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A man in his 30s was killed, and several others were wounded in a shooting at a Turkish wedding in north-east France, police reported. French media indicate that three armed, masked men arrived at the reception in Thionville late on Saturday night and began firing at the guests. According to Le Figaro newspaper, citing police sources, the incident occurred at 1:15 AM local time and was linked to a conflict between well-known gangs in Moselle.

Among the wounded was a pregnant woman, and three of the injured are in critical condition at Bel-Air hospital. Approximately 100 people were celebrating at Eden Palace when the gunmen, who arrived in a 4×4 vehicle, opened fire.

A police source told AFP that a group had gone outside to smoke when three heavily armed men started shooting in their direction with automatic weapons and shotguns. Nancy prosecutor Francois Capin-Dulhoste stated that the attackers fired “several dozen times,” injuring four people aged between 25 and 50.

The attackers fled the scene before emergency services arrived. Local newspaper Le Républicain Lorrain reported that police are investigating if the attackers’ vehicle came from Germany or Luxembourg, which are about 15 km away. The Lorraine border region has a history of violent incidents linked to drug trafficking, and according to Le Parisien, the victims were known to authorities for drug-related cases. In May 2023, a shooting between rival gangs in the nearby town of Villerupt injured five people.

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Germany got off to an excellent start in their Euro 2024 campaign with a dominant 5-1 victory over Scotland at home, marking their largest-ever win in the Euros. The match saw Florian Wirtz, Jamal Musiala, and Kai Havertz (from a penalty) securing a commanding 3-0 lead by halftime, aided by Ryan Porteous’s red card for Scotland due to a reckless challenge.

In the second half, Germany maintained control, with Niclas Fullkrug adding a fourth goal and having a fifth disallowed. Despite an own goal by Antonio Rudiger giving Scotland a brief moment of relief, Emre Can sealed Germany’s victory with a final score of 5-1.

Reflecting on the match, pundits like Chris Sutton and Pat Nevin praised Germany’s performance, noting their high-pressure tactics reminiscent of top clubs like Manchester City. Julian Nagelsmann, Germany’s coach, highlighted his team’s strong start and acknowledged room for improvement, expressing satisfaction with their opening win in front of their home fans.

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In Mannheim, Germany, a local politician was attacked just days after a police officer was fatally stabbed in the city’s market square. The victim, Heinrich Koch, a 62-year-old candidate for the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, sustained cuts in the incident, according to the German press agency DPA. The police confirmed that the attack took place on Tuesday evening, near the site of the previous deadly assault on rally organizers against radical Islam, which resulted in the death of a 29-year-old officer.

Koch was hospitalized for treatment but his injuries were not life-threatening. The local AfD association reported that the altercation occurred after Koch pursued a man who was tearing down election posters. The assailant then cut Koch with a knife. The police arrested a 25-year-old suspect who exhibited signs of mental illness and was subsequently taken to a psychiatric hospital. Authorities indicated that there was no solid evidence the attacker knew Koch was an AfD politician.

This recent violence follows the stabbing of a police officer by an Afghan asylum seeker, which led to the officer’s death and injuries to five others during preparations for an anti-radical Islam rally. The 25-year-old suspect, who arrived in Germany as a refugee in 2013 and has two children, was detained. In response to the killing, which incited widespread outrage, the German government has indicated it might resume deportations to Afghanistan, halted since the Taliban regained control three years ago.

These incidents occur as Germany gears up for European Parliament elections and municipal elections in seven states, including Baden-Württemberg, where the AfD is competing against the centre-left Social Democrats of Chancellor Olaf Scholz for second place. The AfD’s campaign has been marred by various scandals. Markus Frohnmaier, a senior AfD official in Baden-Württemberg, expressed shock and dismay at the attack on Koch.

Violent incidents have also been reported in other parts of Germany in the run-up to Sunday’s European elections. Chancellor Scholz recently warned of threats to democracy following attacks on political figures, including Matthias Ecke of Scholz’s party in Dresden and a female Greens politician in the same city. Berlin senator Franziska Giffey, a prominent former minister from Scholz’s party, was also assaulted last month during a visit to a local library.

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A man attacked six people, including a police officer, with a knife in Mannheim, a city in southwestern Germany, as confirmed by police. One of the injured was anti-Islam activist Michael Stürzenberger, who was preparing for a rally in the market square, organized by the Citizens’ Movement Pax Europa (BPE). The incident was livestreamed on YouTube, showing the attacker stabbing a man and then a police officer who tried to intervene. The officer is in critical condition.

