Standing on the platform in Budapest’s Keleti Station after guiding the final group of refugees onto the trains this past Friday evening, Ibrahim Kasem explained the situation to me. A kindergarten teacher originally from Syria himself (he speaks Arabic), Kasem is one of three translators consistently seen on the platform aiding refugees. He acknowledged that the shortage of professional aid was affecting their abilities to help.
Hungary's tightening vice on its press amounts to "an autocratic crackdown," Philip N. Howard, a professor at the Central European University and at the University of Washington, writes in the New York Times—taking specific aim at Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's control of the country's Media Authority, which monitors media competition and issues broadcast licenses:
Gergo Saling, the editor-in-chief of Origo.hu, a popular Hungarian news site, was fired Monday shortly after the site published a series of critical reports about the Hungarian government, the last of which was about State Secretary Janos Lazar and his multimillion travel expenses. Critics are accusing the Hungarian government of taking advantage of its cushy relationship with Deutsche Telekom—the huge telecommunications corporation that owns, through a chain of subsidiaries, Origo.hu—to silence news organizations that criticize the government.
Speaking at the Hungarian University of Economy today, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer got egg on his face and not in the figurative sense. Hungary's government spends millions on licenses to use Microsoft software at its universities and this market lockdown is apparently so upsetting to some Hungarians — how will they ever learn to use Linux? — that during today's speech, one attendee stood-up, yelled at Ballmer: "Give back the money of the taxpayers!" and then started chucking eggs. We disapprove, but only because we know Ballmer prefers bananas. A nice banana-cream pie-ing would have made a European matched-pair with the earlier prank on Bill Gates. Watch the egging in the clip embedded above.