ISTANBUL, June 8 -- German footballer Mesut Ozil has tied the knot, with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as his best man.
The Turkish-German midfielder married his fiance, actress and model Amine Gulse, on Friday at a ceremony along the Bosporus in Istanbul that was attended by many statesmen and celebrities. Photos of the wedding showed a smiling Erdogan and his wife Emine standing next to the couple as their marriage was formalised. Ozil and Gulse, who was crowned Miss Turkey in 2014, also made a hefty donation to the Turkish Red Crescent to provide a meal to some 15,000 Syrian refugees.
Ozil announced in March this year that he had asked Erdogan to be his best man. German Chancellor Angela Merkel's chief of staff was part of a chorus of criticism of the invitation. Helge Braun of Germany's leading party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), told Bild newspaper at the time that it "makes one sad" that Ozil would make such a move despite having been sharply criticised by the German public over his first meeting with Erdogan. The footballer whipped up a political storm when he was pictured alongside Erdogan in May 2018. Criticism intensified after Germany crashed out of the first round of the World Cup in Russia.
After the summer defeat, Ozil posted a lengthy statement announcing his resignationfrom the national team and accusing German football officials of racism. Ozil, who now plays for Arsenal, had made 92 appearances for Germany and played a key role in their 2014 World Cup victory. He said he was being blamed for Germany's disappointing World Cup performance. Ozil also said the German Football Association head, Reinhard Grindel, failed to support him when he received hate mail, threatening phone calls, and racist comments on social media after Germany left the World Cup. "I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose," Ozil said, adding that despite his successful history with the team, the way he was treated made him "no longer want to wear the German national team shirt". Without Ozil, Germany started their UEFA Nations League journey with three consecutive bad results. They drew with France 0-0 at home, were defeated by the Netherlands 3-0 and by France 1-2 in an away match. Germany also lost six of their last 10 matches and were relegated to League B in the UEFA Nations League. Erdogan often attends marriages of Turkish celebrities, whom he particularly seeks out during election campaigns. His presence at Ozil's marriage comes ahead of a mayoral election in Istanbul on June 23, required after the original voting in March was annulled following a narrow victory for the main opposition Republican People's Party.
Germany’s coal phase-out is one such sign that the region’s policymakers are keen to ensure strong leadership in the right direction, although such a radical transition is naturally not without its critics. While the idea of a Green New Deal for Europe – a “national, industrial, economic-mobilisation plan” – is nothing new, the emerging groundswell of public support for a large-scale transition to renewable energy is. For Brussels to achieve its ambitious climate goals of net-zero emissions by 2050, Europe’s energy infrastructure will need to be radically decarbonised, and the pieces for such a move are finally starting to fall into place.
Detractors have been quick to claim that decarbonisation is synonymous with de-industrialisation, as means of production with low carbon intensity would ruin the edge German companies have on their competitors. But as Europe’s energy transition gains momentum, such assumptions simply do not stand up to scrutiny anymore. It is a fact that investors and consumers alike are looking to pay a premium for “green” products that are produced with as small a carbon footprint as possible. And increasingly, they are finding themselves pushing against an open door. Earlier this year for example, MEPs announced they were looking to ease capital charges on banks’ green investments in a bid to drive investment into forward looking initiatives, such as electric vehicles and energy-efficient housing. Such global efforts to scale-up decarbonisation technology have led to innovations in the housing, energy and transportation sectors, but more investment is needed to ensure widespread adoption. Despite a persistent financing gap in low-carbon research and development initiatives, one thing remains clear: industrial decarbonisation is the next frontier for European development. Both a challenge and opportunity at the same time, failing to drive progress will have disastrous consequences may prove disastrous for the bloc’s industrial base. This is particularly true for Europe’s energy-intensive industries that need to combine ambitions for low carbon emissions and global competitiveness in their value chains. The use of innovative technologies, then, can achieve this double imperative in the chemical, cement, and non-ferrous metal sectors.
