Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Year in Review

World Wide Woodard turns one year old tomorrow, so I thought I'd offer a round-up of updates to some of the stories I've covered.

In Iceland -- from which I made my first post -- the financial collapse hasn't stopped the country's ongoing effort to stop using fossil fuels altogether. The country just added ten hydrogen fuel cell cars to their test fleet.

The central figure in the corruption scandal I reported on in the Turks & Caicos apparently hasn't lost his penchant for the high life. According to BET, disgraced Prime Minister Michael Misick tried to crash Beyonce's birthday party in the Dominican Republic but, as he is no longer married to celebrity Lisa Raye, he was turned away as being a nobody.

I reported on the rise of a far right party in Hungary, Jobbik, with an animus against alleged Gypsy criminals. As the party's popularity grew, someone was busy assassinating gypsies in a series of death squad style executions. Some suspected Jobbik, Jobbik suspected the government. This summer I thought we'd get some answers after several men were arrested and charged with the murders, but my former colleagues in Budapest tell me there's been little new information released about them. Does anyone else think that's strange?

Here in Maine, the major media have continued not to ask troubling questions about the Maine State Pier debacle, in which city officials appear to have engineered a sweetheart deal for a politically-connected real estate firm so as to "fix" a public asset that actually didn't need fixing. Meanwhile, the Portland Press-Herald's toughest reporting to date on the ill-conceived Ocean Gateway Terminal was written in verse. (I'm not making this up.)

Looking forward, I'm headed back to the Czech Republic and Austria this month, so expect fresh material from there soon. And there's this book I'm working on......

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