Tag Archives: Hungary

Europe’s far-right bid to take back ‘Christian Europe’

Focus on Russian ‘interference’ risks ignoring the growing role of American religious conservatives in fuelling the far-right surge.

By Mary Fitzgerald. Published 5-24-2019 by openDemocracy

Handmaids outside a church in Verona, Italy 2019. | | Photo: Federica Delogu

“The Bible, borders and Brexit” will “make Europe great again”, declared Ed Martin to roaring applause. The Republican pundit who co-wrote ‘The Conservative Case for Trump’ was speaking at a global gathering of religious conservatives in Verona this March. Italy’s deputy prime minister, Matteo Salvini, was a headline speaker.

Verona, Italy’s ancient ‘city of love’, is emblematic of how Europe is changing. It is now a stronghold for Salvini’s Lega party which, together with right-wing populists across the continent, is challenging the laws and social norms that have defined European life for decades. Continue reading

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On #WorldPressFreedomDay, a Reminder: Only 9% of Humanity Lives in Nations That Respect Reporters’ Rights

“This situation is very worrying for journalists and above all for all those human beings who are being deprived of their right to information.”

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 5-3-2019

Journalists and advocates for free expression and information celebrated #WorldPressFreedomDay Friday. (Image: RSF)

As the international community celebrated #WorldPressFreedomDay on Friday, a leading global nonprofit warned that only 9 percent of humanity lives in countries with good or satisfactory levels of press freedom.

Journalism advocacy group Reporters Sans Frontières—also known as RSF, or Reporters Without Borders—highlighted the detail from its annual World Press Freedom Index, published last month. Based on the report’s findings, the journalism group produced a color-coded map that shows how each country on Earth generally regards free expression and information. Continue reading

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Accusing Trump of Crossing Constitutional Line, PEN America Sues Over Threats and Reprisals Against Free Press

“When President Trump crosses the line and threatens to use his authority to punish the media, or actually does so, it is vital for the courts to step in and affirm that such threats and reprisals are unconstitutional.”

By Jon Queally, staff writer for  Common Dreams. Published 10-16-2018

The lawsuit filed by PEN America and its partners seeks “to stop President Trump from using the machinery of government to retaliate or threaten reprisals against journalists and media outlets for coverage he dislikes.” (Image: PEN America)

Arguing that President Donald Trump has crossed the line from “verbal attacks on the press” that are protected under the his First Amendment rights into using his authority to punish journalists and media outlets he dislikes with threats of intimidation or reprisal, the literary rights group PEN America has announced a lawsuit against the president in order to bring an end to such attacks.

The lawsuit (pdf) brought in a Manhattan federal court on Tuesday—with PEN joined by the nonpartisan nonprofit Protect Democracy and the Yale Law School Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic—states that while Trump has constitutionally-protected rights and “is free to criticize the press vehemently,” the president “is not free to use the  power and authority of the United States government to punish and stifle it.”   Continue reading

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And you thought Trump was bad

European leaders have found their nemesis in Viktor Orbán, whose legislation closing down the Central European University constitutes an ethno-nationalist and authoritarian challenge to Europe’s liberal order.

By Michael Stewart. Published 4-6-2017 by openDemocracy

Viktor Orbán. Photo: Andrucha

If guests questioned the significance of a university to its founder, the former President and Rector of Central European University, John Shattuck, liked to remind them that unlike most human institutions, universities can boast longevity. Which significant institutions live on, he would ask, from the years of renaissance glory in Florence, Venice or Padua? Their universities. Or, to put the matter in more familiar terms, what other British corporation founded in 1421 survives and thrives 600 years on, as does King’s College Cambridge?

But after yesterday’s news from Budapest, it may be that the distinguished diplomat and former head of Harvard Library, spoke too soon. Continue reading

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Ratcheting Tensions, Obama Orders Huge Weapons Increase Along EU-Russia Border

Just last week, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov referred to NATO’s build-up near Russia’s borders as “counterproductive and dangerous.”

By Deirdre Fulton, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 2-2-2016

During a 2015 NATO exercise. (Photo: Gonzalo Alonso/flickr/cc)

During a 2015 NATO exercise. (Photo: Gonzalo Alonso/flickr/cc)

Less than a week after Russia’s foreign minister warned that NATO’s military build-up near Russia’s borders is “counterproductive and dangerous,” the United States is ramping up the deployment of heavy weapons and armored vehicles to NATO member countries in Central and Eastern Europe, the New York Times reported Tuesday.

Administration officials told the Times “the additional NATO forces were calculated to send a signal to President Vladimir V. Putin that the West remained deeply suspicious of his motives in the region,” referring to Russia’s ongoing presence in eastern Ukraine. Continue reading

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Refugees Left Stranded As Europe Faces ‘Crisis of Political Will’

‘You aren’t going to solve these problems by closing borders.’—Adrian Edwards, UN refugee office

By Andrea Germanos, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 9-18-2015

Refugees wait at a registration point in Preševo, Serbia on 10 August 2015. (Photo: Stephen Ryan / IFRC via flickr)

Refugees wait at a registration point in Preševo, Serbia on 10 August 2015. (Photo: Stephen Ryan / IFRC via flickr)

As Hungary on Friday said that it was constructing another razor wire fence, this time along its border with Croatia, a humanitarian aid organization is stressing that what the European continent is facing is not a refugee crisis but a crisis of political will.

The new barriers for the refugees come as Turkish state media said Friday that the body of a four-year-old Syrian girl’s body washed up on a beach, just weeks after the body of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi washed ashore, the image of which captured global headlines. Continue reading

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Thousands Reach Austria as Refugee Crisis Issues ‘Wake-up Call’

‘This has to be an eye-opener on how messed up the situation in Europe is now’

By Andrea Germanos, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 9-5-2015

Refugees continue towards Austria from Budapest. image credit @nabihbulos

Refugees continue towards Austria from Budapest. image credit @nabihbulos

Thousands of refugees were welcomed into Austria on Saturday after epic journeys from Hungary that many were forced to begin to take on foot.

As USA Today reports,

Hungary, which had spent days stopping migrants from leaving by train, provided buses to take them into Austria. The government relented under international pressure and after desperate refugees who had camped out at the Budapest train station simply began walking toward the border.

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