Jewrovision ‘is a small island, an attempt to help them preserve and develop a bit of Jewish identity’: Last year’s winners, Chadasch Mannheim. Photograph: Gregor Zielke/Zentralrat

Like Eurovision, the German song contest is a cheeky grab bag of songs and styles

People in costume celebrate carnival in Cologne on Thursday. The city is spending close to €500,000 on police, paramedics and new equipment after the sexual assults suffered by women on New Year’s Eve. Photograph: Maja Hitij/EPA

Tight security in place as annual festival takes place against backdrop of sex assaults

The premier of Bavaria, Horst Seehofer, speaking during a press conference at the Bavarian representation in Berlin on Friday. Photograph: EPA/Rainer Jensen

Moscow visit causing alarm in Berlin amid growing tensions between Germany and Russia

Stockholm police talk to participants of a movement calling itself “The People’s Demonstration” which held a meeting and demonstration in Stockholm, Sweden. Photograph: Marcus Ericsson/TT/AFP/Getty Images

Warning comes after 100 masked men march in Stockholm over killing at refugee centre

A young man lights a candle on Wednesday at a makeshift memorial to a  Syrian man believed to have died  outside the central registration office for asylum seekers in Berlin. The story of the man’s death turned out to be a hoax. Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Hundreds protested against Angela Merkel over fictitious abuction and rape of child

“It’s new that weapons of war are being used”:  the recovered M52 hand grenade  which had been thrown into a migrant home in Villingen-Schwenningen, Germany. Photograph: Thomas Niedermueller/Getty Images

Ruling grand coalition agree new immigration Bill to tighten border controls

  Grzegorz Schetyna: Elected as new Civic Platform leader with 91 per cent of the vote.  Photograph: Radek Pietruszka/EPA

‘Enough of this embarrassment,’ says Grzegorz Schetyna, new leader of Civic Platform

Mohamad Salai, a refugee, walks through the refugee tent camp in Naestved, some 60 km south of Copenhagen. Niels Ahlmann Olesen/EPA

Large majority of Danish MPs back new immigration Bill after four-hour debate

German chancellor Angela Merkel and Danish prime minster Lars Loekke Rasmussen – Denmark is being heavily criticised for its latest move. Photograph: Tobias Schwarz/AFP/Getty Images

Police will be allowed to take assets and cash above €1,340 from asylum seekers

German chancellor Angela Merkel: The Christian Social Union (CSU), which is allied to Merkel’s governing CDU party, opposes her perceived “open door” policy on migration. Photograph: Michaela Rehle/Reuters

Chancellor seeks Europe-wide solution to crisis but may be forced to take local action

French prime minister Manuel Valls in Davos: “If Europe can’t protect its own borders, it’s the very idea of Europe that could be thrown into doubt. It could disappear, of course – the European project, not Europe itself.” Photograph: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

Without border controls EU ‘will be totally destabilised’ by crisis, says French PM

German finance minister Wolfgang Schauble: “Who can, should act, and later we will negotiate distribution. We cannot wait longer for results in Brussels.” File photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

Return of border checkpoints the ‘worst solution’, German finance minister says

German Chancellor Angela Merkel  arrives for the Christian Social Union (CSU) meeting in the southern Bavarian resort of Wildbad Kreuth. Michaela Rehle/Reuters

German chancellor tells allies that European solution still best answer to crisis

Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann in Vienna on Wednesday. He made clear the national measures were an attempt to force agreement on a “European Plan A” for sharing the migrant burden. Photograph: Hans Punz/EPA

Dismay among church and human rights leaders who emphasise right to claim asylum

An undated  composite image  provided by the German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) showing the wanted former RAF terrorists Burkhard Garweg, Ernst-Volker Wilhelm Staub and Daniela Klette. Photograph: EPA/BKA

Police confirm that three ex-RAF members are suspected of involvement in two attacks

Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, speaking in Berlin. She said that mass deletion of problematic posts tackled the symptom but not the cause of online hate speech. Photograph: Kay Nietfeld/EPA

