Azerbaijan in recent months has launched a clear assault against various civil society activists and non-governmental organisations. While rough treatment of critics is nothing new in this energy-rich South-Caucasus country, one question remains unanswered: Why pick up the pace now?
Little Samir covers his face with his hands as he plays under the orange tree in the centre of the inner courtyard of the Spanish Refugee Aid Commission (CEAR) centre in the southern city of Malaga. He is four years old and has spent nearly a year in Spain, where he arrived with his parents, fleeing the war in Syria.
Newly publicised internal documents suggest that U.S. negotiators are working to permanently block a landmark regulatory proposal in the European Union aimed at addressing climate change, and instead to force European countries to import particularly dirty forms of oil.
When the United Nations began negotiating a Code of Conduct for Transnational Corporations (TNCs) back in the 1970s, the proposal never got off the ground because of vigourous opposition both from the powerful business community and its Western allies.
An inflow of Russian-made weapons. Political and military support from Iran and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. Sharp dissension among fractious rebel groups. And the unyielding loyalty of the armed forces.
The start of Greece’s six-month presidency of the EU was marked by a ceremony Wednesday in the Greek capital attended by the EU commissioners. But protests were banned and there was no in-depth talk about the raging controversy over the bloc’s handling of the Greek debt crisis and the renewed concerns about the vitality of the Eurozone.
Europe is getting a surprise bashing in Armenia over a law on gender equality that many Armenians claim is designed to “promote” homosexuality as a “European value.”
Nearly 350 international civil society organisations are urging countries taking part in new negotiations towards an agreement on “trade in services” to abandon the effort, warning that the accord would negatively impact on universal access to and national regulation of public services.
At a cabinet meeting in mid-July, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev lashed out at the European Parliament for supposedly conducting a “dirty campaign” against Baku. The shrill tone of Aliyev’s comments indicates that European pressure on Azerbaijan to respect basic rights is stinging the Aliyev administration.
“No fighting, please. Everybody will get their fish. Give us time to empty the crates and weigh today’s catch,” Patrick Guiliano Marie, leader of the St. Pierre Fish Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society, shouts at the crowd jostling impatiently at the fish landing station in Grand Gaube, a fishing village in northern Mauritius.