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Sun Nov 10, 2019, 08:04 AM

5 Stories from Europe You May Have Missed

1. Rite Turn: 'First Baptism' For Transgender Man In Montenegro's Serbian Orthodox Church

The Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro has given a quiet and seemingly grudging nod to change this week with the baptism of a 19-year-old transgender man.

It appears to be a landmark first for the dominant religious institution in the tiny, conservative Balkan nation of some 600,000 people.

"For me, religion is love," the man, who was christened under his adopted name of Vuk Adzic at the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ in Podgorica on November 3, told RFE/RL's Balkan Service.

Adzic said his "secret" covenant with the church followed years of faith that was tested most recently by a brutal late-night beating at the hands of intruders at his family's mountain cottage, hinting at the violent disdain that some Montenegrins show for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.

https://www.rferl.org/a/montenegro-baptism-first-ransgender-man-lgbt-serbian-orthodox-church/30260221.html


2. Russia Frees Last Of 'Whale Jail' Animals Into Wild In Far East

Russian officials said on November 10 that they had released the last of dozens of beluga whales whose captivity alongside killer whales in a "whale jail" in the Far East prompted an international outcry and Kremlin intervention.

Images of some of the 97 belugas and orcas in the Srednyaya Bay pens shocked the Russian and international publics and drew complaints from as far afield as Hollywood actor and environmental advocate Leonardo DiCaprio.

A Russian federal research institute said the last 31 beluga whales -- the mostly white cetacean native to the Arctic and sub-Arctic and known for its canary-like "song" -- were freed into the wild in the Bay of Assumption off the southern coast of southern Primorsky Krai, on the Sea of Japan on November 10.

"This was the final release," Interfax quoted the press service of the Pacific branch of the Russian Federal Research Institute for Fisheries and Oceanography as saying. "No animals remain in the whale jail."

https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-frees-last-of-whale-jail-animals-into-wild-in-far-east/30262551.html


3. Prague to honour little-known saviour of refugees fleeing Nazis

An aid worker who helped refugees flee the Nazis is to be honoured by Prague in a move historians hope will rescue her name and heroic deeds from obscurity.

Marie Schmolka will be awarded honorary citizenship of her native city by the local municipality in recognition of what experts describe as a central role in saving large numbers of Jews and opponents of Hitler before the second world war.

Campaigners hope Monday’s ceremony in Prague’s Archa theatre will pave the way to greater recognition in Britain, where Schmolka died of a heart attack in March 1940, aged 46.

A Jew and a Zionist, Schmolka extended aid to refugees – including communists – fleeing into Czechoslovakia from Germany after the Nazis took power in 1933. Later, as the Czechoslovak representative of the League of Nations commission for refugees, she helped relocate them, including to Palestine and the Dominican Republic, as Hitler’s territorial ambitions began to threaten neighbouring countries.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/nov/10/prague-honour-little-known-saviour-refugees-fleeing-nazis-marie-schmolka

4. Young female climate activists face hateful abuse online

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NBC News has spoken to three young climate activists, all female, and their families who now find themselves in the center of a digital culture war and have to contend with hateful messages from skeptics, misogynists and far-right agitators.

Swedish teen Greta Thunberg, who founded the Fridays for Futureweekly school strikes and has become a figurehead of a climate change youth movement, has borne the brunt of the attacks, particularly on messaging platforms including Telegram and forums such as 8chan, security and technology experts say.

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"It's shocking to me that people go after anyone and everyone just to bring them down, and I don't understand what they get out of it," said Theresa Sebastian, 15, from Cork, in the Republic of Ireland. "They feel they have the right to degrade us."

Despite lacking an international profile as a climate change activist, Sebastian has endured abuse from accounts that appear to belong to teenage boys and grown men. Some messages criticize her campaigning, while others are hateful comments about her appearance.

Sebastian said she frequently receives racial slurs due to her Indian heritage — she is among the few climate strike organizers of color in Ireland.

https://www.euronews.com/2019/11/10/young-female-climate-activists-face-hateful-abuse-online-how-they-n1079376

5. Aid workers fear winter 'humanitarian catastrophe' at Bosnia migrant camp

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Bosnia has seen an increase in the number of migrants ever since Croatia, Hungary and Slovenia closed their borders against illegal immigration.

Since 2018, more than 40,000 migrants have been registered in Bosnia Herzegovina, according to IOM (International Organisation for Migration) data.

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"I would say that 99% of people in Bosnia Herzegovina are here because they want to cross into Croatia, Slovenia, Italy and either stay there or move onwards," said Peter Van der Auweraert, the Western Balkans Coordinator for the IOM.

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On top of the humanitarian crisis exacerbating in the Vucjak camp, officials in the northwest Bosnian town of Bihac have threatened to close down the Bira migrant centre, located in an old factory in the town, as early as next week.

https://www.euronews.com/2019/11/10/aid-workers-fear-humanitarian-catastrophe-as-winter-arrives-at-bosnian-migrant-camp?fromBreakingNews=1

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Reply 5 Stories from Europe You May Have Missed (Original post)
rpannier Sunday OP
DAMANgoldberg Sunday #1
UniteFightBack Sunday #2

Response to rpannier (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 02:52 PM

1. I am so glad that you do these stories...

Most of us Americans including me, are so provincial and inner focused (and with good reasons in the Trump era) that I and we forget there's a whole 'nother' world out there that is worthy of study and thought.

My favorite news network, CNN, in its early iteration had a Sunday program(me) CNN World Report, that brought stories worldwide from the local broadcasters perspective. This was most pre to early Web, but nevertheless important viewing. These days since CNN International is generally not allowed to cablecast here, the closest thing is Fareed Zakaria GPS.

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Response to rpannier (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 02:54 PM

2. Thanks for this. nt

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