‘If it is okay to repair faulty mitochondrial DNA, the slippery slope argument goes, then what about other genetic diseases caused by faults in nuclear DNA?’ Photograph: Getty Images

The complex genetic procedures approved by the House of Commons on Tuesday were a headline writer’s dream. No need to get “mitochondrial donation” int(...)

 ‘In Germany establishment parties have ruled out co-operation with Pegida, the German acronym for “Patriotic Europeans Against Islamisation of the West”.’ Supporters of the Pegida movement waves flags while they gather for a march in their first Berlin demonstration,  following  marches in Dresden.  Photograph:  Carsten Koall/Getty Images

Barely a week gone, and 2015 has already not proved a good advertisement for European tolerance and multiculturalism. Mosques have been bombed in Swed(...)

‘There is the danger that in conceding that freedoms can rightly be limited we turn the discussion into one in which we are considering how much the victim of an attack on freedom of speech like Charlie Hebdo was to blame for its own fate.’ Above, a woman holds a placard   in front of the French embassy in Rome. Photograph:  Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters

“Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.” – John Milton, AreopagiticaIt is an uncomfo(...)

An anti-Castro Cuban exile in Florida holds a Cuban flag during a protest after the announcement of the restoration of diplomatic ties between Cuba and United States. Photograph: Carlos Barria/Reuters

There is certain to have been a degree of ambivalence, albeit largely unstated, in Moscow over the announcement that President Obama is restoring d(...)

In happier times: Franklin Foer, right, with Chris Hughes, in May 2012. Photograph: James Estrin/The New York Times

Suicide by decapitation. In a rash act Chris Hughes, the 32-year-old internet tycoon who owns The New Republic (TNR), decided a week ago to bring the (...)

‘Last year, the Swiss government apologised after decades of silence about the scope and inhumanity of the policy.’ Photograph: Getty Images

David Gogniat made the shocking discovery only when his mother died. Despite the reality that her four children had been seized from the single mother(...)

Key players: former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbatchev, former US president George Bush and former German chancellor Helmut Kohl

329 days. Eleven months between the opening of the Wall and the “day of German unity”, the day when the two Germanys came together formally as (...)

‘By Friday, reckoning discretion to be the better part of valour, Orbán  abandoned the new tax altogether. People power.’ Above, earlier in the week tens of thousands of Hungarians held up their mobile phones as they crossed  the Elisabeth Bridge, in Budapest,  during a protest against the  tax on internet data transfers. Photograph: Laszlo Balogh/Reuters

Viktor Orbán had a water charges moment this week. And – Dublin pols please note – lost. About 100,000 Hungarians rallied on Tuesday in Budapest ag(...)

The Woodenbridge first World War Memorial Park in Co Wicklow, formally opened last month. The memorial, 15 stone pillars on which the names of the dead and their townlands are inscribed, commemorates the approximately 1,200 men from all parts of Co Wicklow who died in the first World War. It is inscribed with the lines of Francis Ledwidge’s poem below. Photograph: Jack McManus

“Is it too much to hope that out of this situation there may spring a result which will be good not merely for the Empire, but good for the future wel(...)

‘Several decisions by the Strasbourg Court have particularly upset Tories’. Above,  party leader David Cameron  addresses the Conservative party’s annual conference earlier this month. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

In the rush by the Tory Party right to outdo Ukip in proving its anti-European credentials the target has moved beyond the “tyrannical” EU to Strasbou(...)