Polish ruling party’s crusade against judicial independence

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New regulations are springing up in Poland as the country’s ruling right-wing party continues to reform the judiciary system. Image: Radosław Czarnecki

Article originally published by The Globe Post.

Poland is under the spotlight yet again: after the “death camps law” signed by the president last week, the upper house of the Polish Parliament is expected to vote on a law restricting kosher slaughter.

The draft version of the legislation has already passed the lower house. It may further complicate the relationship between Poland and Israel. The new regulations are springing up as the Polish ruling right-wing party continues to reform the country’s judiciary system.

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A Holocaust survivor’s tale – the importance of remembrance

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Auschwitz-survivor Frieda Menco-Brommet (92). Image: Fieke Snijder

Article originally published by WSI Magazine.

‘How many Jews were killed in the Holocaust?’ This question was asked in a poll on Twitter by the ScaramucciPost, a media company headed by former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci on the 17th of October. The possible answers were ‘less than a million’, ‘between one and two million’, ‘between two and three million’ and ‘more than five million’. It seems to be a ridiculous question that queries historical facts. You don’t ask how many presidents the United States has had so far either.

Frieda Menco-Brommet (92) is a Dutch Holocaust-survivor that sees it as her mission to tell as many people as possible what happened with the Jews during the Second World War. “Something like this should never happen again.”

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‘Als we hand in hand door Barneveld lopen, worden we bijna gestenigd’

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Rogier Sluijter (20, links) en Jasper Koekoek (22) laten op YouTube zien hoe het met de acceptatie van homo’s is gesteld. Foto: Saskia Berdenis van Berlekom.

Artikel gepubliceerd door AD.

‘Wat vindt u van transgenders?’ en ‘Hoe zit het hier met de acceptatie?’ Deze vragen stellen Rogier Sluijter en Jasper Koekoek aan willekeurige mensen op straat.

,,Ben je zelf een beetje homo accepterend?’’ Sluijter duwt zijn microfoon onder de neus van een jongen in een knalrode jas. Nee, luidt het standvastige antwoord. ,,Absoluut niet.’’ Waarom niet, wil Sluijter weten. De geïnterviewde denk even na, schudt zijn hoofd en haalt dan zijn schouders op. Het is onzin, vindt hij. Waarom is het onzin, vraagt Sluijter. ,,Ja, geen idee. Is vies.” Maar wát is er dan precies vies aan, vraagt Sluijter om verduidelijking. Weer haalt de jongen zijn schouders op. Hij denkt na, lacht een beetje. ,,Geen idee. Is gewoon vies, het is vies.”

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‘Een rouwrand wordt ingekleurd’

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Foto: Saskia Berdenis van Berlekom

Artikel gepubliceerd door AD.

De Spakenburgse gemeenschap probeert zich op de Spakenburgse Dagen, het jaarlijks terugkerende volksfeest, los te maken van het drama rond de om het leven gebrachte 14-jarige Savannah.

,,Het heeft inmiddels wel een plek gekregen”, aldus de 67-jarige Jan van Diermen vandaag op de eerste van vier Spakenburgse Dagen. Oude ambachten, traditionele klederdracht en vis voeren dan de boventoon in het oude vissersdorp in het hart van het land. Van Diermen is geboren en getogen in het dorp en niet van plan er ooit weg te gaan.

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Romania’s revolving door of revolutions

Article originally published by Euroviews.

Sunshine doused Victory Square in Romania’s capital Bucharest is, two months after the big protests, relatively empty and quiet, with the exception of the rush of the city’s traffic. Nothing like what it was in January and February, when tens of thousands of fed up Romanians filled the square, protesting against the government. However, a solid core of combative protesters is still occupying the place every day, weaponed with flags, banners and unwavering determination.

It is the 64th day in a row that the 31-year-old Andrei Nicolas is manning the square. Draped in the Romanian tricolor flag, sitting on a foldable camping chair that faces Victoria Palace where the government is housed, he explains why he spends all his leisure time on a concrete square surrounded by dozens of roaring cars.

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Moldovan elections: is the country treading a new path?

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The parliament building of Transnistria with a Lenin statue in front of it. Image: Reinier van Oorsouw

Article originally published by Euroscope.

On the 30th of October, Moldavians go to the ballot box to elect their new president. According to the latest polls Igor Dodon from the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova will get the most votes (almost 33 per cent). If the 41-year-old politician becomes president, he would be Moldova’s first president since 2009 who is not in favour of closer ties with Europe.

Igor Dodon is the leader of the most pro-Russian political party in the Moldovan political mainstream. Kamil Całus, senior research fellow at the Warsaw-based Centre For Eastern Studies, explained: “He openly calls for the integration of Moldova with the Russian-lead Eurasian Economic Union and at the same time he has a very negative attitude towards European integration.”

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EU’s answer to the Russian Balkan route

Article originally published by Euroscope.

The Balkans are a point of attention for Russia. The region is located between superpowers Europe and Russia and therefore is geographically interesting. Serbia is sometimes considered to be a ‘blind spot’ within the European Union. The country itself is not a member state, where almost all surrounding countries are. For Russia there is something to be gained in this Eastern European country: influence.

Russia tries to shape the public opinion in the Balkans in the direction of being Russia-minded, for example with pro-Kremlin media. It’s something the EU looks at suspiciously. In March last year they launched the task force ‘East Stratcom’ in order to counter Russian propaganda.

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