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Hungary Politics

A few thousand anti-government protesters confronted police Thursday night outside Hungary's Parliament, temporarily retreating when officers used pepper spray and tear gas to drive them back. | 12/14/18
Hungary's parliament has approved the creation of a new court system to deal with matters related to public administration, giving Prime Minister Viktor Orban's government close control over what will become a crucial part of the judiciary. | 12/12/18
Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government will control hiring and promotion of judges in the new courts, which will rule on politically crucial matters like electoral law. | 12/12/18
Central European University, founded after the collapse of the Soviet Union, has been forced from its campus in Budapest by the increasingly authoritarian government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban. | 12/3/18
The Polish government said Tuesday that it will not support a global compact seeking international cooperation on migration, citing national sovereignty as it joins countries including Hungary, Austria and the United States in rejecting it. | 11/20/18
A former Macedonian leader facing prison is claiming asylum in Hungary, the government confirms. | 11/15/18
The Hungarian State Opera and its National Ballet are here for two weeks at a time when Hungary’s government is leaning in an autocratic direction. | 11/4/18
The Austrian government said Wednesday that it won't sign a global compact to promote safe and orderly migration, citing concerns about national sovereignty as it joined neighboring Hungary in shunning the agreement. | 10/31/18
Viktor Orban’s government has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the Hungarian State Opera. Now the company is coming to Trump’s America. | 10/26/18
Hungary’s populist government has banned gender studies degrees citing low enrollment numbers that waste taxpayer money and because it is “an ideology not a science.” | 10/17/18
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the government of Hungary confirmed today the hosting of the next ITU Telecom World event in Budapest, Hungary. The announcement followed a high-level meeting during ITU Telecom World 2018 being held 10-13 September in Durban, South Africa between ITU Secretary General Houlin Zhao and the Government of Hungary, represented [&hellip
Lord Finkelstein calls on Conservative MEP colleagues to rethink their decision in the vote about censuring the Hungarian government. | 9/14/18
The lawmakers denounced Viktor Orban’s government as a “systemic threat to the rule of law,” labeling Hungary an authoritarian state that encourages other nationalists. | 9/13/18
The lawmakers denounced Viktor Orban’s government as a “systemic threat to the rule of law,” labeling Hungary an authoritarian state that encourages other nationalists. | 9/13/18
Lawmakers backed rare measures to punish Viktor Orban’s government for the erosion of democratic standards. But final sanctions are up to national leaders. | 9/12/18
Hungary’s populist government is stopping universities from offering courses in gender studies, saying there is no need for graduates in the labor market and they take taxpayer money away from other programs. | 8/11/18
The European Union’s executive branch will take Hungary to court over the government’s treatment of asylum seekers, escalating a battle over how to balance the continent’s legal guarantees for refugees with popular demand for tighter borders. | 7/19/18
The European Union’s executive branch will take Hungary to court over the government’s treatment of asylum seekers, escalating a battle over how to balance the continent’s legal guarantees for refugees with popular demand for tighter borders. | 7/19/18
Hungary’s populist government announced this week that it is rejecting a U.N. global compact on migration, describing it as “in conflict with common sense” and national security -- making it the second country after the U.S. to reject the compact. | 7/19/18
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s migrant plan needs the support of Austria and Hungary, as well as the center-left Social Democrats in her governing coalition. | 7/5/18

The Hungarian State Opera canceled 15 performances of the musical “Billy Elliot” because of decreased interest after it was accused of being gay propaganda by a newspaper columnist.

The theater announced the cancellation of the shows, between June 28-July 13, on its website, saying, “The performances have not been cancelled due to the press controversy but by the decreasing interest generated by it.”

On June 1, an op-ed in Magyar Idok, a newspaper aligned with Prime Minister’s Viktor Orbán’s government, wrote that the production “could turn children gay.” The article further suggested “Billy Elliot” promoted a “deviant way of life” that goes against the demographics needs of the country, adding, “It is not a national goal to propagate homosexuality in a situation where the population is decreasing / aging, and our country is threatened by foreign invasion.”

Also Read: 'Sugar in Our Wounds' Theater Review: The Earth Grandmother Steals the Show

Szilveszter ?”kovács, the director-general of the opera house, attempted to quell any controversy around the play, penning a reply in that same paper on June 2, saying that “showing something which is an indisputable fact of life does not mean you are propagating it. One can be gay and conservative at the same time.”

The production is based on the 2000 film of the same name, which tells the story of a boy becoming a professional ballet dancer, set in northeastern England during the 1984-85 coal miners’ strike. The Budapest-based theater has performed “Billy Elliot” 90 times to more than 100,000 people since 2016, according to The Guardian, but ticket prices for the remaining performances have been cut in half.

