Council of Europe – The Journal: PACE President’s visit to Azerbaijan, terrorist recruitment & Russia accused of intercepting phone data – Week of 29 September 2014

Council of Europe Palais de l'Europe aerial vi...

Council of Europe Palais de l’Europe aerial view – Architecte Henry Bernard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

September 26, 2014 –

Council of Europe Journal for the week of 29 September 2014:

 

  • PACE President, Anne Brasseur, pays an official visit to Azerbaijan
  • Recruitment and financing of terrorism and organised crime – a Council of Europe conference discusses the issues
  • Russia’s accused of intercepting telephone data without a court order

 

The President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Anne Brasseur, has been paying an official visit to Azerbaijan

Ms Brasseur met with President Aliyev and also held meetings with leaders of political parties in the parliament, members of the Azerbaijani delegation to PACE and the Prosecutor General. She also met human rights activists to discuss the issue of journalists and others held in detention. 
Afterwards, Ms Brasseur commented on her visit, saying that: more progress was needed in Azerbaijan regarding freedom of expression, freedom of association, and judicial  independence.

And, speaking about the recent arrests of civil society activists, the President said it was a source of “grave concern”. She went on to say that the detentions highlighted the need to address systemic deficiencies in the operation of justice in Azerbaijan as noted in the findings of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of the pre-trial detention of Ilgar Mammadov.

NEWS IN BRIEF



  • A Council of Europe international conference in the Spanish city of Málaga has been discussing ways of tackling recruitment to terror and organised crime groups. The conference, made-up of judges, prosecutors, policy makers and other terrorism experts, has also been addressing a range of issues, including radicalisation and recruitment in prisons and ways of stopping the funding of terror campaigns. Continue reading
Advertisements

Review: The Tiananmen Papers

INSIDE CHINA’S POLITBURO

For the first time ever, reports and minutes have surfaced that provide a revealing and potentially explosive view of decision-making at the highest levels of the government and party in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The materials paint a vivid picture of the battles between hard-liners and reformers on how to handle the student protests that swept China in the spring of 1989. The protests were ultimately ended by force, including the bloody clearing of Beijing streets by troops using live ammunition. The tragic event was one of the most important in the history of communist China, and its consequences are still being felt.

The materials were spirited out of China by a sympathizer of Communist Party members who are seeking a resumption of political reform. They believe that challenging the official picture of Tiananmen as a legitimate suppression of a violent antigovernment riot will help unfreeze the political process. The extensive and dramatic documentary picture of how China’s leaders reacted to the student protests is revealed in The Tiananmen Papers: The Chinese Leadership’s Decision to Use Force Against Their Own People-In Their Own Words. This article is adapted from the extensive narrative and documents in that book.

THE STUDENTS’ CHALLENGE

The 1989 demonstrations were begun by Beijing students to encourage continued economic reform and liberalization. The students did not set out to pose a mortal challenge to what they knew was a dangerous regime. Nor did the regime relish the use of force against the students. The two sides shared many goals and much common language. Yet, through miscommunication and misjudgment, they pushed one another into positions where options for compromise became less and less available. Continue reading

Russia: Digging Themselves in Deeper

Why Big Oil is doubling down on Putin’s Russia.

BY Keith Johnson APRIL 22, 2014

Russia may have become an international outcast in the wake of its annexation of Crimea and continued destabilization of eastern Ukraine. But for one group of powerful multinationals, Russia these days is less pariah than promised land.

Big Western oil companies from BP to Shell have not just stayed the course in Russia in recent months — many have essentially doubled down on oil and gas investments there and built even closer ties with Russian energy firms. Taken together, the deals could send billions of dollars flowing into the Russian economy just when Barack Obama’s administration is trying to hammer it hard enough to persuade Russian President Vladimir Putin to reverse his annexation of Crimea and stop menacing eastern Ukraine.

“We’ve made clear that we’d be prepared to target certain sectors of the Russian economy if we see a significant escalation, including direct Russian military intervention in eastern Ukraine,” White House spokesperson Laura Lucas Magnuson has said. Continue reading

North Korea fires ballistic missiles into Sea of Japan

25 March 2014

North Korea is believed to have launched two No Dong ballistic missiles on 26 March. The No Dong was seen on a transport-erector-launcher (TEL) vehicle with five axles at a military parade in Pyongyang in late 2010. Source: PA

North Korea fired two ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan on 26 March: the latest in a series of test launches.

The South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that two missiles were launched from the Sukchon region at 02.35 and 02.42 local time respectively. It added that the launches were in violation of “UN Security Council Resolutions [UNSCR] 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013) and 2094 (2013), which prohibit North Korea from all activities related to ballistic missile programmes.” Continue reading

New EU Border Security Project

The European border security agency Frontex is calling on industry to present its border surveillance solutions to key stakeholders and EU member state authorities at two workshops to be held in Poland and Finland this year

Illustration photo (123rf)

Illustration photo (123rf)

One of the key objectives of Frontex is to keep member states informed about new technological developments in the field of border control. In this regard, Frontex seeks to put more emphasis on organizing with the help of member states and practical demonstrations of new technologies.

The Research and Development Unit of Frontex will organize, on Apr. 10 in Warsaw, Poland, a workshop on the challenges and opportunities for border surveillance sensors and platforms. Key stakeholders and representatives of EU member states’ authorities involved in border control will attend. Frontex is inviting all relevant industry to present its latest technological developments in border security surveillance, especially from the perspective of cost-efficiency.The surveillance of external borders is one of the essential components of border control in the EU. Border surveillance activities take place in wide border areas and present a variety of challenges such as detection and tracking of small boats; systems integration; the trade-off between effectiveness and cost; and the surveillance capabilities of border patrol vessels. Continue reading

Iran News Round Up March 18, 2014

Nuclear power plant "Kernkraftwerk Emslan...

Nuclear power plant “Kernkraftwerk Emsland” (Photo credit: flokru)

A selection of the latest news stories and editorials published in Iranian news outlets, compiled by the AEI Critical Threats Project’s Iran research team. To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online. 

(E) = Article in English

Excerpts of these translations may only be used with the expressed consent of the authors

Nuclear Issue

The ‘Hidden Debt’ Of Russia And Ukraine That Could Make Them More Exposed Than Any Other Crisis In The World

Map of developping countries, without least ad...

http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2014/wp1409.pdf

======================================

Matthew Boesler

March 5, 2014 · by Fortuna’s Corner ·

In recent years, corporations in emerging markets (EM) have increasingly sought to tap international bond markets to finance themselves, as lowinterest rates at the global level have provided more attractive terms of borrowing than those corporations could access in their home countries.Nomura, Bloomberg

Chart 1: Onshore and offshore debt. Note: Series represent cumulative sum of bonds issued that have not yet matured or been called, which may not properly account for debt restructuring.

Jens Nordvig, global head of currency strategy at Nomura, estimates that emerging market corporates have issued $400 billion of offshore debt since 2010 — about 40% of their total debt issuance (chart 1).

This issuance is not captured in traditional country-level balance of  payments statistics, which only measure debt issuance on a residency basis and not a nationality basis.

In other words, the official statistics only measure a given corporation’s debt issuance in the home country, and don’t take into account offshore debt issued through overseas subsidiaries.

The latter measure is a better measure of risk exposures, according to  Philip Turner, deputy head of the monetary and economics department at the Bank for International Settlements, who argues in a

new working paper that “the consolidated balance sheet of an international firm best measures its vulnerabilities.”

Continue reading