Government backs down on issue of international work visas
French Interior Minister Claude Guéant has revised his controversial clampdown on international work visas after a meeting with education groups. Critics called the initial move a ploy to appeal to the far right ahead of the forthcoming presidential elections this year. But some fear the damage has already been done, since many young students have had to return to their native countries after graduation.
President Lula da Silva has implemented several social programmes which have helped the country to come out of the economic crisis reasonably well. Presidential elections are now just a few months away - is this perhaps an re-election strategy ?
20 years have passed since the fall of the Berlin Wall, and communist East Germany, but in the Eastern German state of Brandenburg, the process of dealing with the past is only just beginning. Over the last few months revelations have rocked the regional government that before 1989 some politicians once worked for the much feared East German secret police.
The Mexican capital has become the first city in Latin America to authorise gay marriage, out of line with laws governing the rest of the land. It comes after years of struggle for same-sex couples to have the same rights as heterosexuals.
Turkey struggles to deal with the marginalisation and radicalisation of its young Kurds. Ethnic tensions are rife, and clashes erupted between Kurdish groups and nationalist factions in the heart of Istanbul earlier this month. But the government has recently made overtures towards the Kurdish minority, which makes up close to 20 percent of Turkey's population.
The distress and irritation is mounting for the tens of thousands of passengers stranded days before the Christmas holidays. Eurostar says unprecedented weather conditions are behind the electrical failure that stopped trains from running.