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Today in Germany: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday

The Local Germany
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Today in Germany: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday
A military transport plane in Germany. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | David Inderlied

Ancient stone wall discovered in Baltic Sea, Trump's NATO statements bring sharp criticism and more news from around Germany on Tuesday.

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'Nothing comparable': Ancient kilometre-long stone wall discovered in Germany

Researchers have discovered a stone wall almost a kilometre long at the bottom of the Baltic Sea, in the Bay of Mecklenburg. It was likely created by hunter-gatherers more than 10,000 years ago.

At that time, the area was not yet flooded, as a group led by Jacob Geersen from the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde (IOW) and Marcel Bradtmöller from the University of Rostock wrote on Tuesday.

The wall is located around ten kilometres northwest of the town of Rerik at a depth of around 21 metres. It consists of almost 1,700 stones, is 971 metres long, up to two metres wide and mostly less than one metre high.

The structure was flooded by the Baltic Sea around 8,500 years ago, the group wrote, pointing out that there is 'nothing comparable' in Europe. The wall could have helped people to capture reindeer.

Trump's statements on NATO bring sharp criticism from Germany

Statements by U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump on NATO assistance have met with sharp criticism in Germany.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Monday: "These statements are irresponsible and even play into Russia's hands."

Former US President Trump had made remarks at a campaign event in the state of South Carolina that implied he might not protect Germany from Russia if Germany failed to pay enough for its own defence spending. He went as far as saying he would "even encourage Russia to do whatever the hell they want."

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Deputy government spokeswoman Christiane Hoffmann stressed: "In its security and defence policy, the German government clearly relies on the transatlantic alliance and the transatlantic community of values and sees its security guaranteed by NATO."

The transatlantic coordinator of the German government, Michael Link of the FDP, told the Tagesspiegel: "Donald Trump's errant statements about the treaty obligations of the USA in the event of an attack on a NATO member prove once again how unpredictable, unscrupulous and unreliable he is."

Majority of Germans support plan to expand military

According to a study published Tuesday by management consultants PwC, 68 percent of Germans support the government's plan to expand the Bundeswehr, or military.

The majority consider investments in military equipment to be necessary: 57 percent are in favour of the intention to invest two percent or more of GDP in defence, while 31 percent are critical of this.

PwC based its study on a representative survey of 500 men and women aged between 18 and 65 on January 9th and 10th.

READ ALSO: 'Deter aggressors': Germany's Scholz calls to ramp up arms production in EU

Merz backs Israel in Rafah, while Nicaragua warns Germany not to support genocide

Friedrich Merz, head of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, has backed Israel's military action against the Islamist Hamas in the Gaza Strip and also in the southern border town of Rafah.

Merz met Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Monday, congratulating him on the release of two more hostages.

As part of the statement Merz delivered, he said, "It's also true that there are civilian casualties. There will continue to be civilian casualties." But he also stressed: "The goal of finally defeating Hamas terror is, I believe, a very understandable goal."

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This comes five days after Nicaragua has warned Germany, along with the Netherlands, the UK and Canada, that it intends to bring a case against them at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over allegations that weapons they are providing Israel are being used in a genocide against Palestinians in Gaza.

Maddie' suspect on trial in Germany on separate sex crime charges

The prime suspect in the disappearance of British toddler Madeleine McCann almost 17 years ago will go on trial in
Germany on Friday on five unrelated charges of rape and child sex abuse.

The 47-year-old, identified as Christian B. by German media, was revealed as a suspect in June 2020 in a major bombshell for the long-unsolved case.

German prosecutors have yet to charge him over Madeleine's disappearance, but in October 2022 he was charged with five other crimes allegedly committed in Portugal between 2000 and 2017.

The charges came about as a result of investigations into the McCann case, Christian Wolters, a spokesman for the prosecution in Brunswick, told AFP.

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