Graph of the day
Where the Far Right Rules
If Germany’s upcoming federal election were a popularity contest on social media, its outcome would look different to the polls' predictions. The far-right party Alternative for Germany, or AfD, has by far the most Facebook fans and the NPD, a neo-Nazi party, has the fourth-most followers on the social media site while Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union is in seventh place. On Twitter, however, the mainstream parties are faring better.
Person of the Day
Some Explaining to Do
A lawmaker from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union has landed in trouble over her ties with Azerbaijan, due to its human rights record. Karin Strenz, who is running for a third term in the Bundestag in Sunday's election, received €30,000 from a firm that lobbies Berlin on behalf of Azerbaijan. The payments raise questions about Ms. Strenz’s integrity in the German parliament and the Council of Europe.
Picture of the Day
Cliffhanger in Cologne
A spectacular protest action by a failed asylum seeker from Iran brought Cologne to a standstill on Wednesday. The unnamed man climbed to the top of Hohenzollern Bridge, a key rail line in Germany’s fourth-largest city. Police stopped traffic on the bridge and the Rhine river for several hours until an interpreter persuaded the 29-year-old to climb down.
Quote of the Day
Reaching out to All Putin Fans out There
Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has been criticized for being interviewed twice this month to the German service of Russia Today. But Mr. Gabriel rejected the suggestion that this endorsed Moscow’s propaganda channel. The vice chancellor likened his appearances on RT Deutsch to interviews with Qatar-based Al-Jazeera and pointed out that such interviews help him reach people of Russian descent living in Germany. “We as German democrats want to have our voice heard in authoritarian countries,” he said.
Number of the Day
Deniz Yücel, a journalist who worked as a Turkey correspondent for daily Die Welt, has become a face of the deteriorating relations between Berlin and Ankara. Amid Turkish President Erdogan’s crackdown on opponents, Mr. Yücel, a Turkish German dual national, was arrested on February 14 and has been on remand ever since. A dozen German nationals, including a human-rights activist, are currently jailed in Turkey.