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Germany, Switzerland reach tax agreement

BERLIN - (APINTL) Germany and Switzerland said Friday that they have reached a preliminary agreement to exchange information on suspected tax cheats a key step toward defusing a long-festering irritant in relations. The two sides initialed a new double-taxation agreement but agreed not to disclose...

Dutch sidestep EU red tape to rescue German ship

THE HAGUE, Netherlands - (AP) Gaining fast on the pirates who had seized a German freighter, Dutch naval captain Col. Hans Lodder had no time to waste on bureaucracy. Sidestepping the command of the European Union's anti-piracy task force, he went instead to his own government for authorization...

Germany probes alleged kickbacks in HP deal

BERLIN - (AP) Three people who once worked for Hewlett-Packard Co. were arrested in an investigation of alleged kickbacks totaling (EURO)8 million ($10.9 million) surrounding a deal to sell equipment to Russian authorities, German prosecutors said Thursday. The three were arrested in Germany and Switzerland...

Singer settles suit over alleged Nazi-performance

BERLIN - (APINTL) A 106-year-old entertainer has settled a lawsuit over a claim he sang for Nazi guards at a concentration camp during World War II, a German court said on Thursday. Johannes Heesters gave up asking for retraction from German author and documentary maker Volker Kuehn, who said in 2008...

Germany, Mexico trying to push climate talks ahead

BERLIN- (AP) Five months after the troubled United Nations conference in Copenhagen, Germany and Mexico are teaming up in an effort to break the deadlock in negotiations on a global climate deal. They will co-host a three-day meeting in Bonn starting Sunday of representatives from a selected 45 countries...

UN: No comprehensive climate deal this year

KOENIGSWINTER, Germany - (AP) The United Nations chief negotiator on climate change says there will not be a comprehensive deal to fight global warming this year. Yvo de Boer told reporters in Germany on Monday the next U.N. climate change conference in Cancun, Mexico, in December will provide a "first...

Germany, France demand binding aviation ash rules

BRUSSELS - (AP) Germany and France demanded binding rules Tuesday to determine when air space should be closed because of volcanic ash and when planes can be allowed to fly as European Union transport ministers held another emergency meeting on aviation. Last month's chaotic closures of much of...

Germany: Climate meeting "broke the ice"

KOENIGSWINTER, Germany - (AP) Some 40 nations at a high-level climate meeting have made headway toward a pact to curb global warming, but the most important issues remain unresolved, Germany's environment minister said Tuesday. Many delegates agreed that "this meeting has broken the ice and...

Germany, Mexico call climate meeting helpful

KOENIGSWINTER, Germany - (AP) Some 40 nations agreed Tuesday on taking individual steps to fight global warming, but made little progress during a three-day meeting near Bonn toward drafting a new international climate change treaty. Germany and Mexico, which co-hosted the meeting of environments...

Germany to Google: Respect data privacy

BERLIN - (AP) Germany's Foreign Minister has warned Google co-founder Larry Page to respect the nation's data protection laws in an escalating dispute over the U.S. Internet giant's "Street View" mapping program. Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle spoke with Page on Thursday...

German lawmakers approve euro rescue package

BERLIN - (AP) German lawmakers on Friday approved their country's share of the massive rescue deal to save the euro and contain the debt crisis, as EU finance ministers gathered in Brussels to create new budget rules to win back financial markets' confidence. The lower house of parliament...

German gov't nominates Wulff as next president

BERLIN - (AP) Germany's government on Thursday nominated the 50-year-old governor of Lower Saxony for the nation's presidency, days after the previous head of state's suprise resignation. Chancellor Angela Merkel tapped Christian Wulff as her party's candidate to replace President...

Critics slam new climate change proposal in Bonn

BONN, Germany - (AP) A new round of climate talks ended Friday with rich and poor countries both sharply criticizing a new text meant to pave the way toward a deal to halt global warming. Still, the United Nations said progress was made at the two-week meeting in Bonn. "This all in all is...

Germany setting up $500 million climate fund

BERLIN - (AP) Germany has set up a $500 million climate fund to micro-finance projects such as new supermarket freezers or biomass heating in developing countries to help cut greenhouse gases, Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen said Tuesday. Roettgen said the purpose of the fund, inspired by December's...

Protests at seizure of German-owned Zimbabwe farm

HARARE, Zimbabwe - (AP) Germany's government said Friday it will cut off aid to Zimbabwe unless illegal and violent occupiers are removed from a farm owned by a German national. In a Friday protest note to the Zimbabwe foreign ministry, Germany noted the occupation of the eastern Zimbabwe property...

Germany cuts health care spending, raises premiums

BERLIN - (AP) Faced with a ballooning deficit in Germany's health care system, Chancellor Angela Merkel's government decided Tuesday to raise premiums and cut into the profits of doctors, dentists, hospitals and pharmaceutical manufacturers. The decision comes after months of wrangling within...

Britain, France, Germany urge EU emissions cuts

BERLIN - (AP) Britain, France and Germany are urging European Union nations to agree to a 30 percent cut in carbon emissions by 2020 in an effort to combat climate change. Britain's climate secretary, along with the environment ministers of France and Germany wrote in a joint letter published...

Germany, China sign billions of dollars in deals

BEIJING -- (AP) Chinese and German companies signed deals worth billions of dollars to make trucks and power equipment Friday as the prime ministers declared their countries' economies had recovered from last year's global recession. German Chancellor Angela Merkel brought the heads of major...