Tag Archives: Austrian

Five murdered in Austrian ski town of Kitzbuehel: police

Five murdered in Austrian ski town of Kitzbuehel: policeAustrian police are investigating the suspected murder of five people in the ski town of Kitzbuehel, police said on Sunday. The suspected perpetrator had been detained, Austrian press agency APA reported, citing police. The police spokesman declined comment to Reuters on the local media reports.



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Austrian triathlete Nathalie Birli survives kidnapping after convincing man to free her

Austrian triathlete Nathalie Birli survives kidnapping after convincing man to free herAn Austrian triathlete survived a kidnapping in which she was first hit by a car, tied up with duct tape and then taken to a remote house where she was held for hours before convincing her abductor to release her, police said. A 33-year-old man has been arrested. Nathalie Birli, 27, was training with her bicycle on a road in Kumberg in southern Austria on Tuesday afternoon when she was abducted, Graz police spokesman Fritz Grundnig said. The attacker, whose name wasn't given according to Austrian privacy rules, was arrested on Wednesday. Birli said that she was on her bicycle when a car rammed into her and knocked her over, according to an interview published in local newspaper Krone on Thursday. She said she broke her left arm in the fall and the driver then beat her with a stick and threw her into the back seat. Birli, who has a 14-week-old son, said that she lost consciousness for a while, and when she woke up she was naked and tied to an armchair, Krone reported. "He was full of hatred," she said. "He blindfolded me, forced me to drink wine and schnapps and he always held a knife in his hand." Birli said at some point he held her nose and mouth and she thought he wanted to suffocate her but then stopped and forced her into a bathtub with cold water "to drown me." She said the situation began to change when she saw that there were a lot of orchids in the house and she expressed her admiration for the plants. "All of a sudden the attacker was nice to me," Birli told Krone. He told her that he was a gardener and started talking about his horrible life – "a dead father, a mother addicted to alcohol and girlfriends who betrayed him," Birli said. Birli said that was the moment when she suggested a "deal" to the man. "'Let's pretend it was an accident,' I offered him, 'and you let me go.'" He agreed, took off the duct tape and drove her all the way home, she said. "I went right into the house, locked the door and called my partner," Birli said. Police managed to track down the suspect and he was arrested early Wednesday by Austria's Cobra special forces. Birli, in a Facebook post on Wednesday, said the experience was like a "bad movie" and thanked all who went out looking for her when she was missing. "Thank God I could liberate myself, and other than a fractured arm and a head injury, I'm fine," she said.



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Cossacks and flowers as Putin dances at Austrian minister's wedding

Cossacks and flowers as Putin dances at Austrian minister's weddingRussian President Vladimir Putin danced arm-in-arm with Austria’s Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl at her wedding on Saturday, after receiving an invitation that opposition critics said undermined the West’s stance against Moscow. Photographs showed Kneissl, 53, smiling in a long white and cream “dirndl” dress and talking to Putin as they danced in a vineyard in southern Styria province, the venue of her wedding to entrepreneur Wolfgang Meilinger. Putin – who made a toast in German at the wedding, according to the Kremlin – was pictured listening to her intently.



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Cossacks and flowers as Putin dances at Austrian minister's wedding

Cossacks and flowers as Putin dances at Austrian minister's weddingRussian President Vladimir Putin danced arm-in-arm with Austria’s Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl at her wedding on Saturday, after receiving an invitation that opposition critics said undermined the West’s stance against Moscow. Putin arrived in a car carrying a bouquet of flowers and accompanied, local media said, by a troupe of Cossack singers booked to serenade the newlyweds. Photographs showed Kneissl, 53, smiling in a long white and cream “dirndl” dress and talking to Putin as they danced in a vineyard in southern Styria province, the venue of her wedding to entrepreneur Wolfgang Meilinger.



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Putin attends Austrian foreign minster's wedding

Putin attends Austrian foreign minster's weddingRussian President Vladimir Putin attended the wedding of Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl on Saturday, in a visit that the opposition says has damaged Austria’s reputation for political neutrality. Putin was one of around 100 guests at Kneissl’s wedding to businessman Wolfgang Meilinger in the picturesque village of Gamlitz in southeastern Austria.



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Vladimir Putin dances at Austrian foreign minister's wedding 

