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Germany

Germany in Brief

Germany's highest court deliberates over teachers wearing headscarves; 17 people are quarantined after having contact with a patient suspected of carrying SARS; Germany's environmentally-friendly insignia turns 25

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Taking her case to the highest instance in Germany: Ferestha Ludin

Headscarf decision expected in July

Moslem teacher Fereshta Ludin pleaded her case to Germany's highest court on Tuesday, asking to be allowed to wear a headscarf while teaching in a state-run school. She told the Constitutional Court she saw no discrepancy between her religious beliefs and her ability to vouch for democratic values. The German state of Baden-Württemberg had refused to employ Ludin for a probationary period because she declined to teach without a headscarf. Baden-Württemberg officials said the headscarf violated the state's strict neutrality in religious questions. Ludin based her arguments on Germany's Basic Law, which guarantees the right to practice one's religion undisturbed and ensures unlimited access to public offices regardless of one's religious beliefs. A verdict is expected in mid-July.

Suspected SARS case sends people into quarantine

A 60-year old man from Krefeld in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia is thought to have contracted the SARS virus. He is now being cared for at the Hamburg Institute for Tropical Medicine. The man had been working in Taiwan until mid-May and presumably caught the illness there. On Monday, 17 people who had contact with the man in a Düsseldorf doctor's office were put under quarantine. This is the 10th suspected case of SARS in Germany. The previous nine patients have all recovered and have been sent home.

Islamic fundamentalist bides his time in Germany

Islamic fundamentalist leader Metin Kaplan is likely to remain in Germany for a long time to come, despite a ruling by the city of Cologne that he should be deported immediately. It could take months or even years until a court in the city decides whether the Turkish citizen could be extradited, a spokeswoman for the court said. The so-called "Caliph of Cologne" is wanted in Turkey for planning an attack on government officials, but Germany will only send him back if the court can confirm he will not be tortured there. Kaplan completed serving a four-year jail sentence for inciting the murder of a rival in March.

The "Blue Angel" still has a ways to go

Twenty-five years since its introduction, the German environmental label "Blue Angel" still hasn't been adopted by important product manufacturers, including mobile phone and tire companies, the president of the German Federal Environmental Agency (FEA), Andreas Troge said on Tuesday. Still, Troge and Environment Minister Jürgen Trittin lauded the "Blue Angel" on the anniversary of its introduction, saying it was the most successful environmental label in the world. The designation can be found on 3,700 environmentally-friendly products and services, including paint, wallpaper, copy machines, refrigerators, computers and car-sharing schemes, according to the FEA. "Blue Angel" jury member Gerd Billen said the label should be extended to other European Union states.

Compiled from wire services by DW-World staff.