The attacker was shot and injured by another police officer. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz condemned the attack, emphasizing that violence is unacceptable in a democracy and calling for severe punishment for the perpetrator. Mannheim police confirmed a major operation in the market square, with a rescue helicopter dispatched to the scene.

The attack occurred at 11:35 AM (10:35 BST) during the rally hosted by Michael Stürzenberger’s group. Stürzenberger was injured in the leg and face and requires surgery, though his life is not in danger. The attack, which seemed premeditated, took place before the rally began. The attacker injured five BPE members and one police officer, with the officer in critical condition requiring emergency surgery.

The suspect, whose identity has not been officially released, is a 25-year-old Afghan-born resident of Germany. Interior Minister Nancy Faeser suggested the possibility of an Islamist motive behind the attack.

Michael Stürzenberger, a far-right activist known for his Islamophobic blog and involvement with BPE, is a former politician previously affiliated with the Christian Social Union (CSU) before leading the now-dissolved right-wing party Die Freiheit.

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David Beckham recently secured a significant deal as a global ambassador for AliExpress, an online retail platform owned by the Chinese tech giant Alibaba. This partnership coincides with the imminent Euros football tournament set to take place in Germany. While specific financial terms remain undisclosed, Beckham’s involvement will see him spearheading AliExpress’ promotional activities during the tournament, particularly through their Score More campaign in collaboration with UEFA.

This announcement places AliExpress among other notable Chinese firms sponsoring the Euros, including electric vehicle manufacturer BYD and electronics giant Vivo. Beckham’s post-football career has seen him actively engaged with various brands and major sporting events, demonstrating his enduring appeal as a public figure. Alongside his wife Victoria, Beckham’s wealth is estimated at £455m ($581.6m) according to the Sunday Times Rich List.

The Euros tournament, following the Paris Olympics and Paralympics, is anticipated to be one of the biggest sporting events of the year. Spanning from June 14 to July 14 across multiple cities, including Munich and Hamburg, a total of 2.7 million tickets have been made available for the competition. UEFA reports staggering global viewership figures for the 2020 edition, with the final match alone attracting 328 million viewers worldwide.

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Czech President Petr Pavel has been hospitalized following a motorcycle accident, with his office reassuring the public that the injuries are not severe, necessitating only a short observation period. The incident occurred on a closed racing circuit, leading authorities to abstain from launching an investigation. Despite the accident, President Pavel’s love for motorcycles is well-known, particularly his fondness for riding a BMW R1200 GS.

President Pavel’s enthusiasm for motorbikes has occasionally landed him in controversy. Last year, he publicly apologized after being caught riding without a helmet. Nonetheless, his passion for biking remains undeterred, with the president often seen enjoying rides, even to neighboring countries like Germany. Pavel’s commitment to strengthening diplomatic ties, combined with his love for motorcycles, has made headlines throughout his tenure.

This recent accident marks another addition to President Pavel’s list of extra-curricular mishaps. Just last April, he sustained a minor injury while practicing shooting at a range. Despite these incidents, President Pavel continues to engage actively in both official duties and personal interests, illustrating a dynamic and multifaceted leadership style.

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Maximilian Krah, a prominent far-right German politician from the Alternative for Germany (AfD), announced he would scale back his campaign efforts for the upcoming EU elections while remaining the party’s lead candidate. This decision followed a controversial interview with the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, where Krah remarked that not all SS members were automatically “criminals” and emphasized assessing individual culpability. He referenced Günter Grass, the German novelist who served in the Waffen SS, to support his point.

The SS, or Schutzstaffel, was a Nazi paramilitary group notorious for its central role in the Holocaust and other war crimes. Krah’s comments provoked a strong reaction, leading France’s far-right National Rally (RN) to sever ties with the AfD in the European Parliament. RN leader Marine Le Pen called for a “cordon sanitaire” to distance her party from the AfD, stating the urgency of this separation due to the extremity of Krah’s views.

The relationship between RN and AfD had already been strained following a secret meeting involving AfD members discussing the mass deportations of non-ethnic Germans. Marine Le Pen had previously condemned such ideas.

Facing mounting pressures ahead of the EU elections in June, Krah declared on social media that he would step back from public campaign appearances and resign from the federal executive board to preserve party unity. This decision comes amid various scandals, including the arrest of one of his staffers for alleged espionage for China and an ongoing investigation into Krah over purported payments from Russia and China, which he denies. Despite these controversies, the AfD remains a significant political force, polling second or third nationally and leading in some states set for local elections later this year.

