File photograph of German chancellor Angela Merkel and then  foreign minister Guido Westerwelle during a news conference in Berlin, in 2010. Photograph:  Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

Former German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle, the country’s first openly gay cabinet member, has died, aged 54, after a long battle with cancer. (...)

Polish MP Anna Grodzka: she was the first transgender MP to be elected by Krakow’s voters four years ago. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Perhaps it was a sign of the times, but Leo Varadkar’s outing on RTÉ Radio made only a modest splash in the world’s media. English-language media outl(...)

Tourists look at a wax figure of German chancellor Angela Merkel in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin yesterday.  Madame Tussauds wax museum put the figure on public display to mark Ms Merkel’s 60th birthday on Thursday. Photograph: Wolfgang Kumm/EPA

A decade ago, when Angela Merkel turned 50, the birthday girl’s party guests were treated to a surprise. Not a singer or, heaven forbid, a stripper, b(...)

 Thomas Hitzlsperger celebrates scoring a goal during his VfB Stuttgart days.  The 31-year-old, who won  52 caps for Germany, is the first prominent German footballer to come out as homosexual.

Thomas Hitzlsperger had managed to stay away from his computer for a long time. In the morning he had become the highest-profile footballer to announc(...)

US secretary of state John Kerry walks with European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton before their meeting with Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zari in Geneva yesterday. Photograph: Reuters/Jason Reed

Iran was close to signing a historic deal with western powers last night that would see it limit its nuclear activity in exchange for an easing of EU (...)

US secretary of state John Kerry with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton before their meeting with Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Geneva this evening. Photograph: Jason Reed/Reuters

US secretary of state John Kerry said today that important gaps needed to be bridged in high-stakes talks with Iran on curbing its nuclear programme -(...)

Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Francois Hollande: spying revelations  cast a shadow over the EU summit in Brussels yesterday. Photograph: Yves Herman

An escalating transatlantic row over American spying in Europe has thrown doubt over trade talks and data-sharing arrangements between the European Un(...)

German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle (right) and his Ukrainian counterpart Leonid Kozhara in Kiev. Mr Westerwelle warned yesterday that time is  running out for Ukraine to be ready to sign landmark deals with the EU next month.  Photograph: Gleb Garanich/Reuters

Ukraine’s president, Viktor Yanukovych, has said he intends to resolve the controversial case of jailed former premier Yulia Tymoshenko soon, as top E(...)

Posters of lead candidiate of the German Free Democrats (FDP) Rainer Bruederle at FDP party headquarters  in Berlin, Germany. Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

German chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling Christian Democrats (CDU) have warned supporters against switching allegiance to their ailing junior coalitio(...)

Egypt’s interim vice president Mohamed El Baradei, who resigned yesterday, speaks at a news conference with European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in Cairo in July. Ms Ashton called on the security forces to “exercise utmost restraint and on all Egyptian citizens”. Photograph: Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters

The EU and US have castigated yesterday’s use of force by the Egyptian authorities to disperse Muslim Brotherhood sit-ins at Nasr City and Giza. EU fo(...)