WHAT TO READ OR WATCH
WHAT TO READ OR WATCH
We suspect: The ideal world of the royals is no more perfect than our own life. You want to know what you would do better yourself. We suffer because we feel better then.
Tangible things in handball. At 6.15 p.m. Germany will receive the last opponent in the preliminary round of the European Handball Championship. They should win against outsiders Latvia. Then the boys are in the main round. But be careful: The Latvians have Dainis Kristopans as a joker in the field. The 2.15 meter tall and 130 kilogram heavy rear giant is considered one of the best in the world in his position. Fingers crossed.
WHAT TO READ OR WATCH?
It is the largest troop relocation in decades. Over the next few months, more than 20,000 soldiers will travel through Germany (and back again) from west to east. The USA and NATO are training to move large numbers of soldiers and equipment across Europe. Especially at night it gets crowded on Germany’s roads. The esteemed colleague Lars Wienand reports.
It is the small, inconspicuous things that can bring the big picture closer to us than many words. If you find Australia to be far away, just watch this video.
The main suspects in the Lübcke murder were apparently also participants in an AfD demonstration in Chemnitz in 2018. This shows a video that was leaked to the MDR. On the weekend there was a detailed discussion of what that says about the AfD. We are all allowed to form our own opinion.
THE GOOD NEWS
The construction of the new Gigafactory in Grünheide near Berlin will not cost Tesla any money. How it works? So much spoilers in advance: The European CO2 pricing and a cooperation with another car manufacturer make it possible. Worth reading.
WHAT AMUSES ME?
If you see many of the "Stars" also do not know you are in good company. My at least our cartoonist.
(Source: Mario Lars)
I wish you a pleasant start to the week. Tomorrow Florian Harms will write at this point again.
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Washington (AP) – After the crash of a Ukrainian passenger plane near Tehran, after Canada and Great Britain, the USA is also assuming that the plane will be shot down by Iran.
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"We believe it is likely that this plane was shot down by an Iranian missile"said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the White House on Friday. Pompeo emphasized, however, that one had to wait for the investigation. The governments in Canada and the UK had previously announced that they had evidence that unintentional rocket fire from Irandie was the cause of the accident.
The Ukraine International Airlines plane with 176 people on board crashed shortly after take-off in Tehran on Wednesday.thesis to kill a mockingbird It was on the way to Kiev. Nobody survived the accident. Just a short time before, Iran had attacked two bases in Iraq used by US soldiers with missiles. Iran had rejected speculation about a shooting down and named a technical defect as the cause.
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Among the crash victims were 63 people from Canada and at least 10 from Sweden. A doctoral student from Mainz and an asylum seeker from North Rhine-Westphalia were also killed with their two children. According to the Max Planck Institute in Mainz, the 29-year-old doctoral student was with her family in Iran for her Christmas vacation.
More and more states are offering Iran support in clarifying the cause of the crash or demanding participation. Iran wants to involve experts from the USA, among others. The National Transportation Security Agency in Washington said it was participating in the investigation. Paris offered technical assistance.
The US broadcaster CBS had reported that US intelligence agencies had received signals from a radar that had been switched on. US satellites had also detected the launch of two surface-to-air missiles shortly before the aircraft exploded.
The US television broadcaster CNN reported that the theory of an accidental shooting down by Iran was based on analysis of satellite, radar and other electronic data routinely collected by the US military and intelligence agencies.
Ukraine has already sent its own experts to Iran. The country is demanding evidence of the launch thesis. "Our goal is to find out the indisputable truth"said President Volodymyr Zelenskyi in Kiev on Friday. The international community owes this to the families of the victims.
Addressing the governments of Canada, Great Britain and the USA in particular, the head of state continued: "We call on all international partners (…) to submit data and evidence relating to the disaster to the investigative commission."
The head of the Iranian aviation authority, Ali Abedsadeh, announced on Iranian television on Thursday evening that Iran would also involve Boeing experts from the USA, Canada and France in the investigation. If, for technical reasons, it is not possible to examine the aircraft’s black box in Iran, investigations abroad would also be conceivable.
All technical possibilities should be considered in order to clarify the cause of the crash immediately, said Abedsadeh. The presumption that the machine had been hit by an Iranian missile defense system, he described as absurd.
Should NATO become more involved in the Middle East at Donald Trump’s request? This question is likely to cause discussion at the alliance headquarters in Brussels. There is another major construction site, however.
This year, NATO wants to react to the stationing of Russian cruise missiles capable of nuclear weapons in Europe. "When it comes to the SSC-8, we will work on air defense and missile defense systems, on conventional weapons, on increased alertness and an extension of the warning times"said Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg of the German Press Agency. NATO defense ministers have already agreed on the framework for this.
"By deploying the SSC-8 cruise missiles, Russia has violated the INF Treaty. It is part of Russia’s strategy to invest heavily in new modern capabilities – including new modern nuclear weapons", explained Stoltenberg. NATO reacts defensively and appropriately.
