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    Print section Print Rubric:  Eastern Europe is losing workers and keeping pensioners Print Headline:  The old countries Print Fly Title:  Emigration in eastern Europe UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  The 45th president Fly Title:  The old countries Location:  VILNIUS AND RIGA Main image:  20170121_EUP002_0.jpg IN THE Lithuanian town of Panevezys, a shiny new factory built by Devold, a Norwegian clothing manufacturer, sits alone in the local free economic zone. The factory is unable to fill 40 of its jobs, an eighth of the total. That is not because workers in Panevezys are too picky, but because there are fewer and fewer of them. There are about half as many students in the municipality’s schools as there were a decade ago, says the mayor. Such worries are increasingly common across ...

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    Main image:  AGNIESZKA HOLLAND’S career spans four decades and crosses multiple territories. “Angry Harvest” (1985), a drama in German, explores the life of a Jewish woman sheltered from persecution in 1942 by a peasant. She directed “The Secret Garden” (1993) in English, an adaptation of a classic children’s story by Frances Hodgson Burnett. She turned her hand to the work of Henry James in “Washington Square” (1997) and has made three films with Ed Harris, an American actor. But she is notorious for her work in Polish; “Fever” (1981) and “A Lonely Woman” (1981) were banned by Poland’s communist regime, and she fled the country shortly after. Today she divides her time between Los Angeles, Brittany and Warsaw.Extremely hard to categorise, Ms Holland’s work ranges in style and straddles genres. She scrutinises complex, often compromised, characters and tells their stories in a broad historical context, but no two stories are the same. In recent years she has widened her filmography, breaking into television by directing episodes of “The Wire” and of the American remake of “The Killing”. Now, in a new democratic era for Poland, she has really come home and returned to her preferred medium. “Pokot” (“Spoor”, referring to the track or scent of an animal) is a present-day psychodrama about Janina Duszejko ...

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  • 03/09/17--08:30: Politics this week
  • Print section Print Headline:  Politics this week UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  Quantum leaps Main image:  20170311_WWP001_0.jpg Donald Trump signed a revised executive order to implement a travel ban on citizens from six Muslim-majority countries. Iraqis were taken off the list, as the administration conceded that they have been crucial in the fight against terror. Republicans who had condemned the original order fell in line to support the new ban, which comes into force on March 16th. See article.  Jeff Sessions, the attorney-general, recused himself from an investigation into Russian attempts to influence last year’s election, after admitting that he had spoken to the Russian ambassador during the campaign. As allegations swirled about Russian links to his team, Mr Trump said that Barack Obama had ordered his phones to be tapped, but offered no evidence. Republicans in the House of Representatives unveiled a bill to replace Obamacare. Among other things, it would drop the requirement for people to have health insurance, but it allows for a ...

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    Print section UK Only Article:  standard article Fly Title:  The other President Donald Main image:  20170311_eup504.jpg DONALD TUSK’S appointment as president of the European Council in 2014 seemed to cap Poland’s journey to the heart of the European Union. Twenty-five years after the collapse of communism and a decade after Poland led the accession of eight former Soviet-bloc countries to the EU, its prime minister was elevated by his peers to one of the most senior posts in Brussels. It was hard to imagine a more potent sign of the healing of Europe’s post-war scars. The job of council president, which involves chairing summits of European leaders and channelling their tempestuous debates into compromise, is a profound test of political nous. Not everyone was happy with Mr Tusk’s early performance; some thought he was operating more like the Polish prime minister he was from 2007-14 than the consensus-seeking European they sought. But most came around as Mr Tusk coolly shepherded the EU through a series of sticky situations, from a Greek bail-out to the refugee crisis to Brexit. His election to a second two-and-a-half-year ...

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    Print section Print Rubric:  At home and abroad, the Polish government is ever more difficult Print Headline:  Pyromaniac politics Print Fly Title:  Polish diplomatic squabbles UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  The global economy enjoys a synchronised upswing Fly Title:  Pyromaniac politics Location:  BRUSSELS AND WARSAW Main image:  20170318_eup507.jpg DONALD TUSK’S appointment as president of the European Council in 2014 seemed to complete Poland’s journey to the heart of the European Union. A decade after Poland led the accession of eight former Soviet-bloc countries, its prime minister was elevated to one of the most senior posts in Brussels. The job involves chairing summits of European leaders and forging compromise from their debates. At first some thought Mr Tusk operated more ...

