The 25-year-old great-granddaughter of Richard Wagner will make her directing debut at the Bayreuth Festival, the prestigious festival dedicated exclusively to the composer's works, in 2007. In the latest move in what has been a long and bitter battle of control, Katharina Wagner was assigned by Wolfgang Wagner, Richard's 84-year-old grandson, to direct the future production of Die Meistersinger von Nürenberg. Wolfgang has been in charge of the annual festival since 1951, and wants Katharina to be his successor, according to Agence France Presse reports. But his daughter from his first marriage, Eva Wagner-Pasquier, as well as his late brother's daughter, Nike Wagner, are also pretenders to the Bayreuth throne. Katharina has been an assistant at Bayreuth since 1996. Her first professional production was in Würzburg in 2002.
For the first time in six months, opposition activists in Russia have called on people to join peace marches against Moscow's Ukraine policies and its propaganda machine. But there is little appetite for protest.
NATO's top military commander has called the truce between Ukraine's military and pro-Russia separatists a 'ceasefire in name only'. US General Philip Breedlove said Russian forces were still operating inside Ukraine.
The UK government has pledged £12m (15 million euros) in a bid to control the growing number of illegal immigrants attempting to cross the English Channel from Calais to Britain.