New Berlin operation will have 200 monitors to analyse and delete posts where necessary

 Refugees walk to a special train to Dusseldorf at Passau. The train will tranport these migrants to live in the  state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Destinations change daily to distribute refugees all over Germany. Photograph: EPA

Chancellor given two months to ease country’s asylum seeker controversy

Björn Höcke of the AfD: “People were already dissatisfied with a lack of freedom of thought and speech here, and politicians and media were afraid to speak the obvious.” Photograph: Jens Schlueter/Getty Images

Hard-right AfD politician Höcke believes Merkel must review her policies about refugees

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker: ‘Whoever kills Schengen carries the internal market to its grave.’ Photograph: Yves Herman/Reuters

Angela Merkel is under intense pressure as Austria imposes new border restrictions

 Björn Höcke, head of the  far-right wing AfD (Alternative für Deutschland),  at a demonstration in Erfurt. AfD is demanding the closure of Germany’s borders to refugees and the expulsion of foreigners with criminal records. Photograph: Jens Schlueter/Getty Images

As vigilantes roam Cologne to protect ‘blonde German women’, the clock ticks for chancellor

German chancellor Angela Merkel: To date has declined to cap asylum applications into Germany, insisting that a European strategy will reduce numbers. Photograph: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

Cap on numbers and plan to only accept migrants if they plan to apply in Germany

Danish prime minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen described the proposal as “the most misunderstood Bill in Danish history”. Photograph:  Darren Ornitz/Reuters

Bill will allow authorities to seize valuables more than €1,340 each from asylum seekers

A man places a flower for victims who were killed in an explosion at the near by Sultanahmet, home to the Hagia Sophia museum and the Blue Mosque, in Istanbul, Turkey. Photograph: EPA

Prime minister confirms suicide attacker entered Turkey as a refugee from Syria

Members of the Istanbul Medical Chamber place carnations near the blast site at Sultanahmet square in Istanbul, Turkey. Photograph:  Yagiz Karahan/Reuters

Suicide bomber kills 10 in Istanbul historic quarter after mingling with tourist group

Jacek Kurski: the new president of Polish Television. The new government has been criticised for undermining democratic principles with its reforms of state-funded media and law. Photograph: Slawomir Kaminski/Agencja Gazeta/Reuters

Fears of extremism but ruling PiS party warns EU to stay out of its domestic affairs

Aftermath of a  right-wing  riot in Leipzig:  recent sex attacks in Cologne have  sharpened the discourse about Germany’s open-door immigration policy. Photograph:  Jens Schlueter/Getty Images

Cologne police investigating 51 people – 25 from North Africa – after New Year attacks

The  main train station in Cologne, western Germany,  where a Syrian national was attacked by eight men. Much of the New Year’s Eve violence against women took place at  the station. Photograph: Patrik Stollarz/AFP/Getty images

Vigilantes arranged ‘manhunt’ on Facebook in retaliation for New Year’s Eve attacks

Flowers and posters are placed in the square between the city cathedral and the railway station in Cologne, Germany, January 11th, 2016, where the vast majority of dozens of New Year Eve assaults on women took place. Some of the messages  read “Sexual harassment against women will be NOT tolerated”. Photograph: Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters

Allegation is classic case of ‘truthiness’ - something that must be true and therefore is

A young resident of Berlin’s Hauptstrasse 155 looks out on tributes to British music icon David Bowie laid by fans outside the door of his former home in the German capital. Photograph: Kay Nietfeld/AFP/Getty Images

To recover from his drug habit and reinvent himself, David Bowie lived in West Berlin for three years in the 1970s

Protesters gather in front of Cologne cathedral to protest against the New Year’s Eve sex attacks. Photograph: Sascha Schuermann/Getty Images

Reporters blame circumstance rather than ideology for delay in covering scale of attacks

Supporters of Pegida and other right-wing  groups gather  to protest against the New Year’s Eve sex attacks  in Cologne on Saturday. Photograph: Sascha Schuermann/Getty Images

Number of complaints of attacks filed by women in Cologne reaches 516

Indefinitely suspended: Cologne police chief Wolfgang Albers. Photograph: Rolf Vennenbernd/EPA

More than 200 criminal complaints filed by women after attacks by gangs

The sun sets over the Oresund Bridge between Sweden and Denmark, in Malmo, Sweden.

