German federal prosecutors called on Wednesday for a self-confessed cannibal to be sentenced to a life jail term as an appeal against his original verdict began. Armin Meiwes, 43, was sentenced to eight and a half years in jail in January last year after being found guilty of manslaughter in a trial that fascinated and appalled Germany. The trial judges rejected prosecution calls for a murder conviction, which would have carried a life term of 15 years. Germany's highest judicial court is now to decide whether his sentence should be upgraded or whether there should be a retrial.
The EU has extended sanctions imposed on Russian individuals, organizations and businesses over the conflict in Ukraine. EU foreign ministers have also agreed on proposals to impose tougher sanctions on Russia.
Hundreds of refugees have died trying to reach the Italian coast in the past few months alone. This situation must be stopped, says Green Party EU parliamentarian Franziska Keller.
A premiere not soon to be forgotten: In its fourth and final year, stage director Sebastian Baumgarten's "Tannhäuser" had an unattractive set and a technical glitch, but superb singing and an impressive conducting debut.