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German officials promise crackdown on neo-Nazis after violent anti-immigrant protests

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Officials in Germany’s eastern state of Saxony sought to avert further unrest in the city of Chemnitz before the far right gathers for another anti-immigration protest later on Thursday after several violent confrontations this week.

Thousands of people took part in two days of protests against asylum seekers in Chemnitz this week after police arrested a Syrian and an Iraqi on suspicion of fatally stabbing a German man on Sunday.

Germany is deeply divided over Chancellor Angela Merkel’s 2015 decision to take in more than one million migrants, many of whom fled conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

“We will see to it that those who have committed this homicidal crime are condemned, and swiftly,” Michael Kretschmer, Saxony’s premier told reporters in Chemnitz.

“We will see to it that those who ran through the city with Hitler salutes are also convicted,” he said.

The authorities said federal police and police from other states including Hessen and Bavaria would be drafted in to support local forces during the far right protest at Chemnitz’s football stadium later on Thursday.

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Kretschmer plans to meet with local residents to discuss immigration inside the stadium at around the same time, he said.

Chemnitz lies Germany’s formerly Communist east which has become the heartland of anti-immigrant groups including PEGIDA and the Alternative for Germany (AfD) political party which won 13 percent of the vote in a 2017 federal election, its strongest showing yet.

In Wismar, another eastern town, police called for witnesses to come forward over an attack late on Wednesday on a 20-year-old migrant who was beaten with an iron chain by three assailants.

At around noon in a rainy and cold Chemnitz on Thursday there was still no sign of the extra police which the local authorities said would be present at the protest due to start at 6 p.m. local time (1700 GMT).

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The Chemnitz stabbing has raised concerns of possible links between police and the far right in Saxony after prosecutors in the northern city of Bremen opened an investigation into a lawmaker, a former police officer, who is accused of leaking information of the arrest warrant against the Iraqi suspect.

Chemnitz mayor Barbara Ludwig vowed to clean up her city’s image, telling reporters: “This city is something completely different to what you had to see and what has been shown in the media in the past few days.

The AfD and PEGIDA, which is under observation by intelligence agencies, say they will march again in Chemnitz on Saturday to “mourn Daniel H. (the stabbing victim) and the others killed by Germany’s forced multiculturalisation.”

Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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2020 Election

Panicked GOP leaders scrambling to get Jeff Sessions to run for Senate so they won’t be saddled with Roy Moore

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According to a 2020 election analysis in the Washington Post, top Republican Senate leaders are cringing at the notion that former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore could be their nominee for the seat currently being held by Democrat Sen. Doug Jones -- and are looking for a way out.

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Federal taxpayer-funded adoption agency blocks same-sex couple from fostering migrant children, because Jesus

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A Texas adoption agency that receives federal taxpayer funds is refusing to allow a lesbian couple to become foster parents, and they're citing their religious beliefs to support their discriminatory decision.

Bryn Esplin and Fatma Marouf, who are married and are both professors at Texas A&M University, were told by the agency because they're a same-sex couple they don't "mirror the holy family," and thus would not allow them to foster some of the thousands of migrant and refugee children the federal government is detaining.

The women pressed, saying that surely some of the 700 children under the agency's care were LGBT and would benefit from being placed with a married lesbian couple, as The Daily Beast reports.

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NRA owes $1.6 million in unpaid bills to vendor who runs NRATV

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The National Rifle Association has a hefty bill that remains unpaid, despite making a huge haul in fundraising for the 2016 election.

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