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In Germany, trials have begun for individuals allegedly connected to a coup plot involving a German aristocrat, a significant arsenal of weapons, and the belief that Queen Elizabeth II’s death was a covert “signal” to act. These individuals are associated with the Reichsbürger movement, which denies the legitimacy of the modern German state, claiming it was installed by the Allied powers after World War II.

The most high-profile trial is taking place in Frankfurt, following extensive raids across the country in 2022. This trial, one of three, is crucial for understanding far-right networks due to its scale and potential insights.

The Reichsbürger movement, comprising around 23,000 followers, espouses antisemitic views and a strong affinity for weapons. Authorities allege that members plotted to violently overthrow the German government, planning to storm the national parliament in Berlin and arrest MPs on a so-called “Day X”. The indictment suggests they even debated if Queen Elizabeth II’s death was a signal to act.

A key figure in the trial is Heinrich XIII Prince Reuss, a 72-year-old former real estate developer from Frankfurt and a descendant of the aristocratic House of Reuss. He allegedly hosted the group’s ‘central council’ meetings and was designated as the future ‘head of state’ post-coup. He was also reportedly involved in attempts to establish contact with Moscow, appearing at the Russian consulate in Leipzig.

Another notable defendant is Birgit Malsack-Winkemann, a former judge and member of the far-right Alternative for Deutschland party. She allegedly used her parliamentary access to help co-conspirators scout government buildings and was slated to manage the justice department in the new regime.

Prosecutors claim the group intended to reorganize Germany’s political structure by taking over institutions at both state and local levels, aware that this might require violence. Their central council would have coordinated these efforts, supported by a ‘military arm’ comprising 286 units tasked with enforcing the new order nationwide.

The indictment reveals the group’s access to a substantial cache of weapons, including firearms, ammunition, night vision devices, and handcuffs, and financial resources of around 500,000 euros. Members reportedly became increasingly isolated from the outside world over time.

Jan Rathje, a senior researcher at the extremism monitoring agency CeMAS, notes that such conspiratorial, sovereigntist movements trace back to desires among some former Nazis to reestablish a National Socialist German Reich. He warns that the Reichsbürger movement, with its violent far-right tradition, has been dangerously underestimated, emphasizing that, despite the coup’s likely failure, it could have caused significant harm. The symbolic impact of a violent strike against the government could have emboldened radical forces by portraying the government as weak.

The trials are being conducted in Stuttgart, Frankfurt, and Munich due to the case’s complexity and size.

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The G7 finance ministers are set to discuss whether Ukraine can receive an additional €30 billion loan from seized Russian assets totaling €270 billion. This proposal has sparked division within the G7, particularly between the US and Germany. While some advocate for full asset seizure, others, including Christine Lagarde, ECB president, raise legal and economic concerns.

The US and UK propose mobilizing the frozen assets to provide a substantial loan to Ukraine, with interest paid from the profits of the seized Russian assets. They argue this approach avoids the need for asset confiscation, which could disrupt the international legal order and financial stability.

Belgium, holding the largest share of Russia’s frozen assets within the G7, has already generated significant investment income from these assets. It has agreed to allocate a portion of this profit to a joint G7 fund for Ukraine.

Critics argue that using the assets as collateral for a loan effectively amounts to confiscation. However, some legal scholars suggest that under the doctrine of state countermeasures, seizure may be justified.

Overall, there is contention over whether to provide Ukraine with a substantial loan using the seized assets, with concerns about legal implications and potential repercussions for financial stability and international relations.

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In Germany, tensions escalated as hundreds of climate protesters clashed with law enforcement while attempting to breach the Tesla factory near Berlin. The demonstrators were rallying against the proposed expansion of Tesla’s only European plant, situated in Grünheide, Brandenburg. Their concerns revolved around potential environmental damage resulting from the factory’s enlargement.

Despite the activists’ efforts, police successfully thwarted their attempts to enter the facility. However, the confrontation led to injuries, including three police officers, and resulted in several arrests. Videos circulating on social media depicted the chaotic scene, with protesters donning blue caps and flags, attempting to overrun the police cordon.

The protest tactics employed by the demonstrators included blocking nearby motorways, disrupting railway services, and staging sit-ins on country roads surrounding the factory. While some managed to breach the police lines, Tesla CEO Elon Musk reassured the public that the facility remained secure. Musk also criticized the leniency shown by law enforcement toward the left-wing protesters.

The group orchestrating the protest, Disrupt Tesla, aimed to draw attention to what they termed “environmental destruction” in Grünheide. Their activism included occupying parts of the forest slated for clearance for the factory expansion, with protesters building tree houses and erecting signs in opposition. Despite the disruptions, Tesla announced that the site would be closed for the day due to the demonstration, with employees allowed to work remotely.

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