Described as a populist by the New York Times, Orban, who was first elected in 2010, has attempted to fit Hungary’s culture into his brand of nationalism in what he frequently calls an “illiberal democracy,” which goes against western liberalism. His Fidesz party was elected for a third term in April.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Skintight' Theater Review: Idina Menzel Masterfully Proves Ageism Is a Guy Thing

'Sugar in Our Wounds' Theater Review: The Earth Grandmother Steals the Show

'Othello' Theater Review: Corey Stoll Makes Iago a Mesmerizing Villain | 6/23/18
An article in a pro-government newspaper attacked a previously popular production at the Hungarian State Opera, which has dropped 15 performances of the show. | 6/22/18
Hungary is known for anti-immigration politics, but a black liberal MP wants to change all that. | 6/11/18
The Hungarian government proposed constitutional amendments and a new law Tuesday that are intended to prevent Hungary "from becoming an immigrant country" by further tightening its policies on accepting refugees and asylum-seekers. | 5/29/18
Hungary’s government is ramping up its battle against billionaire George Soros by drafting new laws criminalizing those who help migrants seeking asylum. | 5/29/18

We now know what Cate Blanchett’s jury thought of the films that screened at this year’s Cannes Film Festival: “a very strong year,” she said at the jury’s festival-ending press conference. And we know what buyers thought of the festival lineup: not bad, judging by the deals.

But what will Oscar voters think?

That’s always a tricky question, because the connection between the world’s most prestigious film festival and the world’s most celebrated film award can fluctuate wildly. In 2011, for example, three of the films that screened at the festival — “The Artist,” “The Tree of Life” and “Midnight in Paris” — landed Best Picture nominations, with “The Artist” winning.

But the success rate hasn’t approached that since then, although 2016 had an impressive across-the-board showing: One Best Picture nominee (“Hell of High Water”), the Best Foreign Language Film winner (“The Salesman”), six other nominees in the Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Foreign Language Film and Best Animated Feature categories and eight more films submitted by their home countries in the foreign language race.

Also Read: 'Shoplifters' Wins Palme d'Or at 2018 Cannes Film Festival

Last year, though, was more typical: two foreign nominees (“The Square” and “Loveless”), one supporting actor nominee (Willem Dafoe for “The Florida Project”) and one documentary nominee (“Faces Places”), with no winners among them.

Realistically, this year’s crop of Cannes films will probably fare similarly once Oscar voters get a look at them. The only film that screened at the festival or one of its sidebars that has a significant chance of landing a Best Picture nomination is Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman,” which could well be in the conversation once U.S. audiences get a look at it later this summer.

Lee’s film, which mixes humor with incendiary anger and looks at the state of America today through a story set in the 1970s, is timely enough and strong enough to be a real player, though it will likely divide critics and audiences in America more than it did in Cannes.

Also Read: 'BlacKkKlansman' Cannes Review: Spike Lee Looks Back - and Forward - in Anger

Otherwise, Ron Howard’s “Solo: A Star Wars Story” seems destined for below-the-line categories at best, while a surge of attention for Paul Dano’s understated “Wildlife,” which premiered at Sundance but also screened in Cannes’ Critics’ Week sidebar, could make it a dark-horse contender in the adapted screenplay category.

A few Cannes documentaries could also have a shot, foremost among them Kevin Macdonald’s “Whitney,” which drew headlines out of Cannes for its allegations that Whitney Houston was sexually abused as a child by a relative. Wim Wenders’ “Pope Francis – A Man of His Word” will likely be in the conversation, and so might be “The State Against Mandela and the Others” and “Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blache.”

But really, the most fruitful connection between Cannes and the Oscars this year will likely come in the foreign language category. Only six of the 93 countries that submitted films to the Oscars last year chose Cannes entries, but we could easily see double that many submissions come from this year’s festival.

While the individual committees that select each country’s entry can be making their decisions on the basis of politics, cronyism and lots of other factors, a Cannes berth is a powerful sign that the film might have international interest.

Also Read: 'Capharnaum' Film Review: Nadine Labaki's Searing Drama Brings Tears, Ovations

Among the no-brainer selections: Lebanon’s “Capharnaum,” the Jury Prize winner and the film that received the longest and loudest ovation of the festival; Poland’s “Cold War” from director Pawel Pawlikowski, whose last film, “Ida,” won the foreign language Oscar; Belgium’s “Girl,” which won the Camera d’Or and the Un Certain Regard performance award; Colombia’s “Birds of Passage,” from a director (Ciro Guerra) whose last film was an Oscar nominee; and Turkey’s “The Wild Pear Tree,” whose director, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, has been responsible for four previous Turkish submissions.

