News in Europe: Same Old, Some New

Hello and welcome back to more regular updates from Europe. Unfortunately, the news don’t really stop during the summer break, so let’s see what’s been happening.

As far as the situation in Ukraine goes, the general European inaction is getting a bit worrying. Here’s Russia basically admitting that their soldiers are fighting in Ukraine (although Putin never will), and what does the rest of the world do? Well, I don’t have the slightest idea, although I’m glad the EU’s new head of foreign policy sounds like a reasonable human being.

In France, the political landscape has been in turmoil after ever-unpopular president Hollande instructed Prime Minister Manuel Valls to form a new government.

In the UK, two cases involving children have been making waves. First, it was revealed that the authorities in Rotherham had covered up more than 1400 cases of child abuse for fear of being accused of racism. A large number of those systematically abusing vulnerable youngsters over years are of Asian background.

Last week, five-year-old Ashya King, a boy suffering from a brain tumour, was removed from hospital by his parents and taken to France. His parents, who disagreed with the treatment their son was receiving from the National Health Service and are keen on a more experimental treatment unavailable in the UK, were arrested in Spain but later released. Discussions about the legality of issuing a European arrest warrant for the pair are ongoing. Ashya will now reportedly travel to the Czech Republic for treatment.

In Turkey, two dozen police officers have been detained for allegedly trying to topple the government.

In Paris, the death toll is still rising after a suspected gas leak caused an explosion that reduced an apartment block to rubble.

Donald Tusk, the Polish prime minister, has been elected President of the European Council. Poland is the only EU country not to have gone through a recession, so hopes are high for his presidency.

Another Icelandic volcano with an impossible name has erupted. It looks like there’s not going to be as much travel chaos in Europe as last time, though.

And, lastly, bad news for everyone. Impending pretzel strike, y’all! Now is the time to remain calm and consider alternatives for your Beer Festival. At least there will always be sausages. Or will there? *ominous music*

Until next week!

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Karo

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

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