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Sat Jul 24, 2021, 09:22 AM

Five Stories from Europe You May Have Missed

Busy week in Europe. So hard to choose: Russia added another news service to its 'Foreign Agent' list, this week is the 10th anniversary of the slaughter in Norway of the teens by Brevik, Belarus continues crackdowns on NGOs, a Turkmen doctor disappeared while the European Parliament was hearing about her in Turkmenistan being oppressed by the gov't, Cyprus, Greece and France were also newsworthy, as was the UK

1. 'Norway owes us', says Hungary, after Oslo suspends aid in NGO row

Norway announced on Friday that it will not provide financial aid allocated to Hungary after the two countries failed to reach an agreement over who should distribute the funds meant for civil society.

Hungary was set to receive 2.3 billion Norwegian kroner (€220 million) from the European Economic Area (EEA) and Norway Grants Scheme through which the Scandinavian country and to a much lesser extent Lichtenstein and Iceland — which are not part of the EU but are members of its internal market — fund programmes in EU countries to reduce social and economic disparities.

Norway's Ministry for Foreign Affairs said in a statement that "the donor countries have set an absolute requirement for all of the 15 beneficiary countries that the fund for civil society must be administered independently of the authorities."

"Hungary has accepted this, but has not accepted the appointment of the best-qualified candidate for the task. We have therefore been unable to reach agreement, and under the conditions set out in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) we signed with Hungary in December 2020, no programmes will be implemented in Hungary under the EEA and Norway Grants scheme during that period," it added.


2. Trans-Siberian Railroad Blocked After Bridge Collapse

Floods caused by heavy rains in Siberia have led to the collapse of a bridge, severing the Trans-Siberian Railroad, the world's longest rail line that spans Russia, from Moscow to the Pacific port city of Vladivostok.

The collapse on July 23 halted train operations for several hours along the 9,289-kilometer (5,772-mile) line, prompting Russian President Vladimir Putin to urge repair crews to work quickly to fix the issue.

Residents of the Chernyshevsky district in the Zabaikalye region said the bridge collapse occurred near the village of Nizhnyaya Kuenga after the Aleur River burst its banks, flooding the town of Chernyshevsk and several villages nearby.


"Areas near the river are all under water.... Rescue teams from the Emergency Situations Ministry have yet to be seen. But even if they were here, they would not be able to take care of the situation as too many people are affected. It is very difficult to leave the area as there is only one bridge for cars and the authorities are allowing only one car at a time to cross. It looks like they are afraid that it may also collapse like the railroad bridge," one of the residents of the district, Svetlana Shemyakina, told RFE/RL.


story also available at


3. Norway prepares to mark 10th anniversary of Utoya massacre

On Thursday, July 22, Norway will mark the 10th anniversary of the worst terror attack in the country's recent history.

On 22 July 2011, right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik killed eight people and injured more than 200 others in a car bomb attack on the government quarter of Oslo.

Wearing a homemade police uniform, he then took a ferry to the island of Utøya, where members of the Labour Party's youth wing (AUF) were on an annual summer camp.

Breivik opened fire on the mostly teenaged participants, killing 69 people. The massacre lasted for around an hour and a half before special forces arrived.


4. Top International Official In Bosnia Criminalizes Genocide Denial

The outgoing international high representative for Bosnia-Herzegovina has imposed amendments to Bosnia's Criminal Code that prohibit and punish the denial of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, drawing an angry reaction from Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik who again called for the dissolution of the Balkan country.

The changes to the country's Criminal Code introduce prison sentences of up to five years for genocide deniers and for any glorification of war criminals, the Office of the High Representative for Bosnia (OHR) said on July 23, hours after the UN Security Council rejected a Russian proposal to scrap the post overseeing the implementation of the 1995 peace agreement that ended the Bosnian War.

The U.S.-brokered Dayton accords ended the 1992-95 war after more than 100,000 people died and established two entities within Bosnia -- a Muslim-Croat federation and the predominantly Serbian Republika Srpska -- held together by joint central institutions.


In New York, the UN Security Council rejected a draft resolution sponsored by Russia and China that would have immediately stripped the powers given to the high representative in 1997, saying such powers “are no longer required given the progress achieved by the Bosnian parties.”


story also available at

5. Smugglers crammed these 15 migrants into one vehicle, say police

A gang of smugglers used luxury cars to transport hundreds of migrants from Turkey to Greece - sometimes driving at speeds of up to 250km/h to avoid police, according to Europol.

Both smugglers and migrants were injured in speeding incidents, which included up to 15 migrants being packed into a single vehicle, according to the police agency.

The leaders of the gang were arrested during multiple operations on Wednesday, July 21, in an operation by Bulgarian and Hungarian police forces.

Raids in Bulgaria, Greece and Hungary saw 14 suspects arrested, and 25 vehicles seized along with electronics, phones, SIM cards, crypto-mining equipment and cash.


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Reply Five Stories from Europe You May Have Missed (Original post)
rpannier Jul 2021 OP
sinkingfeeling Jul 2021 #1
panader0 Jul 2021 #2
Wounded Bear Jul 2021 #3

Response to rpannier (Original post)

Sat Jul 24, 2021, 09:43 AM

1. Thanks for posting these.

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Response to rpannier (Original post)

Sat Jul 24, 2021, 10:19 AM

2. A great feature on DU. Indeed, I missed these stories. Thanks.

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Response to rpannier (Original post)

Sat Jul 24, 2021, 10:49 AM

3. K & R...nt

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