In Hungary, Democracy Slides

Friday, January 20, 2012

Budapest Winter: Can anyone stop the Putinization of Hungary?

Sesotho: Both Bridge and Defense

Monday, December 5, 2011

MASERU, Lesotho – I’ve written before about my struggles to learn the language of countries where I’ve lived, be it my horrid Hungarian, survival Slovak or café Cantonese.

It's a National Geographic Life

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

MASERU, Lesotho – There’s so much to say, I don’t know where to start. So how about with a Sesotho-language greeting: Dumela!

Confessions of a China Addict

Friday, November 18, 2011

[Author note: To glimpse some of the future faces of Chinese media – my students – please click here.]

Roma Question, EU Answer

Thursday, September 22, 2011

After years of debate, the EU unveils its first high-level policy document on the Roma. Now it’s up to national governments to fill in the outline.

BUDAPEST, Hungary -- Angela Kocze has been a firsthand witness to all the calamities that have befallen her fellow Roma over the two decades since Central and Eastern Europe rid itself of communist rule.

Nevertheless, Kocze is the rare voice to somehow muster “cautious optimism” about the first unified European Union policy to target the plight of the Roma, Europe’s largest, most-despised and most-marginalized minority.

Roma in the Red Sludge

Monday, July 18, 2011

DEVECSER, Hungary – It was just past noon, last Oct. 4, when Karoly Horvath returned home from fishing a local lake, here in provincial western Hungary. His wife and 12-year-old daughter were home to greet him, too – just as the waves of red sludge crashed through the door and windows.

Within seconds, the toxic mud was above their waist, burning the skin. Unable to move, Karoly could only watch mother and child screaming in agony.

In Defense of Western Journalism Training

Friday, June 10, 2011

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia – Western intervention in Libya – and in the Arab Spring itself – has revived debate over “exporting our values,” especially the kinder, gentler, non-militaristic forms of soft power.

How Writing Is Like Biking

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

BRATISLAVA –From the slumber of their winter hibernation, I've pulled our bicycles from the depths of our cartoonishly overstuffed hall closet.

Dad’s self-appointed task: wipe down the dust and cobwebs, pump some life into those tires. Sure, I’ve suffered minor injuries, like a bruised shin, but I get no sympathy from this crowd.

There's another cost, too. When you go so many months between riding a bicycle, as we did from fall to spring, certain muscles grow dormant. Guess what? They begin to atrophy. At least at my age, they do.

Finland to Slovakia: Thanks for the Hospitality!

Friday, May 20, 2011

BRATISLAVA – At least, that’s the thank-you letter Finland should send Slovakia.

I’ve never been to a Helsinki block party. But earlier this month, for a solid fortnight of the World Hockey Championship, Bratislava sure felt like one. By the end of their two-week drinking binge, I wanted the pickled Finns to grab their gold medals and get the hell out.

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