed the engine and that, in turn, delayed both the Messerschmitt Me-262 jet fighter and the Ar-234—for reasons unclear, the latter more than the former.
Once it became workable, the production version of the engine, the 004B-1 was rated at 1,980 pounds of thrust, which was comparable to the turbojet Frank Whittle was developing for the British. Even then, the Jumo typically had a service life of only 10 to 25 hours. Like all turbojets, it was sluggish in responding to the pilot’s hand on the throttle.
The plane’s landing gear was not part of the original design. Blume’s design team was very much aware that the Luftwaffe was not fully satisfied with the plane’s range and endurance. To increase internal fuel capacity, they initially dispensed with wheels. Early Ar-234 versions took off using a three-wheeled trolley and landed by means of skids that worked well on a grassy surface. For increased thrust during takeoff, Ar-234s used Hellmuth Walter designed liquid-fueled, rocket-assisted takeoff (RATO) boosters, one mounted beneath each wing.
A One-Man Bomber
The Ar-234 was not as large as it looked. When American ace Don Bryan first spotted one, he thought it was an American A-26 Invader. But the A-26 had a wingspan of 71 feet and was intended for a crew of three. In contrast, the Ar-234 had a wingspan of just over 46 feet. Its crew consisted of just a single pilot who, as Bryan later said, “had to be a very busy and very lonely man.”
The pilot got aboard by pulling down a retractable step on the left side, climbing up kick-steps, and entering via the roof hatch. This hatch could be discarded, but there was no ejection seat and a pilot’s prospects of getting out of the Arado under any circumstances were never good.
The pilot operated conventional throttle and rudder pedals, and clear plexiglas gave him a superb view in all directions. Between the pilot’s legs was the complex Lofte 7K tachometric bombsight. At the start of a bombing run, the pilot was expected to swing the control yoke out of his way and fly the aircraft using the bombsight control knobs, looking through the optical sight. Alternately, he could fly the aircraft using the yoke and use a periscope sight, derived from the type used on German tanks, mounted on the cockpit roof and associated bombing computer to make a diving attack. Despite the very narrow landing gear that became standard after the skids were abandoned, the Ar-234 performed well when taxiing, taking off, and landing and was not unduly vulnerable to crosswinds.
GELSENKIRCHEN, November 1 -- Holland scored twice in the last five minutes to snatch a dramatic 2-2 draw with Germany in Gelsenkirchen and qualify for next year's Nations League finals at the expense of world champions France.
Having trailed 2-0 since the 19th minute, Quincy Promes pulled one back before a superb 90th-minute volley from Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk earned the Dutch the point they needed to top Group A1.
Victory for already-relegated Germany would have meant France reached the last four and they looked well set when Timo Werner's superb finish after nine minutes was followed by Leroy Sane's deflected strike 2-0 soon after.
But Ronald Koeman's side launched their dramatic fightback to become the last nation to qualify for next summer's finals, joining England, Portugal and Switzerland.
Last night's result means that Germany finished their Nations League campaign without a win.
Slovakia were relegated from League B after losing 1-0 to Czech Republic. A point would have been enough for the hosts to secure their survival in a group that had already been won by Ukraine.
Roma striker Patrik Schick fired his side ahead shortly after the half-hour mark to ensure the Czech Republic remain in the second tier.
Norway secured promotion to the second tier with a 2-0 victory in Cyprus, as Bulgaria were held to a 1-1 draw with Slovenia. Lars Lagerback's side came into the game level on points and head-to-head record with Bulgaria in Group C4.
One of the top authors of The Peet Journal is Pete McGea. As a native born Scotsman, Pete
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