Algerian president falls sick hours to receiving German chancellor

German chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to Algeria was postponed on Monday after Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika suffered a bout of “acute bronchitis”.

The visit was postponed because of the “temporary unavailability” of Bouteflika, according to a statement.

Merkel was due to arrive in Algeria later Monday for a two-day visit, part of an effort to bolster economic relations with North African countries and stem migration to Germany ahead of national elections this year.

Over the past 11 years, Bouteflika, 79, has been in the hospital numerous times in France.

In 2016, he went to the French city of Grenoble for “regular medical tests.”

There has been intense speculation as to the state of Bouteflika’s health. In 2013, he received treatment for two and a half months in France after suffering a stroke.

Bouteflika has been in power since 1999. His current term ends in 2019.

The German chancellor was scheduled to hold talks with Bouteflika on Tuesday.

Key topics on the agenda were economic development, migration and security in the region, a spokeswoman said in a statement.

Merkel was also expected to meet with civil society representatives and visit a school for girls where the German language is taught.

Germany is seeking to forge closer relations with North African countries such as Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia in order to speed up deportations of unsuccessful asylum seekers from those countries.

Algeria shares borders with Mali and Niger, both of which are key transit countries for migrants and refugees, as well as Libya, where around 90 per cent of the migrants arriving in Europe via the Mediterranean set sail.


Source: The Cable

Trump Rips Time Magazine, Insults Angela Merkel After Being Snubbed For Person Of The Year

Real-estate mogul Donald Trump panned Time magazine on Wednesday for its Person of the Year declaration.

The magazine selected German Chancellor Angela Merkel, praising how she handled Europe’s currency and refugee crises.

Trump, the Republican presidential front-runner, was among the finalists.

He wrote on Twitter that he was the “big favorite” and Merkel was “ruining Germany.”

On the campaign trail, Trump often criticizes Merkel for opening up her country to Syrian refugees despite the terror threat emanating from the Islamic State group, which is based in Syria and Iraq. Trump has repeatedly warned that the Syrian refugees coming to the US could be a great “Trojan horse” for terrorists to launch a military attack.

Time’s editor, Nancy Gibbs, announced the magazine’s Person of the Year award on the “Today” show. Trump finished in third place, she said, behind the Islamic State’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

“We’ve never named a presidential candidate as person of the year,” Gibbs said of Trump.

Credit: B.I

TIME Finally Names Woman As Person Of The Year In 29 Years

After 29 years, TIME has finally named a woman as its Person of the Year.

The magazine announced on the “Today” show this morning that German Chancellor Angela Merkel beat out Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin and ISIS leader Abu Kabr al-Baghdadi for its yearly honor.

Merkel has made headlines this year for opening Germany’s borders to thousands of refugees and for managing Europe’s economic crisis.

Credit: Cosmopolitan