Germany Preparing to Deport Convicted Sept 11 Suspect

A Moroccan man convicted of helping three of the Sept. 11 attackers as they plotted to strike New York and Washington was flown from a Hamburg jail on Monday to the city’s airport in preparation for his deportation to his home country.

Mounir el Motassadeq, who was convicted in 2006 of membership in a terrorist organization and accessory to murder for his part in the plot, was expected to be put on a flight later in the day to Marrakesh, Morocco.

The 44-year-old was flown by helicopter to the airport, and then escorted from the helicopter by two heavily armed police officers to another waiting helicopter. It took off shortly after, presumably to take el Motassadeq to a larger airport for the international flight to Morocco.

El Motassadeq, who denied knowing his friends were preparing the attacks on the U.S., was sentenced to the maximum 15 years, but received credit for time served after his November 2001 arrest.

Earlier Monday, Hamburg Interior Ministry spokesman Frank Reschreiter said el Motassadeq would “leave the country soon,” but wouldn’t specify exactly when he’d be returned to Morocco, saying authorities didn’t want to jeopardize the procedure.

“All the necessary procedural steps for this have been ticked off according to plan,” Reschreiter said.

El Motassadeq’s attorney Jan Jacob refused to comment on the case.

 

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Germany Preparing to Deport Convicted Sept 11 Suspect

A Moroccan man convicted of helping three of the Sept. 11 attackers as they plotted to strike New York and Washington was flown from a Hamburg jail on Monday to the city’s airport in preparation for his deportation to his home country.

Mounir el Motassadeq, who was convicted in 2006 of membership in a terrorist organization and accessory to murder for his part in the plot, was expected to be put on a flight later in the day to Marrakesh, Morocco.

The 44-year-old was flown by helicopter to the airport, and then escorted from the helicopter by two heavily armed police officers to another waiting helicopter. It took off shortly after, presumably to take el Motassadeq to a larger airport for the international flight to Morocco.

El Motassadeq, who denied knowing his friends were preparing the attacks on the U.S., was sentenced to the maximum 15 years, but received credit for time served after his November 2001 arrest.

Earlier Monday, Hamburg Interior Ministry spokesman Frank Reschreiter said el Motassadeq would “leave the country soon,” but wouldn’t specify exactly when he’d be returned to Morocco, saying authorities didn’t want to jeopardize the procedure.

“All the necessary procedural steps for this have been ticked off according to plan,” Reschreiter said.

El Motassadeq’s attorney Jan Jacob refused to comment on the case.

 

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Germany’s Old Political Guard Suffers Another Setback

Since 1966 Germany’s conservative Christian Social Union has been the majority party in its home-state of Bavaria, but on Sunday the long-run ended when voters disillusioned with its courting of the far-right flocked to the Green Party.

The Christian Social Union, or CSU, the Bavarian sister party of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrat Union, or CDU, has dominated politics in Bavaria since the end of World War II.  For only three years in the past seven decades has the CSU not been the majority party in Bavaria’s parliament.

Although its fall from political grace in Sunday’s state polls had been widely predicted, the scale of the massive losses it sustained will impact Merkel’s coalition government in Berlin, say analysts.

Preliminary results gave the CSU just 37.2 percent of the vote, down from 47.7 percent in 2013.

To add to Merkel’s woes her other coalition partner, the leftist Social Democrat Party, or SPD, was also dealt a massive blow Sunday.  Its share of the vote in Bavaria was halved from 20.6 percent in 2013 to only 10 percent, the worst result for the party in the state since the 1930s, adding to a grim picture of SPD decline nationally.

The beneficiaries Sunday were former fringe parties with the pro-immigration, environmentalist Greens coming in second place with 17.5 percent, and the far-right, anti-immigration Alternative for Deutschland party, or AfD, taking 10.2 percent of the vote.  That performance will give the AfD seats in the Bavarian parliament for the first time, a stunning result for a party that’s never before competed in a Bavarian state election.

