COLOGNE:- Cologne opened its annual carnival Thursday with ramped-up security to prevent a repeat of the sex assaults that marred New Year and triggered a debate about Germany’s ability to integrate asylum seekers. Police in the western German city have been struggling to restore public confidence after hundreds of women said they were groped and robbed in a mob of mostly North African and Arab men during the New Year festivities. But a repeat of the New Year debacle was not the only threat, as underlined by a massive operation Thursday against four men at sites across the country suspected of links to the Islamic State organisation.–AFP