The Greek parliament has approved the first civil service layoffs in more than a century. The debt-troubled country has to slim down its bloated public sector to receive another tranche of its international bailout.
A German crowdfunding project has been collecting money so that every month a lucky winner gets a basic monthly income for a year. It's a campaign and a social experiment - and it's re-started an old debate in Germany.
Merkel wants approved refugees to get help finding a job immediately. She also praised the work of civil servants processing asylum applications during a visit to their offices in Berlin.
A junior minister in the new Greek government stepped down less than 24 hours after being appointed. Outrage had erupted on Wednesday over anti-Semitic and homophobic remarks attributed to him in the past.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has begun a state visit to the US, which will culminate in a White House state dinner on Friday. Meanwhile, Obama's administration has been finding itself increasingly at odds with Beijing.