Pousada de Lisboa, Portugal: A capital hotel on the banks of the Tagus

Poet, playwright and government minister Antonio Ferro came up with the concept of the pousada in the 1940s: a hotel that offers an authentically Portuguese experience, via itssurroundings and gastronomy. There are now almost 30 pousadas dotted around the Portuguese mainland and islands; many occupy historic buildings in sublime locations. So, it was something of an anomaly that until this summer, there wasn't one in the capital, one of Europe's oldest cities. Happily, an opulent 18th-century sunflower-yellow Pombaline building, once home to Portugal's Interior Ministry, has been repurposed as the latest – and perhaps one of the grandest – of Portugal's pousadas. 

Portugal hit by austerity strike

A strike by Portugal's largest trade union confederation forced the cancellation of most public transport services today as well as hitting schools and hospital services.

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Cesaria Evora: Cape Verde's soulful 'barefoot diva'

Cesaria Evora, the "barefoot diva", became the ambassadress par excellence of her country, the small West African island group of Cape Verde, and one of the most famous African singers in the world. Her origins were humble and she represented that dying breed typified by the last of the old rural blues singers – an artist who genuinely lived the hard times her songs spoke of.