New border checks between Denmark and Sweden have implications for all EU citizens

 Police officers stand outside the main station in Cologne, Germany, on Wednesday. After sexual assaults on women on New Year’s Eve, there is an increased police presence at the main station. Photograph: Maja Hitij/EPA

Chancellor to consider faster expulsion of foreign nationals if guilty in wake of rape claims

Crowds outside Cologne’s main train station on New Year’s Eve. Photograph: Markus Boehme/EPA

Merkel demands tough response as police come under pressure over delayed reaction

Poland’s foreign minister Witold Waszczykowski: He told ‘Bild’ his government was tackling a  bias that the world was filled with  “cyclists and vegetarians who push for renewable energy and fight all forms of religion”. These  standpoints have “nothing to do with traditional Polish values”. Photograph: Kacper Pempel/Reuters

Brussels concerned at conservatives’ rapid judicial appointments and media overhaul

The Øresund Bridge between Sweden and Denmark,  at Malmö, Sweden, on January 3rd, 2016. Swedish authorities have introduced identity checks for bus and train passengers entering Sweden.  Photograph: Johan Nilsson/TT/AFP/Getty Images

German government spokesman says moves put Schengen system ‘in danger’

Security staff check IDs at Kastrups train station near Copenhagen, Denmark. Sweden requires train companies with  bridge-and-tunnel links from Denmark to refuse passengers without ID. Photograph: Bjorn Lindgren / TT News Agency via AP

Sweden’s change of tack on migration policy is causing dismay in neighbouring Denmark

Horst Seehofer suggested other EU states were reluctant to shoulder the burden because of ‘egotism’. Photograph: Thomas Kienzle/AFP/Getty Images

Horst Seehofer wants 200,000 limit this year, less than one-fifth of total in 2015

Angela Merkel: Germany will succeed because mastering massive challenges is what defines the Germans as a people, she has told her party. Photograph: Getty Images

World review of the year: The refugee crisis will make or break the German chancellor

Marzipan is another Christmas tradition and, though not exclusively a German speciality, the queen of marzipan hails from the northern city of Lübeck

How many of season’s traditions took root in dear old Deutschland? Yule be surprised!

Jens Weidmann, president of the Deutsche Bundesbank: “The upswing in the euro area may even pick up slightly.” Photograph:   Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Increase signals end to long era of stagnant salaries in Europe’s largest economy

Björn Höcke: saying he represents the true nationalist soul of the party, he first attracted national attention with a bizarre talk show appearance where he produced a German flag and placed it on the arm of his chair

Critics say he is more than just a xenophobe, he is the true face of the AfD

Protesters at an anti-government demonstration in Warsaw. Photograph: Janek Skarzynski/AFP/Getty Images

Row over constitutional court sparks two weeks of street protests

The landmark Oresund Bridge. The 11km structure is famous thanks to “The Bridge” crime series but, since opening in 2000, has become a steel-and-concrete embodiment of the Schengen ideal of passport-free travel.

Free-movement principle in Europe develops another serious crack

The 10am service will be a Star Wars special, with music and re-enacted scenes from Return of the Jedi

For the vicar Luke Skywalker’s resistance dovetails with the letter of St Paul to the Romans

Refugees outside the Swedish Migration Agency’s arrival centre  in Malmo. Photograph: Stig-Ake Jonsson/TT News Agency/Reuters

Exhibition uses black humour to ask questions about split personality of Swedish society

‘Humanitarian imperative’: German chancellor Angela Merkel with a toy wolf she got as a present during a party convention of the Christian Democrats in Karlsruhe. Photograph: AP Photo/Michael Probst

Germany’s chancellor pins political future to succeeding in ‘historic challenge’

 Forty members of the Bundeswehr, the German armed forces, board a Luftwaffe A-400M transport plane destined for Incirlik airbase in Turkey as part of Germany’s participation in the international military intervention against the Islamic State (IS) in Syria on December 10, 2015 in Jagel, Germany. Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

After a decade mastering one type of political leadership - weighing things up and sitting things out - she may have entered her t(...)

