Today isn't the easiest day for travel in northern Europe.
Swaths of the region are in the grip of snow, ice and high winds Tuesday, causing serious disruption to road, rail and air travelers.
High-speed train operator Eurostar, which runs services linking Paris, Brussels and London, among other destinations, warned of serious disruption and urged passengers to stay at home.FULL STORY
The German parliament approved Friday the deployment of German Patriot anti-aircraft missiles to Turkey, with 461 Bundestag deputies voting in favor of the deployment, 86 against and eight abstentions.
The decision followed an earlier announcement that the United States intends to deploy 400 troops and two Patriot air-defense missile batteries to Turkey in the coming weeks to defend against potential threats from Syria.FULL STORY
A fire at a workshop in southwestern Germany killed 14 people on Monday, according to a Freiburg police spokesman.
Karl-Heinz Schmid said several other people were injured at the Caritas workshop for the handicapped in the town of Titisee-Neustadt.
Firefighters were still in the middle of "a big operation," he said.FULL STORY
Interpol has issued an international wanted notice for conservationist and “Whale Wars” TV star Paul Watson, days after he skipped bail in Germany as Costa Rica tried to have him extradited.
Watson was arrested at Germany’s Frankfurt airport on May 13 on an arrest warrant issued by Costa Rica, which accuses him of endangering a fishing vessel off the coast of Guatemala in 2002.
He posted roughly $302,000 bail and was ordered to remain in Germany as it considered Costa Rica’s extradition request, but he stopped reporting to authorities on July 22, a German court said. Watson left Germany and forfeited his bail, according to his Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which isn’t revealing his location.
“Following confirmation from German authorities that Paul Watson had failed to satisfy the bail conditions established by the German courts and had fled the country, Costa Rican authorities renewed their request” for Interpol to issue an international wanted notice for Watson, which Interpol did Tuesday, Interpol said.
Costa Rican authorities allege that Watson - whose attempts to disrupt Japanese whalers at sea gained him fame on Animal Planet’s “Whale Wars” TV show - and his crew aboard Sea Shepherd’s Ocean Warrior ship endangered a Costa Rican fishing vessel during a confrontation off Guatemala’s coast.
A gunman fired shots and held people hostage Wednesday in southern Germany in a standoff that left four people dead, police said.
The gunman was facing eviction, and the hostages included a bailiff who came to remove the man from his flat in the city of Karlsruhe.
Police stormed the flat shortly after noon because it was on fire, said Karlsruhe police spokesman Juergen Schoefer. They found four bodies inside.FULL STORY
Jews and Muslims are joining forces in outrage over a German court's decision that could prohibit parents from having their children circumcised for religious reasons. The court deemed the oft-religious procedure an act of "bodily harm" to children, according to German media reports.
The Tuesday ruling says doctors who perform the procedure for religious reasons could be charged with committing bodily injury, sparking a debate that pits parents' religious freedom against a child's right to self-determination. The court essentially ruled that circumcision is not in a child's best interests, according to the German newspaper Der Spiegel.
"The body of the child is irreparably and permanently changed by a circumcision," the court said. "This change contravenes the interests of the child to decide later on his religious beliefs."
While the ruling is expected to influence other courts, it is not legally binding, Der Spiegel noted.
The procedure, which is relatively common in the United States (roughly six in 10 newborn boys are circumcised), is not so prevalent in Europe. In Germany, only 11% of boys are circumcised, according to 2007 figures. However, many of Germany's 4 million Muslims and its 100,000 Jews consider circumcision a religious rite.
The case began in Cologne in 2010 after a doctor performed a circumcision on a 4-year-old Muslim boy. His parents took him to a hospital two days later because he was bleeding heavily, the Medical Daily website reported. When prosecutors learned of the emergency room visit, they brought criminal charges against the doctor.
European football's governing body fined Germany's national soccer body €25,000 ($31,000) Tuesday over what witnesses say was the display of neo-Nazi symbols by German fans at a Euro 2012 match.
The "improper conduct of supporters" occurred when Germany played Denmark in the Ukrainian city of Lviv on June 17, UEFA said.
The anti-discrimination organization FARE stated on its official Twitter page: "FARE can confirm that one of our observers reported a neo-Nazi banner in the German section at the match v. Denmark in Lviv on Sunday."
German newspaper Taz also highlighted the wearing of neo-Nazi symbols by fans.