Particularly in primary aluminium production a number of technologies are being developed to reduce emissions and the energy used in the electrochemical processes. Inert, non-carbon anodes to reduce direct emissions are one such example, while wetted cathodes to improve electrical contact stand to reduce energy use in the production process by approximately one-fifth. Alternative materials are being developed in cement production as well to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint, with advanced grinding technologies and carbon-efficient concrete laying the foundation for a new era of manufacturing and construction. Yet the road to an industrial sector with zero carbon emissions is a winding one for a number of reasons. The sector’s heterogeneity means the number of crosscutting solutions is limited compared to other industries. Furthermore, industrial processes often inevitably produce carbon dioxide as by-product of chemical reactions, and these “process emissions” cannot simply be resolved with the same energy efficiency measures employed elsewhere. Finally, major retrofits in manufacturing plants are cyclical in nature, leaving a narrow window for reform.
But even then, offsetting solutions can be found to satisfy increasingly critical and demanding consumers. These lie in leveraging the EU’s trade connections, allowing EU downstream producers to benefit from other countries’ competitive advantages in raw material production. The aluminium sector displays this condition especially clearly. As a result of Europe’s production deficit, the EU needs to import the vast majority of its domestic aluminium – a figure that is slated to expand in years to come. But the downstream sector in need of primary aluminium can take advantage of closer trade within the European neighbourhood, where more low-carbon aluminium can be produced more easily.
The Norwegian, Icelandic and Russian aluminium industries are reliant on clean energy sources such as hydropower, which reduce emissions by up to 90% compared to coal. Rusal, for instance, exports some 1.6 million tonnes of the metal to the EU every year, and is using Siberia’s vast hydropower reserves to produce low-carbon aluminium. Some 90% of its output is produced this way, with plans to phase out the remaining 10% by 2020. Norway’s Norsk Hydro is another big aluminium exporter to Europe bent on greening its metal, which signed last year the longest corporate wind power contract to date. The 29-year long deal will provide clean energy from a wind plant in Sweden to its smelters in Norway. The aluminium sector is just one of many areas where greening of the value chain is in full swing. Because Brussels has renewed its push toward implementing the circular economy, more focus is not only placed on aluminium and its recycling, but other metals as well. The result, of course, is the mitigation of energy requirements and inevitable reduction of carbon emissions.
All naysayers notwithstanding, the data is rather clear: Europe’s industries must reduce their carbon footprint as a matter of urgency, and the window of opportunity for greener industries has never been more widely opened.
PORTSMOUTH, June 5 -- World leaders gathered on the coast of southern England on Wednesday (June 5) to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the largest seaborne invasion in history and a feat that helped bring World War Two to an end.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Prime Minister Theresa May will be joined for the commemorative events in Portsmouth by veterans and by US President Donald Trump, who is on the final day of a state visit to Britain. French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and leaders and senior figures from 10 other countries are also due to attend. "As we unite to pay tribute to those whose bravery and sacrifice on the beaches of Normandy marked a turning point in the Second World War, we will vow never to forget the debt we owe them," Mrs May said. "Their solidarity and determination in the defense of our freedom remains a lesson to us all."
In the early hours of June 6, 1944, more than 150,000 allied troops set off from Portsmouth and the surrounding area to begin the air, sea and land attack on Normandy that ultimately led to the liberation of western Europe from the Nazi regime. By the time of the Normandy landings, Soviet forces had been fighting Germany in the east for almost three years and Kremlin chief Josef Stalin had urged British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to open a second front as far back as August 1942. The invasion, codenamed Operation Overlord and commanded by US General Dwight D. Eisenhower, remains the largest amphibious assault in history and involved almost 7,000 ships and landing craft along a 80km stretch of the French coast.
Shortly after midnight, thousands of paratroopers were dropped. Then came the naval bombardment of German positions overlooking the shore. Then the infantry arrived on the beaches. Mostly American, British and Canadian men, some just boys, waded ashore as German soldiers tried to kill them with machine guns and artillery. Survivors say the sea was red with blood and the air boiling with the thunder of explosions. Thousands were killed on both sides. Line upon line of white crosses honor the dead in cemeteries across northern France. Even the code names of the sectors of the invasion - Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword - can draw tears from veterans.
