Happy birthday, my love! Wish I was there with you!
For most of the last twelve years I have been a subscriber to the daily digest of news from Eastern Europe provided by Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty from Prague, and before that by the Open Media Research Institute in Munich. While its political leanings (pro-US and NATO, often euro-sceptic) were often visible in its reporting, it never missed a big story or even a medium-sized one in the course of breaking, and was certainly a more reliable tracker of events than any of the mainstream English language media. They cut back much of their Eastern Europe reporting after the EU enlargement of 2004, and last night came a message from Jeff Gedmin, who was head-hunted to run RFE/RL a couple of years back, to say that due to the weakness of the dollar they will no longer produce the daily newsline. It's a shame; I can get pretty much the same information by setting up the relevant Google news alerts (and indeed have done so) but it was nice to have RFE/RL as a backstop reference point. At least the archives will remain on-line.