China willing to help Russia
The Russian Ruble is in free fall, the economy flatlining - now, Beijing says it's is willing to help if necessary. China and Russia already have close diplomatic and economic ties, particularly in the energy sector. Earlier this year, China signed a 400 billion dollar deal to buy Russian gas.
Christmas: a season of consumption
Germany's Retailers Association estimates 85.5 billion euros will be spent on gifts this year - one billion more than last year. Topping the list are toys - followed by books, watches, jewelry, and finally consumer electronics. Mobile digital devices are particularly popular among the younger generation.
Turin reinvents itself
Turin's glory days as an automaker town have all but faded. Its famous Lingotto Fiat plant is now a convention center complex with hotels and a museum. The municipal government is trying to market Turin as a centre of culture, architecture and design. And despite Fiat's retreat and a prolonged recession, it seems the city is gradually transforming itself into a modern, multifaceted metropolis.