BERLIN, May 31 -- A Berlin area branch of the right-wing anti-migrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has faced backlash after posting and then deleting a photoshopped map calling the west and the south of the country a “German Caliphate.
”The graphic, posted by AfD’s Berlin-Lichtenberg Facebook page a day after the European Parliament vote ended, featured the flag of Germany over the country’s eastern states, where AfD won the most support. The five federal states and Berlin were painted blue and titled the Federal Republic of Germany. In contrast, the west and the south of the country were painted green and emblazoned with a black flag featuring the shahadah, or Islamic declaration of faith. The states were branded the “German Caliphate,” while a caption to the post read: “Pictures speak louder than words.” While the account that posted the image removed it within hours of uploading, it still managed to stir some controversy on social media. For some reason, many felt less than enthusiastic to live in the blue “Federal Republic,” preferring the green Islamic state instead. “If I had to live under the label “Federal Republic of Germany” under the AfD, I’d better please take the green caliphate. There is sun and delicious food there!" tweeted Christina Fischer.
"Wenn ich für die Bezeichnung "Bundesrepublik Deutschland" unter der AfD leben müsste, dann nehme ich bitte das grüne Kalifat. Da gibt es Sonne und leckeres Essen!"
— Christina Fischer (@trillian215) May 28, 2019
As a Berliner, I want to be assigned to the German Caliphate. I don’t want to be part of this blue Germany,” Osman Li commented on Facebook. Other took their chance to lambaste the AfD, accusing the party of inciting hatred. “For me both are the same, the AfD and the caliphate. Both are stupid people destroying humanity,” Afshin tweeted. While the SPD party’s parliamentary left group took their chance to quote a disgruntled ex-AfD politician who said that the party is “run by idiots.”
However, some comments also generalized and slammed the eastern German voters, with Diema from Frankfurt asking if they “wanted a wall again” and Peter Paker from Witten wondering “why he wanted the 1989 borders back” – both referring to the Berlin Wall and the past East-West Germany divide. The AfD received 11% of the German vote for the European parliament, putting it in fourth place overall. In two eastern states, the party received more votes than any other party, beating Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the party formerly led by Chancellor Angela Merkel, which tallied the highest numbers country-wide.
MOSCOW, May 22 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has held a telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss the situation in Syria in the context of multiple ceasefire violations in Idlib, the Kremlin press service said.
"The sides comprehensively exchanged opinions on the Syrian issue, including in light of multiple ceasefire violations in Idlib by radical armed groups. The Russian president informed his colleagues about joint efforts with Turkey on stabilizing the situation in Syria's north-west, on protecting civilians and netralizing terrorist threats," the Kremlin said. "Special attention was paid to prospects of forming and launching a constitutional committee, with the consideration of agreements reached in October 2018 at the four-party summit (Russia, Turkey, Germany, France) in Istanbul. The sides agreed to continue coordinating efforts in the framework of political settlement of the Syrian crisis on the basis of UN Security Council Resolution 2254, in accordance with principles of ensuring Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity," the press service added. On Monday, militants from the Idlib de-escalation zone, together with the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham terrorist group (formerly Jebhat al-Nusra, banned in Russia), launched an offensive at positions of Syrian govenrment forces, with the use of tanks. The Russian Center fore reconciliation of the conflicting sides in Syria said that the Syrian government forces are repelling the attacks. Militants also attempted to shell the Hmeymim airbase multiple times. Russian servicemen said that shellings and provocations by militants continued even after the ceasefire agreement entered into force on May 18.
