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September 5, 2012

Release and pardon of killer jeopardises Armenia-Azerbaijan ceasefire

Release and pardon of killer jeopardises Armenia-Azerbaijan ceasefire

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Politics and conflicts
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Photo-collage from the ’88—’94 Nagorno-Karabakh War
Image: Nicholas Babaian, Oleg Litvin, Jalpeyrie, Marshall Bagramyan.

Following Hungary‘s release and repatriation of convicted Azeri axe-murderer Ramil Safarov, who Azerbaijan subsequently pardoned, Armenia announced it is “ready for war”.

The declaration is in-response to Safarov’s pardon and promotion, despite the Azeri officer having been given a life sentence — with a minimum jail term of 30 years, by Hungarian authorities in 2006. Safarov was found guilty of the 2004 murder of Armenian officer Gurgen Margaryan in Budapest, when both Safarov and Margaryan were attending a NATO Partnership for Peace programme. Safarov killed Margaryan in his sleep with an axe; the attack allegedly stemming from a desire to avenge Azeris killed during the Nagorno-Karabakh War and being mocked by Margaryan and another Armenian.

On his return home, Safarov was met with a hero’s welcome, given a pardon by president Ilham Aliyev, promoted to the rank of major, awarded eight-years of back-pay and given a house. Armenia sees these acts, when it was expected that Safarov would serve out his prison term in Azerbaijan, as highly provocative.

Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian declared: “We don’t want a war, but if we have to, we will fight and win. We are not afraid of killers, even if they enjoy the protection of the head of state” .

Historically both Armenia and Azerbaijan lay claim to some of the same territories, an issue complicated by the intermingling of ethnic populations so some areas have no clearly demarcated Azeri and Armenian border; these potential sources of conflict remained quiescent whilst both nations were subsumed by greater powers. However, the collapse of the Ottoman and Russian Empires in the wake of the First World War led to the Armenian–Azerbaijani War. With the demise of the short-lived Armenian-Azerbaijan-Georgia Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic, fighting broke out which only ended when the two nations were annexed by the expanding Soviet Union.

With the USSR’s collapse, Armenia and Azerbaijan re-emerged as independent states — as-did old rivalries over territory. Between 1988 and 1994 over thirty thousand people died, and a million were displaced in bitter ethnic fighting between Armenians and Azeris over the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh; despite an Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe brokered ceasefire, no final armistice has been signed and intermittent violence between them the two states continues. Nagorno-Karabakh remains legally part of Azerbaijan, but under effective Armenian control. On multiple occasions president Ilham Aliyev has stated his willingness to resort to force in order to assert Azeri rule, with oil wealth tipping any local arms race in favour of Azerbaijan.

On Friday, The National Security Council of Armenia decided to break ties with Hungary during an emergency summit, describing the Hungarian actions as a “grave mistake”. In turn, the Azeri ambassador was summoned by Hungary on Monday regarding the breach of Azeri assurances that Safarov would serve out the remainder of his sentence in Azerbaijan.



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December 1, 2011

Hungary bans homelessness

Filed under: Budapest — admin @ 5:00 am

Hungary bans homelessness – Wikinews, the free news source

Hungary bans homelessness

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

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As of today, it is illegal to be homeless in the European country of Hungary, as a new law prohibiting it comes into effect. Those who are found to be in breach of this law will initially be given a warning for sleeping out on the streets. Offenders may also face a fine of US$600, which equates to £382 or 445, or a jail sentence.

Homeless people in , Hungary, in 2005.
Image: Gubbubu.

A significant majority of the National Assembly of Hungary voted in favour of the law in October of this year. The Fidesz, a ruling party in the country, proposed the law on the basis that homelessness was becoming too significant a problem for the capital . The city is thought to contain ten thousand homeless individuals.

The unemployment rate for Hungary as a whole is approximately 10.7%. However, for the Romani people, this figure may rise to somewhere in between sixty and ninety per cent, according to International Business Times. 48% of those in the country without an occupation have not had one for at least twelve months, RTTNews reported.

