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Khodorkovsky arrives in Berlin, a day after Putin pardon
Britain and US 'targeted German government, top EU official'
The British and US secret services have been accused of bugging the telephone lines of German government agencies and ministries. London and Washington are also alleged to have spied on a top EU official.
Kerry urges end to South Sudan violence as US sends envoy
The US has said it will dispatch a special envoy to South Sudan as a wave of ethnic violence sweeps the country. The UN, meanwhile, has expressed "grave alarm" as the number of fatalities rises.
Ratings agency S&P downgrades EU
The European Union's top long-term credit rating has been downgraded by the agency Standard & Poor's, citing what it called lessening cohesion. The dip to AA+ coincides with an EU summit in Brussels.
Delegations decided for Syria peace talks - except Iran
The United Nations and Arab League envoy to Syria has said the make-up of the delegation to discuss peace talks in Geneva in January has been settled - except in the case of Iran. Thirty-one countries have been invited.
South Africa's NUMSA union cuts political ties to ANC
The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa has said it will no longer back the ruling African National Congress, starting with elections next year. The move could prove a big blow to President Jacob Zuma.
Spain seeks to tighten laws on abortion on request
The Spanish government has approved tighter rules on abortion, making it legal only in the case of rape or when the mother faces a serious risk. The changes make the country’s laws among the most restrictive in Europe.
Sterner homosexual law clears parliament in Uganda
Homosexuals in Uganda could face life in prison should they break anti-gay laws passed by the government. A prominent gay rights activist has called the move “a truly terrifying day for human rights in Uganda.”
Deutsche Bank settles US mortgage lawsuit regarding Fannie and Freddie
Deutsche Bank, the litigation-laden lender with new management seeking a "change in culture," has settled a court case with the US authorities. The bank will dole out $1.9 billion to Fannie May and Freddie Mac.
Fitting result as Frankfurt and Augsburg draw 1-1 in Bundesliga
Frankfurt have underwhelmed this Bundesliga season, while Augsburg have performed above expectations. Somewhat predictably, the result - a 1-1 draw - fell somewhere in the middle.
Khodorkovsky: Unshaken after 10 years in prison
Once the richest man in Russia, Mikhail Khodorkovsky became the country's most prominent prisoner over 10 years ago. Russian President Vladimir Putin, however, announced his pardon with immediate effect.
'Refusal to follow Yanukovych will last'
Green lawmaker Rebecca Harms has supported the pro-Europe protesters in Ukraine from the start. She tells DW that she senses a real desire for democratic change and closer ties with Europe.
German foreign minister tackles Ukraine quandary
Newly appointed German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier is already facing his first diplomatic challenge: The dispute over Ukraine's strategic direction, in which different German interests clash.
'Putin's presents' split opinion in Ukraine
Russia is giving money to Ukraine but at what price? Experts expect more dependence on Moscow as a result. Opinion is divided in the country.
'Lack of respect for relatives of NSU victims'
The father of a deceased alleged member of the neo-Nazi NSU terrorist group berated one of the case's judges before being removed from court. An attorney for a joint plaintiff explains how the case has progressed so far.
Man denied heart due to lack of German gets compensation
When one hospital denied a man a heart transplant based on his lack of language skills, he took them to court. Three years later, they've agreed to pay damages, and new rules regarding transplants are set to be drawn.
France: new global policeman?
In December, France dispatched 1,600 troops to quell deadly sectarian violence in the Central African Republic. The deployment underscores France's increasing military involvement not only in Africa but around the world.
Lockerbie mystery still unsolved after 25 years
An American passenger plane flying over the Scottish city of Lockerbie exploded 25 years ago, killing 270 people. The bombing still leaves many questions unanswered.
CPJ: "Security agencies in South Sudan should understand the role of the media"
With the fighting in South Sudan threatening to break into a tribal conflict, journalists there have become targets of security agencies, including the police and army.
Science & Technology
Improved spacecraft aims to reach new heights
The first spacecraft named Hayabusa - the Japanese for falcon - soared to heights that even its designers admit they had hardly dreamed might be possible. The same team has sky-high expectations for its successor.
Pressure builds to crack down on NSA spying
Not only is Obama's advisory panel putting pressure on the president, but Congress is also considering two bills aimed at the NSA's spying programs. Will they provide additional protections for non-US citizens?
Brazil debates asylum for Snowden
A debate is raging in Brazil on whether to grant Edward Snowden political asylum. Demands for granting refuge to the US whistleblower are growing louder by the day.
Police brutality in Egypt back in the spotlight
As the third anniversary of Egypt's revolution approaches, key reforms have yet to be implemented. One demand was to rein in the security forces, but there is little sign of that as the crackdown on protesters continues.
Opinion: That deflated EU feeling
The European Union only just managed to form a banking union, but all of the other reform steps were delayed until after the European elections in 2014. DW’s Bernd Riegert says that’s a mistake.
Cut it out: is eliminating foods the only way to find out what's causing that allergy?
During the holidays, we eat special foods we love. But could these foods be making us sick? Food allergies and intolerances affect millions of people. Perhaps you too. But how would you know?
Digital Rights Management: what retailers don't tell you about e-books
An estimated four million e-book readers have been bought in Germany, and indications are that their popularity is increasing rapidly. But do consumers know enough about what they're buying?
Sustainable Christmas trees give German forests a boost
Around 30 million Christmas trees were sold in Germany last year. But as farmers keep planting the evergreens to meet demand, the German government is concerned about the impact of monoculture on the country's forests.
Thailand's nuns fight for equality
Women are barred from ordination in Thailand's Theravada Buddhist sect. After Venerable Dhammananda Bhikkhuni was ordained in Sri Lanka, she set out to elevate women's religious status in her Thai homeland.
Intelligent clothes can keep you safe
Your clothes may be trendy, but how smart are they? Designers have created trousers that can speak and jackets that are even capable of calling for help in an emergency. You may just have to rethink your wardrobe.
Shining a light on Berlin's modesty
Berlin is a match for many cities in many things - and its admittedly modest yuletide illuminations are no exception. DW's Tamsin Walker is enchanted by the understated approach to the seasonal festival of lights.