Deborah Cole

Merkel bruised by local polls

Angela Merkel's conservatives licked their wounds on Monday after polls raised doubts about their coalition's chances of winning a looming election.

US warns of increased drug trafficking in West Africa

The booming narcotics trade via West Africa is a ''shocking'' problem that could further destabilise fragile states in the region.

Austrian cops defend actions in dungeon-incest case

Austrian police say the man who held his daughter prisoner for 24 years and fathered seven children with her had no accomplices and planned his crime too meticulously to have been caught any earlier. Josef Fritzl (73) has admitted to keeping his daughter locked in a windowless bunker, repeatedly sexually assaulting her and later imprisoning their children.

Young Germans find love on the rails

Internet dating, speed dating and singles parties are starting to look old hat. In Germany, the public transportation services are becoming matchmakers and the demand has been overwhelming. Berlin commuters looking to contact a beautiful stranger they saw on a train or a bus can now use a free online service to track them down in what organisers call an international first.

Merkel charts course for Germany

Angela Merkel addressed Parliament for the first time as German Chancellor on Wednesday, faced with an urgent test over a kidnapped German woman in Iraq and the long-term challenge of reviving the country's moribund economy. Merkel said the government will set to work to return the country to its status as an economic powerhouse.

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