According to BBC News Online, the new law has attracted a substantial amount of criticism from various quarters, including charities supporting the homeless, that it could not be enforced, while there are too few positions available in hostels, they have claimed. Hungarian Maltese Charity Service deputy head Miklos Vecsei believed that the laws were put in place due to the dissatisfaction of the public and had not been based on any professional or rational examinations. Vecsei believes that the problem of homelessness should not be outlawed but resolved.

István Tarlós, the Mayor of Budapest, told The Budapest Report that “those who believe that all problems would be solved if homeless people were given housing” would be “mistaken” in thinking so.

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Mate Kocsis, the Fidesz MP that created the law, said that the issue of homelessness is one that should be rectified by the local councils of Hungary, while indicating that various recently introduced plans for and positions in hostels existed. Charities for those affected by homelessness believe that this would nonetheless cause one to three thousand individuals to have no shelter to reside in. Those who do not approve of the law are preparing to demonstrate to the National Assembly in opposition of it.

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June 13, 2010

Food critic Egon Ronay dies at 94

Food critic Egon Ronay dies at 94 – Wikinews, the free news source

Food critic Egon Ronay dies at 94

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

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Hungarian food critic Egon Ronay, who was associated to British eateries, died on Saturday morning. He was known for publishing guidebooks, popularizing the concept of restaurant reviews.

Ronay was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1915, but he left the country due to World War II. He departed and has lived in London since October 10, 1946. Ronay was able to work in many hotels and restaurants, such as Princess Restaurant in Piccadilly.

He was also a contributor to the Daily Telegraph and editor for its food column. Ronay published the book Egon Ronay’s Guide to British eateries in 1957.

Ronay had fallen sick earlier and died on Saturday, reported friend Nick Ross.



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July 26, 2009

Lewis Hamilton wins 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton wins 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Hungary
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File photo of Lewis Hamilton (Silverstone, 2009)
Image: Richard Barclay.

Hungaroring

McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton won the FIA Formula One 2009 ING Magyar Nagydij at the Hungaroring, just outside of Budapest, Hungary.

His KERS-equipped car was quick enough to overtake all the rivals in front of him, except only Fernando Alonso (Renault), who took the pole position yesterday. But Alonso’s first pit-stop brought trouble with an untightly done wheel nut and he left the front right tyre spinning off the track, luckily no one was hurt as compared to Massa yesterday, and Surtees last Sunday.

Massa’s teammate for Ferrari, Kimi Räikkönen, also managed to get through from seventh on the grid, to second place with the help of KERS. On the podium, his second place trophy was presented by prominent opera singer Placido Domingo.

Mark Webber set up a third place for Red Bull, while his team-mate Sebastian Vettel was out of the race due to problems with the car’s suspension.

Nico Rosberg drove his Williams up to fourth place, while the second McLaren of Heikki Kovalainen came fifth.

Championship leader Jenson Button gained two points for Brawn by finishing 7th and is now 18.5 points ahead of Webber, who has moved into second place ahead of Vettel. He split the two Toyota cars of Timo Glock and Jarno Trulli, who completed the top eight.



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July 25, 2009

Fernando Alonso takes pole at 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix, Felipe Massa badly injured

Fernando Alonso takes pole at 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix, Felipe Massa badly injured

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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Hungary
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File photo of Fernando Alonso (2009)
Image: Ann64 at Flickr.

Hungaroring

Renault driver Fernando Alonso takes pole in a qualification session on Saturday for tomorrow’s 2009 ING Magyar Nagydij at Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary.

Two Red Bull cars also with Renault engines are right on the back of the Spaniard.

McLaren-Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen are split by Nico Rosberg’s Williams 5th on the starting grid.

Kimi Raikkonen qualified 7th for Ferrari.

Felipe Massa (2008)
Image: vtornet at Flickr.

His teammate Felipe Massa was taken out of the track by a medical helicopter after a violent crash straight into the wall of tyres. A Ferrari spokesman says Brazilian driver “will remain in intensive care, although the team does not know how long he will stay under observation. He was conscious and in stable condition when he arrived at AEK hospital by helicopter with a concussion.” Later Massa underwent a successful surgery on fractured skull. It was said Massa was knocked unconscious after debris striked his helmet.

