Angela Merkel this week became the first German Chancellor to address the Israeli Parliament. Merkel's three day visit aimed to upgrade ties between Israel and Germany and was described by both countries as exceptional. Seven German ministers also accompanied the Chancellor for a joint sitting with the Israeli cabinet - a level of consultation Germany usually reserved for a small number of EU states. Paying tribute to the "special relationship" between the two countries Chancellor Merkel said the genocide by the Nazis filled Germans with shame. However, more than sixty years after World War two an address in German in the Israeli parliament remains controversial.
Turkey has fought many internal political battles over the past few years. Now, it's at a new crossroad. Last week Turkey's top state prosecutor, Abdurrahman Yalcinkaya, launched a court case against the ruling AK Party. The prosecutor claims the AK Party is trying to build an Islamic state within secular Turkey. If successful, the AK Party would be banned, and 71 party members including the Prime Minister and President, face the risk of being banned from politics for 5 years.
Crossing borders - something very easy to do in Europe. It's now three months since nine new EU member states entered Europe's border free travel zone, known as the Schengen area. Back in December last year border checkpoints were ceremonially decommissioned and there was a sense of optimism and excitement about what Schengen might bring for trade, tourism and stronger links between countries. But have things really changed?
On Thursday the Francophone world celebrated the day of "Francophonie" - a celebration of the French language wherever it's spoken. Within the EU no one plays up their language as much as the French. And of course France is famous for trying to resist the encroachment of the English language and American culture in particular. Strict rules for example regulate the amount of French music that has to be played on the radio, and there's even a special department within France's Ministry of Culture devoted to the French language. But what is the status of French in the world today?
Every year the Eurovision song contest captivates millions of viewers around Europe - and is famous catapulting bands like Abba or some one hit wonders to the top of the charts. For hopeful bands, a Eurovision campaign begins way before the finals that the world sees on television. In Sweden the selection took 6 weeks, 32 songs and millions of TV viewers and their votes. Last Saturday saw the final of Sweden's Melodifestival to select their entrant for Eurovision 2008 in Belgrade. Radio Sweden's Kris Boswell has all the details.
Here's the third clue to help you identify our mystery film producer and director. He's French and he celebrated his birthday on March the 18th. So here's the clue, an excerpt from one of his films. Most of the film's action takes place in the underground world of the Paris metro. Do you know who we're looking for? Email your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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