Picture of the day
The other left, Mr. President
Many were bracing for a difficult NATO summit, and even the worst of expectations were met: US President Donald Trump threatened to pull out of the trans-Atlantic alliance if European leaders don't increase their defense spending. That followed his jibe about Germany being “captive” to Russia, which led to Chancellor Angela Merkel, who grew up in Soviet-occupied East Germany, pointing out that she knows a country controlled by Moscow when she sees one. Meanwhile, the internet had a field day with this summit photo. Source:
Graphic of of the day
Ami go home?
About 35,000 US soldiers are currently stationed in Germany, down from over 200,000 at the height of the Cold War. Mr. Trump was said to have been surprised by this number and is mulling a large-scale troop withdrawal from Germany. While this prospect horrifies Berlin, the German public seems unfazed by Mr. Trump's “threat,” a poll shows. Left-wing sympathizers and far-right voters are the keenest to say “tschüss” to American troops on German soil. Vladimir Putin will be laughing all the way from Moscow to Helsinki, where he meets with Mr. Trump next week.
Quote of the day
Camps are no joke
Chancellor Merkel's government is no longer teetering on the brink, but the asylum row started by her rogue interior minister, Horst Seehofer, remains high on the political agenda. Mr. Seehofer is facing calls to resign after joking on camera that 69 Afghan refugees were deported on his 69th birthday last week – one man killed himself shortly after landing. But the most withering criticism of his crackdown on immigration so far has come from Ms. Schmidt, a minister in former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's cabinet. “Carting off people to Libyan camps where they are exploited, raped and even killed is a betrayal of the values we stand for in Germany and Europe,” she wrote.
Scapegoat of the day
World champion turns punching bag
Three months ago, Mesut Özil, a member of the German soccer squad that won the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, was photographed grinning next to Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's strongman president. Unsurprisingly, many in Germany disapproved. Not a day has passed without somebody asking him to apologize or demanding "consequences" from Germany's soccer body, the DFB. Others questioned the second-generation immigrant's loyalty to Germany. Many, also within the DFB, claim Mr Özil's misguided photo was instrumental in the team's poor showing in this year's World Cup. Get real, folks. Source: