Vyachaslau Bortnik, Gay Belarusian Man, Weds U.S. Partner, Will Be Permitted To Stay - Huffington Post, July 23, 2013
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has an exclusive report on the marriage of Vyachaslau Bortnik, 39, a rights activist from the city of Homel, and Shawn Gaylord, 44, a U.S. lawyer and adviser for a gay advocacy organization. The couple married in a D.C. ceremony on July 11, according to the report.
Egypt Seeks to Restore African Union Membership - Foreign Policy, July 23, 2013
Egyptian diplomats are fanning out in an effort to restore the country's membership in the African Union, which was suspended two days after the military pushed out the government of Mohamed Morsi. There are some signs that the 53-member organization is keen to have Egypt back in the fold as well. Voice of America's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
The right to fast: Why is China barring Xinjiang Muslims from their Ramadan ritual? - Albawaba, July 24, 2013
In Xinjiang, officials "are extracting guarantees from parents, promising that their children won't fast on Ramadan," Dilxat Raxit, Sweden-based spokesman for the exiled World Uighur Congress, told Radio Free Asia. Raxit added that students are commonly forced to hand over computers and phones to the authorities for inspection.
Oromo: Prominent Academic And Former Diplomat Urges Change In Ethiopian Policy - Unrepresented Nations and People Organization, July 24, 2013
According to organisations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, however, Gerba was guilty of being Oromo and talking of the plight of his people. Shortly before his arrest, Gerba had described the challenges facing his community, telling Voice of America "Anyone who speaks the [Oromo] language and does not belong to the ruling party is a suspect and can be taken to prison any time." Gerba and other incarcerated Oromo (Oromo rights groups estimate there are around 20,000 Oromo political prisoners in Ethiopia) continue to spark protests in Ethiopia and across the global Oromo diaspora.
Congolese to UN: Let our army advance against Rwanda's M23 - BayView, July 24, 2013
On Wednesday, July 17, Nick Long reported for the Voice of America that the Congolese army's recent successes at driving the M23 militia from their positions in eastern Congo have caused euphoria amongst Congolese, particularly in Goma, the capital city of North Kivu Province on Congo's border with Rwanda.
New restrictions raise doubt on Dalai Lama relaxation policy in Tibet - Tibetan Review, July 24, 2013
A reported trial policy by China in Jun 2013 to allow Tibetans in a few pilot areas to venerate the Dalai Lama as a religious leader, including with displaying of his pictures and being no longer required to denigrate him, is reported to have come a cropper. In Qinghai, from whose Tsolho (Chinese: Hainan) Prefecture the relaxation was first reported, new restrictions are in force, said Radio Free Asia (RFA, Washington) Jul 22. The report cited Tibetan sources as saying that under new restrictions on displaying photos of the Dalai Lama, personal motor vehicles were being searched and those resisting the confiscation of photos were being beaten and detained.
Moldova Secretly Enacts Propaganda Law Similar To Russia's - Advocate, July 23, 2013
Angela Frolov, the head of GenderDoc-M said members of her organization had only learned of the new law after it was officially published a week later, according to Radio Free Europe. She said she believes that this law likely violates the Moldovan constitution, and international policy like the European Union's antidiscrimination laws.
The Stream, July 23: Pakistan One of Most Water-Stressed Countries - Circle of Blue Water News, July 23, 2013
Pakistan is one of the most water-stressed countries in the world, with only a 30-day supply held in reserve, according to a report from the Asian Development Bank. Water shortages, in combination with already widespread energy shortages, could further destabilize the country, The Atlantic reported. Surface and groundwater supplies in Inner Mongolia are drying up near a coal-to-liquids plant, according to a new report from Greenpeace, Voice of America reported. Groundwater levels have dropped nearly 100 meters (328 feet) since the plant began operating, the report says.
How Far Would You Go to Keep a Promise to a Dying Friend? - Concord Patch, July 24, 2013
"Yes, I'm concerned about that," Hudner reportedly told Voice of America. "But I think there are enough people in the United States who are for the man [Jesse Brown] and for what he stands for and certainly wouldn't want to stay in the way to find him because many years ago I gave up the idea of being able to recover him. I felt by this time they surely would have found the wreckage."