Women to head top EU institutions for first time

Ursula von der Leyen to head European commission and Christine Lagarde to lead ECB Two women have won the backing of the EUs leaders to head the European commission and European Central Bank, breaking with more than 60 years of male dominance at the top of the blocs institutions. After three days of tortuous negotiations, Germanys defence minister, improved maternity and paternity benefits as Germanys family affairs minister and drove forward boardroom gender quotas. She has been working to increase funding for the countrys armed forces in her most recent government role although she has been mired in controversy over the awarding of contracts and has faced criticism about gaps in military readiness. On Brexit, she has fully supported the …

The schoolgirls who defied the Stasi: ‘Someone said,

They were West German teenagers on a school trip. He was a young man desperate to escape from East Germany. Thirty five years later, they tell their story Its December 1984, a week before Christmas. Tina Kirschner and Barbara Kahlke, two 17-year-olds from West Germany, are sitting on a creaking red bus headed for the socialist part of their divided country. Theyre on a school trip, and the mood is boisterous: almost 40 teenagers singing along to Duran Duran. But once they cross the heavily guarded border, reality hits. The world theyre entering feels alien and forbidding. All around them, slogans celebrate the glorious achievements of the German Democratic Republic (GDR). Yet as they pass through the crumbling town centres, …