Sunday’s election is adding to the picture of a fragmentation of German politics, testimony to the continued resonance of the 2015 refugee crisis and disputes over migration.  It confirms the country’s once traditional parties are in decline and are seen by a swathe of the electorate as no longer representing them adequately.  

“Germany’s political fragmentation, which was shown strongly in the 2017 federal elections, is continuing at full speed,” according to Leopold Traugott of the Open Europe research group.

The problem for the traditional parties is how to halt the electoral fragmentation as center ground of German politics gives way.  As Germany’s old political guard cracks, it is compounding Merkel’s immediate problem of keeping intact her shaky coalition government, formed in March after four months of testy negotiations.

The “Iron Lady” of German politics is increasingly beleaguered and even her most faithful supporters aren’t convinced she will be able to see out her full electoral term due to end in 2021.

Since her Christian Democrat party’s dismal performance in last year’s parliamentary elections she’s been beset by one crisis after another.  Last month she lost her key parliamentary henchman, Volker Kauder, the head of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and the CSU in the German Bundestag.  He was ousted by disgruntled coalition lawmakers

Merkel’s grand coalition has come close to collapse over migration issues and a scandal involving the country’s spy chief.  Before the Bavarian polls infighting broke out over accusations the Christian Social Union was pandering to the far-right.

Sunday’s election is likely to have far-reaching consequences by prompting major reassessments by all the government parties about the viability of a coalition that’s doing none of them any electoral good.

Monday Social Democrat Party Vice Chairman Ralf Stegner tweeted, “There’s no reason to hang on to the grand coalition at any price.”  He added that the Bavarian outcome showed the coalition’s “stability is dwindling.”

A third of SPD members were against joining Merkel’s coalition in the first place after last year’s federal elections.  An exit poll in Bavaria indicated 76 percent of SPD voters say the party should quit the coalition.

Later this month, Merkel’s party will face another challenge with a regional election in the state of Hesse, where her party heads the government.  Opinion polls there suggest the party could see its share of the vote reduced by a quarter.

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Germany’s Old Political Guard Suffers Another Setback

Since 1966 Germany’s conservative Christian Social Union has been the majority party in its home-state of Bavaria, but on Sunday the long-run ended when voters disillusioned with its courting of the far-right flocked to the Green Party.

The Christian Social Union, or CSU, the Bavarian sister party of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrat Union, or CDU, has dominated politics in Bavaria since the end of World War II.  For only three years in the past seven decades has the CSU not been the majority party in Bavaria’s parliament.

Although its fall from political grace in Sunday’s state polls had been widely predicted, the scale of the massive losses it sustained will impact Merkel’s coalition government in Berlin, say analysts.

Preliminary results gave the CSU just 37.2 percent of the vote, down from 47.7 percent in 2013.

To add to Merkel’s woes her other coalition partner, the leftist Social Democrat Party, or SPD, was also dealt a massive blow Sunday.  Its share of the vote in Bavaria was halved from 20.6 percent in 2013 to only 10 percent, the worst result for the party in the state since the 1930s, adding to a grim picture of SPD decline nationally.

The beneficiaries Sunday were former fringe parties with the pro-immigration, environmentalist Greens coming in second place with 17.5 percent, and the far-right, anti-immigration Alternative for Deutschland party, or AfD, taking 10.2 percent of the vote.  That performance will give the AfD seats in the Bavarian parliament for the first time, a stunning result for a party that’s never before competed in a Bavarian state election.

Sunday’s election is adding to the picture of a fragmentation of German politics, testimony to the continued resonance of the 2015 refugee crisis and disputes over migration.  It confirms the country’s once traditional parties are in decline and are seen by a swathe of the electorate as no longer representing them adequately.  

“Germany’s political fragmentation, which was shown strongly in the 2017 federal elections, is continuing at full speed,” according to Leopold Traugott of the Open Europe research group.

The problem for the traditional parties is how to halt the electoral fragmentation as center ground of German politics gives way.  As Germany’s old political guard cracks, it is compounding Merkel’s immediate problem of keeping intact her shaky coalition government, formed in March after four months of testy negotiations.

