The peace process in Northern Ireland is coming under increasing pressure. Militant splinter groups have evidently united to form a new breakaway IRA. They are also said to be responsible for the murder of a Protestant prison guard who was a member of the Orange Order. Politicians from all parties are now warning of a new spiral of violence.
The peace process in Northern Ireland could be facing a setback.
The willingness to resort to violence is increasing among both Protestants and Catholics. Many Protestants in Northern Ireland consider themselves the losers in the peace process. They have had to give up privileges and share power with Catholic parties. Protestants are giving vent to their anger with new marches. But the economic crisis is also driving many people to join radical Catholic groups. IRA splinter groups have joined together and are already threatening terrorist attacks.
Entire forests are being illegally cut down in Romania. Lax forestry policies are facilitating the deforestation. Residents have to cope with more frequent flooding.
The forests used to store rainwater. Now it floods into villages. After the fall of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, a third of the forests in the Carpathians became private property. The owners even deforested protected areas or sold them to timber companies. Reforestation seldom if ever takes place. The clearcutting has now taken on Mafia-like proportions.
Stepan Zakharchenko belonged to Belarus's special forces. But he fled to Lithuania because he refused to sign documents committing himself to shoot at civilians.
Belarus's special forces aren't squeamish. When the country's regime takes action against opposition demonstrators, it usually sends in special military units. A member of those forces deserted and fled to Lithuania to ask for asylum. According to his own information, he had been supposed to sign a form in Belarus giving his consent to using force against civilians opposed to the government in emergency situations. Belarus has requested his extradition from Lithuania, where he has yet to be recognized as a political refugee. He now fears deportation.
Greek cities are seeing increasing incidents of violence against foreigners. In immigrant districts, many people are afraid of leaving their homes.
They're frightened of forces from the right-wing extremist party Golden Dawn: black-clad men who patrol after dusk on their motorcycles, targeting foreigners. In the past three months, aid organizations have registered more than 500 such attacks. None of the perpetrators were arrested.