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German Chancellor Angela Merkel called Israeli settlements in the West Bank a “violation of international law,” during a joint press conference alongside Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas ahead of their meeting in Berlin, Friday. SOT, Angela Merkel, German Chancellor (German): "I will again make it clear from the German side that we need a positive dynamic to preserve the two-state solution, because I still don't see a reasonable alternative to the goal of a two-state solution. Both the Israeli and the Palestinian people have the right to live in freedom and security, and that cannot be credibly guaranteed by any other option, and that's why the implementation of the two-state solution must not only be preserved, but rather, during hard times and when there are setbacks, we need to always try to bring up this positive dynamic." SOT, Angela Merkel, German Chancellor (German): "I have said again and again that the settlements in the occupied territories are a violation of international law and are an obstacle to resolving the conflict.
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Guenter Lubitz, the father of Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, said his son was not suffering from depression on the day his plane crashed in the French Alps, during a press conference in Berlin on Friday. The crash happened exactly two years ago and killed all 150 people on board. SOT, Guenter Lubitz, father of Andreas Lubitz (German): "No matter which day I choose, the reactions would always be the same. We didn't choose this day to hurt the other people who are concerned. We chose this day because we would get the most attention for our message. Attention for the message that at the moment of the crash our son was not depressive." SOT, Tim Van Beveren, journalist and aviation expert (German): "It was already clear [for the investigators], that it was the pilot, so all other possibilities can be ignored. It has to be the pilot. And that is dangerous, because then things are suddenly blended out which possibly could have been related.
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Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed French presidential candidate and leader of the National Front (FN) Marine le Pen during a meeting in Moscow on Friday. Putin stated that Moscow gave great importance to the relationship between Russia and France, but also wanted to maintain good relations with both government and opposition representatives. The Russian leader added that there would be no attempt to influence the upcoming elections in France. However, he added that Moscowreserves the right to communicate with all the representatives of all political forces in the country, as our partners in Europe and the United States do.” Le Pen in turn touted the deep ties between France and Russia in the areas of culture, economics and international strategy, calling for a better relationship between Paris and Moscow. Aside from her meeting with Putin, Le Pen was in Moscow to meet with senior Russian parliamentarians and was scheduled to join a meeting with the Russian State Duma's International Affairs Committee.
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French National Front leader and presidential candidate Marine Le Pen met with State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, in Moscow on Friday. They discussed parliamentary cooperation and international issues including the fight against global terrorism. Le Pen also expressed her opinion on European sanctions against Russia saying, "I have always advocated the lifting of sanctions against Russia." SOT, Marine Le Pen, French presidential candidate and leader of the National Front (FN), (French): "I have always advocated the lifting of sanctions against Russia, I always thought they were counterproductive and in turn I consider them a democratic violation which restrict parliamentarians talking to each other and working together. I obviously support the return of parliamentarians meeting to abolish these blacklists, at least in France, because nowadays these black lists still exist, largely under pressure from the European Union.
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Many people would die to have access to public transport right at their doorstep. However, the location of one railway station in Chongqing might be pushing that sentiment to the extreme - residents of an apartment block in China’s ‘Mountain Citycurrently have a train running straight through their building. The Chongqing Rail Transit No. 2, which could be seen coming and going from the block of flats on Friday, passes directly through the middle of a 19 storey apartment building. The residents are able to catch the train without leaving their block, boarding and exiting its carriages from their very own station located between the sixth and eighth floor. Yang Lijuan, Resident of Chongqing (Mandarin): "The first floor to the sixth is the shop, the sixth floor to the eighth floor is the light rail station." Yang Lijuan, Resident of Chongqing (Mandarin): "They are built together, they planted the pillars first, and then built the house according to the light rail pillars.
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