News in Europe: Un An Nou Fericit!

Happy New Year, everybody, and now you know how to say that in Romanian.

Of course, it’s all doom and gloom again, so let’s dive right in, albeit reluctantly.

In Paris, at least 12 people were killed on Wednesday when the headquarters of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo were attacked by gunmen. The magazine is well known for staunchly defending its freedom of speech and repeatedly printing cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad. The gunmen are still at large.

Also in Paris, the burial of a Roma infant has taken place amidst a scandal that saw the mayor of the infant’s home town reserve the right to a burial for (presumably French) taxpayers. Show me a tax-paying French baby, and I’m open for discussion. Until then, let me shake my head in disbelief.

A female suicide bomber has killed one police officer in Istanbul. Her motive remains unclear.

A Dutch reporter has been detained in Turkey on terrorism charges. She was released shortly after.

A new Euro crisis is looming after Greece hinted at an exit from the currency. The Euro hit its lowest low in nine years on Monday.

Eight people are presumed dead after a cargo ship sank off the coast of Scotland last weekend.

360 Syrian refugees were rescued alive after their smugglers had abandoned their boat in the Mediterranean. Good news at last — and I dare you not to choke back a tear or two when you look at this picture.

In Germany, the opposition against anti-Islam protests in several big cities has gone from strength to strength. Last weekend, the lights in and on famous landmarks were turned off to not give the Pegida protests the scenic backdrop they were looking for, and the numbers of anti-Pegida protesters have outnumbered those of Pegida. Result.

Pegida and its program has now become a hot topic in Britain as well. True to its roots and its basic humanity, the Guardian argues for multiculturalism.

Let’s just be nice to each other, you guys. See you next week.

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

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