Lessons in the "Europe" Category

The Most Corrupt Countries

British Prime Minister David Cameron was recently caught on camera at Buckingham Palace in London telling The Queen that the leaders of some “fantastically corrupt countries” were coming to Britain for an anti-corruption conference.

Among the world leaders attending the conference at Lancaster House in London were the leaders of Nigeria and Afghanistan. When a reporter asked the Nigerian President if his country was corrupt he replied, “Yes”.

Representatives from the governments of Panama and the British Virgin Islands ironically weren’t invited to the conference. This is odd considering the recent publication of ‘The Panama Papers’ that highlighted the tax affairs of wealthy individuals from around the world who shelter their money in these countries.

Celebrating May Day in Britain

May Day traditions in Britain include Morris dancing, the crowning of the May Queen and Maypole dancing.

Morris dancers normally perform on May Day. These are men wearing folk costumes and bell pads on their shins. They use sticks, swords and handkerchiefs that maybe wielded by the dancers during their dance.

The May Queen is a girl who must ride or walk at the front of a parade for May Day celebrations. She wears a white gown to symbolise purity and usually wears a tiara or crown. She is generally crowned by flowers and makes a speech ahead of any dancing taking place.

The Czech Republic wants to adopt the name Czechia

The Czech Republic in Central Europe has decided to change its official name to Czechia. There are many reasons for this. One is that Czechs are fed up with people always trying to shorten their country’s name to Czecho or Czechland.

The new name will be similar to its neighbour Slovakia – that is also known as the Slovak Republic. Some people might say that Czechia is too similar in name to the Russian Republic of Chechnya.

Czechia is shorter than its former name of Czechoslovakia - before the country split in 1993 into two countries – namely The Czech Republic and Slovakia.

The UK’s Top Tourist Attractions

Today let’s talk about the UKs top tourist attractions. Top of the list is the British Museum (6.8m) in London. This is followed by the National Gallery (5.9m). In third place is the Natural History Museum (5.2m).

The figures were compiled by the Leading Visitor attractions (Alva). Altogether some 124.4 million visits were made to 230 Alva sites last year. This is 3.2% higher than the year before.

The rise was due to increased interest in big temporary attractions in London – up 1.6%, and in Scottish attractions – up 5.5%. London claimed the top 10 most popular sites.

21st Century Slavery

It may surprise you but today there are thousands of people around the world stuck in modern day slavery. It is a scandal that many governments are failing to tackle.

You might be thinking slavery was abolished in the 19th century. It was, only today it is once again flourishing. It is a global issue that needs resolving. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) recently reported that 21 million people, five million of whom are children, are victims of forced labour.

Migration crisis in Europe at breaking point

Today, let’s talk about the migration crisis in Europe. The EU leaders in Brussels have failed to solve the situation. It is now out of control. In fact, in Greece it is at breaking point.

East European and Balkan countries recently hosted a meeting in Vienna to discuss the migrant crisis. Interestingly neither Germany nor Greece were invited. The meeting initiated its own ongoing solutions to those of Brussels.

East European countries have sent police and troops to the Hungarian border with Serbia, and to the Macedonian border and Bulgarian border with Greece, where a barbed wire fence has been built to try to stop and limit the number of migrants allowed up the Balkan peninsular.

Should Britain leave the EU?

Should Britain leave the EU? Britain’s Daily Express newspaper thinks so. It recently explained why and hopefully it now makes an interesting theme to discuss. The British newspaper demanded ‘our country’ back from the EU! They called it ‘a crusade for freedom’. They wish to see Britain break free from the ‘EU dictatorship’.

Certainly many in Europe and beyond now jokingly call the EU the ‘E.U.S.S.R.’. This point definitely rings alarm bells in Eastern European countries, who clearly remember the U.S.S.R. and communism, and whose citizens now see the EU for what it really is. Is the EU a Big Brother state like the U.S.S.R. once was?

The Daily Express states those behind the EU have been intent on one goal: the creation of a single political and economic European state with absolute sovereignty over the nations under its control.

(Flashback lesson:This is an interesting lesson from 2011 that is still actual today)

Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?

Today, the question is: Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?

During the 2015 General Election British Prime Minister David Cameron promised British voters a referendum about the UK membership of the EU no later than the end of 2017. The referendum will take place on Thursday 23 June 2016.

The “Brexit” vote is likely to affect everyone living in the EU, as a vote to leave could mark the breakup or even the end of the EU. “Brexit” is a term commonly-used for the British exit from the EU.

Blogger saves £7.72 on train fare from Sheffield to Essex by flying via Berlin

Recently, teenage blogger Jordon Cox decided to do a return journey from Shenfield in Essex to Sheffield in northern England. Cox, 18, managed to book himself a cheap £19 ticket for the journey north but discovered the cheapest fare home was £47. An open return would have cost him £97.70. He decided to look for an alternative way to get home.

Following some online research he discovered he could save money on the rail ticket if he included a flight via Berlin in Germany. The ticket would normally have cost £47.00 by train and taken 3½ hours. By going via Berlin it took him an extra 1,017 miles and 13 hours to get home. It also included a quick tour of Berlin.

(Photo: Jordan Cox)

Paris horror – Islamic State claim responsibility – on Friday 13th

France was in a nationwide state of emergency on Saturday following Friday night’s attack in Paris from Islamic State. It comes just 10 months after the Charlie Hebdo magazine attack where 12 people were killed.

The latest terrorist incident was the worst such attack Paris has experienced since World War II. The French President Monsieur Hollande called the coordinated attacks “an act of war.”

ISIS has claimed responsibility. They said eight ISIS militants wearing explosives belts and armed with machine guns attacked precisely selected targets in Paris.