The Catalan parliament in Barcelona on Wednesday passed a ban on bullfighting that will go into effect in the autonomous Spanish region starting 2012. The press writes that rather than being a victory for animal rights over an outdated tradition, the resolution is an expression of Catalan desires for self-determination and clear demarcation from the central power in Madrid.
See no citizens, hear no citizens, speak to no citizens ? the institutional approach to the European citizens? initiative (ECI)
from Jon Worth by Jon
The Pew Global Attitudes Project has recently published a very interesting piece of research investigating attitudes towards the full Islamic veil. The results show a remarkable difference between Europeans and US citizens.
Observer columnist David Mitchell (half of the comedy team Mitchell and Webb is in fine form today with this column on the absurdity of burqa banning. It was one of those bits of the Sunday paper that had me stopping to read a passage aloud to my wife every ten seconds or so until she snatched it out of my hands and read it herself.
from Global Voices Online by Marwa Rakha
Written by Mustafa Kutlay and Lukas Linsi
The election of Barack Obama as President of the United States in November 2008 was accompanied by popular enthusiasm in Europe. During his election campaign he had been given a rapturous reception in Berlin where over 100,000 spectators gathered when he spoke at the Victory Column in Berlin. But the support for Obama in Europe was not confined to a popular movement; also the European political elites pinned their hopes on Obama to improve trans-Atlantic ties after the divisions that marked the era of George W. Bush. After all, Obama was a declared multilateralist in international politics and he seemed ideologically close to the traditions of European social democracies on priority issues on the policy agenda, such as health care reform, climate change and tax reform. At the same time, the European leaders in France, Germany and Great Britain were considered to be exceptionally ?pro-American.? The moment seemed unusually ripe for trans-Atlantic cooperation and it was no surprise that Obama?s first overseas trip as US President led to Europe.