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  • Serbia: 1,000 evacuated from snow-hit cars, buses

    February 1, 2014 2:45 PM 42

    “The Serbian government is urging citizens not to travel until all danger is fully removed,” the statement added. Winter so far in Serbia had been exceptionally mild, but over the last week a cold spell and snowstorms have swept across parts of central and eastern Europe. Heavy snow in Bulgaria left dozens of villages without electricity and water and Romanian

  • Olympics 'a moment of opportunity' for Russia

    February 1, 2014 7:10 AM 20

    The head of Human Rights Watch tells DW that the Olympics may mean an end to the Russian UN veto over Syria. And how a free Ukraine could inspire a similar uprising in Russia - Vladimir Putin's 'nightmare.' Attorney Kenneth Roth has been the executive director of Human Rights Watch, a leading international human rights organization active in more than 90 countries

  • Will Russia’s Olympics be Putin’s triumph?

    February 1, 2014 4:24 AM 351

    He takes the risk because a successful Olympics would be an enormous personal victory for a man who, according to a January poll, is personally liked by only 20 percent of the Russian people, down from 49 percent in 2008, and whose government is perceived by almost two-thirds of Russians as concerned with the preservation and strengthening of its power

  • Ukraine opposition activist says he was tortured

    January 31, 2014 11:13 PM 19

    31 January 2014 Last updated at 14:29 GMT A prominent Ukrainian opposition activist who disappeared more than a week ago says he was abducted and tortured. Dmytro Bulatov is the leader of opposition movement Automaidan that organises protest convoys. He says he was kidnapped, repeatedly beaten and hung up by his wrists. Mr Bulatov, who is being treated

  • Successes abroad and the winter Olympics make Russia look strong; but where it matters, it is weak

    January 31, 2014 3:05 PM 29

    IN 2008, soon after winning the competition to stage the 2014 winter Olympics, Vladimir Putin, the country’s president, announced that “at last Russia has returned to the world arena as a strong state—a country that others heed and that can stand up for itself.” Next weekend sees the opening of Russia’s first Olympiad since the summer games in Moscow

  • Luckiest food for Chinese New Year

    January 31, 2014 2:53 PM 31

    Everyone needs a little luck these days, and the Year of the Horse offers a perfect opportunity to line up as many charms as possible to ensure a healthy and wealthy year. Chinese New Year celebrations, which begin on Friday, mark a new beginning. Tradition calls for a clean sweep: Houses are aired out to get rid of last year’s bad luck, and they are decorated

  • Nearly 1,900 were killed in Syria during Geneva peace talks

    January 31, 2014 12:41 PM 22

    BEIRUT - Activists say that fighting on the ground in Syria has killed nearly 1,900 people, including at least 430 civilians, during the week of U.N.-hosted peace talks in Switzerland. The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Friday it has counted 1,870 dead from the day the talks started on Jan. 22 until Thursday evening. The Observatory

  • Syrian government shelling kills 16 in rebel-held area of Aleppo as talks wrap up in Geneva

    January 31, 2014 12:15 PM 32

    BEIRUT – Syrian government shelling killed at least 16 people in a rebel-held area of the northern city of Aleppo, activists said, and at least one man was killed Friday inside Lebanon in cross-border fire from Syria, according to a security official. The attacks came as Syrian negotiators were wrapping up a week of peace talks in Geneva – the first

  • Syrian troop shells kill 16 in Aleppo

    January 31, 2014 12:04 PM 21

    The conflict, which began as largely peaceful protests against the rule of President Bashar Assad, shifted into an armed insurgency and became a full-blown civil war that has killed more than 130,000 people and forced millions to flee their homes, including over 2 million who have mostly settled in neighboring countries. Syria’s economy, meanwhile, lies in ruins

  • Russia says Iran nuclear talks set for February 18 in New York

    January 31, 2014 10:05 AM 21

    MOSCOW (Reuters) - Talks between Iran and six world powers on a long-term deal for Tehran to rein in its nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief will be held in New York on February 18, a Russian diplomat said on Friday, according to the Interfax news agency. Six world powers, including the United States and Russia, have led years of negotiations