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The Maastricht Diplomat

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The End

New leader for the AFD

The Alternative for Germany party (AFD) elected a new leader this week, Tino Churpalla. Mr. Churpalla won the leadership contest by 55% of the vote after the previous leader, Alexander Gauland, resigned from frontline politics. Mr. Gauland was a highly controversial figure in German politics, particularly in the last decade after the rise in prominence of the AFD. Last year the 78-year-old drew widespread criticism when he played down the Nazi era claiming that it is a speck of bird feces (this is a politically correct paraphrase to what he actually said) on the more than a 1000 year of German history. His successor Mr. Churpalla comes from the state of Saxony and is a house painter by trade. He will co-lead the divisive party with Jörg Meuthen, who is a member of the European Parliament. The new leaders will lead a party that has soared in popularity in Germany with a seat in all of Germany’s 16 regional parliaments.

London Bridge Terror Attack

London again experienced another terror-related attack this week. A 28-year-old man stabbed and killed two victims and wounded three others. One of the victims, Jack Merritt studied law at the University of Manchester and then went on to study at the University of Cambridge. The other, Saskia Jones, also studied at the University of Cambridge. They were attacked during a conference which they were both attending at Fishmonger’s Hall in London Bridge. Two men fought off and eventually subdued the attacker with chairs, fire extinguishers and narwhal tusks that were hanging on the wall. The attacker was eventually shot dead by police after appearing to wear a bomb vest, which later turned out to be fake. The attacker was released from prison half-way through 2018, serving half of his 16-year sentence for terrorism offences. Both civilians and the Metropolitan police force acted swiftly and efficiently, preventing any further harm and both should be commended and praised for their actions. The two victims were praised by both their family and university staff for their positive impact on the world. This is the fourth terror-related incident in London alone in the past 6 years.

Dumb, paranoid and unfortunately dead

A man died this week after reports of gun shots in Van Buren, Maine. Police arrived at the scene after the victim called 911 and the paramedics found the man injured in his home. Officers found that the front door had been fitted with a handgun that was set up to fire when the door was opened. The officers also found other booby traps around the house and were forced to call the bomb squad. Whilst setting up homemade security devices, or booby traps, is illegal in the US, several people have died in the last few years. This goes to show that maybe assault rifles are not as protective as some Americans think, even when used to “protect” one’s home. Unfortunately, the 65-year-old man found out the hard way.

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