World Bulletin / News Desk
Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives reached a "breakthrough" deal Friday with Germany's second biggest party, the Social Democrats, toward building a new coalition government, sources close to the negotiations said.
In the all-night negotiations in Berlin, Merkel and her Christian Democrats, Horst Seehofer of her Bavarian allies the CSU and Social Democrats (SPD) chief Martin Schulz hammered out a 28-page paper that will form the basis for the talks ahead.
In their blueprint, the three parties agreed on key policy outlines -- among them to join EU partner France in a push to "strengthen and reform" the 19-member eurozone, to limit the controversial influx of asylum seekers to Germany to around 200,000 a year, and to refrain from tax hikes given the healthy state of state coffers.
Despite the deal, potential pitfalls remain, including votes by sceptical SPD delegates and then party members that could yet derail plans for another left-right "grand coalition", the constellation that has ruled Germany for the past four years and remains in charge as a caretaker government.
Germany has been in political limbo since a September 24 election in which Merkel failed to win a clear majority -- in part due to the rise of the far-right and anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) which took millions of votes from all major parties.
Merkel initially turned to two smaller parties, the Free Democrats and Greens, to form a new coalition government for her fourth term, but when those talks collapsed in November, she had to once more woo a reluctant SPD for a new power pact.
American Civil Liberties Union granted request to halt deportations for one week after reunification
Trump declared that US-Russian relations have turned a corner after a summit with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that he described as "open, direct and deeply productive".
Operation is aimed at restoring confidence after last year’s illegitimate poll on Kurdish regional independence
The U.S. State Department is negotiating a potential deal to sell Turkey the Raytheon Co Patriot missile defense system as an alternative to the Russian-made S-400 system Turkey has agreed to purchase, an official said on Monday.
ISIL still maintains a limited presence in northern and western Iraq
90 more migrants in critical condition found inside shipping containers
Obama arrived in his father's native Kenya on Sunday, where he paid courtesy calls on President Uhuru Kenyatta and main opposition leader Raila Odinga.
Tensions have steadily mounted in southern Iraqi province over unemployment and lack of basic services
Speaking in an interview with CBS Evening News conducted on Saturday ahead of his meeting with the Russian leader in Helsinki on Monday, the US president also sought to temper expectations about how much could be achieved.
FETO orchestrated the defeated coup, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured
The protests hit several provinces including Basra, despite Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announcing fresh funds and pledges of investment for the oil-rich but neglected region.
US director of documentary on FETO-linked schools in US says FETO terrorists spent 18 years spreading false image of group
Basra residents complain of high unemployment and lack of basic services
Ahead of the Helsinki meeting, here is a selection of remarks the two world leaders have made about each other.