Breivik refrains from Nazi salute on second day in court

Mass killer Anders Behring Breivik obeyed a judge's orders not to make a Nazi salute as he arrived in court on the second day of his lawsuit against the Norwegian state.

Breivik made a Hitler-style salute as hearings began yesterday to determine whether his prison conditions are "inhuman".

He was later called to order by judge Helen Andenaes Sekulic, who asked him to not repeat the gesture during the four days of proceedings in the makeshift courtroom in the gym of Skien Prison, where he is being kept in isolation.

"I will try to take that into account," replied Breivik, after initially objecting that it was a Norse salute used by his ancestors a thousand years ago, a claim yet to be verified. 

Talks on government formation a charade - Donnelly

Social Democrats co-leader Stephen Donnelly has said the current process of political consultations on the formation of a new government amounts to something of a charade and that Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil will have to talk to each other.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, he said no government could run without some sort of agreement between those two parties.

Mr Donnelly said Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil know they have to talk to each other and they are refusing point blank to do so, at this point.

He said the Social Democrats will not participate in a minority government but will be fully involved in the Dáil.

Pope urges Europe to "open hearts and doors" to suffering migrants

Pope Francis has appealed to nations to "open their hearts and open their doors" to migrants, saying those waiting at closed European borders in the cold and rain were made to feel like exiles abandoned by God.

"How many of our brothers these days are living through areal and dramatic situation of exile, far from their homelands. In their eyes they still have the ruins of their homes," Pope Francis told crowds in St Peter's Square.

"They have fear in their hearts and unfortunately, often, the pain of having lost loved their ones."

Francis has made the defence of migrants a major plank of his three-year-old papacy.

22 killed in suicide blast in northeastern Nigeria

22 people have been killed by two female suicide bombers at a mosque outside the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri, according to a military spokesman.

A further 18 people were wounded in the attack, which happened during morning prayers in a village six kilometres from the capital of Borno state.

It was the first such assault in the northeast since early February, when two suicide bombers blew themselves up at a camp for internally displaced people in Dikwa, 85km from Maiduguri.

German women earn one fifth less than men

Women in Germany earn around one fifth less than men, a wider gap than the European average, but the shortfall is narrower in the east of the country, official data showed.

In raw or unadjusted terms, the gender pay gap stood at 21% in Germany last year, an improvement of one percentage point from 2014, but still above the European average of 16.5%, the federal statistics office Destatis calculated. 

On average, German women earned €16.20 per hour before tax, while men earned €20.59.

That means that since 2006, when the gender pay gap stood at 23%, the difference between men's and women's pay has remained more or less unchanged. 

Thai taxi driver nicked for nicking knickers

A taxi driver accused of stealing some 4,000 items of women's underwear in Thailand has been publicly paraded by police, the second time in six years the alleged panty thief has been nabbed for fuelling his fetish.

The 54-year-old motorbike taxi chauffeur was paraded before local media next to a mountain of bras and underwear that he allegedly stole in between ferrying passengers around the Thai capital on the back of his moped.

But investigators said they were currently unable to charge him because no one has made an official complaint as they called for victims to come forward.

In 2010, police found him in possession of some 10,000 undergarments he had surreptitiously plucked from clotheslines and drying racks. He was convicted of theft and jailed for slightly over three years and police said his wife left and became a nun because she was so embarrassed.