Moscow is conducting military exercises right on the EU's doorstep: on Belarus' western border. Neighboring Poland and Lithuania are concerned -- despite the presence of NATO forces. Many Belarusians also oppose the Russian maneuvers on their soil.
The refugee deal prevents millions of Syrians from continuing on to Europe. They are stuck in Turkey. Tensions are increasing there, and there are attacks on the refugees, who have bad living conditions.
Challenger Martin Schulz seeks to persuade undecided voters in Germany. Surveys show the Social Democrats clearly trailing behind Angela Merkel, the Christian Democrat and Christian Social Union candidate running for her 4th term.
French firms are pinning high hopes on President Macron’s reforms. Germany’s powerful economy is tough competition; they complain about its dominance and hope that France’s promised economic reforms will improve their position.
Germany has great influence in the EU, so European Union politicians are watching the German elections in suspense. They are familiar with Martin Schulz – he was the president of the EU parliament for a long time. But Merkel enjoys international respect.
Since the conservative Law and Justice Party came to power in Poland, hostility toward homosexuals has been growing. Same-sex couples face discrimination. They may not marry in Poland, so many go abroad to tie the knot.
This past spring, 1400 bee colonies died in the Romanian village of Puiesti after a pest controller sprayed an insecticide that contains fipronil, a known cause of colony collapse disorder. Now the destitute beekeepers are fighting for compensation.
In 2014, Germany scrapped a law that required German-born teenagers with Turkish roots to choose whether they wanted German or Turkish citizenship. Some conservative politicians are still outraged by the decision.