Morning Briefing Global Edition

Germany at War

If you didn’t notice that Germany was also at war with the Islamic State after the attacks in France, Britain and the United States, then you know now. At her summer press conference, Chancellor Angela Merkel voiced for the first time what many Germans already knew, especially after last week’s terror attacks in Bavaria. Her nine-point security plan is supposed to detect radicalization in vitro and speed deportations. But what would really help is if Germany’s federal and state governments, and police, created a common IS special ops team instead of working against each other.

 

Supermarket giant Aldi is the epitome of German thrift and secrecy. The two family businesses, Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd, are about as open as the Bundesbank’s vault, guarding even mundane aspects of their empires from public scrutiny – until now. Handelsblatt has seen Aldi Nord’s numbers for the first time: Sales are expected to climb to €12.7 billion this year from €12.3 billion in 2015. Store upgrades will play a role, but Aldi must work to catch German rival Lidl, which first embraced branded food, customer comfort and refrigeration to beat Aldi at its own game.

 

Struggling German builder Bilfinger is hoping to reinvent itself again – in Iran of all places. New CEO Thomas Blade, who has been in charge only for a few weeks, got off to a bang by nailing a multi-million-euro contract to expand an oil refinery in Isfahan, Handelsblatt has learned. The deal signals Blade’s strategy of looking abroad – including perhaps to the United States – to right a company that lost a half billion euros last year. Blade is the third CEO at Bilfinger in little more than two years. Let’s hope he’s the last for a while.

 

Alphabet is a cute name, but not necessarily how you spell success. The new Google holding company last quarter had sales of only $185 million – and a loss of $859 million. But the holding is not where the action is at search central in Mountain View, California. Google’s core search advertising business grew 21 percent to $21.5 billion. In the United States, Google’s digital advertising juggernaut is dominant; in Europe, it’s fast approaching a monopoly. How does this post rank on Google?

 

Image of the Day

2016-07-29 pic
The faithful participating in the World Youth Days greet Pope Francis as he rides in his pope-mobile in Krakow, Poland. The Pope is on a five-day visit to the Eastern European country. Source: AP Photo
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