When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Margot Nicodeme

See more by Margot Nicodeme

Inside a Parisian micro apartment

Micro-Apartments, Not The Paris You Always Dreamed Of

In France, more than 23,000 people live in a room of smaller than nine square meters, many in the capital. But to rent out such small spaces is illegal.

PARIS — Albert is sitting on his single bed on the sixth floor of a typical Haussman-style building in the 13th arrondissement in south Paris. It is a sweltering late July day, and the 56-year-old keeps the door of his flat open. "Here you are. This is where I live," he says of the 6.5-square-meter (70-square-foot) apartment.

The cramped room is poorly ventilated, with only a narrow transom that provides natural light. On the right, a small water spigot is located at the foot of the bed. On the other side, a mound of suitcases, bags and other boxes cover the entire wall. "What you see here is my whole life," Albert sighs.

Watch VideoShow less
Protesting Trump's wall on July 20
eyes on the U.S.

Latino Pride Is Bigger Than Any Wall Trump Can Build

Donald Trump shows disdains for both Latinos in his own country, as well as some basic tenets of international relations.


BOGOTÁ — The best indication of Donald Trump's political clumsiness is his idea that the Mexicans will pay for the wall he would build if elected, in order to block northward migration through the U.S.-Mexican border.

Watch VideoShow less
Trump at a campaign rally Austin, Texas on Aug. 23
eyes on the U.S.

No, Donald Trump Is Not A Fascist

Even for those who abhor the Republican nominee, it's important to get the terminology right.

GENEVA — In such times of confusion, it is no surprise that some big words get frequently misused, even by highly educated people. Some people, including at least one former university lecturer, have begun calling Donald Trump a fascist. It is false. Let me be clear: I am certainly no fan of this grotesque candidate, but calling him a fascist makes no sense.

The word "populist" is already widely misused in Europe, but it arguably applies to the American billionaire. "Far-right extremist" may be debatable, but "fascist" is not appropriate in any way. Excessive caricature is noxious.

Watch VideoShow less
Working in Cologne

The "Du" And Don'ts Of German Workplace Etiquette

MUNICH In an effort to loosen up, the Otto group, a mail-order company based in Hamburg, Germany, has taken the bold step of doing the "du."

In German, "du" is the informal version of "you" — something to be used among friends, but a no-no when it comes to formal work environments, especially when addressing the boss. A few months ago, however, Otto Group's chief executive officer, Hans-Otto Schrader, decided to dispense with such formalities and invite all of his many employees to address him on a first-name basis. Now, anyone who crosses paths with the big boss can shout: "Hansi, hold on. I have a question for you" — as in "du!"

Watch VideoShow less
Colombian farmers in a field

Little Talked About, This Issue Can Choke Colombia's Peace Deal Down The Line


BOGOTÁ — Decades of civil conflict and the formation of the communist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) could be attributed in part to the struggle for land in this Latin American nation. That's why land was one of the most important issues in FARC's peace negotiations with the government. A historic deal was signed on Aug. 24 in La Havana, Cuba. It will now need to be approved by voters in a plebiscite on Oct. 2.

Watch VideoShow less