In addition, Stoltenberg stressed that NATO has no intention of stationing new land-based nuclear missiles in Europe. Another goal is to strengthen arms control. This is above all a concern of alliance states such as Germany.
Violation of the INF contract?
The reason for expanding NATO’s deterrent and defense capabilities is the end of the INF treaty to renounce land-based medium-range systems. It was ended last summer because the US and other NATO partners assume that Russia has been violating the agreement for years with the system called SSC-8 (Russian: 9M729).
This should be able to fire cruise missiles that can be equipped with nuclear warheads and fly more than 2,000 kilometers. Moscow rejects this and specifies the range of the system as less than 500 kilometers.
Concerns about a renewed arms race are growing
The INF treaty prohibited both sides from producing, testing and owning ground-based ballistic missiles and cruise missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers.
Since the INF Treaty was terminated, concerns about a new arms race have grown. For example, the United States recently tested a ground-based medium-range missile that would not have been compatible with the INF Treaty.
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There are currently few hopes of new and effective arms control agreements. The reason for the termination of the treaty by the USA is also the fact that the INF treaty only bound Americans and Russians, but not aspiring military powers like China. China is now said to have nearly 2,000 ballistic missiles and cruise missiles that would be covered by the agreement.
Sources used: dpa news agency
Iraqi President Abdel Mahdi has asked the US to create a "safe trigger" to arrange for their troops. In Washington they don’t want to hear about it. But staying there would be a violation of international law.
After the Iraqi parliament, the country’s government is also pushing for US troops to be withdrawn. The acting Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi called on US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to make concrete preparations for the withdrawal of the 5,200 US soldiers. However, the US State Department rejected talks about ending the operation on Friday.
Iraq’s parliament passed a resolution on Sunday calling on all foreign troops in Iraq to withdraw. Abdel Mahdi relied on this in a phone call with Pompeo on Thursday evening. According to his office, he asked the US government to send a delegation to Baghdad to carry out the "safe trigger" the US troops should organize.
Washington responded with an immediate rejection. A US delegation requested by Abdel Mahdi would "at the moment" the US State Department spokeswoman said that the US State Department spokeswoman said that they would not talk about a withdrawal of 5,200 US soldiers. US envoy would only talk to the Iraqi government about an improvement "strategic partnership" to advise.
Adel Abdel Mahdi (center): The Iraqi head of government took part in a funeral procession of Iranian General Soleimani and Iraqi militia leader al-Muhandis last Saturday. (Source: Nasser Nasser / dpa)
Iraq: drone attack violated sovereignty
Baghdad justifies the request to withdraw troops by stating that the United States is the "sovereignty" of Iraq. The allegation is based primarily on the drone attack ordered by US President Donald Trump, in which the powerful Iranian general Ghassem Soleimani and the Iraqi militia leader Abu Mehdi al-Muhandis were killed in Baghdad last Friday. Iran responded with an attack on two US military bases in Iraq.
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The US troops are in the country on the basis of an agreement with the Iraqi government from 2014, which concerns the international fight against the jihadist militia Islamic State (IS). This agreement was never endorsed by Parliament in Baghdad.
Maas: Troop withdrawal increases risk of attack
Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) expressed concern about the demands from Baghdad for a US troop withdrawal. This could "new scope" for a return of the IS militia, said Maas at a meeting of EU foreign ministers on the conflict between Iran and the USA in Brussels. This would not only increase the risk of an attack in Iraq, but also "also in Europe".
Foreign Minister of State Niels Annen and the Federal Armed Forces commissioner, Hans-Peter Bartels (both SPD), also called for the Bundeswehr to remain. The FDP defense politician Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann made a similar statement. Federal Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU) had already spoken in favor of continuing the Bundeswehr training mission in Iraq on Thursday.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer with soldiers of the Bundeswehr in Taji, Iraq: The Defense Minister has spoken out in favor of continuing the training mission (archive photo). (Source: Michael Kappeler / dpa)
Remaining would be a violation of international law
Nonetheless, foreign troops would have to leave Iraq if the country’s government takes a corresponding decision and the Iraqi president announces it, according to a report by the Bundestag’s scientific service presented on Friday. In this case, the foreign troops would remain in Iraq "a violation of international law". In the opinion of the scientists, the parliamentary resolution alone has no binding effect on the foreign troops.
There are currently almost 120 Bundeswehr soldiers in Erbil, northern Iraq. The training mission there has been suspended for the time being. In view of the latest tensions, the Bundeswehr had already relocated 32 soldiers from Taji in central Iraq to Jordan and three more soldiers from the capital Baghdad to Kuwait.
The 32 soldiers relocated from Taji are now back in Germany, said a spokesman for the operational command. The soldiers are therefore on duty for 96 hours. Should in Iraq die "necessary political conditions" created for return, they could resume their training mission.
For the first time again protests against the Iraqi government
Protesters in Baghdad: After a few days without protests, people in the Iraqi capital took to the streets again against the government. (Source: Ameer Al Mohammedaw / dpa)
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In Iraq, for the first time in several days, thousands of demonstrators critical of the government took to the streets.