Archive for the ‘Germany’ Category

Obama Musical


A musical about Barack Obama’s “Yes we can” election campaign premieres in Germany this weekend, including love songs by the president to his wife Michelle and duets with Hillary Clinton.

Even John McCain and Sarah Palin are given stage time, with actors portraying the losing Republican candidates belting out songs on their behalf.

In all, 30 singers, actors and dancers are to perform in the musical “Hope – the Obama Musical Story” when it opens at the Jahrhunderthalle concert hall in Frankfurt in a bilingual mix of English and German. The audience may recognise that many songs quote from the politicians’ stump speeches during the 2008 US presidential campaign.

The venue for the premier seems appropriate since the optimism of Obamania remains largely intact in Germany, about a year after Mr Obama, an accomplished public speaker, became America’s first black president.


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COLOGNE, Germany (AFP) — German police said tens of thousands of Cologne residents took to the streets Saturday in protest at an “anti-Islamisation” conference of European far-right leaders.

Carrying banners saying: “We are Cologne — Get rid of the Nazis!,” protesters gathered outside the city’s cathedral to demonstrate against the congress organised by the local far-right group Pro-Koeln (For Cologne).

Pro-Koeln began two days of seminars Friday during which speakers denounced an influx of Muslims to Germany and the construction of one of Europe’s largest mosques in the city.

Earlier Saturday, police banned a rally organised by far-right adherents in Cologne just as it was about to begin, following clashes with thousands of opponents.

Some 3,000 police, drafted in to control the protests and seal off part of the old city, used truncheons and water hoses to fend off violent “anti-fascist” leftist activists.

“It is a dictatorship!” said a Pro-Koeln member of the decision to ban the far-right rally.

Andreas Molzer, a member of the European Parliament and an Austrian far-right group who attended the congress, called the ban an “anti-democratic scandal.”


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The Associated Press, The New York Times

Published: August 19, 2008

The city council of Cologne has voted to allow construction of what will be one of the largest mosques in Germany, a plan that has drawn protests from residents and Cologne’s Roman Catholic archbishop.The vote late Thursday by most of the city’s political parties cleared the way for the Ditib Turkish-Islamic umbrella group to build a new house of worship – complete with two 55-meter-tall, or 177-feet-tall, minarets – in the city’s Ehrenfeld district.

Sardi Arslan, the leader of Ditib, said Friday that construction of the mosque would begin immediately, and he expressed hope that it would facilitate communication between Muslims and non-Muslims. “We are building for all citizens of Cologne, not just for the Muslims,” Arslan said in a statement.

For the past 20 years, Ditib has used a converted warehouse as a house of worship. That will be torn down to make way for the new building, which the group hopes to finish by 2010.


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