Murder most foul

Doubts grow over ‘suicide’ of Bavaria’s fairytale king

Speculation about the death of Bavaria’s King Ludwig II in 1886 has swirled for decades, like the Alpine mist that wafts across the turrets of his world-famous Neuschwanstein palace. New research suggests the official verdict of suicide was fake news.

News Bites

US President Donald Trump called Russia, China and the European Union foes. “Now you wouldn’t think of the European Union, but they’re a foe,” he told CBS News.

Angelique Kerber is the first German female player to win a Wimbledon title in 22 years.

A Ryanair flight made an emergency landing in Frankfurt after a sudden drop in cabin pressure. Many passengers, who reported nausea, pain and bleeding ears, are outraged by how the company handled the incident.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas warned US President Donald Trump against making unilateral deals that could hurt the US’ Western allies, ahead of Mr. Trump’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin Monday. (Reuters)

Germany will take in 50 of 450 migrants rescued off the coast of Italy, after Rome called for other EU members to take in their fair share of asylum seekers. Malta and France will also take in 50.

US President Donald Trump again attacked Germany over its participation in the Russia-Germany Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. He said it was a “terrible thing” as the pipeline weakened Germany and strengthened Russia.

New temporary ThyssenKrupp boss Guido Kerkhoff said he will continue the restructuring process started by his predecessor Heinrich Hiesinger, including pushing ahead with the controversial merger of the group’s steel division with Tata Steel. Owner the Krupp Foundation said it also backed both.

Wanna get rich quick? Move to Germany. The private wealth of Germans has reached a record level, with household assets reaching a total value of €5.875 trillion in the last quarter, the Bundesbank said.

Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said Germany had not agreed to fast-track defense spending at this week’s NATO summit. Critics had accused the government of bowing to US pressure to reach NATO’s spending target of 2% of GDP more quickly.

Ryanair accused archrival Lufthansa of trying to destabilize its new acquisition, Austrian airline Laudamotion. The Irish airline said Germany’s flagcarrier was trying to reclaim nine aircraft it had leased to Laudamotion, in breach of an EU ruling.

Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed Britain’s Brexit white paper. “We are pleased that Great Britain is now putting its own detailed position on the table,” said her spokesman.

Leading members of the Social Democrats, Angela Merkel’s junior coalition partners, criticized the chancellor’s reported plans to increase defense spending. Germany had caved in to US pressure, said deputy chairman Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel. (Rheinische Post)

Germany and France will never be divided by Donald Trump’s punitive trade tariffs against the EU, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said. Unity is the best response to the dispute, he added.

The number of Germans who want to work or work more fell by 373,000 to just under 5.1 million in 2017. The drop in so-called unused labor is the biggest in several years.

Germany’s economy grew faster in the second quarter than at the start of the year, when output expanded by 0.3%, Germany’s economics ministry said. But it warned of a “sword of Damocles” hanging over it in international trade.

Labor Minister Hubertus Heil launched a new pension package. The billion-euro deal will give more financial support to mothers, early retirees and low-income earners.

Almost 60% of Germans think interior minister Horst Seehofer should leave his post, according to a poll by broadcaster ZDF. The Bavarian leader recently caused a government crisis over his hardline views on stopping migrants entering Germany.

A former bodyguard to Osama bin Laden has been deported from Germany to his native Tunisia, reports said. Sami A. was put on a plane Friday despite a court ruling that his safety couldn’t be guaranteed.

ThyssenKrupp CFO Guido Kerkhoff will temporarily take over as CEO until the non-executive board finds a permanent successor to Heinrich Hiesinger, who resigned last week.

Engineering giant Siemens will present its post-2020 strategy on August 2. According to insiders, it will shrink the number of industrial divisions from five to three. (Reuters)

The mayor of the Majorcan capital Palma wants to slash the number of beds in the city from 80,000 to 63,000 to prevent it from being overrun by tourists. Half of Majorca’s 10 million annual visitors are German. (WiWo)

Deutsche Bahn, Germany’s state rail company, warned that it could miss this year’s profit target of €2.2 billion because of poor punctuality on its passenger trains.

Unions urged the 34,000 workers at leading supermarket chain Real to strike today in a dispute over pay.

Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s former vice-chancellor, accused Donald Trump of wanting “regime change” in Berlin after the US president criticized its defense spending and immigration policy.

The city of Berlin has invited Harley-Davidson to open a factory in the capital. The US motorcycle firm recently announced it wants to produce abroad for the first time to escape the growing trade war between the US and Europe. (Tagesspiegel)

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker was filmed repeatedly stumbling at a NATO event last night and had to be brought into dinner in a wheelchair. He has previously said he suffers from sciatica.

Ötzi the Iceman, whose mummified 5,300-year-old body was found in the Austrian Alps in 1991, ate a final meal of goat fat, venison and wheat that was 50% fat, scientists discovered.

