TURKEY — On July 15, reports exploded across the world’s media that there had been a military coup against the regime of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (pronounced Erdon) in Turkey. The reaction across the European Union, which Turkey is negotiating to join, was shock and intrigue. Erdogan, who first came to power in 2003 (as prime Minister until 2014, and President since then) is regarded in Europe as a divisive, authoritarian figure with Islamic fundamentalist leanings. Since Erdogan’s ascendancy, Turkey has slowly been transformed from the secular, progressive Islamic vision of Kemal Ataturk into an increasingly religious and conservative state. Such a change has resulted in an increasing amount of pressure on Turkish Pagans for years.
The case against musician Kenny Klein, who is accused of having child pornography on his computer, has been dragging on in New Orleans since March, 2014. One snag, which may hold up the wheels of justice, is the fact that Klein is now suing his ex-wife Tzipora Katz, for defamation of character. The basis of Klein’s complaint is a 1997 consent order in the pair’s custody case, under which Katz “agrees she will not discuss any issues relating to any allegations of sexual abuse by Kenneth Klein with any parties other than her immediate family and mental health professionals who are treating members of her immediate family.” In return, Klein withdrew his “application for custody and visitation” of their child. That order had no listed expiration date.
EASTERN EUROPE — The Balkan region of Eastern Europe is suffering under the pressure of extreme floodwaters unlike anything they have seen in recent decades. Serbia and Bosnia have been the hardest hit as waters from the River Sava and River Danube swell well beyond their banks. The area has been declared a disaster zone with rising casualties and “tens of thousands” homeless. Now that storm waters have now crested and damage is being assessed, the Pagan Federation International (PFI) divisions in both Croatia and Serbia have stepped in to help their countries recover. Similar to the response by the Pagan Federation International Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan, PFI Croatia and Serbia have both mobilized to provide disaster relief within their own communities.