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Sat Aug 31, 2019, 04:19 AM

5 Stories from Europe You May Not Have Seen

Last edited Sun Sep 1, 2019, 07:28 AM - Edit history (1)

1. Could Italy's new coalition be stymied by Salvini's grip on parliament?

Even if Italy’s Five Star Movement (M5S) can form a new coalition government with the Democratic Party (DP), its power might be curbed by Matteo Salvini’s League which keeps control of 11 powerful legislative committees until next spring.

The far-right League heads five key committees in the Chamber of Deputies (finance; transport and telecommunications; environment and public infrastructure; industry and employment) and six in the Senate (justice; constitutional affairs; education; agriculture; finance and treasury; defence).

The presidents of these committees cannot be changed until half-way through the parliamentary term and must serve for a minimum term of two years.

Salvini's economic advisor, Claudio Borghi, is President of the Finance Committee — a decisive one for the efforts of the new government to draft Italy's budget for 2020 and freeze a hike in VAT.

link:
https://www.euronews.com/2019/08/30/could-italy-s-new-coalition-be-stymied-by-salvini-s-grip-on-parliament

2. 'Black Hole': Prosecutors Probing Allegations Of Punitive Psychiatric Treatment In Siberian Prison

TYUMEN, Russia -- On February 14, Igor Sovchuk, a prisoner at prison IK-6 in the city of Tyumen, Siberia, complained repeatedly of a headache. After being told repeatedly to shut up, the guards finally agreed to take him to the medical unit. He was given an injection and sent back to his cell.

Almost immediately, he began to feel ill. His speech was slurred, and he began drooling uncontrollably. His movements became awkward and uncoordinated. The next morning, he filed an official request to see his wife. The prison administration began taking steps to prevent such a meeting. Prison doctors admitted Sovchuk to the medical ward and gave him another injection, after which he had difficulty breathing and was unable to get out of his bunk.

snip

Sovchuk's case, activists say, is far from uncommon. "It is no secret that [prison officials] use psychotropic drugs to pacify malcontents," Irina Zaitseva, an expert with the nongovernmental organization For Prisoner Rights, told RFE/RL. "Any person in this country can be shut away, declared incompetent, and simply destroyed. I have heard of many such cases."

The difference in Sovchuk's case, however, is that local prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation into his allegations, which activists say is practically a unique instance in modern Russian history.

link
https://www.rferl.org/a/black-hole-prosecutors-probing-allegations-of-punitive-psychiatric-treatment-in-siberian-prison/30128314.html

3. Sunderland school suspended more than half its pupils in a year

An English state school has suspended more than half its pupils in a single year for the first time on record, Guardian analysis has found, as national exclusion rates continue to rise.

Red House academy in Sunderland, run by the Northern Education Trust, an academy chain, recorded the highest fixed-term exclusion rate in England in the 2017-18 academic year. It handed at least one fixed-term exclusion to 254 pupils, just over half the total attending the school.

Forty-one schools excluded more than one in five pupils, or roughly 10 times the national rate of 2.3%. Two academy chains – Outwood Grange Academies Trust and the Northern Education Trust – dominated that list with nine and seven of their schools featuring respectively.

The Northern Education Trust runs 19 schools across the north of England, while Outwood Grange Academies Trust runs 31 schools in the north and the east Midlands. Rob Tarn, the trust’s chief executive, was previously the regional CEO (north) for Outwood Grange Academies Trust until March 2017. According to the Northern Education Trust’s accounts, he was paid Ł183,000 last year.

link:
https://www.theguardian.com/education/2019/aug/31/sunderland-school-suspended-more-than-half-its-pupils-in-a-year

4. German far-right invokes 1989 spirit to woo voters in the east

Two state elections this Sunday in Germany could bring big gains for the far-right and deal another blow to Chancellor Merkel's government.

In the former communist eastern states of Saxony and Brandenburg, three decades after the country's reunification, many voters still feel left behind – and the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) is now invoking the spirit of the 1989 revolution to try to win them over.

AfD leaders point to what they call "political correctness" and say that Germany today is as undemocratic as the East German dictatorship.

"You have to be careful when speaking to your neighbours, your colleagues, your children because they might repeat what you say. Many people who experienced life in East Germany say it’s as bad now as it was then," said Andreas Kalbitz, AfD leader and top candidate in the state of Brandenburg.

link
https://www.euronews.com/2019/08/30/german-far-right-invokes-1989-spirit-to-woo-voters-in-the-east

5. Former Chechen Commander Gunned Down In Berlin; Eyes Turn To Moscow (And Grozny)

When Zelimkhan Khangoshvili sought refuge in Germany in 2016, he was fleeing a series of assassination attempts and seeking distance from his past life, a decade earlier, as a company commander battling Russian troops in the Second Chechen War.

He and his family settled in Berlin, where he regularly attended Friday Prayers at a local mosque. On August 23, as he left the mosque and walked along a wooded path, a man rode up to him on a bicycle and shot him twice in the head, killing him nearly instantly.

Khangoshvili was the latest victim in a series of mysterious killings over many years that have targeted Chechen exiles and Russians who have clashed with either the Kremlin or with Russian security services.

German police have arrested a Russian man, and German media have cited unnamed official sources as saying investigators are looking into whether the murder was in fact a political assassination.

link
https://www.rferl.org/a/chechen-commander-khangoshvili-berlin-assassination-moscow-(and-grozny)/30133813.html

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Arrow 13 replies Author Time Post
Reply 5 Stories from Europe You May Not Have Seen (Original post)
rpannier Aug 2019 OP
malaise Aug 2019 #1
Celerity Aug 2019 #2
MBS Aug 2019 #3
B Stieg Aug 2019 #4
DFW Aug 2019 #7
Hortensis Aug 2019 #5
bucolic_frolic Aug 2019 #6
The Blue Flower Aug 2019 #8
DFW Aug 2019 #9
Ilsa Aug 2019 #10
blaze Aug 2019 #11
IcyPeas Aug 2019 #12
Sentath Aug 2019 #13

Response to rpannier (Original post)

Sat Aug 31, 2019, 04:39 AM

1. Important

Get thee to the greatest page and thank you -

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Response to rpannier (Original post)

Sat Aug 31, 2019, 05:17 AM

2. k and r

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Response to rpannier (Original post)

Sat Aug 31, 2019, 05:29 AM

3. These are important stories, thanks.

# 2,4, and 5 particularly.

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Response to rpannier (Original post)

Sat Aug 31, 2019, 05:43 AM

4. tRump is in bed with a very dangerous man...

Vladdie doesn't like to leave "loose ends" untied...

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Response to B Stieg (Reply #4)

Sat Aug 31, 2019, 07:05 AM

7. VVP certainly seems to have the will and the means to eliminate liabilities.

I have no doubt of his ability to remove Trump from the face of the earth if he becomes a liability in Putin's eyes. The trace back to Putin will be more difficult to cover up unless Putin also has control over the investigating authority (the question is alas no longer laughable).

The question is whether Putin is well positioned to deal with the consequences if he undertakes such a mission. Dealing with a cooperative boor like Trump is one thing. Dealing with an American Ayatollah like Pence is another thing altogether. Like all good Soviet KGB officers, he has a healthy disrespect for religious fanatics. He might figure that dealing with one of the Democrats likely to be nominated is preferable to dealing with Pence.

Putin can always order up some distracting made-to-order "scandal" on social media if the next Democratic president starts acting too "uppity." Anyone remember the so-called "Obama Scandals" of 7 or 8 years ago? They were all over the press and social media until people got tired of the fiction, and they melted away, like snow in Death Valley, to the nothing they always were. If he or his pals at Savushkina Street 55 want to create a story about Elizabeth Warren performing lewd acts with a LLama in rural Perú, you can bet the right wing blogosphere will be full of it within a day, and even a few Democrats will take up the "credible allegations." What's that? Elizabeth Warren has never been to rural Perú? Oh. Never mind!

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Response to rpannier (Original post)

Sat Aug 31, 2019, 06:04 AM

5. Good range of interesting stories. Thanks, Rpannier.

I appreciated seeing this.

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Response to rpannier (Original post)

Sat Aug 31, 2019, 06:47 AM

6. Aggregation of foreign stories is a nice summary

thanks for the work, hope it's a regular thing. We all can use when stories are tied together by subject or region because we may miss the connections otherwise.

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Response to rpannier (Original post)

Sat Aug 31, 2019, 07:17 AM

8. Many thanks for putting this together

We need to widen our focus.

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Response to rpannier (Original post)

Sat Aug 31, 2019, 07:28 AM

9. Prosecutors investigating Soviet-style S.O.P. in a prison is nothing short of astounding

I'm fairly confident nothing will come of it, but the mere fact that the prison didn't completely hush it up, and word got out that it is being publicly investigated as a crime, is nothing short of sensational. After all, Putin was trained in this kind of procedure for thirty years.

As for Germany, the East is battling a mind-set that is foreign to the West. Merkel may know it, having grown up in the east, but her western party allies can't imagine it. The Socialists of the "realexistierender Sozialismus" refused to confront their common Nazi past, unlike the West, and merely declared themselves "Nazi-free." It was a convenient way for Germans living in the Soviet Occupation Zone to avoid having to deal with the millions of ex-Nazis living in their new German state when it was created in 1949. No ex-Nazis here? Nothing to deal with! That was easy! Nothing but good old Socialists here! We checked! Therefore, right-wing opposition to East Germany's Soviet style of rule festered unchecked for decades. All they had to do is lay low and wait, and they did. Combine that with the German legal system's reluctance to prosecute theft and family abuse of women as crimes (must show tolerance, after all), and you are pouring fertilizer on the AfD's quest for votes where they deserve none. Like our Republicans, they offer no solutions, only anger. Like in the USA, for many, that is enough. My wife was a German social worker (now retired). It drove her crazy how little the system was willing to do to protect abused women or pursue those engaged in theft, either collecting welfare in ten different towns under ten different names, outright embezzlement, or plain street aggression. She spent plenty of unpaid overtime counseling abused women and secretly getting them to shelters because the social services pretended to see no problem, or just wash their hands of it, saying their hands were tied.

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Response to rpannier (Original post)

Sat Aug 31, 2019, 07:57 AM

10. kick & rec. nt

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Response to rpannier (Original post)

Sat Aug 31, 2019, 09:59 AM

11. These reports are chilling. nt

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Response to rpannier (Original post)

Sat Aug 31, 2019, 01:58 PM

12. thank you for posting!!!!!!!

you mean there is other news aside from trump's tweets? who knew?

(american media sux)

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Response to rpannier (Original post)

Sat Aug 31, 2019, 11:42 PM

13. Thanks

and kick ( ; up the page

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