• BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Own report) - The US-led RIMPAC 2018, the world's largest naval maneuver, began yesterday with German soldiers participating. According to the US Navy, the naval exercise will also include operations in the Western Pacific. The region of the Southwest Pacific islands will thus come into focus, which - even though largely ignored by the European public - has been gaining significant global influence. On the one hand, the influence of Western countries has shrunk recently, while that of their strategic rivals, such as Russia and China, has significantly grown. Some Pacific island nations have since then been seeking to pursue a foreign policy independent from the West. On the other hand, the Southwest Pacific has become even more important also for Australia and the Unites States: as the political economic backyard for Australia and "gateway to the Indo-Pacific" for the U.S.A. Germany is also attempting to increase its activities in the region. Read more

  • PARIS/BERLIN (Own report) - Germany is participating in a new European military formation that was launched yesterday. Originally a French proposal, the European Intervention Initiative (EII) will be open to EU and Non-EU member countries to join. Expanding the existing EU military cooperation ("PESCO") with a new operational component, the EII should facilitate rapid decisions on joint military interventions. A first meeting of military commanders from the hitherto nine participant states is set for September. The EII includes Great Britain, which plans to continue its military cooperation with the continent, even after Brexit, as well as Denmark. Since the coordination of military interventions is now officially set outside of the EU framework, Denmark can sidestep the opt-out from EU military policy, it had once granted its population. Referred to by experts as a European "coalition of the willing," it goes hand in hand with the EU Commission's militarization plans worth billions and the high-cost German-French arms projects. Read more

  • VIENNA/BERLIN (Own report) - The United Nations is protesting against the surveillance of its Vienna-based institutions conducted for years by the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND). The Vienna International Center ("UNO City") "expects" that member states "respect the organization's independence as well as the inviolability of its premises." According to recent reports, from 1999 to 2006, the BND had monitored at least 2000 communication lines in Austria including those of the Vienna Chancellery and 128 telecommunication lines of the United Nations. The BND's espionage in Austria has been known since 2015, but never clarified, because the competent German authorities, including the German Chancellery, refused to render Vienna the necessary assistance. The BND is accused of repeatedly refusing to tell the intelligence service monitors their reasons for spying, for example, on a "public body" of an EU member state. At the time of the large-scale spying in Austria, the current German President bore the highest responsibility for BND activities. Read more

  • ROM/BERLIN (Own report) - Once again, an Italian court has overruled the German government's refusal to compensate Nazi victims. The Civil Court of Rome has ruled in favor of a lawsuit filed by the son of Paolo Frascà, an Italian who had been arrested and tortured in early 1944 by the Nazi occupiers and was murdered on March 24, 1944 in the Ardeatine Caves alongside 334 other civilians. The Italian judiciary has thus, once again, rejected the German demand that private individuals not be allowed to file lawsuits against Germany in foreign courts because it would violate "state immunity." While Berlin is trying hard to prevent such lawsuits in the future, on Thursday, a court in Cologne is expected to pronounce its ruling in a lawsuit filed by a victim of the Nazi's forced Germanization. The plaintiff was kidnapped by the Nazi occupation forces - probably like hundreds of thousands of other children - from his family and was brought to the Nazi Reich for "Germanization." Commemoration initiatives are calling for a memorial ceremony. Read more

  • COLOGNE - Commemoration initiatives are calling for a memorial ceremony this Thursday, on the occasion of the anticipated verdict announcement in the damages lawsuit brought by one of the Nazi's forced Germanization victims. Nazi occupation forces kidnapped probably hundreds of thousands of children from the countries under occupation, because these children bore the physical characteristics corresponding to the Nazis' "Germanic" (blond, blue-eyed") racial concept. In the Nazi Reich, they had been placed in "assimilation camps" and assigned to foster families, robbed of their identites and "Germanized" - to reinforce the "Germanic" proportion of the population in a German-dominated Europe. Many of these victims still suffer under the psychological consequences of their abductions. The German government persists in refusing to pay compensations. The current President of Germany's Bundestag Wolfgang Schäuble once claimed that there is no "criteria of an offense under the reparations statutes" in the case of the children kidnapped by the Nazis. german-foreign-policy.com documents the "Association Stolen Children - Forgotten Victims" press statement concerning the memorial ceremony. Read more

  • BERLIN/ PYONGYANG (Own report) - Following yesterday's summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korea's Head of State Kim Jong Un, German politicians are calling on Berlin and the EU to participate in a "process of multilateral dialogue" in Northeast Asia. Berlin should launch a "German-French initiative" to intervene in the upcoming negotiations with Pyongyang, declared Hartmut Koschyk (CSU), who, has been engaged in talks in South and North Korea, for a long time. South Korea's President Moon Jae-in would be quite receptive to intensifying German-European activities on the Korean Peninsula. German business representatives are hoping for profitable deals, particularly because of the recent developments in North Korea. Having acquired the capacity of nuclear deterrence, the North Korean leadership is planning to focus the country's resources on its economic development. Since 2013, Pyongyang has established 22 special economic zones. The German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) is demanding that Berlin promote business with North Korea through the German Development Bank (KfW) and with Hermes export credit guarantees. Read more

  • In Open Dissent

    BERLIN (Own report) - The G7 summit in La Malbaie, Canada, ended in open dissent on Saturday without a joint final declaration. After the G7 state and government leaders had already agreed on a joint statement, US President Donald Trump withdrew his endorsement. The document is still supported by the other six G7 states and is occasionally referred to as the "G6" declaration, to point out the deep rift in the traditional West. Whereas German business circles still call for making concessions in the trade conflict with Washington, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is considering new cooperation frameworks with states "beyond classical alliances, such as NATO." This however would be in contrast to the agreement reached at the G7 summit on a mechanism aimed at a common response to cyber attacks and attacks such as the nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury. According to scholars of the German Bundestag, Moscow's alleged responsibility has still not been proven. Read more

  • WASHINGTON/BERLIN (Own report) - German soldiers will soon participate in maneuvers in the Pacific and will be on hand as observers on patrols in the South China Sea, according to announcements by the US Navy and the French Minister of Defense, Florence Parly. At a top-level conference in Singapore last weekend, Parly declared that Paris will dispatch warships to the South China Sea in the next few days and will also navigate through the territorial waters of Islands China claims as its territory. According to Parly, German military observers will embark on these ships. At the same time, German soldiers are preparing their participation in the US led RIMPAC 2018 maneuver, taking place mainly near Hawaii. RIMPAC is the world's largest international maritime exercise. During RIMPAC 2016 German soldiers trained in "liberating" an island, which, according to the scenario, was held by the "Draco" militia. "Draco" is the Latin term for "dragon" - a symbol for China. Read more

  • "Interfere!"

    ROME/BERLIN (Own report) - Following massive pressure from Berlin, Italy's new government has renounced on appointing a well-known euroskeptic to become economy and finance minister. The renowned economist Paolo Savona must accept a less prominent post as Minister for European Affairs - above all because he criticizes Germany's blatant policy of domination at the expense of the other euro zone countries. The far right Lega Nord is now almost as strongly represented in Rome's government as the 5-Star Movement: Due to Germany's open interference, Lega's poll ratings have soared, thereby significantly increasing its political clout. In the run-up, German politicians and media had reactivated a tactic they had been using since the beginning of the euro crisis: With warnings of harsh financial market reactions, they fuel the fear of a crisis, thus applying even more pressure on Rome. According to German media with wide circulation, Italy's policy "concerns all of us" - "Interfere!" Read more