Thursday, September 18, 2014


Severe Floods Hit Eastern Serbia

At least three people have been reported missing and around 400 have been evacuated from the Kladovo district in eastern Serbia, which has been struck by severe flooding for several days. RFE/RL's Balkan Service correspondent Ognjen Zorić filed photos of flood damage in the village of Tekija, where the Danube River overflowed its banks.

Making A Living While Protesting Pakistan's Government

Thousands of supporters of opposition leader Imran Khan and his ally Tahir ul-Qadri, a cleric, have been camped out by the parliament building in Islamabad for weeks in a protest against the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The protesters accuse the prime minister of rigging last year's election that brought him back to power. The number of demonstrators has declined since the protest began in August, but some have vowed to stay until Sharif resigns. While they make their temporary home near the parliament, some people are scraping by on their earnings from selling food and other goods to fellow protesters. (Photos by Ahmad Shah Azami , RFERL’s Radio Mashaal)

Hamid Karzai: A Presidency In Pictures

Hamid Karzai has been the leader of Afghanistan for almost 13 years, since shortly after the U.S.-led invasion of the country in late 2001. He was constitutionally barred from seeking a third term in office and so did not run in the May 2014 election. His successor had been due to be sworn in by September 2, but an ongoing fraud dispute between the two candidates -- Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani -- has meant Karzai has remained in office until the dispute is resolved. Karzai says he will retire, not to a mansion built on the grounds of the presidential palace but to a more modest home in Kabul, a move made, it is thought, to address fears he would continue to wield influence over Afghan politics even after he left office.

Top Shots

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond. For more photo galleries, see our "Picture This" archive.

Gulnara Scuffles With Security Detail In E-Mailed Pics

Several undated photos were released to the media on September 16 by Gulnara Karimova's Britain-based spokesman, Locksley Ryan, who said in an e-mailed statement that Karimova and her daughter are in "urgent need of medical attention." Karimova, daughter of Uzbek President Islam Karimova and a once ubiquitous sight on the Uzbek and international fashion and culture scene with ties to major strategic businesses, is reportedly under Uzbek house arrest.

Crimean Tatar Mejlis Raided, Searched By Police

Russian security forces have raided the Crimean Tatar assembly and the home of one of its members. Reporting from the site, an RFE/RL correspondent said 10 police officers and six armed, masked men in military uniform surrounded the Mejlis in Crimea's capital, Simferopol, on September 16 and were not letting anyone enter or leave the building. The Mejlis is the self-governing body of the Crimean Tatars, most of whom opposed Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in March and many of whom boycotted local elections on September 14. Police inside the building on September 16 were said to be searching the offices of the Crimean Tatar newspaper "Avdet" (Return). Police also searched the home of Mejlis member Eskender Bariyev and confiscated his computers. On September 15, three masked, armed men removed a Ukrainian national flag from the Mejlis building.

HRW Says Disabled Children In Russia Face Violence, Isolation, Neglect

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has issued a new report in which it finds that nearly 30 percent of all children with disabilities in Russia live in state orphanages where they face violence, neglect, and isolation. The New York-based rights watchdog says that many children are needlessly removed from their families, convinced by doctors that they are incapable of adequately caring for their offspring. (Captions by HRW)

Crimea Votes In First Elections Since Annexation By Russia

Voters in Crimea went to the polls on September 14 to elect local city councilors and lawmakers in the regional parliaments of Crimea and Sevastopol. The election was the first since Russia annexed the peninsula from Ukraine in March. Ethnic Crimean Tatars boycotted the vote to show their rejection of the legitimacy of Crimea's new Moscow-backed authorities. (RFE/RL)

Photos Of The Week

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond for the 37th week of 2014. For more photo galleries, see our "Picture This" archive by clicking on the banner above.

Who's Who, Who's New In Brussels

There's a new European Commission in town. And with the changing of the guard in Brussels, we asked RFE/RL's Brussels correspondent, Rikard Jozwiak, to take a look at some of the new faces.

Deadly Floods Sweep Pakistan

More than 440 people have been killed in recent days by floods in Pakistan and Indian-administered Kashmir amid the heaviest rains in 50 years. In Lahore, the roof of a mosque collapsed after days of rain – killing 24 worshipers inside.

Five Bosnian Miners Die In Coal-Pit Disaster

A trade union official says five coal miners have died after being trapped in a pit in Bosnia-Herzegovina following an earthquake. The chairman of Bosnian Miners' Trade Unions, Sinan Husic, told RFE/RL that five miners had died and that all 29 others who had been trapped were rescued on September 5. The mine's manager, Esad Civic, said the rescue effort had been "halted" as rescuers had not been able to reach the remaining five men. The 34 miners had been trapped 500 meters underground after a 3.5 magnitude earthquake struck near the central Bosnian town of Zenica on September 4.

Photos Of The Week #36

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond. For more photo galleries, see our "Picture This" archive by clicking on the banner above.

Soviet Media Powerhouse: TASS Through The Ages

Russia's state news agency ITAR-TASS has just rebranded itself and will be known by its old, Soviet-era name TASS. Founded in 1925, the Telegraph Agency Of The Soviet Union was responsible for all news content for radio, television, and print media.

Ten Years After Beslan, Memories Still Fresh

On September 1, 2004, Chechen and Ingush militants stormed an elementary school in the town of Beslan in the Russian republic of North Ossetia. Surging through the back-to-school crowds, the militants took 1,100 teachers, children, and relatives hostage, holding them for more than two days and demanding the withdrawal of Russian forces from Chechnya. On the third day, a series of explosions ripped through the building, igniting fires and sparking a deadly gun battle between the militants and Russian security forces. More than 330 hostages died in the violence. A decade later, correspondent Tom Balmforth and photographer Diana Markosian traveled to Beslan to speak to survivors still grappling with the memories of the loved ones they lost.

Photos Of The Week #35

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond. For more photo galleries, see our "Picture This" archive.

Beslan: Three Days Of Terror

On September 1, 2004, Chechen militants stormed an elementary school in the town of Beslan in the Russian republic of North Ossetia. They took 1,100 teachers, children, and their relatives hostage, demanding the withdrawal of federal forces from Chechnya as a condition for their release. On the third day of the standoff, Russian security forces stormed the building, resulting in a battle in which more than 330 hostages died, including 186 children.

An Altai 'Golden Wedding'

In Russia's Altai Republic in southern Siberia, the small Altai minority maintains a unique set of cultural customs, including their traditional "Golden Wedding" ceremony.

Wearing The Hijab In Britain

For Muslim women in the United Kingdom, the decision to wear a head scarf, or hijab, reflects a complex range of personal beliefs and competing social pressures.

Photos of The Week #34

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond. For more photo galleries, see our "Picture This" archive.

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