The “Iron Lady” of German politics is increasingly beleaguered and even her most faithful supporters aren’t convinced she will be able to see out her full electoral term due to end in 2021.

Since her Christian Democrat party’s dismal performance in last year’s parliamentary elections she’s been beset by one crisis after another.  Last month she lost her key parliamentary henchman, Volker Kauder, the head of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and the CSU in the German Bundestag.  He was ousted by disgruntled coalition lawmakers

Merkel’s grand coalition has come close to collapse over migration issues and a scandal involving the country’s spy chief.  Before the Bavarian polls infighting broke out over accusations the Christian Social Union was pandering to the far-right.

Sunday’s election is likely to have far-reaching consequences by prompting major reassessments by all the government parties about the viability of a coalition that’s doing none of them any electoral good.

Monday Social Democrat Party Vice Chairman Ralf Stegner tweeted, “There’s no reason to hang on to the grand coalition at any price.”  He added that the Bavarian outcome showed the coalition’s “stability is dwindling.”

A third of SPD members were against joining Merkel’s coalition in the first place after last year’s federal elections.  An exit poll in Bavaria indicated 76 percent of SPD voters say the party should quit the coalition.

Later this month, Merkel’s party will face another challenge with a regional election in the state of Hesse, where her party heads the government.  Opinion polls there suggest the party could see its share of the vote reduced by a quarter.

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Jamal Khashoggi’s ‘Disappearance’ Highlights Growing Threat to Journalists

The threat is growing — and so, too, the toll.

Forty-eight journalists have been killed so far this year, according to a VOA tally, adding to the thousand killed in the past decade-and-half.

Some died on dangerous reporting assignments in conflict zones as they courted similar risks to combatants and were killed in crossfire or bombings.

They include 9 Afghan reporters, among them three from VOA’s sister public broadcaster Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL).

All were killed in the same bombing incident in Kabul in April, likely planned to cause a high media death toll. It was the most lethal attack on the media in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban, making the country the deadliest in the world for the press this year.

But others were targeted individually, earmarked by armed groups, criminals, drug-dealers and terrorists — and, more disturbingly, by governments and politicians.

Until recently attacks on journalists more often than not occurred in less advanced countries. But now the threat is shifting to the West, where the media has traditionally been immune from violence and where media freedom is lauded and seen traditionally as an important check on authority and government wrongdoing.

In the past 12 months, three reporters have been killed in the European Union. The murder earlier this month of Bulgarian journalist Viktoria Marinova, who was beaten, raped and strangled, may not have been because of her journalism, but that still remains unclear. Days before her murder she hosted a program exploring the defrauding of EU funds by companies operating in Bulgaria.

Marinova aside, observers and analysts have no doubt that Slovakia’s Ján Kuciak, who was shot in his home alongside his fiancée, and Malta’s Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was blown up in a car bomb, were targeted because of their investigative journalism.

Caruana Galizia had been a thorn in the side of the powers that be on the Mediterranean island for years thanks to her probes into government corruption and nepotism and into the links between Malta’s online gambling industry and organized crime.

According to Reporters without Borders, their deaths “have capped a worrying decline for the continent’s democracies” when it comes to the defense of press freedom. “The traditionally safe environment for journalists in Europe has begun to deteriorate,” according to the group, which notes that this year has seen “unprecedented verbal attacks on the media” as well as rising threats to investigative reporters.

In the past week, the ‘disappearing’ of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who vanished after visiting his country’s consulate in Istanbul, where Turkish officials suspect he was murdered on the orders of the Saudi government, has prompted worldwide media outrage and a business backlash.

On Sunday, Afghan journalists joined in the chorus of condemnation, with the Afghan Journalists Safety Committee saying the possible killing of the prominent Saudi journalist was “an inhuman act no matter who or what country was behind such an offense.”

Murdering a media critic on foreign soil is being seen by journalists as yet another escalation in a dismal trend that’s seen the press increasingly targeted by the powerful or corrupt across the globe.

