Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said on Wednesday he will not sign an execution order for Tareq Aziz, the former deputy of dictator Saddam Hussein sentenced to death last month for crimes against humanity.
Aspects of sharia law imposed in Muslim Chechnya in recent months are inching the republic closer to autonomy and posing a renewed threat to Kremlin control, analysts say. The Kremlin relies on its hardline Chechen leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, to maintain order in the violent region in the North Caucasus, where separatists were driven from power a decade ago after two wars.
from Photographers' Blog:
The Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin occupied the nation's TV screens while reports of his bravado in fighting forest wildfires littered the media. The rest of the country were dead on their feet, choking with smoke as they fought the disaster.
(Photo: Soldier holds candle at ceremony for adoption of Christianity, in Stavropol, July 28, 2010/Eduard Korniyenko)
Russia marked its adoption of Christianity in 988 on Wednesday with a new public holiday, the latest show of Kremlin support for the Russian Orthodox Church that has grown increasingly powerful since the fall of Communism.
Two art curators have been found guilty in Moscow of inciting religious hatred in a case that has highlighted the growing influence of the Russian Orthodox church and its links to the Russian government.
The Kremlin-backed head of Russia’s Muslim Chechnya region has praised assailants who targeted women with paintball pellets for going bareheaded, prompting outrage from rights activists. Eyewitnesses have said men in camouflage, often worn by police and security forces in the volatile region, fired paintball guns from cars about a dozen times last month at women who were not wearing headscarves.
The pricetag on a bride in Russia’s Ingushetia province has been tripled by the regional government, in a sign the Muslim North Caucasus region is slipping out of Kremlin control as sharia eclipses Russian law.
Russia’s Orthodox Church and Poland’s Roman Catholic Church have pledged to help their nations overcome a painful shared past and move towards reconciliation. The two churches, very influential in their own countries, agreed at a rare meeting of senior clergy to draw up a joint document that will express their Christian vision of how the two Slavic neighbours can come together.
Women in Russia’s volatile Muslim Chechnya region say that police have targeted them with paintball pellets for not wearing headscarves, outraging rights activists. The attacks highlight tension over efforts by Chechnya’s firebrand Moscow-backed leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, to enforce Muslim-inspired rules that in some cases violate Russia’s constitution.
from AxisMundi Jerusalem:
To spend the past few days in the crowded, narrow streets of Jerusalem's Old City, among the multilingual throngs marking Passover or Easter, was to get an unforgettable sense of the power this place has over the minds of millions. It also gives an insight into some of the ways Jerusalem, and control of access to its holy sites, plays into global power politics.