On today's programme: The Catholic Church clashes with Belgian authorities - Tackling psychological violence in France - Angela Merkel suffers an embarrassing setback - FIFA in a tight corner over referee blunders at World Cup - Is trouble brewing for Irish pubs over drink driving laws? - Belgium and its colonial past - Villepin takes aim at archrival Sarkozy - Stockholm sets a green example
The Catholic Church clashes with Belgian authoritiesThis week Pope Benedict XVI summoned the head of the Belgian church to discuss a recent string of police raids on Church buildings in Belgium. Several bishops were detained during last week’s roundup, which was part of a paedophilia probe. The Pope has criticized the police raids as deplorable. But Belgian officials insist their actions were legal and necessary. And the Belgian government has stressed that it will run investigations into allegations of child sex abuse by Catholic priests and not the Church. Nina-Maria Potts reports has the details from Brussels.Tackling psychological violence in FranceThe French Parliament gave final and unanimous approval this week to a law that makes “psychological violence” between a couple a criminal offense. Supporters say the new law will be a useful weapon in the fight against domestic violence. Opponents wonder if outlawing insulting your partner in a way which changes his or her mental state will be of much use as this sort of behaviour is so very common. In Paris, John Laurenson reports.German Chancellor Angela Merkel suffers an embarrassing setbackGermany Chancellor Angela Merkel suffered a major embarrassment this week, after the federal assembly failed to approve her chosen presidential candidate in the first two rounds of voting. Only after the third and final round did Christian Wulff, who’s now the youngest German president on record, receive the necessary majority to take the symbolic job of Germany’s top representative. The difficult vote showed clearly that not all is well in the ruling coalition of Christian Democrats and Liberal Free Democrats. Hardy Graupner reports from Berlin.FIFA is in a tight corner over referee blunders at the World CupThis week FIFA president Sepp Blatter apologized for two major refereering errors which contributed to England and Mexico crashing out of the World Cup. Blatter went on to say that FIFA would reconsider the potential use of goalline or video technology to support the referees. The debate has been raging for years, with opponents saying that technology would seriously dampen the drama and excitement of the game. Proponents point to other sports where technology is used and the game has not suffered. Christian Holzer is the CEO of Cairos technology, a German company which has the technology to make football fairer. Neil King asked him what his first thought was when the English goal against Germany was disallowed despite the ball having crossed the line. Diplomatic immunity versus impunityUnder the Geneva Convention on diplomatic relations agreed in 1961 at the height of the Cold War diplomats serving abroad have total immunity from any crime they are alleged to have committed, including parking offences.Figures released in the UK of such unpunished crimes have been causing a bit of stir. And Carol Allen in London has been taking a closer at diplomats’ crimes and misdemeanours.Is more trouble brewing for Irish pubs over new drink driving laws?It’s estimated that over 1,500 pubs in Ireland have closed over the past five years and there are fears that the same number could close by 2013. And there’s more trouble brewing over new drink driving laws with a lower alcohol limit. While road safety campaigners have welcomed the move, the organisation representing rural publicans has said the new limit will not do anything to save lives. From Dublin, Anne-Marie McNerney reports.Has Belgium come to terms with its colonial past?This week Belgian King Albert II and caretaker Prime Minister Yves Letermes made a landmark visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo to mark the country’s 50th anniversary of independence.The trip was the first state visit by a Belgian monarch to its former colony in over 25 years, but neither the Belgian king nor the prime minister gave any public speech. So, is that an indication of how difficult bilateral relations are? Neil King put that question to Stefaan Marysse an expert on from the University of Antwerp. Villepin takes aim at his archrival SarkozyFormer French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin has become the pebble in President Nicolas Sarkozy's shoe. Now that he has been found not guilty of plotting to smear his nemesis, Mr. Sarkozy, Villepin is on a campaign to become a legitimate rival for the 2012 elections. He has been going around the country meeting electors and setting up social networking groups to support his candidacy. And he has just founded his own political party at a rally in Paris. Genevieve Oger was there and reports on this intense personal rivalry.High techs revs in EstoniaIn the 1930's, the Baltic country of Estonia produced a motorcycle called The Renard. During World War II, the factory was bombed and the company vanished. But now, two young entrepreneurs have revived the Renard brand. But this is no ordinary motorcycle they are building. The Renard is probably the most high tech motorcycle that is available on the market today. Andy Valvur reports from Tallinn, Estonia.Stockholm sets a green exampleStockholm has been named Europe’s first green capital for 2010. All of the city's buses run on renewable fuels and the entire metro system is run on renewable electricity. CO2 emissions have been reduced by a quarter in the last ten years and the city's water is some of the cleanest in the world. But Stockholm has even more ambitious goals. It wants to become a fossil fuel free city by 2050. But as Tanya Wood reports green success doesn’t blossom overnight.