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German police probe incident at Scholz party event

German police probe incident at Scholz party event

BERLIN — German police are investigating after several women reported feeling unwell following an event hosted by the parliamentary group of Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s party.

Berlin police said Saturday that the investigation was triggered by a 21-year-old woman, who felt dizzy and unwell several hours into Wednesday’s summer party for the Social Democrats and then was unable to remember the evening the following day. She went to a hospital for checks, and police ordered a blood test for an analysis of possible toxic substances.

The woman ate and drank at the event, but didn’t consume any alcohol, police said. By Saturday morning, another four cases in which people reported similar symptoms had emerged. German media reported that they apparently were victims of so-called “knockout drops,” which can be mixed into drinks or food. Police said they were awaiting test results.

Police opened an investigation of persons unknown on suspicion of bodily harm. Both they and the center-left Social Democrats said they weren’t aware of any offenses beyond that.

The Social Democrats’ co-leader, Lars Klingbeil, told Welt television he was “furious that something like this could happen at an event” organized by the party. He said the parliamentary group’s leadership is cooperating with authorities and he hopes “that the perpetrator or perpetrators can be caught and then brought to account.”

About 1,000 people attended the annual party on Wednesday, including the chancellor, party lawmakers and their employees.

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Turkey summons German, French envoys over Kurdish militant events, minister says

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ANKARA — The German and French ambassadors to Ankara were summoned to the Turkish foreign ministry to protest events organized by Kurdish militants in those countries, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday.

Speaking to state-run Anadolu news agency, Cavusoglu said the ambassadors were told of Turkey’s discomfort with the events organized by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which is considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

Separately, Turkey has said it opposes Sweden and Finland’s bids to join NATO over what Ankara calls its harboring of Kurdish militants in those countries, and also over their arms export ban. (Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Jonathan Spicer)

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Equestrian event to be dropped from Olympic pentathlon after German coach struck horse

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Coach Kim Raisner punched a horse at the Tokyo Games when it refused to jump a fence, an attack that led to criticism of the sport

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Obstacle course racing looks set to be voted in as the replacement for the equestrian element in the modern pentathlon at the Olympic Games from 2028, but an athlete group opposing the move is calling for an investigation into the sport’s governance.

The sport’s global governing body, the UIPM, said in November it would remove equestrianism from the Los Angeles Games, with a suitable replacement determined by a consultation process.

That decision came after Germany’s modern pentathlon coach Kim Raisner struck the horse Saint Boy at the Tokyo Games last year when it refused to jump a fence, an incident that led to widespread criticism of the sport.

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Pentathlon United representatives including Britain’s Olympic champion Joe Choong wrote to International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach on Sunday asking him to intervene and investigate the UIPM’s lack of transparency.

“The UIPM’s consultation process has been illusory at best and, it would appear, designed only to legitimise a pre-determined outcome (which we are advised will be obstacle racing in collaboration with World OCR),” the group stated in their letter.

“The IOC was clear in its expectation that athletes must play a central role in the review and consultation process for a fifth discipline. This has not happened,” they wrote.

The UIPM, which is set to hold an executive board meeting later on Monday, did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

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Modern pentathlon has been an Olympic sport since 1912 and features five events: fencing, swimming, equestrian show jumping, pistol shooting and cross-country running.

“We request that the IOC conducts a comprehensive, independent investigation into the standards of governance and probity of the UIPM and the fifth discipline consultation process.”

Pentathlon United also said a survey of 310 past and present athletes found that 95% of them were unhappy with the UIPM’s decision, while more than 77% said they were unlikely to stay in the sport if the equestrian element were to be removed.

“Athletes have been excluded from the dialogue and their clear preference for the retention and reform of the equestrian element has been ignored,” the letter added.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar and Hritika Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford and Hugh Lawson)