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Sat Jan 25, 2020, 05:30 AM

5 Stories from Europe You May Have Missed

1. Bulgaria Expelling Two Russian Diplomats Over Espionage

Bulgaria is expelling two unnamed Russian diplomats accused of involvement in spying in the Balkan country.

The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry says it summoned the Russian ambassador to Sofia on January 24 and handed him a note declaring the two diplomats -- a consular first secretary and an official at Russia's trade representation -- personae non gratae.

Both were given 48 hours to leave the country, the ministry says.

The Russian Embassy says the two men will leave Bulgaria but insists that “no evidence confirming their activities incompatible with their status were presented."

https://www.rferl.org/a/bulgaria-considers-expelling-two-russian-diplomats-over-espionage/30395123.html


2. Serbia, Kosovo 'Agree In Principle' On Reviving Railway Links

BELGRADE -- Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and the U.S. special envoy for Serbia and Kosovo say talks are planned for next week about restoring a railway link between the two Balkan neighbors.

“We have an agreement in principle and we will meet in Berlin on Monday [January 27],” Richard Grenell, who also serves as U.S. ambassador to Germany, said on January 24 following talks with Vucic in Belgrade.

Grenell said he had also discussed plans to resume a railway link between Belgrade and Pristina with Kosovar leaders during his visit to Kosovo on January 22-23.

https://www.rferl.org/a/serbia-kosovo-agree-in-principle-on-reviving-railway-links/30395624.html


3. At least 21 dead and thousands injured as earthquake hits Turkey

A 6.8-magnitude earthquake rocked a sparsely-populated part of eastern Turkey on Friday, killing at least 21 people, injuring more than 1,015 and leaving some 30 trapped in the wreckage of toppled buildings, Turkish officials said.

Rescue teams from neighbouring provinces were dispatched to the affected areas, working in the dark with floodlights in the freezing cold, and Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said troops were on standby to help.

Hundreds of residents were left homeless or with damaged homes.

snip

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca, who travelled to the afflicted area together with Soylu, said 13 people were killed in Elazig, including two people who suffered heart attacks, and five others died in Malatya. A total of 1,015 people were hurt, according to the AFAD (the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency).

https://www.euronews.com/2020/01/25/at-least-18-dead-and-hundreds-injured-as-earthquake-hits-


4. A Foul-Mouthed Culture Minister Who Hates Museums? Russia May Have One Now -- And Some Say It's An Improvement

By her own apparent blog accounts, the Olga Lyubimova of two decades ago had an affinity for drugs, approached life in Russia as she felt a rape victim might, and was admittedly not a "cultural person."

All of which made many of her compatriots blanch at the thought of Lyubimova being appointed the country's new culture minister.

Yet as screenshots of old blog posts and a photo of her wearing a rude T-shirt made the rounds on social media, alternative pictures emerged of Lyubimova as a self-described "liberal-minded Orthodox" believer who brought financial transparency and some openness to the conservative ministry's Cinematography Department, which she headed from January 2018.

snip

In another from 2008 she admits to her disdain for certain arts, specifically opera, ballet, classical music, theater, and museums.

“A friend called with an invite to go to a classical music concert with a child. And I realized that I just couldn't force myself," she wrote. "I began to seriously think about this. I unexpectedly discovered that I’m not a damned cultured person."

https://www.rferl.org/a/a-foul-mouthed-culture-minister-who-hates-museums-russia-may-have-one-now----and-some-say-it-s-an-improvement/30395738.html

5. 'Declaration of war': Polish row over judicial independence escalates

A confrontation between the Polish government and senior judges has escalated dramatically, prompting an anguished response in Brussels, after the country’s supreme court and parliament issued conflicting rulings on the legality of judicial reforms.

The rival rulings, which concern attempts by the governing Law and Justice party (PiS) to assume direct control over the judiciary, have thrown the country’s legal order into chaos, with judges now liable for prosecution for complying with rulings issued by their own supreme court.

PiS, a rightwing populist party, has spent more than four years trying to take control of the country’s system of courts and public prosecution, eroding the independence of most branches of the judicial system. “This is an extreme escalation by the Polish government,” said Marcin Matczak, a professor of law at the University of Warsaw. “It has run out of arguments so it is resorting to brute force.”

snip

The deepening crisis will fuel tensions between Poland and European institutions including the European commission and the European court of justice. In November, the ECJ ruled that it was for the Polish supreme court to decide the dispute, meaning that the Polish parliament has now in effect rebuked not only Poland’s top court but the EU’s top court as well.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/24/declaration-of-war-polish-row-over-judicial-independence-escalates

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Arrow 6 replies Author Time Post
Reply 5 Stories from Europe You May Have Missed (Original post)
rpannier Jan 2020 OP
malaise Jan 2020 #1
rpannier Jan 2020 #2
malaise Jan 2020 #5
wnylib Jan 2020 #3
Scarsdale Jan 2020 #4
Duppers Jan 2020 #6

Response to rpannier (Original post)

Sat Jan 25, 2020, 06:51 AM

1. Thank you

I posted about the earthquake earlier but it sank like a stone

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Response to malaise (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 25, 2020, 07:08 AM

2. It's unfortunate, but that seems to happen a lot with stories from Turkey

If they aren't directly about Erdogen or the conflict between Turkey and Armenia they die

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Response to rpannier (Reply #2)

Sat Jan 25, 2020, 07:20 AM

5. I understand this time because most of us are

preoccupied with the impeachment trial. That said you make a good point.

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Response to rpannier (Original post)

Sat Jan 25, 2020, 07:10 AM

3. Thank you for keeping us updated.

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Response to rpannier (Original post)

Sat Jan 25, 2020, 07:19 AM

4. That "culture minister"

sounds overqualified for the tRump administration. tRump would hire her in a New York minute. Nobody in his administration fits their position. Donate enough money, and get a high profile job. Look at his two senior advisors!!

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Response to rpannier (Original post)

Sat Jan 25, 2020, 07:47 AM

6. Yes, TY!

👍

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