Germans with candles commemorate anti-communist protests

GermanyLeipzig, Germany  - Tens of thousands of Germans re-enacted at dusk Friday the demonstrations in Leipzig that peacefully brought down the communist East German police state 20 years ago.

In the "Miracle of Leipzig" on October 9, 1989, core demonstrators prayed in a Leipzig church, then marched in a throng that swelled to 70,000, demanding democracy, and watching police and army battalions do nothing to stop them. A month later, the Berlin Wall fell.

The secret police are now nothing more than a scary memory, but many of the demonstrators from the old days came back to Leipzig, walking the same route again and carrying tiny lit candles.

Merkel says Obama has opened "window of opportunity"

Merkel says Obama has opened "window of opportunity" Leipzig, Germany - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Friday US President Barack Obama has opened "a window of opportunity."

Responding in the eastern city of Leipzig to the news Obama had won the Nobel Peace Prize, she said, "He has managed in a short time to establish a new tone and a willingness to talk worldwide.

"We should all support him. He has opened a window of opportunity."

She said his nuclear-free aims were a target that ought to be achievable in the years to come.

Grapple with the big issues with a professional philosopher

Leipzig, Germany  - Guillaume Paoli, house philosopher at the central theatre in the German city of Leipzig, will be opening a philosophical practice in the coming weeks.

"It's about creating an opportunity in which people will be able to grapple with philosophical, cultural and cultural-political subjects," said Paoli in a conversation with the German Press Agency dpa. "It has absolutely nothing to do with therapy."

The practice is located in an administrative building of the theatre and will be open every Monday from 3:30 until 6:30 pm. There's no charge to visit the practice. The French-born Paoli has been the house philosopher at the Leipzig theatre for a year.

Teenager confesses to alleged murder of eight-year-old German girl

Teenager confesses to alleged murder of eight-year-old German girl Leipzig - A 19-year-old confessed to the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Leipzig on Monday, at the start of his trial almost exactly a year after the girl - called Michelle - was raped, murdered and dumped in a pond.

As the trial opened the teenager's lawyer, Malte Heise, read out a statement on his behalf, confirming all accusations except for the claim that he had intended from the start to kill Michelle, a court spokesman said.

Sterilized flavoured milk drinks lower in vitamins

Sterilized flavoured milk drinks lower in vitamins Leipzig, Germany  - Sterilized flavoured milk drinks have fewer vitamins than similar drinks made from pasteurized or ultra-high temperature milk, noted Germany's Saxony Consumer Advice Centre.

It said consumers could tell that chocolate or vanilla milk had been sterilized if it had a shelf life of a year or more. Such products often are not kept in refrigerated display cases, it added.

Holocaust victims win big payout for seized shares

Holocaust victims win big payout for seized sharesLeipzig, Germany  - German judges have awarded Holocaust victims and other people persecuted by the Nazis a major increase in compensation payouts for losing their businesses, according to a justice spokesman Friday.

The Nazis forbade Jews to own valuable assets, forcing them to sell holdings quickly at less than true market value. That injustice is being gradually fixed by an arm of the German Finance Ministry.

Porsche begins manufacturing Panamera four-door car

Porsche begins manufacturing Panamera four-door car Leipzig, Germany - German luxury carmaker Porsche began manufacturing its Panamera four-door car Tuesday at its factory in Leipzig, Germany.

The company, based in Stuttgart, said it has spent 1 billion euros (1.4 billion dollars) developing the completely new model, which goes on sale alongside its two sports-car models and its hulking Cayenne sports utility vehicle.

Hostages have to pay for their release, German court rules

 Hostages have to pay for their release, German court rules Leipzig, Germany  - Germans abducted abroad have to pay towards the costs of obtaining their release, the country's Federal Administrative Court ruled on Thursday.

The case was brought by physiotherapist Reinhilt Weigel, 36, who was held captive for 10 weeks by left-wing rebels in South America.

The German Foreign Ministry sent her a bill for 12,640 euros (17,440 dollars) for the helicopter flight that was used to whisk her to safety from the jungle of northern Colombia in September 2003.

Germany in clinical 4-0 over Liechtenstein

Germany in clinical 4-0 over LiechtensteinLeipzig, Germany  - Germany defeated minnows Liechtenstein 4-0 on Saturday with efficiency rather than class to maintain a four-point lead in their World Cup qualifying group.

Captain Michael Ballack opened the scoring in the fourth minute, his 40th personal goal and 200th for Germany in World Cup qualifying overall. Marcell Jansen, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Lukas Podolski got the other goals.

Germany top Group 4 with 13 points from five games ahead of Russia, who have nine from four games. Only the group winner qualifies directly for the 2010 finals in South Africa.

Gomez keen to end lean spell as Germany go for goals

Leipzig, Germany  - Germany can expect a goal rush against minnows Liechtenstein but striker Mario Gomez warned Friday against speculating about the score.

The Germans go into the Group 4 World Cup qualifier in Leipzig on Saturday knowing their only three previous matches against Liechtenstein have garnered 23 goals.

