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German anti-Islam group plan first UK protest in Newcastle

A German group which protests against the perceived "Islamification of the West" is planning its first UK rally at the end of the month.

Last month 25,000 people joined a demonstration in the streets of Dresden in support of Pegida.

upporters of anti-immigration movement Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West (PEGIDA) hold flags during a demonstration in Dresden Credit: Reuters

The group, known by its German acronym which translates as Patriotic Europeans Against The Islamisation Of The West, is planning an event in Newcastle on Saturday 28th February.

A Facebook post attributed to the group said: "Pegida UK is holding its first rally in Newcastle. All are welcome to attend. lets show the Islamists we show no fear."

Opponents have plans to hold a counter-demonstration, claiming the group is supported by members of the far right.

Northumbria Police said it had not been contacted by the organisers.

Talks to try for 'a peaceful settlement' in Ukraine

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande will meet Ukraine's Petro Poroshenko in Kiev today and Vladimir Putin in Moscow tomorrow to discuss how to stop the violence in eastern Ukraine.

Members of the separatist self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic drive armoured vehicles in the Donetsk region. Credit: Reuters

"In view of the escalating violence in recent days, the chancellor and President Hollande are intensifying their efforts, which have been going on for months, for a peaceful settlement to the conflict in eastern Ukraine," Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said in a statement.

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Greece tells Germany it will 'never again' have budget deficit

Greek finance Mmnister Yanis Varoufakis promised that his country will "never again" have a budget deficit and tried to reassure Germany that Athens' new policies did not mean it was turning its back on reform.

Greek Minister of Finance Gianis Varoufakis. Credit: Arne Dedert/DPA/Press Association Images

Varoufakis told German newspaper Die Zeit:

The Germans have to understand that it doesn't mean we are straying from the reform path if we give a pensioner who lives on 300 euros a month an extra 300 euros a year.

I can promise you Greece will - apart from interest payments - never again present a budget deficit. Never, never, never!

Varoufakis added that the new Greek government "will never seek financial help from Moscow."

He is scheduled to meet German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble tomorrow after touring Europe to drum up support for plans to halt the austerity policies prescribed by Berlin.

Anti-Islam protest in Leipzig smaller than expected

Supporters of the anti-Islam movement Pegida took to the streets in the German cities of Leipzip and Cologne on Wednesday night.

Supporters of the anti-Islam Pegida movement gather in Leipzig in east Germany Credit: REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

The movement has attracted tens of thousands of people onto the streets each week in Dresden, where it started out, but tonight's gatherings were smaller than expected.

Members of KOGIDA, the Cologne arm of the anti-immigrant movement Credit: REUTERS/Ina Fassbender

The anti-immigration protesters were outnumbered by a counter-demonstration in Leipzig.

Riot police stand guard in front of Cologne Cathedral during a rally by members of KOGIDA Credit: REUTERS/Ina Fassbender

Two people arrested in Berlin terror raids

Police in Germany say they have arrested two men on suspicion of recruiting fighters and obtaining equipment and funding for the so-called Islamic State group in Syria.

German media surround police as they leave an apartment building in Berlin following an anti-terror raid. Credit: Reuters

The two men, aged 41 and 43, were detained in a series of raids on 11 residences in the German capital Berlin.

Police said there is no evidence they were planning attacks in Germany.

The arrests come amid heightened security across Europe following the Paris terror atrocities last week.

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93-year-old former Auschwitz guard to go on trial

A 93-year-old man charged with 300,000 counts of accessory to murder for serving as an SS guard at the Nazis' Auschwitz death camp will go on trial early next year, a court in Germany has decided.

The Lueneburg state court said its review of the prosecution's case against Oskar Groening determined there was enough evidence to proceed with the trial.

Oskar Groening has openly spoken in interviews about his time as a guard at Auschwitz. Credit: PA Wire

Groening has openly spoken in interviews about his time as an Auschwitz guard and said he witnessed atrocities but did not commit any crimes himself.

Prosecutors claim Groening helped the Nazi regime benefit economically and supported systematic killings in his job by dealing with the belongings stolen from camp victims.

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