After the game, UEFA said it was investigating "the setting-off of fireworks and the improper conduct of supporters (display of inappropriate banners and symbols, and inappropriate chanting)."FULL STORY
Investigators in Berlin have detained a man whom they believe to be Luka Rocco Magnotta, a porn actor wanted in Canada for killing and dismembering someone and mailing body parts to political parties, a spokesman for the police in Berlin, Guido Busch, said Monday.
Authorities detained him after someone in an internet cafe told them she thought she recognized a customer in the cafe as the suspect, Busch said. The suspect offered no resistance when police took him into custody.
Magnotta is wanted on charges of first-degree murder in connection with the killing of 33-year-old Jun Lin, a Concordia University student from China, and threatening, among others, Canada's prime minister after mailing him a severed foot.
The case began last week when a package addressed to Prime Minister Stephen Harper arrived at his majority Conservative Party headquarters, and a hand was later found at a post office addressed to the minority Liberal Party, authorities said.
Authorities quickly traced the address on the packages to the Montreal apartment of Magnotta, where they discovered a torso in a suitcase in a trash bin.
And the crime, Montreal police say, was captured on a graphic video posted to the Web. It features a man - who authorities believe is Magnotta - killing another man, dismembering the corpse and performing sexual acts.
"We believe he filmed himself," LaFreniere said last week. "It's gross. ... This is a very deranged person. He is looking for attention, and he got it, but not in a positive way."
Not all the body parts have been recovered, and LaFreniere said forensic evidence and DNA were used to identify the victim as Jun.
Authorities believe Magnotta killed Jun on May 24 or May 25, posted the video, and on May 26 fled the country by plane to Europe.
That prompted Interpol, the global police agency, to alert authorities in 190 countries.FULL STORY
Controversial Sea Shepherd conservationist and "Whale Wars" star Paul Watson was released from a German jail on Monday after posting 250,000 euros ($318,000) bail in an extradition case from Costa Rica.
Watson, whose attempts to disrupt Japanese whalers at sea gained fame through Animal Planet’s “Whale Wars” TV show, was detained last weekend at the Frankfurt airport after Costa Rica issued an international request for his arrest.
Costa Rican authorities allege that Watson’s crew aboard Sea Shepherd’s Ocean Warrior ship endangered a Costa Rican fishing vessel during a confrontation off Guatemala’s coast in 2002, according to the Frankfurt court.
The court ruled Friday that Germany will consider the request and that Costa Rica will have 90 days to make its case. The German Ministry of Justice then will decide whether to extradite Watson.
Speaking outside the prison Monday, Watson defended what happened in the Costa Rica case.
The German justice system will entertain a Costa Rican request to extradite controversial Sea Shepherd conservationist and "Whale Wars" star Paul Watson, but he can post bail while the matter is considered, a Frankfurt court ruled Friday.
Bail for Watson - who faces what his organization and attorney allege are politically motivated charges over a 2002 confrontation at sea with Costa Rican fishermen - was set at 250,000 euro ($318,000), Frankfurt high regional court spokesman Ingo Nohre said.
Watson, 61, intends to post it Monday, his group said.
Watson, whose attempts to disrupt Japanese whalers at sea gained fame through Animal Planet’s “Whale Wars” TV show, was detained last weekend at the Frankfurt airport after Costa Rica issued an international request for this arrest.
Costa Rican authorities allege that Watson’s crew aboard Sea Shepherd’s Ocean Warrior ship endangered a Costa Rican fishing vessel during a confrontation off Guatemala’s coast, according to the Frankfurt court.
An Iranian rapper is facing death threats and has a $100,000 bounty on his head for a song that some say insults an Islamic Shiite imam.
Shahin Najafi, who sings in Farsi and lives in Germany, told the German website Qantara that the song "Naghi" is not about a religious figure but about the state of society in Iran.
"The story with 'Naghi' was just a pretext," Najafi said in an interview with Qantara, which the German Foreign Office funds to promote dialogue with the Islamic world.
"For me it is more of an excuse to talk about completely different things. I criticize Iranian society in the song. It seems as though people are just concentrating on the word 'imam,' " Najafi is quoted as saying.
Religious figures in Iran see it differently.
