Charlotte McDonald-Gibson

Charlotte McDonald-Gibson is based in Brussels and covers the EU and general European news

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The Independent around the web
Geert Wilders is unrepentant and insists he was only saying ‘what millions of people think’

Dutch politician Geert Wilders faces new racial hatred charges over victory speech

The Party for Freedom leader asked cheering supporters: 'Do you want more or fewer Moroccans here?'

Postcard from... Germany

Traditionalists may grumble that the Eurovision Song Contest is becoming more bland and uniform each year, with 19 of the last 22 winners belting out their particular brand of europop in English.

A roll of protective wire runs atop a fence in the maximum security Camp 5 at the Guantanamo Bay detention center

CIA torture report: European nations called to investigate CIA activity

The US Senate report into the brutal interrogation techniques employed by the CIA has thrown the spotlight on the European nations that aided the agency.

Former President Aleskander Kwasniewski, left, and former Prime Minister Leszek Mille were in power when the CIA ran a secret prison in Poland

CIA torture report: Poland admits US used black site on its territory

Poland has acknowledged for the first time that there was a CIA “black site” on its soil.

Jean-Claude Juncker was the Prime Minister of Luxembourg from 1995 to 2013

Juncker rides out more 'LuxLeaks' revelations

The EU's top official insists he will remain in his post

European Commissioner for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness Jyrki Katainen (left), Portuguese Finance Minister Maria Luis Albuquerque and Spanish Finance Minister Luis de Guindos talk before the start of the Ecofin meeting at the European Council headquarters. The 2015 EU budget and the pending draft amendment budgets for 2014 was endorsed by the Council's Committee.

EU agrees budget after months of wrangling

Officials say that the compromise deal for 2015 was in line with Cameron's request for more austerity at the EU level

Postcard from... Brussels

Brussels traffic is bad at the best of times: it is regularly rated as having some of the worst congestion in the world, with one survey last year estimating that motorists spend an average of 85.4 hours a year in traffic jams. And that’s without the roadblocks and angry protesters.

John Kerry claims that air strikes have made a ‘significant impact’ on Isis capabilities

War with Isis: US hails 'significant impact' of bombing raids but Syria's President Assad is not so sure

US Secretary of State John Kerry said that air strikes had already killed key leaders and damaged the group’s capabilities

Ex-Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk

Former Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk faces challenge at the European Council

The ex-Polish Prime Minister will need to build consensus in the post

Sweden became the first major European country to officially recognise the state of Palestine, last month.

Palestinian statehood: European Parliament considers initiative to recognize Palestine and 'provide extra impetus towards Middle East peace'

Some MEPs have warned that such a stance could compromise the EU’s role as a neutral negotiator

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Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas