Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is scheduled to be arraigned July 10 in Federal Court on 30 criminal counts connected with the Boston Marathon bombings. For the man who helped the Tsarnaev family get resettled in the United States over a decade ago, the fact that 19-year-old Dzhokhar stands accused of carrying out such a heinous act is still difficult to believe.
Even as Istanbul residents celebrated the reopening of Gezi Park, the small green space in the center of this city that sparked anti-government protests throughout Turkey last month, another demolition and another demonstration were busy getting underway. This time, gardens inside Istanbul's old city walls that date back to the 6th century are the target.
Astana celebrated its 15th anniversary as Kazakhstan’s capital with a lavish bash designed to cement the legacy of President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
The country marked Astana Day as a national holiday on July 6, which is also Nazarbayev’s birthday (he turned 73 this year). There is heavy symbolism in celebrating the anniversary of Nazarbayev’s brainchild on the day he was born.
Uzbek leader Islam Karimov has taken cosmetic steps lately, such as voicing support for probing journalism, to try to put a more human face on his regime. But the true nature of the Uzbek government can be discerned in a treason case against a former military intelligence official.
Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili rose to power in 2012 on a pledge to depoliticize the powerful police force created by President Mikheil Saakashvili following the 2003 Rose Revolution. Yet while observers credit the government for putting an end to some alleged police abuses, concerns persist about the overall conduct of Georgia’s Interior Ministry.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron raised human rights concerns with his hosts during a two-day visit to Kazakhstan. But not even the most delicately phrased admonition seems likely to prompt President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s administration to alter its current political course.
The travails of Centerra, the operator of Kyrgyzstan’s Kumtor gold mine, are well-documented. But it is worth noting that it’s not just Western-run mining operations that are experiencing troubles in Kyrgyzstan: Chinese ventures also are dealing with their fair share of hassles.
While Turkey remains Azerbaijan’s chief strategic partner, officials in Baku are taking steps to upgrade relations with Pakistan. The diplomatic push is part of Baku’s plan to bolster its hand in its dealings over the future of Nagorno-Karabakh.