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Russia, Iran and other states agree on Caspian Sea access The leaders of five countries bordering the Caspian Sea signed a landmark convention Sunday regarding the legal status of the body of water. Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan signed the deal in the small seaside city of Aktau, in Kazakhstan. The inland sea has been a bone of contention among the five bordering countries since the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991. Watch video 02:01 Azerbaijan - autocracy and power supplier The agreement is expected to ease regional tensions, and could accelerate the development of lucrative oil and gas projects. Kazakh President Nursultan Nazerbyev, who hosted the meeting, said before the signing ceremony that the leaders were "participants in a historic event."

German student David Missal expelled from China after making human rights film German journalism student David Missal has been denied a new Chinese visa to complete his studies at Beijingʼs prestigious Tsinghua University after he made a film about the countryʼspersecution of human rights lawyers. Missal told the German news agency dpa that he was due to leave the country on Sunday after his residence permit was shortened and his student visa was not extended. The 24-year-old told dpa that he assumed that the decision was linked to the minidocumentary he produced for his masterʼs program, as his student visa didnʼt allow him to carry out such activities.

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Chancellor Angela Merkel in Spain for talks on refugees, migrants She also spoke out against racism

Speaking alongside Spainʼs new prime minister, Pedro Sanchez, German Chancellor Angela Merkel advocated a "fair distribution" of migrants across the EU.

Fresenius case puts spotlight on misuse of medicines in executions A lawsuit filed by a German pharma company against the US state of Nebraska has once again drawn attention to US authorities finding it hard to obtain the drug cocktails they need to carry out the death penalty. The United States remains an exception among Western democracies when it comes to the death penalty. As many as 31 US states have capital punishment on their books and almost 1,500 people have been executed in the country since 1976. Some 3,000 inmates in US prisons are currently

on death row. To carry out executions, all US states resort to theuse of lethal injections. There are three drugs typically used in the lethalinjection cocktail: Midazolam, which is used as an anesthetic; Vecuronium bromide, which causes paralysis; Potassium chloride, which is used to stop the heart. But opposition to capital punishment has been on the rise worldwide, including in the US. While lethal injection was previously touted as a simple, humane way to put condemned prisoners to death, many now disagree.

BlacKkKlansman by Spike Lee released The latest of several films examining the situation of Afro-Americans in the United States, Spike Leeʼs newest work, BlacKkKlansman, has been described as impassioned and tense, but also funny. Released in the US on August 10, the movie will be shown in German theaters beginning August 23. Released one year after violent protests by and against neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia, the film shows footage

filmed there — and Trumpʼs infamous reaction blaming "both sides" for the violence. Applauded in Cannes and Locarno Based on a true story, the film tells of the black undercover agent Ron Stallworth and his Jewish colleague, who were accepted into the Ku Klux Klan in 1979. Employing the element of farce, the film draws a clear parallel to current politics and racial injustice in the USA.

Germany: Fewer attacks on migrants Germany saw just over 700 antimigrant attacks in the first half of 2018, according to the latest Interior Ministry figures. Numbers published by German media on Sunday show that officials recorded 627 assaults against individuals and 77 attacks on refugee shelters, leaving 120 people injured overall. The offenses included grievous bodily harm, arson, damage to property, incitement of hatred and weapons law violations. The latest figures mark a significant reduction in xenophobic attacks from the previous two years. Last year, the government recorded some2,200 attacks on migrants and refugee shelters, while in 2016 there were more than 3,500 cases.

NASA launches historic Parker Solar Probe to the sun NASAʼsParker Solar Probeblasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Sunday, marking the start of a historic mission towards the sun. The spacecraft, about the size of a small car, is set to travel directly through the sunʼs atmosphere, making it the first probe to reach the sunʼs corona where temperatures exceed a million degrees Fahrenheit (555,000 degrees Celsius). The probe was finally launched on top of a Delta IV Heavy rocket into the night sky at 3:31 am local time (07:31 UTC), after a last-minute technical glitchpostponed the launch by 24 hours.

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Police identify source of deadly Novichok nerve agent in UK deaths British police announced Friday that they found a bottle containing the Novichok nerve agent in the home of one of the victims of a nerve agent poisoning in Wiltshire last month. "On Wednesday, 11 July, a small bottle was recovered during searches of Charlie Rowleyʼs house in Amesbury," police said in a statement. The statement said scientists from Porton Down defense laboratory confirmed the bottle contained the Novichok nerve agent, the same poison used against Sergei Skripal and his daughter earlier this year. "Further scientific tests will be carried out to try and establish whether it is from the same batch that contaminated Sergei and Yulia Skripal in March," the force said, adding that a link to the Skripals remained "a main line of enquiry for police." Dawn Sturgess died in a hospitalon Sunday after exposure to the nerve agent. Her partner, Rowley, isstill in critical condition, but has regained consciousness. The Foreign Office said on Friday it had invited independent technical experts from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons early next week "to independently confirm the identity of the nerve agent."

