Poland, an EU member since 2004, is the birthplace of the Solidarity movement, which helped bring down Soviet-style communism in the late 1980s. It was also the site of some of the 20th century's greatest tragedies.
Home to 38.5 million people, Poland sits in the near heart of Europe, bordered by Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania and the Russian enclave Kaliningrad. The prime location and large amount of land (more than 300,000 square kilometers) Poland enjoys have enticed more than one of the country's neighbors to attempt to take it over. Poland survived the 1939-45 Nazi occupation, however, and endured over four decades of Soviet dominance to emerge as one of the EU's shining stars in Central Europe.
In an unexpected move, Polish President Duda has said he will block two bills meant to reform Poland's judiciary by increasing the government's influence over the judiciary. Thousands of people across Poland have protested against the reform.
The Polish president has spoken of the need for national "togetherness" as the crisis over judicial reform rages on. Caught between protests, castigation from the EU, and a hardline government, all eyes are on him.
In recent decades, wolves have been making a comeback to Germany, after being hunted to extinction in the late 19th century. As wolf numbers in neighboring Poland grew in the late 20th century, they gradually moved west in search of new territory. While conservationists welcome the wolves' return to Germany, not everyone is happy to see the predator.