Germany

Germany, US plan new Covid-19 restrictions as Omicron spreads

With countries including the United States, India and France reporting their first Omicron cases, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said she hoped the pandemic would not completely stifle economic activity.

"There's a lot of uncertainty, but it could cause significant problems. We're still evaluating that," she told the Reuters Next conference.

The new measures in Germany focus on the unvaccinated, who will only be allowed in essential businesses such as grocery stores and pharmacies, while legislation to make vaccination mandatory will be drafted for early next year.

Merkel picks German punk singer Hagen for last serenade

 

At the event, Mrs Merkel urged the audience to "always see the world through the eyes of others".

The ceremonial tattoo, or Grosser Zapfenstreich, is now a tradition for departing political figures.

And after her 16 years as leader, the ceremony comes with a marching band and torchlight procession.

But what set German tongues wagging was the music she chose.

Mrs Merkel is a passionate music lover, but in her words "mostly classical music", and she's a regular visitor to the Bayreuth Festival, which showcases the work of composer Richard Wagner.

Germany to go into lockdown over Christmas

Non-essential shops will close across the country from Wednesday, as will schools, with children to be cared for at home wherever possible.

Chancellor Angela Merkel blamed Christmas shopping for a "considerable" rise in social contacts.

The latest figures showed 20,200 more infections and a further 321 deaths.

The new lockdown will run from 16 December to 10 January. Announcing the move after meeting leaders of the country's 16 states, Mrs Merkel said there was "an urgent need to take action".

Germany and France announce strict measures to stem spread of coronavirus

French President Emmanuel Macron announced an enforced lockdown, a step similar to curbs imposed by Italy and Spain, saying: "We're in a health war".

Mr Macron also said the European Union's external borders would be closed to travellers from Tuesday.

In Germany, most non-grocery shops and venues have been ordered to shut.

Chancellor Angela Merkel also banned religious services and told people to cancel any domestic or foreign holiday travel. Schools across the country have already been shut.

Eight dead after two attacks in Germany

At least five people were injured after gunmen opened fire at about 22:00 local time (21:00 GMT), police told the BBC.

Police added that they are searching for the suspects, who fled the scene and are currently at large.

The first shooting was at a bar in the city centre, while the second was in Hanau's Kesselstadt neighbourhood, according to local reports.

Police officers and helicopters are patrolling both areas.

Portugal the underdogs against France and Germany

The three heavyweights were drawn together in a tough-looking Group F for next year's tournament, with a play-off contestant still to be added.

France and Germany will enter as winners of the past two World Cups, while Portugal are preparing to defend the trophy they unexpectedly won in 2016.

Santos' side were also crowned inaugural Nations League champions in June but the wily 65-year-old coach quickly positioned his team as underdogs.

"It will be a strong group, two favourites and a candidate," Santos told reporters.

Germany's Angela Merkel 'fine' after seen shaking in heatwave

Mrs Merkel, 64, was visibly struggling as she stood next to Volodymyr Zelensky while a military band played the two countries' anthems in the midday sun.

The temperatures in the German capital were approaching 30C (86F) at the time.

Mrs Merkel said she was dehydrated. "I've drunk at least three glasses of water and so I'm doing very well now."

The chancellor was answering a question about her wellbeing at a joint news conference with President Zelensky.

Meanwhile, Mr Zelensky, a comedian-turned-president, said that he would have come to the rescue if needed.

Germany suffer historic defeat

It has been a woeful year for Germany's national team, with off-field controversy and a shambolic World Cup campaign attracting headlines for the wrong reason.

In terms of results, Saturday's 3-0 defeat at Netherlands was the worst, as they were comfortably swept aside by Ronald Koeman's young team.

But two of their most crucial defeats came in Russia, as they lost 1-0 to Mexico in their opening group game and were then dumped out before the knockout phase as a result of a 2-0 reverse at the hands of South Korea.

Elderly men escape nursing home to attend world's biggest metal festival

The pair's escape caused panic among the staff when they couldn't be found with the nursing home alerting police of their disappearance.

After an extensive search, the pensioners were found at 3am in the crowd at Wacken Open Air music festival in Germany.

According to local reports, the ageing metalheads were reluctant to leave the party so police had to send them home in a taxi escorted by a police car.

A local police officer Merle Neufeld said: "Both were disoriented and apathetic."

South Korea 2 Germany 0

Joachim Low's side went into the game needing to match or better Sweden's result against Mexico, but they failed to break down Korea's dogged resistance and were undone at the last as Kim Young-gwon and Son Heung-min netted, while the Scandinavians romped to a 3-0 victory.

If World Cup-winning head coach Low thought his problems were behind him after a superb second half in Germany's 2-1 win over Sweden in their second Group F game, he was wrong, and the inclusion of Mesut Ozil in the front four did little to inspire his turgid team.