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Postman celebrates retirement after 37 years in the job

For 37 years, Postman Fiete Nissen has loaded up his trolley with letters and packages and trundled down 10 miles of track to serve the people of two remote North Sea islands.

Postman Fiete Nissen on his last postround Credit: REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

Nissen delivers the post to Oland and Langeness - two miniscule islands joined to mainland Germany by a narrow spit of land.

Nissen loads his trolley on the mainland Credit: REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

The 64-year-old decked out his trolley with balloons and flowers and loaded up for the last time today as prepares to enter retirement.

The islands are connected to the mainland by a narrow spit of land Credit: REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

Just 139 people live on the islands, which are around 112 miles (180km) north of Hamburg.

Oktoberfest: The world's biggest beer party starts

The beer is once again flowing in Munich as this year's Oktoberfest kicked off in the Bavarian capital. The beloved German beer feast is the world's largest beer festival.

Visitors toast with their one-liter beer mugs. Credit: Reuters

The festival is held annually in Munich, with many local breweries hosting huge parties. Beer is traditionally served in one-liter glasses served by men and women wearing traditional Bavarian costumes.

Visitors enjoy a beer during the opening day of the 181st Oktoberfest. Credit: Reuters

The 16-day festival runs until the first weekend in October with more than 6 million people from around the world attending.

People enjoy the opening day of the 181th Oktoberfest beer festival in Munich. Credit: PA Wire

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Ex-Auschwitz guard 'charged with accessory to murder'

A 93-year-old man has been charged with 300,000 counts of accessory to murder for serving as an SS guard at the Nazis' Auschwitz death camp, according to prosecutors.

Speaking to the Associated Press, prosecutors said Oskar Groening was accused of helping operate the death camp in occupied Poland between May and June 1944, when some 425,000 Jews from Hungary were brought there and at least 300,000 almost immediately gassed to death.

Auschwitz concentration camp Credit: PA

In his job dealing with the belongings stolen from camp victims, prosecutors said among other things he was charged with helping collect and tally money that was found.

"He helped the Nazi regime benefit economically, and supported the systematic killings," state prosecutors in the city of Hannover said in a statement. Groening's attorney, Hans Holtermann, declined to comment on the charges.

Injuries after explosion at chemical plant in Germany

Several people have been injured after an explosion rocked a chemical plant near Bremen, northwestern Germany.

One person was severely burned in the blast and that the explosion damaged a nearby residential area in the town of Ritterhude, police said.

Around 30 to 40 houses were damaged in the blast as it shattered windows, ripped doors from their frames and tore off roofs.

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Nato 'upholds Founding Act despite Russian violations'

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that Nato stands by the Founding Act even though Russia has broken it through its actions in Ukraine.

She said that new EU sanctions against Russia, due to be adopted today, could be suspended if a promised ceasefire materialises.

The Founding Act is a 1997 agreement between Nato and Russia agreeing how they are to pursue relations. Among other things, it covers the "permanent stationing of substantial combat forces".

Uber cab service banned in Germany

Cab service Uber has been banned in Germany in the latest shot in a fight with the country's taxi drivers.

Uber cab service has been banned in Germany. Credit: PA

The ruling comes after Berlin authorities barred Uber from operating in the capital last month because of safety concerns.

The injunction applies pending a full hearing of a suit brought against Uber by a German group that offers a taxi-ordering app.

Their arguments were in line with those of established cab companies which claim Uber's app-based services, which offer limousines and pickups by private drivers, dodge rules that ordinary taxi firms have to abide by.

Black cab drivers in London protested over the introduction of Uber. Credit: PA Wire

Black cab drivers in London have protested about California-based Uber, claiming its app contravenes rules that restrict the use of taxi meters. Protests have also taken place in Paris and Madrid.

Putin could 'not wait to send aid convoy into Ukraine'

Russian President Vladimir Putin has reportedly told German Chancellor Angela Merkel that he decided to send a humanitarian aid convoy into Ukraine because he could no longer wait.

According to the Kremlin account of the phone call, President Putin expressed "serious concern" about the military escalation in eastern Ukraine.

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