Anna Idell (right) of the Centre for All drop-in/resource centre and Afraa from Aleppo in Syria, a volunteer in the clothes bank. Photograph: Derek Scally

Derek Scally: In the town of Söderhamn living among newcomers is the new normal

Polish president Andrzej Duda and British prime minister David Cameron at the Presidential palace in Warsaw.  Photograph: Wojtek Radwanski/AFP/Getty Images

PiS party move to control judicial appointments deemed by some as illegal power grab

Nobel medicine or physiology laureate William C Campbell bows after receiving the award during a ceremony in Stockholm Concert Hall. Photograph: Jonas Ekstromer/Reuters

Irish-born scientist accepts shared award for work on treatment of parasitic diseases

Irish-born Nobel Prize laureate William C. Campbell has warned of the great cost of a decline in the kind of scientific research that lead to him beating the parasitic infection that leads to river blindness

Irish-born Nobel Prize laureate stresses importance of risk-taking and empirical research

Peter Sutherland: ‘Countries can share Syrian refugees or choose from three options: leave them on the beaches,  lock them in camps or send them back to the hell they’ve escaped.’

He’s a lifelong pro-European, supports Germany’s progressive stance on migration and is one of Ireland’s most successful internati(...)

 A French,  Finnish and  Danish edition of Adolf Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’  at the Institut fuer Zeitgeschichte in Munich, Germany. Photograph: Matthias Balk/AFP/Getty Images

Hitler’s unreadable classic is an ideal stocking filler this year for someone you loathe

Left Party floor leader Sahra Wagenknecht called it “madness” to respond to the Paris attacks with bombings that would cause further civilian casualties. Photograph: EPA/Kay Nietfeld

Berlin to send 1,200 soldiers, reconnaissance aircraft and a warship to war-torn region

Polish prime minister Beata Szydlo (left) and Law and Justice (PiS) party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski: the sacking of judges has been condemned as illegal by opposition parties. Photograph: Janek Skarzynski/AFP/Getty Images

Law and Justice (PiS) government gets rid of judges in highest court and appoints it own

In a revised complaint to the Data Protection Commissioner, filed on Wednesday, Max Schrems has called in data protection officers from Germany and Belgium to crack the whip on his four-year legal battle in Ireland against Facebook.

Austrian privacy campaigner calling on Helen Dixon to act swiftly on his complaint

Tornados of the German air force’s reconnaissance squadron 51. From next month German Tornados will fly reconnaissance missions over Isis strongholds. Photograph: Carsten Rehder/dpa via AP

Opposition has warned the plan is rash and possibly illegal

Frank Franz is a ‘Nipster’ poster boy, a young father of three plastered across social media

German authorities unsure whether to ban far-right National Democratic Party

IBack to the future: ‘The Austrian system is more than 150 years old and began with steam train and horse and cart. With our new technology . . . we can offer a better experience,’ says Nick Blake

Innovative courier firm uses bicycles instead of trucks to link with high-speed trains

Poland’s prime minister Beata Szydlo and PiS party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski: the new conservative government has taken control of the  country’s top court and secret services. Photograph:  Janek Skarzynski/AFP/Getty Images

Media and artists criticise Law and Justice (PiS) party crackdown on news and culture

Police and a bomb squad   in Berlin’s southern suburb of Britz. Police detained two suspects in a series of raids targeting Islamists in Berlin. Photograph: John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images

Police arrest two men suspected of involvement in a terrorist attack on a German city

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (left) with German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen. Photograph: Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images

Hours after France asks for help against Isis, Merkel pledges reconnaissance backup

German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a meeting of the Bundestag to  discuss the country’s 2016 budget.  Photograph:  Adam Berry/Getty Images

