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Tag: Europe

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John Lukacs on Nicholson Baker’s ‘Human Smoke’

Was World War II necessary? In an exercise in literary hygiene, a distinguished historian casts a skeptical eye at an acclaimed novelist’s revisionist take on the “Good War.”

Posted on Apr 18, 2008 READ MORE


Berlusconi
White House / Sheahlah Craighead

Another Round for Silvio

With the concession of his main rival, conservative media mogul Silvio Berlusconi is set to take up a third term as Italy’s prime minister. Although a divisive and controversial figure, Berlusconi offered “An affectionate kiss to all Italians” over the news.

Posted on Apr 14, 2008 READ MORE


Sarkozy in London

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Posted on Mar 27, 2008 READ MORE


Merkel’s Israel Trip Off to a Rocky Start

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is scheduled to speak before the Israeli Knesset to underscore her country’s strong ties with Israel, but at least one aspect of her visit is already causing controversy. Merkel will address the Israeli parliament in German.

Posted on Mar 12, 2008 READ MORE


Sentenced to Die Over a Download

Sayed Parwez Kaambakhsh, a 23-year-old Afghan student, has been sentenced to death for blasphemy because of an article he downloaded from the Internet. The verdict has aroused outrage around the world, and top U.S. and European officials have spoken with the Afghan government. However, some worry that international pressure could back Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the nation’s religious fundamentalists into a corner and therefore ensure that the execution is carried out.

Posted on Feb 18, 2008 READ MORE



Petar Pismestrovic, Kleine Zeitung, Austria

World Leaders Struggle With Kosovo Independence

Kosovo’s declaration of independence has prompted both condemnation and cheers from world leaders. Whether in the U.N. Security Council or the European Union, global opinion is divided. In particular, the declaration has served as a flashpoint for tension between the United States and Russia, an ugly reenactment of the kind of jockeying for influence that was supposed to have been buried with the Cold War.

Posted on Feb 18, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

Timothy Snyder on the Forgotten Holocaust

One of the great crimes of the 20th century—the mass murder of Jews in the Nazi-occupied Soviet territories—is all but forgotten. “The Unknown Black Book” helps us remember.

Posted on Feb 15, 2008 READ MORE


Putin
bfs-zh.ch

Putin and the New ‘Arms Race’

Vladimir Putin isn’t taking the expansion of NATO and a planned missile shield lightly. The Russian president told his people: “It is already clear that a new phase in the arms race is unfolding in the world. ... It is not our fault, because we did not start it.” Flush with oil money, Russia is planning to beef up and flaunt its military capabilities in response.

Posted on Feb 8, 2008 READ MORE


Kerviel
Societe Generale

The Man Who Lost $7.2 Billion

How did a 31-year-old low-level bank trader with limited access lose five times as much money as the worst rogue trader ever? That’s the question European authorities and Societe Generale, France’s second-largest bank, are trying to answer.

Posted on Jan 25, 2008 READ MORE


European Conservatives Join Forces

Four far-right European political parties have allied with each other, hoping to form a European Union umbrella party opposed to “Islamization” and immigration. Europeans, you see, will never give up their welfare states, so conservatives there spend much of their time bashing immigrants. Unlike America, where xenophobia is, though popular, something of a passing fancy.

Posted on Jan 25, 2008 READ MORE


Money Problems

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Posted on Nov 20, 2007 READ MORE


Bush’s Best Friends

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Posted on Nov 18, 2007 READ MORE


king and queen

Oil Is King

The Mosaic Intelligence Report investigates who is benefiting from record oil prices and whether there’s more to the Saudi king’s European tour than meets the eye.

Posted on Nov 11, 2007 READ MORE


Europe Rallies Against Capital Punishment

Aside from fatty foods that are somehow good for you, a laissez-faire attitude toward religion and a decidedly more relaxed approach to reproduction, the biggest cultural difference between Europe and the United States could be Europeans’ general disdain for the death penalty. Lest we forget that all 27 European Union states have abolished the practice, the entire continent has taken a day to reflect upon the barbarity of execution.

Posted on Oct 10, 2007 READ MORE


smoking pot
sciam.com

Portugal’s New Fix for Drug Users

Portugal is the latest European country to pick up on a growing trend of favoring therapy over jail for possession and use of small amounts of illegal drugs.  Critics of the new law worry that Portugal will become a hot spot for foreign drug users, but supporters believe the law will shift the focus of the government’s anti-drug efforts from users to traffickers and will give addicts a better chance to get clean.

Posted on Oct 8, 2007 READ MORE


Looking Back at Lebanon

The conflict in Lebanon ended a year ago last week. The Independent’s Robert Fisk reflects on the human misery and destruction inflicted on the country—and on how lucky he is to be alive after more than 30 years of reporting from some of the most dangerous places in the world.

Posted on Aug 21, 2007 READ MORE


Extreme Weather Ravages Europe

Extreme weather is rolling across Europe, bringing suffering and death. While the north has had to cope with heavy rainfall and flooding, an estimated 500 people were killed in Hungary alone last week by a heat wave that has spread across the southeast.

Posted on Jul 24, 2007 READ MORE


velib

Vive la Velorution!

By Zuade Kaufman

The French didn’t invent the wheel, but with their latest urban project they’re reinventing how it’ll be used in their beloved capital.  On July 15, Mayor Bertrand Delanoë and other green-minded Parisians were on hand at the launching of the “Velib’ ” program, which makes some 10,600 public-use bicycles available at 750 stations throughout the world’s most visited city.

Posted on Jul 15, 2007 READ MORE


Croatian rock
nytimes.com

The Next Generation of Fascists

At a rock concert in Zagreb, Croatia, this weekend, a young generation of concert-goers displayed a disturbing nostalgia for fascism. Thousands of fans responded to rock star Marko Perkovic by giving the Nazi salute and shouting slogans from WWII.

Posted on Jul 2, 2007 READ MORE


bush beer

Hey, Bush:  Is That an O’Doul’s?

OK, so perhaps we were a bit slow on the uptake here, but it appears that ostensibly clean-and-sober President Bush enjoyed a beer with a few colleagues whilst in Europe for the G-8 summit last week, as this BBC clip shows.  Whatever it is, it’s a heady brew—watch as Bush pours a bit too quickly and it froths onto the table. 

Posted on Jun 14, 2007 READ MORE


He’ll Always Have Albania

George W. Bush, Hero of Albania! At least there’s one place in the world where they show the Decider some love.

Posted on Jun 12, 2007 READ MORE


Report: Secret CIA Prisons in Poland, Romania

A new report from the Council of Europe accuses Poland and Romania of housing secret CIA prisons, and also blames Germany and Italy for blocking investigation into the matter. The report’s author says his sources are limited, but “well placed” and even “implicated” in abuses. The CIA said the document was “distorted” but did not categorically deny its accusations.

Posted on Jun 8, 2007 READ MORE


Risk of Exposure

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Posted on Jun 7, 2007 READ MORE


G-8 Nations Agree on Climate Strategy

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has reached a compromise with George W. Bush over climate change. The G-8 nations will work toward a replacement for the Kyoto treaty and a 50 percent cut in emissions by the year 2050. But in a concession to Bush, the goals will be nonbinding.

Posted on Jun 7, 2007 READ MORE


Italian Prisoners Ask for Death

More than 300 of Italy’s life-sentence prisoners have signed a letter asking the Italian president to reinstate the death penalty and change their sentences.  Italy is one of the world’s leading opponents of execution and even allows prisoners serving life sentences conditional release after years of good behavior. But the inmates who signed the letter seem to feel that life behind bars is not worth living.

Posted on May 31, 2007 READ MORE


A Diverse Picture in French Cabinet

Newly elected French President Nicolas Sarkozy has made something of a splash with his new cabinet. Seven of the government’s 15 ministers will be women. Bernard Kouchner, the socialist founder of Doctors Without Borders, will serve as the conservative government’s foreign minister. Justice Minister Rachida Dati is France’s first senior cabinet official with an ethnic minority background.

Posted on May 18, 2007 READ MORE


Northern Ireland Chooses Peace

The heads of Northern Ireland’s main Protestant and Catholic political parties have joined together in an historic power-sharing government. Ian Paisley, leader of an anti-Catholic church, and Martin McGuinness, formerly of the IRA, will lead the new government. Both men have spent time in prison for their extremist roles in the conflict.

