Europe

The fight, in which Clément Meric died, apparently started over some shirts. An 18-year-old student at Paris’ prestigious Sciences Po, Meric was headed to a clothing shop in the 9th Arrondissement when he encountered a group of skinheads headed to the same store. His killer, Esteban Morillo, is alleged to have been associated with the rightist Jeune Nationaliste Révolutionnaire, the largest organized skinhead group in France. (More…)

Instead of covering the Gezi Park protests, CNN Turki chose to show a documentary on penguins. So Tweeted Aaron Stein, from Istanbul, last week.  It would have been one thing if it was just another Turkish broadcaster. Noted for their self-censorship, domestic news agencies had imposed a blackout on the uprising, one of the largest in the country’s history. (More…)

The English climate is lamentable at the best of times. No. Not the weather. The political climate.  But today we seem to be dealing with something more profound than the perfunctory shenanigans of  Great Britain’s political aristocracy. (More…)

Downing Street took everyone by surprise. Margaret Thatcher’s funeral, it stated on April 10th, will be thematically linked to the 1982 British-Argentinian war in the Falkland Islands. British soldiers who had key roles in the conflict will play an integral part of the ceremony. Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner was purposefully not invited. (More…)

Modern politics is so often the preserve of spin, of carefully shaped, focus group-tested utterances, that it can be shocking when someone says what they mean. So it was, when Peer Steinbrück, a leading German socialist politician, and his party’s presumptive nominee for Federal Chancellor in the fall elections, spoke with frankness about the results of the recent parliamentary elections in Italy. (More…)

“Fascisti Carogne,” (Fascist Bastards) the graffiti read, in bold blood red. An anarchist A placed to its right, it wasn’t hard to surmise its source. Situated underneath four municipal billboards designated for political posters, the slogan is a denunciation of Italy’s political class. Left or right, they’re all the same, including Unione del Centro party chief Pier Ferdinando Casini, whose advert takes up three of the spaces. (More…)

Britain’s eternally uneasy political relationship with Europe is fast deteriorating, a rueful fact that Prime Minister David Cameron’s speech last week in Bloomberg’s London HQ will confirm. From the inescapable symbolism of the corporate setting to Cameron’s awkward affectations of sincerity, this was a particularly painful piece of theatre. (More…)

When the Simon Wiesenthal Center published its 2012 Top Ten Anti-Semitic/Anti-Israel Slurs list, it comprised many obvious figures. #1 was Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, which has routinely called for Jewry’s destruction. The apposite quality of this designation was further illustrated when comments made by Mohammed Morsi came to light, in which he described Zionists as “bloodsuckers.” (More…)

The British workplace must become more accommodating to Muslim women. So went the title of a Reyhana Patel op-ed piece, in Independent Voices. Pretty common sense, no? Nothing to disagree with there. Well, not to everyone. The article was in fact attracting considerable attention from the most dubious of quarters. The commentary was quite awful. (More…)

2012 was a year of rude awakenings in Germany. The revelations surrounding the National Socialist Underground terror cell, which had been allowed to murder at least ten people (nine of which were minorities,) were followed by even more disturbing indications of incompetence on the part of the security services tasked with policing them. (More…)

With repetition, truth accretes. So I mumbled, as I looked up at the newsstand, and saw dozens of copies of the new Charlie Hebdo on display. “Intouchables 2,” read the lead headline. Beneath it was a drawing of a Haredi Jew, pushing a disabled Imam sitting in a wheelchair. “Faut pas se moquer!” (“Don’t mock us!”) he says. (More…)

This sticker, the latest in Souciant’s series on a youth outreach campaign of Germany’s Left Party, brings back memories of a time when I was both “learning to see,” in the sense Rainer Maria Rilke invokes in The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge, and trying hard not to do so. (More…)