For decades Germany’s industrial Ruhr region was a Social Democratic stronghold. In some districts the SPD used to win 60 percent of the votes. That vote has been cut in half, and the far-right populist AfD party has made inroads.
Women make up about 31 percent of parliamentarians in the German Bundestag. A group of cross-party politicians are working to bring that up to parity with their male colleagues, and Franziska Giffey is backing them.
By 2020, political parties in the eastern state of Brandenburg will be required to offer equal numbers of male and female candidates for elections. The law is the first of its kind in Germany.
The man who became synonymous with Germany's insistence on austerity during the eurozone debt crisis wants the bloc to have a common budget and finance minister. He also thinks decision-making should be streamlined.
In a bid to speed up deportations, the lower house of Germany's parliament has voted to change the status of Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco and Georgia. But the new rules could still be blocked by the opposition Greens.
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