March 12, 2009

News Roundup!

I hope all the U of C students are having a good reading period! 

First off I have some interesting news of a type I usually don't cover: Wired magazine's blog Danger Room has an article talking about how Georgia is blaming the Russian government for a cyber attack which took place three weeks before the crisis this summer. Whether or not you believe them, it's an interesting story. 

There's been a lot of news floating around recently about the 2009 Eurovison Song Contest, being hosted by Russia this year. The most interesting story, in my opinion (more Georgia and Russia, my apologies!) is how Georgia's song was deemed unacceptable due to the political connotations in the lyrics. The BBC also reports on how Russia has chosen a Ukrainian singer to represent it in the contest. They also have a more opinion-type piece on the politics behind the contest (I find it interesting to read the comments, left by people from all over, as well).

While maybe not a current event, the NYT has a good piece on bribery in the Romanian medical system. I thought the most interesting part was how patients would worry that if the doctor didn't accept their bribe, it was because they had an incurable disease. From some of our favorite news sites: Balken Insight has a good page with news about the upcoming election in Macedonia, and Transitions Online has a followup article about the closing of the American air base at Manas. 

And, in things that you might not think is as exciting as I do: One of my favorite websites (The Daily Beast) did an article on stylish first ladies from around the world. Two from the CEERES region that made it are Kateryna Yushchenko, wife of the Ukrainian president, and Mehriban Aliyeva, first lady of Azerbaijan. I think two of ten is doing pretty good! 

March 5, 2009

European Union Film Festival

If you've got some free time, you should definitely check out the upcoming European Union Film Festival. The festival, which will take place at the Gene Siskel Film Center at the Art Institute of Chicago, will run from March 6 to April 2. According to their website, all 27 nations of the EU are represented, there will be a total of 59 films, and all of them are Chicago premieres. 

Apparently, tradition has it that the film festival is opened by a film from the country which currently holds the presidency of the EU. This year, that happens to be the Czech Republic. The film, entitled I'm All Good, will be screened Friday, and will be presented by the Czech Consul General. The director will also be there for an audience discussion. There will also be an exhibit of Czech film posters from the 1960s-1970s on display in the Siskel Film Center's gallery/cafe throughout the festival. 

Countries that overlap with our region and the EU which will also have films in the festival include Greece, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Poland and Lithuania, as well as a few others.  For the full schedule, including what other movies, visit the Siskel Center website and click on "European Union Film Festival."