Transfer news: Thilo Kehrer to join Tuchelʼs PSG

South Korea mulls a ban on fire-prone BMW cars

The South Korean unit of the Munich-based company is struggling to deal with the negative fallout from the engine fire problem. "Unforeseen fires breaking out in public places like petrol stations and parking lots could lead to bigger accidents, so we are considering banning any BMW that has not undergone safety tests from being driven," said Kim Hyun-mi, the South Korean minister of transport, in an emergency press conference on

Wednesday. The minister called on the company to introduce measures to stop the problem worsening and prevent similar incidents in the future, adding that punishments will be stepped up against any company that fails to deal with a product crisis adequately. "Companies found guilty of delaying recalls or hiding defects will face severe punishment that makes it difficult for them to sell their products in Korea again," he said.

Foods whose names Germans canʼt agree on From Bavaria to Berlin, the German word you use for these foods will reveal where you come from. Even if dialects and accents donʼt betray them, there are telltale words that give away whether a German-speaker comes from Germany, Austria or Switzerland — and even roughly which part of Germany. Words for toys, food and everyday items can differ depending on regions. They are nevertheless regarded as standard German and not regional dialect, as Ulrich Ammon, professor emeritus of linguis-

tics and a specialist in Sociolinguistics at the University of Duisburg-Essen, told DW in an interview: "Standard language can be used in the public realm without objection." In a nutshell: Thereʼs more than one way to say "Brötchen" (bread rolls). The question is, will the clerk at the bakery understand you? Speaking of bread — which Germany is famous for around the world — there are not only different words for rolls and loaves, but many names for the part of a loaf that some unthinkingly throw away, and others covet: the heel.

Another young talent leaves Schalke. The Gelsenkirchen club has announced that theyʼve reached an agreement with Thomas Tuchelʼs Paris Saint-Germain over the transfer of Thilo Kehrer.

Forest SOS: Earthʼs green lungs disappear From a damp year-round lush green canopy, to a canvas of oranges and reds come the fall, to pointed trees with evergreen spindles, the mention of a forest will evoke strikingly different images depending on where in the world you live. But for all those physical and geographical differences, forests have many things in common. They help regulate weather patterns, prevent flooding and erosion, and provide food, water and shelter. They also provide oxygen, store CO₂ and, oceans aside, have the greatest biodiversity on the planet.

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Can Germany conquer global e-car markets? Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), a division of Bloomberg focused on research and analysis of energy investment, carbon markets, and low-carbon energy solutions, has released its 2018 global long-term "Electric Vehicle Outlook" report which forecasts electric vehicle (EV) trends to 2040. One take-home message that emerges from the report is that the future of EV is bright, with rapid increases in battery electric vehicle (BEV) production volume expected in coming years. BNEF estimates that e-cars are likely to reach unsubsidized price parity with comparable internal combustion engine powered vehicles (ICEVs) by about 2024, as battery-pack prices continue to drop. Another insight provided by Bloombergʼs data is that although German carmakers have until recently been slow and reluctant to move away from ICEVs and toward EV production, in the past couple of years, they have begun shifting gears.

Hong Kong rule new Haruki Murakamiʼs novel ʼindecentʼ A backlash was growing in Hong Kong after Obscene Articles Tribunal ruled "Killing Commendatore", the 2017 novel by noted Japanese author Haruki Murakami, to be "indecent." By Thursday, more than 2,100 people had signed an online petition backed by 21 activist groups for the censors to remove the categorization Classifying the novel as indecent would "bring shame to Hong Kong people," the petition says, stressing that no other novels by the 69-year-old author have ever been classified as indecent in Hong Kong, Taiwan, or mainland China. "If this is set to be a precedent case, Hong Kong would become the most conservative Chinese area," the South China Morning Post quoted the document as saying. Read more:Hong Kongʼs democracy movement ʼneeds new ideasʼ ʼExplicit sexual detailsʼ The latest Murakami book revolves around a portrait artist whose wife unexpectedly asks for a divorce. It features occasional sex scenes, similar to the authorʼs previous works. Earlier this month, the Office of Film, Newspaper and Article Administration in Hong Kong said they had received a public complaint about "explicit sexual details" in the novel, which they passed on to the censorship board.