Despite the pain to victims' families, critics say the Polish government is turning the Smolensk plane crash into a macabre reality show for political gain.
The rich and the powerful, who meet every year at the World Economic Forum (WEF), were in a gloomy mood this time. Not only because the day they met close to eight trillion dollars has been wiped off global equity markets by a "correction". But because no leader could be in a buoyant mood.
Of the 69 journalists who died on the job in 2015, 40 per cent were killed by Islamic militant groups like Al-Qaeda and Islamic State. Startlingly more than two-thirds were targeted for murder, according to a special report by the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Less than 100 days before the U.N. climate change conference (COP21) in Paris in December, there are now only few who believe that the conference will not produce a treaty. But for most countries involved, this is rarely the question.
Only 50 years of Cold War (and the fact that German Chancellor Angela Merkel grew up in East Germany) can possibly explain the strange political power of the United States over Europe.
For a long time, citizens of the United States have firmly believed that their country has an exceptional destiny, and continue to do so today even though their political system has become totally dysfunctional.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) groups in Central and Eastern Europe, which still faced mixed prospects as they fight for rights and acceptance, are now taking some heart from the “failure” of a referendum in Slovakia, a member of the European Union.
Pomerania in northern Poland is famous for its unpolluted environment, fertile soils and historic heritage. So far, these valuable farmlands have been free from heavy industry but that situation might change as a shadow looms over the lives of Pomeranians.
New military measures to deter what NATO perceives to be a direct threat from Russia were adopted at the alliance’s Heads of State meeting in Wales (Sep. 4-5). A few days earlier, President Barack Obama made promises in Estonia that the three tiny Baltic NATO member states would “never stand alone”.
“People have gathered here to tell their politicians that the way in which we used energy and our environment in the 19th
centuries is now over,” says Radek Gawlik, one of Poland’s most experienced environmental activists. “The time for burning coal has passed and the sooner we understand this, the better it is for us.”
Polish farmer Slawek Dobrodziej has probably the world’s strangest triathlon training regime: he swims across the lake at the back of his house, then runs across his some 11 hectares of land to check the state of the crops, and at the end of the day bikes close to 40 kilometres to and back from a nearby town for some shopping.
Johannes Kapelle has been playing the organ in the Protestant church of Proschim since he was 14. The 78-year-old is actively involved in his community, produces his own solar power and has raised three children with his wife on their farm in Proschim, a small village of 360 inhabitants in Lusatia, Germany.
A mix of conservative Catholicism and nationalism has become the predominant view in Polish public debate, with some worrying effects.
A European ‘energy union’ plan proposed by Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk as an EU response to the crisis in Ukraine could be a Trojan horse for fossil fuels.
An International Coal and Climate summit organised by the Polish Ministry of Economy and the World Coal Association kicked off Monday in the Polish capital Warsaw in parallel to the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP19, amid outcry from environmentalists who accused COP host Poland of bias in favor of the coal industry.