FEATURED PHOTOS AND STORIES

Wednesday:  December 17, 2014

When Will Chile's Post Office's Re-open? 

(PHOTO: Workers set up camp at Santiago's Rio Mapocho/Mason Bryan, The Santiago Times)Chile nears 1 month without mail service as postal worker protests continue. This week local branches of the 5 unions representing Correos de Chile voted on whether to continue their strike into a 2nd month, rejecting the union's offer. For a week the workers have set up camp on the banks of Santiago's Río Mapocho displaying banners outlining their demands; framing the issue as a division of the rich & the poor. The strike’s main slogan? “Si tocan a uno, nos tocan a todos,” it reads - if it affects 1 of us, it affects all of us. (Read more at The Santiago Times)

WHO convenes emergency talks on MERS virus

 

(PHOTO: Saudi men walk to the King Fahad hospital in the city of Hofuf, east of the capital Riyadh on June 16, 2013/Fayez Nureldine)The World Health Organization announced Friday it had convened emergency talks on the enigmatic, deadly MERS virus, which is striking hardest in Saudi Arabia. The move comes amid concern about the potential impact of October's Islamic hajj pilgrimage, when millions of people from around the globe will head to & from Saudi Arabia.  WHO health security chief Keiji Fukuda said the MERS meeting would take place Tuesday as a telephone conference & he  told reporters it was a "proactive move".  The meeting could decide whether to label MERS an international health emergency, he added.  The first recorded MERS death was in June 2012 in Saudi Arabia & the number of infections has ticked up, with almost 20 per month in April, May & June taking it to 79.  (Read more at Xinhua)

LINKS TO OTHER STORIES

                                

Dreams and nightmares - Chinese leaders have come to realize the country should become a great paladin of the free market & democracy & embrace them strongly, just as the West is rejecting them because it's realizing they're backfiring. This is the "Chinese Dream" - working better than the American dream.  Or is it just too fanciful?  By Francesco Sisci

Baby step towards democracy in Myanmar  - While the sweeping wins Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy has projected in Sunday's by-elections haven't been confirmed, it is certain that the surging grassroots support on display has put Myanmar's military-backed ruling party on notice. By Brian McCartan

The South: Busy at the polls - South Korea's parliamentary polls will indicate how potent a national backlash is against President Lee Myung-bak's conservatism, perceived cronyism & pro-conglomerate policies, while offering insight into December's presidential vote. Desire for change in the macho milieu of politics in Seoul can be seen in a proliferation of female candidates.  By Aidan Foster-Carter  

Pakistan climbs 'wind' league - Pakistan is turning to wind power to help ease its desperate shortage of energy,& the country could soon be among the world's top 20 producers. Workers & farmers, their land taken for the turbine towers, may be the last to benefit.  By Zofeen Ebrahim

Turkey cuts Iran oil imports - Turkey is to slash its Iranian oil imports as it seeks exemptions from United States penalties linked to sanctions against Tehran. Less noticed, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in the Iranian capital last week, signed deals aimed at doubling trade between the two countries.  By Robert M. Cutler

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Entries in Tajikistan (13)

Tuesday
Dec272011

THE HUM - HEADLINES FROM THE GEOGRAPHIC GAP - 12/27/11

Armenia 

Armenia faces Vietnam at Women's Chess Championship round 8

(PHOTO: Azerbaijan protesters outside the French embassy in Baku; upset with France's policy towards Turkey regarding Armenia, AZERBAIJAN NEWS)Azerbaijan 

Protest action outside French embassy in Baku

Brazil 

Brazil pips UK as sixth-largest economy: CEBR

Burundi 

Burundi government taken before an East African court over graft

Canada 

Canada the global housing leader

In Redford’s Alberta, tailpipe emissions a bigger concern than oil sands pollution

Falkland Islands 

Uruguay says there's no 'diplomatic cataclysm’ with UK over Malvinas (Falkland Islands) developments

France 

The rift between Turkey and France: Is it Armenians or Syrians? (Perspective)

Georgia 

(PHOTO: The new Georgia-Turkey border crossing. Jessica Marati)New Georgia border crossing provides a whimsical welcome

Guinea-Bissau 

Guinea-Bissau soldiers in pay protest

India 

First India-UAE legal lecture series held

UK funds aid rural jobs creation in India

Urdu newspaper editors to attend two-day meet

Indonesia

Electricity sparks new life into Indonesia's corals

‘Perang topat’ reflects Islam-Hindu tolerance in West Lombok

(PHOTO: Jobs in India, INDIA TODAY)Iran 

Iranian naval maneuvers to start (Photo)

Ukraine firm to invest $1 bn in Iranian oil fields

Iran says electricity exports up by 24%

Persian epic poet "Ferdowsi" int'l confab in Iran

Iraq

Bombings in Syria and Iraq raise spectre of Sunni-Shia war (Perspective)

Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast rocked by ethnic violence

Kenya 

Security and Humanitarian Situations in East Africa Remain Tense 

Strangers united by the fears they share

‘Your event is a real gem in a sea of mediocrity’: Safari Rally, 2011

Famine early warning system gives Africa a chance to prepare (Perspective) 

Myanmar

Japanese FM Assures Aung San Suu Kyi Burmese Icon of Full Support

North Korea 

Eldest son of North Korea's late leader in Beijing under Chinese protection: source 

Pakistan 

(PHOTO: Pakistan's Imran Khan, WIKICOMMONS) The Growing Clout Pakistani Sports-Star Turned Politician Imran Khan

Pakistan coal reserves to provide electricity more than 30 years (Perspective)  

Philippines

Asia Pacific passenger traffic sustains growth

How big is Manny Pacquiao’s charitable heart? (Perspective)

Russia

Diplomatic Spat with Qatar fraught with serious fall-out

Russia, Iran Discuss Regional Conflicts, Bilateral Ties 

Russia has 25,000 undersea radioactive waste sites

Launch of Russian Proton-M carrier rocket postponed

Why Russia No Longer Emulates the U.S. (Perspective)

Rwanda

Kagame honoured for empowering the youth 

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Prince Pledges Help for Death Row Migrant Worker 

Saudi to allow foreign airlines to fly domestic routes

United States and Saudi Arabia: Working together to keep our countries healthy (Perspective)  

(PHOTO: Indonesia, the ‘bullet’ women carry the topat before cakes are distributed to residents. The Jakarta Post)Singapore

More Singaporeans using smartphones to shop online 

Somalia

Somalia: Hero dies while removing mines

Taking Schools Back From Militants 

South Africa

Biogas technology benefits S Africa's poor (Video)

South Korea

Seoul School Fuels Coffee Industry

South Korea badly needs Vietnamese workers

Spain

Spain opens pavilion in Dubai's Global Village 

(PHOTO: Taiwan Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network of East Asia planning director & Penghu Symbiotic Algae Association chairperson Allen Chen yesterday calls on 3 presidential candidates to protect ocean resources. Taipei Times) Sri Lanka

Pakistan-Sri Lanka expand bilateral ties

Swaziland

Processing Plant Threatens Water in Capital

Switzerland

Switzerland to Invest in Tajikistan’s Water Supply System

Syria

‘Syria trying to reveal secrets behind abduction of Iranian engineers’ 

Taiwan

Oceans around Taiwan threatened by overfishing

EPA asks Kuokuang to protect dolphins

India’s $35 tablet computer, Aakash to be displayed in Taipei

Taiwan to work to establish mobile commerce foundation next year

Targeting emerging markets is right strategy: official

Underprivileged students to get sponsorship for exchange program

Tajikistan

(PHOTO: A Tajikistan wedding. IWPR.ORG)Multiple Marriages in Tajikistan

Tanzania

Public must fight human trafficking (Perspective)

Why Voice Against Abuse of Women and Children in Zanzibar Remains High (Perspective)

Thailand

Met warns of more violent seas in South

Thailand coastal residents evacuated due to high waves on 7th anniversary of tsunami

Long-term flood plan chief concern for investors

Energy imports hit record

(PHOTO: The eastern coast of Thailand will likely face 3 to 4 more rounds of high & violent waves over the next few months, according to the Meteorological Department.THE NATION)Christmas in Bangkok, Thailand (Perspective)

Tonga

Strong earthquake strikes off Tonga, no damage reported

New Christian video library in the Tongan language (Press release)

Trinidad and Tobago 

Curing our sick Trinidad and Tobago (Perspective)

Tunisia 

Tunisia: New Cabinet Members Take Office

Tunisian Bloggers Meet at Douz International Sahara Festival

Tunisia: "Revolution" over, economy battered, tourism down 40 percent

Welcome 2012: Ringing in the New Year in Tunisia

(PHOTO: Youcef Baaloudj, an Algerian blogger & writer presenting his book on the Tunisian Revolution. TUNISIALIVE) Turkey 

Turkey’s infamous Article 301 could change

Snowfall, storms hit eastern Turkey / PHOTO

Turkey's draft law allowing foreign nationals to own property will be put to vote in the first days of 2012

Turkey becoming major hub for contemporary art

Turkmenistan

CIS to Send Observers to Turkmenistan Presidential Elections

Uganda 

Government urged to toughen on gay proponents

Over 2,300 fake nurses work in hospitals, products of illegal nursing schools

Man held over acid attack on top city pastor

Vision Group launches Uganda at 50 project

(PHOTO: Turkey's Art Scene. The 12th İstanbul Biennial was held from Sept. 17 through Nov. 13 at Antrepo No 3 & 5. TODAY’S ZAMAN)Ukraine 

Ukraine's foreign policy to rest on national pragmatism principle, says president

Ukraine: Taking to the Web to Raise Funds and Awareness

It is important for Ukraine to get next tranche of IMF loan (Perspective)

Ukraine introduces new classification of passenger trains

Ukraine starts delivering sparkling wine to China

United Arab Emirates

UAE launches online registration for Emirates ID cards

Steep fines for spitting gum, throwing cigarette butts in Abu Dhabi

Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Award for Medical Sciences makes headway in research in diabetes

'Social networking sites equally popular in Emirates'

Civilian nuclear power drives an international safety culture

Emergency rooms see too many outpatients-report

The UAE Prepares to Host Two Major International ICT Events

Print media will flourish for at least another decade (Perspective)

Sharjah musical festival attracts huge crowds

Lindsay Lohan in Dubai for New Year's Eve Party on board the QE2

Christmas cheer for retailers across UAE

United Kingdom 

Church of England and National Trust concerned about plans to cut solar panel subsidies

Foster families are needed warns charity

UK's Boxing Day bargain hunt (Video)

International karate champion faces jail after sending 5,000 texts to schoolgirl, 13 

United States

Swine flu recently confirmed in five states, CDC reports

US households struggle for a warm winter (Video)

Uruguay 

UTE, Uruguay’s state power company presents plan for domestic solar generation

Vanuatu 

Vanuatu offers more for travellers

Vietnam 

Great potential for tropical fruit, vegetable export in Vietnam

Vietnam to allow free market pricing of power, fuel:  finance ministry 

Wuhan Kaidi Electric Power Got USD300mn Contract in Vietnam 

Jubilant Christmas celebrated in Vietnam

Yemen

IOM urges donors to assist Ethiopian migrants in Yemen

Zambia

Former Minister of Energy Kenneth Konga summoned by the Zambia police

Corruption setback to Foreign investment -Report

Munali mine, run by China’s Jinchuan Group, in talks with potential investors

UN buys beans from local farmers

31 accidents recorded on Xmas eve countrywide

David Livingstone memorial set for March 2013

Zambians toast Christmas Day

Zimbabwe

Anhui Farm Project of China Helps Zimbabwe's Agriculture

Rapaport Group of Israel Boycotts Zimbabwe’s Marange Diamonds

Detained Air Zimbabwe plane returns home

“Most youths have embraced Indigenisation” (Perspective)

Thursday
Jul142011

(HEADLINES) Europe and Eurasia - July 14, 2011 

Finding the heart of AriegeAndorra

Worldhotels expands partnership with Spain-based Husa Hoteles

New Cathedral Village president stresses resident satisfaction

Finding the heart of Ariege, the best-kept secret in the forgotten south of France 

BalticMiles Teams Up With Tez Tour

Armenia

[OPINION] History of peace process disruptions: starring Armenia

AAA: US Administration's current policy on Genocide untenable

Armenia makes its first steps towards free economic zones creation

European Union allocates €19.1 million for institutional reforms ...

Environmentalists protest against plundering of Armenia's earth ...

OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs to visit Azerbaijan, Armenia

Gibraltar

The public speaks up: Gibraltar is one big, noisy place

Gibraltar Private Bank & Trust Promotes Claudia Rupner to ...

Remembering Gibraltar's brave

Steel band set to bring the Caribbean to Gibraltar's Ocean Village

European Dance Championships 2011

Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan to need approximately KGS 449 M for presidential elections

Kyrgyz intelligence agency explains wiretapping system use

Kyrgyzstan adopts Malaysian halal production standard

Russia and Kazakhstan do not export POL in Kyrgyzstan

Military Union is in Kyrgyzstan

Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein determined to progress

High risk tax avoidance schemes to be listed by HMRC

Moldomin mines Moldova

EU pledges €78.6 million to boost energy and justice reform in Moldova

Moldovan Ministers discuss reform agenda with NATO Allies

Moldova. Agency for material reserves will allot 1.15 thousand ...

Moldova's Ministry of Agriculture recommends machine operators ...

Nine investors interested in Moldomin mines

Mongolia

Lucky Strike Resources to acquire 80% of 6 Mongolian coal licenses

Mongolia: Looking East, looking West

Mongolia pay for Petro Matad

Montenegro

Montenegro – a census like no other?

Balkan leaders: EU and NATO membership goal unites region

Government decriminalises speech offences

Ukraine to launch regular flights to Montenegro, Albania

The Republic of San Marino

Exhibition in San Marino of works from Vatican Museums

World Service reporter freed on bail Tajikistan

World Service reporter freed on bail

53 Islamist militants on trial in Tajikistan over September ...

Tajikistan, A Frail Nation-State Amidst the New Great Game

WB, Tajikistan sign 3 agreements on aid

US Drawdown Stirs Fears In Central Asia

Turkmenistan

20 companies to lodge claims against Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan starts gas extraction on Caspian

Turkmenistan's Journalists Enhance Capacity And Knowledge Of Human ...

Turkmenistan: Third Cheleken rig reactivated

Turkmens to raise salaries 10%, admit 6045 college freshmen

Tuesday
May242011

Tajikistan: The Changing Insurgent Threats (ANALYSIS)

Photo courtesy of ICGby The International Crisis Group

Tajikistan, by most measures Central Asia’s poorest and most vulnerable state, is now facing yet another major problem: the growing security threat from both local and external insurgencies.

After his security forces failed to bring warlords and a small group of young insurgents to heel in the eastern region of Rasht in 2010-2011, President Emomali Rakhmon did a deal to bring a temporary peace to the area. But he may soon face a tougher challenge from the resurgent Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), a group with a vision of an Islamist caliphate that is fighting in Afghanistan alongside the Taliban.

That conflict is moving closer to the 1,400km Afghan-Tajik border. Many anti-government guerrillas operating in northern Afghanistan are of Central Asian origin and are largely affiliated with the IMU, which seems to be focusing on its fight against the government in Kabul but may at some stage turn its attention northwards. Tajikistan has almost no capacity to tackle a dedicated insurgent force; its efforts to quell problems in Rasht have left its only well-trained counter-insurgency unit with just over 30 fighters.

A decade of increased international attention and aid has failed to make Tajikistan more secure or prosperous. A kleptocracy centred on the presidential family has taken much of the money from assistance and aluminium. Popular discontent over poverty and failing services has been kept in check by repression and an exodus of the dissatisfied as migrant workers. All institutions have been hollowed out, leaving a state with no resilience to cope with natural disasters, economic crises or political shocks.

A new generation of guerrillas is emerging, both within Tajikistan and in the IMU. They are mostly men in their twenties with little memory of the Tajik civil war of 1992-1997. This development has punctured two comfortable assumptions: that the IMU was a forlorn rump of ageing jihadists and that Tajiks were too scarred by the memory of the brutal civil war to turn on the regime. The latter has long been central to the analyses of both the Tajik leadership and many foreign governments.

The secular, Soviet-trained leadership that emerged from the civil war now finds itself dealing with a society increasingly drawn to observant Islam. The regime’s response to this is as inept as its efforts to bring Rasht to heel. Tajiks studying in foreign Islamic institutions have been called home; the government is trying to control the content of Friday sermons and prevent young people from visiting mosques; it has also dismissed some clerics. Officials allege that the main opposition party, the Islamic Renaissance Party, is becoming increasingly radicalised. Clumsy policies may make this a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Jihadist groups, too, are paying more attention to Tajikistan. Limited infiltration of armed guerrillas from Afghanistan has been taking place for several years. The numbers seem relatively small and their intent unknown. Many pass through to other countries – notably Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Some, however, are probably probing for government vulnerabilities. A small number of fighters from the North Caucasus have also been active in Tajikistan in recent years.

Radicalization by osmosis is growing: Tajikistan is gradually becoming part of the virtual jihad. Islamist websites are paying increasing attention to events in the country. Islamic militants in Tajikistan are adopting tactics already well known in other jihadist struggles, notably in the North Caucasus. In September 2010 the country witnessed what was described as its first suicide bombing. And while most military attention is focused on Rasht, the northern border area of Isfara, not far from Khujand, is developing the reputation of a safe haven for armed militants.

Billions of dollars of drugs pass through Tajikistan en route to Russia and China every year. There is a strong suspicion within the international community that senior members of the ruling elite are protecting the transit of narcotics from Afghanistan. High-level protection is almost certainly undermining international organisations’ attempts to control the border with Afghanistan – efforts that officials involved admit have had very little effect. At a time of growing menace from Afghanistan, the first line of defence is being kept artificially weak.

With the IMU engaged, for now, in Afghanistan, it would be advisable to use whatever breathing space is available to re-evaluate security and aid policies.

China, a silent but crucial player in the region with vital security interests, could usefully be drawn into joint consultations, along with the U.S., Russia and others, on measures to assess the security problems and possible responses.

Bilateral and multilateral donors should examine the utility of providing assistance to a regime that cannot prevent a very significant proportion being lost to corruption. Conditionality should be adopted as the norm. The Tajik government should be put on notice that a failure to address support for the narcotics trade within its own elite will seriously damage its credibility and outside support.

President Rakhmon denies that the North African scenario of popular unrest and revolt could happen in Tajikistan; despite the different circumstances, such confidence is questionable.

Tajikistan is so vulnerable that a small, localised problem could quickly spiral into a threat to the regime’s existence. The speed with which the popular mood can move from passivity to anger was demonstrated not just in the Middle East, but much closer to home, in Kyrgyzstan, in April 2010. Tajikistan is not immune.

- The International Crisis Group is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation committed to preventing and resolving deadly conflict. The recommendations by ICG on the above topic can be found  here.

Thursday
Feb102011

Tajikistan and the Tyranny of Statistics (Report)

(HN, February 10, 2011) - Like most other economies in Europe and Central Asia, Tajikistan depends heavily on foreign trade. Economists who monitor the country’s import and export data—which are reported on a monthly basis by the Statistical Agency—may think they are keeping a finger on Tajikistan’s pulse.Water is become a scarce - and increasingly precious - resource in many countries surrounding Tajikistan. UNICEF

They might be wrong. Especially when it comes to exports.

Sometimes, however, these data obscure more than they illuminate. Rather than worrying about cotton and aluminum, it may be more helpful to think of Tajikistan as one of the world’s leading exporters—both directly and indirectly—of labour and water.

As per international practice, Tajikistan’s foreign trade statistics emphasize the final products that are bought and sold abroad. For Tajikistan’s exports, this boils down to aluminum and cotton, which generate three quarters of the country’s export revenues.

In one sense, this is no surprise: anyone familiar with rural life in Tajikistan knows that “cotton is still king” in the countryside. The importance of the TALCO aluminum smelter in Tursunzode just west of Dushanbe—Tajikistan’s largest industrial enterprise and leading exporter—is likewise well known.

However, both cotton and aluminum production can be seen as algorithms for reprocessing water—which is where Tajikistan’s true riches lie.

More than half of the water used by Central Asia’s 60 million inhabitants comes from rivers whose headwaters rise in Tajikistan (population 7.5 million).

It is this water that turns turbines in hydropower plants along the Vakhsh river cascade, which generate the electricity needed to derive aluminum from bauxite. Water from these rivers also feeds the canals that irrigate Tajikistan’s thirsty cotton fields. Tajikistan’s exports are really about water—embodied in aluminum ingots and cotton fiber.

When Tajikistan’s (mostly cotton and aluminum) exports are compared to its imports, they are often found wanting: the country reports a yearly trade deficit in the neighborhood of $1.5 billion. But Tajikistan’s single most important export—labour—is not captured in the trade statistics.

Every year some 800,000 to 1.5 million (no one is quite sure how many) Tajikistani citizens work abroad, chiefly in Russia. The IMF and National Bank of Tajikistan estimate that these migrants sent home $2.4 billion in remittances in 2010—roughly double the $1.2 billion earned from exporting aluminum, cotton, and other commodities and manufactured goods (see Charts 1 and 2 above).

If the country’s trade balance is recalculated as exports minus imports plus remittances, then Tajikistan consistently runs a healthy external surplus. Looked at from this perspective, Tajikistan’s reported average annual 9% GDP growth during 2000-2008 does not seem so surprising. Nor does the continuation of economic growth (albeit at a slower pace), or relative stability of the somoni (the national currency), during the global economic crisis of 2009-2010.

Many economists would argue that the balance of payments—and particularly the current account balance, which shows exports and imports of services, as well as of good and remittances—provides the fullest measure of an economy’s engagement with the rest  of the world.

But Tajikistan’s balance-of-payments data are reported with some delay: at present, the most recent BoP data available on the National Bank of Tajikistan website are from the first quarter of 2010. By contrast, data on merchandise exports and imports, and on remittances, are reported monthly. If we want to track how Tajikistan is faring in the world economy in real time, exports minus imports plus remittances may be our best shot.

Tajikistan is a low-income country where some 3 million people struggle to get by on $2.15/day or less. Poverty reduction, providing access to clean water and sanitation services, creating decent jobs at home, and addressing gender inequalities are major challenges. Migration may be a cash cow, but it can also be a hardship for divided families.

Understanding these challenges and helping the country to attain the Millennium Development Goals requires a deep knowledge of Tajikistan’s economy, and its official economic data.

Sometimes, however, these data obscure more than they illuminate. Rather than worrying about cotton and aluminum, it may be more helpful to think of Tajikistan as one of the world’s leading exporters—both directly and indirectly—of labour and water.

- UNDP, HUMNEWS staff

Friday
Jan072011

Central Asian Migrants Facing Uncertain Year in Russia (Report)

(HN, January 7, 2011) - Fardin Saidulayev manages a newspaper kiosk in the Russian city of Novosibirsk, where he is one of the few Tajik laborers to hold a coveted work permit. Yet he faces an uncertain new year. As of January 1, new Russian legislation bans foreigners from working in trade. Saidulayev says he now lives in constant fear he will be fired, or even deported.Young Tajik men, returning home on a 97-hour train ride from Moscow, arrive at the main station in Dushanbe in February 2009. Russia is tightening immigration procedures, saying the country only needs skilled, Russian-speaking laborers. The change could have a drastic effect in Tajikistan, where migrant-worker remittances comprise up to half the country's GDP. CREDIT: David Trilling/EurasiaNet.org

“I am not sure what I will do,” Saidulayev, 26, said recently. Originally from the town of Ishkashim in the Pamir Mountains, Saidulayev has been in Russia for three years. “I may try to keep working here or I may have to start working on a building site, but competition for jobs there is fierce and the pay is lower,” he added.

Though its economy is rebounding from the 2008 global financial crisis, Moscow, the scene of recent ethnic rioting, is tightening immigration procedures. Russian officials now say the country only needs skilled, Russian-speaking laborers. The changes could have a drastic effect in Tajikistan, where migrant-worker remittances comprise up to half the country’s GDP.

Around 98 percent of Tajik migrants in Russia work as unskilled laborers, Viktor Sebelev, the head of the Russian Federal Migration Service’s office in Tajikistan, said recently in Dushanbe. Many fail to integrate into Russian society. The Moscow-based Center of Migration Studies says that only 50 percent of labor migrants are literate enough in Russian to complete official documents; 20 percent have no command of the language at all.

In November, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin signed the decree banning foreign laborers from working as traders in outdoor kiosks and markets and from selling alcohol or pharmaceuticals. Foreigners still have the right to work in markets as loaders, cleaners, wholesalers or managers.

Since Putin signed the legislation, official rhetoric justifying the measure has intensified.

In early December, newly appointed Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced new restrictions on migration to Moscow. The mayor called for “firm control” over immigration and declared the quota of foreign workers in the city would be decreased to 200,000, an almost 50 percent drop in 2011 from the previous year’s total. "I have nothing against migrants, the city needs them. I just want to understand what kind of specialists are needed and in what areas," he said in comments carried by the state news agency, RIA Novosti.

Similarly, the government has cut its migrant work permit quota again this year to 1.5 million, a significantly smaller number than in 2007 when 6 million migrants obtained work permits, RIA Novosti reported.

The Federal Migration Service also announced in early December that it would compile a list of all migrants from the CIS in Russia, a process expected to take two years. Proponents claim that legalizing a migrant’s status guarantees more rights, including access to healthcare. But the number of unregistered migrants far exceeds the number of permits. Some estimates place the number of migrant workers in Russia at 12 million.

A reduction in unskilled labor migration could have serious repercussions for Tajikistan’s feeble economy. In 2009, according to the International Organization of Migration (IOM), 18 percent of the working-age population migrated abroad; their remittances accounted for 49.6 percent of GDP. Tajik government officials estimate that 900,000 Tajiks work in Russia, 30 percent in trade like Saidulayev.

There is skepticism, however, whether Putin’s new decree is enforceable. In Dushanbe, the IOM’s Malika Yarbabaeva expects it "won’t result in the mass return of migrants from Russia." A similar law from 2007 was never effectively implemented, she argues, noting that only 17 percent of all migrants live legally in Russia, highlighting the Moscow’s weak control over the state bureaucracy.

Nevertheless, the new law will simply augments the black market for foreign labor, pushing more migrants into unsafe conditions, said an official from Tajikistan’s migration service. “I do not think we will see many Tajiks return. The migrants will find loopholes in the law and continue to work in Russia. For instance, they will register their stalls in the names of Russian citizens,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity out of concern for vexing his Russian counterparts. The Tajik official argued that many Tajiks will continue to work illegally in the trade sector.

That is bad news for Saidulayev, who feels that, because he is legally registered, he has a higher profile than many migrants and could be singled out and made an example of. “I am being punished for living here legally when many people from my country live here illegally. I think this new policy will compel many Tajiks to continue living outside the Russian laws,” he said by telephone from Novosibirsk.

“At the moment I am waiting,” Saidulayev said, calling the distinction between skilled and unskilled laborers arbitrary. “I expect the police will come to close me down soon. If this happens, I don’t know what I will do.”

Edward Lemon is a freelance journalist based in Dushanbe. This article originally appeared in EurasiaNet.org

Friday
Nov192010

HUMNEWS HEADLINES - November 19, 2010 (Europe and Eurasia) 

Rock of Gibraltar as seen from La Linea de la Concepcion just across the border in Spain (Photo David Stanley via Flickr)Andorra

Snow, snow and more snow (travel)

Armenia

Armenia’s President not to leave for Lisbon: The draft declaration not acceptable to Armenia

Armenia should sign new protocols (opinion)

Human rights activists say children’s rights are not protected in Armenia

Yerevan hosts Armenian-Indian tourism promotion seminar

Armenia’s political forces no positive breakthrough from OSCE summit

Chess: Armenia’s Aronian wins at World Blitz Championships

Armenia’s foreign trade turnover grows 21.1% in Jan-Oct. 2010  

Gibraltar

Gibraltar tobacco contraband on the rise

Should British Gibraltar be sovereign or Spanish? Why the Tripartite won’t work  

Kyrgyzstan

Violence at Kyrgyzstan court stops trial for April uprising

OSCE participating States agree to adapt police support to Kyrgyzstan  

EU to give Kyrgyzstan 4m euros in food, reconstruction aid

Montenegro capital Podgorica: the country will become an EU candidate in December. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Lakebolt)Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein keen to deepen ties with India

Govt. examining black money estimate reports

Moldova

Romanian president supports Moldova’s pro-European government before election there

Moldovan citizens to vote in polling station at embassy

EU may abolish visas for “Eastern Partnership” members

Mongolia

UK has worse wireless broadband than Mongolia

Japan, Mongolia aim to start FTA talks early FY11

Montenegro

No starting date for Montenegro’s EU accession talks

Hungary is interested in providing financial and technical assistance to Montenegro in energy

Russia, Turkmenistan, Iran Presidents finish visits in Azerbaijan (photo: Trend.az) Tajikistan

Premier Wen’s Tajikistan visit to deepen bilateral cooperation

Tajikistan denies laundering money

Tajikistan: The authorities of Gorney Badakhshan shut down 28 mosques

Tajikistan, Afghanistan pool efforts to combat terrorism

Turkmenistan

Caspian summit fails to clarify status, resource issues

Russia, Iran, Turkmenistan presidents end visits to Azerbaijan

Wednesday
Sep012010

HUMNEWS HEADLINES - September 2, 2010 (Europe and Eurasia) 

ANDORRA

A taste of the ‘high life’ in Grandvalira, Andorra (travel)

Injured Duff ‘keen to face Andorrans’ (sports)

An afternoon in Andorra (style)  

ARMENIA

Several killed in Nagorno-Karabakh clash

Russia may resume wheat export to Armenia  

Price for nonfoods up 0.1% in Armenia in August

7.1% unemployment rate recorded in Armenia in January – July 2010

West Nile virus bypasses Armenia

President of Armenia congratulated students and teachers on day of knowledge

Fuller Center, Marriott Armenia partner for rural housing project

Armenia v. Republic of Ireland: Robbie Keane to play but Republic struggle with injury (sports)

GIBRALTAR

They are nervous in Gibraltar because they know the frontier toll is legal, claims Alcalde

Gibraltar National Day events announced

Phoenicia visits Gibraltar (style)  

KYRGYZSTAN

In Central Asia, a new headache for U.S. policy

Kyrgyzstan launches operation of Kambarata – 2 plant

Russia sends five tones humanitarian aid to Kyrgyzstan’s schools

Responsibilities allocated between Prime-Minister and Vice-Prime-Minister of Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan unlikely to receive $1 billion donor funds

Kyrgyzstan’s CEC receives pre-election lists from 29 parties  

Kyrgyzstan 19 years later. Summarizing the results

Exhibition of innovations to take place in Kyrgyzstan

OSCE mission in troubled Kyrgyzstan postponed after protests

LIECHTENSTEIN

UN chief to visit Liechtenstein, Austria in week-long trip

World & European champions Spain red hot favorites to beat Liechtenstein at 1/100 (sports)

MOLDOVA

Why Moldova matters (analysis)

Postal worker to help orphans in Moldova  

MONGOLIA

An examination of China’s epic traffic jam

Inner Mongolia: Tree-planting to end desertification

5,000-year-old village ruins found in China  

MONTENEGRO

Montenegro’s Tehnostil metal cold rolling mill seeks strategic partner

TAJIKISTAN

President Rahmon urges Tajik women not to wear hijabs

1st Tajik hard-copy daily in 18 years publishes

Iran reinvigorates a strategy for regional dominance Tehran’s false ‘three Persian speaking countries’ project aimed at subjugating Afghanistan

Tajik justice ministry criticizes security committee over jailbreak

Tajik parents punished for children’s truancy

Wednesday
Aug042010

UNESCO Names New Heritage Sites in Marshall Islands, Tajikistan and Kiribati

The 34th session of the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO ended yesterday in Brazil. A total of 39 sites were considered for inscription on the World Heritage List.
It inscribed sites in Saudi Arabia, Australia, India, Islamic Republic of Iran and, for the first time, a site in the Marshall Islands to the UNESCO World Heritage List. A cultural site was added in Tajikistan, and a new natural site was added in Kiribati.

Bikini Atoll (Marshall Islands)© UNESCO/Eric Hanauer, Bikini Atoll

In the wake of World War II, in a move closely related to the beginnings of the Cold War, the United States of America decided to resume nuclear testing in the Pacific Ocean, on Bikini Atoll in the Marshall archipelago. After the displacement of the local inhabitants, 67 nuclear tests were carried out from 1946 to 1958, including the explosion of the first H-bomb (1952). Bikini Atoll has conserved direct tangible evidence that is highly significant in conveying the power of the nuclear tests, i.e. the sunken ships sent to the bottom of the lagoon by the tests in 1946 and the gigantic Bravo crater. Equivalent to 7,000 times the force of the Hiroshima bomb, the tests had major consequences on the geology and natural environment of Bikini Atoll and on the health of those who were exposed to radiation. Through its history, the atoll symbolises the dawn of the nuclear age, despite its paradoxical image of peace and of earthly paradise. This is the first site from the Marshall Islands to be inscribed on the World Heritage List.

 

Sarazm (Tajikistan)© UNESCO/Ainura Tentieva, Sarazm

Sarazm, which means “where the land begins”, is an archaeological site bearing testimony to the development of human settlements in Central Asia, from the 4th millennium BCE to the end of the 3rd millennium BCE. The ruins demonstrate the early development of proto-urbanization in this region. This centre of settlement, one of the oldest in Central Asia, is situated between a mountainous region suitable for cattle rearing by nomadic pastoralists, and a large valley conducive to the development of agriculture and irrigation by the first settled populations in the region. Sarazm also demonstrates the existence of commercial and cultural exchanges and trade relations with peoples over an extensive geographical area, extending from the steppes of Central Asia and Turkmenistan, to the Iranian plateau, the Indus valley and as far as the Indian Ocean.

 

Phoenix Islands Protected Area (Kiribati)© UNESCO/Gregory Stone, The Phoenix islands

The Phoenix Island Protected Area (PIPA) is a 408,250 sq.km expanse of marine and terrestrial habitats in the Southern Pacific Ocean. The property encompasses the Phoenix Island Group, one of three island groups in Kiribati, and is the largest designated Marine Protected Area in the world. PIPA conserves one of the world’s largest intact oceanic coral archipelago ecosystems, together with 14 known underwater sea mounts (presumed to be extinct volcanoes)  and other deep-sea habitats. The area contains approximately 800 known species of fauna, including about 200 coral species, 500 fish species, 18 marine mammals and 44 bird species. The structure and functioning of PIPA’s ecosystems illustrates its pristine nature and importance as a migration route and reservoir. This is the first site in Kiribati to be inscribed on the World Heritage List.
- Staff, UNESCO
Monday
Aug022010

HUMNEWS HEADLINES - August 2, 2010 (Europe and Eurasia) 

ARMENIA

Explosion on Armenia – Nakhchivan border

Russian army base to extend stay in Armenia

IAEA experts to inspect site for new unit at Armenian NPP

OSCE to monitor contact line between Azerbaijani, Armenian armies

Baku and Tbilisi to complete anti-Armenian project in 2011

Clinton’s visit gauntlet thrown down to U.S., Heritage MP says

US Senate approves $40mln for Armenia

Difficult for Armenian experts to accept current realities (society)  

38.2% growth record in brandy production in Armenia from January-June 2010

Armenia to import near 1500 tons of wheat seeds

Psychologist and sociologist about suicide

GIBRALTAR

Caruana lambasts Bossano and rejects casino calpe ‘falsehoods’

Spanish workers association concerned that mayor’s action could wreck relations

Gibraltar should have walked away from this indignity (sports/opinion)

Blakenhorn connects continents with Gibraltar swim (sports)

Galliano’s splash of Flamenco for GIB family wedding (fashion)

KYRGYZSTAN

Long-term prospects for Kyrgyzstan are worrying

Uzbek frontier guards held back 3 trucks carrying 43 tons of explosives to Kyrgyzstan

Interests of the Party of Communists in Kyrgyzstan for me are higher than my personal ones

Commission for investigation of reasons for the clashes in the south of Kyrgyzstan to provide results on Sept. 10, 2010

Donor community does not pursue the aim to drive Kyrgyzstan into debtors prison

The first part of Kazakhstan’s humanitarian aid reached in Osh city (Kyrgyzstan)

CCTs a good start to erasing poverty  

LIECHTENSTEIN

Riddle of Haider’s secret 40m pounds: Cash found in European principality of Liechtenstein

Just 419 taxpayers take advantage of Liechtenstein disclosure facility

German state rejects tax data disc purchases

MOLDOVA

Rise in visa applications from Moldova to Bulgaria in 2010

Moldovan PM says EU may double wine exports

EU to fund higher education for Belarus students

Moldova telecommunications report

Global cluster bomb ban becomes binding  

MONGOLIA

Hong Kong beat Mongolia (sports)  

MONTENEGRO

Montenegrin government has adopted strategy on regional development of Montenegro from 2010 – 2014

Montenegro property ‘back on the map’

Serbs shell out 600 million euro’s on vacation

Serbia’s January – June foreign trade goes up

SAN MARINO

Malta, Cyprus off Italian blacklist – San Marino remains on the list

ATP San Marino challenger preview and live stream (sports)

TAJIKISTAN

Five new sites added to world heritage list

Tajik madrasah leaders, students detained

Tajikistan’s defense officials visit Azerbaijan

Iran hosts first meeting of ECO countries ‘drug combating department’ heads

TURKMENISTAN

Is the U.S. violating Turkmenistan’s neutrality with the NDN?

Russian president to visit Turkmenistan

Nabucco project: investors look before they leap

Monday
Jul052010

HUMNEWS HEADLINES - July 5, 2010 (Europe and Eurasia) 

ARMENIA

Armenia’s former ombudsman proposes amendments to constitution

Armenia’s constitution works effectively, president says

US Secretary of State visits Armenia

Baku to sign pact with Armenia ‘only after occupied lands are liberated’

Sargsyan meets with Karabakh mediators

GIBRALTAR

Feetham hails transformation of court system

Give and take budget says Garcia

Holliday says airport will succeed

One year after the pandemic were there any lessons learnt?

KYRGYZSTAN  

Kyrgyzstan, a lesson in democracy for China

Kyrgyzstan considers joining the Customs union

Project to support women and children in conflict zone launches in Kyrgyzstan

Death toll in southern Kyrgyzstan rises to 309

Moderator of the European Council of Religious Leaders visited Kyrgyzstan  

Latvian drug mule held with heroin in airport Manas, Kyrgyzstan

LIECHTENSTEIN

Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein to facilitate its cross-border relations with the EU

Hilti to set up joint venture

Information on use of European health insurance card

Can you rent an entire country? Snoop Dog can (entertainment)

MOLDOVA

Jailed Moldovan confesses to espionage, Transdniester officials say

NORMA gains direct access to global internet market

One day in ‘green’ Kishinev….. (sports)  

MONGOLIA

Winter disaster spurring urban migration

Nepal to strike deal on money laundering  

MONTENEGRO

Montenegro asked to review Thaksin’s passport

Montenegro airlines with welcome the third Embraer E195 jet to its fleet

Montenegro releases tender for the granting of franchise rights for the economic use of Bijela port  

