A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘southeastern europe

[URBAN NOTE] Five city links: Wawa, Calgary, Mexico City, Tirana, Hong Kong

  • Vice shares the photographs taken by Cheyenne Jackson of the declining, aging, northern Ontario town of Wawa. What future does it have?
  • At MacLean’s, Jason Markusoff looks at the diminishing support for the 2026 Olympics in Calgary. Is there any case for this?
  • Guardian Cities reports on the Via Verde, the vertical gardens attached to the pillars of the Mexico City freeway system. Are they merely cosmetic?
  • The continued efforts of the civic authorities in the Albanian capital of Tirana to improve life in this growing city are the subject of this Guardian Cities article.
  • This SCMP article makes a compelling argument that the distinctiveness of Hong Kong, as a city not wholly of China, is inexorably declining.

[NEWS] Five notes about migration: Albania, Venezuela, Latvia, Namibia and East Germany, Yunnan

  • This report from the Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso noting the sheer scale of emigration in parts of rural Albania, proceeding to the point of depopulating entire territories, tells a remarkable story.
  • This opinion suggesting that, due to the breakdown of the economy of Venezuela, we will soon see a refugee crisis rivaling Syria’s seems frighteningly plausible.
  • Politico Europe notes that, in the case of Latvia, where emigration has helped bring the country’s population down below two million, there are serious concerns.
  • OZY tells the unexpected story of hundreds of young Namibian children who, during apartheid, were raised in safety in Communist East Germany.
  • Many Chinese are fleeing the pollution of Beijing and other major cities for new lives in the cleaner environments in the southern province of Yunnan. The Guardian reports.

[NEWS] Seven links on borders: Alberta, BC, Saskatchewan, Ontario, New York, Europe, NAFTA, Colombia

  • Relations between Alberta and British Columbia, regarding the latter province’s disinterest in hosting a pipeline for Albertan oil, are not good at all. The National Post looks at things.
  • Things aren’t good between Alberta and Saskatchewan, either. The <INational Post imagines what it would be like if there was not just a trade war, but an actual war.
  • Kathleen Wynne warned that, if New York imposed “Buy American” requirements, Ontario would retaliate. The Toronto Star reported.
  • Steel from New York is the first trade item to face retaliatory measures in Ontario, The Globe and Mail noted.
  • A generation after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Europe still shows the marks left by Communism, Leonid Bershidsky notes at Bloomberg View.
  • Will getting rid of the name “NAFTA” really make North American integration less controversial? Global News looks at the idea.
  • Colombia is tightening its border controls to try to deal with the influx from Venezuela, Bloomberg notes.

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

  • Crooked Timber enthuses over the remixing, or remastering, of arguably the Beatles’ most iconic album.
  • Far Outliers notes the Albanian language’s alphabet struggles in the wider geopolitics of Albania.
  • Joe. My. God. notes an American soccer player opted to quit rather than to wear a Pride jersey.
  • Language Hat notes a new online atlas of Algonquian languages.
  • The NYRB Daily argues that Theresa May’s election defeat makes the fantasy of a hard Brexit, at least, that much less possible.
  • Window on Eurasia notes Russia’s concern at the dissipation of the prestige of its language and script in its former empire, especially in Ukraine.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • blogTO looks at deserted Mirvish Village.
  • Crooked Timber reenages with the Rachel Carson and DDT myth.
  • The Crux looks at the Mandela Effect, exploring false memories.
  • Dangerous Minds makes the case for the musical genius of Bobbie Gentry.
  • From the Heart of Europe’s Nicholas Whyte recounts his visit to Albania’s bunker museum.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes Brazil’s retirement of its only aircraft carrier.
  • The LRB Blog looks at the extent and speed of events in the Trump Administration.
  • Marginal Revolution engages with a book examining France’s carving out a “cultural exception” in international trade agreements.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw reports on the passing of rulership of the Australian micronation of Hutt River.
  • Peter Rukavina shares good advice for visiting museums: visit only what you can take in.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at Russian Orthodox Church opposition to a certain kind of Russian civic nationality, and argues Russia is losing even its regional superpower status.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell reports on how local councils in the United Kingdom are speculating on commercial property.

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • Centauri Dreams considers, among other things, studies of Alpha Centauri.
  • D-Brief talks about the unexpected chill of Venus’ poles.
  • The Dragon’s Tales shares a photo of the San Francisco shoreline.
  • Far Outliers notes the rare achievements of Michael the Brave.
  • Joe. My. God. notes the recent finding by an American court that transgendered students are protected.
  • The LRB Blog reports on the nuitards.
  • Marginal Revolution notes some of the singular failure of the Brazilian economy over the past century.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer wonders why some people apparently call Russia and North Korea the 51st states.
  • pollotenchegg maps election results onto declared language in Ukraine.
  • Savage Minds starts a series on decolonizing anthropology.
  • Torontoist celebrates the tenth anniversary of Type Books.
  • Transit Toronto notes upcoming repairs to Ossington.
  • Window on Eurasia reports on Russian fears that the Russian economy might be doomed to stagnate.

[LINK] “Romania Can Shine as Haven From Regional Politics, Minister Says”

Bloomberg’s Andra Timu and Irina Vilcu note how Romania is trying to benefit from uncertainty in Poland.

Romania’s finance chief sees an opening for her nation to become eastern Europe’s go-to investment destination as nerves jangle over government policies in Poland, until recently the region’s top performer.

The second-poorest European Union member has been underestimated by investors and eclipsed by its neighbors for too long, said Finance Minister Anca Dragu, citing a calmer political backdrop and an economic expansion that’s set to surge more than 4 percent this year. Standard & Poor’s cut Poland’s credit rating on Jan. 15 on concern the new government is undermining the independence of institutions such as courts and media.

“There are certain developments in the region that have investors worried,” Dragu said Friday in an interview in Bucharest. “Compared with that, Romania’s economic growth is balanced and sustainable, we have an educated population and relative political stability that we need to appreciate more because we don’t have extremist parties that cause problems in other countries.”

Romania is no stranger to political drama itself: Dragu is part of a technocrat cabinet led by former European Commissioner Dacian Ciolos, who took over in November after anti-corruption protests in the European Union and NATO member prompted his predecessor to quit. It also faces competition to lure cash fleeing Poland from other local peers, such as the Czech Republic, a regional haven whose 10-year borrowing costs are lower than every country in the world except for Japan, Switzerland, Germany, and the Netherlands.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 4, 2016 at 5:33 pm