Thursday 1 April 2004
March 24, 2004
Central Asia: 'World TB Day' Observed Amid Concerns Of Epidemic
World Tuberculosis Day is raising attention about one of the most deadly infectious diseases in the world. In the next 20 years, an estimated 1 billion people will be infected with TB, and some 36 million will die of the disease.
March 18, 2004
Kazakhstan: Media Continues To Face Strong Pressure
Kazakhstan's media freedom remains under strong pressure. Both houses of parliament have approved a media bill that critics say will limit freedom of speech. The move comes as journalists continue facing beatings, intimidation, and lawsuits.
March 18, 2004
Central Asia: EU Commissioner Wraps Up Regional Visit
EU External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten ends tomorrow his five-day tour to Central Asia after meeting the presidents of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan. During the visit, the first to the region by a European commissioner since 1996, Patten stressed that a sustainable and fruitful relationship requires tangible steps in the four republics to consolidate civil rights and the rule of law.
March 16, 2004
UN: WHO Says Drug-Resistant TB Threatens World
The World Health Organization (WHO) says drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) is raging in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The WHO says in a report issued today that drug resistance in new TB patients runs as high as 14 percent in parts of some countries. One expert told RFE/RL that six out of the world's 10 hot spots for multidrug-resistant TB are in Russia, the Baltic states, and Central Asia.
March 15, 2004
Central Asia: EU Commissioner Begins Rare Tour Of Region
Chris Patten, the European Union's external relations commissioner, today embarks on a rare tour of Central Asia. The visit will take in Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan -- bypassing Turkmenistan, which the EU views as undeserving of closer ties. EU officials say Patten will bring a "balanced message," urging greater political and economic reforms, while also recognizing the growing importance of the region in EU foreign policy thinking.
March 11, 2004
Kazakhstan: Abikaev Is Suddenly The Number-Two Man
Yesterday, Kazakhstan's former National Security Committee chief was appointed to the Senate, then immediately elected speaker of the upper house of parliament. That makes Nurtay Abikaev the number-two man in the country, the person who would take over should the president be unable to fulfill his duties for some reason.
March 05, 2004
Kazakhstan: Top Businesswoman Raushan Sarsembayeva Sets Her Sights On Parliament (Part 2)
By Sagat Batyrkhanova http://gdb.rferl.org/380DFE5F-376B-4C9E-936E-159D7ECBA15E_w203.jpg Raushan Sarsembayeva. In December 1977, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming 8 March as a commemorative day honoring women's rights and international peace. The tradition of marking a special woman's day stretches back nearly a century, and continues to unite women across the world regardless of ethnic and political boundaries. In 1998, Kazakhstan ratified the United Nations convention on the elimination of discrimination against women. But the lives of many women in the Central Asian nation remain bleak. Highly educated and relatively well-protected under the Soviet state, Kazakh women were set adrift during the tumult of the 1990s, with few economic prospects and little social support. But they are steadily gaining strength -- thanks in part to groups like the Kazakh Businesswomen's Association, which urges women to take their welfare into their own hands. The group's founder and head, Raushan Sarsembayeva, is one of Kazakhstan's wealthiest and most powerful women. RFE/RL profiles Sarsembayeva as she looks ahead to her next challenge -- a possible run in Kazakhstan's parliamentary elections in November.
March 05, 2004
UN: Security Council Considers Moves For More Counterterrorism Help
Worried by lagging compliance, the UN Security Council is preparing to revamp the mechanism for enforcing its tough counterterrorism resolution. A key proposal is a new body to handle technical assistance on issues ranging from anti-money-laundering measures to border controls. Representatives of Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Belarus appealed at a Security Council hearing yesterday for help as part of any new counterterrorism-assistance efforts.
March 02, 2004
Kazakhstan: Astana Denies Links To Nuclear Smuggling Network
Authorities in Kazakhstan deny the country's involvement in any international nuclear-technology-smuggling network. A company suspected of playing a role in the transfer of nuclear secrets and materials from Pakistan to Iran, Libya, and North Korea was reported to have offices in Almaty and Baku, Azerbaijan. That triggered speculation about a nuclear black market in these two former Soviet republics.
February 26, 2004
Central Asia: Rumsfeld Wraps Up Visit To Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan
U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld paid a visit to Central Asia this week aimed at strengthening military ties and assessing future security needs. RFE/RL looks at the visit and what it accomplished in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.