Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant.jpg
Photograph: Photo by andreas160578, used under CC0

German security officials have put forward a controversial counter-terrorism plan that includes measures such as banning full-face coverings for Muslim women and allowing intelligence agents to investigate children as young as 14.

The plan, seen by dpa on Wednesday, comprises 27 measures that also include increased video surveillance in public places, the recruitment of an additional 15,000 police officers and a ban on the sale of weapons to extremist suspects.

It was compiled by interior ministers at the state level, all of whom belong to Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative political bloc, which is made up of her Christian Democratic Party (CDU) and the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU).

Speaking at a meeting with federal police officers in Bremen on Wednesday, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere - a member of Merkel's Christian Democrats - said that the plans were still being debated and that he did not agree with all of the proposed measures.

Germany has been on high alert since four violent attacks in the space of one week last month - two of them claimed by Islamic State - left 12 people dead, three of them attackers.

Also on Wednesday, a German doctor's association expressed alarm about reported government plans to loosen patient confidentiality rules to make it easier for doctors to report planned crimes to authorities.

"The tense national security situation must not lead to hasty political and legislative measures," said Frank Ulrich Montgomery, head of the BaeK Bundesaerztekammer.

"Patient confidentiality serves to protect patients' right to privacy and is (enshrined in) the constitution," he said in response to a Bild newspaper report.

The Interior Ministry has declined to comment on the measure.

Latest news

Plane crashes at airport in Melbourne

A five-passenger charter plane has crashed into a building next to Essendon Airport in Melbourne, with witnesses reporting explosions, fire and black smoke, police said Tuesday.

Air France pilots give green light to lower cost subsidiary

Members of Air France's main pilots union on Monday voted to accept the creation of a new lower cost subsidiary that the flag carrier hopes will help it compete on long-haul routes.

US Army General McMaster tapped as Trump's national security advisor

Army Lieutenant General HR McMaster will be the new White House national security advisor, US President Donald Trump told reporters Monday.

Greece's creditors want sweeping reforms before next bailout payment

Greece must make sweeping reforms to its labour market, pension system and collective bargaining agreements in order to receive its next vital bailout payment, the country's European creditors said Monday.

President wants to recall "politically appointed ambassadors", can't do it without gov't

President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said that many politically appointed Croatian ambassadors were not carrying out state policies but that she could not replace them without the government to appoint career diplomats who would fight for Croatia's interests.

Izetbegovic hopes ICJ will confirm Serbia's responsibility for genocide

The Bosniak member of the tripartite presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bakir Izetbegovic, on Monday rejected criticism stirred up by the announcement that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) would be requested to review its judgement made after Bosnia sued Serbia for genocide.

British lawmakers locked in heated debate over Trump's state visit

Allowing US President Donald Trump to visit Britain would be akin to "pimping out the Queen," one British lawmaker said Monday during a heated debate in British parliament over two petitions concerning the US leader's future state visit.

Vitaly Churkin, Russia's sharp-tongued ambassador to the UN, dies

Russia's long-time ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, died in New York on Monday, following a career that spanned four decades and saw Russia emerge from the Soviet Union and experience many turbulent events in its relations with the West.

French police raid National Front over European Parliament payments

France's far-right National Front Monday said that investigators had searched its offices in relation to allegations that it misused European Parliament funds.

Unhappy Presidents' Day: Trump still manoeuvring after Sweden comment

Donald Trump used his first Presidents' Day in office to continue trying to talk his way out of comments implying a terrorist attack in Sweden that never happened.

Croatia supports Kosovo's territorial integrity - Grabar-Kitarovic

Croatia's President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic on Monday expressed the support to Kosovo's territorial integrity and Euro-Atlantic aspirations during her talks with the visiting Kosovo Foreign Minister Enver Hoxhaj.

Petrov rules out early parliamentary election

Parliament Speaker and Bridge party leader Bozo Petrov on Monday dismissed speculation about a reshuffle of the parliamentary majority, saying an early election was likelier, but that right now he did not see "such a scenario."