“From intimidation to restrictive laws and curbs on information, media outlets and individual journalists face a variety of threats to maintaining their independence and integrity in print and online,” warns Britain’s Chatham House.

This month the storied international affairs think tank gave its prestigious award annual Chatham House Prize to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) in recognition for the non-profit’s efforts “to defend the right of journalists to report the news without fear of reprisal and at a time when the free press is under serious pressure in many parts of the world.”

In September, the CPJ’s executive director warned the United Nations that governments collectively have failed to raise their voices in defense of press freedom and have allowed an alarming climate to build up by not ensuring there are consequences for attacks on the media — from intimidation and harassment of reporters to their imprisonment and murder.

On the jailing of journalists, he noted “the list is long — in fact, it’s never been longer.”

Simon complained: “Governments are directly responsible for this grave abuse, and the U.N. has a culture of rarely calling out its members. But the jailing of journalists has reached unprecedented levels. At the end of last year, there were 262 journalists jailed around the world, the highest number ever recorded by CPJ. The jailing of journalists is a brutal form of censorship and is having a profound impact on the flow of information around the world. The time has come to speak out and to name names.”

But whether names will be named is another matter, say analysts. The case of Jamal Khashoggi has clearly captured international public attention, but the slow erosion of press freedom and the targeted of journalists has been building for years, they say.

In Europe, from Hungary to Poland, Germany to Italy, populists from right and left of the political spectrum have targeted the media for rhetorical disdain, say analysts. In Germany supporters of the the far-right Alternative for Germany have dug out the old Nazi slogan Lügenpresse (lying press) to taunt reporters.

In Slovakia, Prime Minister Robert Fico has dubbed reporters “filthy anti-Slovak prostitutes” and “idiotic hyenas.” In the Czech Republic President Milos Zeman once brandished a dummy Kalashnikov inscribed with the word “journalists” at a press conference, after suggesting they should be “liquidated.” And in Serbia President Aleksandar Vucic accuses journalists who criticize him of being “spies in foreign pay.”

Britain, too, is seeing a rise in threats against reporters. The BBC has had to provide on several occasions a bodyguard for the corporation’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg because of online threats mainly from the left-wingers, who accuse her of being biased against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

“Political leaders are increasingly the source of the verbal attacks and harassment that create a hostile climate for journalists,” says RSF.

 

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Jamal Khashoggi’s ‘Disappearance’ Highlights Growing Threat to Journalists

The threat is growing — and so, too, the toll.

Forty-eight journalists have been killed so far this year, according to a VOA tally, adding to the thousand killed in the past decade-and-half.

Some died on dangerous reporting assignments in conflict zones as they courted similar risks to combatants and were killed in crossfire or bombings.

They include 9 Afghan reporters, among them three from VOA’s sister public broadcaster Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL).

All were killed in the same bombing incident in Kabul in April, likely planned to cause a high media death toll. It was the most lethal attack on the media in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban, making the country the deadliest in the world for the press this year.

But others were targeted individually, earmarked by armed groups, criminals, drug-dealers and terrorists — and, more disturbingly, by governments and politicians.

Until recently attacks on journalists more often than not occurred in less advanced countries. But now the threat is shifting to the West, where the media has traditionally been immune from violence and where media freedom is lauded and seen traditionally as an important check on authority and government wrongdoing.

In the past 12 months, three reporters have been killed in the European Union. The murder earlier this month of Bulgarian journalist Viktoria Marinova, who was beaten, raped and strangled, may not have been because of her journalism, but that still remains unclear. Days before her murder she hosted a program exploring the defrauding of EU funds by companies operating in Bulgaria.

Marinova aside, observers and analysts have no doubt that Slovakia’s Ján Kuciak, who was shot in his home alongside his fiancée, and Malta’s Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was blown up in a car bomb, were targeted because of their investigative journalism.

Caruana Galizia had been a thorn in the side of the powers that be on the Mediterranean island for years thanks to her probes into government corruption and nepotism and into the links between Malta’s online gambling industry and organized crime.