German chancellor says ‘walling ourselves in is no answer’ to Europe’s refugee crisis

Berlin: expects economic growth to hit 1.7 per cent this year and 1.8 per cent next year. Photograph: Getty Images

Chief drivers of growth are domestic consumption and large-scale state spending to house and feed arrival of asylum seekers

President Michael D Higgins next to UN Conference on Trade and Development Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi in Geneva. Photograph: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

President criticises “arrogant assumption” that growth can be perpetual and sustainable

A child born today has a one in three chance of developing dementia and, so far, there is no promising research into a cure, according to head of research at Fujitsu Ireland, Anthony McCauley

Three-year collaboration with UCD and HSE centres on purpose-built apartment development in Dundalk

Brave New World: has our watchfulness against a frontal attack from tyrants blind-sided us to the threat from within?

A German-Irish production reshapes Huxley’s enduring dystopian vision

President Michael D Higgins’s  keynote address will open the 10th debt management meeting of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad), being held in Geneva  until Wednesday. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

President to query sustainability of growth, outline Irish experience of debt and austerity

Armed police outside the stadium in Hanover in front of a board announcing the cancellation of the Germany-Netherlands  soccer match due to a security threat on November 17th. Photograph: Fabian Bimmer/Reuters

Angela Merkel says cancellation of Germany-Netherlands friendly match was correct

German defense minister Ursula von der Leyen in front of a former aicraft hangar transformed into an asylum waiting center, in Erding. Photograph: Armin Weigel/EPA

Home of Erdinger beer now hosts thousands of refugees on old military airfield

Fujitsu is  spinning off its computer and tech products into subsidiaries.  Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Japanese technology giant accelerating push into cloud services

German interior minister Thomas de Maizière: ““I ask the media to trust me on this. We did this for the right reasons.” Photograph: Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty

Cancellation took place hours after large-scale anti-terror operation in Aachen

Germany’s defence minister Ursula von der Leyen  at an asylum waiting centre: Angela Merkel has defended  her open-door policy. Photograph: Armin Weigel/EPA

Bavarian politician criticised for attacking chancellor and trying to boost public image

Few would argue that, in European terms, tenant rights in Ireland are what they could be

We finally gave a fundamental right to gays now how about the right to a home?

Angela Merkel the “indispensable European” for “defending Germany’s interests without losing sight of Europe’s”. Photograph: Carsten Koall/Getty Images

It was not in London, Paris or Brussels but in Berlin that George Osborne gave a sneak preview of UK’s EU reform demands

Former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt in Bonn, West Germany, in  1975.  After being ousted after eight years in power in 1982, he went on to become one of Germany’s most influential public intellectuals. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Derek Scally: former German chancellor, who has died at 96, commanded huge respect

 German chancellor Angela Merkel: “spying on friends just isn’t done.” Photograph: Klaus-Dietmar Gabbert/EPA

Der Spiegel’s list of those monitored by intelligence included US, UN, Oxfam and the pope

German chancellor Angela Merkel, German economy minister Sigmar Gabriel (r) and Bavarian state premier Horst Seehofer (l) address the media before a meeting of German state leaders to discuss the migrant crisis in Berlin, Germany. Photograph: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

Merkel reveals proposals on expediting asylum applications and registration camps

According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung daily, German welfare authorities have come on board to investigate whether some Ryanair pilots really are self-employed. Photograph: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty

Investigation has grown to include 50 pilots who are not officially Ryanair employees

The German-born mathematical atomic physicist Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955).

Professor’s theory was recognised as great by ‘The Irish Times’

German chancellor Angela Merkel and vice chancellor Sigmar Gabriel   in Berlin. Photograph: Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images

Merkel aims to quell dissent in her own party amid calls for greater EU burden-sharing

Chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne speaking to industry leaders in Berlin on Tuesday about the EU reforms being sought by Britain in advance of a referendum next year. Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Osborne looks to protect interests of non-euro zone countries in Berlin speech

 South Korean pianist Seong-Jin Cho performing in this year’s International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, from which he emerged the winner. Photograph: Radek Pietruszka/ EPA

Warsaw Letter: Fryderyk Chopin museum a welcome antidote to bluntness of Polish politics and a reminder of the prized place cultur(...)

