After the Ibiza videos had made their way around the world, after Austria's vice chancellor had resigned and the government appeared to be on the verge of collapse, as people found themselves wondering just how deep the abyss could be, the operatic aria "Nessun dorma" - "none shall sleep" - could be heard on the square in front of Milan's Duomo cathedral. It's Matteo Salvini's entrance music. It was last Saturday, one week before elections to the European Parliament. And Salvini, Italy's interior minister, had assembled a pan-European festival of right-wing populists and radicals. Marine Le Pen had come in high spirits from France, Geert Wilders was there from the Netherlands, Jörg Meuthen from the Alternative for Germany party, along with Bulgarian, Slovak, Austrian, Flemish, Danish, Finnish and Estonian nationalists, 11 parties from Europe's right-wing periphery who want to form a "super group" in the next European Parliament. Together, they performed what is by now well-known … [Read more...] about An Inside Job: The Right-Wing Populist Plan to Destroy Europe
Dear Readers, It has been a little more than five months since we disclosed the fabrications of our former reporter Claas Relotius. As promised, DER SPIEGEL has used that time to thoroughly investigate the fraud. A three-person commission has determined how it was possible for Relotius to circumvent all of our safeguards and it has examined how we explored the suspicions of fraud after they were initially voiced by our colleague Juan Moreno. The good news is that no indications were found that anyone at DER SPIEGEL was aware of the fabrication, helped cover them up or otherwise participated in them. The bad news is that we allowed ourselves to be deceived by Relotius and made mistakes of a magnitude that is unworthy of the standards we set for ourselves at this magazine. Furthermore, when the first doubts arose, we reacted much too slowly and continued to believe Relotius' growing web of lies for far too long. On the whole, the report paints a devastating picture. For privacy … [Read more...] about What We’ve Learned from the Relotius Fabrications
Once the war came to an end, former Vietcong fighter Nguyen Van Bat fathered four children. Three of them suffer from memory loss, as does he. The fourth, Nguyen Thanh, spends most of her time in bed staring into nothingness. Nguyen Van Bat, 69, is sitting in the living space of his bungalow in the city of Bien Hoa, around an hour's drive north of Ho Chi Minh City. He is barefoot and the pattern of his shirt has faded. It smells faintly of sewage in the semi-open room and clothes hang in garbage bags above shared beds. The family is unable to afford wardrobes: They must bear the costs of caring for their disabled children largely on their own. The aid they receive from the state is minimal, even now that both granddaughters are also suffering from memory loss, the result of a genetic defect that is, according to official certification, most probably the result of Agent Orange. The U.S. deployed more than 45 million liters (12 million gallons) of the dioxin-based defoliant in Vietnam … [Read more...] about Eternal Poison: Vietnam’s Ongoing Fight Against Agent Orange
Strache will be Strache. After the entire world watched as he tried to lay the groundwork for installing a Hungary-esque media landscape in his country with Russian help, he complained in his Saturday press conference of a campaign "from abroad." In an attempt to completely distort the situation, he expressed outrage about the hidden cameras that filmed him -- without addressing the obvious: That the video would have been of no interest at all if he hadn't spoken so clearly about his plans for reshaping Austria. The only source for the ignominy is he, himself. He built the boat, and he sank in it. And yet, his entire statement of resignation was an attempt to share responsibility and assign blame to others. He named some of them by name, such as the Israeli political consultant Tal Silberstein and the German satirist Jan Böhmermann. Mostly, though, he relied on innuendo. He spoke of networks and groups to ensure that it all sounded sufficiently ominous -- a horizon full of storm … [Read more...] about Strache’s Defense: The Right-Wing Ideology Exposed
A snow-white vacation house on a hill, a few kilometers from Ibiza Town. Three bedrooms, four bathrooms, an outdoor pool and a separate guest house with around 500 square meters (5,382 square feet) of living space for 1,000 euros a night. The group mingling on the terrace on the evening of July 24, 2017, drinking champagne, eating tuna tartare and sushi, was discussing delicate topics: How could they make sure that a Russian investor was awarded contracts from Austrian businesses and the government? They were thinking big. Nothing seemed impossible. They discussed casino licenses, the sale of an old luxury hotel, contracts for highway construction -- all of it for the Russian investor. They even discussed a takeover of the Kronen Zeitung, one of Austria's most widely circulated newspapers. The group included a woman who was supposedly from Russia, an Austrian woman with Serbian roots and a master's degree, and three Austrians in leisure attire. At that moment, two of them were already … [Read more...] about The Strache Recordings : Is Austria’s Vice Chancellor for Sale?