Merkel's party calls for stricter asylum laws after Cologne attacks

BERLIN -- Chancellor Angela Merkel's party on Saturday proposed stricter laws regulating asylum seekers after a string of New Year's Eve sexual assaults and robberies in Cologne blamed largely on foreigners.

See Full Article

Merkel said the proposal, which will be discussed with her coalition partners and would need parliamentary approval, would help Germany deport "serial offenders" convicted of lesser crimes.

"This is in the interests of the citizens of Germany, but also in the interests of the great majority of the refugees who are here," Merkel told party members in Mainz.

The reports of the Cologne attacks on women by groups of men described by police as predominantly Arab or North African in origin have fueled calls for tighter controls in Germany, which received nearly 1.1 million migrants in 2015.

"If people act outside the law... naturally there must be consequences," Merkel said.

Of 31 suspects temporarily detained for questioning following the New Year's Eve attacks, there were 18 asylum seekers but also two Germans and an American among others, and none were accused of specifically committing sexual assaults and the investigation is ongoing.

Cologne's police chief was dismissed Friday amid mounting criticism of his force's handling of the incidents, and being slow with releasing information.

Merkel said local authorities must not be perceived to be withholding information and urged that the case be "fully clarified."

"Everything has to be put on the table," she said.

The proposal passed by party leaders would strengthen the ability of police to conduct checks of identity papers, and also to exclude foreigners from being granted asylum who had been convicted of crimes and sentenced to terms even as light as probation.

"Serial offenders who consistently, for example, return to theft or time and again insult women must count on the force of the law," Merkel said.

Merkel has steadfastly refused to agree to establish a cap on newcomers, but the CDU proposal did note that "a continuation of the current influx would overwhelm the state and society even in a country like Germany in the long run," the dpa news agency reported.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Activists slam punishment of raped girl who had abortion

    World News CTV News
    JAKARTA, Indonesia -- Activists on Monday criticized a six-month prison sentence given to a 15-year-old Indonesian girl who had an abortion after being repeatedly raped by her brother. The district court in Muara Bulian in Jambi province also sentenced the girl's 18-year-old brother on Thursday to two years' imprisonment for having sex with a minor. Source
  • 'Storm before the calm': Iran dismisses Trump's threat to country's leader

    World News CBC News
    Iranians on Monday shrugged off the possibility that a bellicose exchange of words between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Iranian counterpart could escalate into military conflict, but expressed growing concern America's stepped-up sanctions could damage their fragile economy. Source
  • Deadly L.A. market shooting started with domestic feud

    World News CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- A man's feud with his grandmother turned into a bizarre and deadly confrontation that ended with a supermarket worker dead and dozens of people held hostage in a store kilometres away. Gene Evin Atkins, 28, was booked Sunday on suspicion of murder after an explosion of violence that a relative said may have been brewing for weeks. Source
  • North American International Auto Show to be held in June starting 2020

    World News CBC News
    Organizers of the North American International Auto Show say that starting in 2020 the annual Detroit event will take place in June instead of January. A statement from the show Monday said the new schedule will enable automakers, industry suppliers and others to "deliver dynamic exhibits and experiential opportunities outside of the show's four walls" at downtown's Cobo Center. Source
  • Latest updates: 2 victims and gunman dead in Toronto shooting

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- The latest on a mass shooting in Toronto (all times local): 7:00 a.m. Ontario's police watchdog says a second person is dead after gunman shot 14 people in Toronto's Greektown neighbourhood. Source
  • Prominent S. Korea politician found dead in possible suicide

    World News CTV News
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of -- A prominent liberal South Korean politician embroiled in a corruption scandal was found dead on Monday, police said, in what appeared to be one of the country's highest-profile suicides in recent years. Source
  • Survivors of duck-boat sinking join hundreds at Missouri memorial

    World News CBC News
    The 17 people killed when a tourist boat sank in a Missouri lake were remembered Sunday during a service attended by hundreds of people in the tourism community of Branson. A church bell at Williams Chapel at College of the Ozarks chimed 17 times for those who died Thursday at Table Rock Lake. Source
  • Archeologists dig up history of men lost to Spanish Flu in Matapédia, Que.

    Canada News CBC News
    For more than 40 years, amateur historian Roger Delaunais has been taking care of a remote grave site in rural Matapédia in the Gaspé region. Delaunais wrote a book about the camp, where 100 years ago, nine lumberjacks died of the Spanish flu during the First World War. Source
  • Three suspects arrested in U.K. acid attack on 3-year-old boy

    World News CTV News
    LONDON - British police have arrested three more suspects in connection with an apparent acid attack on a 3-year-old boy who suffered severe burns. West Mercia Police said Monday that three men, ages 22, 25 and 26, are being questioned in London on suspicion of conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm. Source
  • 'A lot more vigorous': Paralyzed Humboldt Bronco in Calgary to work with new physio

    Canada News CTV News
    CALGARY - Paralyzed Humboldt Broncos player Ryan Straschnitzki is drenched in sweat after a workout that more closely resembled military boot camp than physiotherapy. The 19-year-old's two-hour routine at Synaptic: Spinal Cord Injury and Neuro Rehabilitation Centre in Calgary included chin ups, boxing, heavy rope training and pulling himself into a full standing position from his wheelchair just with the use of his arms. Source