The truth about Romania’s gypsies: Not coming over here, not stealing our jobs – Europe – World – The IndependentPosted: 11 February 2013
A freezing wind sweeps in across the Romanian countryside. The sweet stench of garbage catches at the back of the throat, and feral dogs chase one another over the heaps of filth. This rubbish dump, for Claudia Greta and her family, is home, her house a ramshackle single-storey shack. Claudia, 40, is one of more than 1,500 Roma Gypsies who live in a sprawling, fetid encampment on a landfill site outside Romania’s second-largest city Cluj-Napoca. The residents of Pata Rat – half of them are children – have been forcibly moved there over the past 15 years. Claudia opens the shack door to a room little bigger than a caravan and sighs: “Look where we live. We live on top of garbage.”
Many Romanians have been perplexed by the British Government’s determination to dissuade them from coming to the UK. Next year, the quotas which let EU countries limit the number of Bulgarian and Romanian migrants crossing their borders will be lifted – allowing 29 million people free travel and working rights across Europe. But Britain wants to deter them from crossing the Channel.
Suspicions have been raised in Bucharest and Sofia that what the UK Government really fears – but dares not say publicly – is the mass migration of Roma, Europe’s most marginalised and maligned minority. That, in turn, has created further animosity towards the Roma, with other Romanians and Bulgarians blaming those communities for tarnishing their country’s image.
South American art and music is everywhere this summer. But it isn’t just confined to museums. As immigration from Latin countries has increased, so has the cultural tempo of our nation, says Ian Burrell
You step off the plane at Jose Marti international airport outside Havana, and immediately find yourself in a rumbling, rusting automotive museum. The highway into the centre of the Cuban capital comprises a noxious, noisy procession of trucks and cars from either side of the Cold War. The lorries that clog up the carretera are vile Soviet brutes that, you suspect, would survive any nuclear attack.
Growling as they weave between them are the relics of capitalism in its most glorious incarnation: 1950s Detroit. And it is thanks to the US that the monsters of Motown are still providing “transportational solutions” to the citizens of Cuba.
Flights of fancy: A new TV series celebrates the swinging Sixties era of Pan Am stewardesses – Features, TV & Radio – The IndependentPosted: 30 September 2011
But was it really all white gloves and cocktails? John Walsh discovers the truth about the original trolley dollies
The dance messiah: How David Guetta became the world’s biggest DJ – Features, Music – The IndependentPosted: 27 August 2011
Round 9.30pm tonight, a smiley Frenchman with flyaway hair will take to the stage at a music festival on a country estate near the Cheshire village of Daresbury. He will be unaccompanied by musicians or vocalists, but a couple of 9ft robots with laser-guns may stomp on stage for a bit. Beyond that, his stage kit will comprise an elaborate, elevated, wheeled DJ booth. There won’t be any record decks per se, only four spinning CD players. His vocal contributions will consist largely of enthusiastic exhortations to the crowd of 50,000 to make some noise and waggle their phones above their heads.
From across the other side of India’s long, hot border with Pakistan a moving message of condolence and regret has been delivered over a notorious incident that played out at the height of hostilities almost 50 years ago.
The pilot of a Pakistani fighter jet who in 1965 shot down a civilian Indian aircraft carrying a chief minister, his wife and other officials, has sought out the daughter of the Indian pilot and expressed his sorrow. The woman has accepted the apology and replied, saying she hopes the gesture could heal wounds not only at a personal level but perhaps even between two countries which have on four occasions gone to war.
Too many black men have been killed by the police. This is not the cause of these riots, but it’s in the mix
August, historians will tell you, is a good time to start a war. And, boy, does this feel like a war. This feels, when you switch on the TV, and see footage of burning cars, and burning buildings, and of people jumping out of burning buildings, and of people too scared to walk down their street, and of dark silhouettes in helmets waving shields, and of dark silhouettes in hoodies waving iron bars, like the nearest to war most of us have been.