News Social Democrats count votes in Berlin yesterday

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

Kohl's rottweiler is called to heel

It was Otto "Fastlips" Hauser's fourth outing before the press yesterday and, contrary to expectations, not the last. The firing squad that despatched his predecessor a mere fortnight ago had run out of either bullets or replacements.

Obituary: Erich Mende

ERICH MENDE belonged to the generation of German politicians who had served in the Second World War.

Irish MP dies after going on cliff walk

THE body of a prominent member of the Irish Republic's Fine Gael opposition party was recovered from the sea off the coast of Cork yesterday.

The riddle of Aldo Moro: was Italy's establishment happy to see him die?

Many say the police did not do all they could to save the ex-PM kidnapped 20 years ago, reports Andrew Gumbel

Schroder victory leaves Kohl smarting

RATTLED by his party's heavy defeat in Sunday's Lower Saxony elections, Chancellor Helmut Kohl angrily rejected suggestions yesterday that he should abandon his attempt to gain a fifth term of office.

Leading Article: Let's raise a glass to Kohl, a man who played the game

BY their enemies, ye shall know them. By the time Helmut Kohl arrived at Guildhall last night to receive the Freedom of the City of London, a fearsome opposition - of pen-pushers and last-ditchers - had formed. It consisted of the United Kingdom Stop-the-World-I-Want-to-Get- Off Party, a junior lecturer from that home of lost causes, the University of Oxford, and a whey-faced jokesmith from a Tory newspaper whose idea of humour is that Germans would throw the Chancellor out of the window if only they could find one big enough (sidesplitting, ja?). Anti-German sentiment is these days confined to a band of malcontents, reactionaries, hack writers for foreign-owned newspapers, Jingoes and little Englanders. They are boorish yes, but would be worth apologising for only if Helmut Kohl were not seasoned in the occasional discomforts of democratic politics. To his country's credit, he is.

That Was The Week: Percentage points

3% of Americans think their president's moral standards are higher than those of the average married man

Leading Article: The killers we indulge, and those we don't

It's the time of year when the baggage of memory gets ransacked. A lot must be left behind, and so, for the sake of health, it should be. Recollection of yesterday's quarrels fade. New paradigms establish themselves. Labour becomes, in Harold Wilson's phrase, the natural party of government by dint of being there and looking comfortable with it (though the latest cabinet papers remind us yet again how unnatural the exercise of power remained for Wilson himself). Yesterday's political villains start to look benign. The lean and hungry Portillos put on weight, metaphorically speaking. One day, even, people will play back their tape of him on election night and sympathise rather than cheer.

Out in the cold

The business year in pictures

Havel set for new term

President Vaclav Havel accepted the backing by representatives of four parties for a second five-year term. The 61-year-old president's current term is ending as the Czech Republic faces a period of political instability unprecedented in its eight-year transition from communism.

Kohl's Christian Democrats catch up on pink politics

The German Christian Democrats, self-declared champions of the family, are about to embark on the path trodden by their opponents. Every party but Helmut Kohl's own has a homosexual section. Now, a group of gay CDU activists are also planning to come out.

Prodi steps down, with rancour

Unable to hold its parliamentary majority together and get the country's finances into shape for European monetary union, Italy's precarious centre-left government finally collapsed yesterday, leaving an unholy political mess.

Embattled Kohl seeks religious relief for his ills

Chancellor Helmut Kohl and senior members of his government retreated to a Benedictine monastery in Bavaria yesterday, seeking a brief moment of tranquillity away from the battles of the Cabinet.

Haughey's pounds 1.3m secret prompts call for new inquiry

Dail Opposition parties are pressing for a new and wider inquiry into suspected large payments from businessmen to Charles Haughey, who served four terms as the Irish Prime Minister, in the wake of his belated admission that he did after all receive pounds 1.3m in secret payments from Ben Dunne, the supermarket magnate .

Kohl plays the quitting game to shake allies

The unhappy ship that is Germany's governing coalition was drifting towards the rocks yesterday amid rumours that the captain was preparing to jump overboard.
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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
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law