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Chancellor picks first female defence minister and names Social Democrat as foreign minister.
Social Democrats, Germany's main centre-left party, vote in favour of coalition with conservative Christian Democrats.
Left-wing leader wins 47 percent of votes, but will face a runoff against ruling coalition candidate next month.
Leftist leader garners 47 percent of votes but falls short of 50 percent needed to avoid runoff, to be held Dec 15.
Former president widely expected to return to power, with 140 parliamentary seats also up for grabs.
As the traditional parties struggle, unpredictable new movements are reaching for power.
Re-elected German chancellor and Social Democrats decided to meet again on forming "grand coalition".
Social Democratic Party says it is prepared to consider joining Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives.
Angela Merkel, seeking third term as chancellor, appeals to voters to defend her coalition against Eurosceptics.
Alternative for Deutschland tipped to capture five percent of seats required for representation in the Bundestag.
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Featured on Al Jazeera
Mother of jailed Al Jazeera journalist Abdullah Elshamy says her son's ordeal highlights the value of press freedom.
French Jews and Muslims say recent National Front victories in mayoral races reflect rising xenophobia.
Western fighters have streamed into the Middle East to help 'liberate' Arab countries such as Syria and Libya.
The Pakistani government is proposing reform of the nation's madrassas, which are accused of fostering terrorism.
 
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Three years since the start of the uprising, nine million people have been displaced by fighting.
An in-depth look at Egypt's ongoing political crisis.