22 November 2015   Leave a comment

Bangladesh executed two political leaders for crimes committed during the war for independence in 1971.   The opposition leaders, Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid and Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, were hanged after the Supreme Court rejected their appeals.  The two were convicted by a special tribunal for genocide and torture of civilians after East Pakistan moved to secede from Pakistan and to become an independent state.  Almost 3 million people were killed in that struggle and the political tensions from that conflict persist to the present day.

I was in Belgium earlier in the semester, and I was struck by how low-key the country seemed to be.  People were pleasant, they walked everywhere, and the cafes and restaurants were packed. The situation now is apparently quite different according to my friends there.  The trains are empty, the metro is closed, and no one seems to be walking around.  The country is on the highest alert for an expected terrorist attack and the US Embassy is telling all American citizens not to go to work or to be highly visible.

 

Russia annexed Crimea in February of 2014 and the transition to Russian rule has been difficult for the people there.  Today, the situation became even more difficult as saboteurs cut the main power lines from Ukraine into the peninsula.   The Crimeans are in a difficult situation because most of the power and water comes from Ukraine which now considers the territory to be occupied by a foreign power.  It is doubtful that Russia can fill the void in the short run.

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Posted November 22, 2015 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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