Germany

A year ago, as Germany opened its borders to a surge of migrants and refugees, Chancellor Angela Merkel said,"Wir schaffen das" -- "We can do it." More than a million asylum seekers arrived in Germany last year, and they're eligible to start working after three months.

Like hundreds of thousands of Syrians fleeing the long war back home, 25-year-old Firas Awad endured a dangerous sea journey and a long trek through much of Europe to reach Germany, where he's staked his future.

He and his 18-year-old wife, Tamam Aldrawsha, who are both from the city of Homs, now live in what used to be a country inn and restaurant, in a tiny, forested village north of Berlin called Klosterheide, population 280.

Germany's interior minister has put forth new proposals intended to tighten security following a series of attacks last month, including two committed by asylum-seekers.

Under the proposals announced by Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, dual citizens who fight for militant groups abroad could lose their German citizenship and foreigners who commit crimes or are considered dangerous could be fast-tracked for deportation.

A Syrian man whose asylum request had been denied by German officials used an explosives-laden backpack to kill himself and wound 12 other people near a concert in southern Germany. Police are still trying to unravel the motives for the 27-year-old's action.

From Berlin, NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports:

The windfall must have seemed heaven-sent. How else to explain a young man who had fled Syria's violence and reached Germany — where he realized the donated wardrobe he'd been given contained 50,000 euros (around $55,000) in cash?

But instead of keeping it, the man contacted the immigration office to ask about turning the money in. And so, eight months after he entered Germany as a refugee from Homs, Syria, the man is being praised as a hero by local police for his honesty.

Maher Murad recently had a bad sore throat and decided to go see a doctor. But the 19-year-old Iraqi asylum seeker doesn't speak German. And the German physician he went to see at the shelter where he lives, just outside Hamburg, didn't speak Arabic.

This kind of language barrier is common, as officials struggle to provide services like medical care to Murad and others. More than a million asylum seekers have poured into Germany over the past 18 months. The newcomers are from around the world and few speak English, let alone German.

In Germany, obscene mockery of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan could potentially land you in court — as comedian Jan Boehmermann discovered last week.

In the U.K., obscene mockery of Erdogan could land you £1000.

British journalist Douglas Murray was horrified by the recent news that German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be allowing a criminal investigation of comedian Jan Boehmermann, who read an obscene, satirical poem mocking Erdogan on German TV.

German comedian Jan Boehmermann could face jail time for reading a satirical, obscene poem on German TV that criticized Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters on Friday that Germany's government will allow a criminal investigation against Boehmermann to move forward, stoking criticism that her decision undermines free speech.

Two passenger trains crashed in southern Germany on Tuesday, killing at least 10 people and wounding 80 — 17 of them critically. According to Bavarian police, one person is still missing. The accident in Bavaria happened shortly before 7:00 a.m. local time.

Riex / Flickr via Compfight

A delegation from Germany recently paid Washington’s clean tech lobby a visit. At a meeting in Seattle, the delegation, whose country's emphasis on renewable energy has made it a global leader in the sector, presented some of the lessons local companies are learning from the German example.

One of the most talked-about Oscar nominations this year is the 3-D dance documentary, Pina by Wim Wenders.

The German “new-wave” director is also well-known for the feature film Wings of Desire and for the jazz documentary Buena Vista Social Club.

His new movie is a portrait of the late German choreographer, Pina Bausch.

KPLU’s Bellamy Pailthorp asked him to tell the story of how he first discovered her work, reluctantly, almost three decades ago.

His girlfriend insisted he go with her to see a performance.

Wenders says, he expected to be bored…