Six months ago in Vaduz, Germany ran out 6-0 winners and should be good for another clear victory before meeting Wales in Cardiff on Wednesday.

Gomez, who has not scored for Germany in a year, starts in the absence of the injured Miroslav Klose to partner Bayern Munich's Lukas Podolski, who bagged a brace in Vaduz.

Enke in goal for Germany against Liechtenstein

Enke in goal for Germany against Liechtenstein Leipzig, Germany - Robert Enke will earn his fifth cap for Germany in goal in Saturday's World Cup qualifier against Liechtenstein in Leipzig, coach Joachim Loew said Thursday.

The 31-year-old Hanover keeper returned to the squad after breaking his thumb last autumn. His last match for Germany was the 3-3 draw against Group 4 opponents Finland in Helsinki on September 10.

VfB Stuttgart striker Mario Gomez will also start the game up front, Loew confirmed.

Germany's Loew tests fitness of players, draws criticism

Germany's Loew tests fitness of players, draws criticism Leipzig, Germany  - Germany coach Joachim Loew tested the fitness of his players and called for all-round improvement Tuesday ahead of World Cup qualifiers.

The tests in Leipzig come after two home defeats to England and Norway and some 18 months after the Germany squad took part in a similar fitness check.

"This is a stocktaking a year before the World Cup in South Africa," Loew said of the tests which among other things included sprint, stamina and reaction checks.

Grassi Museum in Germany reviews design work of Italy's Colombo

Germany FlagLeipzig, Germany - Furniture designs from the short but fruitful career of Joe Colombo (1930-71) are the focus of a special exhibition to open April 3 at the Grassi Museum in Leipzig, Germany.

The Italian was initially a painter and sculptor, coming late to design, only to die of heart failure on his 41st birthday, but he is famed for the Boby Trolley, a small chest of swing-out drawers on five castors which can be easily moved around office desks.

Driverless railcar goes 40 kilometres solo in Germany

Driverless railcar goes 40 kilometres solo in GermanyLeipzig, Germany - A railcar proceeded nearly 40 kilometres through central Germany with nobody on board, railway company Deutsche Bahn said Tuesday in Leipzig.

The self-propelling passenger unit moved away from a station at 7 am Monday (0600 GMT) in the town of Merseburg with no driver, passed a series of level crossings over roads, and did not stop until it had nearly reached the town of Querfurt, nearly 40 kilometres away. (dpa)

German orchestra holds first strike in 265 years

Leipzig, Germany  - One of Germany's leading classical orchestras walked out on its first strike in its 265-year-history Friday, with musicians of the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig demanding better pay.

A concert in the Gewandhaus theatre and a performance of the ballet Swan Lake were both cancelled Friday as a result. The musicians said they were also protesting at the closure of other state-funded orchestras. (dpa)

Spore named top PC-Game at games convention

Spore named top PC-Game at games conventionLeipzig, Germany - Spore, a long awaited computer game slated for September release, was named "Best PC Game" at the recent Games Convention in Leipzig, Germany, by a jury of experts.

Gazprom voices interest in buying stake in German gas importer

Russia, GermanyLeipzig, Germany  - Gazprom of Russia confirmed on Wednesday its interest in expanding its stake in Germany's third-largest gas importing company, Verbundnetz Gas (VNG).

Alexej Miller, chief executive of Gazprom, spoke in Leipzig during celebrations of the 50th anniversary of VNG's foundation as a major state-owned enterprise in communist East Germany. VNG's current business and municipal shareholders have been feuding for weeks.

Playstation 3 with additional storage due in late October

Leipzig, Germany - Sony has announced plans to begin offering the Playstation 3 in a version with more memory for storage. The gaming console will be available with 160 Gigabytes (GB) of capacity starting on October 31. That represents a doubling of the console's storage space. The internet-ready units will cost 449 dollars, the manufacturer indicated at the recent Games Convention trade fair in Leipzig.

Games Convention expects record year

Leipzig, Germany - Germany's giant Games Convention opens its doors this week with organizers saying Wednesday they expect a record year for one of the key events on world games industry's calendar.

The number of exhibitors at this year's Games Convention has risen from 503 last year to 547 this year with organizers expecting the number of premieres of digital games and gaming products to rise by 50 per cent to about 300.

About 40 per cent of the exhibitors are from overseas with more as 200,000 visitors expected at the trade fair, which is now in its seventh year.

World's oldest bible online: 4th century manuscript

Leipzig, Germany - The world's oldest surviving semi-complete copy of the bible, a 4th-century manuscript in ancient Greek that was discovered in a waste-paper bin by a German scholar, is set to go online on Thursday, the University of Leipzig Library says. 

The Codex Sinaiticus, rediscovered in a monastery in the Sinai peninsula by Konstantin von Tischendorf in 1844, contains half the Jewish Old Testament and most of the Christian New Testament, the library said Monday. 

Another manuscript, the Codex Vaticanus, is about as old, while fragments of both parts of the Bible in the Dead Sea Scrolls and Egyptina papyri are older. But the Sinai bible offers unique evidence of what Greek-speaking Christians read around the year 350. 

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