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Germany

Angela To Ursula? The Woman Who May Succeed Merkel

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen is a fighter. The authors of two new books about the daughter of the very conservative Ernst Albrecht envision the unconventional leader as the next chancellor.

Ursula Von der Leyen in the German Parliament
Ursula Von der Leyen in the German Parliament
Nathalie Versieux

BERLIN — Once again, the scandal came close to Angela Merkel’s Minister of Defense Ursula von der Leyen. This time, it was about the G36 assault rifle, the standard weapon of some 170,000 soldiers of the Bundeswehr, or German defense forces. For the past few years, the troops have been complaining about this piece of equipment. Heated by the sun, after a long stay in a truck or after extended use, the G36's shooting accuracy is just 53%. But several alarming reports about it didn't change anything.

It was "as if the German manufacturer Heckler & Koch benefited from special relations with the army's order department," the daily newspaper Tagesspiegel notes. But Ursula von der Leyen retorted, "This weapon has no future in the German army in its current state of construction." It was with the same rigor that she has handled several other embarrassing cases inherited from her predecessors in the 18 months she has been at the helm of the Ministry of Defense.

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Ideas

García Márquez And Truth: How Journalism Fed The Novelist's Fantasy

In his early journalistic writings, the Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez showed he had an eye for factual details, in which he found the absurdity and 'magic' that would in time be the stuff and style of his fiction.

Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez reads his book

J. D. Torres Duarte

BOGOTÁ — In short stories written in the 1940s and early 50s and later compiled in Eyes of a Blue Dog, the late Gabriel García Márquez, Colombia's Nobel Prize-winning novelist, shows he is as yet a young writer, with a style and subjects that can be atypical.

Stylistically, García Márquez came into his own in the celebrated One Hundred Years of Solitude. Until then both his style and substance took an erratic course: touching the brevity of film scripts in Nobody Writes to the Colonel, technical experimentation in Leaf Storm, the anecdotal short novel in In Evil Hour or exploring politics in Big Mama's Funeral. Throughout, the skills he displayed were rather of a precocious juggler.

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