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MILITARY

Israel wants Berlin to finance two new warships

Israel is hoping to order two modern German-made warships without paying for them, daily Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung reported on Friday.

Israel wants Berlin to finance two new warships
Photo: DPA

Sources within the German government told the paper that Israel wants the Berlin to finance the MEKO corvettes, a sum that would reportedly reach hundreds of millions of euros.

The paper reported that the government has not yet reacted to Israel’s request. But “influential politicians from northern Germany,” where the shipbuilding industry is suffering from the global economic downturn, are apparently supportive in the interest of keeping German shipyards in business.

The shipbuilding contract would go to Hamburg company Blohm + Voss, the paper said.

But the internal weapons system would come from the United States, with the end result being a missile defence system on water.

Israeli naval forces have already received help from the German government. Between 1999 and 2000, three submarines completed by Kiel shipyard Howaldtswerken Deutsche Werft were delivered.

Meanwhile the government is reportedly paying for two-thirds of two more submarines with fuel-cell power plants priced at €500 million. They are currently under construction in Kiel with plans to deliver them to Israel in 2012.

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FRANKFURT

Emergency numbers fail in several German states

Callers to the emergency numbers 110 and 112 weren’t able to reach operators Thursday morning in several German states.

The 112 emergency number on an ambulance.
The 112 emergency number on an ambulance. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Boris Roessler

The emergency number 110 for police and 112 for fire crews failed around the country early Thursday morning, with callers unable to reach emergency operators for urgent assistance between about 4:30 am and 5:40 am local time.

The Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Aid is looking into these outages, which were reported in states including Lower Saxony, Baden-Württemberg, and  Brandenburg, and in major cities like Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, and Frankfurt. Cologne was further affected by cuts to electricity, drinking water, and regular telephone services. Lower Saxony also saw disruptions to the internal phone networks of police and hospitals.

Emergency services are not reporting any more disturbances and people should be able to once again reach 110 and 112 around the country as normal.

Investigators are looking into the problem, but haven’t yet established a cause or any consequences that may have happened due to the outage. Provider Deutsche Telekom says they have ruled out the possibility of an attack by hackers.

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