News Social Democrats count votes in Berlin yesterday

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling conservatives were on course to form a grand coalition government.

German Social Democrats back coalition deal with Angela Merkel

The majority of the centre-left party's members voted to join the Chancellor in government.

Some commentators have suggested that Merkel might be unable to find a coalition partner and be forced to call fresh elections

Angela Merkel isolated as potential allies demand end to austerity

The German leader’s party finds itself without options after romping home in the polls

Tough talking as new Norwegian PM tries to form government

Erna Solberg, who is poised to become Prime Minister after the Labour premier conceded defeat in an election, faces tough negotiations with three other right-wing parties to form a government. 

'Merkel app' in use on smartphone in Berlin

Angela Merkel launches augmented reality app as part of election campaign

Cutting edge ‘Merkel app’ launched to target smartphone users before 22 September vote

Mourners lay flowers and pay their respects to Aldo Moro upon his assassination in 1978

Italy looks into a murky past with new investigation into killing of former PM Aldo Moro in 1978

Conspiracy theories swirled around then premier Giulio Andreotti - who died earlier this year - for opposing any sort of negotiation with the kidnappers

Giulio Andreotti has died, aged 94

Seven-time premier Giulio Andreotti dies aged 94

Known for shady links with the mafia, he helped draft the country's post-war constitution

Annette Schavan, a member of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union, announced her decision after returning from an official trip to South Africa

Germany's education minister Annette Schavan quits over 'plagiarism' row

Germany's education minister resigned today after a university decided to withdraw her doctorate, finding that she plagiarised parts of her thesis - an embarrassment for Chancellor Angela Merkel's government as it prepares for elections later this year.

Annette Schavan has demanded a group of external academics assess her work

Will they ever learn...? Now Berlin’s schools tsar is accused of plagiarism

Annette Schavan could become second senior German politician to be stripped of doctorate

Merkel wins party backing for re-election campaign

Chancellor Angela Merkel launched her bid for re-election today, telling the party faithful that her government had steered Germany through the worst of the European financial crisis and was best equipped to guide it through what may still be tough times.

David Cameron vows to protect Thatcher's EU rebate

David Cameron will not accept a cut in Britain's rebate from Brussels as he tries to secure a freeze in the European Union budget, Downing Street said today.

The puddle-ridden pitch at the National Stadium in Warsaw last night

Poland's sports minister spared after offering to resign over roof fiasco during England World Cup qualifier

Poland's premier spared his sports minister today over the postponement of a World Cup qualifier with England, saying she was not directly liable for the failure to close the roof ahead of heavy rain.

Nicola Mancino, right, was recorded phoning President Giorgio Napolitano, left

Italian government in the dock as landmark Mafia trial begins

Berlusconi's daughter gives evidence as ex-minister and two former Cosa Nostra heads are indicted

Angela Merkel has been criticised for her uncompromising attitude

Fact File: Angela Merkel

The “world’s most powerful woman” first staked her claim to greatness in 1999, with the publication of an open letter in Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. It called for the Christian Democrats to reject Helmut Kohl, the retired chancellor and her former mentor, and in doing so paved the way for Angela Merkel’s eventual election as party leader.

ANGELA MERKEL: German leader’s party suffered its worst defeat in North Rhine Westphalia

Angela Merkel's party humiliated by shock election defeat

German voters reject austerity programme in favour of pro-growth opposition in state poll

Angela Merkel prepares for an austerity backlash as key state goes to the polls

Likely defeat in weekend's regional election set to be humbling bodyblow to Chancellor's cuts agenda

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
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Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
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Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
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The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
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How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
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We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
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Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices