The euro-zone unemployment rate has unexpectedly jumped to 8.5 percent -- the latest sign that the 16 euro-zone economies are deteriorating faster than expected amid the global financial downturn.
Economists are revising their full-year forecasts
The EU statistics office said unemployment in the euro zone rose to 8.5 percent in February. Some 319,000 more people were seeking work in the euro zone than in January, when unemployment was at 8.3 percent.
Analysts said they expect the unemployment rate to reach about 10 percent later in the year, as the recession deepens.
More pressure on ECB
The latest figures are likely to increase the pressure on the European Central Bank, which was set to meet Thursday, April 2, to discuss lowering euro-zone interest rates.
On Wednesday, the European Union's statistics office, Eurostat, said the jobless rate across the entire 27-nation bloc is now 7.9 percent, up from 7.7 percent in January.
Unemployment is highest in Spain at 15.5 percent, Latvia at 14.4 percent and Lithuania at 13.7 percent. All three have been hit hard by the bursting of a housing bubble and a sharp economic downturn.
More than 400,000 new keywords in German spy agency BND's computers, a new report in the German media says. The findings would further undermine the organization, accused of helping the NSA in its snooping activities.
If Ireland's referendum on same-sex marriage is passed, the country would become the first to approve marriage equality by popular vote. Political parties are backing the change.
The LGBTI community is using Russia's popularity at the Eurovision Song Contest to reach out to Moscow, but that's not the only thing being done to promote tolerance. DW's Jessie Wingard reports from Vienna.
Leading up to the grand final on Saturday, May 23, the second semi-final on Thursday evening presented 17 entries. After voting from a jury and called-in votes from across Europe, 10 qualified for the final run.