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Germany in Brief

February 3, 2003

Claudia Schiffer names her baby, the German government considers supplying Turkey with air-defense missiles, and more.


Germany Still Weighing Aid To Turkey

The German government, which strictly opposes a war against Iraq, is continuing to study whether it should supply Patriot air-defense missiles to its NATO ally Turkey if hostilities begin, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Monday. The spokesman, Walter Lindner, made the statement in response to an article in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. The newspaper reported Monday that the German government was refusing to supply the missiles because of its anti-war position. During the 1991 Persian Gulf War, Germany supplied the missiles to Turkey.

Scientology Granted Tax-Free Status

The Scientology Church, the target of government monitoring in Germany, has been granted tax-free status within the country, the church announced on Monday. Officials made the decision based on a tax treaty between Germany and the United States, where the church has tax-exempt status. The ruling covers license fees the church receives for information and training films. Until now, the church has paid a 25 percent tax on the income. That money will now be refunded. Critics consider Scientology to be a money-hungry, unscrupulous operation. Its activities are monitored in 15 of Germany's 16 states by the country's domestic intelligence service.

American Soldier Shot

A U.S. soldier was shot in the hand and leg early Monday (Feb. 3) in a parking lot. The soldier did not suffer life-threatening injuries in the attack in Poppenhausen, a town in Bavaria. Police said they did not know whether the attack was politically motivated and urged residents to help them with the investigation. In Berlin, officials reopened the consulate section of the U.S. Embassy and Amerika-Haus, a culture facility. They were closed late last week because of fears of terrorism.

Schiffer Names Her Son

Das Babe kriegt ein Baby - Claudia Schiffer Schwangerschaft
German model Claudia Schiffer has named her son Casper Matthew.Image: AP

German supermodel Claudia Schiffer and her husband, producer Matthew Vaughn, have settled on a name for their newborn son. It is Casper Matthew. The child was born by Caesarean section last Thursday (Jan. 30) in London.

Discussion on Iraq Turns Violent

A German vacationer has been arrested in the Philippines for stabbing an American after a bar room discussion about a possible war against Iraq turned into a fight. The American was taken to a hospital, but his injuries were not considered to be life threatening.

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