The German Chancellor said what gifts were exchanged with Putin

Merkel urges closer EU-Turkey dialogue to maintain communication channels

Despite a hard start - former SPD head Martin Schulz first refused to enter a grand coalition, then was forced to walk back on his position, prompting his resignation - the parties are now in a position to "work together constructively" and put an end to Germany's "time of uncertainty", Scholz told reporters at a joint press conference alongside Merkel and CSU leader Horst Seehofer.

Germany's parliament on Wednesday voted in Angela Merkel to a fourth term as the country's chancellor, heading a "grand coalition" of conservative and center-left parties.

As the chancellor received standing ovations, handshakes and bouquets of flowers from delegates across the political spectrum, she was watched over by her 89-year-old mother Herlind Kasner, seated on the Bundestag's gallery next to Merkel's long-term adviser Beate Baumann and husband Joachim Sauer. Since October 24, 2017 she and her Cabinet continue as the acting government until a new government is formed. Merkel said on Monday her new government's focus would be on integrating refugees as well as increasing state powers to extradite people who had no right of residence.

"I am optimistic that we'll manage it", Merkel said.

Donald Trump proposes 'Space Force' to battle in the stars
We'll call it the space force .' Not really serious", he told the crowd to mixed laughter, "And then I said 'What a great idea. After extensive politicking the US Congress passed the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act in November.

Lawmakers in Berlin's glass-domed Reichstag voted 364-315 with nine abstentions for Merkel who was then to be formally appointed by President Frank-Walter Steinmeier before taking the oath of office at 1100 GMT.

The new "grand coalition" of Germany's biggest parties emerged after Merkel's attempt to forge an alliance with two smaller parties collapsed.

Angela Merkel "optimistic" and eager to 'get to work very quickly'.

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