For the seventh time since the collapse of communism in 1989, Poles are about to elect a new parliament. The vote comes two years early, following the implosion of the current coalition in August. Many voters are still undecided over which party to support, and opinion polls show an even split between the ruling Law and Justice Party of Prime minister Jaroslaw Kascinski and the opposition pro-European Civic Platform.
This week the European Union stepped up pressure on the military regime in Myanmar, which is called Burma by the democratic opposition. For a decade now the EU has imposed sanctions on Burma including a travel ban on leading politicians, a freeze on their assets and a trade ban with large state companies. Now, EU foreign ministers have ramped up sanctions to stop the import of Burmese wood products, timber, minerals and precious stones. But not petrol and gas, an important source of revenue. One of the main foreign companies doing business in the country is the French oil company Total.
Another decision EU ministers took on Monday in Luxembourg was to sign a new agreement with Montenegro, the world's newest state which seceded from its union with Serbia in May 2006. The Stabilisation and Association Agreement is a first step on the road to EU membership.
As the years pass, the tragedy of the Holocaust, now more than six decades ago, is fading from living memory. The last survivors and eye witnesses are dying, and there are concerns that communicating the scale of the Nazi genocide and its importance to current and future generations will become more difficult. To try and counter that, the Berlin campus of a Jewish-American university has put together Germany's first master's degree dedicated to communicating the Holocaust to the public. This week the seven master students attended their first seminar.
In spite of all its beauty, the Czech Republic is turning into rather unpleasant place to live - at least in some respects. Two-thirds of Czechs are currently gasping for air as it gets more and more polluted. This and many other alarming facts have been highlighted in an annual report on the Czech environment, published by the Environment Ministry.
Environmental awareness certainly got a big boost last week with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and Al Gore winning the Nobel Peace prize. The Nobel prizes are described as the most coveted civil awards in the world. Since their inception in 1901, the academic world and the international community eagerly await the announcement of the winners each year.
Not that many people would take note but World Food Day was marked last week. It's an annual reminder that too many people in the world still go hungry, even if progress is being made in some places. But what would happen if all the food in the world was divided evenly? Would there be enough for everyone - and what would everyone actually be eating? To find out, Radio Netherlands' Maurice Laparlière went to a school in Ottoland, a small village in the Dutch country side. He went there to meet a showbiz chef with a mission.
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