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Flesh of a Tiger

Flesh of a Tiger

It is relatively common for animals that rank high on the list of the world’s most protected species to change hands in Central Europe. Illegal wildlife trade has become one of the most profitable branches of organized crime. Where is the red line that divides the world of big cats’ enthusiasts and those involved in...

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Online Crooks: Catch Us If You Can

Online Crooks: Catch Us If You Can

Ladislav Vydra is a pensioner from Prague. After an eye surgery, his retina fell apart and he all but lost his eyesight. Doctors gave him no prospects for improvement. Andrzej, a man from Poland, has his hearing impaired but does not want to use hearing aid yet. Both of them trusted ads for miraculous products,...

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Lex Babiš. What is the Czech Prime Minister´s Interest in EU Subsidies

Lex Babiš. What is the Czech Prime Minister´s Interest in EU Subsidies

“She’s a little deranged. She doesn’t understand how subsidies work at all,” Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said of MEP Monika Hohlmeier following the European Parliament’s Budgetary Control Committee’s early March fact-finding mission to the Czech Republic. Led by Hohlmeier, the objective of the mission was to gain insights into the distribution of EU funds...

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Subsidised and defrauded. Visegrad EU funds under the eye of OLAF

Subsidised and defrauded. Visegrad EU funds under the eye of OLAF

For over twenty years, the European Anti-Fraud Office (commonly known as OLAF, from the French: Office européen de lutte antifraude) has been protecting the EU’s financial interests, investigating fraud, corruption, and serious misconduct within the Union’s budget and institutions. The office has also developed an anti-fraud policy for the European Commission.  But while OLAF looks...

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Coronavirus: Enough with Democracy

Coronavirus: Enough with Democracy

“Over the past weeks, several EU governments took emergency measures to address the health crisis caused by the outbreak of the coronavirus. We are living in extraordinary times, and governments, in principle, need to have the necessary tools to act rapidly and effectively to protect the public health of our citizens,” European Commission President Ursula...

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Big Brother in Times of Plague

Big Brother in Times of Plague

To effectively fight the coronavirus pandemic, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland are introducing various smartphone apps that promise to increase the safety of citizens and eventually loosen lockdown measures. But in practice, enforcing this kind of digital leash raises many privacy and data security concerns. A project that purports to be a “way to quickly...