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    Print section Print Fly Title:  On Yemen, sex studies, India, Wales, Singapore, Poland, brains, April’s Fool UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  As Turkey votes on a new constitution, it is sliding into dictatorship Fly Title:  Letters War in Yemen Regarding your article on Yemen (“Beggar thy neighbour”, March 25th), I want to make it clear that Saudi Arabia is leading an international coalition, with the full backing of the UN Security Council, to restore the country’s legitimate government. Saudi Arabia does not want to be at war in Yemen. But the alternative is to turn our back and allow it to become a lawless state in the hands of rebel groups and terrorists. We are doing everything in our power to mitigate the impact of the conflict on Yemeni civilians. We have provided more than $560m worth of humanitarian assistance, working with the UN and international NGOs to ensure aid is distributed to all parts of the country. The coalition is providing inspection-free access for aid ships from trusted organisations to Yemeni ports. Since April 2015 Yemen has ...

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    Print section Print Rubric:  France has comforted Europhiles, but they should worry about Poland Print Headline:  Illiberalism lives Print Fly Title:  Charlemagne UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  How to have a better death Fly Title:  Charlemagne Main image:  20170429_EUD000_0.jpg IT IS crucial to keep Siemiatycze pretty, says Piotr Siniakowicz, the mayor, himself resplendent in bright-blue suit and silk pocket-square. The border with Belarus is a hop and a skip away, so this small town in eastern Poland may mark visitors’ first encounter with the European Union. Siemiatycze brims with well-maintained nursery schools and a gleaming sports centre, thanks to EU funds lavished on the region since Poland joined in 2004. Remittances from thousands of émigrés in Belgium have poured into handsome houses, and businesses depend on those who return for holidays: ...

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    Print section Print Rubric:  Among young, well-educated urbanites, nationalism is provoking a backlash Print Headline:  Who loves EU, baby Print Fly Title:  The new Europhiles UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  The policy designed to make America great again Fly Title:  Who loves EU, baby Location:  BERLIN Main image:  The EUth of today The EUth of today “AU NOM de l’amitié” (“In the name of friendship”), proclaimed banners at the weekly Pulse of Europe demonstration in a Berlin square, a week before France’s presidential election. Edith Piaf songs burbled from giant speakers. Amid a sea of blue-and-yellow European Union flags, the 1,500 marchers gushed about the European project. “I love Europe, it’s my home,” said Oli. “I want my children and grandchildren to experience, study and travel ...

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    Print section Print Fly Title:  On data, France, Poland, Theresa May, Silicon Valley, Donald Trump UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  How to improve the health of the ocean Fly Title:  Letters Data driven You are right to focus on the role of data as the central reason for the growing power of the internet giants (“The world’s most valuable resource”, May 6th). Part of the reason for this is the lax attitude in America on data protection. This has allowed not only huge concentrations of economic power (now transformed into political power) but also rocketing levels of data breaches, financial fraud and identity theft. Giant companies capture markets in the internet economy through non-price mechanisms. Value is found not in the sale of a product to a customer, but the extraction of personal data from the individual and its repurposing for advertising. There is little internet users can do to make meaningful choices. They are the commodity. Markets, in the traditional sense, do not exist. But your proposal to share data more widely seems flawed. Startups ...

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    Print section UK Only Article:  standard article Fly Title:  Back on the menu Location:  LEGNICA Main image:  20170617_eup501.jpg “IN EUROPE, one is either at the table or on the table, being eaten,” Grzegorz Schetyna told an audience of a hundred or so people last week in the sleepy southwestern Polish town of Legnica. Mr Schetyna, the leader of the centre-right Civic Platform (PO) party, was there to convince voters that only his party can return stability and international respect to Poland, after a year and a half under an increasingly illiberal nationalist government. In part that means assuring voters that PO will defend “normality, rule of law and democracy” inside the country. But it also means talking about the European Union, affirming the need to repair Poland’s reputation and bargaining position in Brussels, and perhaps trying to catch a bit of the pro-EU wave that has shown up recently in elections in the Netherlands and France. Before PO was ousted by the nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party in late 2015, it had been in power for eight years. ...

