· May, 2013

Stories about Western Europe from May, 2013

‘Hope, Service, Passion': Meet Laura Boldrini, Italy's Likable Leader in Parliament

  6 May 2013

Italy's most recent elections swept several non-career politicians into office. Among these new players on the Italian political scene is writer and human rights activist Laura Boldrini, whose popularity during her short time in office has skyrocketed thanks to a reputation for sincerity and compassion at a time when corruption is ever present in the country's politics.

Hostages and Ransom Payments: What is France's Policy?

  3 May 2013

Around three months after the French President François Hollande’s January 2013 decision to stop paying ransoms to hostage takers, the Moulin-Fournier family were finally released, to the immense relief of their family and friends. The exact circumstances behind their liberation have not been disclosed, leading many to wonder whether money was used to secure their release, and, if so, what this says about France's policy towards hostage takers.

“Women Can Change Afghanistan”: Interview with Noorjahan Akbar

  1 May 2013

Noorjahan Akbar, 22, is an Afghan women's rights activist and a prolific blogger. She believes that there has been a lot of positive change for women's rights in Afghanistan over the last decade. She also believes that social media serve as an important avenue for Afghan women to highlight their plight.