Kenya’s “Rafiki,” a same-sex romance that is the first Kenyan film ever accepted to the Oscars, would be an easy choice if it hadn’t been banned in its home country — though if the submitting committee is independent enough to choose it, the ban could give it a boost. First-time director A.B. Shawky’s “Yomeddine” seems likely to be the Egyptian entry, while the Cannes acting award that went to Samal Yesyamova should be enough to put “Ayka” at the top of Kazakhstan’s submission list.

The Icelandic film “Woman at War,” which was bought by Magnolia for the U.S., comes from Benedikt Erlingsson, whose brilliant “Of Horses and Men” was the country’s 2013 submission, though it may have been too weird for Oscar voters. Portugal’s soccer story “Diamantino” seems a logical choice, as does Hungary’s “One Day.”

Countries like France and Italy always have a plethora of choices, which holds true this year even if they don’t consider anything except Cannes movies. Italy, for example, could opt for Matteo Garrone’s “Dogman,” which won the festival’s best actor award and is from the director of the acclaimed “Gomorrah” (which Oscar voters didn’t go for); or Alice Rohrwacher’s “Happy as Lazzaro,” a fable that won the screenplay award and was widely thought to be a real Palme d’Or contender.

Also Read: 'Happy as Lazzaro' Film Review: Alice Rohrwacher Charts the Course of a Holy Fool

And France has a variety of possibilities, including Christophe Honore’s “Sorry Angel,” Stephane Brize’s “At War,” Vanessa Filho’s “Angel Face,” Gilles Lellouche’s audience-friendly “Sink or Swim,” Camille Vidal-Naquet’s “Sauvage” or even Gaspar Noe’s hallucinatory “Climax.”

But France could also opt for Eva Husson’s “Girls of the Sun,” a tough but mainstream war movie about an all-female unit fighting terrorists. It didn’t fare well with Cannes critics, but it could easily become a favorite of the Academy’s foreign language voters.

The biggest question marks might surround the Asian films. Japan, China and South Korea swing between submitting critical favorites and trying to second-guess Oscar voters by choosing less daring movies or big epics. So while China has strong candidates in Jia Zhang-Ke’s “Ash Is Purest White” or Bi Gan’s rapturously received “Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” it’s anybody’s guess as to whether their selection committee will deem those films acceptable. Likewise with South Korea and Lee Chang-dong’s “Burning,” which was clearly the hit of the festival, and Japan with Hirokazu Kore-eda’s “Shoplifters,” which won the Palme d’Or.

Also Read: 'Shoplifters' Cannes Review: Is the Seventh Time a Charm for Hirokazu Kore-eda?

The director of the last of those films has been down this road before. In an interview with TheWrap in 2014, Kore-eda admitted that he was disappointed when “Like Father, Like Son,” which won the Jury Prize in Cannes, was passed over in favor of “The Great Passage” when Japan made its 2013 Oscar submission.

“But honestly, given the track record of how that committee in Japan decides on their films, I was not surprised,” he said. “The committee isn’t particularly interested in the world’s criteria on these films.”

Oh, one more thing:

Lars von Trier’s “The House That Jack Built”? Not a chance.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Asia Argento Condemns Harvey Weinstein During Cannes Awards: 'This Festival Was His Hunting Ground' (Video)

Is the Cannes Film Festival in Decline? Not to the French

Netflix Lands Cannes Award Winners 'Happy as Lazzaro' and 'Girl' | 5/20/18
Left-wing billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Foundation announced Tuesday that it is pulling out of Budapest, in the wake of the Hungarian government’s anti-Soros rhetoric -- a month after Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s party comfortably won national elections. | 5/15/18
The Open Society Foundations said work had become untenable in Hungary, where Prime Minister Viktor Orban has stifled dissent and demonized the group’s founder. | 5/15/18
The decision comes as the government moves to tighten its grip on non-government organisations. | 5/15/18

.@TomiLahren: "You don't just come into this country with low skills, low education, not understanding the language and come into our country because someone says it makes them feel nice. That's not what this country is based on." @WattersWorld

— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 13, 2018

Fox News contributor Tomi Lahren was slammed over the weekend for remarks she made about immigrants.

“You don’t just come into this country with low skills, low education, not understanding the language and come into our country because someone says it makes them feel nice,” she said during a segment on “Watters’ World” Saturday. “That’s not what this country is based on.”

