Putin inaugurated as president amid protests

Vladimir Putin was inaugurated as President of Russia for the third time on Monday, as anti-Putin protesters took to the streets of Moscow. Riot police arrested anyone wearing white ribbons, a symbol of anti-Putin activists, as they raided nearby cafes and restaurants in search of protesters. On Sunday a large scale protest march, dubbed the "March of the Millions", ended in violence as riot police used tear gas and baton police to curtail protesters. Over 700 protesters have reportedly been detained so far, including several leaders of opposition parties.

Far-right Greek party defiant after electoral gains

The leader of the far-right Golden Dawn party, Nikolaos Michaloliakos, warned that the movement would spread across Europe after his party won 21 seats in the Greek parliament. Addressing reporters after the vote, who were forced to stand to welcome his presence, Michaloliakos shouted, "Greece is only the beginning." “Veni, Vidi, Vici,” [I came, I saw, I conquered] “The time for fear has come for those who betrayed this homeland,” “We are coming.” Michaloliakos pledged to fight against the "slavery" of the EU-IMF austerity programme. Sunday's election was the first time a far-right party won...

Chinese newspaper apologises after public outcry at anti-Chen editorial

The Chinese newspaper, The Beijing News, appeared to offer an apology for its editorial which criticised the US and the Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng, after widespread outcry by the Chinese public. In a move seen to be in line with pro-government newspapers, The Beijing News, launched an attack on Guangecheng in its editorial on Friday, along side the US ambassador Gary Locke, with whom the activist had sought sanctuary at the US embassy for six days. The editorial provoked widespread criticism from the Chinese public however, who accused the newspaper of simply toeing China's communist...

US must heal Native American wounds – UN

A United Nations human rights investigator has called on the US to do more to heal the wounds of Native Americans, caused by over a century of oppression. James Anaya, the UN special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, ended a 12 day visit to the United States on Friday, where he met with representatives of tribes in several states, including Arizona, South Dakota and Oklahama. "The sense of loss, alienation and indignity is pervasive throughout (Native American communities)," said Anaya. "It is evident that there have still not been adequate measures of reconciliation to overcome...

China expected to allow Chen to travel abroad – US

Chinese dissidents Chen Guangcheng is expected to be allowed to leave China, according to US officials. China earlier said in a statement released by its foreign ministry that Chen could apply to study abroad like other citizens. "Chen Guangcheng is currently being treated in hospital," a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, Liu Weimin, said on Friday. "If he wants to study abroad, he can apply through normal channels to the relevant departments in accordance with the law, just like any other Chinese citizen." Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, currently on a visit to Beijing, said there had...

UN Security Council imposes sanctions on North Korea

The United Nations has imposed sanctions on three North Korean companies following the country’s failed missile launch last month, after receiving approval from the Security Council’s sanctions committee. The failed launch in April violated UN restrictions on the country’s nuclear and missile activity and the response from the UN now bans three state owned companies, all involved in financing, exporting and procuring weapons, from engaging in global trade. The United States, European Union, South Korea and Japan initially pushed to have 40 North Korean companies blacklisted, but China...

Pressure increases on Ukraine over Euro 2012 boycott

The governments of Austria and The Netherlands announced that ministers would be boycotting the Euro 2012 football tournament, being co-hosted by Ukraine and Poland, due to Ukraine's treatment of the imprisoned former prime minister, Yuliya Tymoshenko. Austria said the decision was a "mark of solidarity" with Tymoshenko. Welcoming the decisions, Tymoshenko urged other European states to follow. Tymoshenko said, “European leaders can’t be seen to support this repression by standing next to President Yanukovych.” German Chancellor, Angela Merkel has already stated that she may refuse to attend...

Prosecutors demand 80-year sentence for Charles Taylor

Prosecutors have urged the Special Court for Sierra Leone to sentence former Liberian president Charles Taylor to 80 years imprisonment. In the Prosecution Sentencing Brief , the prosecution team said that the "extreme magnitude" of the crimes warranted the lengthy jail term. Last week , Taylor was found guilty on all 11 counts he was charged with, including murder and rape. The brief stated Taylor "was not a simple weapons procurer or financier". Instead, he "planned the bloodiest chapter in Sierra Leone's war - the Freetown invasion" and was instrumental in supporting the rebels in their...

Sudan pledges to comply with UN resolution

Sudan has pledged to end fighting with South Sudan and abide by the terms of a UN resolution passed yesterday. In a statement, Sudan said it “welcomes the U.N. Security Council resolution which was issued on Wednesday” and would "fully commit to what has been issued in the resolution about stopping hostilities with South Sudan according to the time limits issued". It added that it hoped the "other party will commit to stop the hostilities completely and withdraw its troops from the disputed areas so as not to put SAF [Sudanese Armed Forces] in a situation where it has to defend itself". The...

UN threatens sanctions on Sudans

The UN Security Council has passed a resolution threatening to impose sanctions on Sudan and South Sudan. The resolution, drafted by the US, called for the Sudans to resume talks on disputed issues within two weeks. Recent weeks have seen clashes in the disputed border region, with Sudan carrying out indiscriminate aerial bombing and South Sudan occupying the disputed Heglig. The resolution called for the implementation of an African Union road map, which aims to bring the neighbours back to the negotiation table. It calls for both countries to give a written commitment to halt fighting...

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