Reuters blog archive
from Photographers' Blog:
By Marko Djurica
“You have got to meet the Mexican,” said Wolf.
“Who is the Mexican?” I asked.
“He is our boss, you can ask him about this barricade, come with me.”
Wolf was dressed in a green uniform without any insignia. “Donbass” – the eastern Ukrainian region where pro-Russian separatists seem to be increasingly gaining control – had been written on his green helmet in permanent marker.
His face was covered with a balaclava and he wore black boots and a black flak jacket, into which he had tucked a small baseball bat. He spoke great English and didn’t look more than 30 years old.
As we approached a massive, eleven-story, Soviet building we passed stretches of barbed wire with old tires and various construction materials piled up behind them. I saw a poster that read: “The Mexican’s League” in orange letters. This was his barricade.
On March 3, a couple hundred pro-Russian demonstrators stormed the Donetsk regional government building after clashing with police who were guarding the main entrance. They successfully entered through a side door, and in the end made it to the second floor where the parliament sits. Unrest continued to spiral in Ukraine and the following month separatists declared a "People's Republic of Donetsk".
from Photographers' Blog:
By Jorge Silva
April 12 marked two months since the first people died in a wave of unrest that hit Venezuela this year. The day sat between the April 11th anniversary of the 2002 coup against then-President Hugo Chavez, and April 13th - the day that he managed to return to office. Those dates still serve as a reminder of the political division and sense of confrontation that has long existed in this country.
Last year I was part of a team covering protests that erupted following the 2013 presidential election, which was called after Chavez’s death. The clashes finally subsided and we put away our riot gear - gas masks, flak vests and helmets - confident that we wouldn’t need it again so soon.
Syria's minority Christians are watching the protests sweeping their country with trepidation, fearing their religious freedom could be threatened if President Bashar al-Assad's autocratic but secular rule is overthrown. Sunni Muslims form a majority in Syria, but under four decades of rule by Assad's minority Alawites the country's varied religious groups have enjoyed the right to practice their faith.
from India Insight:
Amnesty International has accused the government of detaining hundreds of people each year in Kashmir without charge or trial under a "draconian" Indian law.
The rights group said India's Public Safety Act (PSA) had been used to detain up to 20,000 people without trial over the past two decades. Public Safety Act allows for detention without trial for up to two years.
The spiritual leader of Algeria's influential Salafist movement has issued a 48-page fatwa, or religious decree, urging Muslims to ignore calls for change because he says that democracy is against Islam. The fatwa by Sheikh Abdelmalek Ramdani, who lives in Saudi Arabia, comes at an opportune time for President Abdelaziz Bouteflika as Algerians watching protests in other Arab states have begun pushing their own political and economic demands.
When Saudi Shi'ites mark the birthday of the Prophet Mohammad, meeting at mosques and exchanging sweets is only part of what's going on. The Shi'ites also are testing the tolerance of Sunni clerics and taking advantage of reforms introduced by King Abdullah that allow them greater freedom to practise their branch of Islamic faith.
from James Saft:
Rather than fear the spread of people power revolutions, investors should welcome them.
Just don't expect an easy ride in the near term.
Lots of people have made lots of money out of dictatorships, but you, dear reader, are probably not one of them and are likely to do better, in the long run, as they fall.
from India Insight:
India's Prime Minister praised the work of security forces in disputed Kashmir on Tuesday, in a show of support for troops that killed over 100 separatist protesters last year that risks angering those that resent India's large military presence in the state.
The remarks represent a seal of approval for security forces that are cited by many Kashmiris as an element of the violence, rather than the preventers of it, and come as a team of interlocutors enters its fifth month of talks in the troubled region, and almost two months after Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram said that a political solution to the troubles was likely to emerge "in the next few months."
Nigeria's security services are beefing up efforts to contain the radical Islamist sect Boko Haram in the remote north, launching joint army and police exercises and using attack helicopters to help with patrols.
Army Chief of Staff Azubuike Ihejirika, appointed by President Goodluck Jonathan just over a month ago, said on Tuesday he had instructed the security forces to be at the ready after a string of attacks blamed on the sect.