Lahren’s observation is at odds with the country’s history of immigration and the words of the poem engraved on the Statue of Liberty, which literally reads: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

Also Read: 'Fox & Friends' Host Called Out for Thanking Tomi Lahren for 'Working the Streets' (Video)

A Fox News tweet lauding Lahren’s position on the issue was quickly seized upon by critics who raked the contributor over the coals.

“I’d trade Xenophobic Rage Barbie for a hard working immigrant any day of the week and twice on Sundays,” said former Office of Government Ethics director Walter Shaub. “Contributing less than nothing to this country, she exists only to make lazy white supremacists ‘with low skills, low education, [barely] understanding the language’ feel nice.”

I’d trade Xenophobic Rage Barbie for a hard working immigrant any day of the week and twice on Sundays. Contributing less than nothing to this country, she exists only to make lazy white supremacists “with low skills, low education, [barely] understanding the language” feel nice.

– Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) May 13, 2018

It went on from there:

Can someone bring @TomiLahren to Ellis Island?

— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) May 13, 2018

Fell in to a Tomi Lahren Twitter hole and now I have no fingernails from trying to claw my way out.

— Sarah Hyland (@Sarah_Hyland) May 14, 2018

There isn’t a better example of low skills, low education and not understanding the language than this comment by @TomiLahren.

— David Goodman (@DavidAGoodman) May 14, 2018

In our field, there was an uneducated guy named Joe from Hungary, who spent his extra hours in his first year here in the St. Louis library, learning a new language. His legacy? The prizes for excellence and understanding that bear his last name: Pulitzer.

– David Beard (@dabeard) May 14, 2018

There's a saying in Spanish, @TomiLahren that goes "tell me what you brag about and I'll tell you what you lack"

— Alberto Cairo (@albertocairo) May 14, 2018

Says a pundit with low skills and obviously low education. Hey @TomiLahren, try reading a U.S. history book sometime, or have somebody translate one into Foxnews speak for you.

— David Shuster (@DavidShuster) May 13, 2018

But your ancestors did @TomiLahren. And John Kelly’s.

— rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin) May 14, 2018

Tomi did you learn ANYTHING in school?
Over 80% of immigrants to USA before World War 1 could not read or write English. Most did not have high school educations.
No/low skilled labor is what made America great.
Do yourself a favor. Stop pretending to be smart.@TomiLahren

