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Germany is famed for its well-built cars and efficient railways. But these days, there’s more to being a transport minister than planes, trains and automobiles. In recent months, German citizens have been unnerved by transport disasters that span the globe, from the Costa Concordia ferry tragedy in Tuscany to the growing threat of piracy in the Horn of Africa.

Germany’s minister of transportation, construction and urban development, Peter Ramsauer, has expanded the scope of his office to encompass these new dangers. He’s proposed an international…

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