Category Archives: Austria

Braunau in the spotlight: Hitler's birthplace embraces inclusion

The house at 15 Salzburger Vorstadt still attracts tourists, but the town where Hitler was born has reinvented itself as a place that welcomes outsiders

“I was travelling with Germans recently, and when they heard where I’m from, they said: ‘Nothing good ever came from Braunau!’” recounts Monika Raschhofer at local paper Braunauer Warte am Inn to illustrate the pall Adolf Hitler casts over this small town on the border with Germany.

Coming from Braunau means being asked, and asked, about Hitler and the house at 15 Salzburger Vorstadt, where he was born on 20 April 1889. It is 80 years this month since Hitler made the most historically important of his rare visits to Braunau, passing through as he annexed Austria in 1938. He didn’t stop: his family had moved away when he was three and, with the Anschluss to take care of, he headed straight to nearby Linz, the city he considered home.

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Source: gad

Sex-doll brothels? Tacky, yes, but better than the human version | Catherine Bennett

In a world where sex sells, women are often treated as though they are commodities

There were sustained protests before France banned prostitution, in 2016, with a version of the sex buyer law pioneered in Sweden. A group of notable prostitution enthusiasts, calling themselves the “343 salauds (scumbags)”, thought it would help if they launched a campaign called “Touche pas à ma pute”, translated, according to taste, as “hands off my whore/hooker”.

After what were, presumably, two miserably pute-starved years for the salauds, who included Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s lawyer, it emerges that they will, after all, have recourse to silicone alternatives, in a new sex-doll brothel. Councillors and some feminist groups had asked the council of Paris to close down Xdolls, in line with anti-prostitution law – and because it demeans women.

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Source: gad

Austrian broadcaster launches libel suit against vice-chancellor

ORF station took action after rightwinger Heinz-Christian Strache accused it of lying

Austrian public broadcaster ORF has taken the highly unusual step of filing a lawsuit against the deputy head of the government after he accused it and its star news presenter of lying.

Vice-chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache, who heads the far-right Freedom party, has long accused the broadcaster of leftwing bias. He has said he plans to ensure it must report more objectively and scrap the licence fee that funds it.

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Source: gad

Mueller investigation: Manafort accused of secretly funding European pro-Russia group

Ex-Trump aide was working on behalf of then Ukrainian leader when he allegedly paid ‘Hapsburg Group’, which included former top European officials, in 2012 and 2013

The investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 US election by the special counsel Robert Mueller has brought to light a secretly financed pro-Russian lobbying effort that employed former senior European politicians.

Related: Ex-Trump chair Paul Manafort vows to fight ‘untrue’ charges as Gates cuts plea deal

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Source: gad

Austria’s far-right fraternities brace for protests at annual ball

Secretive event funded by populist Freedom party to boost security after exposés and threats from feminist pranksters

Students who want to be accepted into Austria’s secretive student fraternities have to prove their bravery by facing down the razor-sharp blade of an opponent’s rapier in a fencing duel.

But in a week in which Austria’s burschenschaften have come under assault from newspaper exposés and feminist pranksters, some of the country’s steadfast frat boys have started to flinch.

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Source: gad