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    Print section UK Only Article:  standard article Fly Title:  Poland is one what? Location:  PRZYSUCHA Main image:  20170708_eup501.jpg ON JULY 1ST, about 1,000 dark-suited delegates squeezed into a school sports hall in Przysucha, a small town 100km south of Warsaw, for the national congress of the governing Law and Justice (PiS) party. Since coming to power in 2015, the right-wing party and its leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, have packed the constitutional tribunal with their own loyalists, transformed the public broadcaster into a propaganda mouthpiece for the government and clashed with the European Commission over migration policy and the rule of law. The country’s nativist lurch has outraged liberals and divided Polish society. The party congress’s slogan, “Poland is one”, seemed like an Orwellian attempt to deny the split, or perhaps to rub it in. Mr Kaczynski, who turned 68 last month, was in high spirits. From the podium he enumerated PiS’s successes, such as reducing child poverty and improving tax collection. He also ran through new projects for which the ...

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    Print section UK Only Article:  standard article Fly Title:  Nationalists unite Main image:  20170708_eup507.jpg “THE fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive,” Donald Trump declared on July 6th, standing in front of a monument commemorating the Warsaw uprising against the Nazis in 1944. In a speech that recalled his inaugural address, when he invoked the prospect of “American carnage,” Mr Trump asked whether we have the courage to protect our borders and to preserve our civilisation in the face of “those who would subvert and destroy it”. To some, Mr Trump’s speech may have sounded like typical American grandiloquence. In fact, with its echoes of Samuel Huntington’s clash of civilisations, it was a dramatic departure. Earlier American administrations defined “the West” with reference to values such as democracy, liberty and respect for human rights. Mr Trump and many of his advisers, including the speech’s authors, Stephen Bannon and Stephen Miller, apparently see it as rooted in ethnicity, culture and religion. When George W. Bush visited Poland for his first presidential visit, in 2001, he ...

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    Main image:  THE Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (KVIFF), known as a springboard for Central and Eastern European films that go on to wider acclaim, takes place in an immaculate west Bohemian spa town formerly known by its German moniker Carlsbad. But amid the pastel palaces cascading down the wooded hillsides and the healing waters below, politics past and present made for a gritty tone on screens in the festival’s 52nd incarnation, which finished on July 8th.A group of veterans from assorted Yugoslav republics gather to discuss their war experiences in an off-season Bosnian ski hotel as a part of a group therapy programme in “Men Don’t Cry” ("Muskarci koji ne placu", pictured), which took home the special jury award. All of them are dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, and most bring a predilection for downing pills with a dose of rakia, the ubiquitous Balkan homemade fruit brandy. As each man takes turns recounting memories of his war experience, tempers flare. It later emerges that one, a Serb named Miki, played by Boris Isakovic, had a prominent, albeit passive, role in a massacre. Against the backdrop of snowless slopes, the characters’ best seasons look to have passed them by: Alen Drljevic's film concludes with the group stopped at a roadside gas station as a bus packed with ...

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    Print section Print Rubric:  Germany fears that Donald Trump will divide Europe Print Headline:  Teutonic tremors Print Fly Title:  The G20 summit UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  Liu Xiaobo’s death holds a message for China Fly Title:  Teutonic tremors Location:  HAMBURG Main image:  20170715_eup504.jpg IN THE aftermath of the G20 summit on July 7th and 8th, German politicians traded blows over who was at fault for riots by anti-globalisation activists that smashed up parts of central Hamburg. But a big global event in the heart of a city with a strong anarchist tradition was always bound to prompt protests. Officials’ deeper reasons for anxiety were different: Donald Trump and his attitudes towards Russia and Poland. To some in Berlin, the president’s meeting with Vladimir Putin was ...

