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Germany

German Court To Muslim Student: Praying At School Disturbs The Peace

The Federal Administrative Court in Germany has ruled against an 18-year-old Muslim student involved in a drawn-out legal quest for permission to pray openly at school. The decision, however, does not rule out all prayer at school, which pleased activists

For at least one Muslim in Germany,
For at least one Muslim in Germany,
Matthias Drobinski

MUNICH -- Yunus M., an 18-year-old Muslim high school student at Diesterweg Gymnasium in Berlin, Germany, has failed in his fight for the right to pray in the public corridors at school. The latest decision concerns this individual case only, judges at the Federal Administrative Court emphasized. But should the plaintiff, who is near graduation, opt to pursue the matter, the only further legal recourse open to him is the Federal Constitutional Court.

The question that the case raises, however, remains: should Muslim students be able to pray openly at school?

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Geopolitics

Russia's Military Failures Are Really About Its Soldiers

No doubt, strategic errors and corruption at the highest ranks in the Kremlin are partly to blame for the Russian military's stunning difficulties in Ukraine. But the roots run deeper, where the ordinary recruits come from, how they are exploited, how they react.

Army reserve soldiers go to Red Square to attend a Pioneer Induction ceremony

Anna Akage

To the great relief of Ukraine and the great surprise of the rest of the world, the Russian army — considered until February 24, the second strongest in the world — is now eminently beatable on the battlefield against Ukrainian forces operating with vastly inferior firepower.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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After renouncing the original ambitions to take Kyiv and unseat the Ukrainian government, the focus turned to the southeastern region of Donbas, where a would-be great battle on a scale comparable to World War II Soviet victories has turned into a quagmire peppered with laughable updates by Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov on TikTok.

The Russians have not managed to occupy a single significant Ukrainian city, except Kherson, which they partially destroyed and now find difficult to hold. Meanwhile, Ukrainian civilians are left to suffer the bombing of cities and villages from Lviv to Odessa, with looting, torture and assorted war crimes.

The reasons for both the poor performance and atrocities are many, and include deep-seated corruption and lack of professionalism up through the highest ranks, including Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who had never served in the army, and arrived in his position only because of his loyalty to the No. 1 man in the Kremlin.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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