Imagine being aboard a commercial airliner as it violently bucks and bumps through rough winds. Or, the feeling of terror as you realize the aircraft you're on has to make an emergency landing. You've gotta watch how some pilots handled intense moments like these - all caught on camera.
Planes landing in Bilbao, Spain, fight to land straight while flying in 50-60 mph winds.
In 2008, iReporter Dave Gering shared his experience of riding on a plane that nearly crashed in Germany.
The FAA released audiotapes of the US Airways flight that crash-landed in the Hudson River.
Alcohol has been involved in most of the deaths blamed on the extreme cold in Ukraine, the country worst affected by the icy temperatures gripping eastern Europe, the country's emergencies minister said Wednesday.
Nine out of 10 of the deaths reported have been alcohol-related, the country's Emergency Situations Minister Viktor Baloga said.
At least 135 deaths have been reported in Ukraine in the past two weeks, but he suggested the actual number that can be blamed on the winter weather is somewhat lower, at 112.
Authorities in Ukraine have set up an emergency hospital to deal with people suffering from cold-related conditions, and distributed 3,000 emergency relief tents across the country, they said. The tents are heated, and people with nowhere else to go can get hot food and drinks.FULL STORY
Three German citizens, including a German army colonel, were arrested in a police raid Saturday in the northern Pakistani city of Peshawar, authorities said.
Police official Mian Saeed said the three men had set up an office in the city without the permission of either the Pakistani or the German government.
He said police raided the office and asked the men to provide the necessary paperwork showing their legal status in the country. When they couldn't provide the paperwork, they were taken into custody, Saeed said.FULL STORY
A German man arrested in Los Angeles early Monday after a string of 52 fires - mostly in parked cars - was charged Wednesday with 37 counts of arson, prosecutors said.
Harry Burkhart, 24, was due to appear in a Los Angeles court Wednesday in connection with one of the worst arson sprees in the city's history.
"After reviewing the available evidence, we filed 28 counts of arson of property and nine counts of arson of an inhabited structure," Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley said in a statement issued Wednesday afternoon. "The current charges relate to arson fires at 12 locations in Hollywood, West Hollywood and Sherman Oaks between December 30 and January 2."
No one was hurt in the fires, but property damage costs are likely to reach $3 million, authorities said. Burkhart is also under investigation for arson and fraud in his home country, a prosecution official in Germany said.FULL STORY
Patriot missiles found on a ship bound for Asia were being sent legally, a source told CNN Thursday.
Finnish authorities had discovered and seized the shipment for investigation.
The weapons were being sent to South Korea, a customs official familiar with the case told CNN.
"The exporters had all necessary permissions, including an export authorization and a special authorization for the export of war weapons," the source said. "The ship departed from the German port of Emden."FULL STORY
A day after being sworn in as Greece's new prime minister, Lucas Papademos talked Saturday with the leaders of France and Germany about efforts to address his nation's continuing economic woes - including negative ramifications if certain moves aren't made soon.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel both congratulated Papademos on his ascension when they talked with him on Saturday afternoon, according to a statement from Sarkozy's office.
Sarkozy and Merkel then expressed an "urgent need" for Greece's new leader to ensure that his country adheres to its past commitments, including implementation of an Oct. 27 bailout package brokered between former Prime Minister George Papandreou and other European leaders.FULL STORY
[Updated 10:54 p.m. ET] A defunct satellite has entered the atmosphere, the German Aerospace Center reported Sunday morning.
"There is currently no confirmation if pieces of debris have reached Earth's surface," it said. Up to 30 pieces of space debris could hit land or water.
[Posted 4:29 p.m. ET] The earliest possible re-entry of a decommissioned German satellite into the Earth's atmosphere was pushed back to Saturday evening Eastern time, the German space agency's website said.
The agency originally had projected Saturday afternoon as the earliest re-entry for the satellite, which could include up to 30 individual pieces of debris.
As of 4 p.m. ET Saturday, the agency's latest prediction narrowed the re-entry to a six-hour window during Saturday night.
"The largest single fragment will probably be the telescope's mirror, which is very heat resistant and may weigh up to 1.7 tons," according to the German Aerospace Center (DLR).
The time and location of the Roentgen Satellite's (ROSAT) re-entry couldn't be forecast precisely, and officials estimated the fiery event to occur any time between 7:30 p.m. ET Saturday and 1:30 a.m. ET Sunday, the agency said.FULL STORY