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Plans for new elite anti-terror unit

Troops from the elite GSG 9 counter-terror unitGermany’s interior ministry is planning to beef up its terror response capacity by setting up an new elite unit to be deployed in emergency situations, on top of Germany’s existing GSG 9.

The government is taking the step as a response to the recent terror attacks in France and Denmark, believing that Germany’s current reaction capacity is too limited, reports Der Spiegel.

Germany needs “a robust unit that can confront such situations,” said the Christian Democrat (CDU) specialist for the interior, Armin Schuster.

Schuster said he saw it as “the duty of the federal government to be able to provide the German states with such a unit when necessary.”

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Germany News in Brief - March 26, 2015

Uber online taxi service banned

FRANKFURT – A German court has ruled against US taxi app company Uber, issuing a nationwide ban on its ride-sharing service uberPOP.

The firm, which operates in 250 cities worldwide, has drawn criticism in many countries from regulators and established taxi operators.

A Frankfurt regional court found in favour of industry group Taxi Deutschland and issued an injunction that bans the uberPOP service, with each breach to face a €250,000 fine.

Judge Joachim Nickel confirmed an earlier ruling last year that Uber was in breach of a German law that says only certified professional drivers may transport passengers for money.

The uberPOP application puts non-professional drivers with their own cars in touch with passengers via their mobile phones or a website, for rides at budget rates.

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Coalition agrees final road toll changes

The toll each driver will pay will be determined by the size of their vehicle and its impact on the environmentGermany’s ruling coalition agreed final changes to its planned road toll on Monday night, leaving the path clear for it to be voted through by MPs tomorrow, March 27.

The Passauer Neue Presse reports that ministers thrashed out an agreement on the price of short-term permit stickers for foreign road users, which has been a key battleground in the negotiations.

Ten-day passes will now cost from €5 to €15, instead of the flat rate of €10 which was previously proposed. Two-month passes will now be staggered between €16 and €30.

The price each driver pays will be determined by the size of their vehicle and its environmental impact.

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