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Despite Injuries, Angela Merkel Chairs First Cabinet Meeting Of 3rd Term

German Chancellor Angela Merkel walks with crutches upon arrival at the Chancellery in Berlin. AFP 59-year-old Merkel walked with the help of crutches to join cabinet colleagues from her Christian Democratic Union (CDU), its Bavarian sister party Christian Social Union (CSU) and the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) for their opening session, nearly three weeks after she began her record third term. She has been advised by doctors to restrict her official activities and to take bed rest for three weeks to recover from a partial fracture of her pelvis when she fell during a cross-country skiing in the Swiss Alpine resort of Engadin during her Christmas holiday. She had cancelled several official appointments, including a visit to Poland. However, Merkel has been under pressure to show her authority after a series of disputes among her coalition partners came out in the open since the cabinet was sworn in on 17 December. Fears of a mass influx of migrants from Romania and Bulgaria were raised by some CSU leaders in the wake of the EU lifting its restrictions on them to work anywhere in the 28-nation bloc on 1 January.
More: http://www.firstpost.com/world/despite-injuries-angela-merkel-chairs-first-cabinet-meeting-of-3rd-term-1331113.html

International http://samueltaox.wikispaces.com/Lady+Gaga%27s+White+Horse%2C+Nicki+Minaj%27s+Pope+Date+%26+More%21+Check+Out+The+10+Most+Jaw-dropping+Red+Carpet+Moments press highlights Merkel triumph

Le Monde agrees there "is no getting round Germany and its chancellor." These past weeks, the paper writes, "every important decision at a European level seemed to depend on the outcome of the election." As she starts her third term, like Margaret Thatcher before her, Britain's Daily Telegraph writes, "Angela Merkel has the future of Europe in her hands." The Daily Mail also compares Merkel to Margaret Thatcher. El Mundo notes that while Merkel pulled off a historic landslide victory, "a clear partner is not on the horizon yet." The Spanish paper refers to Angela Merkel as the uncrowned queen of Europe and adds she is distinguished by winning three elections in a row, in addition to being the only head of a large European country who managed to confirm her mandate in the midst of the crisis while "Gordon Brown, Berlusconi, Sarkozy and Zapatero had to relinquish power." El Pais suggests Merkel's showing is "unequalled since the days of Chancellor Adenauer 50 years ago." Greece's leading daily Ta Nea comments the outcome of the vote is turning Europe into "Merkel-land". It is, the paper continues, a triumph for the "Queen of austerity." Angela Merkel is unrivaled, Rzeczpospolita from Poland writes, while Gazeta Wyborcza points out the Christian Democratic election victory shows the effectiveness of a campaign that "avoided all conflict with the opponent and convinced Germans that only her government can secure general stability and prosperity." The Neue Zurcher Zeitung is convinced that with her soft-spoken manner and many small compromises, Merkel makes sure nobody feels threatened by her dominance. "Thanks to her understatement, even setbacks are not as noticeable," the Swiss daily writes. url On its website, the Basler Zeitung comments that Merkel's typical rhombus hand gesture netted better results than [her Social Democratic opponent's] raised middle finger: "Angela Merkel won a capital result." Austria's Standard writes Merkel's "slalom course" brought the CDU new voters - "the conservatives may be angry, but they have no choice but to grudgingly vote for the chancellor all the same." Her middle-of-the-road course is a "triumph for mediocrity," the paper adds. La Repubblica regards Angela Merkel's election victory as the nation's "ceremonial ovation for her victory in the European crisis." It is, the Italian paper writes, "a triumph, it is the return to the battlefield where she has already proven her skills and her courage." Russia's Rossijskaja Gaseta also comments on Germany's national election. "The outcome of the vote is regarded as a sensation.
More: http://www.dw.de/international-press-highlights-merkel-triumph/a-17107603

Obama invites Merkel to Washington after phone-tap row

Photo: Reuters Washington: President Barack Obama invited German Chancellor Angela Merkel to visit Washington this year, the White House said on Wednesday in a brief statement about a phone conversation between the two leaders. The visit would give Mr Obama a chance to make amends after revelations that the US National Security Agency had been monitoring Ms Merkel's mobile phone. Ms Merkel accepted the president's invitation to come, her spokesman said in a statement. Mr Obama is set to announce this month his decisions on how to rein in US surveillance. Asked at a briefing whether Mr Obama had reached the German chancellor on a land line or this one by mobile phone, White House spokesman Jay Carney the president's calls to foreign leaders are done by hard line.
More: http://www.smh.com.au/world/barack-obama-invites-angela-merkel-to-visit-during-call-20140109-hv7y0.html

Barack Obama invites Angela Merkel to visit during call

The invitation to Merkel comes as the White House tries to draw a line under the Snowden issue, with Obama poised to give a speech to Americans this month detailing how the NSA's massive phone and data collection activities will be reformed. "The president spoke to Chancellor Merkel today to wish her a speedy recovery following her injury and to congratulate her on the formation of her new cabinet," a White House statement said. "The leaders noted the full agenda for 2014, including the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) negotiations and NATO Summit, and looked forward to working closely together to advance our shared interests." Merkel's office confirmed in a statement that she would accept Obama's invitation to visit the United States, but like the White House, did not offer a date. The coming meeting may be a sign that neither side wants the NSA issue to disrupt what may be the most important relationship between the United States and a nation on continental Europe. "This is the best way to try to begin to mend fences over the NSA affair," said Stephen Szabo of the German Marshall Fund of the United States.
More: http://uk.news.yahoo.com/obama-invites-merkel-washington-phone-tap-row-192143850.html?.tsrc=lgwn

Angela Merkel injures pelvis in skiing accident

Merkel at first thought she had just suffered bruising, and only realised the extent of her injuries after seeing a doctor upon her return to Berlin. A full recovery will require lots of resting and may take up to six weeks, medical experts http://elliotthpcs.soup.io/post/380937756/Is-i-Hit-It-First-A-Cry said. Seibert told reporters Merkel was walking with the help of crutches and would need to cancel a number of official appointments but was planning to attend Wednesday's cabinet meeting in person. The meeting is the first gathering of all ministers in the new "grand coalition" cabinet made up of Merkel's Christian Democratic party and the Social Democratic party. Merkel had originally planned to visit Poland this Wednesday and receive the new prime minister of Luxembourg, Xavier Bettel on Thursday this week. Both appointments have been cancelled, as well as a meeting with the president of the German employers' association on Friday. In what seemed to be an allusion to the debate over Formula One champion Michael Schumacher's much more severe skiing accident last week, Seibert said: "we are assuming she was travelling at low speed".
More: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/06/angela-merkel-skiing-accident

Obama invites Merkel to U.S.

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More: http://www.usatoday.com/story/theoval/2014/01/08/obama-merkel-phone-call-germany-national-security-agency/4372983/

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