In early June of 1990 I found myself in Turkey after having traveledoverland from Egypt through Jordan, Iraq, and Syria.
Juncker puts migration in spotlight ahead of annual State of the Union speech via @New_Europe
Anti-Immigrant Protest Turns Violent In Eastern German City Of Chemnitz
August 28, 2018 2:32 AM ET SCOTT NEUMAN
Silvia Faschner (her name has been changed by the editors) is standing off to the side. The 64-year-old undertaker has come with her son, who works as an elderly care nurse. She points over to the other side where a group has gathered to protest right-wing extremists in Chemnitz. And where a handful of young men from Syria have assembled under a tree.
Furious at the Federal Government
Faschner points to the Syrians and says: “I just don’t want so many foreigners coming. When I look over there, I wonder why my tax money is spent on them. They just want to be professional football players or singers, but if they actually have to do a bit of hard work, they complain that their back hurts!”
She doesn’t know the exact numbers. But according to statistics reported by the local Chemnitz newspaper Freie Presse, foreigners made up only 7.6 percent of the city’s population at the beginning of 2018, while the share of refugees was just 2.41 percent. The newspaper cited statistics compiled by Chemnitz City Hall.
In 1991, shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall, a group of 500 neo-Nazis attacked buildings housing refugees in Hoyerswerda, northeast of Chemnitz. Since then, there have been far-right attacks against minority groups in Leipzig, and Freital, also in Saxony. The state capital, Dresden, is the birthplace of the anti-Muslim, nationalist movement Pegida, a German acronym for a title that translates roughly as Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West.
Daily Mail removes ‘Powder Keg Paris’ report after complaints
Article claimed 300,000 ‘illegal migrants’ were living in crime-ridden suburb of Saint-Denis
The piece described a “devastating report” that suggested 300,000 “illegal migrants” were living in the suburb of Saint-Denis, north of Paris, where drug dealing, crime and poverty were rising due to the “quite simple” explanation of “immigration on a mammoth scale”.
The Daily Mail article was followed up by other news sources, including the Sun, and was covered in the US on Fox News, where a host commented on the immigration statistics by saying: “They don’t really have their arms around that one, do they?”
„1% der Menschheit besitzt mehr als die übrigen 99%”: Gregor Gysi, Präsident der „Europäischen Linken”, sieht Ungleichheit als zentrales Problem. Er übt scharfe Kritik an Nationalisten, „die immer auf die schwächsten Migranten draufhauen”:
Posted by Zeit im Bild on Monday, March 26, 2018
Cossacks’ faith as identity
It’s about Russia, not God
The Russian Orthodox Church, which sees the Kiev patriarchate as a rival, cannot afford to alienate the 75% of the Ukrainian population who remain faithful to it: this is one of the few cases in which Moscow has not been able to count on the support of the Church.
Most Cossacks approve of the synergy between Church and state, which normally runs smoothly. But a few see it as a sign that the lessons of the past have been forgotten, something close to a betrayal. One young man showed me photographs of his great-great-grandparents, who were killed or died in exile after the Soviet authorities deported them in the 1920s.
Alexey Lebedev, a Cossack and priest of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church, was just as angry: ‘When someone tells you that anyone who believes in Orthodoxy has a duty to defend the state, he is repeating the religious line dictated by Vladimir Putin. Patriarch Kirill’s Church isn’t really a religious organisation, it’s just a department of the Kremlin in charge of Orthodox affairs.’
Gangster’s paradise: how organised crime took over Russia
A number of commentators have dubbed Russia a “mafia state”. It is certainly a catchy epithet, but what does it actually mean?
The Kremlin does not control organised crime in Russia, nor is it controlled by it. Rather, organised crime prospers under Putin, because it can go with the grain of his system.
There is a very high level of corruption in Russia, which provides a conducive environment for organised crime. It is not just professional criminals who are exploiting the opportunities provided by Russia’s cannibalistic capitalism – state agents, too, are exploiting their own criminal opportunities in an increasingly organised way. In 2016, the police raided the apartment of Col Dmitry Zakharchenko, the acting head of a department within the police force’s anti-corruption division. There they found $123m (£87m) in cash
The connection between the elite and the gangsters usually revolves around mutually profitable relationships – but these relationships can also fall apart in spectacular ways.
The modern Russian state is a much stronger force than it was in the 1990s, and jealous of its political authority. The gangs that prosper in modern Russia tend to do so by working with rather than against the state. In other words: do well by the Kremlin, and the Kremlin will turn a blind eye. If not, you will be reminded that the state is the biggest gang in town.
Just as the Russian language has become colonised by many borrowings from criminal slang, so too have regular Russian business practices become suffused with underworld habits and methods. Corporate espionage, bribery, and the use of political influence to swing contracts and stymie rivals remain commonplace, and continue to connect the worlds of crime and business. Likewise, the new generation of crime bosses are more likely than ever also to be active within the realms of legitimate and “grey” business.
The increasing sophistication of criminal operations, especially their shift towards white-collar crime, has created a need for financial specialists, to manage their own funds and also their economic crimes.
A vor I once spoke to bitterly complained that “we have been infected by the rest of you and we are dying”, but the infection has passed both ways. Many of the organising and operating principles of modern Russia follow the lead of the underworld. Maybe it is not that the vory have disappeared so much as that everyone is now a vor, and that the vorovskoi mir – the world of the thieves – ultimately won.
Welcome To The Country With The Biggest Crush On America
February 24, 20183:51 PM ET JOANNA KAKISSIS
The EU told Serbia it can join by 2025 — but only if it carries out reforms and works out its differences with Kosovo. German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said he supports Serbia’s candidacy only if it recognizes Kosovo and deals with “nonfunctional” northern Kosovo.
Kosovo’s current leaders — Thaci and Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj — are throwbacks to the 1990s, both former Kosovo Liberation Army officers who fought the Serbian Army. Serbia wants to extradite Haradinaj to be tried for war crimes. Thaci has been accused of involvement in an organ-trafficking ring. (He denies the allegations.) Their supporters recently angered the United States and the EU by trying to scrap a special court to try former KLA fighters for wartime and postwar crimes.
Unemployment hovers between 30-35 percent, rising to nearly 60 percent among young people. More than half of Kosovo’s population is under age 25.
Some are lured by crime and even terrorism. At least 315 Kosovars joined the Islamic State in recent years.