SAN MARINO

Italy appeals European court ban on crucifixes in classrooms

TAJIKISTAN

EEC summit kicked off in Astana

Russian-Kazakh-Belarusian Customs union comes into effect

Russia and poppy cultivation in Afghanistan

TURKMENISTAN

US President appraises ties with Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan works out report on UN Convention on rights of child

Turkmen law on culture complies with UNESCO standards

Friday
Jun182010

HUMNEWS HEADLINES - June 18, 2010 (Europe and Eurasia) 

ARMENIA:

Eye on Kyrgyzstan: Armenia military will not participate as peacekeepers

Armenia, Azerbaijan in another Russia hosted meeting in Karabakh

Opportunity for Armenian genocide resolution rises out of U.S. discontent with Turkey

Turkey seeks peace with Armenia, Turkish FM says

Possible cooperation between Armenia and Jewish lobby won’t last long

Armenia, Switzerland to cooperate in the area of emergency response

Armenia’s first stem cell harvesting completed by ABMDR

ARS-Armenia tackles issue of unregistered births

PM: Armenia’s drinking water supply system needs investments

World Bank to provide Armenia with $424 million as assistance before the end of Q 1, 2011

Deputy PM: Terrorist groups formed in Azerbaijan’s occupied territories

Regional superpowers to ‘increase pressure’ on Armenia

Time-Traveling in Armenia (travel)

Serj Tankian to perform first concert in Armenia on August 12 (entertainment)

GIBRALTAR:

Gibraltar to terminate tax-free offshore status, slashes corporate tax

UN Chairman’s reaction to Bossano speech ‘very positive’

Actuaries set up Gibraltar presence  

Thomas Patchett swims the straits of Gibraltar for charity

Guernsey senior cricket squad announced (sports)

KYRGYZSTAN:

Ethnic unrest grips southern Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan threatens to shut U.S. base unless ex-presidents son is extradited

‘If radicals seize power in Kyrgyzstan if would be dangerous’

Aid trickles into Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, but obstacles remain

Russian-led security group says no peacekeepers for Kyrgyzstan  

Crisis could affect one million

China completes Kyrgyzstan evacuation

21 Indian students return from Kyrgyzstan

Refugees return to Kyrgyzstan as crisis eases

Paralyzed Kyrgyzstan in danger of breaking up

Kazakhstan bars entry to ethnic Uzbeks from Kyrgyzstan  

Turkey out of its “strategic depth’’ in Kyrgyzstan?

Facing tough choices (commentary)

Kyrgyzstan to hold referendum despite unrest

Two comparisons (analysis)

MONGOLIA:

Mongolia to sell mining assets on international market

Biodiesel car races to Mongolia

China plans to put out its coalfield fires

MOLDOVA:

Prostitution and human trafficking in Kosovo

Ukrainian experts: Romania develops intense cultural, economic and foreign policy activity in Moldova, Transdniester and Odessa/Cernauti regions

Volunteers for Peace Corps at risk of violence

Minister invites Turkish investors to Kosovo

The future of EU-Russian relations

MONTENEGRO:

NATO Secretary General impressed with Montenegro’s fast progress

TAJIKISTAN:

Tajikistan ready to accept Kyrgyz refugees

$70mln to be provided to Tajikistan EurAsEC Anti-crisis fund

TURKMENISTAN:

Senior CPC official meets Turkmenistan president, pledges to enhance bilateral ties

Iran to increase gas imports from Turkmenistan

President of Turkmenistan receives heads of major U.S. companies

French diplomat sees Turkmen desire to improve rights situation

 

Saturday
May222010

UN Appeals for $5.3m for Flood-Ravaged Tajikistan

(HN, May 22, 2010) The United Nations is appealing for $ 5.3 million to provide relief and recovery assistance to thousands of people that had been affected by the flashfloods in Kulyab and the surrounding districts in the south of Tajikistan on 7 May.Floods have hit Tajikistan for the second year-in-a-row.

About 4,500 persons had been displaced since their houses had been destroyed, their livestock killed and crops destroyed said Elisabeth Byrs of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA).

The displaced are currently staying in tent camps. Another 16,000 persons in rural areas had lost their livelihoods and their livestock. OCHA says the hard-hit needed life-sustaining support for up to six months.

Byrs said the appeal included 26 projects proposed by United Nations agencies and partners. Tajikistan was already the poorest country of the 15 former Soviet republics, she noted.

In May 2009, two major floods destroyed four villages in Tajikistan's southern Khatlon Province, displacing about 440 families.

Thursday
Feb182010

Richmond students partner with HUM to cover smaller Olympic teams

by Michael Bociurkiw

VANCOUVER (HN, Feb 18) - Agreeing that the smaller countries at the 2010 Winter Olympics receive little attention, Grade 11 students at RC Palmer Secondary School in Richmond have partnered with HUM to draw more attention to teams sidelined at the Games.

In an assignment which has clearly generated significant excitement, the students were tasked to research about a dozen HUM countries and then build Facebook fan pages for each team. Already colourful, informative pages for San Marino, Tajikistan, Algeria and Armenia are now online and gaining fans.

Said one student: "I feel like this is a great project. We all hear about Canada, America and China but none of us hear about Ghana, Armenia, Ethiopia and other countries that no one hears about. But they are still here...they are still on the world stage. To hear about these smaller countries is very cool."

For the students, Google and YouTube have proven to be powerful tools to find information about the small countries and their athletes. The RC Palmer School administration has also given the students access to a state-of-the-art computer lab to help facilitate the project.

HUM - Human Unlimited Media is the world's first, truly mobile humanitarian news agency, covering 116 mostly impoverished countries that are not part of mainstream media coverage. A sub-unit of HUM - HUMmingbirdz - promotes and develops projects specifically for children and adolescents, to promote global understanding and networking.

Watch coverage of this story on Friday, Feb. 19th on CBC News Vancouver http://www.cbc.ca/tvnewsvancouver/