Angela Merkel was born on July 17, 1954. She became German chancellor in 2005, fundamentally changing the country. Often praised for her calm demeanor, her time in power has nonetheless been turbulent.
For decades, Germany's Defense Ministry has been plagued by scandals, from far-right extremists in the ranks to broken military equipment. Can Merkel's heir apparent Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer improve its image?
Thilo Sarrazin, 74, has said he will appeal the decision, and denies claims that his books are racist. SPD leadership has welcomed the decision, as they have tried three times to oust Sarrazin.
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