Conservative Law and Justice (PiS) leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski embraces Law and Justice candidate for prime minister Beata Szydlo as they celebrate the party’s success. Photograph: EPA

Beata Szydlo could be worried she may hold prized prime minister post on sufferance

A neo-fascist rally in Dortmund on May 1st. “Dortmund has a problem, something we don’t play down, but the whole country has a problem with the far-right – we’re just the tip of the iceberg.” Photograph: Markus Matzel

City is prime target for neo-Nazis and many fear trouble is brewing

A woman walks by an election billboard in Warsaw featuring Poland’s prime minister Ewa Kopacz,  whose ruling PO party is trailing in polls. Photograph: Kacper Pempel/Reuters

Governing PO party may be victim of its own success as voters seek change

Building work on a skyscraper in Warsaw and, above, the Daniel Libeskind-designed Zlota 44 tower in the city which is made of materials from Ireland’s CRH group.

Poland prepares for Sunday’s election as Irish business links with the East European state strengthen

Max Schrems: The European Court of Justice ruling followed legal action brought by the Austrian privacy campaigner over whether his Facebook data was subject to NSA surveillance. Photograph: Julien Warnand/EPA

Can a team of 42 really be expected to police Europe’s data privacy?

Poland’s main opposition party Law and Justice’s leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski meets citizens of Brzeziny, near Lodz, while campaigning in the country’s general election. Photograph: Kacper Pempel/Reuters

Polarised debate marks the election campaign in a country divided

Supporters of the Pegida movement, “Patriotische Europaeer gegen die Islamisierung des Abendlandes,” which translates to “Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident” gather at a protest rally on Monday in Dresden, eastern Germany. Photograph: Getty

Germany’s refugee crisis has given fresh momentum to the Pegida group

Swiss Liberal Free Democratic Party president Philipp Mueller and Swiss People’s Party president Toni Brunner look at the election results. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images/Fabrice Coffrini

Anti-immigrant party make historic gains while Greens and conservatives lose ground

German chancellor Angela Merkel and Turkish prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu walk on the banks of the Bosphorus during a meeting in Istanbul on Sunday. Photograph: Guido Bergmann/Bundesregierung/Getty Images

Pro-refugee Cologne mayoral candidate stabbed in attack with ‘racist motivation’

Dark days: clouds over Diesel Street in Wolfsburg, the city that is home to VW’s main factory and headquarters. Photograph: Markus Schreiber/AP

Wolfsburg, the ultimate company town, was floored by the VW diesel scandal. But, like Das Auto itself, the city is determined to (...)

Polish main opposition party Law and Justice’s candidate for prime minister Beata Szydlo. Photograph:  Kacper Pempel/Reuters

Poles are in the mood for change, and Szydlo promises to achieve it as next prime minister

VW test: There was at least some good news for the car giant yesterday as German officials announced plans to subsidise the purchase of electric cars. Photograph: John Stillwell/PA Wire

US regulators yet to determine if code is defeat device installed specifically to cheat

Refugees from Syria near the Austrian-German border in Julbach, Austria. Austria has become the main transit country for migrants travelling from the Balkans to Germany. Photograph: EPA

SPD ministers reject idea as “inhumane” and say zones are “mass camps in no-man’s land”

A sea of steel helmets before the Feldherrnhalle in Munich, November 8th, 1935, where thousands of recruits gathered to swear an oath of fealty to Germany’s new army flag, which bore the Nazi swastika. Photograph: Keystone/Getty Images

Anti-fascist groups say officers stood by as speech linked Nazis and Pegida movement

Bavarian premier Horst Seehofer said the federal government’s departure from standard EU asylum practice was endangering the stability of Germany’s federal states. Photograph: Christof Stache/AFP/Getty Images

Social Democratic Party wants German chancellor to impose cap on asylum applications

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