German Defence Minister Thomas de Maizière said Europe should not fear a renewed US focus on Asia and must increasingly look after its own backyard militarily, in remarks made during the 48th annual Munich Security Conference.
The cold snap that has put much of Europe in a deep freeze reached its chilliest point in Germany on Friday, with minus 27-degree temperatures making for the coldest night of the winter season.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke of stronger ties between China and Germany on the heels of her visit to the country, but voiced concern about attempts to keep her from meeting with government critics during her trip.
The justice minister in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate has sparked outrage after proposing that Germany could permit Sharia courts, which operate according to Islamic law, to preside over some civil cases in the country.
Defending champions Borussia Dortmund went top of the German league on Friday night with an impressive 2-0 win at Nuremberg in sub-zero temperatures.
A group of Syrian dissidents vandalised the Syrian embassy in Berlin on Friday, destroying furniture and defacing pictures of President Bashar al-Assad. Germany's Foreign Office condemned the intrusion "in the strongest terms."