ireland

LONDON–Ireland has become the first country to legalize gay marriage through a popular vote, defying the Roman Catholic Church in a landslide referendum victory to change the constitution of the traditionally conservative nation.

As thousands celebrated Saturday afternoon on the grounds of Dublin Castle, official results were released showing a 62.1% “yes” vote for allowing same-sex couples to marry.

“I’m so proud to be Irish today,” Ireland’s Minister for Equality Aodhan O Riordain said on Twitter.

“We are making history but that is not what it is about,” said Maeve O’Sullivan, a 40-year-old North Dublin social worker and mother of two. “It’s about supporting people and being inclusive. It is accepting people on the most basic level, and I am over the moon.” Read more

cameron

LONDON–Bitish Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday announced a proposal to seize the wages of immigrants in the country illegally, treating the money as criminal proceeds, as part of a crackdown designed to reduce immigration to Britain.

“It has been too easy to work illegally and employ illegal workers here,” Cameron declared during a speech at the Home Office, which deals with visas and work permits. “So we’ll take a radical step: We’ll make illegal working a criminal offense in its own right.” Read more

Kate Middleton wearing pink walking for cameras

LONDON–It was a quiet Sunday outside the Lindo Wing entrance of St. Mary’s Hospital in London: The press pens were empty and there was no sign of royal watchers, ready to cheer on an impending royal birth. Read more

Betsie a black Labrador standing in back of car

LONDON–BETSIE, MY ADORED and spoiled black Labrador, has just come back from wintering in Serbia. A proper Londoner, she was born in Hampstead and spent the first nine months of her life traipsing around north London, learning to swim—avoiding those territorial swans and ducks—in the ponds on Hampstead Heath. But when my husband had to go back home to Serbia for several months, while his spousal visa to the U.K. was being processed, he refused, point blank, to leave without Betsie.

I was hesitant about taking her, because I knew that transporting pets in and out of the European Union could be stressful—though, luckily, the U.K. got rid of its archaic six-month quarantine laws in 2012. However, he was insistent, so we started looking into all the requirements for both getting her out of the U.K. and across the EU to a non-EU country, and then for getting her back to London. Read more

Kajmak on wooden plate

LONDON–DURING A RECENT stint living in central Serbia, I became obsessed with kajmak, which, if you can imagine, is like a lovechild between cream cheese and salty French butter. Made from the skimmed fat of cows’ milk and then mixed with salt, its consistency can vary from rather runny and milky (new) to more like clotted cream (old).

My mother-in-law and her sisters run some sort of kajmak mafia in their hometown of Kraljevo: There are frenzied meetings to discuss which of the sisters—or their one friend they also allow in on their operation—will make the kajmak pick-up, how much they will pay and how they will transport it (each sister seems to have a specific kajmak plastic container they use).

By the way, there is a huge debate in Serbia about whether the kajmak from Kraljevo or Čačak is the best.

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