Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson | KUOW News and Information

Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson

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Like the United States, Germany is grappling with fake news and hate speech and what to do about it. For decades, it has banned incitement, defamation, and phrases and symbols from the Nazi era.

But the lines have been a lot murkier when the offenses in question are on the Internet.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's governing coalition tried to address the discrepancy this year with a controversial "Network Enforcement Law," which the German parliament passed on June 30, and which quietly went into effect on Oct. 1.

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Update, 12:10 p.m., ET:

Preliminary results show Austrian voters have given the right-leaning party of their 31-year-old foreign minister a mandate to form the next government, but not enough to run Austria without partnering with another party.

Sebastian Kurz, who is likely to become the next Austrian chancellor, would be Europe's youngest leader. The popular foreign minister is said to be an avid hiker and windsurfer.

Chancellor Angela Merkel may have won Germany's national election on Sunday, but her Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union faction only won a third of the vote, its poorest showing since 1949.

In another blow to the incumbent leader, German voters also are sending right-wing nationalists to the parliament or Bundestag for the first time in 60 years.

Exit polls suggest that decision was more of a protest vote than a German shift to the right.

Preliminary results show German voters gave Chancellor Angela Merkel a mandate for a fourth term Sunday, but with far fewer votes than needed for her to govern without forming a coalition.

Merkel had campaigned on her record as a highly respected leader not only in Germany, but also internationally, as well as record low unemployment and strong economic growth. But German unhappiness over her refugee policy that allowed more than a million asylum seekers into the country since 2015 was something she never fully recovered from.

For the past six weeks, voters in Germany have been inundated by campaign posters ahead of Sunday's national election.

Passers-by walking down the street in just about every German city, town or village get a detailed look at who is running in their district and a condensed version of their campaign messages.

Green Party posters warn Germans to "either end coal or end climate." Another message: "Healthy food doesn't come from nature that's sick."

The anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany placards are even blunter.

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The 3-year-old war in eastern Ukraine, fought between government forces and Russian-backed separatists, has reached a stalemate with world leaders trying but failing to bring the conflict to an end.

Nowadays, fighting is concentrated in five hot spots, where Ukrainian-held territory ends and the areas seized by rebels begin. The battles there aren't as much about moving those lines as they are about wearing the enemy down.

But it's the thousands of Ukrainian civilians caught in the middle who are suffering, international monitors say.

The lush, green canopy that is Bialowieza Forest spans 350,000 acres between Poland and Belarus. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to a variety of endangered species like the European bison, which is slightly larger and leaner than its American cousin.

It also has some of the last old-growth forest in Europe, untouched by human hands, and there is a great deal of international interest in preserving the forest's delicate ecology.

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Are there Nazis in today's German military?

It's a question that's been plaguing Chancellor Angela Merkel's government since the arrests in late April of two German army officers accused of an elaborate plot to assassinate the German justice minister and former German president, as well as planned attacks on refugees.

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The German government is looking for neo-Nazis inside the ranks of its own military. This follows the recent arrests of two army officers charged in a far-right terror plot against refugees and politicians. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports.

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An American university in Hungary is fighting for survival. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban wants to shut it down, even though European Union officials are warning him not to. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports.

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There's a saying that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Apparently, so is history.

In the case of Poland's new Museum of the Second World War, the beholder is the nationalist government. Run by the populist Law and Justice Party, it has declared the museum an expensive mess that waters down Polish history and should be closed — or at a minimum, revamped. The museum opened March 23 in the northern port city of Gdansk, where World War II began when Germany invaded the city in 1939.

The right-wing government of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is taking steps that could cause a popular American university in Budapest to close.

Under a bill submitted to the Hungarian Parliament late Tuesday, non-EU universities issuing diplomas in Hungary would be required to have a campus in their home country.

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