According to Reporters without Borders, their deaths “have capped a worrying decline for the continent’s democracies” when it comes to the defense of press freedom. “The traditionally safe environment for journalists in Europe has begun to deteriorate,” according to the group, which notes that this year has seen “unprecedented verbal attacks on the media” as well as rising threats to investigative reporters.

In the past week, the ‘disappearing’ of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who vanished after visiting his country’s consulate in Istanbul, where Turkish officials suspect he was murdered on the orders of the Saudi government, has prompted worldwide media outrage and a business backlash.

On Sunday, Afghan journalists joined in the chorus of condemnation, with the Afghan Journalists Safety Committee saying the possible killing of the prominent Saudi journalist was “an inhuman act no matter who or what country was behind such an offense.”

Murdering a media critic on foreign soil is being seen by journalists as yet another escalation in a dismal trend that’s seen the press increasingly targeted by the powerful or corrupt across the globe.

“From intimidation to restrictive laws and curbs on information, media outlets and individual journalists face a variety of threats to maintaining their independence and integrity in print and online,” warns Britain’s Chatham House.

This month the storied international affairs think tank gave its prestigious award annual Chatham House Prize to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) in recognition for the non-profit’s efforts “to defend the right of journalists to report the news without fear of reprisal and at a time when the free press is under serious pressure in many parts of the world.”

In September, the CPJ’s executive director warned the United Nations that governments collectively have failed to raise their voices in defense of press freedom and have allowed an alarming climate to build up by not ensuring there are consequences for attacks on the media — from intimidation and harassment of reporters to their imprisonment and murder.

On the jailing of journalists, he noted “the list is long — in fact, it’s never been longer.”

Simon complained: “Governments are directly responsible for this grave abuse, and the U.N. has a culture of rarely calling out its members. But the jailing of journalists has reached unprecedented levels. At the end of last year, there were 262 journalists jailed around the world, the highest number ever recorded by CPJ. The jailing of journalists is a brutal form of censorship and is having a profound impact on the flow of information around the world. The time has come to speak out and to name names.”

But whether names will be named is another matter, say analysts. The case of Jamal Khashoggi has clearly captured international public attention, but the slow erosion of press freedom and the targeted of journalists has been building for years, they say.

In Europe, from Hungary to Poland, Germany to Italy, populists from right and left of the political spectrum have targeted the media for rhetorical disdain, say analysts. In Germany supporters of the the far-right Alternative for Germany have dug out the old Nazi slogan Lügenpresse (lying press) to taunt reporters.

In Slovakia, Prime Minister Robert Fico has dubbed reporters “filthy anti-Slovak prostitutes” and “idiotic hyenas.” In the Czech Republic President Milos Zeman once brandished a dummy Kalashnikov inscribed with the word “journalists” at a press conference, after suggesting they should be “liquidated.” And in Serbia President Aleksandar Vucic accuses journalists who criticize him of being “spies in foreign pay.”

Britain, too, is seeing a rise in threats against reporters. The BBC has had to provide on several occasions a bodyguard for the corporation’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg because of online threats mainly from the left-wingers, who accuse her of being biased against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

“Political leaders are increasingly the source of the verbal attacks and harassment that create a hostile climate for journalists,” says RSF.

 

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Денісова: член затриманого Росією екіпажу «ЯМК-0041», у якого померла мати, повертається додому

Член затриманого Росією в окупованому Криму екіпажу українського судна «ЯМК-0041», у якого померла мати, повертається додому після втручання уповноваженого Верховної Ради України з прав людини.

Як повідомила сама Людмила Денісова у фейсбуці, моряк Геннадій Отичко вже на материковій частині України і їде додому в супроводі представників омбудсмана.

«Коли він туди дістанеться, Геннадій пообіцяв подзвонити мені та розповісти про проблеми та потреби. Я всіляко допомагатиму Геннадію та підтримуватиму його», – додала Денісова.

 

Раніше 14 жовтня вона повідомляла, що використовує «всі можливі способи впливу на Росію», щоб Отичко зміг провести матір в останню путь.

