Europe

There’s CO2 Under Those Hills

“If  they go ahead and dig those wells, all my work will be destroyed, all my life, everything,” says Franca Tognarelli, looking at the hills and vineyards around her house in Certaldo, Val d’Elsa, in the heart of Tuscany.

Decline Before Fall of Berlin Wall

As the world marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the famous Berlin Wall leading to the reunification of the country and the end of the cold war, a little noted event occurred nearly two decades before the fall that ushered in a trend having profound consequences for the future of Germany as well as for Europe:  German births declined below deaths.

The Invisible Reality of Spain’s Homeless

“It’s easy to end up on the street. It’s not because you led a bad life; you lose your job and you can’t afford to pay rent,” says David Cerezo while he waits for lunch to be served by a humanitarian organisation in this city in southern Spain.

Resolving Key Nuclear Issue Turns on Iran-Russia Deal

U.S. and Iranian negotiators are working on a compromise approach to the issue of Iran’s uranium enrichment capabilities, which the Barack Obama administration has said in the past Iran was refusing to make concessions on.

OPINION: Where Governments Fail, It’s Up to the People to Rise

Pomerania in northern Poland is famous for its unpolluted environment, fertile soils and historic heritage. So far, these valuable farmlands have been free from heavy industry but that situation might change as a shadow looms over the lives of Pomeranians.

How Long Before Another Soma Mine Disaster?

Six days a week, Tahir Cetin spends seven and a half hours hundreds of feet underground on a narrow ledge, mining coal near Soma, Turkey. He breathes in dust that is destroying his lungs, and digs into walls that could collapse on top of him. With one false step, he could fall to his death.

Kazakhstan’s Nazarbayev Signals U-Turn on Alternative Energy

From small villages to big cities, wherever you go in Kazakhstan these days, billboards offer reminders that Astana is gearing up to host Expo 2017, the next World’s Fair. Kazakhstan helped secure the right to host the event with a pledge to emphasise green energy alternatives. But now it appears that Kazakhstan is red-lighting its own green transition.

Central Asia Hurting as Russia’s Ruble Sinks

Pensioner Jyparkul Karaseyitova says she cannot afford meat anymore. At her local bazaar in Kyrgyzstan’s capital, Bishkek, the price for beef has jumped nine percent in the last six weeks. And she is not alone feeling the pain of rising inflation.

OPINION: Europe is Positioning Itself Outside the International Race

The new European Commission looks more like an experiment in balancing opposite forces than an institution that is run by some kind of governance. It will probably end up being paralysed by internal conflicts, which is the last thing it needs.

U.S. Airdrops to Kobani Kurds Mark New Stage in ISIL Conflict

The U.S. air drop Sunday of new weapons and supplies to Kurdish fighters in the besieged border town of Kobani marks an important escalation in Washington’s efforts to “degrade and destroy” the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Kyrgyzstan Looks to Alternative Fuels Ahead of Looming Winter Shortages

Each winter in Kyrgyzstan the energy situation seems to worsen; blackouts last longer, and officials seem less able to do anything to improve conditions. This year is expected to be particularly difficult.

Reducing Hunger: More Than Just Access to Food

“We want healthy food, we want to produce according to our traditions,” farmers and activists demanded during an international forum of experts on agriculture and the environment in this southern Italian city.

Karabakh Question Clouds Armenia’s Eurasian Union Accession

Armenia has finalised its accession to the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union, an intended regional counterweight to the European Union. But while Armenian and Russian officials focus on future prosperity, some Armenian observers believe membership in the bloc could exacerbate Armenia’s security challenges.

ANALYSIS: Europe’s Migrant Graveyard

Since the end of the Cold War, the Mediterranean has become the most lethal of Europe’s barriers against irregular migration, having claimed nearly 20,000 migrant lives in the last two decades.  

Marine Litter: Plunging Deep, Spreading Wide

Imagine a black-footed albatross feeding its chick plastic pellets, a baby seal in the North Pole helplessly struggling with an open-ended plastic bag wrapped tight around its neck, or a fishing vessel stranded mid-sea, a length of discarded nylon net entangled in its propeller. Multiply these scenarios a thousand-fold, and you get a glimpse of the state of the world’s oceans.

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