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Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl's Curtsy To Vladimir Putin Draws Criticism

Vladimir Putin (by Kremlin.ru [CC BY 3.0 ] via Wikimedia Commons ) Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl's curtsy to Russian President Vladimir Putin has drawn criticism from Austrian politicians and international media. On Saturday, August 18, Putin attended Kneissl's wedding in the state of Styria, in southeastern Austria. Among the guests were Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz of the conservative Austrian People’s Party, and vice chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache of the far-right Freedom party (FPÖ). Karin Kneissl  is a former journalist. On December 18, 2017, she was sworn in as Austria's Minister of Foreign and European Affairs and Integration. She is an independent, but she was recommended for the role by the Freedom Party. At the wedding Vladimir Putin gave a short speech congratulating Kneissl and her husband, businessman Wolfgang Meilinger. Kneissl danced with Putin and at the end of the dance she gave the Russian leader a curtsy. Foota

Austrian EU Lawmaker Apologizes For Racist Facebook Post Calling For A Complete Ban On Immigration From Africa

European Parliament (photo by David Iliff. CC-BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons) Austrian EU lawmaker Claudia Schmidt has apologized for publishing a racist Facebook post  claiming that "African and Muslim culture" are incompatible with European culture, and calling for a complete ban on African immigrants. Schmidt is a member of the ruling Austrian People's Party (Österreichische Volkspartei; ÖVP) and a lawmaker in the European Union parliament.  In the controversial post, which has now been deleted, Schmidt wrote : "One can read it daily in the press, and I have experienced it myself in refugee camps and while monitoring elections. Neither African nor Muslim culture are compatible with our culture." Schmidt argued that "Africans" and "Muslims" cannot be integrated into European societies and their immigration must be stopped altogether. "I view arbitrary mass migration from places that have alien cultures (kulturfremden