— An_Anonymous_Source (@Logic_Triumphs) May 14, 2018

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Tomi Lahren Admits: I Kicked My Dog 5 Times During Live 'Fox & Friends' Appearance (Video) | 5/14/18
Viktor Orban has won a third election and his government aims to keep its hardline migration policy. | 4/29/18
Last week, it was reported that the Central Bank of Turkey withdrew the national gold reserve from the US Federal Reserve System. Given the fact that the United States has been imposing whole packages of sanctions on Russia one after another since 2014, why does Russia still keep its gold and other assets in the USA? If it is not in the USA, then where does Russia keep her gold? Turkey's "American gold" was partly returned to Turkey and deposited to European banks, particularly in England and Switzerland. Ankara's gold reserve totals 564.6 tons.Accumulating physical gold by central banks has become a trend lately. Even such a small European country as Hungary returned three tons of its gold from London in early 2018. Venezuela, Holland, Austria and Germany did the same - the countries that feel pressure from the part of the Washington consensus. For example, both the European Union and the Western world have been criticizing Hungary heavily. The nation's gold reserve gives Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban a reason to feel more confident.What about Russia? She has been the main "whipping girl" in the eyes of the "civilized world" lately. Yevgeny Fedorov, a member of the State Duma Committee on Budget and Taxes, told Pravda.Ru, that the information about the location of Russia's gold is classified." "Some of Russia's gold used to be stored in the USA, but we do not know whether Russia has returned that gold," the MP said. According to Yevgeny Fedorov, the Central Bank of Russia "is a branch of the US Federal Reserve, so I would not be surprised if we still keep some of our gold in the United States," he said. "If we don't keep our gold in the USA, then we do keep some of our assets there - i.e. we support the US economy, which is a very bad phenomenon," Fedorov told Pravda.Ru. This policy, the MP added, is stipulated in Article 15 of the Constitution, the system of international treaties and the status of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation. To change such a state of affairs, Russia needs to conduct revolutionary reforms. "It is only now, when the law on counter-sentences raises the need to remove US managers from Russian ministries and the Central Bank. If Putin wins with his policy to end the subordination to the American unipolar world, then everything may work out well," Yevgeny Fedorov told Pravda.Ru. In turn, researcher Mikhail Khazin told Pravda.Ru that Russia does not keep its physical gold in the US. "We keep our assets in US government securities, but we have been recently reducing the share of these assets significantly. There is a probability that the Americans will not give them back, so we need to get rid of those bonds," the expert told Pravda.Ru. Pavel Salin, director of the Center for Policy Studies of the Finance University, also said that Russia does not keep its physical gold in the United States."The Russian gold reserve is stored in Russia, and the foreign exchange reserves are kept at US Treasuries. We tend to reduce their amount, but it is impossible to do it instantly, because it will look like an attempt to collapse the US debt market with all ensuing consequences. It could also trigger a major conflict with China that holds $1 trillion 200 million in these bonds and Japan - about one trillion dollars," the expert told Pravda.Ru.According to the US Treasury, the Central Bank of Russia sold US government bonds worth 11.9 billion dollars from December to February, having this reduced the volume of assets by 11.2 percent ($93.8 billion). It is worthy of note that immediately after the introduction of sanctions against Russia in March 2014, the Central Bank of Russia withdrew about $115 billion from the US Federal Reserve System (FRS). However, two weeks after the incident, the Russian Central Bank returned the funds to Fed accounts, Reuters says. Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
Organisers say 100,000 protesters marched against Viktor Orban's recently re-elected government. | 4/14/18
A European Parliament committee says Hungary's government should be sanctioned because of its lack of respect for democracy and the rule of law. | 4/12/18
A Hungarian magazine has published more than 200 names of people it says are likely part a group what Prime Minister Viktor Orban calls "mercenaries" paid by U.S.-Hungarian billionaire philanthropist George Soros to topple the government. | 4/12/18
Publishers of a conservative Hungarian newspaper critical of Hungary's right-wing government say it is shutting down, along with a radio station under the same owner. | 4/10/18
A landslide victory has left Hungary’s nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban in a position to cement both his authority at home and his influence in the European Union, potentially shifting the Continent’s balance of power. | 4/10/18
A landslide victory has left Hungary’s nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban in a position to cement both his authority at home and his influence in the European Union, potentially shifting the Continent’s balance of power. | 4/9/18
A Syrian man who is under US sanctions for assisting the Syrian government received residency status in Hungary under a visa bond programme launched by Prime Minister Viktor Orban's government, two Hungarian websites reported. | 3/28/18
The Central European University in Budapest became a target last year in the government’s broader campaign against the financier. | 2/28/18

BUDAPEST, HungaryHungary's prime minister says that "Christianity is Europe's last hope" and that politicians in Brussels, Berlin and Paris favoring migration have "opened the way to the decline of Christian culture and the advance of Islam."

Viktor Orban said Sunday during his 20th annual state of the nation speech that his government will oppose efforts by the United Nations or the European Union to make migration acceptable to the world.

Hungary's prime minister is stepping up efforts to silence civic groups critical of his government ahead of April elections which will likely result in his third consecutive term. | 2/16/18

BUDAPEST, Hungary — A new set of laws would tax and possibly sanction Hungarian groups assisting illegal migration which receive foreign funding, Hungary's government said Wednesday.

Such groups would have to register with the courts and, if they get more than half of their funds from foreign sources, pay a 25-percent tax on the funds received from abroad, Interior Minister Sandor Pinter said. Groups failing to register, and which authorities consider to be adding illegal migrants, could be fined.

The Polish government is still relying on Hungary’s Viktor Orbán to cover their backs. But this particular alliance may not last forever. EURACTIV Czech Republic takes a look at the story ahead of what could be a defining year for how the EU treats its problem kids. | 1/12/18
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has taken a tough line against migrants entering the European Union, is expected to attend a meeting of a German conservative party that is preparing to starts talks on a possible new coalition government. | 1/5/18

Politics of Hungary takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic republic. The Prime Minister is the head of government of a pluriform multi-party system, while the President is the head of state and holds a largely ceremonial position. Executive power is exercised by the Council of Ministers. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the parliament. The party system since the last elections is completely dominated by the conservative Fidesz. The two larger oppositions are MSZP and Jobbik. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. The Republic of Hungary is an independent, democratic and constitutional state, which has been a member of the European Union since 2004. Since the constitutional amendment of 23 October 1989, Hungary is a parliamentary republic. Legislative power is exercised by the unicameral National Assembly that consists of 386 members. Members of the National Assembly are elected for four years. The executive branch of the People's Republic of Hungary (Communist Hungary) was represented by the Council of Ministers.

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