In news which will no doubt cause ruffled feathers in academe, it has been revealed that nearly 1.3 million euro (around 900,000 GBP) of UK scientific research grants have been transferred to German universities over the last few years. “One Oxford scholar was incensed by the departure of one of his key researchers to a German university ‘taking 650,000 GBP of UK taxpayers’ money with him as a generous dowry,’ he said.”
The next general election in Sweden is scheduled for 17 September 2006. Last April 4, Gudrun Schyman presented the Feminist Initiative. Fi is a feminist network but is aiming to become a political party by next year so it can participate in the elections for the Riksdag, the Swedish Parliament. Opinion polls indicate that Fi may threaten the social-democrats of Prime Minister Göran Persson and could in this way indirectly lead to a conservative government.
The Dutch-speaking people of the Low Countries, whether in Flanders or the Netherlands, have been known for centuries as great painters. It is something so deeply cultural – even today almost every family in Flanders has its amateur painter – that one might be inclined to think that their painting talent is genetic. The Flemish and Dutch have expressed themselves in painting more than in music, literature, dance or any other art form. Flemish and Dutch painters, like Van Eyck, Memling, Bosch, Brueghel, Rubens, Van Dyck, Rembrandt, Vermeer, van Gogh are world famous. They rank among the most significant in the world. In the history of painting a disproportionate number of the greatest painters of all times lived and worked in the Low Countries.
Immigrants make up 3.6% of the Norwegian electorate in the general elections. In Oslo, however, this figure is 12%. For the municipal elections, where everybody who has lived in Norway for three years is entitled to vote, the Oslo figure is 18%. A large part of the Norwegian immigrant population is of Pakistani origin. Most of the Norwegian Pakistanis come from the region of Kharian, a Punjabi town that is sometimes referred to locally as “Little Norway” because so many families have relatives in Norway. Halvorsen hopes that campaigning in Kharian during the holiday season will help her win votes in Norway next month.
Of all religious groups Baptists were among the most fiercely persecuted in the Soviet Union. They were not just Christians but they also distrusted the state, preaching an institutional secession from state-run institutions. Many Baptists belonged to the German-speaking minority in Southern Russia and Kazakhstan. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, they emigrated to Germany, the land where their forefathers had originally come from. Today, these Baptist immigrants from Russia, as well as the Low-German Mennonites, are being prosecuted in Germany because they are unhappy with what their children are learning in the German public schools, which they consider too secular. Children are not allowed to opt out of classes or school activities and homeschooling is illegal in Germany since Adolf Hitler outlawed it in 1938.
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