News in Europe: The Many Faces of Poland

You thought that would read “Putin,” didn’t you? But no, citizens, this week seems to be all about Poland, God knows why. Let’s get to it.

Because Crimea and Ukraine are still the big news this week, the first mention of Poland concerns the bigger picture: The country has asked for NATO troops, and for the first time since the 90s, NATO does not seem too scared of Russia’s wrath to station troops in Eastern Europe. Protecting Europe from Russia seems to be a big thing these days.

The “Weimar triangle,” a cooperation between ministers from Germany, France and Poland, met this week, discussing the role of the EU and generally being the good guys in what is increasingly becoming a battle of good Europe v. evil Russia. I’d love to hear some more Russian voices on all this.

But this is Poland, too: A priest has warned parents that Lego is a tool of Satan. For real.

It is also a very pretty country. Here are some aerial landscape photographs.

And here are some happy Polish people for you:

But enough of this and back to business:

In our little game of “what outrageous thing will Putin do next,” Finland loses this week’s round. According to certain “sources,” the little angry man wants in.

Meanwhile, Ukraine still doesn’t have a proper President. And it looks like only Darth Vader can stand up to angry Vladimir.

Paris has its first female mayor! Socialist Anne Hidalgo won with 54% of the votes. The big news of the election weekend, however, was the huge gains secured by the far-right Front National.

The UN has criticized the state of Greece’s detention centers for migrants. The conditions in the camps are largely reported to be “far below international human rights standards.”

In similar, shocking news, a 40-year-old woman has died in Yarl’s Wood detention center in the UK. The center has been in the news recently after reports of sexual abuse and protests against the deportation of a Mauritian student.

Also in the UK, air pollution has become a problem in the south of the country. I guess you could also call it “Return of the KILLER SMOG.” Because we don’t want to worry anyone, don’t we, Express? Nice one.

In Germany, the trial against the last member of the neo-Nazi group NSU has entered its 100th day. Here’s an interesting article about a subject that has unsettled the country deeply.

And finally, the Tale of Ratzilla. Only click on the link if you absolutely must. You’ll have nightmares forever.

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Schnazzy East German translator and cricket obsessive residing in England. I have other qualities, too.

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