Best of elsewhere

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The story of the week was undoubtedly German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s announcement that, after 18 years leading her CDU party and 13 years leading her country, she will step down from the former in December and the latter in 2021.

Politics rather than culture, you might say. Not so fast: for Euractiv, Claire Stam and Alexandra Brzozowski consider what the announcement means for daily German life.

Elsewhere, the BBC had this photo essay of Merkel’s career in pictures.

The other big news was Ireland voting resoundingly in a referendum to repeal a law against blasphemy in the country. The Journal had the facts bySinead O’Carroll and reaction byAisling O’Rourke.

The first commercial flight between Greece and Macedonia in 12 years took place this week, after the two countries’ governments provisionally settled a dispute over the latter’s right to the Macedonia name. The BBC had a nice write-up.

Crispian Balmer wrote this excellent piece for Reuters on how people living in Rome are protesting against the deteriorating condition of their capital.

More great cities coverage from the Guardian, which ran this story by Richard Orange on how Apple has been thwarted in its attempt to open a store in Stockholm’s Kungsträdgården, and this one by Daniel Boffey on how Amsterdam might slowly dismantle its red-light district to discourage hordes of gawping tourists from taking photos of the sex workers.

The BBC ran this insightful explainer on why deciding what to do with Franco’s remains is dividing Spaniards.

Jessica Bateman wrote this interesting story for Wired about how activists are combating Russia’s laws against non-traditional sexual relationships by paying for normally apolitical vloggers to get to know some gay people.

And finally, Al Jazeera ran this short video on Cibo, the Verona street artist who is painting over fascist graffiti with much friendlier food-based pictures.

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