Posted on May 8, 2007 READ MORE


The French Bellwether

Is Europe moving right? Is the democratic left in trouble? The decisive victory of Nicolas Sarkozy over Socialist Segolene Royal in France’s presidential elections on Sunday was the most recent example of the battering that moderate-left parties are taking from the forces of globalization and discontent over immigration.

Posted on May 8, 2007 READ MORE


wolfie
AP Photo/Pewee Flomuku

World Bank Committee:  Wolfowitz Is Guilty

World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz’s job may hang in the balance after a panel made up of almost a third of the bank’s board members found him guilty of inappropriately pulling professional strings and lining up a hefty pay raise for his girlfriend, Shaha Ali Riza, two years ago. 

Posted on May 7, 2007 READ MORE


Nicolas Sarkozy
interet-general.info

Conservative Wins French Election

Socialist candidate Segolene Royal has conceded to conservative Nicolas Sarkozy, the next president of France. In his acceptance speech, Sarkozy promised to unite a divided nation and urged Washington to address climate change more aggressively.

Posted on May 6, 2007 READ MORE


Religious Tension Mounts in Turkish Politics

Turkey’s leading presidential candidate has Islamist roots, a cause for concern among the country’s many secularists. The Turkish military has even weighed in on the issue, saying the armed forces were troubled by the election and would display their “positions and attitudes” as “a staunch defender of secularism” at the appropriate time.

Posted on Apr 27, 2007 READ MORE


Russia Won’t Budge on Missile Defense

Defense Secretary Robert Gates was dispatched to Russia on Monday to smooth over relations with Vladimir Putin, who is upset over U.S. plans to locate missile defense sites in Europe. Russia has repeatedly voiced its opposition to such plans, and Monday’s meeting between Gates and his counterpart was no exception.

Posted on Apr 23, 2007 READ MORE


Segolene Royal
wikipedia.org

France’s Vote Turnout Highest in Decades

France has experienced its highest voter turnout in nearly 50 years, with right-winger Nicolas Sarkozy and socialist Segolene Royal, pictured, headed for a runoff. If she wins, Royal will be France’s first woman president, but she took in fewer votes than Sarkozy.

Posted on Apr 22, 2007 READ MORE


Money for Nothing

The news that the Treasury will once again sheepishly release a small batch of dollar coins raises the question: Why are Americans so hung up on paper money when countries like Britain and Canada have enjoyed the benefits of coinage for years? Don’t scoff—the Government Accountability Office estimates potential savings at $500 to $747.5 million annually.

Posted on Mar 16, 2007 READ MORE


U.S. Will Protect Alleged Kidnappers

A State Department official said the U.S. will not extradite 26 suspected CIA agents to Italy, where they are accused of carrying out “extraordinary rendition.” Legal adviser John Bellinger added a veiled threat, saying further legal action in Europe would hamper “intelligence cooperation.”

Posted on Feb 28, 2007 READ MORE


‘Extraordinary Rendition’ on Trial

An Italian judge has decided to go forward with the first criminal trial of extraordinary rendition. Twenty-six Americans and five Italians—including the former head of military intelligence—have been indicted and ordered to stand trial for the abduction of an Egyptian cleric who was detained and allegedly tortured in Cairo.

Posted on Feb 16, 2007 READ MORE


Anne Frank
wikipedia.org

Anne Frank’s Family Failed in 1941 Bid to Flee to U.S.

Newly released documents show that Anne Frank’s father attempted to move the family to the United States, but he was not granted a visa. Otto Frank was granted a Cuban visa, but the order was canceled after Germany declared war on the U.S.

Posted on Feb 14, 2007 READ MORE


Garbage
news.bbc.co.uk

EU Gets Tough on Environmental Crime

The European Union is about to unveil plans to further criminalize anti-environmental behavior, allowing the courts to imprison violators responsible for negligent pollution, among other crimes. The policy change demonstrates the growing power of the European Commission over member states.

