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The Reichstag building, seat of the German parliament Bundestag, in Berlin. While Andrea Nahles polishes the SPD’s left-wing brasses, Merkel is braced for CDU conservatives challenging the European reform agenda. Photograph:  EPA/Alexander Becher

The unit of time in Germany is not the minute, the hour or even the day, but the week. And it’s 24 weeks –- nearly half a year – since German voters c(...)

Ayinger beers have become a bit of a cult hit in the US

The words “erotic” and “beer” should never have to appear in the same sentence – but it so happened recently that a Bavarian brewer claimed he had cre(...)

Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring a goal in  the Club World Cup final against  Gremio in Abu Dhabi. Photograph: Karim Sahib/AFP/Getty Images

In terms of goalscoring exploits, Fernando Peyroteo’s achievement in 1938 used to be the benchmark. The grandnephew of António César de Vasconcelos Co(...)

José Mourinho and Pep Guardiola issue instructions to their respective teams during the Manchester derby at Old Trafford. Photograph: Nigel Roddis/EPA

A few days ago the former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg caused a minor sensation by telling NBC’s Men In Blazers podcast that he had intenti(...)

Bavarian finance minister Markus Söder (right, as Marilyn Monroe)  hopes to leverage his personal popularity in Bavaria to revive the CSU’s fortunes. Photograph: David Ebener/EPA

Angela Merkel’s complicated game of coalition poker has just been dealt a new wild card. Some 10 weeks after a disastrous election result, her Bavari(...)

Acting German chancellor Angela Merkel speaks with Social Democratic Party leader Martin Schulz. Photograph: Axel Schmidt/Reuters

Chancellor Angela Merkel has called on Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) not to drag out talks for a fresh grand coalition, a week after the failure of(...)

BMW’s new M5: 10 sold already in Ireland, and the car only arrives here next March

BMW has already sold more of its new M5 on order before its arrival in Ireland on March 31st than it sold of the outgoing model over the last eight ye(...)

Alexis Sanchez:  Are the gifts that make him so exceptional in a team where he can be the attacking star the same qualities that make him unsuitable in a team where there are stars of equal or greater magnitude?  Photograph:   Getty Images

You can’t always get what you want. But if you try – and you’re not too scarred by a complex, deadline-week, dual-jurisdiction triple-swoop involving (...)

UK chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond: rose because of the baseless hunch  people with little outward charisma must possess great depth. Photograph: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

This time last year, another technocrat of crisp appearance, whose decisions could swing the British economy this way or that, was pressed to resign b(...)

German chancellor Angela Merkel gestures during an EU  summit in Tallinn, Estonia. Photograph: Ilmars Znotins/AFP/Getty Images

A week on from the federal vote, it’s out with the German election posters and in with the veils for the ritual mating dance. Grabbing power in Berli(...)

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