The EU Commission said it has no antitrust reservations regarding Ryanair’s planned takeover of Austrian airline Laudamotion, removing the last hurdle for the acquisition. (DPA)

Allianz will present new strategic targets in November. CEO Oliver Bäte told Handelsblatt the insurer wants to increase customer satisfaction and simplify its products.

After German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz met his counterpart in Paris, the two countries still had no joint position on how to deal with Donald Trump’s threats to slap tariffs on European cars.

Digital Estate

German court rules Facebook content is inheritable, just like a diary

A landmark ruling from Germany’s high court has set aside privacy concerns and put digital assets on the same footing as physical assets after death.

News gallery

In case you missed it

Today's spotlight falls on a mummy's diet, Trump's Brexit snub, ThyssenKrupp's stand-in and terminal delays.

Murder most foul

Doubts grow over ‘suicide’ of Bavaria’s fairytale king

Speculation about the death of Bavaria’s King Ludwig II in 1886 has swirled for decades, like the Alpine mist that wafts across the turrets of his world-famous Neuschwanstein palace. New research suggests the official verdict of suicide was fake news.

european parliament

EU financial watchdog ESMA will get less bite than planned

European lawmakers aim to scale back Brussels' plans to give the stock market regulator new powers. National supervisors are resisting reforms that would weaken them.

Editors’ Pick

Leaving the EU

Brexit White Paper gives Germany what it wants

Theresa May's long-awaited White Paper aims to keep manufacturing in Britain, and is willing to surrender London’s financial access to the EU in return. That suits Germany just fine.

Dive In

Summit shock

In, out and down in NATO

Donald Trump knows the price of everything and the value of nothing, not even of the Western alliance, says Andreas Kluth. The onus is on Germany to respond.

Farcical contradictions

Trump ditches diplomacy, makes NATO summit all about deals

The Brussels conference was shaped by the president’s wavering commitment to the alliance and hounding of members to spend more.

Mifid II fallout

EU securities regulator probes pricing of stock data

Should stock exchanges profit from securities data? The European securities watchdog, ESMA, is examining the matter after exchange operators raised fees charged to banks, brokers and high-frequency traders.

Germany agrees

Commission’s debt oversight too lax, EU auditors find

The European Commission has been too lax in monitoring euro-zone debt, the European Court of Auditors warns. The accusation jibes with criticism from the ECB, Germany and other EU countries.

Golden goals

Nike trounces Adidas to clinch World Cup title

Nike 1 – Adidas 0. Despite spending millions of dollars to be an official partner, Adidas has lost out to US arch-rival Nike in the battle of the sportswear sponsors at the soccer tournament.

Terrible tariffs

Clothing discounter KiK stops US launch, blaming Trump

The German retailer had planned to open stores in America but has decided it’s too risky because of Donald Trump’s escalating trade war. Instead, expansion in Europe will get priority.

placing bets

Hedge funds target Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank with short sales

Big investors are betting on further declines in the share price of Germany's top banks. The short selling, a disputed trading technique, only adds to downward pressure on the stocks.

Ask a German

Handelsblatt explains

Much about Germany is confusing or surprising to foreigners - and even to Germans. Our editors provide clarity.

corporate spying

German firms see their data at risk in China

This week, Berlin and Beijing pledged deeper technological cooperation, but now German businesses worry new Chinese cyber-laws could open the floodgates to industrial espionage.

Dangerously inefficient

Terrorists slipping through net thanks to anti-money laundering unit delays

The Financial Intelligence Unit is overworked and understaffed, say police and prosecutors. Staff only pass on tips six months after crimes are committed, creating a "security catastrophe."

adapt or die

Study: Big pharma must move from ‘blockbuster drugs’ to big data

The value of the pharmaceutical industry in Germany is doubling. But drug companies need to move into the digital era in a hurry, if they want to keep profit margins high, a new study warns.

Dirty money

German ex-Goldman partner reportedly in plea deal over Malaysian scandal

Tim Leissner is in talks to cooperate with US authorities in the probe of a multibillion-dollar fraud at a state fund. A Swiss connection has also emerged.

NSU murders

Beate Zschäpe, a neo-Nazi terrorist, gets life sentence in historic trial

As the court finds NSU member Beate Zschäpe guilty of murdering 10 people, many questions remain about institutional racism, after botched investigations and delays.

Neighborhood watch

Land rush turbo boosts Rhineland real estate

Historic rivals, Düsseldorf and Cologne can agree on at least one issue: Their housing markets are bursting at the seams, leaving developers scrambling to find new land to build on.

authoritarian economies

When it comes to industrial policy, Germany should be more like China

The Chinese government chooses which business sectors matter the most then supports them financially and politically. Berlin should try the same approach.

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