Juan Ignacio Vidarte, the director-general of the Guggenheim Bilbao, noted that cultural development can "improve the self esteem of a community" and that when developed in conjunction with local culture, "a new social asset is created." For many government planners over the past decade, that has been a compelling narrative...But Francesco Bandarin, assistant-director general for culture at UNESCO urged caution, noting that culture can also become a factor in conflict.

The classroom walls at the Hungarian-Chinese bilingual primary school here are decorated with Chinese calendars and banners. Chinese lanterns hang from the ceilings of the main entrance hall. There are stacks of new Chinese language books in the staff room, provided by the Chinese authorities, who also send two teachers a year, depending on the school’s needs.

September 21, 2010

The main danger for the EU today is not the fall in the euro exchange rate or the growing budget deficit of “problematic” member-states but the deepening internal split in the public opinion and the growing nationalist moods.

It is arguably modern Europe's flagship ideal: the freedom to move across borders and seek a better life elsewhere. But in the Europe of Nicolas Sarkozy, Silvio Berlusconi, and others, the privilege has its limits -- and its paradoxes. Effectively excluded, it seems, is the one group singly most identified with a nomadic and peripatetic existence: the continent's 10 million-strong Romany population.

European approval remains high at 78 percent, but that’s down from 83 percent last year — a reflection, the report suggests, of discontent with Washington’s resolve to continue the fight in Afghanistan...

Under mounting political pressure, some countries are now balking at the mega-price tags of lofty regional cooperation projects such as the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), home to the "Big Bang Machine" that sprawls for miles across this complex straddling the picturesque border of Switzerland and France.

Cheerleaders donned black leggings and white T-shirts for a world championship basketball match between Iran and the United States in Istanbul on Wednesday to respect cultural sensitivities...Patrick Baumann, secretary-general of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), said "special arrangements" had been made with the dancers' dress on Wednesday.

The game will take players through the hallways of European Parliament offices in Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxembourg. As is the tradition in such pastimes, players can use their avatars to do everything from choosing flowers and furniture to debating the effects of climate change.