On Sunday the "Group of Death" finally dispatched its reaper, and it was Denmark and Netherlands who felt an icy tap on the shoulder. In truth the Dutch, without a point from the first two matches, had long since felt a chill in the air, but for Denmark there will be a slight nagging sense that it might just have hurdled the scythe. What if Jakob Poulsen's second-half shot, which caught the outside of the post, had been a few inches to the right? What if the officials had spotted Holger Badstuber with a fistful of Nicklas Bendtner's shirt as the forward tried to shoot at 1-1? What if we'd really had a go when Germany looked complacent?
In Portugal's second city, Porto, crowds throng the main shopping streets, accompanied by the smell of roasting chestnuts and the twinkle of festive lights. Bacalhau, the dried, salted codfish traditionally eaten on Christmas Day, hangs in store windows framed by hand-painted wall tiles. Tourists wander past clutching maps and cameras.
An estimated 3 million workers walked off the job Wednesday in Portugal's first general strike in 22 years, a protest against austerity measures imposed by a government under market pressure to cut spending.
Judges issued guilty verdicts Friday in Lisbon against six defendants, including a well-known Portuguese television star and a former diplomat, in a long-running child sexual abuse case that has riveted national attention, according to CNN affiliate TVI.
As Greece barreled closer to the edge of a debt default this week, fears that the crisis would infect other countries rattled the world's financial markets. "It's not a question of the danger of contagion," Angel Gurria, the head of the Organization for Economic Cooperation, said. "Contagion has already happened. This is like Ebola."
Nazare, a two-hour drive north of Lisbon on Portugal's Atlantic coast, is famous for its women who wear skirts with seven petticoats (one for each day, for the seven colors of the rainbow, or ... make up your own legend). While this tradition helps stoke the town's tourist trade, it's also just the way people live here.
With its membership in the European Union, many things are changing in Portugal. Day after day the roads here were messing up my itinerary -- I'd arrive in town hours before I thought I would. I remember a time when there were absolutely no freeways in Portugal. Now, the country has plenty. They build them so fast, even my Michelin map is missing new ones.
Sunny Spain and Portugal, along with Morocco's gateway city of Tangier, beckon travelers who delight in ornate architecture, authentic culture and people-watching strolls in the cool of the evening. Here's what to expect if you visit this year.
Surf this: The potential market for wave energy -- electricity generated by offshore turbines -- is worth a staggering $1 trillion worldwide, according to the World Energy Council, a nonprofit research organization.
Cooler temperatures and a fleet of international firefighting aircraft are helping authorities in Portugal to contain raging wildfires, with just five large fires still burning on Wednesday, down from several dozen over the weekend, a Portuguese official told CNN.
In a high-profile pedophile case involving some of Portugal's most prominent people, a judge Monday suddenly dropped charges against two defendants and reduced charges against eight others, their lawyers said.