Merkel gets tough on migrant lawbreakers as Cologne assaults soar

German Chancellor Angela Merkel backed stricter laws to expel convicted refugees, as clashes erupted at far-right protests in Cologne over a rash of sexual assaults blamed on asylum seekers. Cologne police said they have now recorded 379 cases of New Year’s Eve violence — ranging from groping to theft to two reported rapes — with asylum seekers and illegal migrants making up the majority of suspects. Vowing tough action, Merkel declared that any refugee handed a jail term — even if it was a suspended sentence — should be kicked out of the country.

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