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Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, the President of Turkmenistan, is visiting Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.
Mr. Berdimuhamedov held talks with Ms. Merkel over lunch and both will take part in a press conference early afternoon.
Human Rights Watch has called the visit a rare opportunity to raise awareness of human rights concerns in the country and appealed to Ms. Merkel to call on Turkmenistan to address a range of issues. One main concern are disappearances of people who are imprisoned in Turkmenistan; further issues include press freedom.
This is a rare opportunity to support the people of Turkmenistan who themselves are unable to criticize the government, said Hugh Williamson, who covers Europe and central Asia for Human Rights Watch. “Chancellor Merkel should not miss this opportunity to speak directly and forcefully about the need to end repression in Turkmenistan.”
Mr. Berdimuhamedov, a dentist by training, first started his political career when he was appointed the doctor to the former president, Saparmurat Niyazov. Mr. Berdimuhamedov later became health minister and then, on the death of Mr. Niyazov, became first interim and then president of the country.
In elections in 2012, Mr. Berdimuhamedov won 97 percent of the votes, though observers from OSCE called the vote neither free nor fair.
At 79 years old, Heidi Hetzer is cruising through her bucket list in style. In the last two years, the former car dealer and rally car driver has clocked over 70,000 kilometers in a classic auto.
Hudo, as the globetrotter Ms. Hetzer affectionately calls “him,” is a blue Hudson automobile seven years her senior. Together they’ve traversed five continents including countries from China to the U.S. and Argentina – but not without moments of adversity. From breakdowns to being robbed, it’s surely been a long road. In Canada, the elderly adventurer even lost a finger in an accident inspecting Hudo’s engine.
Last year, Ms. Hetzer was forced to cut her South America trip short after being diagnosed with cancer. She sought treatment in Germany, and is now on the final leg of her world tour – driving through Southern Africa and eventually back home to Berlin.
Arguably, she’s saved the hardest route for last. But if Ms. Hetzer’s regular updates on her blog and Instagram prove anything, it’s that she’s still having fun.
Jens Spahn, a politician in the governing Christian Democratic Union, has been rumored as a possible candidate for chancellor in the British press.
The Observer, the Guardian's Sunday edition, called Mr. Spahn, the member of parliament for Steinfurt and Borken and is deputy finance minister, a "conservative rebel touted as a future German leader" and described him as "young, combative and ‘burkaphobic’."
While Ms. Merkel had enjoyed strong support from her party, the refugee crisis has led to questioning of her open-door policy within the CDU and across the political spectrum.
Ms. Merkel said at the weekend that she would not yet confirm that she would run for a fourth term at next year's election.
Mr. Spahn first gained notice as health policy spokesman for the CDU when he called on the country to reform the pension system and data protection regulations. In 2013, he took up a junior role in the finance ministry under Wolfgang Schäuble and has taken a strong stance on issues the party is grappling with, from dual citizenship to the retirement age.
Criticism of Ms, Merkel is rarely open in the CDU, and in the context of the refugee crisis, Mr. Spahn has trod carefully, supporting the decision to open Germany's doors to 1 million refugees last year who fled war and poverty in the Middle East and North Africa but underlining this as an exception.
Now, as the country struggles to integrate the refugees, Mr. Spahn told the Observer: “The German people want to help refugees, but they want to help in an orderly way.”
There is much discussion of integration and controversy over recent calls for a ban on the burqa. Mr. Spahn defended calls for a partial ban of the full-face veil, saying to the Observer: “Germany may not be the right country for those who want to keep their wife in a burka or niqab, especially now that we have become such a sought-after destination for so many. We need to send some strong signals about what is acceptable and what isn’t.”
British global snooker champion Mark Selby has won the Paul Hunter Classic, a tournament based in Germany.
It is the third time Mr. Selby has won the championship which takes place in Furth, outside Nuremberg and is his eighth world title.
This win is Mr. Selby's first title in the season since he beat fellow-Englishman Tom Ford to claim his victory. Afterwards, Mr. Selby said it was "a great tournament here in Germany, with fantastic crowds." The Paul Hunter Classic comes with prize money of €25,000.
Mr. Selby, whose nickname is "The Jester from Leicester," referring to the town where he was born, also plays pool. He is the WEPF eight-ball world champion and was a finalist in the 2015 Chinese Pool World Championship.
The weekend saw another first: the Paul Hunter Ladies Classic tournament, won by Ng On Yee of Hong Kong.