«Лише на цьому тижні радник президента Росії Михайло Федотов запевняв мене, що свобода пересування моряків не обмежувалася. Але ця відписка не відповідає дійсності. Члени екіпажу українського судна півроку мріють про повернення додому. Вони та їхні сім’ї уже морально та фізично втомилися від відсутності виходу. Недопустимо», – написала Денісова.

Російські прикордонники затримали українське риболовецьке судно «ЯМК-0041» (порт приписки Очаків) на захід від мису Тарханкут в окупованому Росією Криму ще 4 травня. Проти капітана судна порушили справу за звинуваченням у «незаконному видобутку морських біоресурсів у виключній економічній зоні Росії», яку Москва проголосила всупереч міжнародному праву. Його посадили до російського слідчого ізолятора. Держприкордонслужба України повідомила, що затримане судно мало всі необхідні документи на вилов риби в українській економічній зоні, якою, відповідно до міжнародного права, є води біля Криму.

В інших чотирьох членів екіпажу відібрали паспорти, і відтак вони не можуть повернутися з Криму на материкову частину України. Людмила Денісова вже не раз повідомляла про свої звернення до російських органів і до міжнародних організацій через незаконне порушення Росією права людини на свободу, особисту недоторканність та свободу пересування щодо цих українських громадян і вимагає, щоб Росія звільнила всіх затриманих моряків.

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У Дніпрі військовим маршем і показом техніки з зони бойових дій відзначили День захисника України

У Дніпрі військовим маршем і показом техніки з зони бойових дій на Донбасі відзначили День захисника України. Урочистості відбулись біля найбільшого Державного прапора України і найвищої в Україні щогли для цього прапора.

Заходи розпочались з нагородження учасників бойових дій, волонтерів та громадських активістів.

Військовослужбовці влаштували виставку техніки, яка перебуває на озброєнні української армії. Бойова техніка прибула із розташування 93-ї бригади.

Понад дві тисячі бійців військовослужбовців пройшли центром міста з вигуками «Слава Україні! Героям слава!». В ході взяли участь військові Збройних сил України, бійці добробатів, нацгвардійці, поліцейські, рятувальники. Стартувала хода біля облдержадміністрації, а завершилась біля найвищого флагштока країни. До учасників маршу приєдналися родини захисників та жителі міста.

Опісля розпочався концерт учасників фестивалю «Пісні, народженні в АТО».

Родзинка вечірньої програми – «відеомепінг-шоу»: на великій сцені завдовжки у 27 метрів розміщені екрани, на ких транслюють відео у форматі 3D паралельно з лазерним шоу.

14 жовтня в Україні відзначають свято Дня захисника України. Це також день Покрови пресвятої Богородиці за церковним календарем. Крім того, цей день вшановують і як річницю створення Української повстанської армії 76 років тому.

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Bavarian Voters Punish Merkel Allies in State Election

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative allies lost their absolute majority in Bavaria’s state parliament by a wide margin Sunday, according to projections from a regional election that could cause more turbulence in the national government.

The Christian Social Union was on course to take just over 35 percent of the vote, down from 47.7 percent five years ago, projections for ARD and ZDF public television based on exit polls and a partial vote count indicated.

That would be the socially conservative party’s worst performance in Bavaria, which it has traditionally dominated, since 1950. Squabbling in Merkel’s national government and a power struggle at home have weighed in recent months on the CSU, which has taken a hard line on migration tradition.

There were gains for parties to its left and right. The Greens were expected to win up to 19 percent to secure second place, more than double their support in 2013. And the far-right Alternative for Germany, or AfD, was set to enter the state legislature with around 11 percent of the vote.

The center-left Social Democrats, Merkel’s other coalition partner in Berlin, were on course for a disastrous result of 10 percent or less, half of what the party received in 2013 and its worst in the state since World War II.

The CSU has held an absolute majority in the Bavarian parliament for all but five of the past 56 years and governed the prosperous southeastern state for 61 years.

