Author: Rushdi al-Pashia

Brussels (12/03 – 55.56) Mary Lawlor, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, said that the dissolution of human rights NGOs signals a deteriorating environment for civil society and human rights defence in Tajikistan. She reiterated that Tajikistan must reconsider its attitudes towards civil society and view human rights defenders as allies instead of enemies. Earlier in November 2023, Tajikistan Minister of Justice announced that 700 NGOs in the country had been liquidated over an 18-month period. “Human rights defenders working on so-called sensitive issues, including freedom from torture, the right to housing and compensation for requisitioned land, minority rights, freedom of belief and good governance, political rights, and…

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Berlin (2/3 – 62.50). Lt. Gen. Alfons Mais says the €100 billion committed by the government last year is insufficient. Meanwhile, an association representing soldiers says the Bundeswehr turnaround needs to speed up. Germany would have to spend more money on its armed forces if it wants it fully equipped, army chief Lieutenant General Alfons Mais said on Sunday. He told the German news agency, dpa, the €100 billion ($107 billion) to speed up the modernization of the armed forces promised by Chancellor Olaf Scholz after Russia invaded Ukraine was not enough. Mais, caused a stir last year when he criticized what he described…

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DUBAI, 10th February, 2024 (WAM) — Driven by its commitment to supporting creativity and innovation, and in conjunction with Innovation Month, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Library is organising ‘An Innovation Journey’ exhibition under the slogan “A World of Innovation A Journey Towards the Future”. Held until 29 February, the exhibition offers a unique opportunity to explore the world of books and creative ideas Dr Mohammed Salem AlMazrooei. Board Member of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Library Foundation, said: “The exhibition reflects our vision to support and promote a culture of innovation in society We seek to inspire visitors with…

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In the whirlwind of Sri Lankan politics, last week’s visit by Anura Kumara Dissanayake (AKD) to India carved a narrative that has both intrigued and polarised the political arena. This spectacle showcased the delicate art of political communication, underscoring the critical importance of reputation management and the nuanced dance of damage control in the face of adversity. For years, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), questioning authority and challenging the status quo, found itself in an unfamiliar position – defending rather than accusing. The controversial trip to India marked a turning point. Critics pounced, dissecting every word, every move, with relentless…

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Giant portraits of President Emomali Rahmon adorn even the most nondescript buildings in Tajikistan’s capital of Dushanbe. Throughout the country, his sayings are featured on posters and billboards. Their ubiquitous presence underscores the consolidation of power by Rahmon – officially described as “Founder of Peace and Unity, Leader of the Nation” – since he emerged victorious from the 1992-1997 Tajikistan civil war that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union. After three decades in power, he has established himself as an absolute ruler with no tolerance for dissent. Rahmon’s bid to centralize control includes efforts to silence political opponents, human rights activists, and independent…

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(Bloomberg) — Last month, Milorad Dodik, the Russia-backed leader of Bosnia’s Serb population, appeared on local television and announced his plans to become the first president of a Bosnian Serb breakaway state. The declaration, which stirred memories of the brutal ethnic cleansing that took place in the region nearly three decades ago, came just a month after the European Commission declined to recommend accession talks with Bosnia-Herzegovina. In a country considered Europe’s hottest flashpoint after Ukraine, the Commission’s decision was a gift to political actors such as Russia that are looking to provoke instability. Bosnia, a land of 3.3 million…

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KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine launched one of the biggest drone attacks on the Moscow-annexed Crimean Peninsula since the full-scale war that started with Russia’s invasion 21 months ago, Russian officials said Friday. They did not mention any casualties or damage. At the same time, Ukrainian officials reported that the Kremlin’s forces escalated their weekslong and costly attempt to storm Avdiivka, a strategically important city in eastern Ukraine. The stepped-up efforts came as both sides are keen to show they are not deadlocked as the fighting approaches 2024. Neither side has gained much ground despite a Ukrainian counteroffensive that began in June, and…

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DUBAI, Dec 13 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said on Wednesday that Riyadh supported the final COP28 deal as it leaves countries to decide for themselves on suitable pathways to transition to cleaner sources of energy. More than 100 countries had lobbied for strong language to “phase out” oil, gas and coal use, but faced opposition from the Saudi-led oil producer group OPEC, which argued that the world can slash emissions without shunning specific fuels. “What is there now, the issue of immediate and gradual disposal (of fossil fuels) has been buried,” Prince Abdulaziz said in an…

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Much like its ideological counterparts at HispanTV (Iranian-owned) and Actualidad RT (Russian-owned), Telesur wraps its incitement into a sophisticated and slick twenty-four-hour news platform through its website, broadcasts, and social media presence. Though it is difficult to gauge its influence, numbers suggest that Telesur’s message is impactful. Telesur has two million followers on its Spanish X account, 117,500 on its English X account, and more than half a million on Instagram. Its YouTube account has over 1.7 million subscribers, with 100,000 new subscribers and almost 7.4 million video views since October 7 (It also posts its videos on the Daily Motion). The network traditionally pushes out conspiracy theories, fake news, “whataboutism,”…

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Jakarta, Surakarta, Berlin (7/12 – 11) Amid a generally declining period for Germany’s national football team, the 2023 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Indonesia has been a shining light for them. Germany is one of the most successful national teams ever in international competition. They have won four World Cups (1954, 1974, 1990, 2014), three European Championships (1972, 1980, 1996), and a Confederations Cup (2017). Nevertheless, in recent years, Germany is suffering a horrid fate. In 2018, Germany suffered their first-ever first-round exit from the World Cup, since 1938. Germany became the fifth defending champions to be eliminated in the…

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