Focus

Budapest explosion takes a strange turn

Budapest explosion takes a strange turn

The narrative surrounding the explosion that seriously injured two police officers in Central Budapest on Saturday night, exactly one week before the country’s anti-migrant referendum, is beginning to take a rather strange turn. It was odd enough that Hungarian authorities said nothing formally about the attack and no press conference was held until 20 hours after the incident, leaving the […]

by · September 26, 2016 · Focus
Hungary's national police chief, Károly Papp, speaks to reporters at a news conference Sunday evening, following the Saturday night explosion in Budapest. Photo: Screen shot from M1 live broadcast.

Attacker targeted Budapest police in bombing — Manhunt underway in Hungarian capital

There is “no doubt” in the mind of Hungary’s national police chief, Károly Papp, that police officers were the explicit targets of the explosion that occurred Saturday night just after 10:30 PM and which severely injured two officers on patrol near the corner of Teréz Körút and Király utca. Police Chief Papp held a news conference in Budapest early Sunday […]

by · September 25, 2016 · Focus
Teréz Körút closed off on Sunday morning, with investigators looking for clues following the explosion Saturday night. Photo: Péter Lakatos/MTI.

Mysterious explosion in Budapest seriously injures two

A bomb went off late Saturday night in central Budapest, seriously injuring two police officers. Preliminary information suggests that an explosive device was detonated in a store located on Teréz Körút and the nails found in the area indicate that it may have been a nail bomb. The two officers were patrolling the area when the bomb went off, shortly […]

by · September 25, 2016 · Focus
Minister of Foreign Affairs Péter Szijjártó, standing in front of the banner of the Hungarian National Trading House.

Controversial Hungarian National Trading House to open office in Canada

The Hungarian National Trading House, affiliated with Hungary’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, has been amassing significant financial losses and is mired in corruption allegations, yet it is now expanding to Canada. The MNKH Hungarian National Trading House Cls. published public procurement and bidding documentation online for parties interested in the “creation, operation and management of a Trading House […]

by · September 19, 2016 · Focus
The statue and tomb of  Ottoman poet Gül Baba in Budapest. The tomb was constructed between 1543 and 1548.

Hungarian Islamophobia and the anti-migrant referendum: A review of an essay by Zoltan Pall and Omar Sayfo

This week, the Bratislava-based Visegrad Revue published an essay entitled “Why an anti-Islam campaign has taken root in Hungary, a country with few Muslims,” co-authored by Zoltan Pall, a research fellow in the Middle East Institute at the National University of Singapore, and Omar Sayfo, contributor to the pro-Orbán Demokrata weekly magazine, who defended his PhD at the University of […]

by · September 18, 2016 · Focus
Constitution Protection Office headquarters in Budapest.

How Hungary’s intelligence agency tried to intimidate a journalist into becoming an informant

A Hungarian journalist, known only as “G,” was heading to work in December 2015. As he approached the offices of his media firm, two men suddenly came up to him and flashed identifications indicating that they were agents of the Constitution Protection Office (Alkotmányvédelmi Hivatal – AH). The internal intelligence agency, which bears an uncomfortable resemblance in name (and apparently […]

by · September 7, 2016 · Focus
Káosz / Chaos. Source: Pieris.hu -- Hungarian Interactive Portal of Contemporary Art / Artist: "sin of god"

Bell Canada — The collapse of Sympatico email and how corporate irresponsibility left Canadians in the lurch

Thousands of Canadians have found themselves suddenly without email access, isolated from family and friends, and their small businesses or freelance careers in peril–thanks to an astounding level of irresponsibility by Bell Canada. I am one of many Canadians impacted by the apparent collapse of Bell Canada’s webmail program, the dearth of candid updates from the Canadian telecommunications giant and […]

by · August 26, 2016 · Focus
Mária Schmidt (left) with Desmond Child (right) at the Budapest House of Terror.  Photo: MTI.

Hungary’s recycled Desmond Child song an embarrassing start to 1956 anniversary

American songwriter Desmond Child’s piece Steps of Champions should have been a major media coup for Hungary’s Orbán government. After all, Desmond Child–an American-Hungarian dual citizen who had worked with music legends such as Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Cher, Bonnie Tyler, Ricky Martin and Kiss–had been successfully enlisted by Hungary’s government to write the official anthem of the sixtieth anniversary commemorations […]

by · August 20, 2016 · Focus
János Zuschlag: From Party Headquarters to Prison.

A review of János Zuschlag’s book From Party Headquarters to Prison (Part 1)

János Zuschlag was only 21 years old when he became a Member of Parliament for the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) in 1998 and the country’s youngest MP. Nine years later, he was charged with fraud and received an eight year prison sentence. He spent six years behind bars, before being released in 2013. In the middle of the 2014 national […]

by · August 18, 2016 · Focus
Budapest's Living Memorial in Freedom Square. Photo: Christopher Adam

Budapest Living Memorial – An interview with Eszter Garai-Édler and Balázs Horváth

As a continuation of the presentation of the work of the Living Memorial group in Budapest, Eszter Garai-Édler and Balázs Horváth provide insight behind more than two years of activism and almost four hundred public forum sessions. The interview was conducted by Katalin Szlukovényi. * K.S.: What were your personal motives for joining the Living Memorial? Eszter: I got involved […]

by · August 15, 2016 · Focus