Coronavirus: Merkel, Others Urge Transparency from China

German Chancellor Angela Merkel today called on the Chinese government to be transparent about the origin story of the new coronavirus. This comes after three other countries have, on their part, already expressed suspicion about the information made available by China. “I believe the more transparent China is about the origin story of the virus, the better it is for everyone in the world in order to learn from it,” Merkel said at a press conference. 

Coronavirus: German Cases Soar, Government Extends Restrictions, Considers Surveillance

Germany has recorded 5,331 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, registering a total of 56,202 in the country. According to Worldometers, 403 people in Germany have died and 6,658 have recovered. The Robert Koch Institute, the entity responsible for disease prevention and control in the country, indicates that the two most-affected states are Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia.

Coronavirus: German Government Passes €750 Billion Aid Package

The German government has announced it will take out new loans as part of an unprecedented package of measures, totaling €750 billion ($800 billion), adopted to cushion the adverse effects of coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet signed the spending plan at an emergency meeting Monday, a Berlin government spokesman announced.

Coronavirus: Weinstein Tests Positive, Merkel Bans Gathering in Pairs

Convicted rapist and former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has tested positive for the new coronavirusThe information was made public by the president of the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association, Michael Powers. On March 11, Weinstein was found guilty of rape and sexual assault, and was subsequently sentenced to 23 years in prison.

Germany Immediately Bans Entry for Non-EU Citizens

Leaders of the European Union have agreed to to implement a 30-day travel ban on those traveling from outside the EU, with a limited number of exceptions. The German government has also ordered the federal police to prevent those who are not EU citizens from entering German territory. This was announced by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Tuesday, after a video conference with other EU member states.

Erdogan Urges More Pressure on Libya’s Haftar

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged higher international pressure on the military forces in eastern Libya to accept a provisional truce, and said that Turkey remains committed to supporting the Libyan government recognized by the UN. Erdogan made the comments after a meeting in Istanbul with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who last Sunday hosted a peace conference on Libya in Berlin. The conference resulted in a provisional ceasefire.

Merkel and Putin Call for Solution to Conflict in Libya

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Russian counterpart, President Vladimir Putin, called for a solution to the crisis in Libya Saturday. After a meeting in Moscow, which also discussed the escalation of tensions in the Middle East, both leaders urged the parties to negotiate. Earlier this week, Russia and Turkey— which support opposing sides— called for a cease fire.

Normandy Talks – A Breakdown of Each Nation’s Geopolitical Interests

The Normandy Format talks started on December 9, 2019 in Paris. The countries present are Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France. The main goal is to resolve the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. The group was created in 2014 but the talks have been stalled until now. Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky stated peace with Russia is his top priority.

Merkel Meets with Plenkovic, Promises Turkey New Aid for Syrian Refugees

German Chancellor Angеlа Mеrkеl on Wednesday рrоmіѕеd Turkеу nеw aid tо саrе fоr Syrian rеfugееѕ. Following a mееtіng wіth Croatian Prіmе Minister Andrej Plenković, Mеrkеl ѕаіd in Zаgrеb said that іf nесеѕѕаrу, new аѕѕіѕtаnсе wоuld bе рrоvіdеd tо Turkey for іtѕ many tаѕkѕ оf ѕhеltеrіng 3.5 mіllіоn реорlе.

Merkel Warns Against Racism on Anniversary of German Reunification

Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel made a veiled attack on the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) Party on the 29th anniversary of German Unification Thursday, saying that economic grievances in the east were no excuse for racism.  She said, ”It should never be the case that disappointment with politics however significant be accepted as a legitimate reason to marginalize, threaten or attack others because of their skin, color, religion, sex, or sexual orientation.  The values of our constitution must guide each and every debate in our country. In concrete terms this means Yes to Open debate, Yes to tough demands from politics, No to intolerance, No to marginalization, No to hate and anti-Semitism, No to living at the expense of the weak and minorities.”

Europe’s Top Job: Ursula von der Leyen a Compromise Commission Candidate Nobody Likes

You’d think Germans would be excited, maybe even a little patriotic, with the announcement that one of their own would become President of the European Commission, for the first time in fifty years.  The first woman ever to head the Commission might also be an event worth celebrating.  Instead, after marathon talks, following less-than-conclusive parliamentary elections, many Germans have been left wondering, “what was the point of all that?”  Ursula von der Leyen’s face was nowhere to be seen in the posters plastered throughout Germany amidst the campaign for Europe’s top job.  “Who needs a Spitzenkandidat,” (top candidate) one wonders, “when you can have a Homecoming Queen?

G20 in Osaka: The Summit Opens in Harmony

Nineteen countries are meeting this Friday and Saturday in Osaka, Japan, for the G20. “Welcome to Osaka,” said Shinzo Abe, Japan Prime Minister, who hosts the G20 on Friday and Saturday.

“Together, I hope we will achieve a beautiful harmony in Osaka,” he said in reference to the meaning of “Reiwa,” the name of this new era. Flanked on one side by President Trump, on the other side of Chinese President Xi Jinping, the two great rivals of the moment, Shinzo Abe called for “finding common ground rather than highlighting the clashes.” “We have time” to resolve the tensions.

International Roundup: Borders, Migrants and Leadership Changes