Situation in Ukraine
The sides also discussed Ukraine in the telephone conversation. "The situation was discussed around the crisis in Ukraine given the bankrupt policies of the administration of Pyotr Poroshenko and the change of the state leadership in Ukraine," the Kremlin said. The parties agreed that "there is no alternative to the 2015 Minsk Package of Measures as a basis for the peace settlement," the press service added. "The Russian president reiterated the priority of carrying into effect the law on a special status for the certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, giving it a permanent nature, holding amnesty, disengaging forces and means on the earlier coordinated sections along the contact line, as well as moves to establish a direct dialogue between Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk," the press service said. Putin also "drew attention of the interlocutors to the discriminatory law ‘On the functioning of the Ukrainian language as the state language’ passed by the Verkhovna Rada. He expressed bewilderment about the refusal of some countries to discuss in the UN Security Council this document that goes against the Ukrainian Constitution, the Minsk agreements and Kiev’s international obligations to protect national and language minorities," the Kremlin noted. Vladimir Zelensky was inaugurated as Ukrainian President on Monday, May 20. On the same day, Prime Minister Vladimir Groysman announced his resignation, which means the Cabinet of Ministers will resign. On Tuesday, Zelensky signed a decree to dissolve the parliament and scheduled the snap parliamentary election for July 21.
BRUSSELS, May 9. -- The European troika of UN mediators (the UK, Germany and France) has rejected Iran’s ultimatum under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), according to a joint statement released on Thursday.
The Europeans also denounced new US sanctions against Iran. The UK, Germany and France pledged to continue work on creating the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) with Iran to bypass US trade sanctions. "We reject any ultimatums and we will assess Iran’s compliance on the basis of Iran’s performance regarding its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPoA and the NPT (Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons)," the statement reads. "In this respect, we recall the key role of IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) monitoring and verification of the implementation by Iran of its nuclear-related commitments." "We note with great concern the statement made by Iran concerning its commitments under the JCPoA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action). We remain fully committed to the preservation and full implementation of the JCPoA, a key achievement of the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture, which is in the security interest of all. We strongly urge Iran to continue to implement its commitments under the JCPoA in full as it has done until now and to refrain from any escalatory steps," the document says. "We recall our own firm commitments under the agreement including as regards sanctions-lifting for the benefit of the Iranian people. In this regard, we regret the re-imposition of sanctions by the United States following their withdrawal from the JCPoA," according to the document.
On May 8, 2018, US President Donald Trump announced that Washington would unilaterally quit the landmark accord inked in 2015 aimed at curbing Tehran’s nuclear program. Anti-Iranian sanctions, including a ban on purchasing oil, were reinstated in November. On Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Tehran would suspend compliance with its obligations under two JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) clauses for 60 days. Iran will resume work to enrich uranium and upgrade the Arak reactor, if the parties to the deal fail to honor their commitments. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), known as the deal on Iran’s nuclear program, was signed between Iran and six international mediators (the United Kingdom, Germany, China, Russia, the United States, and France) on July 14, 2015.
The parade began with the march of the banner group of the Preobrazhesnky Regiment’s Honor Guard’s battalion carrying the Russian flag and the legendary Victory Banner across Red Square. The Victory Banner was hoisted over the Reichstag by soldiers of the 150th Idritskaya division in May 1945.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, war veterans and guests are staying on the central tribune in Red Square. Russian Defense Minister Army General Sergei Shoigu is reviewing the parade, which is commanded by Land Forces Commander-in-Chief Army General Oleg Salyukov.
Over 13,000 troops and more than 130 items of advanced weapon systems are involved in the Victory Day Parade in Moscow’s Red Square.
MILAN, May 8 -- Andrea Dovizioso will trade two wheels for four next month, when the Ducati MotoGP racer makes his debut in the ultra-competitive DTM touring car race series.
Filling in for Audi Sport Team WRT racer Pietro Fittipaldi, who will be on F1 duty, Dovi will race at the Misano round of the championship on 8 June. Coming about thanks in part to Audi’s ownership of Ducati, the two-time MotoGP championship runner-up has already tested for the factory Audi team, driving yesterday in Germany only hours after completing MotoGP testing at Jerez. Speaking afterwards, he said: “I love cars and I feel lucky to be able to race with the Audi RS 5 DTM. It’s tough to find the time to prepare for it during the MotoGP season but I am really looking forward to compete in such a high-level context such as the DTM. The car is amazing, but it's a different challenge compared with my Desmosedici GP and I need to get prepared, so I did many laps in the simulator before stepping into it for the first time.
