In Brief: Top German politicians criticize reported White House plan to withdraw at least 9,500 U.S. troops stationed in Germany

The White House hasn’t confirmed that it will follow through with the withdrawal first reported last week by the Wall Street Journal. Critics say the move would weaken NATO and benefit Russia.

Photo by Skitterphoto

 

By Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, Benjamin Restle and William Glucroft

Some German politicians are firing back at a reported White House plan to pull out close to 30% of U.S. troops stationed in Germany.

The Social Democrats’ co-chair, Norbert Walter-Borjans, told public broadcaster ARD on Sunday night that Donald Trump is a president bent on escalation at home and abroad and that his plan is more of a threat than something to get the sides to sit down and talk.

And the daily Rheinische Post quotes Chancellor Angela Merkel’s transatlantic coordinator, Peter Beyer, saying the pullout would be “completely unacceptable.”

The White House hasn’t confirmed that it will follow through with the withdrawal first reported last week by the Wall Street Journal that critics say would weaken NATO and benefit Russia.

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Household plastic waste is up some 10% in Germany because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Since coronavirus restrictions were imposed in March, private households have discarded more single-use plastic gloves, food containers and the like than usual.

That’s according to the Green Dot recycling agency, which also reported a drop in commercial and industrial garbage during the pandemic.

The group blamed the increase in household plastic waste on the rise in takeout and delivery service.

Environmental Action Germany, an NGO, is urging eateries to increase the number of reusable food and drink containers, in order not to turn the coronavirus crisis into a garbage crisis.

Even before the pandemic, Germany was one of the EU countries with the highest plastic waste per capita, according to the advocacy group, Friends of the Earth Germany.

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A new survey finds most Germans view coronavirus conspiracy theorists as a growing risk to democracy.

Nearly two-thirds of Germans believe that those who deny the dangers of COVID-19 pose a threat to the country’s democracy. That’s based on a survey done for the public broadcaster, ARD.

The so-called hygiene protests started off small at the beginning of the outbreak, but have been gaining traction across Germany even as public life has started returning to normal. They have been a platform for both far-right and far-left conspiracy theories against national and global institutions.

Meanwhile, 17% of those polled said they see the pandemic as a political pretext to curtail personal freedom.

This news is brought to you in cooperation with Berliner Rundfunk.

 

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