Needing coalition partners to govern would in itself be a major setback for the party, which only exists in Bavaria and has long leveraged its strength there to punch above its weight in national politics.

“Of course this isn’t an easy day for the CSU,” the state’s governor, Markus Soeder, told supporters in Munich, adding that the party accepted the “painful” result “with humility.”

Soeder pointed to goings-on in Berlin and said “it’s not so easy to uncouple yourself from the national trend completely.”

But he stressed that the CSU still emerged Sunday as the state’s strongest party and a mandate to form the next Bavarian government.

He said his preference was for a center-right coalition — which would see the CSU partner with the Free Voters, a local center-right party that was seen winning 11.5 percent, and possibly also the Free Democrats, who may or may not secure the 5 percent needed to win state parliament seats.

The Greens, traditionally bitter opponents, with a more liberal approach to migration and an emphasis on environmental issues, are another possibility.

Bavaria is home to some 13 million of Germany’s 82 million people.

In Berlin, the CSU is one of three parties in Merkel’s federal coalition government along with its conservative sister, Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, and the Social Democrats.

That government has been notable largely for internal squabbling since it took office in March. The CSU leader, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, has often played a starring role.

Back in Bavaria, a long-running CSU power struggle saw the 69-year-old Seehofer give up his job as state governor earlier this year to Soeder, a younger and sometimes bitter rival.

Seehofer has sparred with Merkel about migration on and off since 2015, when he assailed her decision to leave Germany’s borders open as refugees and others crossed the Balkans.

They argued in June over whether to turn back small numbers of asylum-seekers at the German-Austrian border, briefly threatening to bring down the national government.

Seehofer also starred in a coalition crisis last month over Germany’s domestic intelligence chief, who was accused of downplaying recent far-right violence against migrants.

Seehofer, who has faced widespread speculation lately that a poor Bavarian result would cost him his job, said he was “saddened” by Sunday’s outcome, but didn’t address his own future.

It remains to be seen whether and how the Bavarian result will affect the national government’s stability or Merkel’s long-term future.

Any aftershocks may be delayed, because another state election is coming Oct. 28 in neighboring Hesse, where conservative Volker Bouffier is defending the 19-year hold of Merkel’s CDU on the governor’s office. Bouffier has criticized the CSU for diminishing people’s trust in Germany’s conservatives.

“Clearly the choices of subjects and the debates of recent weeks led to our friends in the CSU being unable to put their successful regional record at the center of their election campaign,” said the CDU’s general secretary, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.

 

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UK’s Ex-Brexit Chief Urges Cabinet to Rebel against PM May

Britain’s former Brexit secretary is urging members of Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet to rebel against her proposed deal with the European Union over the terms of Britain’s departure from the bloc.

David Davis wrote in the Sunday Times that May’s plans for some continued ties with the EU under her Chequers plan is “completely unacceptable” and must be stopped. The fellow Conservative Party member said the time has come for ministers to shoot down May’s plan.

“It is time for the cabinet to exert their collective authority,” he said. “This week the authority of our constitution is on the line.”

May is struggling to build a consensus behind her Brexit plans ahead of a cabinet meeting Tuesday that will be followed by an EU summit Wednesday in Brussels.

If Davis’ call for a rebellion is effective, the cabinet meeting Tuesday would be a likely place for opposition to surface.

Davis and former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson resigned from the cabinet this summer to protest May’s Brexit blueprint. Both have become vocal opponents of her plan, calling it a betrayal of the Brexit vote that would leave Britain in a weakened position.

May also faces obstacles from the Democratic Unionist Party in Northern Ireland, which has played a crucial role in propping up her minority government in Parliament.

DUP leader Arlene Foster remains opposed to any Brexit plan that would require checks on goods traveling between Northern Ireland and Britain, as some EU leaders have suggested as part of a “backstop” plan.

The Chequers plan has also been questioned by some opposition Labour Party lawmakers, further complicating the prime minister’s hopes of winning parliamentary backing for any Brexit deal she reaches with EU officials.

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