Berlin, Aug 28 (AP/UNB) — German police and security officials faced criticism Tuesday following violence during a far-right protest in the eastern city of Chemnitz that left at least six people injured.
The protest late Monday, sparked by the killing of a 35-year-old German man in an altercation with migrants over the weekend, erupted into clashes between neo-Nazis and left-wing counter-protesters.
The German news agency dpa reported that Chemnitz police acknowledged having mobilized too few officers for the demonstration. Footage showed officers struggling to prevent far-right protesters breaking through police lines. The protesters also performed Nazi salutes and chanted "the national resistance is marching here!"
The eastern state of Saxony, where Chemnitz is located, has long been a hotbed of anti-migrant sentiment. The far-right Alternative for Germany party received almost a quarter of the vote in Chemnitz last year.
The opposition Green party accused Germany's interior minister, Horst Seehofer, of fanning anti-migrant sentiment in recent months and urged him to think about resigning in the wake of the violence.
Green lawmaker Konstantin von Notz told the news portal t-online.de that the violence in Chemnitz recalled events in other parts of eastern Germany during the early 1990s, when authorities failed to stop far-right mobs from attacking migrants.
Chemnitz police said they have arrested a 22-year-old Syrian and a 21-year-old Iraqi on suspicion of manslaughter in the death of the German man after a street festival early Sunday.
Prosecutor Christine Muecke said the killing was preceded by a verbal confrontation that escalated.
Sarajevo, Aug 28 (AP/UNB) — Bosnia's journalists held protests for a second day on Tuesday to express solidarity with a reporter from an independent Bosnian Serb television station who was badly beaten by unknown assailants.
BNTV reporter Vladimir Kovacevic was hospitalized following the beating late Sunday outside his home in Banja Luka, the main town in the Serb-run part of Bosnia.
Hundreds of journalists gathered Tuesday in the Bosnian municipalities of Sarajevo, Zenica and Mostar, demanding an end to attacks on journalists in the war-ravaged country.
Some journalists in Sarajevo held notes reading "Journalism is no crime." Participants said that media freedom has been in jeopardy in Bosnia ever since the 1992-95 war.
Faruk Kajtaz, who heads the journalists' club of Bosnia, said "this is a problem that is definitely escalating."
"I fear what is going to happen next, especially because we have the election campaign coming," he added, referring to the Oct. 7 general vote.
Also Tuesday, some television stations aired a black-and-red message reading "Stop violence against journalists in Bosnia!"
Prosecutors have said they are treating Kovacevic's beating as attempted murder, while Bosnian Serb police said Tuesday they have questioned more than 20 people and found evidence.
BNTV has faced criticism from Bosnian Serb authorities for its independent editorial policies. A regional Balkan journalism network said Tuesday that Bosnia's politicians have created an "atmosphere of fear and violence."
"If this case remains unresolved, we will consider that the authorities are behind the attack on Kovacevic," the statement added.
Journalists protested in Banja Luka on Monday.
Bucharest, Aug 28 (AP/UNB) — The U.S. Embassy in Bucharest has urged Romania to push on with efforts to fight corruption and safeguard the rule of law.
The statement came after President Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani wrote a letter to Romanian leaders criticizing aspects of the country's anti-corruption fight.
In the statement sent to The Associated Press, the embassy said Tuesday that Romania had "until recently" demonstrated "considerable progress" in combatting corruption and called for those efforts to continue.
The embassy also expressed concern about recent changes to the criminal code which were "likely to impede international law enforcement cooperation and negatively impact the fight against a range of crimes."
Among the contentious proposals is a bill redefining official misconduct, which critics say will make it easier for officials to abuse their positions.
Moscow, Aug 28 (AP/UNB) — The Kremlin's spokesman says China's participation in major military exercises in Russia next month demonstrates growing connections between Moscow and Beijing.
The war games in central and eastern Russia, which are billed as the largest since the fall of the Soviet Union, will involve about 300,000 Russian troops. China's state Xinhua news agency has reported China plans to send 3,200 troops and about 900 weapons units.
President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said Tuesday that "it indicates the broadening of interaction between these two allies in all spheres."
Last week, military units in the east were put on a state of high alert in preparation for the games. The Defense Ministry on Monday released video of cruise missile tests by the Pacific Fleet in the Sea of Okhotsk.
Berlin, Aug 26 (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel's government is arguing about pensions, with Merkel's center-left coalition partners pressing for a guarantee that they will remain stable until 2040.
The coalition of Merkel's conservative Union bloc and the center-left Social Democrats agreed when it took office earlier this year to ensure pensions remain at the current level of 48 percent of average wages through 2025.
The Social Democrats are struggling in polls and looking to woo left-leaning voters. Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, a Social Democrat, has called for stable pensions to be guaranteed through 2040, a potentially expensive pledge in an aging society.
Conservatives note the coalition already set up an expert commission to look at future pensions. Merkel told ARD television Sunday her message to the Social Democrats is: "Please don't create uncertainty."