On Sunday July 19, Formula Two driver Henry Surtees, 18 year old son of 1964 Formula One champion John Surtees, died in hospital after suffering severe head injuries. During the race at Brands Hatch Jack Clarke crashed his car into the wall and sent one of its wheels across the circuit. The wheel impacted precisely with the head of Surtees.

The F1 rookie driver Jaime Alguersuari, who was a team-mate of Surtees at the British F3 season finale at Donington Park last year, and now will drive a Toro Rosso in a race for the first time, wrote the words of tribute to his friend saying “Ciao Henry” on his helmet.

Championship leader Jenson Button will start from 8th place for Brawn; his worst qualifying of the 2009 season.



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August 4, 2008

Heikki Kovalainen wins 2008 Hungarian Grand Prix

Heikki Kovalainen wins 2008 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Monday, August 4, 2008

Hungary
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File photo of Heikki Kovalainen (2008)

Heikki Kovalainen driving at British GP, 2008
Image: David Hunt.

Hungaroring

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Heikki Kovalainen won the FIA Formula One 2008 ING Magyar Nagydíj at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary on Sunday. It was the first Grand Prix win of Kovalainen’s driving career and he became the 100th winner in Formula One history.

Ferrari driver Felipe Massa had dominated the race since the start when he overtook both McLaren front line sitters – first Kovalainen and then Lewis Hamilton. During the first part of the race, Hamilton punctured his front tyre and lost more positions as well as his hopes of winning. It seemed that Ferrari had the race in the pocket, but on the dying laps, Massa’s engine was consumed by fire and he stopped on the main straight. Kovalainen took the opportunity to rush to the finish line.

Timo Glock did a brilliant job for his Toyota team, taking the second place. He qualified in fifth place and was in third until Massa went out.

The race became the first podium finish for Timo Glock, too. Still, his position was in danger from Kimi Räikkönen, who was racing close to Timo, but slowed down to secure his third place.

Renault drivers Fernando Alonso and Nelsinho Piquet finished fourth and sixth, respectively. They improved from their starting positions of seventh and tenth respectively. The Renault duo was split only by Lewis Hamilton.

The second Toyota of Jarno Trulli came in seventh. The top eight was rounded out by pole Robert Kubica from BMW Sauber.

Two other Renault-engined cars of Mark Webber and David Coulthard (Red Bull team) — split by Nick Heidfeld (BMW Sauber) — were the last cars to finish on the lead lap. TheHonda and Williams teams, as well as Giancarlo Fisichella from Force India were all lapped.

Ferrari now leads Constructors’ Championship standings with 111 points, 11 ahead of McLaren and 90 ahead of BMW. The Drivers’ standings are still lead by Hamilton with 62 points, but he is only 5 points ahead of Räikkönen and 8 ahead of Massa.



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November 29, 2007

Tarja Turunen commences first tour since leaving Nightwish

Tarja Turunen commences first tour since leaving Nightwish

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Tarja Turunen at Pukkelpop in 2005.
Image: Carina Verbis.

Finnish symphonic rock/symphonic power metal soloist Tarja Turunen has played the first dates on her debut tour as a solo artist after losing her position as the lead vocalist for Nightwish.

The tour is in support of her new album My Winter Storm. Tarja has met with some early success as a solo artist, with the album certified gold in Finland – signifying sales in excess of 15,000 copies – and the first single I Walk Alone entering the German charts at number 16.

The first show of the tour was in Berlin, Germany. That was followed by a concert in Budapest, Hungary. She is to return to Germany tomorrow, to perform I Walk Alone at the final fight of German boxing champion Regina Halmich.

Said a statement by Turunen on the opening gig: “The first show in Berlin was just great!! Everybody in the band, including myself, was really nervous. It is normal that in the first show some things are not really working yet. We were ready to have a total catastrophe in the middle of the concert, but luckily it didn’t happen! I sensed that the audience was really listening everything carefully and I got the feeling that they enjoyed the show. That makes me very happy and delighted. There was a good spirit. It was funny to see the entire band, including two drum sets, in a small stage! But our crew managed to make us fit there… I am sure that things are getting better from now on. As for the first show, Berlin was amazing beginning for us. Thanks so much for all the nice and wonderful persons in the audience. I felt your support and love. You made a bit difficult for me to continue singing at some points during the concert. Just to bring down the myth that German people is cold[sic]. I think you were great and very, very warm.”



