On January 20, Barack Obama will enter the White House and already some have criticised the choice of evangelical pastor at his inauguration. Also in this edition, the next US foreign policy towards EU and Cuba, and the Dakar Rally in South America.
While Russia's Gazprom insists it is supplying enough gas to meet European energy needs, Ukraine's Naftogaz has lashed out at the Russian energy giant, accusing it of manipulating supplies and warning of "unpredictable consequences" for Europe.
France condemned Israel's ground offensive Saturday in the Gaza Strip and slammed Hamas for the continuing rocket fire. The Czech Republic, which holds the rotating EU presidency, called the operations "defensive".
After the EU asked for immediate resumption of full gas deliveries, Russian giant Gazprom announced it was looking for alternative routes for EU gas in order not to rely on Ukrainian transit. Gazprom has shut down gas deliveries to Ukraine.
Russia shut off gas supplies to Ukraine for the second time in three years over a payments dispute, stirring up concerns of interruption of natural-gas shipments to Europe. How will the new gas crisis be resolved this time?
In his televised New Year's address, French President Nicolas Sarkozy stressed the continuing need for a "strong, independent" Europe. He expressed plans to head to the Middle East Monday to discuss the violence in Gaza.
The Czech Republic takes over the presidency of the European Union from France today. Prague has in the meantime taken on a number of difficult issues including the global economic downturn and the Gaza crisis. Where will the Czechs steer the EU?
Slovakia celebrates the New Year with a difference, as the day also marks its adoption of the euro currency, exactly 10 years after the currency was first introduced. It is the 16th country to join the eurozone.
The New Year marks the beginning of the Czech Republic term for the rotating European Union presidency. The nation will inherit a host of pressing issues to tackle, including the Gaza crisis and the world financial crash.