Vladimir Putin dances at Austrian foreign minister's wedding  Russian President Vladimir Putin danced arm in arm with Austria's Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl at her wedding on Saturday, after receiving an invitation that opposition critics said undermined the West's stance against Moscow. Putin arrived in a car carrying a bouquet of flowers and accompanied, local media said, by a troupe of Cossack singers booked to serenade the newlyweds – on a stopover on his way to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel outside Berlin. Photographs showed Kneissl, 53, smiling in a long white and cream "dirndl" dress and talking to Putin as they danced in a vineyard in southern Styria province, the venue of her wedding to entrepreneur Wolfgang Meilinger. The invitation surprised many in Vienna and Moscow, particularly at a time when the European Union is at odds with Russia over its annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region and other issues. There have been no reports that Kneissl – a polyglot Middle East expert without political affiliation – has a particularly close friendship with Putin. But she was appointed to her job by the far-right Freedom Party (FPO) which has links with Putin's party. The invitation surprised many in Vienna and Moscow, particularly at a time when the European Union is at odds with Russia over its annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region and other issues. Credit: Reuters FPO leader and Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache, who joined Austria's governing coalition last year, praised her as a "bridge builder" as he congratulated the couple and wished them "all the luck in the world and eternal love!" The international coverage of the visit would bring priceless publicity, he added. "A better advertisement for Austria, its wonderful nature, dreamlike landscape and real life hospitality cannot exist!" Joerg Leichtfried from the opposition Social Democrats tweeted that Austria's current presidency of the Council of the European Union put it in an especially delicate spot given tensions between Putin and the West. "All the more symbolic and harmful to court the Russian president in this manner," he said. Mr Putin arrived in a car carrying a bouquet of flowers and accompanied by a troupe of Cossack singers to serenade the couple  Credit: Reuters Austria's governing coalition – led by the conservatives of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who also attended the wedding – has presented itself as a bridge builder with Moscow. It says it shares the EU's foreign policy stance, but did not follow other members of the bloc in expelling Russian diplomats after Britain accused Russia of involvement in the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in England – a charge Moscow denies. Putin is due to travel to Germany later on Saturday to meet Chancellor Angela Merkel for talks about Syria, Ukraine and energy at the government's Meseberg palace outside Berlin.



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Cossacks and flowers as Putin dances at Austrian minister's wedding

Cossacks and flowers as Putin dances at Austrian minister's weddingRussian President Vladimir Putin danced arm-in-arm with Austria’s Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl at her wedding on Saturday, after receiving an invitation that opposition critics said undermined the West’s stance against Moscow. Photographs showed Kneissl, 53, smiling in a long white and cream “dirndl” dress and talking to Putin as they danced in a vineyard in southern Styria province, the venue of her wedding to entrepreneur Wolfgang Meilinger. Putin – who made a toast in German at the wedding, according to the Kremlin – was pictured listening to her intently.



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Austrian data privacy activist takes aim at 'forced consent'

Austrian data privacy activist takes aim at 'forced consent'VIENNA/LONDON (Reuters) – As Europe’s new privacy law took effect on Friday, one activist wasted no time in asserting the additional rights it gives people over the data that companies want to collect about them. Austrian Max Schrems filed complaints against Google, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, arguing they were acting illegally by forcing users to accept intrusive terms of service or lose access. “You have to have a ‘yes or no’ option,” Schrems said in an interview recorded in Vienna before he filed the complaints in various European jurisdictions.



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Women forced to remove the veil on day one of Austrian burqa ban

Women forced to remove the veil on day one of Austrian burqa banMuslim women in Austria were forced by police to remove their facial coverings on Sunday, as an anti-burqa law came into effect. The so-called 'burqa ban' prohibits facial coverings including niqabs and burqas, and also places restrictions on surgical masks, ski masks and clown make-up worn in public.  Yesterday, a woman wearing a niqab facial veil, which only leaves the eyes uncovered, was seen being told to remove her veil by two police officers in Zell am See, a city south of Saltzburg. Austria's ban on full-face Islamic veils comes into force following similar measures in other European countries Credit: BARBARA GINDL/AFP/Getty Images Those who defy the ban could face a fine of €150 (£132). While the rule applies to some non-religious facial coverings, it is mostly perceived to be directed at the extremely modest clothes worn by a minority of Muslim women. Police officers ask a woman to unveil her face in Zell am See, Austria Credit: BARBARA GINDL/AFP/Getty Images Full veils remain rare in Austria despite the surge of migrants and refugees into Europe in 2015, but they have become a target for right-wing groups and political parties.  The measures, similar to those in other European Union countries such as France, also apply to visitors even though large numbers of Arab tourists holiday in the Alpine country. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has previously indicated her support for a similar law in Germany, saying: “Our law takes precedence over codes of honor, tribal or family rules, and over sharia law.” Some Muslim groups in Austria have criticised the ban. Carla Amina Bhagajati of the Islamic Religious Community in Austria said the “handful” of fully veiled women she knows of in Vienna “now are criminalized and… restricted to their homes.” A model holds an information pamphlet about new Austrian restrictions  Credit: JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images The legislation was brought in by the outgoing centrist government of Chancellor Christian Kern. The government said: "Acceptance and respect of Austrian values are basic conditions for successful cohabitation between the majority Austrian population and people from third countries living in Austria."  However, the strong support for the new law could point towards political upheaval in Austria's general election on October 15. Austrian parties campaigning on anti-migrant messages are predicted to win and form a coalition government, reflecting a swing to the right in a country that has mainly had centrist governments since World War II. The election is expected to see the anti-immigration Freedom Party (FPOe) come second or third and potentially enter a coalition with Sebastian Kurz of the centre-right. Other measures that came into force Sunday include immigrants signing an "integration contract" and compulsory courses in the German language and "values".



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Five climbers killed, one injured in Austrian mountain accident

Five climbers killed, one injured in Austrian mountain accidentFive climbers were killed and one seriously injured after a mountain accident on Sunday in the Austrian state of Salzburg, the Austrian Press Agency reported. The tragedy involved a group of climbers in the so-called Mannlkarscharte, a gap in the mountains southwest of Salzburg at about 3,000 meters (10,000 ft) above sea level. The accident was observed by another group of climbers.



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