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Letters to the Editor: November 2007

To the Editor, (In response to “Benedict in Vienna, Prodigal Priesthood,” Oct. 2007) In response to the commentary article, “Prodigal Priesthood,” it is fairly obvious that the author has some deep personal disagreements with the Catholic Church, and though I completely disagree, I do not want to get into an emotional exchange over opinions that […]

“We are already at War” – Erhard Busek

A former vice chancellor argued that Austrian neutrality has become effectively obsolete as a political stance, in a panel discussion of Oct. 8, organized by the Austrian daily Der Standard.  During the event entitled ‘Neutralität – Abschaffen oder Bewahren’ (Neutrality – Dismantle or Preserve), Erhard Busek provoked a heated debate at the Montagsgespräch, chaired by […]

Facing the Realities of Islam in the West

An impressive line-up of speakers had gathered in the prestigious setting of the elegant, marble-floored “Camineum” at the National Library to discuss contemporary Islam. The conference – “Diverse Modern Views from European, Asian and North American Muslims,” hosted by the United States Embassy together with the United States Mission to the European Union and Women […]

Interview with A Militant

Interview with A Militant

Why do young European Muslims become extremists? That’s a question Ed Husain thinks he is very qualified to answer. For several years, he claims, he was a committed member of one of Britain’s most extreme Islamist movements – a group called Hizb ut-Tahrir. Every week the young Husain discussed inflammatory political materials in secret meetings. […]

A Bridge of Ideas

A Bridge of Ideas

  Shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall, historian Timothy Garton Ash of the Vienna Institute for the Human Sciences placed a call to Jack Kuron, the former Polish opposition activist turned Minister for Labor and Social Policy. At the other end of the line, a female voice answered. “May I speak to Minister […]

Al Gore’s Way

Al Gore’s Way

Al Gore paid a short visit to Vienna Oct. 24, before rushing off to Paris for a meeting with French President Nicholas Sarkozy scheduled for the following day. Invited by Mobilkom, Austria’s largest mobile phone service provider, the former US Vice President and recent Nobel Peace laureate was the keynote speaker at the mobile.futuretalk 07, […]

The Worries Of Wireless

The Worries Of Wireless

Contemporary universities would be unrecognizable without the laptop, lugged about in back packs and flipped open at the beginning of a class. With wireless Internet connection, the classroom is connected to the world. But how much this new and ever-growing contribution to the world’s “electro-smog” may adversely affect our health, nobody seems quite sure. As […]

Austrian Schmäh

The majority of foreign tourists who come to Austria assume that the country is like Germany because Austrians speak German. And a quick look at their history tells us of an intertwining relationship to their northern neighbor. Austria was part of and suffered during World War II and all the other wars in which Germany […]

Soldiers on The Border

Soldiers on The Border

The December 2007 expansion of the Schengen “open-borders” zone to nine new member countries is worrying the European Union. In Austria, the eastern outpost of the “old EU,” tensions are high and plans have been announced to maintain a military presence along its border at least through the Fall 2008. Austrian Interior Minister Günther Platter […]

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