Belgium: Assisted Suicide For Minors?
series: European Journal
air date: 1/21/14 5:00 AM
Spain: Lottery Tickets for Research - The Spanish government introduced strict austerity measures last year, aimed at reining in public debt. Now the country's scientists are feeling the pinch. The work of Luisa Botella, a genetic researcher in Madrid, offers the only hope for many patients suffering from the genetic disorder Osler-Weber-Rendu syndrome. But her research project now looks set to finish, because the Spanish government has halved its funding. So the highly qualified scientist is now selling lottery tickets in her free time to further fund her research. Meanwhile other scientists are opting to leave Spain. Belgium: Assisted Suicide for Minors - In Belgium, euthanasia for the terminally-ill has been legal for 11 years -- but not for those under the age of 18. Now the country's upper house of parliament, the Senate, has voted in favor of decriminalizing assisted suicide for minors as well. In May, the Belgian parliament must decide whether to approve the bill which would give Belgium the most liberal laws on euthanasia in all of Europe. Terminally-ill young people could then ask doctors to help them end their lives. It has yet to be decided just how old a child will have to be in order to make this decision. Many well-known pediatricians lobbied for the law after being confronted with repeated requests from children to help them die. But Belgium's religious community is against euthanasia for children and those most directly affected -- such as parents and caregivers -- also have big reservations. Hungary: The National Roma Strategy - Two year ago Hungary approved its National Social Inclusion Strategy, intended to improve the lot of its Roma population. Back then, the strategy was hailed as a milestone that could be a model for Europe. But the ethnic minority has seen little benefit. The once troubled village of Cserdi in southern Hungary has been held up by the government of Viktor Orban as a role model for successful integration of Roma. Mayor Laszlo Bogdan, himself a Roma, has won praise for cleaning up his village and getting people back to work. But others criticize him for making jobless Roma toil without pay as part of the center-right government's public work program. While a few thousand Roma have profited from the Orban government's training programs, most of Hungary's more than 700-thousand Roma are being subjected to ever-new forms of harassment. This spring Hungarians go to the polls and a new law is threatening the Roma's right to vote. Turkey: The Corruption Affair - For weeks the Turkish government has been rocked by a corruption scandal. During the course of investigations, ten government ministers have had to be replaced and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is coming under increasing pressure. Erdogan survived the public protests against his government in Istanbul's Gezi Park last spring when hundreds of thousands took to the streets. But now the protests are taking place behind the scenes: in courts of law, police stations and party headquarters. People are talking openly about a power struggle taking place within his Islamic Justice and Development Party. Allegations of political graft, and the illegal trade in gold and building permits are making the rounds. Poland: The Historic Hotel Bristol - Located in the heart of Warsaw, the Bristol is more than just a hotel -- it's a piece of the city's history. The 112-year-old building survived both World Wars and has welcomed guests as varied as Queen Elizabeth, Michael Jackson and German chancellor Angela Merkel. In 1989 British investors began extensive renovations on the Hotel Bristol, which reopened in 1993. Restored to its former glory, this Warsaw institution regularly ranks among the world's top 40 hotels.
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