Eastern Europe

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Tesla CEO: We'll Investigate $5 an Hour Labor Claims

Newspaper says foreign workers were brought in on the cheap

(Newser) - An article in Sunday's San Jose Mercury News exposed a troubling narrative about Tesla's plant in Fremont, Calif., claiming that about 140 workers from Eastern Europe were imported by a subcontractor to build a paint shop for the Model 3 sedan—for $5 an hour. Per the Guardian ... More »

US Placing Heavy Weapons in Eastern Europe

Historic move meant as a warning to Russia

(Newser) - America is about to make history by storing a slew of weapons, fighting vehicles, and battle tanks in Eastern European and Baltic countries—a clear message to Russia to back off, the New York Times reports. If it happens, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, and maybe Hungary will store... More »

European Student Opens Fire in Classroom

Estonian teen kills 56-year-old teacher

(Newser) - A 15-year-old student shot and killed his teacher during class today in a town in southern Estonia—the first known school shooting in the European nation. Four other students were in the classroom at Paalalinna School in the town of Viljandi, a police spokeswoman says. She adds that the shooter... More »

World Not Ready for a Romney Presidency

Western Europe overwhelmingly favors Obama

(Newser) - While the US sees a presidential race that could go either way , much of the rest of the world is expecting—and in many cases, actively hoping for—a continued Obama presidency. Some 75% of Europeans prefer the incumbent to Mitt Romney, while just 8% favor the former governor, a... More »

Romanian Towns Buried Under 15 Feet of Snow

Military flies in emergency food aid

(Newser) - Authorities declared an alert in Eastern Romania today, as military planes flew in emergency aid to towns and villages that have been cut off from the rest of the country for days by staggering quantities of snow. In some places, people have had to dig tunnels through up to 15... More »

58 Dead in European Cold Snap

Ukraine sees 30 die in recent days

(Newser) - Thirty people, most of them homeless, have died of hypothermia in recent days in Ukraine, part of a surge of deaths across eastern Europe as the region grapples with an unusually severe cold spell. In all, at least 58 people have died from the cold in Europe over the last... More »

Ex-Romanian Dictator, Wife Exhumed

Romanians suspect Ceausescus not really buried where thought

(Newser) - Taking the country by surprise, forensic scientists today exhumed what are believed to be the bodies of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife to solve the mystery of where they are truly buried. Ceausescu ruled Romania for 25 years before being ousted and executed during the bloody 1989 anti-communist... More »

Post-1989 Germany an Unexpected Success

Successes in Europe would boggle a 1989 mind: Applebaum

(Newser) - As “the exhaustive and perfectly blameless celebrations” of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall unfold, Anne Applebaum has a bone to pick. The festivities are “focusing on what didn’t happen rather than what did,” she writes, treating “the past two decades... More »

Germany Hails Anniversary of Berlin Wall's Fall

Dominoes, fireworks, music help mark 20 years

(Newser) - Hundreds of foam dominoes will fall today in Berlin, symbolizing the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has called Nov. 9, 1989, "the happiest day in recent German history," will lead the festivities.... More »

Putin Praises US for Ditching Missile Shield

But Moscow may not support nuclear sanctions against Iran

(Newser) - In a development sure to further tick off President Obama's critics on the right, Vladimir Putin says he's quite pleased with the decision to scrap an American missile-defense system in Eastern Europe, the New York Times reports. “I very much hope that this correct and brave decision will be... More »

Obama's Missile Move Leaves Allies in the Lurch

(Newser) - President Obama’s decision to scrap plans for a missile defense shield is a political bombshell, writes Robin Oakley for CNN. America’s allies in Poland and the Czech Republic are left holding the bag after expending significant political capital on the unpopular system. Abandoning it might make their lives... More »

Hungary Fetes 1989 'Picnic' That Led to Fall of Berlin Wall

Provided escape from Communism for East Germans

(Newser) - Hungary is celebrating the 20th anniversary today of its “Pan-European Picnic”: the day it opened its border with Austria, providing a pathway for hundreds of East Germans to exit Europe’s communist east. “The Soviet bloc was like an air balloon with over-pressure so it needed only a... More »

How the CIA Built Its Secret Prisons

(Newser) - When CIA officials decided to build a series of secret prisons, they immediately contacted the chief of the agency's European supply base, a Frankfurt-based logistical whiz. “It was too sensitive to be handled by headquarters,” Kyle “Dusty” Foggo tells the New York Times. He called a contractor... More »

FTC Shuts Down ISP Linked to Child Porn

(Newser) - The FTC has taken the rare step of shutting down an Internet Service Provider that it says was a haven for child pornography and malware run by Eastern European criminals, MSNBC reports. The case gives "a rare glimpse into the seediest parts of the web," writes Bob Sullivan.... More »

West 'Wasted 20 Years' After Berlin Wall Fell: Gorbachev

Former Soviet states should unite, he suggests

(Newser) - Europe has squandered two decades of potential cooperation since the Berlin Wall fell, Mikhail Gorbachev says. At a Moscow event sponsored by his foundation, the former Soviet leader criticized Western leaders who viewed the 1989 event as their victory over Eastern Europe, rather than an opportunity for common good, Reuters... More »

Twitter Fuels Moldovan Anti-Communist Riots

Moldovan youth use social networking to mobilize against election result

(Newser) - Thousands of young Moldovans have been using Twitter and other social networking sites to mobilize against the Communist Party's election victory, the New York Times reports. A crowd of some10,000 young activists, accusing the government of vote-rigging in Sunday's race, clashed with riot police outside the country's parliament yesterday,... More »

Czech Government Falls on Eve of Obama Visit

Collapse endangers plans for missile defense installation

(Newser) - The Czech prime minister announced his resignation last night after his government lost a confidence vote in parliament, reports the New York Times. The ouster of Mirek Topolanek comes at an awkward moment: Not only do the Czechs hold the rotating EU presidency, but Barack Obama is scheduled to visit... More »

Generous Pensions Toppling Hungarian Economy

Public spending dilemma threatens to engulf Eastern Europe

(Newser) - Pensions are at the heart of the Hungarian financial crisis threatening to drag down the Eastern European economy, the Wall Street Journal reports. Three out of every 10 Hungarians currently collects a generous government pension, but the cost—around 10% of GDP and rising—has made the country's deficit unmanageable,... More »

Leaders Warn of Economic 'Iron Curtain'

Eastern Europe melts down, but Western leaders refuse bailout

(Newser) - EU leaders meeting in Brussels yesterday rejected a Hungarian-led effort to bail out the faltering economies of Eastern Europe, leading to apocalyptic warnings of an economic "Iron Curtain," with millions of unemployed workers heading west. Countries from the Baltic states to Poland and Romania have seen their once-booming... More »

Hungary Gets $6.7B Loan to Avert Meltdown

Budapest secures huge loan to prevent default à la Iceland

(Newser) - The Hungarian government secured a $6.7-billion loan yesterday from the European Central Bank in an attempt to stave off an Icelandic-style national meltdown. The EU newcomer's troubles derive from loans denominated in euros or Swiss francs, rather than the softer Hungarian forint. Frozen credit markets have left Hungary's government... More »

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