Russia is reassessing its relationships with many countries in the Middle East and South Asia. Some long-established relationships, such as those with Syria and Iran, are being tested while ties with other countries (Iraq and Pakistan) could become more important. How these relationships develop will depend on numerous ongoing trends in the region, such as the political changes resulting from the Arab Spring, Iraq’s potential re-emergence as a major oil exporter and the looming U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
In the meantime, the regions will continue to be vital to Russia in maintaining leverage over the West - particularly the United States. The tension between Russia’s direct interests in the Middle East and its interests relative to the United States will be critical for understanding Russian behavior in the region moving forward.
16.11 15:49 Society
US Famous "Architectural Digest" Magazine: Heydar Aliyev Centre is Among Top 5 of 12 Grandiose Architectural ProjectsUS famous “Architectural digest” magazine released the list of great and grandiose architectural projects of 2012. APA reports that the Heydar Aliyev Centre constructed in Baku is among top 5 of 12 grandiose architectural projects. The “Architectural digest” magazine noted that this place, which has a conference hall and museum, will play an important role in the formation of a new image of the Azerbaijan’s capital.
The Heydar Aliyev Centre was constructed under the order signed by Azerbaijani President on December 26, 2006. The construction of the center was started in 2007 and official opening of the building was held on May 10, 2012.
16.11 15:48 PoliticsGermany and France each grew modestly by 0.2 percent in the third quarter but with the euro zone’s debt-laden members suffering deeply, the currency bloc as a whole is likely to have slid into recession.
The quarterly performance Europe’s dominant economy reported on Thursday was in line with forecasts and analysts said it could not defy gravity for much longer. The French economy surprised on the upside, having been expected to post no growth at all after a revised 0.1 percent fall in the second quarter.
16.11 15:47 EconomicsBP Plc is expected to pay a record U.S. criminal penalty and plead guilty to criminal misconduct in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster through a plea deal reached with the Department of Justice (DoJ) that may be announced as soon as Thursday, according to sources familiar with discussions.
Three sources, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said BP would plead guilty in exchange for a waiver of future prosecution on the charges.
BP confirmed it was in "advanced discussions" with the DoJ and the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC).
16.11 15:46 PoliticsEurope’s day of demonstrations turned into a night of disorder in Spain and Portugal. In Madrid, police fired rubber bullets to disperse protestors. Rubbish bins were set on fire, filling the streets with smoke.
Almost 50 people were hurt when police clashed with demonstrators in Lisbon. More than 140 people were arrested across both cities.
The protests began peacefully enough in Brussels, but the situation deteriorated as eggs were thrown at the Geman embassy in the Belgian capital.
The continent-wide day of strikes and solidarity was organised by the European Trade Unions Congress.
16.11 15:46 PoliticsTurkey’s Foreign Ministry condemned a series of Israeli strikes that killed a top Hamas military commander and many civilians in the Gaza Strip, and called on Israel to end its attacks, APA reports quotimg Today’s Zaman.
The Gaza offensive that Israel launched on Wednesday is the latest example of this country’s aggressive politics, a statement from the Foreign Ministry said.
"We strongly condemn this Israeli attack and immediately demand that it be stopped," the statement said, adding that no country, Israel included, is above international law.
05.11 12:36 PoliticsSummary
A strike at the port of Poti on Georgia’s Black Sea coast Nov. 1 is the latest in a string of labor protests in Georgia. The strike, which completely suspended shipping and unloading at the port, involved 1,200 workers demanding higher pay and better working conditions. Other economic sectors, including mines, railways and manufacturing, have experienced work stoppages recently. The strikes are symptomatic of a political transition in Tbilisi that could bring about economic changes in the country in the coming months. Changes in Georgia’s economic relationship with Russia could occur, too, though they would face political and security constraints.
05.11 12:20 EconomicsThe total number of people out of work in the eurozone hit almost 18.5 million in September as the latest figures show unemployment at record levels in September.
Spain is suffering most as 25.8 percent of the workforce are without a job. For young Spaniards – those under 25 – the unemployment rate is a staggering 54.2 percent.
In the past year the percentage in the 17 countries that now make up the eurozone has risen from 10.3 to 11.6.
Joaquin Galletero, one of Spain’s 5.78 million jobless, explained his predicament: “My wife is unemployed as well. We tried to set up a business but that didn’t work out, so we had to close it and we ended up both unemployed. So the situation is unbearable because now we’re starting to owe money to the banks and we haven’t been able to pay our mortgage”
05.11 12:19 PoliticsSummary
Turkey is using humanitarian aid and development assistance to build its economic, political and energy cooperation with Yemen and Somalia. The effort is one part of a push to expand Ankara’s soft power in the short term and possibly secure long-term port access in those countries. Meanwhile, Ankara has also been increasing its naval presence in the Gulf of Aden to lay the foundation for a larger political and military role in the strategic waters. Since this push brings Turkey into heightened competition with its historical rival, Iran, Ankara will have to counter Tehran’s influence in the region.