Russia postpones the construction of new roads due to lack of money
Tue, 01/24/2023 - 13:30
The Russian parliament has postponed the construction of some key roads in the country due to a lack of money, reported Kommersant on Monday (23 January).
After reviewing the "Highway Operations Plan for 2023-2027", Kommersant found that a number of key road construction projects have been postponed, some to as late as 2027. Many road-building projects that were supposed to commence construction in the coming years have now only had money allocated for their design and planning.
Five people killed in mass shooting in Sagarejo, Georgia
A retired military veteran has killed five people in the eastern Georgian town of Sagarejo before committing suicide, the country's interior ministry announced on Friday morning (20 January).
The offender, according to the Georgian interior ministry, had served in the Georgian Defence Forces between 2006 and 2021, including in the NATO-led peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan. Among the dead is 38-year-old Otar Gvinashvili, a police officer who sustained fatal injuries while trying to protect another person during the shooting. Five other people were wounded.
Vakhtang Gomelauri, the Georgian Interior Minister who arrived at the scene early on Friday, said the offender had been with his adult child who escaped the flat following the incident. The 49-year-old offender is believed to have killed himself as security forces entered his flat.
Neighbours told local media the shooter had rented his flat and was reportedly undergoing treatment for psychological problems. There is currently no known motive for the mass shooting.
Fri, 01/20/2023 - 10:17
German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht resigns
Mon, 01/16/2023 - 11:51
The German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht has resigned after months of criticism over her handling of the German response to Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
In a resignation statement, Ms Lambrecht said: "Months of media focus on me doesn't allow for fact-based reporting and discussion about soldiers, the army and security policy in the interest of German citizens [...] The valuable work of the soldiers and many motivated people in the defence area needs to be in the foreground."
Kazakhstan to withdraw from currency agreement with Russia
Tue, 01/10/2023 - 13:56
The government of Kazakhstan has announced that it intends to withdraw from a 1995 agreement on measures to ensure the mutual convertiblity and stabilisation of exchange rates of the Russian ruble and Kazakh tenge.
Repression and executions continue in Iran as regime struggles to contain protests
Iran's clerical dictatorship has unleashed another wave of repression and executions in an effort to contain protests that continue unabbetted across the country. Four men, including two on Saturday, have been executed for killing and wounding security force members in connection with the protests.
Twenty-six further prisoners are currently awaiting execution. They were sentenced to death in show trials meant to intimidate the population and put an end to the protests. At least 11 people have been sentenced to death, and another 15 have been accused of crimes that are punishable by death in Iran — including waging "war against God".
Writer and illustrator Mehdi Bahman is among them. He was sentenced to death by a court in Tehran after giving an interview with Israeli media.
Iran’s judiciary announced on Sunday four people had been jailed for up to 10 years for calling for strikes in support of ongoing nationwide protests against the regime.
It is the first time the judiciary has announced prison sentences for such an act during demonstrations triggered by the death of Mahsa Amini at the hands of the morality police in September. Activists used social media early last month to call for a three-day nationwide strike in support of the protesters.
Mon, 01/09/2023 - 08:17
Houthis in Yemen abduct social media influencers in a crackdown on dissent
Stories continue to emerge of ongoing gross abuses by the Yemeni Houthi movement against Yemeni civil society activists in the capital Sanaa, and in other areas under their control.
This week, three well-known Yemeni YouTubers have been kidnapped by Houthis in Sanaa, as the militia steps up its crackdown on online influencers who expose its leaders’ flaws, according to the newspaper Arab News, published on Wednesday,(4 January).
Activists reported that Houthis abducted Mustafa Al-Mumari, Hamoud Al-Mesbahi, and Ahmed Elaw for posting videos on social media which support prominent YouTuber Ahmed Hajar, who was seized from a Sanaa street more than 10 days ago.
The social media posts also criticized widespread corruption and the failure to address famine.
Al-Mumari is a popular social media personality in Yemen with more than 2 million YouTube subscribers and tens of thousands of Facebook fans. The Houthi's, a militant group supported by Iran, seized control of the Yemeni capital Sanaa, and large swaths of the country's territory in 2014 and unseated the legitimate government, resulting in a civil war that neither side appears able to win.
Wed, 01/04/2023 - 06:03
Lula is back
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was sworn in as Brazil's president on Sunday, delivering a searing indictment of far-right former leader Jair Bolsonaro and vowing a drastic change of course to rescue a nation plagued by hunger, poverty and racism.
In a speech to Congress after officially taking the reins of Latin America's biggest country, the leftist said democracy was the true winner of the October presidential vote, when he ousted Bolsonaro in the most fraught election for a generation.
Bolsonaro, who left Brazil for the United States on Friday after refusing to concede defeat, rattled the cages of Brazil's young democracy with baseless claims of electoral weaknesses that birthed a violent movement of election deniers.
Mon, 01/02/2023 - 06:14
Kazakhstan looks back at a difficult 2022, determined to pursue change and reform in 2023
For the Central Asian republic of Kazakhstan, this year has probably been the most difficult one since its independence in 1991. Yet the country has emerged from it stronger. The process of reform initiated by President Kassym Jomart Tokayev appears to be gathering momentum, despite resistance from parts of the ruling elite still associated with the country’s first president Nursultan Nazarbayev.
On Thursday, 29 December, Tokayev addressed the Kazakh Senate in the capital, Astana, where he summed up the year’s results.
“This year, the country has been through a lot, but we managed to overcome all difficulties,” said the President. Tokayev paid particular attention to preserving stability and security, and paving the way for the dynamic development of the state is a priority for Kazakhstan. The reforms in all spheres will be continued into the following year. In early January Kazakhstan faced an unprecedented upheaval, initially triggered by price rises, but which soon got hijacked by elements close to the previous president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, who were unhappy with the reforms being implemented, and most of all with the clampdown on corruption which had started to affect them. At this point Nazarbayev still held control over several leverages of power, including as Head of the Security Council and as President of the ruling party. The disturbances were contained but at considerable human and material costs.
Fri, 12/30/2022 - 07:07
UN Security Council denounces Taliban restrictions on women in Afghanistan
The UN Security Council on Tuesday called for the full, equal and meaningful participation of women and girls in Afghanistan, denouncing a ban by the Taliban-led administration on women attending universities or working for humanitarian aid groups.
In the latest blow to women’s rights in Afghanistan since the Taliban reclaimed power last year, on Saturday the hard-line Islamist rulers banned women from working in non-governmental organizations, sparking international outcry.
The Taliban have already suspended university education for women and secondary schooling for girls.
The 15-member UN Security Council said in a statement agreed by consensus it was “deeply alarmed” by the increasing restrictions on women’s education, calling for “the full, equal, and meaningful participation of women and girls in Afghanistan.
It urged the Taliban “to reopen schools and swiftly reverse these policies and practices, which represents an increasing erosion for the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
In its statement, the Council also condemned the ban on women working for NGOs, adding to warnings of the detrimental impact on aid operations in a country where millions rely on them.
Wed, 12/28/2022 - 09:43