Aachen is first and foremost the city of Charlemagne. In the late 8th century, the Holy Roman emperor made Aachen his imperial residence and had the Palatine Chapel built there.
The chapel is now part of the cathedral, the city's main landmark and first German site to be included on UNESCO's world heritage list. Charlemagne's mortal remains now lie in his shrine inside the cathedral. His white marble throne is also there. For over six hundred years after him, it served as the throne of his successors, as well. Aachen is also a city of hot springs. They're in high demand during the holiday season - as are the spicy Christmas pastries called printen. Less traditional and more unconventional is the Ludwig Forum, a museum of contemporary art.
The United Nations has reported that the number of refugees worldwide has reached a two-decade high. Conflicts in Syria, Mali and several African countries are responsible for the growing number of displaced people.
More than 240,000 people rallied in major Brazilian cities against corruption and the huge costs of hosting the 2014 World Cup. Riot police reacted with extreme violence.
Berlin and Washington are bound by a deep friendship. It developed in the Cold War and has now survived more recent turmoil in transatlantic relations.