New articles on the TOL website


Whatever Happened to Simeon Saxe-Coburg Gotha?
Deposed in 1946 by the Communist takeover, only to become prime minister more than half a century later, the last Bulgarian monarch is still leading a busy life.
By Lyubomir Martinov


July 13

Hungary May Open Doors to Guest Workers
Employers say non-EU workers needed to offset a growing labor shortage.

Kazakh Businessman Accused of Plotting Coup
Tohtar Tuleshov also allegedly funded a shadowy, multinational crime syndicate whose existence is in doubt.

Poland Plans Partial Takeover of Private Pension Funds
Government announces major pension reform; former security officers might face the first cuts.

Lithuanian Basketballer Shrugs Off ‘Soviet’ Tag
New York Knicks face ambassador’s ire over information on new signing’s profile.

Bulgaria May Join Iran-Led Transport Corridor
Talks to continue on possible Iranian purchase of Russian-made equipment for a defunct Bulgarian nuclear plant.

July 14

Dissenting Montenegrin Admiral Posthumously Honored
An admiral in the Yugoslav Navy in 1991, Vladimir Barovic chose to kill himself rather than bomb the Croatian coast.

Is Serbia Ready for Ex-Guantanamo Detainees?
Some activists say the nation doesn’t have the resources to re-socialize two men who were locked away for more than 14 years.

Status Quo Prevails in Abkhazia After Failed Referendum
Incumbent President Raul Khadzhimba remains in power after a referendum calling for early elections had 1 percent turnout.

Belarusian Customs Officials Corner Red Hot Chili Peppers
Mistaken for Metallica, the band plays along and signs autographs.

July 15

Lifestyles of the Rich and Armenian
Where did the sons of the country’s finance minister get the money for a mansion in one of LA’s most exclusive neighborhoods?

Russian Land Rush Off to Slow Start
Critics say the plots of land available free to citizens are too small to sustain a farm or other venture.

German Leader Meets Kyrgyzstan’s Singing President
Islamic extremism and bilateral ties top the agenda as President Almazbek Atambaev meets his most important European partner.

UN Kosovo Mission Slammed by Its Own Monitors
Recently published report criticizes UNMIK’s ‘failure to achieve any practical reparation’ for those who seek redress.


The Winner Takes the Burden
This is maybe his 10th or his 11th election victory, and friends and foes alike have lost count. Boyko Borissov, the prime minister of Bulgaria, looks unbeatable. 
By Boyko Vassilev

Conflicts of Interest: Press vs. Public
For the oligarchs who control the Czech print media, the purpose of owning a newspaper is to acquire a ‘nuclear shield’ against critics.
By Katerina Safarikova

Who’s Afraid of Big, Bad Jaroslaw?
We shouldn’t be so quick to describe Poland’s new government as a ‘threat to democracy.’
By Martin Ehl

A Family Reflects on the Chernobyl Disaster
Three generations explain how their lives were transformed by the nuclear explosion in 1986. From The Guardian.
By Olga Tsvetkova


After months of preparation (and seed money from Google’s Digital News Initiative Innovation Fund), we’re finally ready for the launch of Press Start, a crowdfunding platform designed to support independent journalism in emerging democracies and developing countries. For our inaugural campaigns, we’ve chosen five outstanding reporters who have won awards crusading for human rights, a cleaner environment, historic preservation, and honest governance in some pretty inhospitable places. They are Armen Melikbekyan, co-founder of the Independent Journalists’ Network in Armenia; Douce Namwezi N’ibamba, editor in chief of Mama Voice magazine in Congo; Wendy Funes, a seasoned investigator in Honduras; Habib Battah, a two-time recipient of the Samir Kassir Award for Freedom of the Press in Lebanon; and Zaklina  Hadzi-Zafirova, founder of SCOOP Macedonia, an independent investigative reporting network. Please follow the link here to find out more about them and what they aim to do with the money they raise via Press Start. As our fundraising goals are truly modest, even a small donation makes a big difference. If each of you donated just $10 to Press Start, we’d make our goals for all of our journalists. We think we’ve made it easy and inexpensive to support independent journalism this way, so please give, and spread the word.