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August 5, 2007

Lewis Hamilton wins 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton wins 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Sunday, August 5, 2007

Hungaroring

Hamilton leads, followed by the Finn (2007 British GP).
Image: nick farnhill.

McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton wins the FIA Formula-1 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary.

After the pole-position of his teammate Fernando Alonso was discarded to 6th place by the stewards overnight for a non-sporting behaviour of Alonso’s unusual 20 seconds delay on his last pit stop, Hamilton became the leader on the starting grid. Also, McLaren faced another penalty of not scoring any points in the Constructors’ Championship, which will be appealed later, team spokesman says.

Leading from start to finish, Hamilton was under heavy pressure from Kimi Räikkönen from Ferrari. The Finn was able to come very close to McLaren rooky, but not to overtake him finishing second.

BMW Sauber driver Nick Heidfeld started second from the dirty side of the track allowing Kimi to pass him easily enough. German driver made a clear race upon the near finish where he was under heavy pressure from Alonso, but remained in his third place while Alonso himself jumped to the fourth from the 6th starting place. This became the second podium finish for Nick on Hungarian Grand Prix since 2006.

Unlucky race for Felipe Massa, Kimi’s teammate, who suffered a problems earlier in qualification not fully able to compete in the race also (13th place).

Second BMW driver, Poland Robert Kubica finished fifth ahead of Ralf Schumacher from Toyota, Nico Rosberg from Williams-Toyota and Heikki Kovalainen from Renault teams with Heikki closing top eight.



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August 4, 2007

McLaren Mercedes drivers snatch the front row for 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix

McLaren Mercedes drivers snatch the front row for 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Saturday, August 4, 2007

Hungaroring

McLaren Mercedes drivers Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton will start from top of FIA Formula-1 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix race tomorrow at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary.

Exactly as it was in the Monaco Grand Prix earlier this year Alonso stayed in the shadow of his young companion, but at the end of the third he made a successful flying lap on a fresh tyres and won the pole for tomorrow beating Hamilton only by 0.107 of a second.

There was some controversy over this achievement, as Hamilton was unable to start his final lap when Alonso, for unclear reasons, remained standing still at the pit for several seconds after his pit stop finished, with Hamilton forced to wait behind him.

Nick Heidfeld from BMW Sauber surprised the spectators by beating Kimi Räikkönen, the Ferrari driver.

Ferrari itself got poor results – Felipe Massa suffered a car problem, his engine stalled at the far end of the pit-lane, he was unable to compete in the final qualifying session and will start only 14th.

The weekend started reminiscent of the espionage allegation scandal between McLaren and Ferrari teams, when Alonso was freed up from the FIA’s official press conference.

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May 2, 2007

Tomb of former Hungarian communist leader vandalised

Tomb of former Hungarian communist leader vandalised

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Wednesday, May 2, 2007

The tomb of former general secretary of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party, János Kádár, located in Budapest, Hungary in the Kerepesi Cemetery, was vandalised on Wednesday night.

Vandals accessed Kádár’s casket by cutting a 40 cm hole into it and then removed some of his remains, police have confirmed. Reports say the urn containing his wife’s ashes was also stolen. In addition, the vandals wrote “murderer and traitor may not rest in holy ground” on a memorial to communist leaders near Kádár’s tomb.

“Not all the grave site was dug up. Experts are going to open the casket but as far as we can tell through the hole that has been cut into the coffin there are bones missing,” said Endre Kormos, a spokesman for the Budapest Police Department. The damaged coffin has been removed by authorities for further athropological investigations. Police also said a plate of marble that was covering his grave was also stolen.

Kádár was a controversial and important figure of the 20th-century Hungarian history. He was the leader of the country in the period of Goulash Communism, when Hungary had one of the most liberal systems in the Eastern Bloc, however, he also assisted the Soviet troops in crushing the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, and is held responsible for the jailing and execution of revolutionists, including Imre Nagy and other members of the government.

The Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany, the center-right opposition party Fidesz and other political parties condemned the act, the Russian Pravda reports.

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