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German spy chief admits HQ blue prints stolen

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BERLIN — Germany’s foreign intelligence chief Ernst Uhrlau Tuesday admitted that blueprints for his service’s new headquarters in Berlin had been stolen, but played down the danger posed by the loss.

The missing blueprints are those of a parking area and of a “power generating centre”, not those “at the heart” of BND intelligence-gathering offices currently under construction and due for completion in 2014, Uhrlau told reporters.

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There was no reason to amend building plans, he added.

He did not know when the blueprints, kept at the building site, vanished, saying only that “at some point it appears something went missing”.

The documents were labelled confidential, but not top secret, he added.

The government had announced on Monday that the BND was investigating the loss.

The BND has its headquarters in Pullach, on the outskirts of the southern city of Munich. Following reunification it was decided however to move them to Berlin and building started there in 2006.

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Construction on the site in the former communist east of the city is expected to cost 1.6 billion euros ($2.2 billion).

The BND, one of Germany’s three secret services, is responsible for gathering intelligence abroad.


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Earth Has Hottest May on Record

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"This is unquestionably an alarming sign."

The Earth just experienced its hottest May on record, scientists said Friday—just a day after it was announced that atmospheric CO2 levels hit a new high.

Scientists at Europe's Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) announced the temperature record Friday. The agency said that globally, last month 0.63°C warmer than the 1981-2020 average for May. That tops the previous warmest May, which occurred in 2016, by 0.05°C.

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US planning to slash troops in Germany: report

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US President Donald Trump has ordered the Pentagon to slash the number of troops it maintains in Germany by more than a quarter in the coming months, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

The newspaper said the Defense Department would cut the number of military personnel by 9,500 from the current 34,500 permanently assigned to Germany postings.

The Journal also said a cap of 25,000 would be set on how many US troops could be inside German at any one time, whether in permanent postings or temporary rotations, half of the current allowance.

The move would significantly reduce the US commitment to European defense under the NATO umbrella, though it could also impact Pentagon operations related to Africa and the Middle East.

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Justin Trudeau dons mask to attend anti-racism protests — and takes a knee in solidarity

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While President Donald Trump refuses to wear a coronavirus mask and demanded "no kneeling" on Friday, there was a far different scene developing in Canada.

"Prime Minister Justin Trudeau knelt on the ground as part of a crowd gathered on Parliament Hill Friday afternoon, in solidarity with anti-racism demonstrators protesting police killings of Black people," CTV News reported Friday. "The demonstration is one of multiple events in Canada, following days of demonstrations against racism and police brutality in numerous American cities."

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