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    Print section Print Rubric:  Defying the EU, the Law and Justice party puts the courts under political control Print Headline:  Dependant judiciary Print Fly Title:  Populism in Poland UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  Britain faces up to Brexit Fly Title:  Dependent judiciary Location:  WARSAW Main image:  The opposition tests its candle power The opposition tests its candle power CHOPIN played in the background and, as night fell, the crowd on the square in front of the Supreme Court in Warsaw sang the Polish national anthem. Someone projected “This is our court” onto the building’s wall. Two weeks earlier, in the same square, Donald Trump had hailed Poland’s role in the defence of Western values. But for the demonstrators who turned out on July 16th to protest against changes to the ...

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    Main image:  POLAND was the big success story of Europe after 1989. Its peaceful transition from communism, culminating in membership of the European Union in 2004, was an example for countries farther east to emulate. But recently, it has been backsliding. Since coming to power in 2015, the right-wing Law and Justice party (PiS in Polish) has been weakening democratic checks and balances. PiS has followed in the footsteps of Viktor Orban, the Hungarian prime minister, whom its leader openly admires. Brussels has struggled to respond effectively. Yet Poland is too big to lose: it is a frontline country on NATO’s eastern edge and will be the EU’s seventh-largest economy after Brexit. What is PiS doing? PiS came to power promising change after eight years in opposition. Shortly before the elections, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, its divisive leader, called for “a reconstruction of the state”. In practice, that has meant subordinating it to PiS. The party has used its majority in parliament to push through controversial laws, though it does not have enough seats to formally change the constitution. The prime minister, Beata Szydlo, has little clout. From PiS’s headquarters in Warsaw, Mr Kaczynski pulls the strings. PiS acted swiftly, echoing earlier changes in Hungary. Its first targets were the ...

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    Print section Print Rubric:  What can be done to punish Poland? Print Headline:  Policing the club Print Fly Title:  Checks and balances in Europe UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  How to deal with Venezuela Fly Title:  Policing the club Main image:  20170729_eup502.jpg IN THE mid-1990s, as the European Union began expanding eastwards, its politicians faced a tricky question. To join the bloc, countries had to commit to democratic standards, human rights and the rule of law. The EU had a lot of leverage over aspiring members. But what if a country turned its back on those values once it got in? Article 7 was the EU’s answer. A version of it first appeared in the Treaty of Amsterdam in 1999. Governments that violated the union’s fundamental values would be threatened with sanctions, including the suspension of voting rights. Austria had been one of the ...

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    Print section Print Rubric:  A takeover of the judiciary is halted, but the rule of law is still under threat Print Headline:  Objection sustained Print Fly Title:  Illiberalism in Poland UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  How to deal with Venezuela Fly Title:  Objection sustained Location:  WARSAW Main image:  20170729_EUP001_0.jpg FROM the mountain resort of Zakopane in the south to the Hel peninsula in the north, tens of thousands of Poles took to the streets last week in protest against proposed reforms that would have sacked all of the members of the Supreme Court and politicised the legal system. In Warsaw thousands marched night after night, holding candles and chanting “konstytucja!” (constitution). Even in the eastern city of Lublin, where the inhabitants tend to support the ...

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  • 07/27/17--07:47: Politics this week
  • Print section Print Headline:  Politics this week UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  How to deal with Venezuela Main image:  20170729_WWP001_0.jpg America imposed sanctions on 13 Venezuelan officials ahead of a planned election to a constituent assembly, which will have the power to rewrite Venezuela’s constitution. The sanctions freeze the American assets of the army chief, the interior minister and the head of the electoral commission among others and bar American companies from doing business with them. Critics of the Venezuelan regime say it will use the proposed constituent assembly to snuff out democracy. The opposition called a 48-hour strike to protest against it. A show of force Chinese and Russian warships staged a joint exercise in the Baltic Sea, their first together in those waters. Their navies have stepped up co-operation in recent years. They have also staged war games in the South China Sea and the Mediterranean. China wants to show that its navy can operate far afield; both countries also share a resentment of American naval ...

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