Four years ago, Moldova’s Muslims, a tiny minority in this overwhelmingly Orthodox Christian country of 3.56 million, won the legal right to organize. But now, following the arrests of suspected collaborators with Islamic State, they face another daunting challenge – fighting the stereotype that Moldovan Muslims are terrorists.
Among the sponsors of the Azerbaijan-hosted European Games, one is not like the others – the United Nations’ Children Fund, or UNICEF. The financial particulars surrounding UNICEF’s sponsorship are murky while the ostensible benefits it is providing in connection with the games are vague.
First came the biblical flood that swamped the Tbilisi zoo, setting wild animals free to roam the streets of the Georgian capital. Now, three days after the inundation, a fatal tiger attack threatens to set off a political tempest.
The drying out of California is helping to highlight that efficient management of water resources is an increasingly important global issue. Central Asia is among the regions that are vulnerable to what experts call “high water stress,” but in the face of rising danger, regional authorities seem stuck in mud.
President Vladimir Putin of Russia and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey are not the most popular leaders in the world today, but they are certainly popular with each other. Their mutual affinity is not just the result of personal chemistry, it also stems from a shared craving for unchecked power.
That corporate sponsorship and international sporting events go hand-in-hand is nothing new. But the extent to which many sponsors of the June 12-28 European Games have connections to the host nation, Azerbaijan, and specifically to friends and relatives of President Ilham Aliyev, is noteworthy.
I recently had the opportunity to spend an extended amount of time in Ukraine, speaking to members of the country’s political and intellectual elite. The most striking impression I came away with was the near-universal disappointment of my interlocutors in the performance of President Petro Poroshenko and his administration.
The results of Turkey’s June 7 parliamentary elections denied a majority to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party. It also diversified parliament’s demographic mix: the election of three ethnic Armenian deputies is being heralded as an important breakthrough for the country and its fraught relations with its Armenian minority.