Posted on Feb 8, 2007 READ MORE


Austrian police
whdh.com

Authorities Discover Global Child Porn Network

Police departments around the world have launched investigations following Austria’s discovery of an online child pornography network. By observing a targeted website for one day, investigators were able to gather the IP addresses of thousands of illicit downloaders from 77 countries.

Posted on Feb 7, 2007 READ MORE


Berlusconi and Wife
washingtonpost.com

Hell Hath No Fury Like an Italian Woman Scorned

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi lost his job thanks to his support of the Iraq war and alleged abuses of power, but he had another headache altogether this week. In a letter that appeared on the front page of a major newspaper, Berlusconi’s wife browbeat him for his public flirtations and demanded an apology—which she got.

Posted on Feb 1, 2007 READ MORE


Germany Issues Warrants for CIA Agents

Germany has issued arrest warrants for 13 suspected CIA agents for their roles in the “extraordinary rendition” of Khaled al-Masri. Meanwhile, as public outrage in Europe over the abduction and torture of terror suspects grows more intense, court proceedings in Italy could lead to the indictment of 25 alleged CIA agents.

Posted on Jan 31, 2007 READ MORE


Stonehenge excavation
nationalgeographic.com

From the People Who Brought You Stonehenge

Archeologists have discovered a huge ancient settlement that was used by the people who made Stonehenge. The complex, near the iconic rock pile, may have once contained as many as 100 houses.

Posted on Jan 30, 2007 READ MORE


Murat Kurnaz
politikforum.de

German Government Abandoned Citizen at Gitmo

Germans are outraged over the emergence of documents that suggest a government official allowed an innocent German citizen to remain in Guantanamo for years after the United States offered to repatriate him.

Posted on Jan 26, 2007 READ MORE


Gitmo prisoner
msnbc.com

Report: EU Nations Knew of CIA Abductions

A damning report making its way through the European Union Parliament says a number of EU countries knew of CIA abductions and operations in Europe related to the practice of extraordinary rendition, including more than 1,000 covert flights over European airspace. The report also says the UK, Italy and Poland resisted the investigation.

Posted on Jan 23, 2007 READ MORE


Irish flag
illustration by Peter Scheer

The First Step Is Admitting You Have a Problem

Researchers from Dublin City University already believed that drug use was on the rise in Ireland, but they were surprised when their study indicated that 100 percent of Ireland’s banknotes bear traces of cocaine.

Posted on Jan 10, 2007 READ MORE


Hooded prisoner
stanfordalumni.org

‘Rendition’ May Go on Trial

A court in Italy will decide whether to charge 25 alleged CIA agents for participating in an act of “extraordinary rendition.” The trial, should it go ahead, will be the first to address the heinous tactic, by which the United States or its allies kidnap terror suspects in order to remove them to torture-friendly nations.

Posted on Jan 9, 2007 READ MORE


Allies Condemn Saddam Hanging

Adding to a growing chorus of disapproval emanating from Europe, Tony Blair’s official spokesman has said Saddam Hussein’s execution “shouldn’t have happened in that way.” Earlier, Gordon Brown, the man widely expected to be Britain’s next prime minister, said the hanging was “completely unacceptable,” calling it a “deplorable set of events.”

Posted on Jan 7, 2007 READ MORE


Madrid bombing
news.bbc.co.uk

Madrid Bombing Raises ETA Concerns

At least four people were injured when a car bomb exploded at the Madrid airport on Saturday. If the separatist group ETA is responsible, as the Spanish government has charged, the blast would signal the end of a cease-fire that began in March.

Posted on Dec 30, 2006 READ MORE


EU Rules Financial Spying Program Illegal

A European Union oversight committee has concluded that the data sharing program between the U.S. and a European financial consortium broke the law by violating the civil liberties of European citizens.  The decision may prompt the EU’s ruling body to sue Belgium for allowing the program to continue.

Posted on Nov 22, 2006 READ MORE


smog
howstuffworks.com

Pollution-Eating Cement

An Italian cement company has developed a treatment for building materials that transforms pollutants into less harmful substances, such as water and carbon dioxide.  Experts suggest that covering 15 percent of a smog-choked industrial city like Milan could reduce pollution by 50 percent. (h/t: Engadget)

Posted on Nov 11, 2006 READ MORE


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