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Germany

When Diplomatic Immunity Becomes A License To Treat Domestic Staff Like Dogs

She worked late hours for meager pay, and suffered constant abuse. But in the end, the case of the Berlin-based Indonesian housekeeper went nowhere – thanks to her alleged tormentor’s diplomatic status. Is it time to change the longstanding practice of di

The Saudi Arabian Embassy in Berlin, Germany (sporst)
The Saudi Arabian Embassy in Berlin, Germany (sporst)
Constanze von Bullion

BERLIN -- The life of a domestic slave takes place at floor level. That's the way it was described by the Indonesian woman who lived it. Sleeping on the floor, summer and winter, with only a sheet to use as mattress or to keep her warm. Scrubbing the floor. Kneeling on the floor to tie the shoelaces of her employer's children.

The children were already in their early teens – old enough to tie their own shoelaces, to get dressed on their own. But human beings are obsessed with comfort, and they get annoyed if they're not getting something they take for granted. And when the children of a slaveholder get whiny, it's dangerous for the slave. She may face not only a beating but have a bottle thrown at her – and then it's back down on the floor, picking up the shattered glass.

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Geopolitics

NATO Entry For Sweden And Finland? Erdogan May Not Be Bluffing

When the two Nordic countries confirmed their intention to join NATO this week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeated his plans to block the application. Accusing Sweden and Finland of' "harboring" some of his worst enemies may not allow room for him to climb down.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared opposition to Finland and Sweden entering NATO

Meike Eijsberg

-Analysis-

LONDON — When Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared his opposition to Finland and Sweden entering NATO, it took most of the West's top diplomatic experts by surprise — with the focus squarely on how Russia would react to having two new NATO members in the neighborhood. (So far, that's been a surprise too)

But now Western oversight on Turkey's stance has morphed into a belief in some quarters that Erdogan is just bluffing, trying to get concessions from the negotiations over such a key geopolitical issue.

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To be clear, any prospective NATO member requires the consent of all 30 member states and their parliaments. So Erdogan does indeed have a card to play, which is amplified by the sense of urgency: NATO, Sweden and Finland are keen to complete the accession process with the war in Ukraine raging and the prospect of strengthening the military alliance's position around the Baltic Sea.

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