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Sexual Assault

New Year's attacks overshadow start of Cologne Carnival

Cannon fire followed by a rain of confetti heralded the start Thursday of Cologne's annual Carnival, when hundreds of thousands of revelers take to the streets and pubs of the ancient German city for five days of boisterous partying.

Festivities this year have been overshadowed by security concerns, prompting police to double the number of officers on patrol to more than 2,000 in an effort to reassure the public after an unprecedented series of robberies and sexual assaults mostly targeting women at New Year.

Police say the attacks were mostly carried out by foreigners, fueling debate in Germany about the country's ability to cope with the huge number of migrants that have...