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Sun Mar 8, 2020, 08:02 AM

5 Stories from Europe You May Have Missed

1. Uzbek President Orders Abolition Of State Cotton Quotas

President Shavkat Mirziyoev has ordered the abolition of a decades-old state quota system for cotton crops, a major change that rights activists said should help end the Uzbekistan's longtime problem with forced labor.

The decree, signed by Mirziyoev on March 6, cancels quotas beginning in 2020 for the cultivation and sale of cotton.

The order also removes obligations on farmers to participate in cotton production, which experts say should give them more flexibility to plant other cash crops.


But mandatory production quotas have led to labor abuses, with many Uzbeks being forced to help do the back-breaking labor of picking the crops. Children have also been forced to pick cotton.


2. Sweden Detains Two Russian Nationals In Connection With 'Attempted Murder' Of Chechen Blogger

Two Russian nationals have been detained by police in Sweden in connection with what authorities are calling the attempted murder of a prominent blogger and critic of the Chechen government last month.

Tumso Abdurakhmanov, who fled Russia several years ago, said he survived the February 26 attack by overpowering an assailant armed with a hammer.

It was the second attack outside of Russia this year on a critic of Chechnya's Kremlin-backed leader Ramzan Kadyrov.


3. Hooligans Attack Women's Day Demonstration In Kyrgyzstan

BISHKEK A group of masked men attacked a demonstration against domestic violence in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek.

There were no immediate reports of injuries in the March 8 incident.

Police arrived at the scene after most of the assailants had fled and detained several dozen demonstration organizers and participants.


4. After 80 Years, The 'Katyn Lie' Lives On In Russia

In November 2010, the Russian State Duma took a big step toward healing a decades-old rift with Poland by officially accepting Soviet responsibility for the Katyn massacre -- the mass killing of some 22,000 Polish military officers, religious figures, and intelligentsia in 1940.

"Published documents, kept in classified archives for many years, not only revealed the scale of this horrific tragedy, but also showed that the Katyn crime was carried out on direct orders of Stalin and other Soviet officials," the declaration read, adding that Moscow's long-standing argument that the executions were carried out by Nazi Germany had "unfailingly provoked the wrath, grievance, and mistrust of the Polish people."


But fast forward nearly a decade -- and 80 years to the day when Stalin and his Politburo signed off on a proposal to execute thousands of "enemy" Poles rounded up by the Soviet secret police after their country was divvied up between the U.S.S.R. and Nazi Germany before World War II -- and the legacy of the war is again haunting the relationship between Warsaw and Moscow.


5. Turkey's President Erdogan to visit Brussels amid standoff with EU over migrants

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan plans to be in Brussels on Monday for a one-day working visit, his office said amid a charged conflict between Turkey and the European Union over migrants and refugees.

Thousands of migrants headed for Turkey's land border with Greece after Erdogan's government said last week that it would no longer prevent migrants and refugees from crossing over to EU territory. Greece deployed riot police and border guards to repel people trying to enter the country from the sea or by land.

A statement from Erdogan's office said he would travel to Brussels on March 9. The statement did not specify where he would be during his one-day visit or the nature of the work taking him to the Belgian capital, but the European Union's headquarters are in Brussels.


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Arrow 6 replies Author Time Post
Reply 5 Stories from Europe You May Have Missed (Original post)
rpannier Mar 2020 OP
sinkingfeeling Mar 2020 #1
SharonClark Mar 2020 #2
DFW Mar 2020 #3
eppur_se_muova Mar 2020 #4
abqtommy Mar 2020 #6
Bernardo de La Paz Mar 2020 #5

Response to rpannier (Original post)

Sun Mar 8, 2020, 08:43 AM

1. Thank you for these posts.

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Response to rpannier (Original post)

Sun Mar 8, 2020, 09:01 AM

2. Thanks for posting this and including the links.

It's always good to get out of the US bubble.

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Response to rpannier (Original post)

Sun Mar 8, 2020, 09:12 AM

3. I'm usually in Brussels once a week

Thank goodness I won't be there tomorrow. The city will be locked down tighter than a hospital's supply of hand sanitizer.

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Response to rpannier (Original post)

Sun Mar 8, 2020, 09:30 AM

4. Cotton is a thirsty crop. Removing quotas may stretch the supply of irrigation water.

Too late for the Aral Sea:

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Response to eppur_se_muova (Reply #4)

Sun Mar 8, 2020, 10:21 AM

6. Indeed! And removing quotas may also allow farmers to improve the fertility of their land

by rotating crops and planting things like alfalfa that fixes nitrogen in the soil naturally...

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Response to rpannier (Original post)

Sun Mar 8, 2020, 09:45 AM

5. If forced into a confrontation with masked men, rip the masks off.

Note: "forced". Not something to charge into to do, unless exceptionally brave or determined to protect someone.

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