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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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Report: Germany 'recorded Kerry's phone conversation'

Germany's foreign intelligence agency recorded at least one phone conversation held by US Secretary of State John Kerry, a German magazine reported.

US Secretary of State John Kerry Credit: PA Wire

Der Spiegel cited unnamed sources as saying Germany security agents had intercepted Kerry's words when he was in the Middle East negotiating between Israelis, Palestinians and Arab states last year.

But the intelligence agency spokeswoman told Reuters Germany was not tapping the phones of allied countries and said the United States was not a target.

Ecclestone has to pay £60m bribery trial settlement

Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has to pay $100 million (£60m) as a settlement payment in his bribery trial, a Munich district court said.

A spokesman for the court said the suspicion against the 83-year-old was largely not substantiated.

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