Misano is a special track for every Italian driver and the place where I scored an incredible win last year so I'm very excited and thankful for this opportunity." "I’m delighted that in Andrea Dovizioso we managed to get a real superstar to race as a guest in the DTM," added Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass. "MotoGP riders are true heroes in Italy. Andrea hails from the Misano area, won the Grand Prix there last year and is going to attract many additional fans. We’re already extremely excited to see how he’s going to fare in his DTM debut. That he’s taking time out for the DTM between two MotoGP races is fantastic and not to be taken for granted at all. I’d like to particularly thank Ducati’s CEO Claudio Domenicali and Luigi Dall'Igna, General Manager of Ducati Corse, who agreed to this guest entry. That’s a big thing for the DTM and for motorsport in general."
This year’s new-spec turbo DTM engines have a two-litre capacity with direct injection, replacing last season’s 4.0L V8 naturally-aspirated engines, and will produce a stunning 610hp. The most powerful cars ever raced in DTM, Dovi will have to come to grips with a Push-to-Pass function with extra power for overtaking and rear wings with Drag Reduction System activation for overtaking.
STUTTGART, May 8 -- The ID.3 electric car is starting something of a revolution for Volkswagen. It's the first in a series of new fully electric models, which will eventually include a luxurious saloon, multiple SUVs and even a Camper-inspired people carrier.
First up, though, is the big-selling hatchback, which will rival both the Renault Zoe and Nissan Leaf. First shown in concept form at the Paris motor show in 2016, the ID.3 is about the same size as the Golf, but the absence of an engine should mean it has more space than that car inside. The existing electric e-Golf won't be renewed when it reaches the end of its life to make way for the ID.3.
Volkswagen ID.3 range
Three battery options will eventually be available for the ID.3, offering ranges of between 205-341 miles on the latest WLTP tests. If that 341-mile range is replicable in real-world conditions, the ID will have one of the longest ranges of any electric car on sale. Early buyers will only have access to the medium-sized battery, though, with a range of 260 miles – that's substantially more than both the Zoe and the Leaf. For comparison, our current Car of the Year, the Kia e-Niro, has a WLTP-certified range of 282 miles, but recorded 253 miles on our Real Range tests. Volkswagen ID.3 equipmentPre-orders have now opened for the ID.3 in 1st edition form, which Volkswagen describes as coming with 'high-quality, high-performance equipment'. The 1st edition models, which are limited to 30,000 units, come with equipment including voice control, sat-nav and two-tone paintwork. Although three trim levels will be offered elsewhere, buyers in the UK will only be able to buy the ID.3 in mid-range Id Plus form, once the 1st edition cars have all been sold. Buyers also have the option of getting 2000 kWh-worth of free charging for their ID.3 for their first year of ownership, if they charge at a charging point connected to Volkswagen's We Charge app. We've yet to see inside the ID, but back in 2016 Volkswagen confirmed that the car will be capable of high-level autonomy – that is to say that it will be able to control its own steering, acceleration and braking in certain situations, such as on the motorway. More autonomous features will arrive later.
Volkswagen ID.3 price
The only ID.3 you can pre-order right now is the top-end 1st edition model, which will cost from around €35.000 in the UK – before the government's €3.500 plug-in car grant is taken into account. To pre-order an ID.3, buyers will have to place a €750 deposit. Eventually, likely around 2021 when more versions of the ID with different driving ranges have gone on sale, the car's entry-level price will drop to around €25.000. The first ID.3 cars will be made towards the end of this year, with deliveries to customers due to start in the summer of 2020. The full production-ready car will be revealed at the Frankfurt motor show in September.